« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Then sweet the hour that brings release
We talk the battle over,
And share the battle's spoil;
*The explots of General Francis Marion, the famous partisan warrior of South Carolina, form an interesting portion of the annals of the American revolution. The British troops were so harrassed by the irregular warfare which he kept up at the head of a few daring followers, that they sent an officer to remonstrate with him for not coming into the open field and fighting, to use their expression, "like a gentleman and a christian."
The woodland rings with laugh and shout,
And woodland flowers are gathered
Well knows the fair and friendly moon
The scampering of their steeds. "Tis life our fiery barbs to guide
Across the moon-lit plains; 'Tis life to feel the night wind
That lifts their tossing manes.
Grave men they are by broad Santee,
LXVI.-PARLIAMENTARY REFORM OPPOSED.
Conclusion of Sir Robert Peel's speech on the question of Parliamenta ry Reform, delivered in the British House of Commons, March 3, 1831.
Mr. Speaker:- I deprecate, above all things, the course which some gentlemen have taken on this subject of Parliamentary Reform-that of making the revolution in France, a precedent for a revolution in this country. Let us, sir, remain content with the well-tempered freedom which we now enjoy, and which we have the means of securing, if we act with ordinary discretion. I lament exceedingly, sir, that government should have determined to agitate such a question as that of reform at this particular crisis; it would have been much wiser, in my opinion, to have avoided these new causes of excitement; for, depend upon it, that by this process, throughout this land, the first seeds of discontent and disunion are sown. In every town, sir, there will be a conflict-a moral conflict, I mean-between the possessors of existing authority and existing privileges, and those to whom the existing authority and the existing privileges are to be transferred. Sir, I lament, beyond measure, that government had not the prudence to adhere to that temperate course of policy which they have pursued elsewhere. I lament, that, if they did think it necessary to propose a plan of reform in this excited state of the public mind, they did not confine it within those narrow limits which would be consistent with the safety of the country, and the dignity of their own characters. They have thought proper, however, to adopt another course :-they have sent through the land the fire-brand of agitation—and it is easy so far, to imitate the giant enemy of the Philistines, as to send three hundred fire-brands through the country, carrying danger and dismay in all quar. ters; but it is not so easy, when the mischief is done, to find a remedy for it. In the present difficulties of your situa tion, sir, you should have the power of summoning all the energies of life, and should take care that you do not signalize your own destruction, by bowing down the pillars of the edifice of your liberty, which, with all its imperfections, still contains the noblest society of freemen known to the habita. ble world.
LXVII.-PARLIAMENTARY REFORM ADVOCATED.
Extract from the speech of the Lord Chancellor, (Mr. Brougham,) in the House of Lords, October, 1831, upon the Reform Bill.
My Lords: It is not my intention on this subject of Parliamentary Reform, to use the language of intimidation. We stand now on the brink of a great event. We are now on the eve of the decision of this great measure, and it behooves you to consider, when men tell you that you should not heed clamors, that there is no worse folly-that there is no meaner, baser, more despicable kind of fear, than for men of reflection and reason to be afraid of being accused of fear. My Lords, this is the same argument, that, three years ago, prevented the liberation of the Catholics. But the storm increased and what, after eight months of agitation and tumult, did your lordships do? Wisely, patriotically, firmly, you saved your country,-you refused any longer to listen to the senseless cuckoo note of those who said, "Do not emancipate them, for if you do, it will be through intimidation." And now, my Lords, to apply this branch of history-for history it has become to the present time. You are now, my Lords, placed in this dilemma. If you refuse reform now, under the foolish notion of being afraid, you may live to see something of which wise men will really be afraid. You may have to live among the hearts of an alienated people--you may have to live among the tens of thousands, who hate you-you may have to live when all men shall be leagued against you; for it is you alone that stand between them and their wishes.
But some one has said that none but the aristocracy are opposed to this bill.-My Lords, I deny it-and that none but the rabble, the House of Commons, and the people-(the people-a pretty good force that,)-are for it! Then the people are for it! The people, for whom the aristocracy has been constituted-for whom the crown has been constituted-for whom the laws have been enacted-for whom the government has been contrived-by whom the government is supportedwhom it is bound to serve-without whom it cannot exist an instant! But then, says some one, no one but the atistocracy is opposed to it! I beg to deny that proposition with the pt. most indignation. Who, my Lords, dares to say that the aristocracy are so enlisted? Men have gone on talking about
this being a measure only brought forward by the democrats -a thing unheard of among the aristocracy-and that no man of property can bear the idea of it. It is all false--you know it to be so. Do you not know that the Ministers are in favor of the bill? Do you not know that a large number of the wealthy and the titled are in favor of the bill? The idea that this bill is only supported by the democracy, and opposed by the aristocracy, is one of the wildest delusions that could be found in any of the cells of the Bethlehem Hospital! But I shall not stand upon the point of wealth and rank only; I shall also ask your Lordships to look at that of numbers. There are fifty-four old Peers who will vote for this bill, according to their expressed opinion, and twenty-five who will vote against it; and yet we are told that the old English nobility have all, with one voice, sworn open war against the measure. Your Lordships may pass this bill, and then we shall have peace and contentment; but I much rather dread another alternative. I dread that it may be refused, and that you may afterwards be induced, under other ministers, in less auspicious times, to grant a far more extensive measure than that which is now proposed.
LXVIII.-THE SETTLEMENT OF THE WESTERN STATES.
Extract from the Speech of Mr. Webster, in the Senate of the United States, Jan. 20th, 1830.
Mr. President, I now proceed, sir, to some of the opinions expressed by the gentleman from South Carolina. Two or three topics were touched by him, in regard to which he expressed sentiments in which I do not at all concur.
In the first place, sir, the honorable gentleman'spoke of the whole course and policy of the government towards those who have purchased and settled the public lands; and seemed to think this policy wrong. He held it to have been, from the first, hard and rigorous; he was of opinion, that the United States had acted towards those who had subdued the western wilderness, in the spirit of a step-mother; that the public domain had been improperly regarded as a source of revenue; and that we had rigidly compelled payment for that which ought to have been given away. He said we ought to have