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had been unjustly banished; but, in the hour of her danger, he forgot the cruelty of his own wrongs in the severity of hers. Rome recalled the injured patriot from banishment, and gave him the command of her forces; and so completely did he defeat the enemy, not a soul was left to publish their destruction. The same lofty sense of honour in the same individual, refused with contempt, and visited with chastisement, the base overtures of a schoolmaster, who would have put into his power some of his pupils, sons of the principal men of the city besieged by Camillus, in order to ensure its speedy surrender.
These examples place man in the best light, and evince that he is sometimes influenced by motives of the purest kind, emanating from something more stable, lasting, and glorious, than his frail tenement of animated earth. It was surely something like this, that, in the midst of suffering, sustained the unfortunate, but illustrious Regulus, who, after being defeated and taken prisoner by Xanthippus, the Carthaginian general, was sent to Rome by the enemy, to propose an accommodation; being first bound by the most solemn oaths to return to Carthage, if his mission proved unsuccessful. When he arrived in Rome, he strenuously advised the Romans not to accede to the terms of the Carthaginians, and returned to Carthage, in compliance with his oaths, regardless of the unmitigated cruelties he well knew he should experience in the capital of Africa.
Such were the Romans at this time. The heart swells with exultation at these instances of heroism and self-devotedness. They shew an intrinsic goodness in man's heart,—a disinterested virtue, that seeks for no reward beyond the pure responses of a well-directed mind, conscious of having endeavoured to do its duty.
It is true that these are individual examples of public spirit, but do they partake less of nationality on that account? From what does a nation receive its character for literature, but from the labours or genius of the gifted few? Egypt stood indebted for her pre-eminence in learning, and Greece for her taste and skill in the fine arts, not to the multitude that formed the majority of those people, but to the vividness and transcendent qualities of mind found in those, whose names will endure on the scanty, but sacred roll of fame.
But Rome needs not even this explanation: her history bears ample testimony to her public spirit; it animated and incited the entire body of her people. When Hannibal, after the terrible battle of Cannæ, appeared before the walls of Rome, there was nothing of dejection nor timidity visible amongst the Roman people; but, in the midst of their cala
Canst thou with apathy have view'd
See! how they come, like torrents thrown
And with revenge, vain-daring strode,
Then not more dread had been that scene,
And all his heat, from neighb'ring vale,---
Ye lands of sulphur, whence ascend
Where dews of nitre, through the vale,
Emblem of Fortune of this earth,
On whom she smil'd, she frowns a dearth,
Such is Man's varying state below, --
My genius turns his natal land to see,-
The lark, high soaring from his nest below,
Refuse your harps of song to string,
And, like that tree above the stream of grief,
My arms woe-folded,—and oft sigh relief
My bosom shall not breathe its moans! —
Blow thro' its chords, ye winds of winter shrill!
Unto its yielding minstrelsy!
Admit me for thy priest, O mighty power!
Rapt by the god, with frantic mien,-
It was the hand of Prejudice, which wrought
Tremendous Winter, venerable form!
On thy wide-thundering wings JEHOVAH rides,
All hail! ye Northern Horrours! hail!
Ye suit the sacred musing of my mind,On the tempest, my spirit! free and fearlessly sail! Rapidly rush with the wings of the wind! I feel my soul with fury fir'd, Disturb'd, exalted, rapt, inspir'd!Now convey me, Winter hoar, Upon thy tempest-beaten shore,
To hear thy wind's long, rough, resounding roar ! The mountains around
Re-rattling the sound,
Their sturdy sons low to the foot descending,
And in their proper cadence sing,
Hail! seat of grandeur! Terror's fane!
Rising with the undulation!—
How tranquil,-calm, thou art, O jasper Main!
Prepare! prepare! ye seamen, for the shock,-
The storm now gathers round
His dusky wings of fear!
Mark the tenebrous elements-thy frown!
Sleep! sleep! ye winds! your blust'rings fail!
It will not be !
No star-beam is reveal'd
Welcome the darkness!-Ruin be conceal'd!
Disclosing all the horrors of the gloom;
Hoarse howls the blast!-upon it's plume
Increasing resonant through all the dark profound!
Ye strugglers with the swell of might!
Where are ye now?—
Past hope and past despair!
Death draws the curtain close in everlasting night!Upon a deep-brown rock retir'd,
Viewing the grand of Nature's wrath, O were they not such scenes, ye sons of soul! Your wild sublimity inspired?
Yes; I retrace your venerable path!
I would your burning raptures roll-
Instructed to the solemn rite,
And while before thy fane I stand,
O awful Chief, of hoary hair,
* See Collins' ode, "On the Poetical Character."