« السابقةمتابعة »
« This is indeed a festal day,
Though my friend in his last moments hath in this and other instances been so considerate of our happiness, I am afraid he is not likely to Jeave our morals much better than he found them : I cannot fay that in the course of my duty as an Observer any very striking instance of amendment hath come under my notice; and though I have all the disposition in life to speak ás favourably in my friend's behalf as truth will let
me, I am bound to confess he was not apt to think fo feriously of his latter end as I could have wished: there was a levity in his conduct, which he took no pains to conceal; he did not seem to reflect upon the lapse of time, how speedily his spring, summer, and autumn would pass away and the winter of his days come upon him ; like Wolley he was not aware how soon the frost, the killing frost would nip his root: he was however a gay convivial fellow, loved his bottle and his friend, passed his time peaceably amongst us, and certainly merits the good word of
every loyal subject in this kingdom. As, for his proceedings in other countries, it
is not here the reader must look for an account of them; politics have no place in these volumes; but it cannot be denied that he has made many widows and orphans in Europe, been an active agent for the court of death, and dipped his hands deep in Christian and Mahometan blood. By the friends of freedom he will be celebrated to the latest time. He has begun a business, which, if followed up by his fucceflor with equal zeal, less ferocity and more discre. tion, may lead to wonderful revolutions : there are indeed some instances of cruelty, which beat hard upon his character; if separately viewed; they admit of no palliation; in a general light; allowances may be made for that phirenly, which seizes the mind, when impelled to great and arduous undertakings; when the wound is gangrened the incision must be deep, and if that is to be done by coarse instruments and unskilful hands, who can wonder if the gashi more resembles the stab of art aflaffin than the operation of a surgeon ? An æra is now opened, awful, interesting and so involved in mystery, that the acutest speculation cannot penetrate to the issue of it: In short, my friend in his lasi moments hath put a vast machine in motion, and left a task to futurity, that will demand the strongest hands
and ableft heads to compleat: in the mean time I shall hope that my countrymen, who have all those blessings by inheritance, which less-favoured nations are now struggling to obtain by force, will so use their liberty, that the rest of the world, who are not so happy, may think it an object worth contending for, and quote our peace and our prosperity as the best proofs exifting of its real value.
Whilst my thoughts have been thus employed in reflecting upon the last day of an ever-memorable year, I have composed a few elegiac lines to be thrown into the grave, which time is now opening to receive his reliques,
“ The year's gay verdure, all its charms are gone, “ And now comes old December chill and drear, “ Dragging a darkling length of evening on, “ Whilst all things droop, as Nature's death were near, " Time flies amain with broad-expanded wings, “Whence never yet a single feather fell, « But holds his speed, and through the welkin rings, “ Of alĮ that breathe ,the inexorable knell,
« Oh! for a moment stop-a moment's space
For recollection mercy might concede,
« But 'tis in vain; old Time disdains to rest, “ And moment after moment flits along, “ Each with a sting to piurce the idler's breaft, " And vindicate its predecessor's wrong. “ Though the new-dawning year in its advance “ With hope's gay promise may entrap the mind, “ Let memory give one retrospective glance “ Through the bright period, which it leaves behind. • Æra of mercies ! my wrapt bosom springs “ To meet the transport recollection gives; “ Heaven's angel comes with healing on his wings; “ He shakes his plumes, my country's father lives. “ The joyful tidings o'er the distant round “ Of Britain's empire the four winds proclaim, “ Her sun-burnt islands swell th’ exulting found, “ And farthest Ganges echoes George's name.
“ Period of bliss! can any British muse
“ Thou Freedom's nursing mother shalt be stil'd, " The glories of its birth are all thine own,
• Upon thy breasts hung th? Herculean child, « And
tyrants tremhled at its baby frown.
“ A fanguine mantle the dread infant wore,
" Then at that awful fight, as with a spell,
“ Meanwhile Ambition chac'd its fairy prize « With moonstruck madness down the Danube's stream, « The Turkish crescent glittering in its eyes, “ And lost an empire to pursue a dream.
The trampled serpent (Superstition) wreath'd 66 Her fest'ring scales with anguish to and fro, “ Torpid the lay, then darting forward sheath'd “ Her deadly fangs in the unguarded foe.
$6 Oh Austria! why so prompt to venture forth, “ When fate now hurries thee to life's last goal ? " Thee too, thou crowned eagle of the north, 56 Death's dart arrests, though tow'ring to the pole.
" Down then, Ambition; drop into the
grave! $ And by thy follies be this maxim Thewn• 'Tis not the monarch’s glory to enslave “ His neighbour's empire, but to bless his own.
“ Come then, sweet Peace! in Britain fix thy reign, $ Bid Plenty smile, and Commerce croud her coast; “ And may this ever-blessed year remain « Her king's, her people's and her muse’s boast.”