« EelmineJätka »
ing into the king's face, that he had ever
He then inquired after the ghost; but
Partridge sat in fearful expectation of this; and now, when the ghost made his next appearance, Partridge cried out, "There, sir, now: what say you now? is he frightened now or no? As much frightened as you think me, and, to be sure, nobody can help some fears. I would not be in so bad a condition as-what's his name?-Squire Hamlet is there, for all the world. Bless me! what's become of the spirit? As I am a living soul, I thought I saw him sink into the earth;" "Indeed you saw right," answered Jones. "Well, well," cries Partridge, "I know it is only a play; and besides, if there was anything in all this, Madam Miller would not laugh so; for as to you, sir, you would not be afraid, I believe, if the devil was here in person. There, there, ay, no wonder you are in such a passion; shake the vile wicked wretch to pieces. If she was my own mother I should serve her so. To be sure all duty to a mother is forfeited by such wicked doings. Ay, go about your business: I hate the sight of you!"
Our critic was now pretty silent till the play which Hamlet introduces before the king. This he did not at first understand till Jones explained it to him; but he no sooner entered into the spirit of it, than he began to bless himself that he had never committed murder. Then turning to Mrs. Miller, he asked her "If she did not imagine the king looked as if he was touched; though he is," said he, "a good actor, and doth all he can to hide it. Well, I would not have so much to answer for as that wicked man there hath, to sit upon a much higher chair than he sits upon. he run away for your sake I'll never trust No wonder an innocent face again."
The grave-digging scene next engaged the attention of Partridge, who expressed much surprise at the number of skulls thrown upon the stage, to which Jones answered, "That it was one of the most famous burialplaces about town." "No wonder, then," cries Partridge, "that the place is haunted. But I never saw in my life a worse grave digger. I had a sexton when I was clerk that should have dug three graves while he is digging one. The fellow handles a spade
as if it was the first time he had ever one in his hand. Ay, ay, you may sing. You had rather sing than work, I believe!" Upon Hamlet's taking up the skull, he cried
on any account.
out, "Well! it is strange to see how fearself to touch anything belonging to a dead less some men are. I never could bring myman ened enough too at the ghost, I thought. Nemo omnibus horis sapit." He seemed frightplay; at the end of which Jones asked worth remembering occurred during the him "Which of the players he had liked best?" To this he answered, with some appearance of indignation at the question, Partridge," says Mrs. Miller, "you are not The king, without doubt." of the same opinion with the town; for they 66 Indeed, Mr. are all agreed that Hamlet is acted by the best player who ever was on the stage." "He the best player!" cries Partridge, with a contemptuous sneer; "why, I could act as well as he myself. I am sure if I had very same manner, and done just as he did. seen a ghost I should have looked in the And then, to be sure, in that scene, as you you told me he acted so fine, why, Lord help called it, between him and his mother, where me, any man, that is, any good man, that had such a mother, would have done exactly the same. I know you are only joking with at a play in London, yet I have seen acting me; but, indeed madam, though I was never before in the country; and the king for my money he speaks all his words distinctly, may see he is an actor!" half as loud again as the other. Anybody
History of Tom Jones.
RIGHT HON. WILLIAM PITT,
EARL OF CHATHAM,
vehement, fiery, close to the subject, concise, some-
point if desired to name the most successful statesman and most brilliant orator that this country ever produced. Some fragments of his speeches have been handed down to us; but these bear so very small a proportion to the prodigious fame which his eloquence has left behind it, that far more is manifestly lost than has reached us."LORD BROUGHAM: Statesmen of the Time of George
EMPLOYMENT OF INDIANS IN THE WAR WITH
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 I cannot, my lords, I will not, join in brethren? My lords, these enormities_cry congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. aloud for redress and punishment. But, This, my lords, is a perilous and tremendous my lords, this barbarous measure has been moment; it is not a time for adulation; the defended, not only on the principles of policy smoothness of flattery cannot save us in this and necessity, but also on those of morality: rugged and awful crisis. It is now neces- "for it is perfectly allowable," says Lord sary to instruct the throne in the language Suffolk, "to use all the means which God and of truth. We must, if possible, dispel the nature have put into our hands." I am asdelusion and darkness which envelope it, and tonished, I am shocked, to hear such princidisplay, in its full danger and genuine col- ples confessed; to hear them avowed in this ours, the ruin which is brought to our doors. house or in this country. My lords, I did Can ministers still presume to expect support not intend to encroach so much on your atin their infatuation? Can parliament be so tention; but I cannot repress my indignadead to their dignity and duty as to give tion, I feel myself impelled to speak. My their support to measures thus obtruded lords, we are called upon as members of this and forced upon them,-measures, my lords, house, as men, as Christians, to protest which have reduced this late flourishing against such horrible barbarity. "That God empire to scorn and contempt? But yester- and nature have put into our hands"! What day, and England might have stood against ideas of God and nature that noble lord may the world; now, none so poor to do her entertain I know not; but I know that such reverence! The people whom we at first detestable principles are equally abhorrent despised as rebels, but whom we now ac- to religion and humanity. What! to attribknowledge as enemies, are abetted against ute the sacred sanction of God and nature you, supplied with every military store, to the massacres of the Indian scalpinghave their interest consulted, and their am- knife! to the cannibal savage, torturing, bassadors entertained by your inveterate murdering, devouring, drinking the blood enemy; and ministers do not, and dare of his mangled victims! Such notions shock not, interpose with dignity or effect. The every precept of morality, every feeling of desperate state of our army abroad is in humanity, every sentiment of honour. These part known. No man more highly esteems abominable principles, and this more abomiand honours the English troops than I do; nable avowal of them, demand the most deI know their virtues and their valour; I cisive indignation. I call upon that right know they can achieve anything but impos- reverend, and this most learned bench to sibilities; and I know that the conquest of vindicate the religion of their God, to supBritish America is an impossibility. You port the justice of their country. I call cannot, my lords, you cannot conquer upon the bishops to interpose the unsullied America. What is your present situation sanctity of their lawn; upon the judges to there? We do not know the worst; but we interpose the purity of their ermine, to save know that in three campaigns we have done us from this pollution. I call upon the nothing and suffered much. You may swell honour of your lordships to reverence the every expense, accumulate every assistance, dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain and extend your traffic to the shambles of your own. I call upon the spirit and huevery German despot: your attempts will manity of my country to vindicate the nabe forever vain and impotent,-doubly so, tional character. I invoke the Genius of indeed, from this mercenary aid on which the Constitution. From the tapestry that you rely for it irritates, to an incurable adorns these walls the immortal ancestor of resentment, the minds of your adversaries, this noble lord frowns with indignation at to overrun them with the mercenary sons of the disgrace of his country. In vain did he rapine and plunder, devoting them and their defend the liberty and establish the religion possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty. of Britain against the tyranny of Rome if If I were an American, as I am an English- these worse than Popish cruelties and inman, while a foreign troop was landed 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 hell-hounds of war! Spain can no longer boast pre-eminence in barbarity. She armed herself with blood-hounds to extirpate the wretched natives of Mexico: we, more ruthless, loose these dogs of war against our countrymen in America, endeared to us by every tie that can sanctify humanity. I solemnly call upon your lordships, and upon every order of men in the state, to stamp upon this infamous procedure the indelible stigma of the public abhorrence. More particularly I call upon the holy prelates of our religion to do away this iniquity: let them perform a lustration, to purify the country from this deep and deadly sin. My lords, I am old and weak, and at present unable to say more; but my feelings and indignation were too strong to bave 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 and preposterous principles.
LORD GEORGE LYTTELTON, born 1708-9, entered Parliament 1730, and warmly opposed Sir Robert Walpole's administration; became a Lord of the Treasury, 1744, and Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1756; created Lord Lyttelton, 1757; died 1773. He was the author of Letters from a Persian in England to his Friend at Ispahan, vol. i., Lond., 1735. 8vo, 5th edit., 1744, 12mo; vol. ii., 3d edit., 1736, 12mo; Monody to the Memory of a Lady lately Deceased [his wife], Lond., 1747, fol. Observations on the Conversion and Apostleship of Saint Paul, Lond., 1747, 8vo, and in Christian Evidences, Bohn, 1850, royal 8vo; Dialogues of the Dead, Lond., 1760, 8vo; New Dialogues, 1762, 8vo, 4th edit., 1765, 8vo; The History of the Life of King Henry the Second, and of the Age in which he Lived, etc., Lond., 1764-67, 4 vols. 4to, Dublin, 1768, 4 vols. 8vo, Lond., 1769, 6 vols. 8vo, 1777, 6 vols. 8vo. Miscellaneous Works, Lond., 1774, 4to, Dubl., 1774, 2 vols. 8vo, 2d edit., Lond., 1775, 4to, 3d edit., 1776, 3 vols. 8vo. Poetical Works, Lond., 1785, 12mo, Glasg., 1787. fol., 1801, 1 vol. 8vo: and in Collections of British Poets. See his Memoirs and Correspondence, 1734 to 1773, by R. Phillimore, Lond., 1845, 2 vols. 8vo.
"His Majesty then asked him [Dr. Johnson] what he thought of Lord Lyttelton's History,
which was then just published. Johnson said he thought his style pretty good, but that he had blamed Henry the Second rather too much."--BosWELL: Life of Johnson, edit. 1848, royal 8vo, 185.
"The reader may consult Lyttelton's Historyan elaborate and valuable work-with advantage." -SHARON TURNER.
"Pedantry was so deeply fixed in his nature that the hustings, the Treasury, the Exchequer, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, left him the same dreaming school-boy that they found him."-LORD MACAULAY: Edin. Rev., July, 1835: Sir James Mackintosh's History of the Revolution; and in Macaulay's Essays.
CHARACTER OF WILLIAM The Conqueror.
The character of this prince has seldom been set in its true light; some eminent writers have been dazzled so much by the more shining parts of it that they have hardly seen his faults; while others, out of a strong detestation of tyranny, have been unwilling to allow him the praise he de
He may with justice be ranked among the greatest generals any age has produced. There was united in him activity, vigilance, intrepidity, caution, great force of judgment, and never failing presence of mind. He was strict in his discipline, and kept his soldiers in perfect obedience; yet preserved their affection. Having been from his very childhood continually in war, and at the head of armies, he joined to all the capacity that genius could give all the knowledge and skill that experience could teach, and was a perfect master of the military art as it was practised in the times wherein he lived. His constitution enabled him to endure any hardships, and very few were equal to him in personal strength, which was an excellence of more importance than it is now. from the manner of fighting then in use. of him that none except himself could bend his bow. His courage was heroic, and he possessed it not only in the field, but (which was more uncommon) in the cabinet, attempting great things with means that to other men appeared totally unequal to such undertakings, and steadily prosecuting what he had boldly resolved; but never disturbed or disheartened by difficulties in the course of his enterprises; but having that noble vigour of mind which, instead of bending to opposition, rises against it, and seems to have a power of controlling and commanding Fortune herself.
It is said
Nor was he less superior to pleasure than to fear: no luxury softened him, no riot disordered, no sloth relaxed. . . A lust of power, which no regard to justice could limit, the most unrelenting cruelty, and the most insatiable avarice, possessed his soul. It is true, indeed, that among many acts of
extreme humanity some shining instances of great clemency may be produced, that were either the effects of his policy, which taught him this method of acquiring friends, or of his magnanimity, which made him slight a weak and subdued enemy, such as was Edgar Atheling, in whom he found neither spirit nor talents able to contend with him for the crown. But where he had no advantage nor pride in forgiving, his nature discovered itself to be utterly void of all sense of compassion; and some barbarities which he committed exceeded the bounds that even tyrants and conquerors prescribe to themselves.
Most of our ancient historians give him the character of a very religious prince: but his religion was after the fashion of those times, belief without examination, and devotion without piety. It was a religion that prompted him to endow monasteries, and at the same time allowed him to pillage kingdoms; that threw him on his knees before a relic or cross, but suffered him unrestrained to trample upon the liberties and rights of mankind.
As to his wisdom in government, of which some modern writers have spoken very highly, he was, indeed, so far wise that through a long unquiet reign he knew how to support oppression by terror, and employ the properest means for the carrying on a very iniquitous and violent administration. But that which alone deserves the name of wisdom in the character of a king, the maintaining of authority by the exercise of those virtues which make the happiness of his people, was what, with all his abilities, he does not appear to have possessed. Nor did he excel in those soothing and popular arts which sometimes change the complexion of a tyranny, and give it a fallacious appearance of freedom. His government was harsh and despotic, violating even the principles of that constitution which he himself had established. Yet so far he performed the duty of a sovereign that he took care to maintain a good police in his realm; curbing licentiousness with a strong hand, which, in the tumultuous state of his government, was a great and difficult work. How well he performed it we may learn even from the testimony of a contemporary Saxon historian, who says that during his reign a man might have travelled in perfect security all over the kingdom with his bosom full of gold, nor durst any kill another in revenge of the greatest offences, nor offer violence to the chastity of a woman. But it was a poor compensation that the highways were safe, when the courts of justice were dens of thieves, and when almost every man in authority, or in office, used his power |
to oppress and pillage the people. king himself did not only tolerate, but encourage, support, and even share these extortions. Though the greatness of the ancient landed estate of the crown, and the feudal profits to which he legally was entitled, rendered him one of the richest monarchs in Europe he was not content with all that opulence, but by authorizing the sheriffs who collected his revenues in the several counties to practise the most grievous vexations and abuses for the raising of them higher by a perpetual auction of the crown lands, so that none of his tenants could be secure of possession, if any other would come and offer more: by various iniquities in the court of exchequer, which was entirely Norman; by forfeitures wrongfully taken; and lastly, by arbitrary and illegal taxations, he drew into his treasury much too great a proportion of the wealth of his kingdom.
It must, however, be owned, that if his avarice was insatiably and unjustly rapacious, it was not meanly parsimonious, nor of that sordid kind which brings on a prince dishonour and contempt. He supported the dignity of his crown with a decent magnificence; and though he never was lavish, he sometimes was liberal, especially to his soldiers and the church. But looking on money as a necessary means of maintaining and increasing power, he devised to accumulate as much as he could, rather, perhaps, from an ambitious than a covetous nature; at least his avarice was subservient to his ambition, and he laid up wealth in his coffers, as he did arms in his magazines, to be drawn out, when any proper occasion required it, for the enlargement of his dominions.
Upon the whole, he had many great qualities, but few virtues; and if those actions that most particularly distinguish the man or the king are impartially considered, we shall find that in his character there is much to admire, but still more to abhor.
History of the Life of King Henry the Second.
JAMES HARRIS, M.P.,
born 1709, became a Lord of the Admiralty, 1762, Lord of the Treasury, 1763, Secretary and Comptroller to the Queen, 1774, and died 1780. This very learned Grecian was the author of Three Treatises: I. Art, II. Music, Painting, and Poetry, III. Happiness, Lond., 1744, etc., 8vo; Hermes, a Philosophical Inquiry concerning Language and Universal Grammar, Lond., 1750, etc., 8vo; The Spring, a Pastoral, 1762, 4to; Philosophical Arrangements, Edin. and Lond., 1775, 8vo; Philological Enquiries.
Lond., 1780, 2 vols. 8vo, Part III., in French, Paris, 1789, 12mo. Works, with Account by his Son, the Earl of Malmesbury, Lond., 1792, 5 vols. 8vo; again, 1801, 2 vols. 4to, and royal 4to, and 1803, 5 vols. 8vo; 1841, 8vo.
"Those who would enter more fully into this subject [grammar] will find it fully and accurately handled, with the greatest acuteness of investigation, perspicuity of application, and elegance of method, in a treatise entitled Hermes, by J. Harris, Esq., the most beautiful and perfect example of analysis that has been exhibited since the days of Aristotle."-BISHOP LOWTH: Preface to his English Grammar.
But Horne Tooke ridicules Hermes.
ENGLISH, ORIENTAL, LATIN, AND GREEK
We Britons in our time have been remarkable borrowers, as our multiform language may sufficiently shew. Our terms in polite literature prove that this came from Greece; our terms in music and painting, that these came from Italy; our phrases in cookery and war, that we learnt these from the French; and our phrases in navigation, that we were taught by the Flemings and Low Dutch. These many and very different sources of our language may be the cause why it is so deficient in regularity and analogy. Yet we have this advantage to compensate the defect, that what we want in elegance we gain in copiousness, in which last respect few languages will be found superior to our own.
Let us pass from ourselves to the nations of the East. The Eastern world, from the earliest days, has been at all times the seat of enormous monarchy; on its natives fair liberty never shed its genial influence. If at any time civil discords arose among them (and arise there did innumerable), the contest was never about the form of their government (for this was an object of which the combatants had no conception); it was all from the poor motive of, who should be heir master; whether a Cyrus or an Artaxerxes, a Mahomet or a Mustapha.
Such was their condition; and what was the consequence ?-Their ideas became consonant to their servile state, and their words became consonant to their servile ideas. The great distinction forever in their sight was that of tyrant and slave; the most unnatural one conceivable, and the most susceptible of pomp and empty exaggeration. Hence they talked of kings as gods, and of themselves as the meanest and most abject reptiles. Nothing was either great or little in moderation, but every sentiment was heightened by incredible hyperbole. Thus, though they sometimes ascended into the great and mag
nificent, they as frequently degenerated into the tumid and bombast. The Greeks too of Asia became infected by their neighbours, who were often, at times, not only their neighbours, but their masters; and hence that luxuriance of the Asiatic style, unknown to the chaste eloquence and purity of Athens. But of the Greeks we forbear to speak now, as we shall speak of them more fully when we have first considered the nature or genius of the Romans.
And what sort of people may we pronounce the Romans?—A nation engaged in wars and commotions, some foreign, some domestic, which for seven hundred years wholly engrossed their thoughts. IÏence therefore their language became, like their ideas, copious in all terms expressive of things political, and well adapted to the purposes both of history and popular eloquence. But what was their philosophy?— As a nation it was none, if we may credit their ablest writers. And hence the unfitness of their language to this subject; a defect which even Cicero is compelled to confess, and more fully makes appear when he writes philosophy himself, from the number of terms which he is obliged to invent. Virgil seems to have judged the most truly of his countrymen when, admitting their inferiority in the more elegant arts, he concludes at last with his usual majesty:
Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento, (Hæc tibi erunt artes) pacisque imponere morem, Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos.
From considering the Romans, let us pass to the Greeks. The Grecian commonwealths, while they maintained their liberty, were the most heroic confederacy that ever existed. They were the politest, the bravest, and the wisest of men. In the short space of little more than a century they became such statesmen, warriors, orators, historians, physicians, poets, critics, painters, sculptors, architects, and (last of all) philosophers, that one can hardly help considering that golden period as a providential event in honour of human nature, to shew to what perfection the species might ascend.
Now the language of these Greeks was truly like themselves; it was conformable to their transcendent and universal genius. Where matter so abounded, words followed of course, and those exquisite in every kind, as the ideas for which they stood. And hence it followed there was not a subject to be found which could not with propriety be expressed in Greek.
Here were words and numbers for the humour of an Aristophanes; for the active elegance of a Philemon or Menander; for the amorous strains of a Mimnermus or