Page images

But, of this mind, the humam frame is the appointed instrument. It was designed for this end. For it could have answered all the purposes of physical existence, without any of its present grace and beauty. It was made with no more obvious intent, than to be the expression of mind, the organ of the soul, the vehicle of thought. And when all its powers are put in requisition for this purpose,— the voice with all its thrilling tones; the eye, 'through which, as a window, the soul darts forth its light;' the lips, on which 'grace is poured ;' the whole glowing countenance, the whole breathing frame, which, in their ordinary forms, can express more than the majesty of an Apollo, more than the agony of a Laocoon;—when every motion speaks, every lineament is more than the written line of genius, every muscle swells with the inspiration of high thoughts, every nerve is swayed to the movings of some mighty theme;—what instrument of music, what glories of the canvass, can equal it?


Eloquence is the combination of all arts, and it excels them all in their separate powers. Nor is it confined to the mere gratification of taste. The great and ultimate object of social existence, is for man to act on man; and eloquence is the grandest medium of this action. It is not only the highest perfection of a human being (for ' the orator must be a. good man') but it is that perfection in act. It is sublimity, beauty, genius, power, in their most glorious exercise.

Eloquence, it is often said, is the peculiar attribute of man. But more than this is true. It belongs to humanity. The human soul is eloquent, whenever and wherever it has a full developement. Its signatures are divine; and where they are seen, they cannot fail to leave their impression.

It is one of the maxims with which we have no patience, that the English character is not fitted for an earnest delivery; that eloquence will not flourish on this stock; that there is something in our temperament or taste that forbids it. The English mind not eloquent! We might as well say, that it is possessed of no strong feelings or noble thoughts. For if it has these, and has them, in fact, in uncommon strength, has it not a language, a voice, a countenance, a free and unfettered arm, 'the weapon of the orator,' to express them 1

It is true, that our taste may not be altogether so favorable as it ought to be; a dull, prudish, perverse taste. It is true that our ordinary manners in this country have not the desirable ease and freedom; there is newness, embarrassment, awkwardness, constraint, in them; they are not so free and forcible, and not so indicative of the free workings of the mind, as they ought to be. But these, after all, are rather the manners of ceremony and of formal society.

Go to the exchange, the market, the public street, the municipal meeting, and you shall see, that the men, in whose veins English blood is flowing, can be ardent and earnest, and can use action, though they do not know it; and that is the right action. Go up to the greater occasions of life, to the crowded and grave assembly, and our Burke, and Sheridan, and Chatham, and our own Ames, and Hamilton, and Emmet, and the names of the living among us, that rise to our thoughts, are sufficient to wipe away the stigma that we are so willing to fasten upon ourselves; sufficient to show that our court-room and our debating-hall are not always tedious, and that our pupil is not always dull.

We look for future orators in this land, whose words of might shall shake its wide and utmost borders, shall resound from the Atlantic to the Pacific seas; and whose renown shall be the heritage of distant generations. We trust that a voice is to arise in this Western world, which shall echo to the glorious eloquence of ancient times.

MR Hobhouse's Castigation Of The Member From Orforb Extract from a Speech in Parliament on Parliamentary Reform.

I Must be permitted to notice a most extraordinary position taken up by the member for Orford. He contended, that a reform of Parliament would throw the elections out of the hands of the real proprietors of England, into those possessed of no respectable means of subsistence. Strange, indeed, to be said by any one, and stranger still to be said by a member for Orford, in the face of so many county and city representatives, who have constituents.

Did the honorable member never happen to hear, that the complaint of the reformers points exactly to the fact which he has perverted and enlisted into his singular argument 1 The great complaint of the reformers is, that the body of electors—that is, the body that votes for the majority of this House are persons of no property, are persons whose abode is, or ought to be, the work-house; who have no will, no power, no voice of their own; who, when they solemnly declare that they give their vote, that is, their wish, for the candidate whom they choose, are guilty of the basest and most pernicious perjury; who are the mere organs of others, and depending upon their masters for the rags they wear, and the scanty food they eat, and the wretched cabin that shelters them—have no opportunity, and scarcely, perhaps, feel an inclination, to perform the sacred duty imposed upon the real independent elector.

The complaint of the reformers is, that, whilst such an unhappy, miserable part of the population hold the elective franchise, and use it not for themselves, but under the control, and for the benefit of others, the real respectable citizens, the contributors to the exigencies of the state, the most valuable members of the community, who have given pledges of fidelity to the government and to the country, are not partakers of the privilege which alone can give them the means of protecting their property; namely, a share in the choice of the representation.

We claim, for the opulence, the industry, the importance, of such towns as Birmingham and Manchester, the rights now thrown away upon, and shamefully bartered by, the pennyless, idle, insignificant vote-sellers of such boroughs as Or ford.



What's hallowed ground? Has earth a clod
Its Maker meant not should be trod
By man, the image of his God,

Erect and free,
Unscourged by Superstition's rod

To bow the knee?

That's hallowed ground—where, mourned and missed,
The lips repose our love has kissed;—
But where's their memory's mansion? Is't

Yon churchyard's bowers?
No! in ourselves their souls exist,

A part of ours.

A kiss can consecrate the ground
Where mated hearts are mutual bound:
The spot where love's first links were wound,

That ne'er are riven,
Is hallowed, down to earth's profound,

And up to heaven!

For time makes all but true love old;
The burning thoughts that then were told
Run molten still in memory's mould,

And will not cool
Until the heart itself be cold

In Lethe's pool.

What hallows ground where heroes s.eep
'T is not the sculptured piles you heap:
In dews that heavens far distant weep

Their turf may bloom;
Or Genii twine beneath the deep

Their coral tomb.

But strew his ashes to the wind,

Whose sword or voice has saved mankind—

And is he dead, whose glorious mind

Lifts thine on high 1 To live in hearts we leave behind,

Is not to die.

Is't death to fall for Freedom's right?
He's dead alone that lacks her light!
And murder sullies, in Heaven's sight,

The sword he draws:—
What can alone ennoble fight 1

A noble cause!

Give that: and welcome War to brace

Her drums! and rend heaven's reeking space!

The colours planted face to face,

The charging cheer, Though Death's pale horse lead on the chase, Shall still be dear.

And place our trophies were men kneel

To Heaven !—But Heaven rebukes my zeal:

The cause of truth and human weal,

O God above! Transfer it from the sword's appeal

To peace and love!

Peace, Love—the cherubim that join
Their spread wings o'er Devotion's shrine—
Prayers sound in vain, and temples shine,

When they are not;
The heart alone can make divine

Religion's spot.

To incantations dost thou trust,
And pompous rites in domes august 1
See mouldering stones and metal's rust

Belie the vaunt,
That men can bless one pile of dust

With chime or chant.

The ticking wood-worm mocks thee, man!
Thy temples—creeds themselves grow wan!
But there's a dome of nobler span,

A temple given
Thy faith, that bigots dare not ban—

Its space is heaven!

Its roof star-pictured, Nature's ceiling,
Where trancing the rapt spirit's feeling,
And God himself to man revealing,

The harmonious spheres
Make music, though unheard their pealing

By mortal ears.

Fair Stars! are not your beings pure?
Can sin, can death your worlds obscure?
Else why so swell the thoughts at your

Aspect above?
Ye must be heavens that make us sure

Of heavenly love!

« PreviousContinue »