« AnteriorContinuar »
Excuses finds, and prompts their royal Breath
O’er tombs and deserts then let Conquerors reign,
mourning, and caused processions to be made in Rome, and prayers to be offered up in all the churches, that it would please the Almighty, in his good time, to permit him to release his Holy Prisoner, But amidst all this outward appearance and show of contrition, he winked at the shocking excesses committed by his army in the Capital of the Pontiff; nor did he release him until he had acceded to his demands ! “Servetur ad Imum.” That such a thorough-paced Impostor as this should begin by deceiving others, and end by deceiving himself, is not to be wondered at; the transition is not
The retirement of this Royal Pantimoroumenos to the Monastery of St. Justus; his intrusions on the repose of a few poor Monks; his inflictions of voluntary flagel. Jations on bimself; and lastly, that climax of his absurdities, the celebration of his own obsequies, before his death, and the soleme rehearsal of his funeral; these were but the natural and consequential parts of such a character; and surprize me no more than acts of cruelty and revenge in a Nero; or of resignation and forgiveness in a Socrates. "Ubi Solitudinem fariunt, Pacem appellant."
an uncommon one.
The Prince who knows and guards a Nation's
rights, Who Peace, with all her Sister-Arts, invites, Who deems it,-unseduced by Courtier Knaves, More glorious far to rule the Free, than Slaves, Who strives much less t'increase his wide domain, Than the true good of all his realms contain; He builds, more firm than brass, or Parian stone, Not o'er our graves, but in our hearts, his throne! There reigns unarmed, more safe, and more
renowned Than Cæsar, by twelve Legions compassed round.
But soon I close awhile the lengthened strain, Should Varius smile, I have not sung in vain; Long since too large, I ween, if wretched stuff, My Page hath swollen ;-if not,—'tis large enough ; Though some small pains it cost, we dare confess It might have been made larger, with much less. *
Not like Pelides armed to take the field, A quill thine only spear, a rag + thy shield,
* Those who dislike a Book for being small, do not reflect, with how much less pains the Author rould have made it larger. l'erspicuous brevity in writing evinces as great a kuowledge of that art, as good foreshortening does of the art of Painting. I by no means presunie to hope that this is an excellence of wri. ti g that I have attained; but we may be allowed to admire what we cannot reach ; and even to give rules to others, which we cannot exemplify in ourselves.
t Walpole quotes this line from Fletcher,-the Idea is
Go little Book !-pursue thy vast attempt Through warm resentment, and through cold
contempt ; Before tribunals destined to be led, And what is worse, to be condemned, unread; For hope not thou to rout Enchantments, Knights, Dwarfs, Curses, Monsters, Castles, Spectres,
Sprites; Or please, with modest truth, a sensual herd, T’Anacreon,* or Ambrosio preferred; Or charm those ears, that love the style profane And balderdash, of some French Sceptic's † brain ;
quaint. He says of Authors “The Goose lends them a Spear, and every Rag a Shield.”
* Why does not Mr. Moore write something fit to read ? He
+ I have some charity for the Infidelity of a Frenchman, who forms his notions of Christianity from the mummery and masquerade of Popery. But that French Sceptics should find disciples in England, is rather extraordinary ; and still more so, that these disciples should plume themselves upon their conversion. But as a little learning makes a man a Sciolist; so, a smattering in Philosophy makes him an Infidel. Freethinkers, nine in ten, are not those who think freely, but rather those who are free from thinking. This is a glorious liberty, truly, to be proud of; and which is enjoyed in common with the brutes. As men of pleasure, by attempting to be more happy than any man can be, become more miserable than most men are; so Infidels, by affecting to be wise beyond what is permitted to man, are, in fact, more blind and ignorant than the multitude they despise. To walk in darkness, rather
A precious Cargo, smuggled g to our shores
than in light is the melancholy privilege of which they boast, in the language, but not in the spirit of Euryalus, “Est hic est animus lucis contemptor.” I shall sum up the character of these men in the words of Jortin, “A total ignorance,” says he, "of the learned languages, an acquaintance with modern Books, and translations of old ones; some knowledge of mo. dern languages, a smattering in Natural Philosophy, Poetical taste, vivacity of expression, with a large stock of Impiety ; these constitute a Voltaire, or a modern Genius of the first Rank; fit to be patronized by Princes, and caressed by No. bles. Whilst learned men have leave to go and chuse on what tree they will please to hang themselves.”
From all that I have observed in the Officers of the French Army, and my opportunities here have been frequent, I am inclined to think the bulk of them are Deists. But, as I be. fore hinted, there is some excuse to be offered for them. Necessarily, from their active babits as Soldiers, unacquainted with the pages of antiquity, from which they might have learned the inestimable obligations which Society owes to this Religion, and perfect strangers to the purer ages of primitive Christianity; they come to the exainination of it, with minds unfortunately prejudiced against it, by all they have seen, heard, and read. From their earliest impressions they are instructed to form their ideas of it, not from the “ College of Fishermen,' as Lord Chatham observed, but from the “College of Cardinals.”
“ Esse aliquos Mants et subterranea reyna
Nec Pueri credunt." If they entertain any doubts, the volumes of Voltaire or Frederic, or Volvey, are at hand to dismiss them. But as Professor Porson observed on another occasion, these are the
Nor hope to win those wanton eyes, that burn,
Go First-born of my Muse, and with thee take The Martyr's Courage, when he meets the stake; Thee, shall some mumping Critic † steal--for pelf, Then strive to make thee hideous, as himself;
Authors which I had hoped would be read and admired in this country, when Butler, Leland, Newton, and Paley are for. gotten! But not till then. .
§ “ Advectus Romam quo pruna et coctona veuto.”
* “I know," says Horace Walpole, “ from indubitable authority, that Sterne's Mother, who kept a School, having run in debt on account of an extravagant daughter, would have rotted in jail, if the parents of her Scholars had not raised a subscription for her.”
† If my Readers revert to some lines in the introductory