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I held some slack allegiance till this hour
WILLIAM TELL IN THE FIELD OF GRUTLI.-Knowles
Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!
With all my voice!—I hold my hands to you,
Scaling yonder peak,
THE TORCH OF LIBERTY.--T. Moore.
I saw it all in Fancy's glass--
Herself, the fair, the wild magician,
And named each gliding apparition.
'T was like a torch-race---such as they
Of Greece performed, in ages gone,
Passed the bright torch triumphant on.
I saw the expectant nations stand,
To catch the coming flame in turn--
The clear, but struggling glory burn.
And, oh, their joy, as it came near,
’T was, in itself, a joy to see-, While Fancy whispered in my ear,
"That torch they pass is Liberty!'
And each, as she received the flame,
Lighted her altar with its ray;
Speeded it on its sparkling way.
From Albion first, whose ancient shrine
Was furnished with the fire already, Columbia caught the spark divine,
And lit a flame, like Albion's, steady.
The splendid gift then Gallia took,
And, like a wild Bacchante, raising The brand aloft, its sparkles shook,
As she would set the world a-blazing!
And, when she fired her altar, high
It flashed into the reddening air
Shrunk, almost blinded by the glare!
Next, Spain, so new was light to her,
Leaped at the torch—but, ere the spark She flung upon her shrine could stir,
'Twas quenched-and all again was dark.
Yet, no-not quenched-a treasure, worth
So much to mortals, rarely dies-Again her living light looked forth,
And shone, a beacon, in all eyes!
Who next received the flame? alas!
Unworthy Naples.-Shame of shames, That ever through such hands should pass
That brightest of all earthly flames!
Scarce had her fingers touched the torch
When, frighted by the sparks it shed; Nor waiting e'en to feel the scorch,
She dropped it to the earth and fled.
And fallen it might have long remained;
But Greece, who saw her moment now, Caught up the prize, though prostrate, stained.
And waved it round her beauteous brow,
And Fancy bade me mark where, o'er
Her altar, as its flame ascended,
Who thus in song their voices blended:
Shine, shine forever, glorious flame,
Divinest gift of God's to men!
To Greece thy ray returns again.
"Take, Freedom, take thy radiant round;
When dimmed, revive, when lost, return,
On which thy glories shall not burn!"
Extracted from the Rev. SYDNEY SMITH's Speech before an Assembly of
It was spoken at a meeting of the clergy of the Archdeaconry of the East Riding of Yorkshire, (England) held at the Tiger Inn, at Beverly, for the purpose of adopting a petition against the Catholic claims. The meeting was numerously attended by clergymen hostile to the bill. The Rev. S. Smith stood alone in his opposition.]
We preach to our congregations, Sir, that a tree is known by its fruits. By the fruits it produces I will judge your system. What has it done for Ireland? New Zealand is emerging-Otaheite is emerging-Ireland is not emerging-she is still veiled in darkness-her children, safe under no law, live in the very shadow of death.
Has your system of exclusion made Ireland rich? Has it made Ireland loyal? Has it made Ireland free? Has it made Ireland happy? How is the wealth of Ireland proved? Is it by the naked, idle, suffering savages, who are slumbering on the inud fioors of their cabins? In what does the loyalty of Ireland consist? Is it in the eagerness with which they would range themselves under the hostile banner of any invader, for your destruction and for your distress? Is it liberty, when men breathe and move among the bayonets of English soldiers? Is their happiness and their history anything but such a tissue of murders, burnings, hanging, famine and disease, as never existed before in the annals of the world?
This is the system which, I am sure, with very different intentions and very different views of its effects, you are met this day to uphold. These are the dreadful consequences which those laws, your petition prays may be continued, have produced upon Ireland. From the principles of that system, from the cruelty of those laws, Í turn, and turn with the homage of my whole heart, to that memorable proclamation, which the Head of our Church, the present monarch of these realms, has lately made to his hereditary dominions of Hanover– That no man should be subjected to civil incapacities, on account of his religious opinions. Sir, there have been many memorable things done in this reign.
-Hostile armies have been destroyed; fleets have been captured; formidable combinations have been broken to pieces -but this sentiment in the mouth of a king deserves, more than all glories and victories, the notice of that historian, who is destined to tell to future ages the deeds of the English people. I hope he will lavish upon it every gem which glitters in the diadem of genius, and so uphold it to the world, that it will be remembered when Waterloo is forgotten, and when the fall of Paris is blotted out from the memory of man.
Great as it is, Sir, this is not the only pleasure I have received in these latter days. I have seen, within these few weeks, a degree of wisdom in our mercantile law, such superiority to vulgar prejudice, views so just and so profound, that it seemed to me as if I were reading the works of a speculative economist, rather than the improvements of a practical politician, agreed to by a legislative assembly, and upon the eve of being carried into execution, for the benefit of a great people. Let who will be their master, I honour and praise the ministers who have learned such a lesson. I rejoice that I have lived to see such an improvement in English affairs—that the stubborn resistance to all improvement --the contempt of all scientific reasoning, and the rigid adhesion to every stupid error, which so long characterised the proceedings of this country, is fast giving way to better things, under better men, placed in better circumstances.
I confess it is not without severe pain, that in the midst of all this expansion and improvement, I perceive that in our profession we are still calling for the same exclusionstill asking, that the same fetters may be rivetted on our fellow creatures-still mistaking what constitutes the weakness