« PreviousContinue »
as to myself; but I do not fear to meet-it single and alone. No one venerates the peerage more than I do; but, my Lords, I must say that the peerage solicited me, not I the peerage. Nay, more I can say, and will say, that as a peer of Parliament--as Speaker of this right honourable House-as Keeper of the Great Seal-as Guardian of his Majesty's conscience as Lord High Chancellor of England-nay, even in that character alone in which the noble Duke would think it an affront to be considered, but which character none can deny me as a man-I am at this moment as respectable~ I beg leave to add, I am at this time as much respected, as the proudest peer I now look down upon.' ”
The effect of this speech (continues Lord Campbell,) both within and without the walls of Parliament was prodigious. It gave Lord Thurlow an ascendancy in the House which no Chancellor had ever possessed; it invested him in public opinion with a character of independence and honour; and this, though he was ever on the unpopular side of politics, made him always popular with the people.
Campbell's lives of the Chancellors.
III.-THE PRACTICE OF PATIENCE.
Aux-il'ia-ries, no..........augēre. De-fence', n...........
..fenděre. In-ev'i-ta-bly, adv.......vitare.
At the first address and presence of sickness, stand still and arrest thy spirit, that it may without amazement or affright consider that this was that thou lookedst for, and wert always. certain should happen, and that now thou art to enter into the actions of a new religion, the agony of a strange constitution ; but at no hand suffer thy spirits to be dispersed with fear, or wildness of thought, but stay their looseness and dispersion by a serious consideration of the present and future employment. For so doth the Lybian lion, spying the fierce huntsman ; he first beats himself with the strokes
of his tail, and curls up his spirits, making them strong with union and recollection, till being struck with a Mauritanian spear, he rushes forth into his defence and noblest contention; and either 'scapes into the secrets of his own dwelling, or else dies the bravest of the forest. Every man, when shot with an arrow from God's quiver, must then draw in all the auxiliaries of reason, and know that then is the time to try his strength, and to reduce the words of his religion into action, and consider that if he behaves himself weakly and timorously, he suffers never the less of sickness; but if he returns to health, he carries along with him the mask of a coward and a fool; and if he descends into his grave, he enters into the state of the faithless and unbelievers. Let him set his heart firm upon this resolution-I must bear it inevitably, and I will, by God's grace, do it nobly.
IV.-PIETY EXCITED BY CONTEMPLATION OF THE
| Ex-claims', v...... ..clamare. Sen'ti-ment, n...........
..sentire. Deign, V......... .dignus. De-light'ful, adj.........deliciæ. Spec'ta-cle, n...... ...specēre. Ex-panse', no...... ...panděre. Cir'cu-lar, adj..... Im-meas'u-ra-ble, adj...metīri. Re’gions, n...............regěre.
GREEK. Im-men si-ty, ..........metiri. Scen'e-ry, n........
...skenē. In-her'its, v.... ....haerēre. Ec'sta-sy, n........ ....stasis. Maj'es-ty, n. ....magnus.
It is truly a most Christian exercise to extract a sentiment of piety from the works and the appearances of Nature. It has the authority of the sacred writers upon its side, and even our Saviour himself gives it the weight and solemnity of his example : -“ Behold the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin, yet your heavenly Father careth for
He expatiates on the beauty of a single flower, and draws from it the delightful argument of confidence in God. He gives us to see that taste may be combined with piety, and that the same heart may be occupied with all that is serious in the contemplations of religion, and be at the same time alive to the charms and the loveliness of nature.
The psalmist takes a still loftier flight, and leaves the world, and lifts his imagination to that mighty expanse that spreads above it and around it. He wings his way through space, and wanders in thought over its immeasurable regions Instead of a dark urpeopled solitude, he sees it crowded with splendour, and filled with the energy of the Divine presence. Creation rises in its immensity before him, and the world, with all which it inherits, shrinks into littleness at a contem
plation so vast and so overpowering. He wonders that he is not overlooked amid the grandeur and the variety which are on every side of him ; and passing upwards from the majesty of nature to the majesty of nature's Architect, he exclaims, “What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou shouldest deign to visit him?"
It is not for us to say whether inspiration revealed to the psalmist the wonders of the modern astronomy. But even though the mind be a perfect stranger to the science of these enlightened times, the heavens present a great and an elevating spectacle, an immense concave, reposing upon the circular boundary of the world, and the innumerable lights which are suspended from on high, moving with solemn regularity along its surface. It seems to have been at night that the piety of the psalmist was awakened by this contemplation, when the moon and the stars were visible, and not when the Sun had risen in his strength, and thrown a splendour around him, which bore down and eclipsed all the lesser glories of the fire mament; and there is much in the scenery of a nocturnal sky to lift the soul to pious contemplation. That moon and these stars-what are they? They are detached from the world, and they lift you above it. You feel withdrawn from the earth, and rise in lofty abstraction above this little theatre of human passions and human anxieties. The mind abandons itself to reverie, and is transferred in the ecstasy of its thoughts to distant and unexplored regions. It sees Nature in the simplicity of her great elements, and it sees the God of Nature invested with the high attributes of wisdom and majesty.
V.- THE QUEEN OF FRANCE. Marie Antoinette, daughter of the Empress Maria Theresa, and Queen of Louis Xvi. guillotined 1793. LATIN.
GREEK. Ven-e-ra'tion, n......... Venerare. En-thu-si-as'tic, adj....en, theos. 0-bliged', v........ ..ligare. An'ti-dote, n..............anti, dotos. Na'tion, n.................natus. Soph'is-ter, n.............sophos. Sub-or-di-na'tion, n.....ordo. E-con'o-mist, ne.........oikos,nomos. Fe-rocʻi-ty, N.............ferox.
It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles ; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch,
a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in-glittering like the morning star ; full of life, and splendour, and joy.
Oh, what a revolution ! and what a heart must I have to contemplate, without emotion, that elevation and that fall!
Little did I dream that, when she added titles of venera. tion to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom ;-little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters.fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men,-in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look, that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. . That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded ; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, —that proud submission, that dignified obedience,—that subordination of the heart, which kept alive even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly senti. ment and heroic enterprise is gone : It is gone,—that sensi. bility of principle,--that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound,--which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched ; and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness.
VI.-WESTMINSTER HALL-TRIAL OF WARREN HASTINGS.
Warren Hastings was impeached by the House of Commons before the House of Lords, for misgovernment, extortion, and oppression, while he held the office of Gov. ernor-General of India. The trial lasted seven years. He was acquitted; but sen. tenced to pay the costs, which amounted to £71,000. The extract refers to the opening scene of the trial. LATIN.
.......audire. Civ-il-i-sa'tion, n.........civis. Or'a-tor, n...
..orare. Dis-played', v... .plicare. Ad-mi-ra'tion, n...
..mirari. Foun-da'tions, R.........fundus. E-mo'tion, n..............movēre. Re-sound'ed, v............ sonare. Op-pres'sors, n............
preměre. Plac'id, adj. ..placare. E-ma'ci-at-ed, part...... macěre. Dig'ni-ta-ries, N.........dignus. As'pect, n....... ...specăre. Con-spic'u-ous, adj......specěre.
Tas preparations for the trial had proceeded rapidly; and on the 13th of February 1788, the sittings of the Court commenced. There have been spectacles more dazzling to the eye, more gorgeous with jewelry and cloth of gold, more attractive to grown-up children, than that which was then exhibited at Westminster ; but, perhaps there never was a spectacle so well calculated to strike a highly cultivated, a reflecting, an imaginative mind. All the various kinds of interest which belong to the near and to the distant, to the present and to the past, were collected on one spot, and in one hour. All the talents and all the accomplishments which are developed by liberty and civilisation were now displayed, with every advantage that could be derived from co-operation and from contrast. Every step in the proceedings carried the mind either backward, through many troubled centuries, to the days when the foundations of the constitution were laid; or far away, over boundless seas and deserts, to dusky nations of India, living under strange stars, worshipping strange gods, and writing strange characters from right to left. The High Court of Parliament was to sit, according to forms handed down from the days of the Plantagenets, on an Englishman accused of exercising tyranny over the lord of the holy city of Benares, and over the ladies of the princely house of Oude.
The place was worthy of such a trial. It was the great hall of William Rufus ; the hall which had resounded with acclamations at the inauguration of thirty kings; the hall where the eloquence of Strafford had for a moment awed and melted a victorious party inflamed with just resentment; the hall where the First Charles had confronted the High Court of Justice with the placid courage which has half redeemed his fame. Neither military nor civil pomp was wanting. The avenues were lined with grenadiers. The streets were kept clear by cavalry. The peers robed in gold and ermine, were marshalled by the heralds under Garter-King-at-Arms, The judges, in their vestments of state, attended to give advice on points of law. Near a hundred and seventy lords, three-fourths of the Upper House, walked in solemn order from their usual place of assembling to the tribunal. The long procession was closed by the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of the realm, by the great dignitaries, and by the brothers and sons of the King. Last of all came the Prince of Wales, conspicuous by his fine person and noble bearing.