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ful. His long and sallow visage seems lengthened and 85 deepened in its hue. His eyes, his nose, and mouth
seem huddled together, as if, while he presses every it lustration into his speech, he were at the same time condensing all his senses into one. There is a lower
ing sublimity in his brows, which one seldom sees equal40 led; and the obliquity of the light shows the organiza
tion of the upper and lateral parts of his forehead, proud and palpable as the hills of his native north. His left hand is extended with the palm, prepared as an anvil,
upon which he is ever and anon to hammer, with the 45 forefinger of his right, as the preparation to that full
swing which is to give life to every muscle, and motion to every limb. He speaks! In the most powerful and sustained, and at the same time, the most close, clear
and logical manner, does he demolish the castle which 50 his opponent had built for himself. You have the sounds,
you see the flash, you look for the castle, and it is not Stone after stone, turret after turret, battlement after battlement, and wing after wing, are melted away, and
nothing left, save the sure foundation, upon which the 55 orator himself may build. There are no political bowels
in him. He gives no quarter, and no sooner has he razed the fort, than he turns him to torture the garrison. It is now that his mock solemnity is something more
terrible than the satire of Canning, the glow of Buédett, 60 or the glory of Mackintosh. His features, (which are
always grave) assume the very depth of solemnity; and his voice (which is always solemn) falls into that under soprano, (that visionary tone between speech and whis
per) which men employ when they speak of their own 65 graves, and coffins. You would imagine it not audible,
and yet its lowest syllable runs through the house like wild-fire. You would think it meant only for the ear of him who is the subject of it, yet it comes immediately,
and powerfully, and without the possibility of being for90 gotton, to every one within the walls. You would think
it the fond admonition of a sainted father to the errors of a beloved son; and yet, it has in reality more of that feeling which the Devil is said to exercise, when he acts
as the accuser of the brethren.-You may push aside 75 the bright thing which raises a laugh; you may find a
cover from the wit which ambles to you on antithesis,
or quotation; but, against the home reproof of Brougham there is no defence; its course is so firm that you cannot dash it aside.
ExercISE 97. Character of Mr. Wilberforce.-- ANONYMOUS. The speeches of Mr. Wilberforce, are among the very few good things now remaining in the British Parliament: his diction is elegant, rich, and spirited; his tones are
so distinct and so melodious, that the most hostile ear 5 hangs on them delighted. Then his address is so in
sinuating, that if he talked nonsense, you would feel yourself obliged to hear him. I recollect when the House had been tired night after night, with discussing
the endless questions relating to Indian Policy, when the 10 commerce and finances and resources of our oriental
empire had exhausted the lungs of all the speakers, and the patience of all the auditors — at that period, Mr Wilberforce, with a just confidence in his powers, ven
tured to broach the hackneyed subject of Hindoo con15 version. He spoke three hours, but nobody seemed
fatigued: all, indeed, were pleased, some with the ingenious artifices of his manner, but most with the glowing language of his heart. Much as I differed from him in
opinion, it was impossible not to be delighted with his 20 eloquence: and though I wish most heartily that the
Hindoos might be left to their own trinity, yet I felt disposed to agree with him, that some good must arise to the human mind, by being engaged in a controversy
which will exercise most of its faculties. Mr. Wilber25 force is now verging towards age,* and speaks but sel
dom; he, however, never speaks without exciting a wish that he would say more; he maintains, like Mr. Grattan, great respectability of character, by disdaining to
mix in the daily paltry squabbles of party: he is no 30 hunter after place.
I confess I always look with equal respect and pleasure on this eloquent veteran, lingering among his bustling,
* Written in 1814 or 1815.
but far inferior posterity; and well has he a right to
linger on the spot where he achieved one of the greatest 35 laurels that ever brightened in the wreath of fame: a
laurel better than that of the hero, as it is not stained with blood or tears: better even than that of the states man who improves the civilisation of his country, inas
much as to create, is better than to improve. And the 40 man whose labours abolished the Slave Trade, at one
blow struck away the barbarism of a hundred nations, and elevated myriads of human beings, degraded to the brute, into all the dignified capacities of civilized man.
To have done this is the most noble, as it is the most 45 useful work, which any individual could accomplish.
EXERCISE 98. Eulogium on Mr. Fox.-SHERIDAN. Upon the one great subject, which, at this moment, I am confident has possession of the whole feelings of every man, whom I address—the loss, the irreparable loss,
of the great, the illustrious character, whom we all de5 plore-I shall, I can say but little.
He died in the spirit of peace; tranquil in his own expiring heart, and cherishing to the last, with a parental solicitude, the consoling hope that he should be able to give
established tranquillity to harassed, contending nations. 10 Let us trust, that the stroke of death which has borne him
from us, may not have left the peace of the world, and the civilized charities of man, as orphans upon
the earth. With such a man, to have battled in the cause of genu
ine liberty- with such a man, to have struggled against 15 the inroads of oppression and corruption — with such
an example before me, to have to boast that I never in my life gave one vote in parliament that was not on the side of freedom, is the congratulation that attends the
retrospect of my public life. His friendship was the 20 pride and honor of my days. I never, for one moment,
regretted to share with him the difficuities, the calumnies, and sometimes even the dangers, that attended his honorable life. And now, reviewing my past political
conduct, were the option possible that I should retread 25 the path, I solemnly and deliberately declare, that I
would pursue the same course—bear up under the same pressure—abide by the same principles—and remain by his side, an exile from power, distinction, and emolument!
If I have missed the opportunity, of obtaining all the 30 support, I might, perhaps, have had, on the present oc
casion, from a very scrupulous delicacy, which I think became, and was incumbent upon me I cannot repent it. In so doing, I acted on the feelings upon which I am
sensible all those would have acted who loved Mr. Fox 35 as I did. I felt within myself, that while the slightest
aspirations might still quiver on those lips, that were the copious channels of eloquence, wisdom, and benevolence — that while one drop of life's blood might still
warm that heart, which throbbed only for the good of 40 mankind—I should not, I could not have acted otherwise.
Gentlemen; the hour is not far distant, when an awful knell shall tell you, that the unburied remains of your re
vered patriot are passing through your streets, to that 45 sepulchral home where your kings-your heroes your
sages-and your poets, will be honored by an association with his mortal remains. At that hour when the sad solemnity shall take place, in a private way, as more suited
to the simple dignity of his character, than the splendid 50 gaudiness of public pageantry; when you, all of
shall be self marshalled in reverential sorrow-mute, and reflecting on your mighty loss—at that moment shall the disgusting contest of an election-wrangle break the so
lemnity of such a scene? Is it fitting that any man 55 should overlook the crisis, and risk the monstrous and
disgusting contest? Is it fitting that I should be that man?
all of you,
Death of Sheridan.-Byron.
The enduring produce of immortal mind;
A deathless part of him who died too soon
But small that portion of the wondrous whole,
Which all embraced—and lightened over all, 10 To cheer-to pierce-to please-or to appal:
From the charmed council to the festive board,
The praised the proud-who made his praise their pride 15 When the loud cry of trampled Hindostan
Arose to Heaven in her appeal from man,
Which shook the nations through his lips--and blazed, 20 Till vanquished senates trembled as they praised.
And here, oh! here, where yet all young and warm,
Which knew not what it was to intermit;
Home to our hearts the truth from which they spring;
Here in their first abode, you still may meet 30 Bright with the hues of his Promethan heat;
A halo of the light of other days,
Ye orators! whom yet our councils yield,
Mourn for the veteran hero of your field! 35 The worthy rival of the wondrous three! *
Whose words were sparks of immortality!
Ye men of wit and social eloquence!
While powers of mind almost of boundless range,
(That humbler harmonist of care on earth,)
Of pride in merit's proud pre-eminence,
* Pitt, Fox, and Burke.