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Such their apparel. Through the long, long line,
Death, when we meet the Spectre in our walks,
Oft, where the burial rite follows so fast
The agony, oft coming, nor from far, Must a fond father meet his darling child, (Him who at parting climbed his knees and clung) Clay-cold and wan, and to the bearers cry, “Stand, I conjure ye!'
Seen thus destitute, What are the greatest? They must speak beyond A thousand homilies. When RAPHAEL went, His heavenly face the mirror of his mind, His mind a temple for all lovely things To flock to and inhabit — when He went, Wrapt in his sable cloak, the cloak he wore, To sleep beneath the venerable Dome, * By those attended, who in life had loved, Had worshipped, following in his steps to Fame, ('Twas on an April-day, when Nature smiles) All Rome was there. But, ere the march began, Ere to receive their charge the bearers came, Who had not sought him ? And when all beheld Him where he lay, changed from yesterday, Him in that hour cut off, and at his head His last great work; when, entering in, they looked Now on the dead, then on that master-piece, Now on his face, lifeless and colourless, Then on those forms divine that lived and breathed, And would live on for ages — all were moved; And sighs burst forth, and loudest lamentations.
* The Pantheon.
ANOTHER Assassination! This venerable City,' I exclaimed, 'what is it, but as it began, a nest of robbers and murderers ? We must away at sunrise, Luigi.'But before sunrise I had reflected a little, and in the soberest prose. My indignation was gone; and when Luigi undrew my curtain, crying, 'Up, Signor, up! The horses are at the gate.' 'Luigi,' I replied, 'if thou lovest me, draw the curtain.'*
It would lessen very much the severity with which men judge of each other, if they would but trace effects to their causes, and observe the progress of things in the moral as accurately as in the physical world. When we condemn millions in the mass as vindictive and sanguinary, we should remember that, wherever Justice is ill-administered, the injured will redress themselves. Robbery provokes to robbery; murder to assassination. Resentments become hereditary; and what began in disorder, ends as if all hell had broke loose.
Laws create a habit of self-restraint, not only by the influence of fear, but by regulating in its exercise the passion of revenge. If they overawe the bad by the prospect of a punishment certain and well-defined, they console the injured by the infliction of that punishment; and, as the infliction is a public act, it excites and entails no enmity. The laws are offended; and the community for its own sake pursues and overtakes the offender; often without the concurrence of the sufferer, sometimes against his wishes.
* A dialogue, which is said to have passed many years ago at Lyons (Mém. de Grammont, I. 3.) and which may still be heard in almost every hôtellerie at day-break.
Now those who were not born, like ourselves, to such advantages, we should surely rather pity than hate; and, when at length they venture to turn against their rulers,* we should lament, not wonder at their excesses; remembering that nations are naturally patient and long suffering, and seldom rise in rebellion till they are so degraded by a bad government as to be almost incapable of a good
“Hate them, perhaps, you may say, 'we should not; but despise them we must, if enslaved, like the people of Rome, in mind as well as body; if their religion be a gross
and barbarous superstition.'- I respect knowledge; but I do not despise ignorance. They think only as their fathers thought, worship as they worshipped. They do no more; and, if ours had not burst their bondage, braving imprisonment and death, might not we at this very moment have been exhibiting, in our streets and our churches, the same processions, ceremonials, and mortifications ?
Nor should we require from those who are in an earlier stage of society, what belongs to a later. They are only where we once were; and why hold them in derision? It is their business to cultivate the inferior arts before they think of the more refined; and in many of the last what are we as a nation, when compared to others that have passed away? Unfortunately it is too much the practice of governments to nurse and keep alive in the governed their national prejudices. It withdraws their attention from what is passing at home, and makes them better tools in the hands of Ambition. Hence next-door neighbours are held up to us from our childhood as natural enemies; and we are urged on like curs to worry each other. *
* As the descendants of an illustrious people have lately done. Can it be believed that there are many among us, who, from a desire to be thought superior to common-place sentiments and vulgar feelings, affect an indifference to their cause? “If the Greeks,' they say, “had the probity of other nations — but they are false to a proverb!' And is not falsehood the characteristic of slaves? Man is the creature of circumstances. Free, he has the qualities of a freeman ; enslaved, those of a
In like manner we should learn to be just to individuals. Who can, say, 'In such circumstances I should have done otherwise ?' Who, did he but reflect by what slow gradations, often by how many strange concurrences, we are led astray; with how much reluctance, how much agony, how many efforts to escape, how many selfaccusations, how many sighs, how many tears.— Who, did he but reflect for a moment, would have the heart to cast a stone ? Fortunately these things are known to Him, from whom no secrets are hidden; and let us rest in the assurance that His judgmeats are not as ours
* Candour, generosity, how rare are they in the world; and how much is to be deplored the want of them! When a minister in our parliament consents at last to a measure, which, for many reasons perhaps existing no longer, he had before refused to adopt, there should be no exultation as over the fallen, no taunt, no jeer. How often may the resistance be continued lest an enemy should triumph, and the result of conviction be received as the symptom of fear!