« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
belong to them, or live without them. Genius breaks from the fetters of criticism, but its wanderings are sanctioned by its inajesty and wisdom, when it advances in its path :-subject it to the critic, and you tame it into dullness. Mighty rivers break down their banks in the winter, sweeping away to death the flocks which are fattened on the soil that they fertilize in the summer : the few may be saved by embankments from drowning, but the flock must perish from hunger.-Tempests occasionally shake our dwellings, and dissipate our commerce; but they scourge before them the lazy elements, which without them would stagnate into pestilence.--In like manner, Liberty herself, the last and best gift of God to his creatures, must be taken just as she is ;-you might pare her down into bashful regularity, and shape her into a perfect model of severe scrupulous law; but she would then be Liberty no longer; and you must be content to die under the lash of this inexorable justice which you had exchanged for the banners of Freedom.
XLIV. HYDER ALI KHAN.—Burke. Sir-Among the victims to this magnificent plan of universal plunder pursued by the company in India, so worthy of the heroic avarice of the projectors, you have all heard (and he has made himself to be well remembered) of an Indian Chief called Hyder Ali Khan. This man possessed the western, as the company under the Nabob of Arcot does the eastern division of the Carna
It was among the leading measures in the design
* The Carnatic is that portion of Southern India which runs along the coast of Coromandel. Its length is five hundred miles, and breadth from fifty to one hundred, and it belongs to the East India Company. Hyder Ali and the Nabob of Arcot were neighboring princes—but the Nabob held his power from the Company. The Company lent themselves to the Nabob's schemes of ambition, the object of which was (as usual) to enlarge his own dominion at the expense of that of Hyder Ali.
of this cabal (according to their
own emphatic language) to extirpate this Hyder Ali. They declared the Nabob of Arcot to be his sovereign, and himself to be a rebel, and publicly invested their instrument with the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Mysore. But their victim was not of the passive kind. They were soon obliged to conclude a treaty of peace and close alliance with this rebel, at the gates of Madras. Both before and since that treaty, every principle of policy pointed out this
power as a natural alliance; and on his part, it was courted by every sort of aipicable office. But the cabinet council of English creditors would not suffer their Nabob of Arcot to sign the treaty, nor even to give to a prince, at least his equal, the ordinary titles of respect and courtesy. From that time forward, a continued plot was carried on within the divan, black and wbite, of the Nabob of Arcot, for the destruction of Hyder Ali. As to the outward members of the double, or rather treble government of Madras, which had signed the treaty, they were awlays prevented by some over-ruling influence (which they do not describe, but which cannot be misunderstood) from performing what justice and interest combined só evidently to enforce.
When at length Hyder Ali found that he had to do with men who either would sign no convention, or whom no treaty, and no signature could bind, and who were the determined enemies of human intercourse itself, he decreed to make the country possessed by these incorrigible and predestinated criminals a memorable example to mankind. He resolved, in the gloomy recesses of a mind capacious of such things, to leave the whole Carnatic an everlasting monument of vengeance, and to put perpetual desolation as a barrier between him and those, against whom the faith which holds the moral elements of the world together, was no protection. He became, at length, so confident of his force, and so collected in his might that he made no secret whatever of his dreadful resolution. Having terminated his disputes with every
enemy, and every rival, who buried their mutual animosities in their common interest against the creditors of the Nabob of Arcot, he drew from every quarter whatever a savage ferocity could add to his new rudiments in the arts of destruction ; and compounding all the materials of fury, havoc and desolation into one black cloud, he hung for a while on the declivities of the mountains. Whilst the authors of all these evils were idly and stupidly gazing on this menacing meteor, which blackened all the horizon, it suddenly burst and poured down the whole of its contents upon the plains of the Carnatic. Then ensued a scene of woe, the like of which no eye had seen, no heart conceived, and which no tongue can adequately tell. All the horrors of war before known or heard of, were mercy to that new havoc. A storm of universal fire blasted every field, consumed every house, and destroyed every temple. The miserable inhabitants, flying from their flaming villages, in part were slaughtered; others, without regard to sex, to age, to rank, or sacredness of function, fathers torn from children, husbands from wives, enveloped in a whirlwind of cavalry, and amidst the goading spears of drivers, and the trampling of pursuing horses, were swept into captivity, in an unknown and hostile land. Those who were able to evade this tempest, Aed to the walled cities. But escaping from fire, sword, and exile, they fell into the jaws of fainine.
For eighteen months, without intermission, this destruction raged from the gates of Madras to the gates of Tanjore ; and so completely did these masters in their art, Hyder Ali, and his more ferocious son, absolve themselves of their impious vow, that when the British armies traversed, as they did, the Carnatic for hundreds of miles in all directions, through the whole line of their march they did not see one man, not one woman, not one child, not one four footed beast of any description whatever. One dead uniform silence reigned over the whole region.
XLV. ADVANTAGES OF AN ENGLISH ORIGIN.—Delivered before
Phi Beta Kappa.-Everett. Gentlemen-Who does not feel, what reflecting American does not acknowledge, the incalculable advantages derived to this land, out of the deep fountains of civil, intellectual, and moral truth, from which we have drawn in England? What American does not feel proud that he descended from the country of Bacon, of Newton, and of Locke?-Who does not know, that while every pulse of civil liberty in the heart of the British empire beats warm and full in the bosom of our fathers; the sobriety, the firmness, and the dignity with which the cause of free principles struggled into existence bere, constantly found encouragement and countenance from the sons of liberty there? Who does not remember that when the pilgrims went over the the
of the faithful British confessors, in all the quarters of their dispersion, went over with them, while their aching eyes were strained, till the star of hope should go up in the western skies? And who will ever forget that in that eventful struggle, which severed this mighty empire from the British crown, there was not heard throughout our continent in arms, a voice which spoke louder for the rights of America, than that of Burke or of Chatham, within the walls of the British parliament, and at the foot of the British throne ? No, for myself, I can truly say, that after my native land, I feel a tenderness and reverence for that of
fathers. The pride I take in my own country makes me respect that from which we are sprung. In touching the soil of England, I seem to return like a descendant to the old family seat;—to come back to the abode of an aged, the tomb of a departed parent. I acknowledge this great consanguinity of nations. The sound of my native language beyond the sea, is a music to my ear, beyond the richest strains of Tuscan softness, or Cas
tilian majesty.--I am not yet in a land of strangers, while surrounded by the manners, the habits, the forms, in which I have been brought up. I wander delighted through a thousand scenes, which the historians, the poets have made familiar to us—of which the names are interwoven with our earliest associations. I tread with reverence the spots, where I can retrace the footsteps of our suffering fathers; the pleasant land of their birth has a claim on my heart. It seems to me a classic, yea, a holy land, rich in the memories of the great and good; the martyrs of liberty, the exiled heralds of truth; and richer as the parent of this land of promise in the west.
I am not-I need not say I am not—the panegyrist of England. I am not dazzled by her riches, nor awed by her power. The sceptre, the mitre, and the coronet, stars, garters, and blue ribbons, seem to me poor things for great men to contend for. Nor is my admiration awakened by her armies, mustered for the battles of Europe ; her navies, overshadowing the ocean; nor her empire grasping the farthest east. It is these, and the price of guilt and blood by which they are maintained, which are the cause why no friend of liberty can salute her with undivided affections. But it is the refuge of free principles, though often persecuted ; the school of religious liberty, the more precious for the struggles to which it has been called ; the tombs of those who have reflected honor on all who speak the English tongue; it is the birth place of our fathers, the home of the pilgrims; it is these which I love and venerate in England. I should feel ashamed of an enthusiasm for Italy and Greece, did I not also feel it for a land like this. In an American it would seem to me degenerate and ungrateful, to hang with passion upon the traces of Homer and Virgil, and follow without emotion the nearer and plainer footsteps of Shakspeare and Milton; and I should think him cold in his love for his native land, who felt no melting in his heart for that other native land, which holds the ashes of his forefathers.