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(Letter to Mrs. Doddridge.) HAPPY DEVOTIONAL FEELINGS. I HOPE, my dear, you will not be offended when I tell you that I am, what I hardly thought it possible, without a miracle, that I should have been, very easy and happy without you. My days begin, pass, and end in pleasure, and seem short, because they are so delightful. It may seem strange to say it, but really so it is, I hardly feel that I want anything. I often think of you, and pray for you, and bless God on your account, and please myself with the hope of many comfortable days, and weeks, and years, with you; yet, I am not at all anxious about your return, or, indeed, about anything else. And the reason, the great and sufficient reason is, that I have more of the presence of God with me than I remember ever to have enjoyed in any one month of my life. He enables me to live for him, and to live with him. When I awake in the morning, which- is always before it is light, I address myself to him, and converse with him; speak to him while I am lighting my candle, and putting on my clothes, and have often more delight, before I come out of my chamber, though it be hardly a quarter of an hour after my awaking, than I have enjoyed for whole days, or, perhaps, weeks, of my life. He meets me in my study, in secret, in family devotions. It is pleasant to read, pleasant to compose, pleasant to converse with my friends at home; pleasant to visit those abroad — the poor, the sick; pleasant to write letters of necessary business, by which any good can be done ; pleasant to go out and preach the Gospel to poor souls, of which some are thirsting for it, and others dying without it; pleasant, in the week-day, to think how near another Sabbath is; but, oh! much, much more pleasant, to think how near eternity is, and how short the journey through this wilderness, and that it is but a step from earth to heaven!
WILLIAM Pitr, EARL OF CHATHAM. 1708--1778.
Pitt is regarded as one of the first orators and statesmen of his time. Before he was twenty-one years of age, he became a member of Par
liament, where he soon exhibited great talents for debate. His first celebrated speech was one in reply to Mr. Walpole, who had taunted him on account of his youth. “Sir," says he, “the atrocious crime of being a young man, I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny." On his last appearance in Parliament, pale and emaciated, but his eye retaining all its native fire, dressed in a rich suit of black velvet, with a full wig, and covered up to the knees in flannel, he was led into the house by his son and son-in-law, all the Lords standing, out of respect, and he gracefully bowing to them as he passed. On rising to speak, he said he had made an effort almost beyond his power to appear in the house, - perhaps for the last time he would be able to enter its walls, - to express the indignation he felt at the idea, which he understood was gone forth, of yielding up the sovereignty of America. After a thrilling speech, to which the Duke of Richmond replied, much moved, he made an eager effort to rise, as if laboring under some great idea, which he was impatient to utter ; but before he could speak one word, he pressed his hand on his bosom, and suddenly fell in convulsions. He was conveyed to his villa, where he survived but a few weeks.
SPEECH AGAINST THE EMPLOYMENT OF INDIANS
IN THE WAR WITH AMERICA. No man more highly esteems and honors the English troops than I do: I know their virtue and their valor; I know they can achieve anything but impossibilities; and I know the conquest of English America is an impossibility. You cannot, my lords, you cannot conquer America. What is your present situation there? We do not know the worst; but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing, and suffered much. You may swell every expense, accumulate every assistance, and extend your traffic to the shambles of every German despot; your attempts will be forever vain and impotent - doubly so, indeed, from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of your adversaries, to overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms. Never, never, never! But, my lords, who is the man that, in addition to the disgraces and mischiefs of the war, has dared to authorize and associate to our arms the tomahawk and scalping-knife of the savage; to call into civilized alliance, the wild and inhuman inhabitant of the woods; to delegate to the merciless Indian the defence of disputed rights, and to wage
the horrors of his barbarous war against our brethren ? My lords, these enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment. But, my lords, this barbarous measure has been defended, not only on the principles of policy and necessity, but also on those of morality; " for it is perfectly allowable,” says Lord Suffolk, “ to use all the means which God and nature have put into our hands.” I am astonished, I am shocked, to hear such principles confessed ; to hear them avowed in this house, or in this country! My lords, I did not intend to encroach so much on your attention; but I cannot repress my indignation — I feel myself impelled to speak. My lords, we are called upon as members of this house, as men, as Christians, to protest against such hor. rible barbarity! That God and nature have put into our hands ! What ideas of God and nature that noble lord may entertain, I know not; but I know that such detestable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity. What! to attribute the sacred sanction of God and nature to the massacres of the Indian scalping-knife! to the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, devouring, drinking the blood of his mangled victims! Such notions shock every precept of morality, every feeling of humanity, every sentiment of honor. These abominable principles, and this more abominable dvowal of them, demand the most decisive indignation. I call upon that right reverend and this most learned bench, to vindicate the religion of their God, to support the justice of their country. I call upon the bishops, to interpose the unsullied sanctity of their lawn; upon the judges, to interpose the purity of their ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honor of your lordships, to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to vindicate the national character. I invoke the Genius of the Constitution. From the tapestry that adorns these walls, the immortal ancestor of this noble lord frowns with indignation at the disgrace of his country. In vain did he defend the liberty and establish the religion of Britain against the tyranny of Rome, if these worse than popish cruelties and inquisitorial practices are endured among us. To send forth the merciless cannibal, thirsting for blood !--against whom?—your Protestant brethren! to lay waste
their country, to desolate their dwellings, and extirpate their race and name, by the aid and instrumentality of these horrible hellhounds of war! My lords, I am old and weak, and, at present, unable to say more; but my feelings and indignation were too strong to have said less. I could not have slept this night in my bed, nor even reposed my head upon my pillow, without giving vent to my eternal abhorrence of such enormous, preposterous principles !
L A ÚRENCE STERNE. 1713–1768. Sterne was a man of strangely eccentric character. He was a clergyman by profession, but was dissolute in his habits. While his tears flowed readily at any touching scene, he was hard-hearted and selfish in his conduct. He spent much of his time in painting, fiddling, and shooting ; and was often in quarrels with his brethren of the cloth. He had often wished to die at an inn, and in this was gratified — dying at his lodgings in London, with no one by his bed-side but a hired nurse.
As a writer, he is witty, pathetic, and sentimental. Uncle Toby, Corporal Trim, and Dr. Slop, are some of the most original creations of his genius. Tristam Shandy, and The Sentimental Journey, are his principal works; but the indelicacies with which they abound mar the pleasure which the humor and exquisite tenderness of many scenes are calculated to give.
[" From the "Sentimental Journey."]
THE STARLING-CAPTIVITY. As for the Bastile, the terror is in the word. “Make the most of it you can,” said I to myself, “the Bastile is but another word for a tower; and a tower is but another word for a house you can't get out of. Mercy on the gouty! for they are in it twice a year; but with nine livres a day, and pen, and ink, and paper, and patience, albeit a man can't get out, he may do very well within, at least, for a month or six weeks; at the end of which, if he is a harmless fellow, his innocence appears, and he comes. out a better and a wiser man than he went in.”
I had some occasion -- I forget what – to step into the courtyard as I settled this account, and remember I walked down stairs in no small triumph with the conceit of my reasoning. “Beshrew the sombre pencil!” said I, vąuntingly, “for I envy
not its powers, which paints the evils of life with so hard and deadly a coloring. The mind sits terrified at the objects she has magnified herself, and blackened; reduce them to their proper size and hue, she overlooks them. 'Tis true,” said I, correcting the proposition “the Bastile is not an evil to be despised; but strip it of its towers, fill up the fosse, unbarricade the doors, call it simply a confinement, and suppose it is some tyrant of a distemper, and not a man, which holds you in it, the evil vanishes, and you bear the other half without complaint.”
I was interrupted in the heyday of this soliloquy with a voice which I took to be of a child, which complained "it could not get out." I looked up and down the passage, and seeing neither man, woman nor child, I went out without further attention. In my return back through the passage, I heard the same words repeated twice over; and looking up, I saw it was a starling, hung in a little cage. “I can't get out; I can't get out,” said the starling. I stood looking at the bird; and to every person who came through the passage, it ran fluttering to the side towards which they approached it, with the same lamentation of its captivity — “I can't get out,” said the starling. “God help thee!” said I, but I'll let thee out, cost what it will!” So I turned about the cage, to get the door. It was twisted, and double-twisted, so fast with wire, there was no getting it open without pulling the cage to pieces. I took both hands to it. The bird flew to the place where I was attempting his deliverance, and thrusting his head through the trellis, pressed his breast against it, as if impatient. “I fear, poor creature,” said I, "I cannot set thee at liberty.” “No,” said the starling; “I can't get out; I can't get out,” said the starling. I vow I never had my affections so tenderly awakened; or do I remember an incident in my life where the dissipated spirits, to which my reason had been a bubble, were so suddenly called home. Mechanical as the notes were, yet so true in tune to nature were they chanted, that in one moment they overthrew all my systematic reasonings upon the Bastile; and I heavily walked up stairs, unsaying every word I had said in going down them. * * *
The bird in his cage pursued me into my room. I sat down close to my table, and leaning my head upon my hand, I began