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THE DYNASTS ACT i
Of drollery he has laboured to outshape,
(Or treasured up from others who have shaped it,)
Displays that are the conjurings of the moment,
(Or mellowed and matured by sleeping on)—
Dry hoardings in his book of commonplace,
Stored without stint of toil through days and months—
He heaps into one mass, and lights and fans
As fuel for his flaming eloquence,
Mouthed and maintained without a thought or care
If germane to the theme, or not at all.
Now vain indeed it were should I assay To match him in such sort. For, sir, alas, To use imagination as the ground Of chronicle, take myth and merry tale As texts for prophecy, is not my gift, Being but a person primed with simple fact, Unprinked by jewelled art.—But to the thing.
The preparations of the enemy, Doggedly bent to desolate our land, Advance with a sustained activity. They are seen, they are known, by you and by us alL But they evince no clear-eyed tentative In furtherance of the threat, whose coming off, Ay, years may yet postpone; whereby the Act Will far outstrip him, and the thousands called Duly to join the ranks by its provisions, In process sure, if slow, will ratch the lines Of English regiments—seasoned, cool, resolved— To glorious length and firm prepotency. And why, then, should we dream of its repeal Ere profiting by its advantages ? Must the House listen to such wilding words As this proposal, at the very hour When the Act's gearing finds its ordered grooves And circles into full utility ? The motion of the honourable gentleman Reminds me aptly of a publican Who should, when malting, mixing, mashing's past, Fermenting, barrelling, and spigoting,