Obrazy na stronie

are dragged unwillingly from their peaceful homes into the field of battle. A soldier is a man whose business it is to kill those who never offended him, and who are the innocent martyrs of other men's iniquities. Whatever may become of the abstract question of the j ustifiableness of war, it seems impossible that the soldier should not be a depraved and unnatural being.

To these more serious and momentous considerations it may be proper to add a recollection of the ridiculousness of the military character. Its first constituent is obedience: a soldier is, of all descriptions of men, the most completely a machine; yet his profession inevitably teaches him something of dogmatism, swaggering, and self-consequence; he is like the puppet of a showman, who, at the very time he is made to strut and swell and display the most farcical airs, we perfectly know cannot assume the most insignificant gesture, advance either to the right or the left, but as he is moved by his exhibitor.—Godwin's Enquirer, Essay v.

I will here subjoin a little poem, so strongly expressive of my abhorrence of despotism and falsehood, that I fear lest it never again may be depictured so vividly. This opportunity is perhaps the only one that ever will occur of rescuing it from oblivion.



Whilst monarchs laughed upon their thrones
To hear a famished nation's groans,
And hugged the wealth wrung from the woe
That makes its eyes and veins o'erflow,
Those thrones, high built upon the heaps
Of bones where frenzied famine sleeps,
Where slavery wields her scourge of iron,

Red with mankind's unheeded gore.
And war's mad fiends the scene environ,

Mingling with shrieks a drunken roar, There vice and falsehood took their stand, High raised above the unhappy land.


Brother! arise from the dainty fare,
Which thousands have toiled and bled to bestow;

A finer feast for thine hungry ear
Is the news that I bring of human woe.


And, secret one, what hast thou done,
To compare, in thy tumid pride, with me?

I, whose career, through the blasted year,
Has been tracked by despair and agony.


What have I done! I have torn the robe

From baby Truth's unsheltered form,

And round the desolated globe
Borne safely the bewildering charm:

My tyrant-slaves to a dungeon-floor
Have bound the fearless innocent,

And streams of fertilizing gore
Flow from her bosom's hideous rent,
Which this unfailing dagger gave

I dread that blood!—no more—this day

Is ours, though her eternal ray
Must shine upon our grave.

Yet know, proud Vice, had I not given

To thee the robe I stole from heaven,

Thy shape of ugliness and fear

Had never gained admission here.


And know, that had I disdained to toil,

But sate in my loathsome cave the while,

And ne'er to these hateful sons of heaven,


Hadst thou with all thine art essayed

One of thy games then to have played,

With all thine overweening boast,

Falsehood t I tell thee thou hadst lost:—

Yet wherefore this dispute ?—we tend,

Fraternal to one common end:

In this cold grave, beneath my feet,

Will our hopes, our fears, and our labours meet.


I brought my daughter, RELIGION, on earth; She smothered Reason's babes in their birth;

But dreaded their mother's eye severe,—
So the crocodile slunk off slily in fear,

And loosed her bloodhounds from the den

They started from dreams of slaughtered men,

And by the light of her poison eye,

Did her work o'er the wide earth frightfully;

The dreadful stench of her torches flare,

Fed with human fat, polluted the air!

The curses, the shrieks, the ceaseless cries

Of the many-mingling miseries,

As on she trod, ascended high

And trumpeted my victory!—

Brother, tell what thou hast done.


I have extinguished the noon-day sun,
In the carnage smoke, of battles won:
Famine, murder, hell, and power,
Were glutted in that glorious hour
Which searchless fate had stamped for me

With the seal of her security

For the bloated wretch on yonder throne

Commanded the bloody fray to rise: Like me he joyed at the stifled moan

Wrung from a nation's miseries; While the snakes, whose slime even him defiled. In ecstasies of malice smiled: They thought 'twas theirs,—but mine the deed! Theirs is the toil, but mine the meed, Ten thousand victims madly bleed. They dream that tyrants goad them there With poisonous war to taint the air:

These tyrants on their beds of thorn,
Swell with the thoughts of murderous fame,
And with their gains to lift my name,

Restless they plan from night to morn:
I—I do all; without my aid
Thy daughter, that relentless maid,
Could never o'er a death-bed urge
The fury of her venomed scourge.


Brother, well:—the world is ours;
And whether thou or I have won,

The pestilence expectant lowers

On all beneath yon blasted sun.
Our joys, our toils, our honours meet
In the milk-white and wormy winding sheet:
A short-lived hope, unceasing care,
Some heartless scraps of godly prayer,
A moody curse, and a frenzied sleep
Ere gapes the graves unclosing deep,
A tyrant's dream, a coward's start,
The ice that clings to a priestly heart,
A judge's frown, a courtier's smile,
Make the great whole for which we toil;
And, brother, whether thou or I
Have done the work of misery,
It little boots; thy toil and pain,
Without my aid were more than vain;
And but for thee I ne'er had sate
The guardian of heaven's palace gate.

V. Page 35.

Thus do the generations of the earth

Go to the grave, and issue from the womb.

One generation passeth away and another generation cometh, but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south and turneth about unto the north, it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again, according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place whence the rivers come, thither shall they return again.

Ecclesiastes, chap. i.

V. Page 35.

Even as the leaves
Which the keen frost wind of the waning year
Has scattered on the forest'soil.

Like leaves on trees the race of man is found,

Now green in youth now withering on the ground \

Another race the following spring supplies;

They fall successive, and successive rise:

So generations in their course decay;

So flourish these, when those are past away.

Pope's Homer.

V. Page 36.

The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings.

When the wide ocean maddening whirlwinds sweep,

And heave the billows of the boiling deep,

Pleased we from land the reeling bark survey,

And rolling mountains of the watery way.

Not that we joy another's woes to see,

But to reflect that we ourselves are free.

So, the dread battle ranged in distant fields,

Ourselves secure, a secret pleasure yields.

But what more charming than to gain the height

Of true philosophy 1 What pure delight

From Wisdom's citadel to view below,

Deluded mortals, as they wandering go

In quest of happiness! ah, blindly weak!

For fame, for vain nobility they seek;

Labour for heapy treasures, night and day,

And pant for power and magisterial sway.

Oh, wretched mortals! souls devoid of light, Lost in the shades of intellectual night!

Dr. Busby's Lucretius.

V. Page 37.

And statesmen boast
Of wealth:

There is no real wealth but the labour of man. Were the mountains of gold, and the valleys of silver, the world would not be one grain of corn the richer; no one comfort would be added to the human race. In consequence of our consideration for the precious metals, one man is enabled to heap to himself luxuries at the expense of the necessaries of his neighbour; a system admirably fitted to produce all the varieties of disease and crime, which never fail to characterize the two extremes of opulence and penury. A speculator takes pride to himself as the promoter of his country's prosperity, who employs a number of hands in the manufacture of articles avowedly destitute of use, or subservient only to the unhallowed cravings of luxury and ostentation. The nobleman, who employs the peasants of his neighbourhood in building his palaces, until "jam pauca aratro jugera

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