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military prowess? and is it an extravagant conjecture, that in process of time the same fate may overwhelm us, which destroyed the empires before us?
But it is time to restrain' the lawless efforts of imagination, and to recall the attention of the mind from a speculation, in whose windings and labyrinths our directing clue may be lost; where the powers of delusion may fascinate the mental eye, and involve us in inextricable darkness and error.
If the reader will indulge me a few moments longer in the self-created phantoms of my brain, I shall give way to the melancholy-pleasing ideas of my fancy; and pursuing my speculation, suppose what may be the probable state of Great Britain at that period, when we shall no longer exist as an independent nation; when the chains of slavery shall have galld our limbs, and liberty be only that magni nominis umbra,' tható shadow of a mighty name,' which
Beyond their Chronicle.-Gray's AGRIPPINA. Perhaps the inquisitive genius of curiosity may then visit this island, from the same motives which now attract the traveller to the venerable ruins of Athens or Rome : the antiquary may collect a series of British, with as much avidity, as he now arranges his Roman or Grecian coins; a true George the Third may engage the attention of a Virtú as much as a genuine Augustus or Trajan; the older edition of Shakspeare, Milton, or Pope, may authorize a different reading, as much as an older manuscript of Homer, Cicero, or Virgil; the monumental records of Westminster-abbey may be considered as the authentic testimonies of illustrious actions, as much as the inscriptions collected by Montfaucon, or the Arundelian marbles at Oxford. The ruins of a university may attract the admiration of the traveller ; the plans and designs of the different buildings may be preserved with that reverence which we now pay to the ruins of Palmyra or Balbec. May not the same spirit which inspired Cicero when he beheld the porticos of Athens, seize some future philosopher? the one has paid, the other will pay the homage of admiration due to departed genius. As the one beheld with reverential awe those seats which had been dignified by the presence of a Socrates, a Plato, and an Aristotle; the other may behold with pious gratitude those, where the immortal Milton planned his Paradise Lost; a Newton pierced through the clouds of philosophical error; and the comprehensive mind of a Bacon burst the fetters of scholastic pedantry, and boldly asserted the incontrovertible laws of nature, truth, and learning. To contract myself to a narrower sphere, may not reflection heave a sigh, when she beholds the vestiges of this nursery of genius, where so many patriots, philosophers, and poets, each in their respective lines the boast of their native soil, first caught that generous enthusiasm for solid glory, which proved the source of such renown to themselves and their country; by which they reflected a mutual light on each other; and which enabled the one to immortalize by his pen, those exploits which the more active abilities of the other had imboldened him to perform.-A.
I beg leave to lay before my readers the following Poem, produced by reflections of a similar kind.
THE SLAVERY OF GREECE.
Thee freedom cherish'd once with fostering band,
the mad’ning battle's loud career,
Nor war's vast art alone adorn'd thy fame,
To bend the arch, to bid the column rise,
This was thy state ! but oh ! how chang'd thy fame,
What? that thy bold, thy freedom-breathing land
Thy sons (sad change !) in abject bondage sigh ;
So some tall rock, whose bare, broad bosom high, Tow'rs from the earth, and braves th' inclement sky; On whose vast top the black’ning deluge pours, At whose wide base the thund'ring ocean roars ; In conscious pride its huge gigantic form Surveys imperious and defies the storm. Till worn by age, and mould'ring to decay, Th' insidious waters wash its base away, It falls, and falling cleaves the trembling ground, And spreads a tempest of destruction round.
N° 6. MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1786.
A crowd of correspondents. WHATEVER satisfaction the reader may receive from the perusal of the following letters, he is to attribute it to the favours of my unknown correspondents; with whom I have taken the liberty allowed me of omitting some passages, which could not be inserted, without incurring, on my side, the imputation of vanity. As I have been forced to adapt their productions to the limits of my work, a few paragraphs which had not an immediate reference to the subject, have been also suppressed, but not a line added.
• To Mr. GREGORY GRIFFIN.
Nunc adhibe puro
Now pliantly inure
Fully sensible that the noblest pursuit, which can possibly engage the attention of a human being, next to the practice of virtue itself, is the study of diminishing the numberless mad votaries, who daily flock to the alluring banners of yice; and by pointing out the latent quicksands where so many heedless thousands have perished, exhort others to avoid a similar destruction, by a sudden reform of their pernicious courses, and by eagerly embracing the proffered offers of repentance; a mind eager to add