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“O let me not too long await !
In bloody bloom-Hurrah !'
Thou treasure of the soldier's eye-
Thy cherish'd home-Hurrah !
When clasping thee ?-Hurrah !
I seldom gazed on thee, my bride-
For ever join'd-Hurrah !
Who'd thee forsake-Hurrah !
My bride of steel-Hurrah !
The song was composed ;-ere the impression had dried on the scroll, the battle had commenced; and when his countrymen again sought him, it was found that the sword and the lyre were both broken. He sleeps—but it is in an honored grave.
The first fruits of the heart-the noblest effusions of the intellect are offered up at his tomb-and the noble-hearted Germans, turning from the poet's page to the warrior's bier, feel in the innermost depths of their souls the solemn conviction that the Love of Country is but another name for virtue.
Having thus endeavoured to prove the existence and identity of patriotism, I will now proceed to portray its effects, and to vindicate its propriety.
In the early ages of the world, it might naturally be expected that the strong necessity which existed for peopling the earth, would have retarded the developement of the patriotic feeling. Such, however, was not the case. In the family of the first man—in the person of the first shedder of human blood-we recognise the unerring evidence of the existence of the Love of Country. It is recorded thus in Holy Writ :-“ And Cain said, my punishment.is greater than I can bear, a fugitive shall I be, and a wanderer on the earth; and it shall come to pass
that all who see me shall slay me.” And why this plaint of expatriation ? The world was all before him where to choose —hill and valley, stream and plain — all were his birthright, his lawful heritage. The smile had hardly faded from the brow of creation - that gladness which it put on in the morning of its being, when the stars first sang their immortal melodies, and the sons of God shouted together for joy! It was because he was condemned to depart for ever from the home of his nativity — the spot where he had passed the happy hours of infancy, while his soul was as yet unconscious of the knowledge which is not happiness — where he had nightly watched, to gaze upon the cherubim as they waved their fiery swords over the portals of that Eden which he had dreamt, and his father had known, to have been the abode of happiness. This may teach the philosopher, whether Christian or sceptic, an important lesson: it will teach him
that man in all ages is ever the same
that the murderer, the fratricide had yet a human heart in his bosom, - that he, whose name has become a bye-word for guilt, was not wholly evil, but a compound of strength and weakness, actuated by the same passions and feelings which constitute our common nature.
Turning from the consideration of individuals to that of communities, we are of necessity compelled, from the paucity of our knowledge respecting the early empires of the east, to commence with the Ancient Greeks; and here in truth is as wide a field as was ever opened to the view of poet or sage. There, where the arts had their birth-place, and the glory and grandeur of creation found their first students and expounders — where beauty decked her in a thousand robes, and every spot was consecrated by the presence of genius, the Love of Country first became a sentiment and a passion. Under its exalting influence were achieved the brightest deeds that adorn the history
excellence to which after ages can furnish no parallel. In selecting examples from Grecian story, I have been embarrassed how to choose, but proceed to relate one from amongst a thousand instances of valour and patriotism.
Amongst the people of Sparta, or Lacedæmon, as it is indifferently called, the most severe penalties could alone expiate the crime of cowardice, or indifference to the glory of the state. Their wives and mothers, taught to conquer the natural impulses of their souls, rejoiced over the end of those who died in arms for their country's welfare, and reserved their lamentations for such of their children as returned from a lost field. Hence every soldier was a hero, (and every Spartan was a soldier,) and merit of almost superhuman greatness alone secured pre-eminence. This
will account for the performance of those prodigies of courage and virtue, which, without such explanation, would seem but absurd and romantic fictions -- the progeny of wild and inventive genius.
It was in the famous expedition of the Persian monarch, Xerxes, into Greece, that the Greeks first taught mankind a lesson which it had been happy if they had never forgotten. In the pass of Thermopylæ the whole force of the Persian army, estimated, at the very lowest computation, at upwards of a million, were withstood by a portion of the Grecian warriors, amounting scarcely to a thou. sand men, and commanded by Leonidas, one of the kings of Sparta. No hope of after enjoyinent sustained their courage through the hopeless strife-no prospect of speedy return, laden with the spoils of the vanquished. Monarch and soldier, Spartan and tributary, came there to die, happy if their death could rid the earth of a portion of their detested invaders. Life-the life of the Ancient Greeks — that existence of beauty and flowers ! was but as nothing compared with the preservation of their country's freedom. To Greece they owed their existence ; it was but a loan, and they surrendered it without a murmur when her glory demanded the sacrifice. When the soil was freed from the presence of the barbarians, their fellow-citizens erected a tribute to the memory of those who had taught them the way to conquer : no pompous enumeration of titles - no labored eulogy of their deeds was inscribed thereon-but, with the simplicity which on such occasions constitutes true eloquence, it recorded the following sentence: “Go, traveller, and tell those at Sparta that we died here in obedience to her laws.”
Nor was it merely in the field of battle that the Greeks evinced their patriotism; the Love of Country entered into the composition of every motive, and guided the progress of every action of their lives. Their ideas of natural justice, their definitions of right and wrong, and their hopes of after existence in a happier world, all bore reference to the operation of this ruling principle. That in the prosecution of this beloved object, the aggrandizement of their country, they often committed excesses abhorrent to humanity, is a charge which has been frequently urged against them, and cannot be denied by their warmest admirers; but, on the other hand, it must not be forgotten that they walked in the light of an imperfect reasonthat they were taught that the means were justified by the end, and that whilst their errors were those of universal mankind, their virtues were Grecian alone,
This is a lecture upon the love of country, and not a history, or I would tell how Greece sunk when she had the recollection of Marathon and Thermopylæ — when every part of her soil had become consecrated to glory by the commission of some imperishable action; and how the sons of those who smote the Persian in his pride, and subdued the eastern world, became the prey of the savage and the stranger. Such task I leave to the curious inquirer, with this recommendation, that as he traces out the corruptions of ancient times, he will do well to reflect upon the present condition of his own.
Turn we now to Rome, that other great landmark of the ebb and flow of human glory. Here we behold the operation of the same principles which had wrought such wonders amongst their vassal Greeks, though modified and directed by the peculiar genius of the nation. The Roman was the perfection of soldiership - the very impersonation of the god of war. Despising the intellectual artifices of the Greek, the Roman made to his object by