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And storm our land;
LV. THE DEATH OF CHARLES JAMES FOX.
Extract from Mr. Sheridan's Speech, to the Electors of Westminster, September 18, 1806.
NECESSITY OF RETIRING FROM THIS CONTEST.
I COME now, gentlemen, with a very embarrassed feeling, to that declaration which I yet think you must have expected from me, but which I make with reluctance, because, from the marked approbation I experienced from you, I fear with reluctance you will receive it. I FEEL MYSELF UNDER THE I beseech you to hear me with patience, and in the temper with which I address you. There is in true friendship this advantage; the inferior mind looks to the presiding intellect as its guide and landmark while living, and to the engraven memory of its principles, as a rule of conduct, after its death. Yet further, still unmixed with idle superstition, there may be gained a salutary lesson from contemplating what would be grateful to the mind of the departed, were he conscious of what is passing here. I solemnly believe, that could such a consideration have entered into Mr. Fox's last moments, there is nothing his wasted spirits would so have deprecated, as a contest of the nature which I now disclaim and relinquish. It was never ascertained to me until Monday last, after this meeting had been fixed, that Lord Percy would certainly be a candidate. My friends hesitated, in the hope that it might be left to arbitration which candidate should withdraw. That hope has failed. I claim the privilege of nearest and dearest friendship, to set the example of a sacrifice-comparatively how small to what it demands! Nothing could have induced me to have proceeded to a disputed poll on this occasion.-The hour is not far distant when an awful knell shall tell you, that the unburied remains of your reverend patriot, are passing through the streets to that sepulchral
home, where your kings-your heroes-your sages-and your poets lie, and where they are to be honored by the asso. ciation of his noble remains-that hour, when, however the splendid gaudiness of public pageantry may be avoided, you— you-all of you will be self-marshalled in reverential sorrow, mute, and reflecting on your mighty loss.-At that moment, shall the disgusting contest of an election-wrangle break the solemnity of the scene?-Is it fitting that any man should overlook the crisis, and risk the rude and monstrous contest? Is it fitting that I should be that man?-Allow me to hope, from the manner in which you have received the little I have said on this subject, that I need add no more.
LVI. THE WORTHLESSNESS OF THE PATRONAGE OF THE GREAT."
Dr. Johnson's celebrated Letter to Lord Chesterfield.*
My Lord, I HAVE been lately informed, by the proprietor of THE WORLD,† that two papers, in which my dictionary is recommended to the public, were written by your Lordship. To be so distinguished, is an honor, which, being very little accustomed to favors from the great, I know not well how to receive, or in what terms to acknowledge.
When upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your Lordship, I was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment of your address, and could not forbear to wish that I might obtain that regard for which I saw the world contending. But I found my attendance so little encouraged, that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to continue it. When I had once addressed your Lordship in public-I had exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly
*When Dr. Johnson had commenced his large Dictionary, he waited upon Lord Chesterfield, for his patronage, but met with a cold repulse, After the truly great man had completed his Herculean task, Chesterfield, from mere selfish motives, began to repent of his former treat ment, and wished to have the Dictionary dedicated to himself, and for this purpose wrote the two recommendatory papers spoken of. But the shallow artifice did not succeed.
"THE WORLD" was a periodical paper published in London.
scholar can possess. I had done all that I could, and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.
Seven years, my Lord, have now passed, since I waited in your outward rooms, or was repulsed from your door: du. ring which time I have been pushing on my work through difficulties, of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it at last, to the verge of publication, without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favor. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never had a PATRON before.
Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern upon a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached the ground, encumbers him with help? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labors, had it been early, had been kind; but it has been delayed, till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity, not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received, or to be unwilling that the public should consider me as owing that to a patron, which Providence has enabled me to do for myself.
Having carried on my work thus far, my lord, with so lit. tle obligation to any favorer of learning, I shall not, there. fore, be disappointed, though I should conclude it with less, if less be possible.
LVII.-COMPARISON BETWEEN BURKE AND JOHNSON.
Extract from Cumberland's " Retrospection."
OH THOU, my muse !—(if yet I have a muse,)
The senate or the bar. When Burke harang'd
Skimm'd o'er the flow'ry plains of Greece and Rome,
Brought nothing home but sweets; Johnson would dash
Both had a taste
Was, like the singer's cadence, sometimes apt,
And Latinisms fore'd into his line,
Like raw undrill'd recruits, would load his text
LVIII.-THE FEARLESSNESS OF CONSCIOUS INNOCENCE.
Extract from the Speech of Robert Emmet, before sentence of death was pronounced upon him.
My Lord,-You ask me what I have to say, why sentence of death should not be pronounced on me according to law? I have nothing to say, that can alter your predetermination, or that will become me to say with any view to the mitigation of that sentence, which you are here to pronounce, and I must abide by. But I have that to say which interests me more than life, and which you have labored to destroy. I have much to say why my reputation should be rescued from the load of false accusation and calumny which has been heaped upon it.
I am charged with being an emissary of France. An emissary of France! and for what end? It is alleged, that I wished to sell the independence of my country! And for what end? Was this the object of my ambition? And is this the mode by which a tribunal of justice reconciles contradictions? No; I am no emissary-my ambition was to hold a place among the deliverers of my country-not in power, not in profit, but in the glory of the achievement! Sell my country's independence to France! and for what? A change of masters? No; but for ambition! Oh, my country! was it personal ambition that influenced me-had it been the soul of my actions, could I not, by my education and fortune, by the rank and consideration of my family, have placed myself amongst the proudest of your oppressors?