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THE RESPECT DUE TO ALL MEN.
LET those, whose riches have purchased for them the page of Knowledge, regard with respect the native powers of them to whose eyes it has never been unrolled. The day labourer, and the professor of science, belong naturally to the same order of intelligences. Circumstances and situation have made all the difference between them. The understanding of one has been free to walk whither it would: that of the other has been shut up and deprived of the liberty of ranging the fields of knowledge. Society has condemned it to the dungeon of ignorance, and then despises it for being in the dark.
There have been multitudes that would have added to the sum, or have embellished the form, of human knowledge, if their youth had been taught the rudiments, and their life allowed them leisure to prosecute the pursuit of it. The attention that would have been crowned with splendid successes in the inquiry after truth, has all been expended in the search after bread. The curiosity that would have penetrated to the secrets of nature, explored the recesses of mind, and compassed the records of time, has been choked by the cares of want. The fancy, that would have glowed with a heat divine, and made a brilliant addition to the blazing thoughts and burning words of the poetical world, has been chilled and frozen by the cold winds of poverty.
Many an one, who cannot read what others wrote, had the knowledge of elegant letters been given him, would himself have written, what ages might read with delight. He that ploughs the ground, had he studied the heavens, might have understood the stars as well as he understands the soil. Many a sage has lain hid in the savage, and many a slave was made to be an emperor.
Blood, says the pride of life, is more honourable than money. Indigent nobility looks down upon untitled opulence. This sentiment, pushed a little farther, leads to the point I am pursuing. Mind is the noblest part of the man; and of mind, virtue is the noblest distinction.
Honest man, in the ear of Wisdom, is a grander name, is a more high-sounding title, than peer of the realm, or prince of the blood. According to the eternal rules of ce
lestial precedency, in the immortal heraldry of Nature and of Heaven, Virtue takes place of all things. It is the nobility of angels! It is the majesty of God!
I MUST tell thee, dear Robin, men's faith in the Sun,
As well as the Moon, is now pretty nigh done;
Strange fancies and fears in their brains are afloat.-
It is thought all our journeys will be in a boat.
Nay, further, some think that this now solid earth
As well as its creatures, will take a new birth;
And when that the waters have swallowed up all,
We shall then become fishes, to swim or to crawl:
And many are taking in fancy their place,
From the huge bulky Whale to the Minnow and Dace.
The Women, alarmed, say this never will suit,
For they very well know that all fishes are mute;
Yet, soothed with the thoughts of the gay coral groves,
Where, as fishes, they still expect graces and loves,
Giving scope to their fancies, our sweet pretty Belles
Talk of seeking for pearls as they grow in their shels ;
While the young romping Misses are all much afraid
Of passing their time as a Dab or a Maid.
Conjecture goes on in this aqueous round,
And shows in its course where each class may be found:
Our Soldiers are Lobsters, from time out of mind;
In the class of the Sword-fish, the Bullies we find;
While that of the Law, some are found to remark,
(Though a little severe), must belong to the Shark
And still going on with a fling of their wit,
The Porpoise and Turtle they give to the Cit;
The Courtier slips easily into the Eel,
For the dirt of his station he never can feel,
Accustomed to slide, and to wriggle and bend,
As a man or a fish he pursues the same end.
But, lest in respect we are here thought to fail,
We know that a Monarch must end in a Whale;
That the mass of his Commons as Herrings must float
In the tide of his stomach, as food down his throat;
And as the poor herrings were made to be eaten,
His slaves, like the Stock-fish, are made to be beaten.
Here the Critics are Crabs, still perverse in their gait;
While the Players and Wits are as Grigs in this state;
The Writers of prose, Salmon, Haddock, and Codfish;
But as to the Poet, the Poet's
A compound of so many different kinds,
That his place as a non-descript only he finds.
But, were the relation of all to be penned,
I fear my epistle would scarce find an end;
It would tell of Philosophers, clung to their rock
In the shape of an Oyster, unmoved by the shock,
Without or a wish or a passion to range
In the route or the course of this watery change.
But the Ocean of thought is so vast and so wide,
That I fear I shall only be lost in the tide ;
So to fancy I'll leave all the rest of the Fishes,
And send my dear Robin the best of my wishes.
WHEREFORE rejoice? that Cæsar comes in triumph?
What conquest brings he home?
What tributaries follow him to Rome,
grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels? You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things! O you hard hearts! you cruel men of Rome! Knew you not Pompey? many a time and oft Have you climbed up to walls and battlements, To towers, and windows, yea, to chimney-tops, Your infants in your arms, and there, have sat The live-long day with patient expectation To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome : And when you saw his chariot but appear, Have you not made a universal shout, That Tyber trembled underneath his bands,
To hear the replication of your sounds,
Made in his concave shores?
And do you now put on your best attire?
And do you now call out a holiday?
And do you now strew flowers in his way,
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.
From the Tragedy of Arminius.
SIEGMAR, ARMINIUS, BRENNO, AND GISMAR.
Seig. My brave and reverend warriors! I am here
To counsel with you on the public safety;
I yet may speak with all the honest freedom
That best becomes the leader of the free;
I yet may feel as one who has a country,
Nor own my conscience in a Roman's keeping.
How long this blameless pride may still be mine
I know not. On the Weser's farther bank,
Where once our German neighbours built their huts,
Tilled their poor fields in unobstrusive peace,
And found their wealth in many a simple joy;
In woods, where once the God of the Suevi
Received the incense of a virtuous nation,
There, even there, now stands a Roman camp,
Hemmed in with vice, oppression, fraud and ruin.
You know, my people, that the King Segesthes
Courts these destroyers, calls their yoke an honour,
Yields his poor country to the plunderer,
And asks of me to join this high alliance.
I understand the issue,-shame or war.
Which do you choose, my people? Gismar, speak.
Gismar. Two moons are past, since to the Suevian camp
I bore the solemn message of my king.
There did I see a tyrant in authority
Rob a poor German of his lowly meal;
There did I see a heartless Roman ruffian
Strike a defenceless German to the earth;
Rather than feel such outrage, I would die.
My counsel is for battle, brave Cherusci.
Brenno. I am a Suevian, and that bare avowal
Will tell you why I sit in your assembly:
Rank and command were mine, but they were worthless
Whilst Rome was arbitress of my deserving.
Doubt ye of peace or war? oh! know ye not
The pangs which yielding honesty must prove,
When vice and tyranny demand its homage?
Gods! could I smile with Varus: smile when Germans
Dragged the triumphal car of their disgrace-
Gaped on his trappings, and believed the name
Their fathers gave them was a rank dishonour!
True, my king smiled!—
I could have torn him from his throne for smiling.
Mine was a barren loyalty, and hateful.
Here then I came and proffered my allegiance,
Where, with obedience, I might give my conscience,
Where right and wrong retained their ancient meanings,
Where 't was no shame to call myself a German.
I would not hold my life on such a tenure
As Rome would ask me as the price of living;
Much less put on the baubles she would give,
And barter with me as the price of virtue.
Friends! there are none of you but think as I do!
Arm. Chieftains and friends! the awful time is come
When tyranny has bared his shameless front,
Stripped the thin gilding from his iron sceptre,
And scared immortal Justice from the earth!
Ye have been wont, my friends, to give your homage
Where right and mercy mingled with authority;
If that the conqueror's law, the sway of passion,
The proud, remorseless swoop of fell ambition,
If these be worthier than a lawful rule,
The change is easy. Bow to Roman Varus !—
I know your hearts!
I would but move their sweet responsive chords,
With the bold breath of truth.-When loss of life
And base inglorious chains are weighed together,
Who would not rush upon the certain freedom?