Page images

each man, of which they keep three fourths to themselves, and it is the best part of their maintenance.-Swift.

A GENEALOGIST sets forth to a prince that he is descended in a direct line from a count, whose kindred, three or four hundred years ago, had made a family compact with a house, the memory of which is extinguished. That house had some distant claim to a province, the last proprietor of which died of an apoplexy. The prince and his council instantly resolve that this province belongs to him of divine right. The province, which is some hundred leagues from him, protests that it does not so much as know him; that it is not disposed to be governed by him; that before prescribing laws to them, their consent at least was necessary: these allegations do not so much as reach the prince's ears; it is insisted on, that his right is incontestible. He instantly picks up a multitude, who have nothing to do and nothing to lose; clothes them with coarse blue cloth; puts on them hats bound with coarse white worsted; makes them turn to the right and left; and thus marches away with them to glory.

Other princes, on this armament, take part in it to the best of their ability, and soon cover a small extent of country with more hireling murderers, than Gengis Kan, Tamerlane, and Bajazet, had at their heels.

People at no small distance, on hearing that fighting is going forward, and that if they would make one, there are five or fix fous a day for them, immediately divide into two bands, like reapers, and go and sell their services to the best bidder.

Thefe multitudes furiously butcher one another, not only without having any concern in the quarrel, but without so much as knowing what it is about.

Sometimes five or fix powers are engaged, three against three, two against four, sometimes even one against five, all equally detesting one another, and friends and foes by turns, agreeing only in one thing, to do all the mischief possible. Voltaire.

PERPLEX'D with trifles through the vale of life,
Man strives 'gainst man, without a cause for strife;
Armies embattled meet, and thousands bleed,
For some vile spot where fifty cannot feed.
Squirrels for nuts contend; and, wrong or right,
For the world's empire kings ambitious fight.
What odds !--to us’tis all the self same thing,
A put, a world, a squirrel, and a king. --Churchillo


Conquek.-- Conquerors.

THEY err who count it glorious to subdue
By conquest far and wide; to overrun
Large countries, and in field great battles win,
Great cities by assault: what do these worthies
But rob, and fpoil, burn, flaughter, and endlave
Peaceable nations? neighbouring or remote,
Made captive, yet deserving freedom more
Than those their conquerors, who leave behind
Nothing but ruin wheresoe'er they rove ;
And all the flourishing works of peace destroy ;
Then swell with pride, and must be titled gods,
Great benefactors of mankind, deliverers,
Worshipp'd with temple, priest, and sacrifice :
One is the son of Jove, of Mars the other,
Till conqueror death discovers them scarce men,
Rolling in brutish fin.-
Violent or shameful death their due reward. --Milton,

STRIPT of her gaudy plumes and vain disguise,
See where Ambition, mean and loathsome, lies;
Reflection with relentless hand pulls down
The tyrant's bloody wreath and ravish'd crown.
In vain he tells of battles bravely won,
Of nations conquer'd and of worlds undone :
Triumphs like these, but ill with mankind fuit,
And sink the conqueror beneath the brute. Churchill.

CONQUERORS. (A vision.) OPPRESSED with gloomy melancholy, I threw myself on my bed, in order to forget what I had seen, and still more what I had read. Sleep soon invaded my senses. Eternal Justice appeared in the sky to judge the sons of men. The keleton of Alexander the Macedonian, and that of a robber and murderer, were fummoned to appear.-—"Look, Alexander,” said Justice, “ Look upon thy competitor ;--this robber “ wanted only power and strength to equal thee, and he would “ have made use of the same means as thou, to ravage the

His courage was as great as thine ; but being “ constrained by obstacles, he was obliged to murder his " fellow-creatures by night. Those who attend to see my

put in execution, were fortunately able to bring him to the scaffold ; there he confessed his crimes, and acknowledged he deserved the most shameful punishment.

a world.

" laws


66 Wretch! where is the difference between this robber and " thee? It is a pity the chastisement did not fall on thy head. “ Power supported thy iron arm, which crushed mankind; " thou destroyedít my laws by firing of towns; thou didst “ oblige terrified mortals to erect altars to thee; thou didit “ stab the bosom of friendship; the scandal of thy victories “ has led kings attray, who, taking example by thee, have “ been unjust. Approach, cruel Cæsar, thou who wept before - the statue of this murderer, ambitious of deserving such “ another. Nothing could stop thy career, neither the genius «of Rome, nor the tears of thy country. Armed with a “ poniard, thou stabbedst her, whilst the invited thee to her

Thou destroyedst the wisdom of fix ages of glory, “ in order to establish on their ruins horrible despotism. Get " thee gone! thy name begins to be as detestable as those of “ Tamerlane, Attila, Charles the XIIth, and Gengiskan. “ Wise men have proscribed their odious and destructive s genius. It is only the blind multitude who are still seduced, 6 and who, in their low ideas, cannot discriminate between " the powerful criminal who escapes punishment, and the o obscure guilty who suffers justly.

“ Princes, conquerors, generals, warriors, whatever pom.

pous titles you bear, vile ambitious wretches, bloody men, " shudder !-- You have accustomed mankind to destroy each “other! you have made war an habitual scourge, and an

ever growing trade! you have dared to embellish murder “ with the pompous name of glory! it is you, undoubtedly, “ will be answerable for the crimes you have made them 66 commit; -but whoever comes to offer you the hand “ stained with blood, he that could put a stop to cruelty, or “ avoid being an accomplice in it, or has been a volunteer to “ serve your wrathful purposes for base interest; he, I say, “ will be as guilty as yourselves. By, what authority dare a 6 mortal inflict death? Does not his existence belong to God, “ who created him? Destruction is an outrage against the Divine “ Being. Shudder, cruel murderers, in my presence ! nothing can excuse

you :
: the blood of


brethren cries aloud for vengeance.

Even he who is stained with only one bloody “ spot, shall be tormented several ages by the devouring fire “ of repentance. You will still even fob with forrow, when “ the clemency of a merciful God will vouchsafe to absolve

you; for I must tell you that the sain is indelible.

ós Your motive was, to merit the admiration of future ages. ** Well, you are condemned to suffer until that happy period,

Eonquerors.-Clergyman.--Courls of Fuffice. 85 t6 when an enlightened people will execrate war, and those “ who light the horrible torch. Alexander ! thy name must « be held in detestation over all that country where thou wouldst o be deified; all those who followed thy example, must be “ ranked among the profligate villains, before thou canst expect

any forgiveness.-May this time not be so distant as the “ reparation of thy crimes would require !-Suffer patiently;

you already begin to be detestable; thy exploits already “ begin to be looked upon as barbarous and unjust; wise men s have stampt with disgrace thy impious imitators.”--Mercier.

WOULD I describe a preacher, such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve and own,
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express him fimple, grave, fincere ;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain ;
And plain in manner. Decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in jelture. Much impress'd
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly, that the flock he feeds
May feel it too. Affectionate in look,
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of grace to guilty men.-Cowper.

COURTS of JUSTICE. IT is essential to the preservation of the rights of every individual, his life, liberty, property, and character, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws and administration of justice. It is the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as impartial as the lot of humanity will admit. It is therefore not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, that the judges of the Supreme Judicial Court should hold their offices so long as they behave well ; subject, however, to such limitations on account of age, as may be provided by the constitution of the state ; and that they should have honourable salaries ascertained and established by standing laws.-Conflitution of New Hampshire.

CRIMES and PUNISHMENTS. IN criminal prosecutions, the trial of facts, in the vicinity where they happen, is so essential to the security of the life,


report, the

liberty, and estate of the citizen, that no crime or offence ought to be tried in any other county than that in which it is committed : except in cases of general insurrection in any particular county, when it shall appear to the judges of the superior court, that an impartial trial cannot be had in the county where. the offence may be committed ; and upon

their legislature shall think proper to direct the trial in the nearelt county in which an impartial trial can be obtained.

All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offence. No wife legislature will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery, and the like, which they do to those of murder and treafon. Where the fame undistinguishing severity is exerted against all offences, the people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the njoft flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offences : for the same reason, a multitude of fanguinary laws is both impolitic and unjuft; the true design of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate mankind,


REFLECT, that life and death, affecting founds!
Are only varied modes of endless being:
Reflect, that life, like ev'ry other blessing,
Derives its value from its use alone.
Not for itself,--but for a nobler end,
Th' Eternal gave it, and that end is virtue !
When inconsistent with a greater good,
Reason commands to cast the less

away :
Thus life, with loss of wealth, is well preserv'd,
And virtue cheaply fav'd with loss of life.--Irene.

IT was perhaps ordained by Providence, to hinder us fron tyrannising over one another, that no individual should be of fach importance, as to cause, by his retirement or death, any chasm in the world.--Rambler.

TO neglect, at any time, preparation for death, is to seep on our post at a siege : but to omit it in old

age, is to sleep at an attack, --Idem.

NOTHING more certain than to die, but when
Is most uncertain : if so,

We should prepare us for the journey, which
Is not to be put off. I must submit
To the divine decree, not argue it.-Beaumont.


« PreviousContinue »