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ANNIVERSARY ODE ON THE BIRTH OF CHRIST, for 1814,
By JOHN STOYLE, Lieutenant R. N.
No more the warlike brazen note,
Aud long embattled lines prepare. Still may the Sovereign Power, that rules each wave,
Say to surrounding Nations "Peacebe still:"
Long may his power, omnipotent to
Subdue vast empires to his sovereign will.
A Saviour comes! prepare the way
He comes in Love Divine, from highest
His well-known voice Creation heard,
Where light arose and dark confusion driven
Retired; while beauty beam'd from star to star,
For lasting reign through yon ethereal void,
Till years shall cease to roll, and time shall be destroy'd.
Thrice happy! may the World below, Enshrin'd in Wisdom's sacred light, In gratitude for ever glow,
And Discord sink in antient night. May Man still dwell on Zion's heavenly
Where praises most divinely rais'd be
For HIM, whose infinitely glorious reign
Behind a world on fire!
But lo! the soul of man, to his God and
TO HIM whose essence is ETERNAL LOVE, Triumphant o'er the general wreck shall sing,
And in her exaltation still improve: Eternal ages scarce her worth shall know, Through ALL FERNITY her powers divinely ow
SECOND PART OF THE EIGHTY-FOURTH VOLUME.
FOR a long and continued succession of years we have been accus
tomed, with solemn resignation to the Great Disposer of Events, confiding in his mercy, and hoping in his justice, to contemplate one object, and almost one only. This has been the disastrous consequence of a Tyrannical Usurpation, which, like the cloud on Mount Carmel, at first no bigger than a man's hand, gradually spread its gloom and horrors over a large part of the civilized world, overturning from their foundations many of the most antient and solid Establishments, and threatening the security of all. Extensive indeed was the circulation of its destructive principles. They were seen and felt far beyond the bounds of Europe; they were discernible even in the remote regions of China, they spread alarm in Siam and Pegu, they were recognized in the heart of Hindostan, and much of their mighty mischief had reached to Persia.
The contagious effects of this Despotism were not only aimed at the moral constitution of things: they blighted every thing they approached; and, from profaning the holy edifices consecrated to the Most High, they descended to the Bowers of the Muses, and, like the plague of Locusts, converted their delightful haunts into the barrenness of the desert, and forbade all approach to their territories.
How changed the scene!-how cheering the future prosp.ct! What demands upon our gratitude as Men, as Citizens, as Friends to every. ingenious Art, and every branch of Science! The present scene seems strongly to remind us of the period of the Middle Ages, when, after the barbarous fury of Goths and Vandals had buried Learning and the Arts in the darkest obscurity of night, "Leo's golden days" arose, and again restored them to light and liberty. Already are the delightful effects visible in Europe. The Scholars of the North and of the South, for a long time compelled either to suppress or restrain their ardour for Science, or, what is worse, forced by a Tyrant's arm to employ their talents on unworthy subjects, for dishonest purposes, once more are actively engaged in the multiplication of learned, useful, and important works. The Muses of France, so long cramped, fettered, and oppressed, are roused from their bed of iron, and, lending their powerful aid to the general cause, have placed at a distance, and concealed from new inite closed Temple of Janus, that execrable image which along the were allowed to adore,-the Genius of Military Science.
Our Countrymen, we well know, will lend no ructan promotion of so glorious an object as the improvemen Science; we may also add, and the melioration of manners. the curses of a protracted state of Warfare, that it res Man. fere
Husion of It is one of
teaches him to despise and violate the courteous civilities of Life, and substitutes asperity for kindness, and selfishness for charity. This fortunately has not taken place among ourselves; but it has, in no common degree, among our Neighbours. In this respect, example will do much, and perseverance more. Sorry indeed should we be, to see the manly and dignified demeanour of Englishmen exchanged for grimace, affectation, and coxcombry; but still more painful would it be, to see it marked by rudeness, and characterised by ferocity. The great preventive of these and similar evils, is the peaceful cultivation of Science. Here we feel ourselves in our own element; and let us earnestly hope, that we shall not again be called upon to discuss other subjects, than those which Cicero calls exercitationes ingenii et curricula mentis. We shall not again, we seriously flatter ourselves, have to lament in our Prefatory Addresses, rerum publicarum eversiones, Patriæ proditiones, aut cum hostibus clandestina colloquia." Far different scenes and occupations present themselves; here we shall continue to exercise our best talents and greatest diligence, secure, as for the greatest part of a Century we have been, of the aid of the wise, the good, and the ingenious.
At this point, we might perhaps without impropriety, close our communication for the present, with our Readers: but it would have the appearance of cold insensibility and indifference, not to felicitate them on the accomplishment of our common hopes and wishes, and without participating with them, in the exultation arising from the idea, that Babylon, the mighty Babylon, is fallen! that Society is relieved from the burden of the greatest Pest that ever molested its tranquillity, or contaminated the sources of its safety; of the fall of one, of whom most truly may it be said
Nec nostræ potuere preces inflectere durum,
Nec Divum portenta animum, quin arctius ignem
Finally, let us return, as we are bounden in gratitude to do, our hearty thanks for the generous and uninterrupted Patronage which has encouraged and rewarded our labours. We have found it salutary to ourselves, useful to others, and beneficial to the general cause in which we are engaged, to pursue one undeviating path, which no prejudice or partiality of any kind, has ever induced us to forsake.
Tros Tyriusque nobis nullo discrimine agetur.
Criticism may sometimes inflict a wound where none was intended, Vanity may occasionally imagine that its claims are neglected, Curiosity may by chance inquire for that, which cannot be found, and Impatience may complain, that its unreasonable expectations are not anticipated : but we will pledge ourselves, that there never shall exist any just imputation on our vigilance, our honour, or our justice.
December 31, 1814.