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quests; that he wants nothing of us, and is content that we should pro'sper and be at peace, because we are so di`stant from his throne? Has he not already told us that we must emb`ark in his ca'use? Has he not himself declared w'ar-forus/ against England? Will it be said, he wants not to co`nquer us, but only wishes us to be his allies? Allies of France! Is there a m'an/ who does not shu'dder at the thought? there one/ who had not rather struggle no'bly, and perish under her open-enmity, than be crushed by the embrace of her friendship,-her alliance? To show you the happiness* of her alliance, I will not carry you back to Ve'nice, Sw'itzerland, H'olland. The'ir expiring groans/ are almost forgotten amidst l'ater o'utrages. Spain, Spa'in is the al'ly/ to whom I would direct-you. Are you lovers of treachery, perfidy, rapa city, and m'assacre? Then aspire after the honour/ which Spain has fo'rfeited, and become the all'y of France.
Let me here observe, that the contrast of England with France (in point of morals and religion) is one ground of ho'pe (to the devout m'ind) in these d'ark/ and troubled tim`es. On this subject, I have heard but one'-opinion from good m'en, who have visited the two countries. The character of En gland/ is to be estimated parti'cularly from what may be called the middle class of society (the most numerous class in all nations, and more numerous and influential in En^gland/ than in any other na'tion of Europe. The w'arm pie'ty, the active bene'volence, and the independent and ma^nly thi'nking (which are found in this class) do encourage me in the belief, that England/ will not be forsaken by Go`d/ in her solemn str'uggle !+
I feel myself bound to all n'ations/ by the ties of a common nature, a common Fath`er, and a common Saviour. But/ I feel a pecu^liar-interest in England; for I believe, that ther^e/ Christianity is exerting its be'st influences on the human ch'aracter; that the re/ the perfections of human na'ture (w'isdom, vir`tue, and pi'ety) are fostered by excellent institutions, and are producing the delightful fruits of domestic ha'ppi
* 66 Happiness" here is spoken ironically, and hence pronounced with the rising circumflex.
Though the note of admiration is generally pronounced with the falling voice, yet when much pathos is expressed, as in the above beautiful example, the rising inflection will produce the more effect.
ness, social o'rder, and general prospe`rity. It is a hope. (which I could not resign without a'nguish) that the "prayers and al'ms" of En'gland "will come up for a memorial before G'od," and will obta'in for her/ his sure prot'ection/ against the co^mmon e'nemy of the civilized w`orld.
From the Sermon on the day of the Public Fast,}
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
THE curfew tolls/ the kne'll of parting day;
The moping o'wl/ does to the moon compl'ain
Hark! how the sacred ca'lm/ that breathes around,
Beneath these rugged elm's,/ that yew-tree's sh'ade,
The rude forefathers/ of the hamlet sleep.
*The observance of the casural pause (which generally occurs at the fourth, but extends sometimes to the sixth or seventh syllable) is essentially necessary to the proper reading of any poetry; but, in Gray's beautiful Elegy, it is absolutely indispensable! It occurs in the first verse at tolls," "herd," "homeward," and "world ;" and the inflections upon the whole, at the end of each line, generally correspond with those in the FIRST VERSE, as here marked.
Winding up, or
The breezy c'all/ of incense-breathing mor'n,
The swallow/twittering from the straw-built sh'ed,
No mor'e shall rous'e-them/ from their lo^wly b ́ed.
Or climb his knees/ the envied ki ́ss/ to shar`e.
Oft did the harvest/ to their si'ckle yiel'd;
Their furrow of't/ the stubborn glebe has broke: How jocund did they driv'e/ their team a-fie ́ld!
How bowed the w'oods/ beneath their sturdy stro`ke ! Let not ambiti`on/ mock their useful toʻil,
Their homely joy's/, and destiny obsc'ure;
The paths of glory-lead but to the graˇve.
If me'mory/ o'er their tombs no trophies rai'se, Wh'ere (through the long-drawn ais'le and fretted v'ault) The pealing a'nthem/ swells the n'ote-of prai'se.
Can storied ur'n, or animated b'ust,
Back to its man'sion/ call the fleeting breath?
Some heart/ once pregnant with celestial fi're;
Bu't/ knowledge to their ey'es/ her ample page,
Chill pe`nury/ repressed their noble rage,
Full many a ge'm/ of purest ray ser ́ene,
The da'rk/ unfathomed-caves/ of ocean b'ear:
many a flower/ is born to blush unseen,
And read their his'tory/ in a nation's ey'es;
Their growing virtues/, but their criˇmes confin`ed;
With incense kin'dled/ at the m'use's fla'me.
They kept the noiseless te'nor/ of their way. Yet even the'se bo'nes, (from insult to protect,) Some frail memori`al/ still erected nig'h,
With uncouth rhy'mes/ and shapeless sculpture de'cked,
Their na'me, their years, (spelt by the unlet'tered m'use)
If chan'ce, (by lonely contemplation l'ed,)
"That wreathes its o'ld/ fantastic-roots so high, "His listless length/ at noon'tide/ would he stretch, "And po're upon the bro'ok/ that babbles by. "Hard by yon wo'od, (now smiling as in sc'orn,) Muttering his wayward fan'cies/, he would ro've; "Now droo'ping, wo'ful, w'an, (like on'e forlo'rn)
"Or crazed with ca're/ or cros ́sed/ in hopˇeless love'. "One mo`rn I misse'd him/ on the accu'stomed hi'll, "Along the hea'th/, and near his favourite tr'ee/; "Another cam'e/, nor yet beside the rill',
"Nor up the law'n, nor at the wo^od/ was he':
"The next, (with dirges due, in sa'd array,)
"Slow through the church-way pa'th/ we saw him bor'ne-
Here rests his hea'd/ upon the la'p of earth,
He gai`ned from He'aven ('twas a'll he wished) a frie`nd.
No farther seek his me`rits/ to disclo ́se,
Or draw his frailties/ from their dread ab ́ode,
(There they alike in trembling hope rep'ose,)
The bosom of his Father and his Go'd.
* The "Epitaph" should be read in a lower tone of voice, and in such a manner as a good reader would really employ when perusing an inscription in a church-yard.