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XLIIL-THE ISLES OF GREECE.
By Lord Byron.
THE isles of Greece, the isles of Greece! Where burning Sappho* lov'd and sung, Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung! Eternal summer gilds them yet, But all, except their sun, is set.
The mountains look on Marathon--
I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
A king sat on the rocky brow
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis,
And men in nations ;--all were his!
And where are they? and where art thou,
The heroic bosom beats no more!
Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
Must we but blush!-Our fathers bled.
* Sappho was born in the island of Lesbos. + Xerxes.
You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
The nobler and the manlier one?
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
We will not think of themes like these!
He served-but served Polycrates-
The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend :
Oh! that the present hour would lend
Trust not for freedom to the Franks
They have a king who buys and sells;
The only hope of courage dwells;
Place me on Sunium's* marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
There swan-like let me sing and die :
* Sunium was a promontory at the south east extremity of Attica.
CXLIV. THE CHARACTER OF BLANNERHASSETT.
Extract from the Speech of William Wirt, in the trial of Aaron Burr, for Treason, in preparing the means of a Military Expedition against Mexico, a Territory of the King of Spain, with whom the United States were at peace; delivered in the Circuit Court of the United States, for the District of Virginia, 1807.
May it please your Honors,-LET us now put the case between Burr and Biannerhassett. Let us compare the two men, and settle the question of precedence between them. Who, then, is Blannerhassett? A native of Ireland, a man of letters, who fled from the storms of his own country, to find quiet in ours. Possessing himself of a beautiful island, in the Ohio, he rears upon it a palace, and decorates it with every romantic embellishment of fancy. A shrubbery, that Shenstone might have envied, blooms around him. Music, that might have charmed Calypso and her nymphs, is his. An extensive library spreads its treasures before him. A philosophical apparatus offers to him all the secrets and mysteries of nature. Peace, tranquillity, and innocence, shed their mingled delights around him. The evidence would convince you, that this is but a faint picture of the real life. In the midst of all this peace, this innocent simplicity, and this tranquillity, this feast of the mind, this pure banquet of the heart, the destroyer comes; he comes to change this Paradise into a hell. A stranger presents himself. Introduced to their civilities, by the high rank which he had lately held in his country, he soon finds his way to their hearts, by the dignity and elegance of his demeanor, the light and beauty of his conversation, and the seductive and fascinating power of his address. The conquest was not difficult. Innocence is ever simple and credulous. Conscious of no design itself, it suspects none in others. It wears no guard before its breast. Every door and portal and avenue of the heart is thrown open, and all, who choose it, enter. Such was the state of Eden, when the serpent entered its bowers. The prisoner, in a more engaging form, winding himself into the open and unpractised heart of the unfortunate Blannerhassett, found but little difficulty in changing the native character of that heart, and the objects of its affection. By degrees, he infuses into it the
poison of his own ambition. He breathes into it the fire of his own courage; a daring and desperate thirst for glory; an ardor panting for great enterprises, for all the storm, and bustle, and hurricane of life. In a short time the whole man is changed, and every object of his former delight is relinquished. No more he enjoys the tranquil scene; it has become flat and insipid to his taste. His books are abandoned. His retort and crucible are thrown aside. His shrubbery blooms and breathes its fragrance upon the air in vain; he likes it not. His ear no longer drinks the rich melody of music. It longs for the trumpet's clangor, and the cannon's roar. Even the prattle of his babes, once so sweet, no longer affects him; and the angel smile of his wife, which hitherto touched his bosom with ecstacy so unspeakable, is now unseen and unfelt. Greater objects have taken possession of his soul. His imagination has been dazzled by visions of diadems, of stars, and garters, and titles of nobility. He has been taught to burn, with restless emulation, at the names of great heroes and conquerors. His enchanted island is destined soon to relapse into a wilderness; and, in a few months, we find the beautiful and tender partner of his bosom, whom he lately "permitted not the winds of" summer "to visit too roughly," we find her shivering at midnight, on the winter banks of the Ohio, and mingling her tears with the torrents, that froze as they fell. Yet this unfortunate man, thus deluded from his interest and his happiness, thus seduced from the paths of innocence and peace, thus confounded in the toils that were deliberately spread for him, and overwhelmed by the mastering spirit and genius of another-this man, thus ruined and undone, and made to play a subordinate part in this grand drama of guilt and treason, this man is to be called the principal offender, while he, by whom he was thus plunged in misery, is comparatively innocent, a mere accessory! Is this reason? Is it law? Is it humanity? Sir, neither the human heart nor the human understanding will bear a perversion so monstrous and absurd! so shocking to the soul! so revolting to reason! Let Aaron Burr, then, not shrink from the high destination which he has courted, and having already ruined Blannerhassett in fortune, character, and happiness, for ever, let him not attempt to finish the tragedy by thrusting that ill-fated man between himself and punish
CXLV.-IMPEACHMENT OF JUDGE PRESCOTT.
Close of the Speech of Daniel Webster, in behalf of James Prescott, Judge of the Probate of Wills, &c. for the County of Middlesex, who was impeached for misconduct and maladministration in office, before the Senate of Massachusetts, 1821.
Mr. President.--THE case is closed. The fate of the respondent is in your hands. It is for you now to say, whether, from the law and the facts as they have appeared before you, you will proceed to disgrace and disfranchise him. If your duty calls on you to convict him, convict him, and let justice be done! but I adjure you let it be a clear, undoubted case. Let it be so for his sake: for you are robbing him of that for which, with all your high powers, you can yield him no compensation; let it be so for your own sakes; for the responsibility of this day's judgment is one which you must carry with you through your life. For myself, I am willing here to relinquish the character of an advocate, and to express opinions, by which I am willing to be bound, as a citizen of the community. And I say, upon my honor and conscience, that I see not how, with the law and constitution for your guides, you can pronounce the respondent guilty. I declare, that I have seen no case of wilful and corrupt official misconduct, set forth according to the requisition of the constitution, and proved according to the common rules of evi dence. I see many things imprudent and ill-judged; many things that I could wish had been otherwise; but corruption and crime I do not see. Sir, the prejudices of the day will soon be forgotten; the passions, if any there be, which have excited or favored this prosecution, will subside; but the consequence of the judgment, you are about to render, will out-live both them and you. The respondent is now brought, a single, unprotected individual, to this formidable bar of judgment, to stand against the power and authority of the State. I know you can crush him, as he stands before you, and clothed, as you are, with the sovereignty of the State. You have the power "to change his countenance, and to
send him away." Nor do I remind you that your judgment is to be rejudged by the community; and, as you have summoned him for trial to this high tribunal, you are soon to