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“You drank of the well, I warrant, betimes," He to the Cornishman said;
But the Cornishman smiled as the stranger spake, And sheepishly shook his head.
"I hasten'd as soon as the wedding was done,
But i' faith she had been wiser than I,
XII. THE MARCH OF INTELLECT.
OH! learning's a very fine thing,
As also is wisdom and knowledge,
If he has but the airs of a college.
In LEARNING we're wondrously favour'd,
We'll all of us shortly be doom'd
To part with our plain understanding,
An attitude truly commanding!
Common sense is set quite at defiance,
The WEAVER it surely becomes,
To talk of his web's involution,
Is a member of some institution;
With the airs of a great legislator,
That the smaller is less than the greater!
The BLACKSMITH 'midst cinders and smoke,
A lingo that's almost historic,
Because it is fill'd with caloric!
The MASON, in book-learned tone,
Describes in the very best grammar The resistance that dwells in the stone, And the power that resides in the hammer; For the son of the trowel and hod,
Looks as big as the frog in the fable, While he talks in a jargon as odd
As his brethren, the builders of Babel!
The COBBLER who sits at your gate
Now pensively points his hog's bristle, Though the very same cobbler of late
O'er his work used to sing and to whistle; But cobbling's a paltry pursuit
For a man of polite education
His works may be trod under foot,
Oh! learning's a very fine thing!
For to me it was ne'er worth a dollar, And I don't wish to look like an ass
By trying to talk like a SCHOLAR!
SPECIMENS OF ANCIENT AND MODERN
I. DEMOSTHENES AGAINST PHILIP.
WHEN I compare, Athenians, the speeches of some amongst us with their actions, I am at a loss to reconcile what I see with what I hear. Their protestations are full of zeal against the public enemy; but their measures are so inconsistent, that all their professions become suspected. By confounding you with a variety of projects, they perplex your resolutions ; and lead you from executing what is in your power, by engaging you in schemes not reducible to practice.
'Tis true, there was a time, when we were powerful enough, not only to defend our own borders, and protect our allies, but even to invade Philip in his own dominions. Yes, Athenians, there was such a juncture; I remember it well. But, by neglect of proper opportunities, we are no longer in a situation to be invaders: it will be well for us, if we can provide for our own defence, and our allies. Never did any conjuncture require so much prudence as this. However, I should not despair of seasonable remedies, had I the art to prevail with you to be unanimous in right measures. The opportunities which have so often escaped us, have not been lost through ignorance or want of judgment, but through negligence or treachery. If I assume, at this time, more than ordinary liberty of speech, I conjure you to suffer patiently those truths which have no other end but your own good. You have too many reasons to be sensible how much you have suffered by hearkening to sycophants. I shall, therefore, be plain in laying before you the grounds of past miscarriages, in order to correct you in your future conduct.
You may remember, it is not above three or four years since we had the news of Philip's laying siege to the fortress of Juno in Thrace. It was, as I think, in October we received this intelligence. We voted an immediate supply of threescore talents; forty men of war were ordered to sea;
and so zealous we were, that, preferring the necessities of state to our very laws, our citizens above the age of five and forty years were commanded to serve. What followed? A whole year was spent idly without any thing done; and it was but in the third month of the following year, a little after the celebration of the feast of Ceres, that Charedemus set sail, furnished with no more than five talents, and ten galleys not half-manned!
A rumour was spread, that Philip was sick. That rumour was followed by another, that Philip was dead. And then, as if all danger died with him, you dropped your preparations: whereas, then, then was your time to push and be active; then was your time to secure yourselves, and confound him at once. Had your resolutions, taken with so much heat, been as warmly seconded by action, you had then been as terrible to Philip, as Philip, recovered, is now to you. "To what purpose, at this time, these reflections? What is done cannot be undone."-But, by your leave, Athenians, though past moments are not to be recalled, past errors may be repeated. Have we not, now, a fresh provocation to war? Let the memory of oversights, by which you have suffered so much, instruct you to be more vigilant in the present danger. If the Olynthians are not instantly succoured, and with your utmost efforts, you become assistants to Philip, and serve him more effectually than he can help himself.
It is not, surely, necessary to warn you, that votes alone can be of no consequence. Had your resolutions, of themselves, the virtue to compass what you intend, we should not see them multiply every day, as they do, and upon every occasion, with so little effect; nor would Philip be in a condition to brave and affront us in this manner. Proceed, then, Athenians, to support your deliberations with vigour. You have heads capable of advising what is best; you have judgment and experience to discern what is right; and you have power and opportunity to execute what you determine. What time so proper for action? What occasion so happy?
And when can you hope for such another, if this be neglected? Has not Philip, contrary to all treaties, insulted you in Thrace? Does he not at this instant straiten and invade your confederates whom you have solemly sworn to protect? Is he not an implacable enemy? a faithless ally? the usurper of provinces, to which he has no title or pretence? a stranger? a barbarian? a tyrant? and, indeed, what is he not?
Observe, I beseech you, men of Athens, how different your conduct appears, from the practices of your ancestors. They were friends to truth and plain dealing, and detested flattery and servile compliance. By unanimous consent, they continued arbiters of all Greece, for the space of forty-five years, without interruption: a public fund, of no less than ten thousand talents, was ready for any emergency: they exercised over the kings of Macedon that authority which is due to barbarians; obtained, both by sea and land, in their own persons, frequent and signal victories; and by their noble exploits, transmitted to posterity an immortal memory of their virtue, superior to the reach of malice and detraction. It is to them we owe that great number of public edifices, by which the city of Athens exceeds all the rest of the world in beauty and magnificence. It is to them we owe so many stately temples, so richly embellished, but, above all, adorned with the spoils of vanquished enemies. But, visit their own private habitations; visit the houses of Aristides, Miltiades, or any other of those patriots of antiquity; you will find nothing, not the least mark or ornament, to distinguish them from their neighbours. They took part in the government, not to enrich themselves, but the public; they had no scheme or ambition, but for the public: nor knew any interest, but the public. It was by a close and steady application to the general good of their country, by an exemplary piety towards the immortal gods, by a strict faith and religious honesty, betwixt man and man, and a moderation always uniform and of a piece, they established that reputation which remains to this day, and will last to utmost posterity.