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PROSE, BY A POET. WAR AND PEACE.
About three weeks before the battle of Waterloo, while the writer of these pages was one day turning over some old papers, he was startled by a strange and portentous expression of his own, which he had long forgotten, and the very meaning of which did not immediately strike his comprehension;—"Peace is only the sleep of war." The phrase had been used on occasion of the failure of Lord Malmesbury's negotiation at Lisle in 1797. The recollections of eighteen years of subsequent hostility throughout Europe, in which peace, when we fancied we had it under the Addington administration, was literally only war asleefl, rushed upon his mind, and awakened sensations so awful and transporting, that the images of thought became embodied, and passed in vision before him. Rapt into by-gone times, he saw a goose's egg lying in the middle of a highway, on which multitudes were travelling; indeed it was the highway to and through all nations. A careless foot happening to break this egg; instead of a gosling, out crawled a reptile, which at first sight seemed a centipedes, but increasing in bulk every moment, it presently grew up into a mon ster as hideous to look upon as a Hindoo divinity. It was the Demon of War in his own person, never before revealed to mortal eye. His figure might have been fashioned in mockery of the human form; his stature reached the clouds, and his shadow darkened the fairest provinces of the globe. He had two heads, which, unlike those of Janus, were placed front to front; innumerable arms, branching out all round his shoulders, sides, and chest; with legs as multitudinous, resembling in colour and motion the pillars of sand in an African whirlwind. His twin faces were frightfully distorted; they glared, they grinned, they spat, they railed, and hissed, and roared; they gnashed their teeth, and bit, and butted with their foreheads at each other. His arms, wielding swords, and spears, and shields, were fighting pell-mell together, each against its neighbours, right and left, so that every one had to contend with two. Often were they broken, paralyzed, or cut sheer off, yet they were quickly restored to strength and activity, or reinstated by others that sprouted from the stumps. His legs, in like manner, were indefatigably at variance, striding contrary ways, trampling on each other's toes, or kicking shins, by universal consent, in the most ludicrous and horrible manner. Beneath them the nations of Christendom were like mole-hills overturned, where the inhabitants, like ants when their nests are broken up, were running to and fro in consternation, and perishing by thousands at every change of his station.