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Moses. Aaron. Hebrews.
Moses.—Children of Israel, your deliverance Approaches. In a few more hours the men Who were so late your masters, shall bow down And ask you to be free; beseech you ; nay, With importunity shall thrust you out. For on this night the God of Israel triumphs O’er Egypt.
Let each household choose a lamb, And kill it for the passover. Then take A bunch of hyssop; dip it in the blood, And on your doorposts, and upon the lintel, Strike it. And then let none till morning move Over the threshold. At the midnight hour Shall the Destroyer go throughout the land. But this your sacrifice shall be a sign Between The Lord and you; and when he sees The blood sprinkled, you shall be left in safety. Meanwhile remain within your doors, and eat The paschal supper with unleavened bread, Mingled with bitter herbs. Eat it in haste, As men prepared to journey. Let your loins Be girded, and let each man grasp his staff, For
your deliverance is near at hand.
Hail to thee, God of Israel, Lord of might!
For thou art God alone;
Thy sovereign sway.
Princedoms and powers on high
Heaven's winged couriers fly,
At thy command
Dart their envenomed shafts afar :
Sweeps o'er the sand,
Creation in its infant beauty,
Or sparkling fire,
That potent word
Is terror to thy foes,
Thou heard'st our cry :
And thou didst bow
With lightning's speed,
On every side
Didst scatter wide
Lord of the skies,
Before thee bow
All glorious thou,
That stud the midnight arch
Beneath thy feet,
• Psalm xviii.
Like dewy gems, or drops of golden rain ;
The glowing pavement of thy march
Around thy burning seat.
(To be continued.)
Belgium, the Rhine, Switzerland, and Holland: an Autumnal
Tour. By J. S. Buckingham. 2 vols. London: Peter Jackson, late Fisher, Son, and Co.
MR. BUCKINGHAM's character and claims are by this time, we trust, widely known. Few men, either at home or abroad, can better lay claim to the title of “guide, philosopher, and friend." Few men of equal worth have suffered equal wrongs. At the early age of ten, a prisoner of war; in 1813, by the breaking out of the plague, an unsuccessful mercantile adventurer at Valetta; a short while after, an unfortunate traveller, stripped, plundered of everything, left entirely naked, without food or water, in the midst of the desert, by a party of revolted Egyptian soldiers; expelled from India by the tyranny of the Bombay government; compelled to resign an opulent situation in the service of the Imaum of Muscat, because he could not bring himself to participate in the inhuman traffic in the life of man. Banished again from India by the temporary Governor General, who at the same time destroyed the newspaper which he had established, and which realised £8,000 a year, for no justifiable cause whatever; admitted by Lord John Russell to deserve compensation, and yet by Lord John Russell himself denied all chance of redress. The founder of an institution which sought to supply a great social want, and yet which broke up, for want of adequate support. Few men would have borne up, as Mr. Buckingham has done, against a sea of troubles; and still fewer would have laboured as he has, for the benefit and instruction of his fellow-man. Most men under the circumstances of the case would have grown misanthropical, and written of the world and its ways with a pen steeped in gall. Our author, however, as if nothing had happened to annoy him, has for years been known and respected as a philanthropist, and has laboured that the world might be the better for his life. Of principles that have now been crowned with righteous success, he was the advocate, when those who held them were but few in number, and despised. The reforms for which he was sacrificed in India have one after another been introduced. Father Mathew has had a pension for life; twenty millions have been voted for the slave owners in the West Indies. After thirty years of tarnished fame, Lord Dundonald has been restored to the full enjoyment of his rights. Mr. Buckingham alone has been overlooked ; his claims alone have been admitted, and often treated with neglect. Against the unjust judge his importunity alone has been of no avail. Though Lord John Russell, the chairman of the committee of the House of Commons, by whom Buckingham's case was considered, spoke of his great hardships and grievous losses; though Lord (then Mr.) Den. man described Mr. Buckingham's expulsion from India as "one of the most crucl, oppressive, and unjustifiable acts which he had ever known to have been committed by a British governor, in the history of the colonies, bad as they were;” still we believe Mr. Buckingham will be what he has been for years, an injured man. Whigs can be generous and rhetorical when out of office ; can mix with men of the people; even can take the chair at Exeter hall. But in office you have no hope from them, unless you can prove that your ancestor came in for a slice of church property under bluff king Hal, or was a pirate or free-booter when the Norman bastard landed on our shores. In the eyes of the whig minister, ancestry covers a multitude of sins. They tolerated Sheridan; they are compelled to be civil to Cobden; but Mr. Buckingham, no longer a member of parliament, not even the grandson of a lord, has not the shadow of a chance with them; not even if he waits till the House of Commons be completed, a thing as improbable as anything that can well be imagined.
So much for the whigs, by way of digression. Let us return to the "Autumnal Tour." It would be absurd to expect much novelty, for Mr. Buckingham has gone over the very ground with which Englishmen are most familiar. Nevertheless, he has collected an amount of information which the reader will gratefully receive. Belgium, the most populous, and perhaps the most prosperous of European states, with its fine old cities, and yet finer works of art, is first described. To some the following information may be new :
“The government of Belgium is what is called a Constitutional Monarchy, consisting of a king, in the first instance chosen,
and his descendants holding the crown by hereditary claim; a senate, named by the monarch; and an elected house of representatives; being, in short, a very close imitation of the English model. There is one material feature of difference, however, which is this: that in Belgium, though a vast majority of the inhabitants, nine-tenths perhaps, are of the Roman Catholic faith, there is no predominant or exclusive state church, paid by the government, to the exclusion of all others.
As here, all denominations of Christians are held to be equal in the eye of the law; and though the protestants are very few, they are perfectly free, are protected in the exercise of their worship, and their ministers of religion, are paid out of the same treasury as the teachers of all other sects.
“Education is liberally supported by the government, and encouraged in every possible way, the public funds being devoted to the maintenance both of masters and schools, and the greatest benefit results from this. The punishment of death, even for murder, has been entirely abolished, and crimes are not believed to be increased thereby. All letters sent through the post are inviolable, and no secretary of state or other public functionary can pry into them himself, or authorize any other person to do so.
“The parliament holds its annual sittings in Brussels, The proportion of representatives to population is carefully observed, there being one member to every forty thousand inhabitants. Every citizen paying taxes to the extent of thirty shillings a year has a vote. Each member of the house of representatives is elected for four years; and as one half of the entire body resign their membership or retire every two years, and their places are filled by new ones, there is consequently a fresh infusion of new talent and independence every two years, and the whole body is thus never violently changed. The members are paid about £20 a month each; a sum not sufficient to make the situation attractive for its pecuniary reward, but yet enough to cover the actual expenses of each, and thus secure the services of many able and upright men, whose private fortunes are not large enough to enable them to incur the cost of an entirely gratuitous devotion of their time and labour to the business of their country, and who, by this open and honourable recompense, are saved from the temptation to make their political adhesion to the minister of the day dependent on their promise of a place, or benefit in some other shape, from the public funds. In England, from the long habit of choosing representatives from the wealthy classes only, with very few exceptions, it would no doubt be an unpopular measure to propose the payment of members; and yet no good reason