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accents triumphant over death and time. As from the dead level of an utilitarian philosophy no mighty work of genius ever issued, so never can such a work be enjoyed except in that happy forgetfulness of its doctrines, which always softens the harshest creed. But I believe that those who thus plead for the people are wholly unauthorized by the feelings of the people; that the poor of these realms are richer in spirit than their advocates understand them; and that they would feel a pride in bestowing their contributions in the expression of respect to that great intellectual ancestry whose fame is as much theirs as it is the boast of the loftiest amongst us. I do not believe that the people of Scotland share in the exultation of the publishers who have successively sent among them cheap editions of the "Lay of the Last Minstrel," "Marmion," and the Lady of the Lake;" that they can buy them at a lower price than if the great minstrel who produced them were still among the living. I cannot believe that they can so soon forget their obligations to one who has given their beautiful country a place in the imagination of mankind which may well compensate for the loss of that political individuality they so long and so proudly enjoyed, as to count with satisfaction the pence they may save by that premature death which gave his copyrights to contesting publishers, and left his halls silent and cold. It is too late to do justice to Burns; but I cannot believe the peasant who should be inspired by him to walk "in glory and in joy, following his plough by the mountain side," or who, casting his prideful look, on Saturday evening, around his circle of children, feels his pleasure heightened and reduplicated in the poet's mirror, would regret to think that the well-thumbed volume which had made him conscious of such riches had paid the charge of some sixpence towards the support of that poet's children.

There is only one other consideration I would suggest before I sit down, which relates not to any class, but to the community and our duties towards them. It is thus expressed in Mr. Wordsworth's petition "That this bill has

for its main object to relieve men of letters from the thraldom of being forced to court the living generation to aid them in rising above slavish taste and degraded prejudice, and to encourage them to rely on their own impulses." Surely this is an object worthy of the legislature of a great people, especially in an age where restless activity and increasing knowledge present temptations to the slight and the superficial which do not exist in a ruder age. Let those who "to beguile the time look like the time," have their fair scope-let cheap and innocent publications be multiplied as much as you please,-still the character of the age demands something impressed with a nobler labour, and directed to a higher aim. "The immortal mind craves objects that endure." The printers need not fear. There will not be too many candidates for "a bright reversion," which only falls in when the ear shall be deaf to human praise. I have been accused of asking you to legislate " on some sort of sentimental feeling." I deny the charge: the living truth is with us; the spectral phantoms of depopulated printinghouses and shops are the baseless fancies of our opponents. If I were here beseeching indulgence for the frailties and excesses which sometimes attend fine talents-if I were here appealing to your sympathy on behalf of crushed hopes and irregular aspirations, the accusation would be just. I plead not for the wild, but for the sage; not for the perishing, but for the eternal: for him who, poet, philosopher, or historian, girds himself for some toil lasting as life-lays aside all frivolous pursuits for one virtuous purpose-that when encouraged by the distant hope of that "All-hail hereafter,' which shall welcome him among the heirs of fame, he may not shudder to think of it as sounding with hollow mockery in the ears of those whom he loves, and waking sullen echoes by the side of a cheerless hearth. For such I ask this boon, and through them for mankind

and I ask it in the confidence with the expression of which your veteran petitioner Wordsworth closed his appeal to you-" That in this, as in all other cases, justice is capable of working out its own expediency!"


NOT from the youth-illumined stage alone

Is gladness shed; it breathes around from all Whose names, imprinted on each honour'd wall, Speak deathless boyhood; on whose hearts the tone, Which makes each ancient phrase familiar grown New by its crisp expression, seems to fall A strain from distant years; while striplings, still In careless prime, bid younger bosoms thrill With plaudits such as lately charm'd their ownWhile richest humour strangely serves to fill

Worn eyes with childlike tears; for Memory lifts

Time's curtain from the spirits' holiest stage,

And makes even strangers share the precious gifts Which clasp in golden meshes Youth and Age.












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