Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

chieftain who has been laid aside uncoroneted, and almost unhonored, because he would promote and distinguish the men of work in preference to the men of titled idleness, among his achievements not the least wondrous was his subjugation of the robber tribes of the Cutchee Hills, in the north of Scinde. Those warriors had been unsubdued for six hundred years. They dwelt in a crater-like valley, surrounded by mountains, through which there were but two or three narrow entrances, and up which there was no access but by goat-paths, so precipitous that brave men grew dizzy, and could not proceed.

5. So rude and wild was the fastness of Trukkee that the entrances themselves could scarcely be discovered amidst the labyrinth-like confusion of rocks and mountains. It was part of the masterly plan by which Sir Charles Napier had resolved to storm the stronghold of the robbers, to cause a detachment of his army to scale the mountainside. A service so perilous could scarcely be commanded. Volunteers were called for.

6. There was a regiment, the 64th Bengal Infantry, which had been recently disgraced in consequence of mutiny at Shikarpoor, their colonel cashiered, and their colors taken from them; a hundred of these men volunteered. “Soldiers from the 64th,” said the commander, who knew the way to the soldier's heart, "your colors are on the top of yonder hill!” I should like to have seen the precipice which would have deterred the 64th regiment after words like those from the lips of the conqueror of Scinde! 7. And now, suppose

had gone with your common sense and economic science, and proved to them that the colors they were risking their lives to win back were worth but so many shillings sterling value ;-tell me, which would the stern workers of the 64th regiment have found it easiest to understand, common sense, or poetry? Which would they have believed, Science, which said, “It is

that you

manufactured silk;" or Imagination, whose kingly voice had made it " colors ” ?

8. It is in this sense that the poet has been called, as the name imports, creator, namer, maker. He stamps his own feeling on a form or symbol; names it, and makes it what it was not before; giving to feeling a local habitation and a name, by associating it with form. Before it was silkso many square feet; now it is a thing for which men will die.

Rev. F. W. ROBERTSON.

M

CXXIX.-SONNET TO NIGHT.
YSTERIOUS Night! when our first parent knew

Thee from report divine, and heard thy name,
Did he not tremble for this lovely frame,
This glorious canopy of light and blue?
Yet, 'neath a curtain of translucent dew,

Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame,

Hesperus with the host of heaven came,
And lo! creation widened in man's view.
Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed

Within thy beams, 0 Sun? or who could find
Whilst fruit, and leaf, and insect stood revealed,

That to such countless orbs thou mad'st us blind ?
Why do we, then, shun death, with anxious strife?
If Light conceals so much-wherefore not Life?

BLANCO WHITE.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]

I

CXXXI.-SPEECH ON THE AMERICAN WAR.

CANNOT, my lords, I will not, join in congratula

tion on misfortune and disgrace. This, my lords, is a perilous and tremendous moment. It is not a time for adulation. The smoothness of flattery cannot save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to instruct the throne in the language of truth. We must, if possible, dispel the illusion and the darkness which envelop it, and display, in its full danger and genuine colors, the ruin which is brought to our doors.

2. Can ministers still presume to expect support in their infatuation? Can Parliament be so dead to its dignity and duty, as to give their support to measures thus obtruded and forced upon them? Measures, my lords, which have reduced this late flourishing empire to ruin and contempt! But yesterday, and England might have stood against the world ; now, none so poor as to do her reverence.

3. The people whom we at first despised as rebels, but whom we now acknowledge as enemies, are abetted against us; supplied with every military store, their interest consulted and their ambassadors entertained by our inveterate enemy!—and ministers do not, and dare not, interpose with dignity or effect. The desperate state of our army abroad is in part known. No man more highly esteems and honors the English troops than I do; I know their virtues and their valor; I know they can achieve anything but impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of English America is an impossibility.

4. You cannot, my lords, you cannot conquer America. What is your present situation there? We do not know the worst; but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing, and suffered much. You may swell every expense, accumulate every assistance, and extend your traffic to the shambles of every German despot: your attempts will be forever vain and impotent-doubly so, indeed, from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of your adversaries, to overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms-never, never, never !

5. But, my lords, who is the man that, in addition to the disgrace 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 inhabitants of the woods ?-to delegate to the merciless Indian the defense of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of his barbarous war against our brethren? My lords, these enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment.

6. But, my lords, this barbarous measure has been defended, not only on the principles of policy and necessity, but also on those of morality; “for it is perfectly allowable,” says Lord Suffolk,“ to use all the means which God and Nature have put into our hands.” I am astonished, I am shocked, to hear such principles confessed; to hear them avowed in this House, or in this country !

7. My lords, I did not intend to encroach so much upon your attention, but I cannot repress my indignation. I feel myself impelled to speak. My lords, we are called upon as members of this House, as men, as Christian men, to protest against such horrible barbarity. “That God and Nature have put into our hands !” What ideas of God and Nature that noble lord may entertain, I know not; but I know that such detestable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity.

8. What! to attribute the sacred sanction of God and Nature to the massacres of the Indian scalping-knife!—to the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, devouring, drinking the blood of his mangled victims! Such notions shock every precept of morality, every feeling of humanity, every sentiment of honor. These abominable principles, and this

« ForrigeFortsæt »