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Then to the place of trial ; This very slight sketch of Civil Dissension is taken from our own annals; but, for an obvious reason, not from those of our own Age.
The persons, here immediately alluded to, lived more than a hundred years ago in a reign which Blackstone has justly represented as wicked, sanguinary, and turbulent; but such times have always afforded the most signal instances of heroic courage and ardent affection.
Great reverses, like theirs, lay open the human heart. They occur indeed but seldom ; yet all men are liable to them; all, when they occur to others, make them more or less their own; and, were we to describe our condition to an inhabitant of some other planet, could we omit what forms so striking a circumstance in human life?
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and alone, A prisoner, prosecuted for high treason, may now make his defence by counsel. In the reign of William the Third the law was altered ; and it was in rising to urge the necessity of an alteration, that Lord Shaftesbury, with such admirable quickness, took advantage of the embarrassment that seized him. “ If I," said he, “ who rise only to give my opinion of this bill, am so confounded that I cannot say what I intended, what must be the condition of that man, who, without any assistance, is pleading for his life?”
Page 213, line 17. Like that sweet Saint who sate by RUSSELL's side Under the Judgment-seat. Lord Russell. May I have somebody to write, to assist my memory
? Mr. Attorney General. Yes, a Servant.
Lord Chief Justice. Any of your Servants shall assist you in writing any thing you please for you.
Lord Russell. My Wife is here, my Lord, to do it.STATE TRIALS, II.
Page 213, line 23. Thrice greeting those who most withdraw their claim,
See the Alcestis of Euripides, v. 194.
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Lo, there the Friend, Such as Russell found in Cavendish; and such as many have found.
Page 214, line 9. And, when her dear, dear Father passed along, An allusion to the last interview of Sir Thomas More and his daughter Margaret. “ Dear Meg,” said he, when afterwards with a coal he wrote to bid her farewell, “ I never liked your manner towards me better; for I like when daughterly love and dear charity have no leisure to look to worldly courtesy." —ROPER's Life.
Page 214, line 22. Her glory now, as ever her delight! Epaminondas, after his victory at Leuctra, rejoiced most of all at the pleasure which it would give his father and mother; and who would not have envied them their feelings?
Cornelia was called at Rome the Mother-in-law of Scipio. “When,” said she to her sons, “ shall I be called the Mother of the Gracchi?”
Page 216, line 7. And such, his labour done, the calm He knows, At illa quanti sunt, animum tanquam emeritis stipendiis libidinis, ambitionis, contentionis, inimicitiarum, cupiditatum omnium, secum esse, secumque (ut dicitur) vivere?-Cic. De Senectute.
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Hinc ubi jam emissum caveis ad sidera cceli
Page 217, line 10. Immoveable--for ever there to freeze ! She was under all her sails, and looked less like a ship incrusted with ice than ice in the fashion of a ship.-See the Voyage of Captain Thomas James, in 1631.
Page 218, line 8. Lo, on his back a Son brings in his Sire, An act of filial piety represented on the coins of Catana, a Greek city, some remains of which are still to be seen at the foot of Mount Ætna.* The story is told of two brothers, who in this manner saved both their parents. The place, from which they escaped, was long called the field of the pious; and public games were annually held there to commemorate the Event.
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From harp or organ! What a pleasing picture of domestic life is given to us by Bishop Berkeley in his letters ! “ The more we have of good instruments the better: for all my children, not excepting my little daughter, learn to play, and are preparing to fill my house with harmony against all events; that, if we have worse times, we may have better spirits.”
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See the Alcestis of Euripides, v. 328.
* It is introduced also, and very happily, by two great Masters ; by Virgil in the Sack of Troy and by Raphael in the Incendio di Borgo.
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Who lives not for another. How often, says an excellent.writer, do we err in our estimate of happiness! When I hear of a man who has noble parks, splendid palaces, and every luxury in life, I always inquire whom he has to love; and, if I find he has nobody or does not love those he has—in the midst of all his grandeur I pronounce him a being in deep adversity.
Page 219, line 8. O thou all-eloquent, whose mighty mind Cicero. It is remarkable that, among the comforts of Old Age, he has not mentioned those arising from the society of women and children. Perhaps the husband of Terentia and “ the father of Marcus felt something on the subject, of which he was willing to spare himself the recollection.”
Page 222, line 16. And stars are kindling in the firmament, An old writer breaks off in a very lively manner at a later hour of the night. " But the Hyades run low in the heavens, and to keep our eyes open any longer were to act our Antipodes. The Huntsmen are up in America, and they are already past their first sleep in Persia.”