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ty of preserving a strict impartiality may evidently appear: Give me leave, however, to illustrate this matter a little farther.
In the Athenian commonwealth, the citizen who took no side was deemed indifferent to the public good, and was branded for his infamous neutrality. Now, if such an obligation as this lay upon every private citizen in that democratical government, it is certain, that we publie persons, at least, ought to chink ourselves under the same obligation, even in this limited monarchy of ours. Indifference must be a crime in us, to be ranked but one degree below treachery; for deserting the commonwealth is next to betraying it. Our daty must oblige us in all public disputes to take the best side, and to espouse it with warmth: this warmth will beget warmth; for you know, Sir, that the worst side is not always the worst defended. Provocations will inultiply daily, and we may be attacked in the most sensible parts. You, Sir, yourself, may for aught I know, be insulted, and your spotless character may be defiled by some faucy fcribbler : in this licentious age, nothing is held facred; under the fpecious pretence of free-thinking, the providence and the very being of God, have been openly called in question, and reflections on your administration may possibly steal into the world.
Suppose, for a moment, that any thing so montrous as this should happen, that you should be directly inveighed against, or which perhaps is more poignant, ironically commended ; and then contider how difficult it would be for a professed admirer of you, heated in the contest, to keep his temper, and to preserve his impartiality: you must agree with me, the task would be extremely difficult.
But I am sure you will agree likewise, that as difficult as it would be, a conscientious man ought to impose it upon himself.
The ill effects of partiality in us political writers, when it carries us to give unjust and false representations of men and things, will not be thought of little moment by you, who labor for fame, and expect a great part of your reward from pofterity, as posterity is to receive a great part of the advantages which your wife and virtuous administration procures, in “ reviving, supporting, and extending < credit, in opening so comfortable a prospect of " the payment of our debts, in strengthening us € abroad by so many beneficial alliances, and above ss all, in amending our morals, by the total dis
couragement of every kind of artifice and cor“ ruption.”
The civil magistrate may give away a man's estate, or take away his life; but we can do, and often have done more; we set the general characters and particular actions of men in what light we please, and deliver them down, sometimes very unjustly, under the most amiable or the most hateful colors to future ages : for the raih sentence we pronounce is eagerly received, and as eagerly transmitted by those who are animated with the same paffion.
In this manner are unjust, and even false reprefentations established. They become the general opinion of mankind, and then, although our works Thould grow out of date as fast as a Gazette, which it must be confeffed happens very frequently; yet still the mischief is done, the historian perpetuates the flander which the politician broached, and triumphs in the cotemporary authority, upon which he writes to serve the present turn, or to fatisfy reTentment of party; such persons as have no other crime but that of differing in opinion from us, and such events as have no other demerit but our dislike of the persons who bring them about, are loaded with infamy. Posterity is imposed upon as well as
FIRST V I S I ON
C A M I L I C K.
IN HOC SIGNO VINCES.
HAVING as yet given the reader little besides grave discourses on public matters, and foreseeing that, during the session of parliament, I shall be obliged to continue daily in the same track, I am willing to take this one opportunity of presenting him with something, which has no relation at all to public affairs, but is of a nature purely amusing, and entirely void of reflection upon any person whatsoever.
My friend Alvarez (a man not unknown to many here, by his frequent journies to England) did some time since make me a present of a Persian manuscript, which he met with while he followed the fortunes of Meriweis. An exact translation of the first chapter has been made, at my request, by the learned Mr. Solomon Negri, and is as follows:
IN the name of God, ever merciful, and of Hal; his prophet. I slept in the plains of Bagdad, and I dreamed a dream. I lifted my eyes, and I faw a vast field, pitched with the tents of the mighty, and the strong ones of the earth in array of battie. I obferved the arms and enligns of either hoft. In the banners of the one were pictured a crown and fceptre ; and upon the shields of the soldiers were engraven scourges, chains, iron maces, axes, and all kinds of instruments of violence. The standards of the other bore the crown and sceptre also; but the devices on the shields were the balance, the olive wreath, the plough-Inare, and other emblematical figures of justice, peace, law, and liberty. Between these two armies I faw a king come forth, and sign a large roll of parchment; at which loud shouts of acclamation were heard from every quarter.
The roll itself flew up into the air, and appeared over their heads, encompassed with rays of glory.
I observed that wherever the second army moved, this glorious apparition attended them; or rather the army feemed only to move, as that guided or directed. Soon after, I saw both these hosts engaged, and the whole face of the land overspread with blood. I saw the king who had signed and broken that sacred charter, drink out of a golden cup, fall into convulsions, gasp and die.
I then saw another king take his piace; who, in the most folemn manner, engaged to make the words contained in the roll the guide of his actions; but notwithstanding this, I saw both armies again encounter. I saw the king a prisoner. I saw his son relieve him, and I saw the chiefs of the other
army put to death. Yet that victorious fon him. self bowed his head to the parchment; which now appeared with fuller luftre than before. Several other battles ensued, with vast slaughter on both fides ; during which the celestial volume was some. times clouded over ; but still again exerted its rays, and after every cloud appeared the brighter. I obferved those heroes, who fought beneath it, though ever so unfortunate, not once to abate their courage, while they had the least glimpse of that heavenly apparition in their view; and even those, whom í saw overthrown, pierced with ghastly wounds, and panting in death, resigned their lives in smiles, and with
up to that glorious object. At last the long contention ceased. I beheld both armies unite and move together under the same influence. I saw one king twelve times bow down before the bright phænomenon, which from thence forward spread a light over the whole land ; and, descend. ing nearer to the earth, the beams of it grew so warm as it approached, that the hearts of the inhabitants leaped for joy. The face of war was no
The same fields, which had so long been the scene of death and desolation, were now covered with golden harvests. The hills were cloathed with sheep. The woods sung with gladness. Plenty laughed in the valleys. Industry, commerce, and liberty danced hand in hand through the cities.
While I was delighting myself with this amiable prospect, the scene entirely changed. The fields and armies vanilhed; and I saw a large and magnificent ill, resembling the great divan or council of the nation. At the upper end of it, under a canopy, I beheld the sacred covenant, shining as the fun. The nobles of the land were there aflembled. They proítrated themselves before it, and they sung an hymn. “Let the heart of the king be glad;