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With strong sensations teeming as it did Of past and present, such a place must needs Have pleased me, seeking knowledge at that time Far less than craving power; yet knowledge came, Sought or unsought, and influxes of power Came, of themselves, or at her call derived In fits of kindliest apprehensiveness, From all sides, when whate'er was in itself Capacious found, or seemed to find, in me A correspondent amplitude of mind; Such is the strength and glory of our youth! The human nature unto which I felt That I belonged, and reverenced with love, Was not a punctual presence, but a spirit Diffused through time and space, with aid derived Of evidence from monuments, erect, Prostrate, or leaning towards their common rest In earth, the widely scattered wreck sublime Of vanished nations, or more clearly drawn From books and what they picture and record.

'Tis true, the history of our native land,
With those of Greece compared and popular Rome,
And in our high-wrought modern narratives
Stript of their harmonising soul, the life
Of manners and familiar incidents,

Had never much delighted me. And less
Than other intellects had mine been used
To lean upon extrinsic circumstance

Of record or tradition; but a sense

Of what in the Great City had been done

And suffered, and was doing, suffering, still,

To forward reason's else too-scrupulous march.
The effect was, still more elevated views
Of human nature. Neither vice nor guilt,
Debasement undergone by body or mind,
Nor all the misery forced upon my sight,
Misery not lightly passed, but sometimes scanned
Most feelingly, could overthrow my trust
In what we may become; induce belief
That I was ignorant, had been falsely taught,
A solitary, who with vain conceits
Had been inspired, and walked about in drears
From those sad scenes when meditation turzesi,
Lo! every thing that was indeed divine
Retained its purity inviolate,

Nay brighter shone, by this portentous gloom
Set off; such opposition as aroused
The mind of Adam, yet in Paradise
Though fallen from bliss, when in the East hear
* Darkness ere day's mid course, and morning igat
More orient in the western cloud, that drew
O'er the blue firmament a radiant white,
Descending slow with something heavenly frangit

Add also, that among the multitudes
Of that huge city, oftentimes was seen
Affectingly set forth, more than elsewhere
Is possible, the unity of man,

One spirit over ignorance and vice
Predominant, in good and evil hearts;
One sense for moral judgments, as one eye

For the sun's light. The soul when smitten thus
By a sublimo idea, whencesoe'er

Weighed with me, could support the test of Vouchsafed for union or communion, feede


And, in despite of all that had gone by,

Or was departing never to return,
There I conversed with majesty and power
Like independent natures. Hence the place
Was thronged with impregnations like the Wilds
In which my early feelings had been nursed-
Bare hills and valleys, full of caverns, rocks,
And audible seclusions, dashing lakes,
Echoes and waterfalls, and pointed crags
That into music touch the passing wind.
Here then my young imagination found
No uncongenial element; could here
Among new objects serve or give command,
Even as the heart's occasions might require,

On the pure bliss, and takes her rest with God

Thus from a very early age, O Friend My thoughts by slow gradations had iven driv To human-kind, and to the good and ill Of human life: Nature had led me on: And oft amid the "busy hum" I seene i To travel independent of her help, As if I had forgotten her; but no, The world of human-kind outweighed not t In my habitual thoughts; the scale of love Though filling daily, still was light, compar With that in which her mighty objects laj.

* From Milton, Par. Lost, xi 14-F



Evrs as a river,-partly (it might seem)
Yiling to old remembrances, and swayed
In part by fair to shape a way direct,

That would engulph him soon in the ravenous sea-
Turns, and will measure back his course, far back,
Seeing the very regions which he crossed
In 'as irst outset; so have we, my Friend!
Turned and returned with intricate delay.
Or as a traveller, who has gained the brow
Of some acrial Down, while there he halts
For breathing-time, is tempted to review
The region left behind him; and, if aught
Deserving notice have escaped regard,
Or been regarded with too careless eye,
Strives, from that height, with one and yet one


Last look, to make the best amends he may : So have we lingered. Now we start afresh With courage, and new hope risen on our toil. Fair greetings to this shapeless eagerness, Whene'er it comes! needful in work so long, Turice needful to the argument which now Awaits us! Oh, how much unlike the past!

Free as a colt at pasture on the hill,

I ranged at large, through London's wide domain,
Month after month. Obscurely did I live,
Not seeking frequent intercourse with men,
Er literature, or elegance, or rank,
Distinguished. Scarcely was a year thus spent
E- I forsook the crowded solitude,
With less regret for its luxurious pomp,
And all the nicely-guarded shows of art,
Than for the humble book-stalls in the streets,
Exoted to eye and hand where'er I turned.

France lured me forth; the realin that I had crossed

tely, journeying toward the snow-clad Alps.

* nox, relinquishing the scrip and staff,

And all enjoyment which the summer sun

Through Paris lay my readiest course, and there Sojourning a few days, I visited

In haste, each spot of old or recent fame,
The latter chiefly; from the field of Mars
Down to the suburbs of St. Antony,

And from Mont Martyr southward to the Dome
Of Geneviève. In both her clamorous Halls,
The National Synod and the Jacobins,
I saw the Revolutionary Power

Toss like a ship at anchor, rocked by storms;
The Arcades I traversed, in the Palace huge
Of Orleans; coasted round and round the line
Of Tavern, Brothel, Gaming-house, and Shop,
Great rendezvous of worst and best, the walk
Of all who had a purpose, or had not;

I stared and listened, with a stranger's ears,
To Hawkers and Haranguers, hubbub wild!
And hissing Factionists with ardent eyes,
In knots, or pairs, or single. Not a look
Hope takes, or Doubt or Fear is forced to wear,
But seemed there present; and I scanned them al,
Watched every gesture uncontrollable,

Of anger, and vexation, and despite,
All side by side, and struggling face to face,
With gaiety and dissolute idleness.

Where silent zephyrs sported with the dust
Of the Bastille, I sate in the open sun,
And from the rubbish gathered up a stone,
And pocketed the relic, in the guise
Of an enthusiast; yet, in honest truth,

I looked for something that I could not find,
Affecting more emotion than I felt;
For 'tis most certain, that these various sights,
However potent their first shock, with me
Appeared to recompense the traveller's pains
Less than the painted Magdalene of Le Brun,
A beauty exquisitely wrought, with hair
Dishevelled, gleaming eyes, and rueful cheek
Pale and bedropped with overflowing tears.

But hence to my more permanent abode
I hasten; there, by novelties in speech,
Domestic manners, customs, gestures, looks,

ls round the steps of those who meet the day And all the attire of ordinary life,

With motion constant as his own, I went
Frard to sojourn in a pleasant town,
Wad by the current of the stately Loire.

Attention was engrossed; and, thus ainused,

I stood 'mid those concussions, unconcerned, Tranquil almost, and careless as a flower



Glassed in a green-house, or a parlour shrub
That spreads its leaves in unmolested peace,
While every bush and tree, the country through,
Is shaking to the roots: indifference this
Which may seem strange: but I was unprepared
With needful knowledge, had abruptly passed
Into a theatre, whose stage was filled
And busy with an action far advanced.
Like others, I had skimmed, and sometimes read
With care, the master pamphlets of the day;
Nor wanted such half-insight as grew wild
Upon that meagre soil, helped out by talk
And public news; but having never seen
A chronicle that might suffice to show
Whence the main organs of the public power
Had sprung, their transmigrations, when and how
Accomplished, giving thus unto events
A form and body; all things were to me
Loose and disjointed, and the affections left
Without a vital interest. At that time,
Moreover, the first storm was overblown,
And the strong hand of outward violence
Locked up in quiet. For myself, I fear
Now in connection with so great a theme
To speak (as I must be compelled to do)
Of one so unimportant; night by night
Did I frequent the formal haunts of men,
Whom, in the city, privilege of birth
Sequestered from the rest, societies
Polished in arts, and in punctilio versed;
Whence, and from deeper causes, all discourse
Of good and evil of the time was shunned
With scrupulous care; but these restrictions soon
Proved tedious, and I gradually withdrew
Into a noisier world, and thus ere long
Became a patriot; and my heart was all
Given to the people, and my love was theirs.

A band of military Officers, Then stationed in the city, were the chief Of my associates: some of these wore swords That had been seasoned in the wars, and all Were men well-born; the chivalry of France. In age and temper differing, they had yet One spirit ruling in each heart; alike (Save only one, hereafter to be named) Were bent upon undoing what was done: This was their rest and only hope; therewith No fear had they of bad becoming worse, For worst to them was come; nor would have stirred,

Or deemed it worth a moment's thought to stir, In any thing, save only as the act

Looked thitherward. One, reckoning by years,

Was in the prime of manhood, and erewhile
He had sate lord in many tender hearts;
Though heedless of such honours now, and

His temper was quite mastered by the times,
And they had blighted him, had eaten away
The beauty of his person, doing wrong
Alike to body and to mind: his port,
Which once had been erect and open, now
Was stooping and contracted, and a face,
Endowed by Nature with her fairest gifts
Of symmetry and light and bloom, expressed,
As much as any that was ever seen,
A ravage out of season, made by thoughts
Unhealthy and vexatious. With the hour,
That from the press of Paris duly brought
Its freight of public news, the fever came,
A punctual visitart, to shake this man,
Disarmed his voice and fanned his yellow cheek
Into a thousand colours; while he read,
Or mused, his sword was haunted by his touch
Continually, like an uneasy place

In his own body. 'Twas in truth an hour
Of universal ferment; mildest men
Were agitated; and commotions, strife
Of passion and opinion, filled the walls
Of peaceful houses with unquiet sounds.
The soil of common life, was, at that time,
Too hot to tread upon. Oft said I then,
And not then only, "What a mockery this
Of history, the past and that to come!
Now do I feel how all men are deceived,
Reading of nations and their works, in faith,
Faith given to vanity and emptiness;
Oh! laughter for the page that would reflect
To future times the face of what now is!"
The land all swarmed with passion, like a plain
Devoured by locusts,-Carra, Gorsas,-add
A hundred other names, forgotten now,
Nor to be heard of more; yet, they were powers,
Like earthquakes, shocks repeated day by day,
And felt through every nook of town and field

Such was the state of things. Meanwhile the chef Of my associates stood prepared for flight To augment the band of emigrants in arms Upon the borders of the Rhine, and leagued With foreign foes mustered for instant war. This was their undisguised intent, and they Were waiting with the whole of their desires The moment to depart.

An Englishman, Born in a land whose very name appeared To license some unruliness of mind;

A stranger, with youth's further privilege,
And the indulgence that a half-learnt speech
Was from the courteous; I, who had been else
Shunned and not tolerated, freely lived

With these defenders of the Crown, and talked,
And heard their notions; nor did they disdain
The wish to bring me over to their cause.

But though untaught by thinking or by books
To reason well of polity or law,

And nice distinctions, then on every tongue,
Of natural rights and civil; and to acts
Of nations and their passing interests,
If with unworldly ends and aims compared)
Almost indifferent, even the historian's tale
Prizing but little otherwise than I prized
Tales of the poets, as it made the heart

Beat high, and filled the fancy with fair forms,
Did heroes and their sufferings and their deeds;
Yet in the regal sceptre, and the pomp
Of orders and degrees, I nothing found
Then, or had ever, even in crudest youth,
That dazzled me, but rather what I mourned
And il could brook, beholding that the best
Ealed not, and feeling that they ought to rule.

For, born in a poor district, and which yet
Petaineth more of ancient homeliness,
Thawy other nook of English ground,
I was my fortune scarcely to have seen,
Tugh the whole tenor of my school-day time,
Te face of one, who, whether boy or man,
Was rested with attention or respect

w's apeles h

As best, the government of equal rights
And individual worth. And hence, O Friend!
If at the first great outbreak I rejoiced
Less than might well befit my youth, the cause
In part lay here, that unto me the events initial sympathe
Seemed nothing out of nature's certain course,
with the Rev.
A gift that was come rather late than soon.
No wonder, then, if advocates like these,
Inflamed by passion, blind with prejudice,
And stung with injury, at this riper day,
Were impotent to make my hopes put on
The shape of theirs, my understanding bend
In honour to their honour: zeal, which yet
Had slumbered, now in opposition burst
Forth like a Polar summer: every word
They uttered was a dart, by counter-winds
Blown back upon themselves; their reason seemed
Confusion-stricken by a higher power

Than human understanding, their discourse
Maimed, spiritless; and, in their weakness strong,
I triumphed.

Meantime, day by day, the roads
Were crowded with the bravest youth of France,
And all the promptest of her spirits, linked
In gallant soldiership, and posting on
To meet the war upon her frontier bounds.
Yet at this very moment do tears start
Into mine eyes: I do not say I weep-
Iwept not then,-but tears have dimmed my sight,
In memory of the farewells of that time,
Domestic severings, female fortitude
At dearest separation, patriot love
And self-devotion, and terrestrial hope,

Trough claims of wealth or blood; nor was it Encouraged with a martyr's confidence ;


f many benefits, in later years

red from academic institutes

And rules, that they held something up to view
ofa Republic, where all stood thus far

The equal ground; that we were brothers all
Lonour, as in one community,

lars and gentlemen; where, furthermore,
Pataction open lay to all that came,
And wealth and titles were in less esteem
Than talents, worth, and prosperous industry.
1:1 unto this, subservience from the first
*presences of God's mysterious power

le manifest in Nature's sovereignty,
And fellowship with venerable books,
Tation the proud workings of the soul,
And mountain liberty. It could not be

It that one tutored thus should look with awe
Ta the faculties of man, receive
dy the highest promises, and hail,

Even files of strangers merely seen but once,
And for a moment, men from far with sound
Of music, martial tunes, and banners spread,
Entering the city, here and there a face,
Or person singled out among the rest,
Yet still a stranger and beloved as such;
Even by these passing spectacles my heart
Was oftentimes uplifted, and they seemed
Arguments sent from Heaven to prove the cause
Good, pure, which no one could stand up against,
Who was not lost, abandoned, selfish, proud,
Mean, miserable, wilfully depraved,
Hater perverse of equity and truth.

Among that band of Officers was one,
Already hinted at, of other mould-
A patriot, thence rejected by the rest,
And with an oriental loathing spurned,
As of a different caste. A meeker man
Than this lived never, nor a more benign,

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Meek though enthusiastic. Injuries

Made him more gracious, and his nature then Did breathe its sweetness out most sensibly, As aromatic flowers on Alpine turf,

Unfeeling, where the man who is of soul
The meanest thrives the most; where dignity,
True personal dignity, abideth not;

A light, a cruel, and vain world cut off

When foot hath crushed them. He through the From the natural inlets of just sentiment,


Of that great change wandered in perfect faith,
As through a book, an old romance, or tale
Of Fairy, or some dream of actions wrought
Behind the summer clouds. By birth he ranked
With the most noble, but unto the poor
Among mankind he was in service bound,
As by some tie invisible, oaths professed
To a religious order. Man he loved

As man; and, to the mean and the obscure,
And all the homely in their homely works,
Transferred a courtesy which had no air
Of condescension; but did rather seem
A passion and a gallantry, like that
Which he, a soldier, in his idler day
Had paid to woman: somewhat vain he was,
Or seemed so, yet it was not vanity,
But fondness, and a kind of radiant joy
Diffused around him, while he was intent
On works of love or freedom, or revolved
Complacently the progress of a cause,
Whereof he was a part: yet this was meek
And placid, and took nothing from the man
That was delightful. Oft in solitude
With him did I discourse about the end
Of civil government, and its wisest forms;
Of ancient loyalty, and chartered rights,
Custom and habit, novelty and change;
Of self-respect, and virtue in the few
For patrimonial honour set apart,
And ignorance in the labouring multitude.
For he, to all intolerance indisposed,
Balanced these contemplations in his mind;
And I, who at that time was scarcely dipped
Into the turmoil, bore a sounder judgment
Than later days allowed; carried about me,
With less alloy to its integrity,

The experience of past ages, as, through help
Of books and common life, it makes sure way
To youthful minds, by objects over near
Not pressed upon, nor dazzled or misled
By struggling with the crowd for present ends.

But though not deaf, nor obstinate to find Error without excuse upon the side Of them who strove against us, more delight We took, and let this freely be confessed, In painting to ourselves the miseries

Of royal courts, and that voluptuous life

From lowly sympathy and chastening truth;
Where good and evil interchange their names,
And thirst for bloody spoils abroad is paired
With vice at home. We added dearest themes-
Man and his noble nature, as it is

The gift which God has placed within his power,
His blind desires and steady faculties
Capable of clear truth, the one to break
Bondage, the other to build liberty
On firm foundations, making social life,
Through knowledge spreading and imperishable,
As just in regulation, and as pure
As individual in the wise and good.

We summoned up the honourable deeds
Of ancient Story, thought of each bright spot,
That would be found in all recorded time,
Of truth preserved and error passed away:
Of single spirits that catch the flame from Heaver,
And how the multitudes of men will feed
And fan each other; thought of sects, how ke
They are to put the appropriate nature on,
Triumphant over every obstacle

Of custom, language, country, love, or hate,
And what they do and suffer for their creed;
How far they travel, and how long endure:
How quickly mighty Nations have been formel,
From least beginnings; how, together locked
By new opinions, scattered tribes have made
One body, spreading wide as clouds in heaven.
To aspirations then of our own minds
Did we appeal; and, finally, beheld
A living confirmation of the whole
Before us, in a people from the depth
Of shameful imbecility uprisen,
Fresh as the morning star. Elate we looke i
Upon their virtues; saw, in rudest men,
Self-sacrifice the firmest; generous love,
And continence of mind, and sense of right,
Uppermost in the midst of fiercest strife.

Oh, sweet it is, in academic groves, Or such retirement, Friend! as we have known In the green dales beside our Rotha's streaza. Greta, or Derwent, or some nameless rill, To ruminate, with interchange of taik. On rational liberty, and hope in man, Justice and peace. But far more sweet suchte 1— Toil, say I, for it leads to thoughts abstruse

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