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ter's Coffee House, with a private committee, about business of great consequence in the affairs of Europe.
Cod. Then, sir, if you don't go, I must instruct you that you will be guilty of a felony: it will be deemed to be done malo animo-it is held so in the books; and what says the statute? By the 5th Geo. II. chap. 30, not surrendering, or embezzling, is felony, without benefit of clergy.
Quid. Ay, you tell me news
Cod. Give me leave, sir,—I am instructed to expound the law to you.—Felony is thus described in the books.-Felonia, saith Hotoman, (De Verbis Feudalibus,) significat capitale facinus, a capital offence.
Quid. You tell me news; you do indeed!
Cod. It was so apprehended by the Goths and the Longbards. And what saith Sir Edward Coke? Fieri debeat felleo animo.
Quid. You've told me news :-I did not know it was felony! But if the Flanders mail should come in, while I'm there, I should know nothing at all of it.
Cod. But why should you be uneasy? cui bono, Mr. Quidnunc, cui bono?
Quid. Not uneasy! if the papists should beat the protestants?
Cod. But I tell you, they can get no advantage of us. The laws against the further growth of popery will secure us; there are provisos in favour of protestant purchasers under papists.-10th Geo. I. chap. 4, and 6th Geo. II. chap. 5.
Cod. And besides, popish recusants can't carry arms; so can have no right of conquest, vi et armis.
Quid. That's true, that's true. I am easier in my mind— Cod. To be sure, what are you uneasy about? The papists can have no claim to Silesia.
Quid. Can't they?
Cod. No, they can set up no claim-if the queen, on her marriage, had put all her lands into Hotchpot; then, indeed, -and it seemeth, saith Littleton, that this word Hotchpot is, in English, a pudding
Quid. You reason very clearly, Mr. Codicil, upon the rights of the powers of war; and so now, if you will, I am ready to talk a little of my affairs.
Cod. Nor does the matter rest here; for how can she set up a claim, when she has made a conveyance to the house of Brandenburg? The law, Mr. Quidnunc, is very severe
against fraudulent conveyances. [Codocil goes on quite inattentive to Quidnunc, who becomes very impatient.]
Quid. 'Sbodkins! you have satisfied me:—
Cod. Why, therefore, then, if he will levy fines, and suffer a common recovery, he can bequeath it as he likes, in feodum simplex, provided he takes care to put in his sis heres.
Quid. I am heartily glad of it:-so that with regard to my effects
Cod. Why, then, suppose she was to bring it to a trial at bar
Quid. I say, with regard to the full disclosure of my effects
Cod. What would she get by that? it would go off upon a special pleading; and as to equity
Quid. Pray, must I, now, surrender my books and my pamphlets?
Cod. What would equity do for her? Equity can't relieve her; he might keep her at least twenty years before a master, to settle the account,
Quid. You have made me easy about the protestants in this war, you have, indeed. So that, with regard to my appearing before the commissioners
Cod. And as to the ban of the empire, he may demur to that for all tenures by knight service are abolished, and the statute 12, Charles II., has declared all lands to be held under a common socage.
Quid. Pray now, Mr.. Codicil, must not my creditors appear to prove my debts?
Cod. Why, therefore, then, if they're held in common_socage, I submit it to the court, whether the empire can have any claim to knight service. They can't call on him for a single man for the wars-unum hominem ad guerram.—For what is common socage?-socagium idem est quod servitium soccae,--the service of the plough.
Quid. I'm ready to attend to them. But, pray, now when my certificate is signed-it is of great consequence to me to know this, I say, sir, when my certificate is signed, may n't I then,-Hey! [starting up and listening,] Hey! what do I hear?
Cod. I apprehend, I humbly conceive, when your certificate is signed
Quid. Hold your tongue :-did I not hear the Gazette ? Newsman, [without.] Great news in the London Gazette ! Quid. Yes, yes it is, it is the Gazette,-it is the Gazette ! Cod. The law, in that case, Mr. Quidnunc, prima facie,
Quid. I can't hear you,-I have not time. [Attempts to pass.]
Cod. I say, sir, it is held in the books,
Quid. I care for no books; I want the Gazette. [Stamping with impatience.]
Cod. Throughout all the books,-[Quid. rushes out.] Bo! the man's non compos; and his friends, stead of a commission of bankruptcy, should take out a commission of lunacy.
EXERCISE XLI.—SONNET TO AN AGED BEGGAR.—Coleridge.
[An example of the softened tone of tenderness and compassion : pitch high; rate slow.]
Sweet Mercy! how my very heart has bled
That hang from thy white beard, and numb thy breast.
Of purple pride, that scouts on wretchedness.
Who met the lazars turned from rich men's doors,
EXERCISE XLII.-SONNET TO LAFAYETTE IN THE DUNGEON OF
[An example, in the first part, of pathos and softened tone,—in the latter part, of gratulation and joy, requiring a full and swelling tone, as in exultation.]
As when, far off, the warbled strains are heard,
Thus in thy country's triumphs shalt rejoice,
And mock, with raptures high, the dungeon's night:
EXERCISE XLIII.-NATIONAL GREATNESS.
[Grave and earnest declamation,- -as in the following impressive example, preserves a low pitch, a firm and forcible tone, a deliberate slowness, with dignity of expression, in voice and action.]
I feel, as I doubt not many feel, that the great distinction of a nation, the only one worth possessing, and which brings. after it all other blessings,-is the prevalence of pure principle among the citizens. I wish to belong to a state, in the character and institutions of which, I may find a spring of improvement, which I can speak of with an honest pride; in whose records I may meet great and honoured names, and which is fast making the world its debtor by its discoveries of truth, and by an example of virtuous freedom.
Oh! save me from a country which worships wealth, and cares not for true glory; in which intrigue bears rule; in which patriotism borrows its zeal from the prospect of office; in which hungry sycophants throng with supplication all the departments of state; in which public men bear the brand of private vice, and the seat of government is a noisome sink of private licentiousness and public corruption.
Tell me not of the honour of belonging to a free country. I ask, does our liberty bear generous fruits? Does it exalt us in manly spirit, in public virtue, above countries trodden under foot by despotism?-Tell me not of the extent of our country. I care not how large it is, if it multiply degenerate men. Speak not of our prosperity. Better be one of a poor people, plain in manners, reverencing God, and respecting themselves, than belong to a rich country, which knows no higher good than riches.
Earnestly do I desire for this country, that, instead of copying Europe, with an undiscerning servility, it may have a character of its own, corresponding to the freedom and equality of our institutions.
One Europe is enough. One Paris is enough. How much to be desired is it, that separated, as we are, from the eastern continent, by an ocean, we should be still more widely separated by simplicity of manners, by domestic purity, by inward piety, by reverence for human nature, by moral independence, by withstanding the subjection to fashion, and that
debilitating sensuality which characterize the most civilized portions of the old world. Of this country, I may say with peculiar emphasis, that its happiness is bound up in its virtue.
EXERCISE XLIV.—MANUFACTURES AND COMMERCE, CONTRASTED WITH CHIVALRY.-St. Leger.
[An example of narrative interspersed with sentiment. The change of tone, in passing from the former to the latter, is the chief object in view, in the following extract, as furnishing scope for well marked modulation. The narrative tone is higher, lighter, and livelier,-the didactic, grave, firm, and deliberate.]
In the middle ages, the Levant and the Netherlands were indisputably the two great marts of natural and created riches; and whether the spices came from Bruges, or the cloths from Damascus, was a matter of sovereign indifference to the baron of those times, provided always that they passed within reachable distance for him either to seize or ransom. I have often wondered how commerce could continue to exist while so little security was afforded to the merchant. But it would seem that there was a general feeling, even in those rude times, that it would not do to annihilate traffic altogether; from which sprang, I doubt not, that system of ransom which the trader placed to his general account, if not of outlay, at least of risk, and advanced the price of his goods accordingly.
The Flemish towns of the middle ages gave rise and dignity, among the Transalpines, to the commercial spirit. The northern parts of Europe owe to them, even surrounded as they were by all the rapine and ignorance of the feudal barons, the existence of the useful arts, and the cultivation of a free spirit. Bruges, and Ghent, and Brussels, and other towns of the Low Countries, were the most advanced of any portion of Europe north of the Alps.
While England and France were spreading and enjoying the advantages of those monstrous mummeries of the middle ages,' chivalry, and the feudal system, the trading towns of the Low Countries and of Italy, were advancing in all the arts of cultivated life,-of intellectual superiority, of physical comfort. Had it not been for them, we might still have been wrapped in our own untanned skins, with rushes and filth struggling for predominance on our floors, and the diseases incident upon dirt and rude living paying us a visit almost every year. Let it never be forgotten that to the