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houses to plunder the dead, and in licentious sport dragged away the last decent covering from their bodies; they would even try the edge of their swords on the dead. The soldiers, dreading the stench of the bodies, at first ordered them to be buried at the expense of the public treasury; as they grew more numerous, they were thrown over the walls into the ravines below.
H. H. MILMAN
65. POLITICAL INNOVATORS OBTAIN A READY HEARING. He that goeth about to persuade a multitude, that they are not so well governed as they ought to be, shall never want attentive and favourable hearers; because they know the manifold defects whereunto every kind of regiment is subject: but the secret lets and difficulties, which in public proceedings are innumerable and inevitable, they have not ordinarily the judgment to consider. And because such as openly reprove supposed disorders of State are taken for principal friends to the common benefit of all and for men that carry singular freedom of mind; under this fair and plausible colour, whatsoever they utter, passeth for good and current. That which wanteth in the weight of their speech, is supplied by the aptness of men's minds to accept and believe it. Whereas on the other side, if we maintain things that are established, we have not only to strive with a number of heavy prejudices deeply rooted in the hearts of men, who think that herein we serve the time and speak in favour of the present State, because thereby we either hold or seek preferment; but also to bear such exceptions as minds so averted beforehand usually take against that which they are loth should be poured into them.
66. ASPIRATION AFTER TRUTH. Human souls in this low situation, bordering on mere animal life, bear the weight and see through the dusk of a gross atmosphere, gathered from wrong judgments daily passed, false opinions daily learned, and early habits of an older date than either judgment or opinion. Through such a medium the sharpest eye cannot see clearly. And if by some extraordinary effort the mind should surmount this dusky region, and snatch a glimpse of pure light, she is soon drawn backwards, and depressed by the heaviness of the animal nature to which she is changed. And if again she chanceth amidst the
agitation of wild fancies and strong affections to spring upwards, a second relapse speedily succeeds into this region of darkness and dreams. Nevertheless, as the mind gathers strength by repeated acts, we should not despond, but continue to exert the prime and flower of our faculties, still recovering and reaching on, and struggling into the upper region, whereby our natural weakness and blindness may be in some degrees remedied and a taste attained of truth and intellectual life.
67. TWO NEVER-FAILING SOURCES OF CHEERFULNESS. A man who uses his best endeavours to live according to the dictates of virtue and right reason, has two perpetual sources of cheerfulness, in the consideration of his own nature, and of that Being on whom he has a dependence. If he looks into himself, he cannot but rejoice in that existence which is so lately bestowed upon him, and which after millions of ages will be still new and still in its beginning. How many self-congratulations naturally rise in the mind, when it reflects on this its entrance into eternity, when it takes a view of those improveable faculties which in a few years and even at its first setting out have made so considerable a progress, and which will be still receiving an increase of perfection and consequently an increase of happiness! The consciousness of such a being spreads a perpetual diffusion of joy through the soul of a virtuous man and makes him look upon himself every moment as more happy than he knows how to conceive. The second source of cheerfulness to a good mind is the consideration of that Being on whom we have our dependence, and in whom, though we behold Him as yet but in the first faint discoveries of His perfections, we see every thing that we can imagine as great glorious or amiable. We find ourselves every where upheld by a Being, whose power qualifies Him to make us happy by an infinity of means, whose goodness and truth engage Him to make those happy who desire it of Him, and whose unchangeableness will secure us in this happiness to all eternity. Such considerations, which everyone should perpetually cherish in his thoughts, will banish from us all that secret heaviness of heart which unthinking men are subject to when they lie under no real affliction, all that anguish which we may feel from any evil that actually oppresses us: they will silence those idle bursts of mirth and folly, that are
apter to betray virtue than support it: and establish in us such an even and cheerful temper, as makes us pleasing to ourselves, to those with whom we converse, and to Him whom we were made to please.
68. NORWEGIAN LEGISLATION. There is, and always has been here, much more of the real business of the country in the hands of the people, and transacted by themselves, than in any other country of Europe. They have not merely the legislative power and election of their Storthing (senate), which is but a late institution; but, in all times, the whole civil business of the community has been in a great measure in their own hands. It appears to be the general spirit of the Norwegian law, that the constituted legal authorities have rather a superintending than a managing power. The division of landed property among heirs, the guardianship of estates belonging to minors, the settling disputes by the commission of mutual agreement, the provision for the poor, the support of the roads and bridges, the regulations for the fisheries, the charge and conveyance of prisoners (as jails are only in the chief towns of each province), the attendance on the courts of the district as valuators arbiters or jurymen, are among the affairs which devolve on the people under the superintendence of the legal authorities. The exclusion from these affairs and functions, which of course the legal sentence of loss of honour produces, is a punishment so severely felt, that there are instances of culprits, after that portion of their punishment consisting in slavery for a certain period had been completed, returning to their chains, committing on purpose some petty offence rather than live as outcasts under the sentence of dishonour among their former friends.
69. SIRE, I do not think that your Majesty can ever do me so much good as you have done me ill this day. Every one of your faithful servants has been tortured by apprehensions of fatal consequences from your wound; and, as for myself, I have been like one inspecting a map wherein all, except the Countries with which we are acquainted, is laid down as a frightful desert and a terra incognita. No man, indeed, can look beyond your life, without finding himself enveloped in thick darkness and inconceivable misery. If your Majesty fails to understand this for your own sake, you should learn it for that of your own servants. We praise God that he has given us, in such times as the present, a warlike Monarch; for the State could not maintain itself under a Prince skilled only in the Cabinet and devoted to sedentary pursuits. Nevertheless, we cannot but wish that if you exceed the ordinary bounds of a King, you would limit yourself within those of a great Captain ; and that after having played the part of Alexander for thirty years, you would think it time to represent that of Augustus. For us, Sire, to die for your Majesty is our true glory; but I must be bold enough to add, that it is not less the duty of your Majesty to live on our account.
70. SPIRITUAL TRUTHS CANNOT BE ADEQUATELY EXPRESSED IN LANGUAGE. Words and syllables, which are but dead things, cannot possibly convey the living notions of heavenly truths to us. A painter, that would draw a rose, though he may flourish some likeness of it in figure and colour, can yet never paint the scent and fragrancy; or, if he would draw a flame, he cannot put a constant heat into his colours; he cannot make his pencil drop a sound, as the echo in the epigram mocks at him. All the skill of cunning artizans and mechanics cannot put a principle of life into a statue of their own making. Neither are we able to enclose in words and letters the life, soul and essence of any spiritual truths, and, as it were, to incorporate it in them.
71. CHARACTERISTICS OF TRUE ELOQUENCE. I think I may with truth say, that to form an eloquent speaker, a knowledge of philosophy is indispensable, for without philosophical instruction it is impossible in the examination of any subject to mark the distinction of genus and species ; to explain its nature by definition; to analyse it into all its component parts; to separate truth from falsehood; to discern consequences; to see contrarieties; to discriminate ambiguities. Hence it is, says Cicero, that the instruction, by which we gain intellectual acquirements, being different from that by which we arrive at the art of expressing our thoughts, and the object of some being the attainment of a knowledge of things but of others that of a command of words, no one can ever acquire genuine and perfect eloquence. In accordance with this opinion, Mark Antony, to whom our forefathers assigned even the first place among the orators of his day, remarks in the only book, which he left on the subject, that he had seen many who had the merit of clear and precise expression, but none who possessed the talents peculiar to true eloquence. Thus it is obvious that there was seated in his mind an idea of eloquence, which his imagination conceived but which he did not find realised by the fact. Other arts need no foreign aid, each suffices for itself, but eloquence, that is the art of speaking with science skill and elegance, acknowledges no well defined district, within the boundaries of which it is circumscribed. He who professes this art must have the talent of speaking well on every question which can form a subject of discussion amongst men, or he must abandon all claim to the title of eloquence.
72. DESCRIPTION, WHAT CONSTITUTES ITS MERIT. There is yet another circumstance which recommends a description more than all the rest, and that is, if it represents to us such objects as are apt to raise a secret ferment in the mind of the reader and to work with violence upon his passions. For, in this case, we are at once warmed and enlightened, so that the pleasure becomes more universal, and is several ways qualified to entertain us. Thus, in painting, it is pleasant to look on the picture of any face where the resemblance is hit; but the pleasure increases if it be the picture of a face that is beautiful, and is still greater if the beauty be softened with an air of melancholy or sorrow. The two leading passions which the more serious parts of poetry endeavour to stir up in us are terror and pity. And here, by the way, one would wonder how it comes to pass, that such passions as are very unpleasant at all other times, are very agreeable when excited by proper descriptions. It is not strange that we should take delight in such passages as are apt to produce hope, joy, admiration, love, or the like emotions in us, because they never rise in the mind without an inward pleasure which attends them: but how comes it to pass, that we should take delight in being terrified or dejected by a description, when we find so much uneasiness in the fear or grief which we receive from another occasion ?