« AnteriorContinuar »
FORCE OF TALENTS.-Dr. Dwight.
Talents, whenever they have had a suitable theatre, have never failed to emerge from obscurity, and assume their proper rank in the estimation of the world. The jealous pride of power may attempt to repress and crush them; the base and malignant rancour of impotent spleen and envy may strive to embarrass and retard their flight: but these efforts, so far from achieving their ignoble purpose, so far from producing a discernible obliquity, in the ascent of genuine and vigorous talents, will serve only to increase their momentum, and mark their transit with an additional stream of glory.
When the great Earl of Chatham first made his appearance in the House of Commons, and began to astonish and transport the British Parliament and the British nation, by the boldness, the force, and range of his thoughts, and the celestial fire and pathos of his eloquence, it is well known, that the minister, Walpole, and his brother Horace, (from motives very easily understood,) exerted all their wit, all their oratory, all their acquirements of every description, sustained and enforced by the unfeeling insolence of office,' to heave a mountain on his gigantic genius, and hide it from the world. Poor and powerless attempt!The tables were turned. He rose upon them, in the might and irresistible energy of his genius, and in spite of all their convulsions, frantic agonies, and spasms, he strangled them and their whole faction, with as much ease as Hercules did the serpent, Python.
Who can turn over the debates of the day, and read the account of this conflict between youthful ardour, and hoary headed cunning and power, without kindling in the cause of the tyro, and shouting at his victory? That they should have attempted to pass off the grand, yet solid and judicious operations of a mind like his, as being mere theatrical start and emotion; the giddy, hair-brained eccentricities of a romantic boy! That they should have had the presumption, to suppose themselves capable of chaining down to the floor of the Parliament, a genius so ethereal, towering, and sublime, seems unaccountable! Why did they not, in the next breath, by way of crowning the climax of vanity, bid the magificent fire-ball to descend from its exalted and appropri
ate region, and perform its splendid tour along the surface of the earth?
Talents, which are before the public, have nothing to dread, either from the jealous pride of power, or from the transient misrepresentations of party, spleen, or envy: In spite of opposition from any cause, their buoyant spirit will lift them to their proper grade.
The man, who comes fairly before the world, and who possesses the great and vigorous stamina, which entitle him to a niche in the temple of glory, has no reason to dread the ultimate result: however slow his progress may be, he will, in the end, most indubitably receive that distinction. While the rest, 'the swallows of science,' the butterflies of genius, may flutter for their spring; but they will soon pass away and be remembered no more. No enterprising man, therefore, (and least of all, the truly great man) has reason to droop or repine at any efforts, which he may suppose to be made with the view to dtpress him. Let, then, the tempest of envy or of malice howl around him. His genius will consecrate him; and any attempt to extinguish that, will be as unavailing, as would a human effort to quench the stars.'
Written near la Croix de la Flegère, in the Vale of Chamouni.*
'Tis night, and silence with unmoving wings
* La Croix de la Fleg 're is an elevated point on the mountain of that name, and commands a fine view of Montblanc.
The eternal mountains momently are peering
Of mist that moats his base, from Arve's dark, deep ravine,
Stands the magnificent Montblanc !—his brow,
Stern chronicler of centuries gone by,
Doomed by an awful fiat still to climb,
Hark! there are sounds of tumult and commotion
From its tall cliff-by whom? what mortal may unfold!
Perchance a gale from fervid Italy
Disturbed the air-hung thunder; or the tone
"T was but some heaven-sent power that did prevail,
Madly it bursts along-even as a river
Crash-and are seen no more! Fleet-footed fear,
The sun upon the western hills was gone,
That guard thy vales of beauty, Palestine! Now flaming like a golden fiery zone,
The crescent on the eastern heaven, supine, Hung on the purple horizontal line.
Up Padan-aram's height, abrupt and bare, A pilgrim toiled, and oft on day's decline
Looked pale, then paused for eve's delicious air: The summit gained, he knelt, and breathed his evening
prayer. He spread his cloak, and slumbered. Darkness fell
Upon the twilight hills. A sudden sound Of silver trumpets o'er him seemed to swell;
Clouds heavy with the tempest gathered round, Yet was the whirlwind in its caverns bound.
Still deeper rolled the darkness from on high, Gigantic volume upon volume wound:
Above, a pillar shooting to the sky, Below, an ocean spreading on incessantly.
Voices are heard—a choir of golden strings,
Low winds, whose breath is loaded with the rose; Then chariot-wheels,—the nearer rush of wings;
Pale lightning round the dark pavilion glows: It thunders—the resplendent gates unclose.
Far as the eye can glance, o'er height on height, Blaze fiery waving wings, and star-crowned brows,
Ranked by their millions, brighter and more bright, Till all is lost in one supreme, unmingled light.
But two beside the sleeping pilgrim stand,
Like cherub-kings, with uplift mighty plume, Fixed sunbright eyes, and looks of high command:
They tell the patriarch of his glorious doom, Father of countless myriads, that shall come,
Sweeping the land, like billows of the sea, Bright as the stars of heaven from twilight's gloom,
Till he is given whom angels long to see, And Israel's splendid line is crowned with Deity.
ADDRESS OF ALASCO TO HIS COUNTRYMEN.--Shee.
The chief, Malinski, has betrayed His post, and fled. I would that every knave, He has left behind, might strip the patriot cloak, And follow him. Such ruffian spirits taint The cause of freedom. They repel its friends, And so disfigure it by blood and violence, That good men start, and tremble to embrace it. But now, my friends, a sterner trial waits us.Within yon castle's walls we sleep to-night, Or die to-day before them. Let each man Preserve the order of advance, and charge, As if he thought his individual sword Could turn the scale of fate. String every' heart To valour's highest pitch;-fight, and be free! This is no common conflict, set on foot, For hireling hosts to ply the trade of war.– Ours is a nobler quarrelwe contend For what 's most dear to man, wherever foundFree or enslaved—a savage, or a sage;The very life and being of our country. ’T is ours, to rescue from the oblivious grave, · Where tyrants have combined to bury them,' A gallant race--a nation, and her fame,To gather up the fragments of our state, And in its cold, dismembered body, breathe The living soul of empire. Such a cause Might warm the torpid earth, put hearts in ston, And stir the ashes of our ancestors,