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state, yet more unnatural than slavery itself-liberty bestowed by halves—the power of resistance given the inducement to submission withheld.
You have let the slave taste of the cup of freedom ; while intoxicated with the draught beware how you dash the cup away from his lips. You have produced the progeny of liberty, see the prodigious hazard of swathing the limbs of the gigantic infant, you know not the might that may animate it.
Have a care, I beseech you have a care how you rouse the strength that slumbers in the sable peasant's arm! Every tribe, every shade of the Negro race will combine, from the fiery Koramantin to the peaceful Eboe, and the ghastly shape of colonial destruction meets the astonished eye.
I turn away from the horrid vision that my eye may rest once more on the prospect of enduring empire, and peace founded upon freedom. I regard the freedom of the Negro as accomplished and sure. Why? because it is his right; because he has shown himself fit for it; because a pretext, or a shadow of a pretext, can no longer be devised for withholding that right from its possessor. My reliance is firm and unflinching upon the great change which I have witnessed—the education of the people, unfettered by party or by sect, witnessed from the beginning of its progress.
may say from the hour of its birth; I watched over its cradle, I marked its growth, I rejoiced in its strength, I witnessed its maturity, I have been spared to see it ascend the very height of supreme power, directing the councils of state, accelerating every great improvement, uniting itself with every good work, propping all useful institutions, extirpating abuses in all our institutions, passing the bounds of our European dominions, and in the new world, as well as the old, proclaiming that freedom is the birthright of man, that distinction of colour gives no title to oppression, that the chains now loosened must be struck off, and even the marks they have left effaced, proclaiming this by the same eternal law of our nature which makes nations the masters of their own destiny, and which in Europe has caused every tyrant's throne to quake.
But they need feel no alarm at the progress of light who defend a limited monarchy and support popular institutions; who place their chief pride not in ruling over slaves, be they white or be they black, but in wearing a constitutional crown, in holding the sword of justice with the hand of mercy, in being the first citizen of a country whose air is too pure for slaves to breathe, and on whose shores, if the captive's foot but touch, his fetters of themselves fall off.
The time has come, the trial has been made, the hour is striking; you have no longer a pretext for hesitation, faltering, or delay. I demand his rights. I demand his liberty without stint. In the name of justice and of law, in the name of reason, in the name of God, who has given you no right to work injustice, I demand that your brother be no longer trampled upon as your slave! I make my appeal to the Commons who represent the free people of England, and I require at their hands the performance of that condition for which they have paid so enormous a price, that condition which all their constituents are in breathless anxiety to see fulfilled! I appeal to this house. Hereditary judges of the first tribunal in the world, to you I appeal for justice. Patrons of all the arts that humanize mankind, under your protection I place humanity herself. To the merciful sovereign of a free people I call aloud for mercy to the hundreds of thousands for whom half a million of her Christian sisters have supplicated, I ask that their cry may not have risen in vain.
But first I turn my eye to the throne of all justice, and devoutly humbling myself before him who is of purer eyes than to behold such vast iniquities, I implore that the curse hovering over the head of the unjust and the oppressor be averted from us, that your hearts may be turned to mercy, and that over all the earth His will may at length be done.
TO A SKYLARK.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
[Percy Bysshe Shelley! It is the name of a great and inspired poet, and most unfortunate man. Were we not obliged to confine ourselves to mere biographical and critical notices of the writer's we introduce from month to month to our readers, we should be tempted to trespass on their patience in this one instance, for Shelley lived more in one year than Wordsworth did in all his lengthened career. There are men who live and men who merely vegetate. There is as much romance and incident in Shelley's life as in any dream-life that his friend and companion, Byron, ever invented. Shelley will never be thoroughly understood by the million, his poetry, for the most part, being too shadowý and mystical ; his " Prometheus Unbound” has been called “a magnificent riddle."
He was the eldest son of Sir Timothy Shelley, Bart., of Field Place, Sussex, where he was born August 4th, 1792. He was sent to Eton, but, violating the rules of that school, was removed to Oxford at an earlier age than is usual. Here his opinions were too free and too freely spoken to please the Dons; he was expelled his college, at an age when opinions can be scarcely formed, certainly not fixed, because he did not believe all that they did, and had the courage to say so. He was no hypocrite ; he did not nurse his heresies as some have done, and then, having obtained place and
power, endeavour to undermine the foundation of the temple in which he was reared. Shelley an atheist! Shelley deny the Divine Law ?
"Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingleNot the words of an atheist these; but the opinion that Shelley had no faith nor no religion has been long since successfully refuted.
Shelley was twice married. His first marriage, considered by his family to be an ill-assorted one, led to an estrangement between them and him. After the birth of a boy and a girl he separated from his wife, who died shortly after. His second wife was Miss Godwin, daughter of an author, and herself famous as the author of “Frankenstein." With his new wife he went to Italy, renewed his acquaintance with Byron, and joined Leigh Hunt in "The Liberal," as detailed in our sketch of that author. Shortly after this he met with his untimely death, by the wreck of his boat in a violent storm on his return to his house on the Gulf of
Lerici, July 8th, 1822. His body was washed ashore fifteen days afterwards.
Drowned in a storm! his spirit passing away while battling with the unfathomable ocean; his body cast like a weed upon the shore, afterwards burned, and his ashes placed in an urn. What a grand, mystic, and tragic end to that poet-life of his-that greater epic than any he composed—his own history !-Shelley, a poem! What a subject for some future Byron, if we should ever get one
What might Shelley have not written, had his life been prolonged ? High as is bis place, where would it have been had he been spared to even that "span-long life” that is allotted to man? He died at thirty; he survived his nonage but nine years—what a nine years!
His principal poetical works are “Prometheus Unbound," “Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude," Queen Mab,” “The Revolt of Islam,” and “The Cenci," a tragedy.
As we have said, his was the poetry for the student, but many of his minor poems are simple and very beautiful, and, set to music by some of our best composers, have become home-songs.
The odes to “ The Skylark” and “The Cloud " pure, as poetical, and as elevated as any similar poetry in the language.)
Hail to thee, blithe spirit !
Bird thou never wert,
Pourest thy full heart
Higher still, and higher,
From the earth thou springest
The blue deep thou wingest,
In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
Thou dost float and run,
The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven,
In the broad daylight
Keen are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,
In the white dawn clear,
All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
From one lonely cloud
What is most like thee?
Drops so bright to see,
Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Till the world is wrought
Like a high-born maiden
In a palace tower,
Soul in secret hour
Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Its aërial hue