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million of heroes in a day. They are not mercenaries who sell themselves to wield the sword in any cause, or prodigal of life, who rush to meet the death they desire; but men who feel that the cause is emphatically their own, and who voluntarily start up from the lap of affluence, of ease, or comfort, to assume the weapons of war, to pant and toil in battle, and cheerfully devote themselves to the hardships and chances of the field;—men, who forego the stations and advantages which generally make us niggards of life, boldly to adventure themselves in the service and preservation of the state against the ravagers of fields, and desolators of kingdoms. They take not up the sword to injure, but to protect; not to destroy the lia berties of others, but to preserve their own; not to plunder or massacre the defenceless, but to save them from rapacity and blood. With these pre-eminent distinctions, the British volunteers cannot fail to be the darlings of fame; and history will love to hand them down to the admiration of future ages. And why?. To the most uncommon display of military pageant and martial ardour, they add the noblest and purest of motives—the cause of justice, of,man, and their own independence. If we ask for the spring which has set this vast machine in motion, the answer is, our lives and liberties are endangered by the hostile preparations of our enemies to invade and enslave our country. Nor is the cause any way too weak for the effect. The love of life and liberty is the lever of Archimedes, which, having found a fulcrum in the hearts of men, is able to raise a world. Slavery is
the thief which robs nature of beauty, and life of joy; whilst freedom is the charm which gives to all things the smile of delight, and makes life, under all circumstances, tolerable. Why did the Swiss so lately glory in their barren mountains? They were free. Why do they now behold them with a sigh; why turn their backs on their beloved country, and lothe their very being? Alas! liberty is no more a resident there; she no more belongs to them. She has forsaken her dwelling in their hills of storms, no longer softens the flinty rocks to their feet, or binds their brows with the wild flowers of the heath: she no longer cheers their toil, or blesses their frugal board with her heavenly smiles. Can a nation be easily enslaved, where every man is a patriot, and every patriot a soldier? The profession of arms becomes more than ever dignified, and the soldier invincible in the cause of his country, since the sword is sanctified which is drawn in her defence, and he ennobled who wields it manfully in the day of battle. Indeed, the most brilliant feats which mark the
pages of history, have been atchieved under the influence of this cause; feats of prowess in battle, which humanity herself loves to contemplate. For all ages have had their patriot bands, their chosen few, who fought to preserve, and scorned to survive their country; though too often they have shone only to illumine, not to fire the hearts of their countrymen, and extorted their praise without exciting their imitation. Within our own memory, the patriots of Poland arose terrible in arms to resist the unjust partition of their country by foreign powers; but they fell unsuccessful, for want of
that universal spirit of association, that unity and complete organization, that universally active principle of zealous attachment to freedom which we display. Their cause was, indeed, the cause of liberty and independence; but it was a liberty and independence which the great bulk of the nation had never felt, and the value of which they knew not therefore how to appreciate. The patriots of Helvetia too made a faint struggle to preserve the freedom which Tell bequeathed to them, but in vain: they had fatally admitted the vipers into their bosoms, and drank deeply of the poison by which they were undone, But here we see a whole nation of freemen formed into one great patriot army; undebased by the venom which deadens, and the shackles which confine the faculties of man; an army, comprising the pride of our nobi. lity, the richest of our merchants, and the flower of our youth, with all the sweet charities of life and their possessions to defend, and souls that dare to defend them at the utmost hazard; an army possessing every motive to unity, every excitement to valour, and every promise of victory. In childhood they were taught to cry, ,
“ Old England for ever!” and as they grew up into manhood, a thousand obligations confirmed the love of their country. Many of them have fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, relations and friends; all have some sweet affection in life to cherish; and to preserve them from the savage hand of murderous invaders are they now assembled in arms. In the language of my motto, the universal cry, the universal effort is towards the safety of the state,
How delightful it is to see a whole nation rise in arms in the common cause, and lose all private considerations in their zeal to advance the public good: the philosopher contemplates them with complacency, and the patriot with rapture. Even the philanthropist invokes a blessing on their weapons, and smiles through his tears to see that the iron hand of war has not only girded with swords the foes of man to destroy, but also the friends of man to save from destruction; and, when it is considered that a nation marked out for prey, and threatened with invasion by a bold and mighty enemy, is of all others a spectacle most interesting and awful, the heroic actions and magnificent deeds of kings and conquerors sink in the estimation, when compared with the hostile fronts of these five hundred thousand of her sons, resolved to preserve her free, or perish with her. When it is considered also, that the eyes of the world are upon them, and that they are the champions not only of their own, but of the general independence of Europe and of man, I cannot conceive any thing beyond to heighten or dignify the picture. Methinks every heart must applaud them, and every tongue put up a prayer for their success. To them look up for protection, the young, the old, the weak, and the infirm, the wives of their bosoms, and the children of their loins; and, I trust, the appeal will not be in vain, but that heaven will assist them in this cause of justice, their own independence, and of man.
Let their enemies tremble, but let their friends rejoice at the numbers and spirit of their champions; for such must surely be invincible, and
will receive as their due the meed of victory. To them shall the chorus of praise arise, and for ever shall they live in the remembrance of Britain. Aftertimes shall look back to their existence as the revived era of patriotism and ancient virtue, and the vices and follies of the day be forgotten or overlooked in the contemplation of their glory. The historian, when he comes to narrate of them, shall plume his wings afresh, and address himself with collected powers to the task. He shall tell of their numbers, their strength, their enthusiasm, their free and devoted sacrifice of themselves for the public weal, their generous contempt of gain, and patient endurance of fatigue; and he will hold up their example to the imitation of mankind.
cs For sweet is the breath of fame, sweet the praises of the hero, and sweet the minstrel's song, which bears his deeds of valour down to the latest times. Noble is the monument of the patriot entombed in their hearts, whom his valour has saved, and sacred his grave bedewed with the grateful tears of his country.”
The Critique on the New Piece of Cinderella is unavoidably postponed until
the next Number.