Page images
PDF
EPUB

governour, and never afterwards would permit any body else to mount him.

13. A soldier at Pondicherry,t who was accustomed, whenever he received the portion that came to his share, to carry a certain quantity of it to one of these animals, having one day drank rather too freely, and finding himself pursued by the guards, who were going to take him to prison, took refuge under the elephant's body, and fell asleep.

14. In vain did the guard try to force him from this asylum, as the elephant protected him with his trunk. The next morning, the soldier, recovering from his drunken fit, shuddered with horrour to find himself stretched under the belly of this huge animal.

15. The elephant, who, without doubt, perceived the man's embarrassment, caressed him with his trunk, in order to inspire him with courage, and make him understand that he might now depart in safety.

16. A painter was desirous of drawing the elephant, which was kept in the menageriet at Versailles, in an uncommon attitude, which was that of holding his trunk raised up in the air, with his mouth open. The painter's boy, in order to keep the animal in this posture, threw fruit into his mouth.

17. But, as the lad frequently deceived him, and made ar. offer only of throwing him fruit, he grew angry; and, as if he had known that the painter's intention of drawing him was the cause of the affront that was offered him, instead of revenging himself on the lad, he turned his resentment against the master, and, taking up a quantity of water in his trunk, threw it on the paper on which the painter was drawing, and spoiled it.

SPEECH OF MR. WALPOLE IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT, IN OPPOSITION TO MR. Pitt, FIRST EARL OF CHATHAM.

SIR,

WAS unwilling to interrupt the course of this debate while it was carried on with calmness and decency, by men who do not suffer the ardour of opposition to cloud their reason, or transport them to such expressions as the dignity of this assembly does not admit.

* Pronounced Pon'di-sher-ry. t men-azhůr-e.

2. I have hitherto deferred to ănswer the gentleman who declaimed against the bill with such fluency of rhetorick, and such vehemence of gesture; who charged the advocates for the expedients now proposed with having no regard to any interests but their own, and with making laws only to consume paper; and threatened them with the defection of their adhérents, and the loss of their influence, upon this new discovery of their folly and ignorance.

3. Nor, sir, do I now answer him for any other purpose than to remind him how little the clamours of

rage,
and

petulency of invective, contribute to the purpose for which this assembly is called together; how little the discovery of truth is promoted, and the security of the nation established, by pompous diction and theatrical emotions.

4. Formidable sounds and furious declamations, confident assertions and lofty periods, may affect the young and inexperienced; and, perhaps, the gentleman may have contracted his habits of oratory by conversing more with those of

his own age, than with such as have had more opportunities of acquiring knowledge, and more successful methods of communicating their sentiments.

5. If the heat of his temper, sir, would suffer him to attend to those whose age and long acquaintance with business give them an indis'putable right to deference and superiority, he would learn, in time, to reason, rather than declaim, and to prefer justness of argument, and an accurate knowledge of the facts, to sounding epithets and splendid super'latives, which may disturb the imagination for a moment, but leave no lasting impression on the mind.

6. He will learn, sir, that to accuse and prove are very different; and that reproaches, unsupported by evidence, affect only the character of him who utters them. Excursions of fancy and flights of oratory are, indeed, pardonable in young men, but in no other; and it would surely contribute more, even to the purpose for which some gentlemen appear to speak, that of depreciating the conduct of the administration, to prove the inconveniences and injustice of this bill, than barely to assert them, with whatever magnificence of language, or appearance of zeal, honesty or compassion.

Mr. Pitt's ANSWER TO MR. WALPOLE.

SIR, THE atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honourable gentieman has, with such spirit and decency, charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate or dery; but content myself with wishing, that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with their youth, and not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experience.

2. Whether youth can be imputed to any man as a reproach, I will not, sir, assume the province of deterinining; but surely age inay become justly contemptible, if the opportunities which it brings have passed away without improvement, and vice appears to prevail, when the passions have subsided.

3 The wretch, who, after having seen the consequences of a thousand errours, continues still to blunder, and whose age has only added obstinacy to stupidity, is surely the object of either abhorrence or contempt, and deserves not that his gray head should secure him from insult.

4. Much more, sir, is he to be abhorred, who, as he has advanced in age, has receded from virtue, and becomes more wicked with less temptation; who prostitutes himself for money which he cannot enjoy, and spends the remains of his life in the ruin of his country. .

5. But youth, sir, is not my only crime; I have been accused of acting a theatrical part. A theatrical part may either imply some peculiarities of gesture, or a dissimulation of my real sentiments, and an adoption of the opinions and language of another man.

6. In the first sense, sir, the charge is too trifling to be. confuted, and deserves only to be mentioned that it

may

be despised. I am at liberty, like every other man, to úse my own language ; and, though I may perhaps have some ambition to please this gentleman, I shall not lay myself under any restraint, nor very solicitously copy his diction or his inien, however matured by age, or modelled by experience

serves.

7. If any man shall, by charging me with theatrical behaviour, imply, that I utter any sentiments but my own, I shall treat him as a calumniator and a villain ; nor shall any protection shelter him from the treatment which he de

8. I shall, on such an occasion, without scruple, trample upon all those forms with which wealth and dignity entrench themselves; nor shall any thing but age restrain my resentment; age, which always brings one privilege, that of being insolent and supercilious without punishment.

9. But with regard, sir, to those whom I have offended, I am of opinion, that if I had acted a borrowed part, I should have avoided their censure. The heat, which offended them, is the ardour of conviction, and that zeal for the service of my country, which neither hope nor fear shall influence me to suppress.

10. I will not sit unconcerned while my liberty is invaded, nor look in silence upon publick robbery. I will exert my endeavours, at whatever hazard, to repel the aggressor, and drag the thief to justice, whoever may protect them in their villany, and whoever may partake of their plunder.

STORY OF A SECOND JOSEPH.,

THE following relation proves that incidents somewhat similar to those in the times of Jacob are still renewed in Egypt. In 1776, the plains of Syria were ravaged by clouds of locusts, which devoured the corn to the very root.

2.'A famine followed, and a farmer near Damascus felt the I effects of the general distress. To supply the wants of a nu

merous family, he sold his cattle; which resource' being soon exhausted, the unhappy father, wretched at present, but foreseeing greater wretchedness to come, pressed by hunger, sold his instruments of husbandry at Damascus.

3. Led by the invisible hand of Providence, (as formerly Tobias was by the angel,) while he bargained for corn, lately arrived from Damietta, he heard speak of the success of Mourad Bey, who had entered Grand Cairo victorious, and in triumph.

4. The shape, character and origin of the warriour were described, and how he had risen from slavery to power supreme. The astonished farmer found the description accorded with a son, who had been stolen from him at twelve years old : hope palpitated in his heart; he hastened home with his provisions, told his family what he had heard, and determined immediately to depart for Egypt.

5. His weeping wife and sons offered up prayers for his safe return. Going to the port of Alexandretta, he embarked there, and came to Damietta. One continued fear tormented him; his son, forsaking the religion of his fathers, had embraced Mahometanism; and now, surrounded as he was by splendour, would he acknowledge his parents?

6. The thought lay heavy on his heart; yet the wish to snatch his family from all the horrours of famine, the hope of finding a long lamented son, gave him fortitude. He continued his journey, came to the capital, repaired to the palace of Mourad, applied to the officers of the prince, and most ardent'y solicited admission.

7. His dress and appearance bespoke poverty and misfortune, and were poor recommendations; but his great age, so respectable in the East, pleaded in his behalf. One of the attendants went to the Bey, and told him an aged man, apparently miserable, requested an audience.

8."Let him enter,” replied Mourad; and the farmer proceeded, with trembling steps, over the rich carpet which bespread the hall of the Divan', and approached the Bey, who reclined on a sofa embroidered with silk and gold. Crowding sensations deprived him of the use of speech.

9. At last, after attentively looking, the voice of nature vanquishing fear, he fell, and, embracing his knees, exclaimed, “You are my son !" The Bey raised him, endeavoured to recollect, and, after explanation, finding him to be his father, made him sit down by his side, and caressed him most affec'tionately.

10. The first gush of nature over, the sire described in what a deplorable state he had left his mother and brethren ; and the prince proposed to send for, and with them divide his riches and power, if they would embrace Is'lamism.

11. This the generous Christian had foreseen, and, fearing youth might be dazzled, took not one of his sons with him

« EelmineJätka »