Page images

When every moment teems some monstrous birth,
And falling kingdoms shake the solid Earth
When a Marauder's wild decrees have made
Commerce a Crime, and Massacre a Trade;
Whom no compunctious visitings restrain,
Or if they plead for mercy, plead in vain;
Who, to produce conviction, Cannon brings,
Those loud resistless arguments of Kings; *
To full dominion stalks through tides of gore,
Though mangled † Europe bleeds at every pore;
Yet can for Rule and Precedent, recall
All former Tyrants, and improve on all.
Who much to friends, and times and chances & owes;
And something to himself, but most to Foes ;

faith, and the gross violation of the Law of Nations, which distinguish modern warfare, might warrant us in applying to the present age, a worse epithet than that of Iron;

Pejorague sæcula ferri
Temporibus ; quorum sceleri non invenit ipsa,

Nomen, et a nullo posuit natura metallo.* “Ratio ultima Regum."

“Cum jam semianimem laceraret Flavius orbem." $ The Men are more often made by the Times, than the Times by the Men.

A great deal of good fortune goes to the making up of a Hero, a Cæsar, an Alexander, or a Charlemagne. I do not recollect that Cæsar was ever so much as wounded, in all the variety of dangers to which he fieely exposed himself; although this "Mighty Hunter” of military renown, on different occasions, was actually in at the death," says Pliny, of three

Makes it his Vassals' interest to be slaves,
And true to him, as to all others Knaves.
Bids Beauty wait his nod, the prize * of war,

And binds her struggling to the Conqueror's car;
Blots out each tender tie, with bloody pen,
Whose fiendlike scrawl demoralizes men ;
Rivets the links of martial law, to bind,
Inslave, imbrute, and mechanize the mind;
To Conscripts gagged unfolds that Code severe,
That might from milder Draco force a tear;

millions of fighting men. Sylla could see many Marii in Cæsar! And every field of battle, can shew us many Cæsars ; cut off in the very threshold of their career, and in their very first engagement; and whose ambitious aspirings a vile piece of lead hath restricted to just as much earth as they cover with their carcases on the plain.

* We are informed, that, by a late decree issued by Buo. naparte, no Young Woman in France, possessed of an annual income of £250, or upwards, can chuse a husband of any other profession than that of a Soldier. It might have been hoped, that even Frenchmen could not have been brought to submit to such an outrageous insult to their feelings. Hath this Adventurer's lust of Power any assignable limits ? I fear not; men never go such lengths, as when they know not where they are going; and nothing will satisfy an upstart, raised from nothing. The public have been lately amused with a full and authentic account of Buonaparte's skill in Horsemanship. I can believe he rides well, in common with most other Princes, because Horses never flatter; and 'I can also believe that he rides boldly. "Set a Beggar o. Horseback," et cat.

While Science mourns her lights obscured,* by one,
False as the Frank, and barbarous as the Hun,
A polished Savage, who, to shake belief,
Combines Zeleuco 'with an Indian Chief, ,
Yet hoped his base original to hide
In courtly Pageantry, and sceptered Pride,
When Maids of Honour through the bridal door
Let in a Princess! and let out a Whore !
A Demirep, to splendid exile led,
While pliant Pontiffs smooth th’ Adulterer's bed.

When to be virtuous, is to be defamed,
And nought's so shameful, as to be ashamed;
When wholesale t Murderers in everything
Succeed, and small Retailers only swing;
Ah! what avails it, in such direful times,
When nothing thrives, but cruelties and crimes,

* The fostering beams with which Buonaparte vouchsafes to encourage Science and Literature, may be compared to the rays which emanate from the Moon. They possess no genial warnth; are subject to partial, and total eclipses; and shine only through a dark and benighted atmosphere. The Members of the National Institute, may write and dispute as much as they please, about gas, and galvinism ; they may even be as profane and witty as they think fit, on any mal-administration, they fancy they can espy, in a Planet or a Comet; but they must be extremely cautious, how they find out any thing of that kind, in Holland, France, or Italy.

+ Murder is a trade which succeeds only on a large scale;

" and not to be corrupted

filed is the shame

[ocr errors]

Mid clashing arms, to weep the sąd decease
Of all that loves, adorns, enhances, peace?

Would'st thou be praised, and patronized, unbar
The brazen gates of strife, and plead for War;
Defend each living statesman, mourn the dead,
Prove all the blood they've lavished, justly shed.
Britain of Pitt's successful * Schemes remind,
And glorify the Butchers of mankind;

" That noble trade
That Demigods, and Heroes made;
Slaughter, and knocking of the head,
The trade to which they all were bred ;
And is, like others, glorious when
'Tis great, and large, but base if mean ;
The former rides in triumph for it,
The latter in a two-wheel chariot,
For daring to profane a thing

So sacred, with vile bungling."
These lines seem to have been suggested to Butler by the
following lines of Juvenal :

“Committunt eaden, diverso Crimina fato,
Pethan, Ille Crucem pretium Sceleris tulit, hic Diadema.

By the bye, the finest piece of Irony extant on this subject, in
my humble opinion, is the life of Jonathan Wild, by Fielding.
But poor Jonathan was a bungler at last. A great Man, who
having cheated every other thing, cannot cheat the gallows also,
has learnt but half his trade,
* These shafts are from a female quiver,

“ Pallas Te hoc Vulpere Pallas,"
“After obstinately peiserering for fourteen years in a course of
unsuccessful warfare, he dies. And leaves us with the National
Debt trebled ; every Port in Europe shut against us ; our in


In inartial strains let Buenos Ayres sound,
Tell of an Army lost! a General found !
Be Walcheren's funeral processions praised,
Anexpedition against Agues raised!
In verse at least let blushing shine,
And round his drowsy brows the laurel twine;
All who their leader's merits might dispute,
Are, from the sword, or fiercer fever, mute.

Let others rise, I boast nor power, nor will
To prostitute, in praise of such, my quill;
Could I, with Truth's severe unflattering pen,
Expose unmasked the Fiend of War * to men,

ternal trade perishing by bankruptcies; our taxes more than trebled ; our shores menaced with invasion; opportunities of of making a safe peace, all gone by.And how stands Mr. Pitt's administration the test of the Poilosopher; The tree is known by its fruits ? Strange that any one should mistake the apples of the Manchineal, for the Bread Tree! Ohapless England, how rapidly art thou fallen from thy late high prosperity; the victim of thy too credulous confidence in one I'roud Mao! whom no chastizing experience could warn from his tricking expedients, so fraught with danger to his country, and by which he only purchased, “Short intermission, fraught with double woe."

* The frequency and long continuance of the modern wars in which this country has been involved, may perhaps be attributed, in great measure, to the two following causes ; First, the Pretext that Wars afford to the Administration for levying immense Sums of Money upon the Subjcct; and this to such an amount, that it may be justly suspected that Wars

« PreviousContinue »