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A Paraphrase on Psalm LXXIV. MISS WILLIAMS.
MY GOD, all nature owns thy sway;
Thou giv'st the night, and thou the day.
Or when, in paler tints arrayed,
In every scene thy hands have dressed,
Or tuneful stream that cheers the vale;
A voice is heard of praise and love.
As o'er thy works the seasons roll,
O, never may their smiling train
Pass o'er the human soul in vain!
Tribute to the enterprising Spirit of the New England Colonists.
As to the wealth, Mr. Speaker, which the colonies have drawn from the sea by their fisheries, you had all that matter fully opened at your bar. You surely thought those acquisitions of value, for they seemed even to excite your envy; and yet the spirit by which that enterprising employment has been exercised ought rather, in my opinion, to have raised your esteem and admiration. And pray, sir, what in the world is equal to it? Pass by the other parts, and look at the manner in which the people of New England have of late carried on the whale fishery.
While we follow them among the tumbling mountains of ice, and behold them penetrating into the deepest frozen recesses of Hudson's Bay and Davis's Straits, whilst we are looking for them beneath the Arctic Circle, we hear that they have pierced into the opposite region of polar cold, that they are at the antipodes, and engaged under the frozen serpent of the south. Falkland Island, which seemed too remote and romantic an object for the grasp of national ambition, is but a stage and resting-place in the progress of their victorious industry.
Nor is the equinoctial heat more discouraging to them, than the accumulated winter of both the poles. We know that whilst some of them draw the line and strike the harpoon on the coast of Africa, others run the longitude and pursue their gigantic game along the coast of Brazil. No sea but what is vexed by their fisheries. No climate that is not witness to their toils. Neither the perseverance of Holland, nor the activity of France, nor the dexterous and firm sagacity of English enterprise, ever carried this most perilous mode of hardy industry to the extent to which it has
been pushed by this recent people-a people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.
When I contemplate these things, when I know that the colonies in general owe little or nothing to any care of ours, and that they are not squeezed into this happy form by the constraints of a watchful and suspicious government, but that, through a wise and salutary neglect, a generous nature has been suffered to take her own way to perfection; when I reflect upon these effects, when I see how profitable they have been to us, I feel all the pride of power sink, and all presumption in the wisdom of human contrivances melt and die away within me. My rigor relents. I pardon something to the spirit of liberty.
Apostrophe to the Queen of France. BURKE.
It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in; glittering like the morning star; full of life, and splendor, and joy.
O, what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall!
Little did I dream that when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should live to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men; in a nation of men of honor and of cavaliers.
I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honor, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness.
COULD I call around me, in one vast assembly, the temperate young men of our land, I would say, Hopes of the nation, blessed be ye of the Lord now in the dew of your youth. But look well to your footsteps; for vipers, and scorpions, and adders, surround your way. Look at the generation who have just preceded you: the morning of their life was cloudless, and it dawned as brightly as your own: but behold them bitten, swollen, enfeebled, inflamed, debauched, idle, poor, irreligious, and vicious, - with halting step dragging onward to meet an early grave! Their bright prospects are clouded, and their sun is set never to rise! No house of their own receives them, while from poorer to poorer tenements they descend, and to harder and harder fare, as improvidence dries up their resources.
who are those that wait on their footsteps with muffled faces and sable garments? That is a father, and that is a mother, whose gray hairs are coming with sorrow to the grave. That is a sister, weeping over evils which she cannot arrest; and there is the broken-hearted wife; and there are the children — hapless innocents — for whom their father has provided the inheritance only of dishonor, and nakedness, and woe. And is this, beloved young men, the history of your course? In this scene of desolation do you behold the image of your future selves? Is this the poverty and disease, which as an armed man shall take hold on you ? And are your fathers, and mothers, and sisters, and wives, and children, to succeed to those who now move on in this mournful procession, weeping as they go? Yes: bright as your morning now opens, and high as your hopes beat, this is your noon, and your night, unless you shun those habits of intemperance which have thus early made theirs a day of clouds and of thick darkness. If you frequent places of evening resort for social drinking, — if you set out with drinking daily a little, temperately, prudently, it is yourselves which, as in a glass, you behold.
Might I select specific objects of address, to the young husbandman or mechanic I would say, Happy man! your employment is useful and honorable, and with temperance and industry you rise to competence, and rear up around you a happy family, and transmit to them, as a precious legacy, your own fair fame. But look around you: are there none who were once in your condition, whose health, and reputation, and substance, are gone? What would tempt you to exchange conditions? And yet, sure as seed-time and harvest, if you drink daily, at stated times, and visit from evening to evening the resorts of social drinking, or stop to take refreshment as you enter or retire from the city, town, or village, yours will become the condition of those ruined farmers and artisans around you.
To another I would say, You are a man of wealth, and