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174

O'CONNELL'S FUNERAL OBSEQUIES.

tion, accustomed as they were to such scenes, swelled the familiar strains ; and it hardly required the aid of fancy to imagine that the death-anthem must have awoke the soul of the mighty sleeper.

XLVI.

NHE service lasted about an hour. No eulogium was pronounced on

had himself been uttering words of fire. He had mingled in the strife of all the elements of a nation's life and progress; he had been the soul of all her struggles for freedom; above all, of her struggles for the holy rights of conscience. And now, when the champion of “freedom to worship God” had finished his labors, he was borne to one of the most gorgeous temples of the Church he had battled for, in the land where her proudest trophies are gathered, to receive all the magnificence of her divine honors. He had during a long life warred for that Church, in a distant island; for a suffering and a poor people, against haughty and oppressive foes and prelates, who scorned his faith and derided his religion; undismayed by numbers, untimidated by power, with a heart beating for liberty and his country, and his eye turned toward the dim, distant dome of St. Peter. Does it seem strange, then, while the sleeper lay there in the midst of this scene of triumph, and the glorious strains of his death-anthem, sung by the prelates of that mighty Rome who watched his heroic struggles from her golden See, were rolling through the arches above him, that this triumphant pæan should have stirred the dust of the sleeper? Could O'Connell himself have cast his eye down into futurity, from the beginning of the vista of life, would even his ambition have demanded a prouder triumph.

Such were the honors offered to the dust of O'Connell; such the tribute which a distant but generous nation rendered to greatness and to truth. The vast crowd which had choked the piazza before the church, and every avenue leading to it, slowly dispersed. For a long time they stood gazing silently and solemnly upon the gorgeous pile which sustained his coffin. As the shadows of evening gathered around the city, and wrapped the temple in darkness and silence, save that far up the aisle the great lamp, that is forever kept burning before the image of the Virgin, sent its tiny star-light through the gloom, a company of priests bore the coffin into a private chapel; and there the great Agitator rested after his labors. On the return of his son from Rome, whither he had gone to deposit his father's heart in the tomb of St. Peter, he proceeded by sea to England with the ashes, and committed them to the keeping of his expecting, weeping and grateful countrymen.

BOOK IV.

SOCIETY IN ENGLAND.

We think it would be a vast advantage to the public in general, if ingenious opticians would turn their attention to a remedy for that long sighted benevolence which sweeps the distant horizon for objects of compassion, but is blind as a bat to the wretchedness and destitution abounding at their own doors.Blackwood.

I cannot however believe that the Creator made man to leave him in an endless struggle with the intellectual miseries that surround us: God destines a calmer and more certain future to the communities of Europe. It appears to me beyond a doubt, that sooner or later we shall (in Europe) arrive like the Americans at an almost complete equality of conditions. -De Tocqueville.

We appeal to all competent observers, whether all the moral elements of an American state of society are not most rapidly growing up among us.-Edinb. Review.

The result of the long struggle between the Patricians and Plebians of Rome was their perfect equality; and incontestibly this is the tendency of modern Europe.-Raumer.

SOCIETY IN ENGLAND.

I.

HE World's Convention, in London, in 1840, was one of

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tined to have greater influence on the fortunes of the United States, than the proceedings of any other body of men in Great Britain, since the passage of the Stamp Act by the British Parliament. The English abolitionists had invited all nations to señd delegates to London, to discuss the question of slavery, wherever it existed, and devise ways and means for its abolition, all over the earth. Nearly all of the illustrious men of Great Britain, and many of the most eloquent and learned men of other countries, were present.

The venerable Thomas Clarkson, in his eighty-first year, had ·come from his home in Ipswich, to preside over the Convention. Freemason's Hall, on that day, held a most dignified and imposing assembly.

The name of Clarkson called forth loud applause. We were requested, in consideration of his age and infirmities, to refrain from any manifestation of our feelings when he should enter the Hall. The whole assembly was silent, and every eye was turned towards the door. The scene which followed, surpassed anything I ever witnessed.

This venerable patriarch of liberty had left his quiet home in his old age, to meet the representatives of the different nations of the earth; to devise means for the “Emancipation of man, everywhere, from the thraldom of man," and then go back to his peaceful retreat, and await his summons to heaven. As he entered the Hall, the Convention rose and received him in 12

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178

THE VENERABLE THOMAS CLARKSON.

silence. He seemed bowed down with age, and his hair was perfectly white. He was deeply affected by his reception ; and when he was proposed as chairman, there was a general murmur of approbation which could not be suppressed. He took his scat and held his handkerchief to his face.

We felt a veneration for the aged Chieftain, which words could not express. We saw before us the man whose name had been associated, for more than half a century, with almost every great enterprise for the advancement of human liberty ; the originator, and now the only surviving member of the first Committee ever instituted for the abolition of the slave trade. Hoare, Smith, Dilwyn, Harrison, Phillips, and Wilberforce, were all dead. This was probably the last great assembly in whose deliberations he would mingle ; and feeling that his time · on earth was short, and under the impulse of freedom's fires, which burned on the altar of his heart as brightly as ever, he had brought his little grandson, Thomas Clarkson, into the Convention—the only representative of his family and name, left on earth,—to lay the beautiful boy in consecration upon freedom's altar, on this, his ninth birth-day. It was a beautiful offering to the genius of Liberty : a nobler dedication than when his father brought the young Hannibal to the altar, and made him swear eternal hostility to the enemies of Carthage.

The gentleman who introduced the boy to the assembly, laid his hand upon his head, and prayed that the blessing of heaven might rest upon him, and that, with the descending mantle of his venerated ancestor, he might catch a double portion of his spirit. “I am sure," said he," that this prayer will find a response in every bosom in this assembly (cries of amen), as well as the earnest hope, that when some of us shall be removed to that bourne where the wicked cease from troubling, and where all distinctions of clime and color will be swept forever away, he may live to see the day when the divine blessing shall so eminently have crowned this great cause of justice and mercy, we have this day assembled to promote, that the sun shall cease to rise upon a tyrant, or set upon a slave.”

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