« ForrigeFortsæt »
the two strangers were chofen their representatives, by the means of bribery and corruption.
To infinuate, Sir, that money may be iffued from the public treasury, for bribing elections, is really fomething very extraordinary; especially in thofe gentlemen, who know how many checks are upon every fhilling that can be iffued from thence; and how regularly the money granted in one year, for the public fervice of the nation, muft always be accounted for, the very next feffion, in this house, and likewife in the other, if they have a mind to call for any fuch account. And, as to the gentlemen in offices, if they have any advantage over country gentlemen, in having fomething elfe to depend on, befides their own private fortunes, they have likewife many disadvantages. They are obliged to live here, at London, with their families; by which they are put to a much greater expence, than gentlemen of equal fortunes, who live in the country. This lays them under a very great difadvantage, with refpect to the fupporting their intereft in the country. The country gentleman, by living among the electors, and purchafing the neceflaries for his family from them, keeps up an acquaintance and correfpondence with them, without putting himself to any extraordinary charge: whereas, a gentleman who lives in London, has no other way of keeping up an acquaintance, or correfpondence, among his friends in the country, but by going down, once or twice a-year, at a very extraordinary charge, and often without any other bufinefs. So that we may conclude, a gentleman in office, cannot, even in feven years, fave much for diftributing in ready money, at the time of an election: and, I really believe, if the fact, were narrowly enquired into, it would appear that the gentlemen
gentlemen in office, are as little guilty of bribing their electors with ready money, as any other fet of gentlemen in the kingdom.
THAT there are ferments often raising among the people without any juft caufe, is what I am furprifed to hear controverted, fince very late experience may convince us of the contrary. Do not we know what a ferment was raised in the nation, towards the latter end of the late Queen's reign? And it is well known, what a fatal change in the affairs of this nation, was introduced, or at leaft confirmed, by an election's coming on, while the nation was in that ferment. Do not we know, what a ferment was raised in the nation, foon after his late Majefty's acceffion? And, if an election had then been allowed to come on, while the nation was in that ferment, it might, perhaps, have had as fatal effects as the former: but, thank God, this was wifely provided againft, by the very law, which is now wanted to be repealed.
As fuch ferments may hereafter often happen, I must think, that frequent elections will always be dangerous for which reason, as far as I can see at prefent, fhall, I believe, at all times, think it a very dangerous experiment, to repeal the feptennial bill.
RECEIPT TO MAKE AN EPIC POEM.
OR the fable. Take out of any old poem, hiftory
F book, Jaan Take legend (for intance,
frey of Monmouth, or Don Belianis of Greece)
thofe parts of the story, which afford most scope for long descriptions. Put these pieces together, and throw all the adventures into one tale. Then take a hero, whom you may choose for the found of his name, and put him into the midst of these adThere let him work for twelve books: at the end of which, you may take him out, ready to conquer, or to marry; it being neceffary, that the conclusion of an epic poem be fortunate.
FOR the machines. Take of deities, male and female, as many as you can ufe. Separate them into two equal parts; and keep Jupiter in the middle. Let Juno put him into a ferment; and Venus mollify him. Remember, on all occafions, to make use of volatile Mercury. If you have need of devils, draw them from Milton; and extract your fpirits from Taffo. When you cannot extricate your hero by any human means, or yourself by your wits, feek relief from Heaven, and the gods will help you out of the fcrape immediately. This is according to the direct prefcription of Horáce, in his Art of Poetry: "A poet has no occafion to be at a lofs, when the gods are always ready at a call."
FOR the deferiptions; as a tempeft, for inftance. Take Eurus, Zephyrus, Aufter, and Boreas; and caft them together in one verfe. Add to thefe, of rain, lightning and thunder (the loudest you can get) quantum fufficit. Mix your clouds and billows, till they foam; and thicken your defcription, here and there, with a quick-fand. Brew your tempest well in your head, before you fet it a-blowing.
FOR a battle. Pick half a dozen large handfuls of images of your lions, bears and other quarrel fome animals, from Homer's Iliad; with a fpice or two
from Virgil. If there remain an overplus, lay them by for a skirmish, in an odd epifode or fo. Seafon it well with fimiles, and it will make an excellent battle.
FOR a burning town, if you choose to have one, old Troy is ready burnt to your hands.
FIRMNESS OF THE EMPEROR ALEXANDER SEVERUS.
HILST the emperor lay at Antioch, in his Perfian expedition, the Punishment of fome foldiers, excited a fedition in the legion to which they belonged. Alexander afcended his tribunal, and, with a modeft firmness, reprefented to the armed multitude, the abfolute neceffity, as well as his inflexible refolution, of correcting the vices introduced by his impure predeceffor; and of maintaining the difcipline, which could not be relaxed, without the ruin of the Roman name and empire. Their clamours interrupted his mild expoftulation. "Referve your fhouts," faid the undaunted emperor, till you take the field, against the Perfians, "the Germans, and the Sarmatians. Be filent, in "the prefence of your fovereign and benefactor, "who beftows upon you the corn, the cloth"ing, and the money of the provinces. Be filent, or "I fhall no longer ftyle you foldiers, but citizens'; "if thofe, indeed, who difclaim the laws of Rome, "deferve to be ranked among the meaneft of the people." His menaces inflamed the fury of the
legion, and their brandished arms already threatened his perfon. "Your courage," refumed the intrepid "Alexander, would be more nobly difplayed in a "field of battle: me you may deftroy; you can"not intimidate: and the fevere juftice of the repub"lic, would punish your crime, and revenge my "death" The legion till perfifting in clamorous fedition; the emperor pronounced, with a loud voice, the decifive fentence, "Citizens! lay down your arms, and depart, in peace, to your refpective habitations." The tempeft was inftantly appeafed the foldiers, filled with grief and fhame, filently confeffed the juftice of their punishment, and the power of difcipline; yielded up their arms and military enfigns; and retired in confufion, not to their camp, but to the feveral inns of the city. Alexander enjoyed, during thirty days, the edifying fpectacle of their repentance; nor did he reftore them to their former rank in the army, till he had punished those tribunes, whofe connivance had occafioned the mutiny.
REFLECTIONS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY.
HEN I am in a ferious humour, I very often walk by myself in Westminster-Abbey ; where the gloomynefs of the place, and theufe towhich it is applied, with the folemnity of the building, and the condition of the people who lie in it, are apt to fill the mind with a kind of melancholy, or rather thoughtfulness, that is not difagreeable, I yesterday