« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
ly skeptical ; his morality is neither dangerously lax nor impracticably rigid.
3. All the enchantment of fancy and all the cogency of argument are employed to recommend to the reader his real interest, the care of pleasing the Author of his being. Truth is shown sometimes as the phantom of a vision; sometimes appears half-veiled in allegory; sometimes attracts regard in the robes of fancy; and sometimes steps forth in the confidence of reason. She wears a thousand dresses, and in all is pleasing.
-4. His prose is the model of the middle style; on grave subjects not formal, on light occasions not groveling; pure without scrupulosity, and exact without apparent elaboration; always ēquable and always easy, without glowing words or pointed sentences. Addison never deviates from his track to snatch a grace; he seeks no ambitious ornaments, and tries no hazardous innovations. His page is always luminous, but never blazes in unexpected splendor.
5. It was apparently his principal endeavor to avoid all harshness and severity of diction ; he is therefore sometimes verbose in his transitions and connections, and sometimes descends too much to the language of conversation; yet if his language had been less idiomatical it might have lost somewhat of its genuine Anglicism. What he attempted he performed; he is never feeble, and he did not wish to be energetic;, le is never rapid, and he never stagnates.
6. His sentences have neither studied amplitude nor affected brevity; his periods, though not diligently rounded, are voluble and easy. Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.
CXXI. - DEATH FOR COUNTRY.
The following noble lyric, so classical in its spirit and metrical construction, is an imitation of the martial odes of Tyrtæus, the second great elegiac poet of the Greeks. He was a schoolmaster and lived about the year 660 B.C By his poems he inspired the Spartans with such courage that they were victorious over their enemies. The author of these lines, in his anticipations of the state of the hero after death, has followed the heathen mythology; but the patriotic sentiment which glows through the poem can never be obsolete.
See in Index, AYE, GLORY, PATRIOT, WARRIOR; ELYSIAN, HEBE, OLYMPIAN, PERCIVAL.
Delivery. For the first stanza a bold orotund quality of voice, rather joyous than plaintive, and a strong middle pitch, with nearly quick time, are appropriate; but in the second, there should be a marked transition to a subdued, pathetic tone and slower time, till the last line of the stanza is reached, when there should be another transition. The remainder of the poem should be rendered in a pure, spirited tone, which should rise in the last stanza to one of cheer and exultation.
O, it is great for our country to die,
Where ranks are contending:
Glory awaits us for aye, -
Shining on with light never ending, —
Never, O, never away!
How softly reposes
Wet by the tears of his love,
They crown him with garlands of roses,
Bright where he triumphs above.
Not to the shades shall the youth descend
Who for country hath perished ;
Welcomes him there with her smile ;
The patriot spirit is cherished;
By the still, oblivious river,
Over the blue, rolling sea,
Shall dwell the devoted forever;
In the front rank to perish,
Victory's shout in our ear !
In songs our memory cherish;
Pleased the sweet music to hear.
CXXII. – CROMWELLS EXPULSION OF THE
LINGARD. The great historical scene here described took place the 20th of April, 1653. See in Index, MACE, PARLIAMENT, SYDNEY, VANE, LINGARD.
1. At this eventful moment, big with the most important consequences both to himself and his country,
whatever were the workings of Cromwell's nsind, he had the art to conceal them from the eyes of the beholders. Leaving the military in the lobby, he entered the Parliament House, and composedly seated himself on one of the outer benches. His dress was a plain suit of black cloth, with gray worsted stockings. For a while he seemed to listen with interest to the debate; but when the Speaker was going to put the question, he whispered to Harrison, “ This is the time; I must do it”; and, rising, put off his hat to address the House.
2. At first liis language was decorous, and even laudatory. Gradually he became more warm and animated. At last he assumed all the vehemence of passion, and indulged in personal vituperation. He charged the members with self-seeking and profaneness, with the frequent denial of justice, and numerous acts of oppression; with idolizing the lawyers, the constant advocates of tyranny; with neglecting the men who lad bled for them in the field, that they might gain the Presbyterians, who had apostatized from the cause; and with doing all this in order to perpetuate their own power, and to replenish their own purses. But their time was come; the Lord had disowned them; he had chosen more worthy instruments to perform his work.
3. Here the orator was interrupted by Sir Peter Wentworth, who declared that he had never heard language so unparliamentary, — language, too, the more offensive, because it was addressed to them by their own servant, whom they had made what he was. At these words, Cromwell put on his hat, and, springing from his place, exclaimed, “Come, come, sir, I will put an end to your prating!” For a few seconds, apparently in the most violent agitation, he paced forward and backward, and then, stamping on the floor, added, “You are no Parliament! I say you are no Parliament! Bring them in, bring them in!” Instant
ly the door opened, and Colonel Worsley entered, followed by more than twenty musketeers.
4. “ This,” cried Sir Henry Vane, “is not honest; it is against morality and common honesty.” « Sir Henry Vane,” replied Cromwell; “O Sir llenry Vane! The Lord deliver me from Sir Henry Vane! He might have prevented this. But he is a juggler, and has not common honesty himself!” From Vane he directed his discourse to Whitelock, on whom he poured a torrent of abuse; then pointing to Chaloner, “ There,” he cried, “sits a drunkard”; and afterwards selecting different members in succession, he described them as dishonest and corrupt livers, a shame and scandal to the profession of the Gospel.
5. Suddenly, however, checking himself, he turned to the guard, and ordered them to clear the House. At these words, Colonel Harrison took the Speaker by the hand, and led him from the chair; Algernon Sydney was next compelled to quit his seat; and the other members, eighty in number, on the approach of the military, rose and moved toward the door.
6. Cromwell now resumed his discourse. “It is you,” he exclaimed, “that have forced me to do this. I have sought the Lord both day and night, that he would rather slay me than put me on the doing of this work.” Alderman Allan took advantage of these words to observe that it was not yet too late to undo what had been done; but Cromwell instantly charged him with peculation, and gave him into custody. When all were gone, fixing his eye on the mace, “What,” said he, “shall we do with this fool's baw ble? Here, carry it away.” Then, taking the act of dissolution from the clerk, he ordered the doors to be locked, and, accompanied by the military, returned to Whitehall. - 7. That afternoon the members of the Council assembled in their usual place of meeting. Bradshaw had just taken the chair, when the Lord-General entered