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been considerably multiplied. The gradual decline and extinction of these intervening families, was little known, and when the pretensions to the family honours devolved on the claimant, it was so unexpected to many of those who had only contemplated this branch in the character of private gentlemen, that it instantly begat a long course of rancorous misrepresentations, falsehoods, and prejudices. These sometimes gave occasion to a display of alliance, which in common cases might well have been deemed ostentation and vanity. It would perhaps have been almost stupid, not, under such provocation, to shew that the alliances of this branch were so far from derogating from those to whose honours a claim was preferred, that they were at least on a par with them. But here again Mr. B.'s fluctuating and ductile temper rather urged with indiscreet impetuosity, than persevered with calm dignity.

Mr. B., had his life taken a different course, might have excelled in some kinds of literary composition. He read with uncommon elegance and sweetness of voice; and, if he had cultivated it, would, I think, have arrived at a very beautiful elocution. His style of preaching was admirable.

He was buried in the family vault at Wootton, eight miles from Canterbury, and the same distance from Dover.

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THE RUMINATOR;

CONTAINING

A SERIES OF MORAL AND SENTIMENTÁL ESSAYS.

." Meditation here

May think down hours to moments. Here the heart May give an useful lesson to the head."

COWPER.

ART. DCC.

N°. I. On the consequences of War; with a poem in commendation of the Feudal Times.

+

In the multiplicity of subjects that offer themselves to a contemplative mind for consideration, I have experienced the common consequence of ful. ness of choice; I have deferred it till it is too late to do justice to any. But I will wave the formality of an introduction, which, from the practice of former Essayists, is become too trite to interest; and proceed to make use of such materials, as are ready at my call; trusting to futurity to develope my plans, and bestow strength on my progress.

It is too well known, that refinement and luxury in all nations, at all times, have gone hand in hand; and that with wealth and prosperity have been

sown the seeds of corruption, decline, and ruin. Some fluctuations there will be in all states; wars and even misfortunes may call forth a temporary energy, even after the commencement of a fall; and I am not sure that even those scenes of peculiar and unexampled distress and danger, which the Continent of Europe has experienced for the last fifteen years, may not procrastinate the total predominance of barbarism, and for a little while prolong some of the institutions of social order.

The amiable and enlightened Cowper, now and then, suffered under a passing cloud of narrow prejudice. He has said, that

"War is a game, which, were their subjects wise, Kings would not play at."

I take for granted, he does not mean to allude merely to particular instances of a wanton exercise of prerogative in a Sovereign, by engaging in a war from motives of personal ambition, contrary to the wishes of his people, (cases that do perhaps occur, yet not very often); but to war in general, which he assumes to originate in this way.

Now I do not believe that wars in general are principally attributable to kings; still less do I believe that kings have entered into them for their

wn amusement; and least of all, that their consequences are so mischievous as the passage cited from Cowper seems to insinuate. The horrors of a field of battle, scenes of blood-shed, and devastation, and famine, are apt subjects for the powerful descriptions of a poet; and from such, results the moral (a little too encouraging to popular pre

VOL. VIII.

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judices) of the affecting work of a living poet, one of the most beautiful writers* perhaps, which this nation ever produced; I mean, of the Joan of Arc of Southey! But from these partial evils, deep as they often are, I am convinced that there springs a great deal of good. They awaken a nation from that state of stupefaction, sensuality, and effeminacy, which are its worst and most fatal disease: they dispel apathy, foster a generous and energetic spirit, accustom the body to wholesome exercise and toil, and nerve the mind against the hour of adversity and privation.

It is well remembered that, when, at the close of the late reign, the celebrated Dr. Brown, in his "Estimate," represented this nation, as sunk into the lowest state of feminine debility, the energy of Lord Chatham's administration, and the vigorous war which he carried on, electrified the kingdom, and raised it in a short period to a point of unex. ampled glory and renown, both for its wisdom and its heroism. Have we not seen similar effects from the late war? Compare the energy of the present race of males in all ranks of society, with the habits of those who predominated in society, during the peace, which followed the American contest! There is a vigour and hardihood in the rising generation, worthy of less luxurious times!

But how long we shall keep off the baneful effects, which commerce never fails at last to produce, I dare not inquire! My imagination at least will never fail to be best pleased with the manners of ages

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* I must except his Thalaba.

approaching nearer to those of chivalry! For this reason I shall here venture to insert a poem, congenial to these sentiments, which has hitherto lain unnoticed among my papers.

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Lines on the figure of a Warrior, dressed in Feudal Armour, his shield adorned with an ancient heraldric coat; á Baronial castle in the back ground, on the highest tower of which is displayed a banner, bearing the same insignia; drawn and presented to the author by the Rev. C. W.*

"So shone th' heroic chief in days of old!
Fierce was his mien; his limbs of giant mould;
Beneath the load of cumbrous armour light,
Active he bounded to th' infuriate fight;
Broad was his shield, with bold device imprest,
And on his helmet frown'd the grimly crest:
Yon moated castle's massy walls uprose
To frown defiance on his vassal's foes;
Aud o'er that shadowy forest's wide domains,
O'er these blue hills, aud those extended plains,
O'er many a scatter'd vill, and many a town,
He rul'd by right, by favour, or renown.

Ferocious days, and days of wild alarm,
Yet chear'd by many a joy, and many a charm,
Which these degenerate times have lost!-For Power
Dwelt with the chief, who own'd the Feudal Tower!

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* One, who after one and thirty years of uninterrupted friendship, and after having buffeted with the rage of the yellow fever in the Atlantic, and having afterwards visited all the shores of the Mediterranean, and witnessed the horrors and the glories of the tremendous night, which was illuminated by the battle of the Nile, is returned safe to form one of the few props and comforts of the author's life.

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