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stances of these excellencies is easy, the difficulty in such abundance would be the selection:
• Copia judicium, sæpe morata meum est,'
Perhaps there will not be found a happier instance of contemptuous exhibition than in the following passage, in which he warns his correspondent not to judge, from certain republican publications, of the opinions and sentiments generally prevalent in England. • The vanity, restlessness, petulance, and spirit of intrigue of several petty cabals, who attempt to hide their total want of consequence in bustle and noise, and puffing, and mutual quotation of each other, makes you imagine that our contemptuous neglect of their abilities is a mark of general acquiescence in their opinions. No such thing, I assure you. Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud, and are silent, pray do ‘not imagine that those who make the noise are the ONLY INHABITANTS of the field ; that, of course, they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little, shrivelled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome insects of the hour.'*
The description of the exulting joy displayed by an eminent Dissenter on the hus miliation of the King of France, and the fall of the monarchy (a joy reasonable, if a rationally free and happy constitution appeared likely to result from the overthrow of despotism, but premature and groundless as the case actually stood) shews a force of comic humour, a brilliancy of witty allusion, a poignancy of satirical insinuation, seldom exceeded, or, indeed, equalled by any writer whose comic powers have been the exclusive sources of his fame.
• This inspires a juvenile warmth through his whole frame. His enthusiasm kindles as he advances; and when he arrives at his
* Reflexions, p. 126-7.
roration, it is in a full blaze. Then viewing, from the pisgah of his pulpit, the free, moral, happy, flourishing, and glorious state of France, as in a bird-eye landscape of a promised land, he breaks out into the following rapture;
• What an eventful period is this! I am thankful that I have lived to it; I could almost say, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes bave seen thy salvation. I have lived to see a diffusion of knowledge, which has undermined superstition and error.
I have lived to see the rights of men better understood than ever, and nations panting for liberty which seemed to have lost the idea of it. I have lived to see thirty millions of people, indignant and resolute, spurning at slavery, and demanding liberty with an irresistible voice. Their King led in triumph, and an arbitrary Monarch surrendering bimself to bis subjects.'
• Before I proceed further, I have to remark, that Dr. Price seems rather to over
value the great acquisitions of light which he has obtained and diffused in this
age. The last century appears to me to have been quite as much enlightened. It had, though in a different place, a triumph as memorable as that of Dr. Price, and some of the great preachers of that period partook of it as eagerly as he has done in the triumph of France. On the trial of the Rev. Hugh Peters for high treason, it was deposed, that when King Charles was brought to London for his trial, the Apostle of Liberty in that day conducted the triumph. • I saw,' says the witness, · his Majesty in the coach with six horses, and Peters riding before the King triumpbing;' Dr. Price, when he talks as if he had made a discovery, only follows a precedent; for, after the commencement of the King's trial, this
precursor, the same Dr. Peters, concluding a long prayer at the royal chapel at Whitehall, (he had very triumphantly chosen his place) said,
“ I have prayed and preached these twenty years; and now I may say with old Simeon, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." * Peters had not the fruits of his prayer; for he neither departed so soon as he wished, nor in peace. He became (what I heartily hope none of his followers
be in this country) himself a sacrifice to the triumph which he led as Pontiff.'
Often as it has been quoted, I cannot refrain from repeating the citation of that passage in which a most charming woman is described by the pen of taste and sensibility; a sensibility raised to the highest pitch by the misfortunes of its object.
• It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles ; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to 'move in,-glittering like the morning
* State Trials, vol. ii. p. 360, 363.