Page images
PDF
EPUB

ment,

them as

perpetual panegyrics on the constitution. He knows little of general politics. He judges from the effets he feels.- Idem.

CARE must always be taken to guard against all independence in the rulers, on the sentiments of the people, and to provide, that they shall administer, not their own power, but the powers of government.--Chipman's Principles of Govern,

BY the force of habit, and inveterate national prejudices, abuses are rendered sacred; and, not unfrequently, come to be considered as rightful privileges : and those institutions, which were the offspring of chance or violence, to be extolled as the most perfect productions of reason, founded in the original and unalterable principles of nature. Such was the British government, and such has been the force of habitual prejudice upon the people of that kingdom. That government has, indeed, received many improvements, with the improvements of the age: but they have generally been wrested by force from the reigning powers, or interposed in a revolution of the crown. Many respectable characters long confidered

so

many violations of the most facred rights. The greater part of the nation appear fully perfuaded, that all farther improvements are impracticable, and that because their

governnient was once the best, perhaps, which existed in the world, it must, through all the progressive advances in knowledge, in morals, and in manners, continue the best, unchanging perfection, though, in its principles, it is much too limited for the present Itate of things. It is probable that all improvements in the government, will be opposed and prevented by those in power, who are interested in the present order of things, till the improvements of an enlightened age, shall produce a violent concussion in the combat with ancient prejudices, and struggle through a scene of tumult, outrage, and perhaps civil war, to arrive at some inconsiderable amelioration in their constitution.-Idem.

THE government of the United States of America exhibits a new scene in the political history of the world ; a number of integral republics, each claiming and exercising all the powers of internal fovereignty, within the limits of their respective jurisdictions, formed into one general government, with powers of legislation for all national purposes, and the power of executing all their laws, within the several states, on the ir dividual citizens, and that independently of local authority.

Cuisinriment was new; and the success has, hitherto,

pattern of

)

Government.-Grave.

123 Exceeded the most fanguine expectation of its advocates. A fituation so complicated, so different from that of simple governments, will have an effect, if not upon the laws of nature, from which the general principles are ultimately derived, yet to give a different modification to those principles, owing to the different combinations and relative circumstances of the constituent parts; and will have an influence on its organization, and the execution of its laws, --Idem. THAT

government, that constitution of society, the principles of which dictate those laws, and those only, which are adapted to the present state of men and manners, and tend to social improvement, which are influenced by a sense of moral obligation, and fanctioned by the laws of nature, not of savage folitary nature, but of social nature, in its improved and improveable state, is incontrovertibly good. So far as it deviates, it is clearly faulty. Upon a candid examination, upon a fair comparison, it will be found, that a democratic republic is alone capable of this pre-eminence of principle. Idem.

GUARANTEE to every man, the full enjoyment of his natural rights. Banish all exclusive privileges; all perpetuities of riches and honors. Leave free the acquisition and disposal of property to supply the occasions of the owner, and to answer all claims of right, both of the society, and of individuals. To give a stimulus to industry, to provide solace and allistance, in the last helpless stages of life, and a reward for the attentions of humanity, confirm to the owner the power of directing who shall succeed to his right of property, after his death ; but let it be without any limitation, or restraint upon the future use, or disposal. Divert not the consequences of actions, as to the individual actors, from their proper course. Let no preference be given to any one in government, but what his conduct can secure, from the sentiments of his fellow citizens. Of property, left to the disposal of the law, let a descent from parents to children, in equal proportions, - be held a sacred principle of the constitution. Secure but these, and every thing will flow in the channel intended by nature. The operation of the equal laws of nature, tend to exclude, or correct every dangerous excefs.-Idem.

GRAVE.

WHAT will they then avail him in the grave?
His various policies, refin’d devices,
His fubtle wit, his quick capacious thought?

Will they go with him to the grave ? No, no!
Why then should he be proud ?-Martyn.

GRAVITY.

I TELL thee what, Antonio, There is a sort of men, whose visages Do cream and mantle like a standing pond, And do a willful filness entertain, With purpose to be drest in an opinion Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit; As who shou'd say, I am Sir Oracle ; And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark. Oh, my Antonio ! I do know of those, That therefore only are reputed wise, For faying nothing. --Shakespeare.

YET subtle wights (so blind are mortal men, Tho'satire couch them with her keenest pen) For erer will hang out a folemn face, To put off nonsense with a better grace ; As pedlars with some hero's head make bold, Illustrious mark! where pins are to be sold. What's the bent brow, or neck in thought reclin'd? The body's wisdom to conceal the mind. A man of sense can artifice disdain ; As

is men of wealth may venture to go plain: And be this truth eternal ne'er forgot, Solennity's a cover for a sot. I find the fool, when I behold the screen ; For 'tis the wise man's int'rest to be seen.-Young:

GREATNESS. -COULD great men thunder, As Jove himself doth, Jove would ne'er be quiet; For every pelting petty Officer Would use his heav'n for thunder : Nothing but thunder! Merciful Heav'n! Thou rather with thy sharp and fulph'rous bolt Split’it the unwedgeable and gnarled oak, Than the soft myrtle : 0, but man! proud man! Dress’d in a little brief authority, (Most ignorant of what lies molt assur’d, His glaffy eflence), like an angry ape, Plays such fantastic tricks before high heav'n, As make the angels weep ;-Shakespeare.

Greatness.

125
FAREWELL, a long farewell to all my greatness!
This is the state of man; to day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope ; to morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him;
The third day comes a froit, a killing frost ;
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a ripening, nips his root ;
And then he falls as I do. I have ventur’d,
Like little wanton boys, that swim on bladders,
These
mpany

summers in a sea of glory ;
But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride
At length broke under me, and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate you !-Idem.

-SINCE by your greatness, you
Are nearer heav'n in place, be nearer it
In goodness. Rich men should transcend the poor
As clouds th' earth; rais’d by the comfort of
The sun, to water dry and barren grounds.Tourneur.

THEY that are great and worthy to be so,
Hide not their rays from meanest plants that grow.
Why is the sun set on a throne so high,
But to give light to each inferior eye?
His radiant eyes distribute lively grace
To all according to their worth and place;
And from the humble ground these vapours drain,
Which are sent down in fruitful drops of rain.—Sir John

Beaumont.

OH greatness! bane of virtue and of honor !
Sure great and good can never meet in one.
Who would not rather with in homely cells,
Or meanelt cottages to lead his life,
Where dwells content, inestinable prize!--Tracy.

WHAT a scene
Of folemn mockery is all human grandeur !
Thus worshipp'd, thus exalted by the breath
Of adulation, are my pallions footh'd ?
My secret pangs afswag'd? The peasant-hird
Who drives his camel o'er the burning walle,
With heat and hunger smote, knows bappier days,
And founder pights than 1.-Mallet.

THRICE happy they, who sleep in humble life, Beneath the storm ambition blows. 'Tis meet The great fhould have the fame of happiness, The confolation of a little envy ; 'Tis all their pay, for those superior cares, Those pangs

of heart, their vassals ne'er can feel - Young. HE that becomes acquainted and is invested with authority and influence, will in a short time be convinced, that, in proportion as the power of doing well is enlarged, the temptations to do ill are multiplied and enforced. - Rumbler.

THE awe which great actions or abilities impress, will be inevitably diminished by acquaintance, though nothing either mean or criminal should be found; because we do not easily consider him as great whom our own eyes thew us to be little; nor labour to keep present to our thoughts the latent excellencies of him who shares with us all our weaknesses and many of our follies; who, like us, is delighted with flight amusements, bufied with trifting employments, and disturbed by little vexations.-Idler.

GREAT ONES.

THERE is nothing which I can fo reluctantly pardon in the great ones of this world, as the little value they entertain for the life of a man. Property, if seized or lost, may be restored ; and, without property, man may enjoy a thousand delightful pleasures of existence. The fun thines as warmly on the poor as on the rich; and the gale of health breathes its balsam into the cottage casement on the heath, no less sweetly and falubriously than into the portals of the palace. But can the lords of this world, who are so lavish of the lives of their inferiors, with all their boasted power, give the cold heart to beat again, or relume the light of the eye once dimmed by the Shades of death? Accursed defpors! Thew me your authority for taking away that which ye never gave, and cannot give; for undeing the work of God, and extinguishing the lamp of life, which was illuminated with a ray from heaven. Where is your charter to privilege murder? You do the work of fatan, who was a deitroyer; and your right, if you poffefs any, must have originated from the father of mischief and misery.-- Spirit of Defpoti/i.

“THE common people,” says a sensible author, “generally think that great men have great minds, and scorn base actions; which judgment is fo falfe, that the baselt and worst of actions

« PreviousContinue »