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In Cabin’d Ships at Sea
In cabin'd ships at sea,
The boundless blue on every side expanding,
With whistling winds and music of the waves, the large imperious waves,
Or some lone bark buoy'd on the dense marine,
Where joyous full of faith, spreading white sails,
She cleaves the ether mid the sparkle and the foam of day, or under
many a star at night,
By sailors young and old haply will I, a reminiscence of the land, be read,
In full rapport at last.
Here are our thoughts, voyagers' thoughts,
Here not the land, firm land, alone appears, may then by them be said,
The sky o'erarches here, we feel the undulating deck beneath our feet,
We feel the long pulsation, ebb and flow of endless motion,
The tones of unseen mystery, the vague and vast suggestions of the
briny world, the liquid-flowing syllables,
The perfume, the faint creaking of the cordage, the melancholy rhythm,
The boundless vista and the horizon far and dim are all here,
And this is ocean's poem.
Then falter not O book, fulfil your destiny,
You not a reminiscence of the land alone,
You too as a lone bark cleaving the ether, purpos'd I know not
whither, yet ever full of faith,
Consort to every ship that sails, sail you!
Bear forth to them folded my love, (dear mariners, for you I fold it
here in every leaf;)
Speed on my book! spread your white sails my little bark athwart the
Chant on, sail on, bear o'er the boundless blue from me to every sea,
This song for mariners and all their ships.
OF THE ORIGIN AND DESIGN OF GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL, WITH CONCISE REMARKS ON THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expence and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.
In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest, they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto, the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out of the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him from his work, and every different want call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune would be death, for though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.
Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which, would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen, that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other; and this remissness, will point out the necessity, of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.
Some convenient tree will afford them a State-House, under the branches of which, the whole colony may assemble to deliberate on public matters. It is more than probable that their first laws will have the title only of Regulations, and be enforced by no other penalty than public disesteem. In this first parliament every man, by natural right, will have a seat.
But as the colony increases, the public concerns will increase likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present. If the colony continue increasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of the representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number; and that the elected might never form to themselves an interest separate from the electors, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often; because as the elected might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the electors in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflexion of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this (not on the unmeaning name of king) depends the strength of government, and the happiness of the governed.
Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. freedom and security. And however our eyes may be dazzled with show, or our ears deceived by sound; however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and of reason will say, it is right.
I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered; and the easier repaired when disordered; and with this maxim in view, I offer a few remarks on the so much boasted constitution of England. That it was noble for the dark and slavish times in which it was erected, is granted. When the world was over run with tyranny the least remove therefrom was a glorious rescue. But that it is imperfect, subject to convulsions, and incapable of producing what it seems to promise, is easily demonstrated.
Absolute governments (tho’ the disgrace of human nature) have this advantage with them, that they are simple; if the people suffer, they know the head from which their suffering springs, know likewise the remedy, and are not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. But the constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies, some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine.
I know it is difficult to get over local or long standing prejudices, yet if we will suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of the English constitution, we shall find them to be the base remains of two ancient tyrannies, compounded with some new republican materials.
First.—The remains of monarchical tyranny in the person of the king.
Secondly.—The remains of aristocratical tyranny in the persons of the peers.
Thirdly.—The new republican materials, in the persons of the commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of England.
The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the people; wherefore in a constitutional sense they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the state.
To say that the constitution of England is a union of three powers reciprocally checking each other, is farcical, either the words have no meaning, or they are flat contradictions.
To say that the commons is a check upon the king, presupposes two things:
First.—That the king is not to be trusted without being looked after, or in other words, that a thirst for absolute power is the natural disease of monarchy.
Secondly.—That the commons, by being appointed for that purpose, are either wiser or more worthy of confidence than the crown.
But as the same constitution which gives the commons a power to check the king by withholding the supplies, gives afterwards the king a power to check the commons, by empowering him to reject their other bills; it again supposes that the king is wiser than those whom it has already supposed to be wiser than him. A mere absurdity!
There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required. The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, by unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless.
Some writers have explained the English constitution thus; the king, say they, is one, the people another; the peers are an house in behalf of the king; the commons in behalf of the people; but this hath all the distinctions of a house divided against itself; and though the expressions be pleasantly arranged, yet when examined they appear idle and ambiguous; and it will always happen, that the nicest construction that words are capable of, when applied to the description of some thing which either cannot exist, or is too incomprehensible to be within the compass of description, will be words of sound only, and though they may amuse the ear, they cannot inform the mind, for this explanation includes a previous question, viz. How came the king by a power which the people are afraid to trust, and always obliged to check? Such a power could not be the gift of a wise people, neither can any power, which needs checking, be from God; yet the provision, which the constitution makes, supposes such a power to exist.
But the provision is unequal to the task; the means either cannot or will not accomplish the end, and the whole affair is a felo de se; for as the greater weight will always carry up the less, and as all the wheels of a machine are put in motion by one, it only remains to know which power in the constitution has the most weight, for that will govern; and though the others, or a part of them, may clog, or, as the phrase is, check the rapidity of its motion, yet so long as they cannot stop it, their endeavors will be ineffectual; the first moving power will at last have its way, and what it wants in speed is supplied by time.
That the crown is this overbearing part in the English constitution needs not be mentioned, and that it derives its whole consequence merely from being the giver of places and pensions is self-evident, wherefore, though we have been wise enough to shut and lock a door against absolute monarchy, we at the same time have been foolish enough to put the crown in possession of the key.
The prejudice of Englishmen, in favour of their own government by king, lords and commons, arises as much or more from national pride than reason. Individuals are undoubtedly safer in England than in some other countries, but the will of the king is as much the law of the land in Britain as in France, with this difference, that instead of proceeding directly from his mouth, it is handed to the people under the more formidable shape of an act of parliament. For the fate of Charles the first, hath only made kings more subtle—not more just.
Wherefore, laying aside all national pride and prejudice in favour of modes and forms, the plain truth is, that it is wholly owing to the constitution of the people, and not to the constitution of the government that the crown is not as oppressive in England as in Turkey.
An inquiry into the constitutional errors in the English form of government is at this time highly necessary, for as we are never in a proper condition of doing justice to others, while we continue under the influence of some leading partiality, so neither are we capable of doing it to ourselves while we remain fettered by any obstinate prejudice. And as a man, who is attached to a prostitute, is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favour of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one.
I found myself lying on the living room floor. My legs are paralyzed. Counting triangles and squares. Manifested in his lies. Anxiety the doctor once told me. Fuck it. Cigarette burns on quivering arms. Acceptance. The heaviest burden to carry. It's okay. I accept it. I'm not weak. Am I?
And so, I found myself. Stagnant. I am the past. Caffeine tremors and bulimic accusations. I was never aware of the consequences. The illusions of his loving limb. I'm swirling in and out. Above myself. Beneath the burden of his greedy breath. A cold grip of dissociation. Crumbling under his soft lie. I'm numb. Succumbed to waves of my porcelain heart.
"You are so beautiful. This is love. Do you feel how good it is to stroke? Touch. Sense?"
I fall asleep. Trembling in foetal position. I was a child. I am a child!
Nothing more than illegal satisfaction
at a level too high
for my brain to understand...
Rookie’s First Post
Hey y'all! I'm Rane, I've been kicking my feet for 18 years now, excluding the gestation. I'm an early graduate, so I'm delivering pizza until basic training in June 20. In that between time, I dream to be able to publish a book. So I got Prose! With this app, I wish to be able to not only improve my skills, but also find other authors to show me how they did it! Well, that's all that's relevant I believe. Thank you for having me, hope I can be an amusing guest!
The First Day of Many
On the walls
Everywhere I turned all I saw was red
Even in my dreams, the bloodiness consumed me
But the blood wasn't the worst part
When a nightmare is declared as fantasy, it excites the viewers
Turn it into tv shows and books and plays
But when it turns to reality
It becomes apparent how it was never a source of joy
It was just a coping mechanism
If you think it's fake then it's fun
But what if it's not fake?
All these thoughts swarmed my head as the news channel flashed the latest story: Worldwide Outbreak of "Zombie- Like" Disease
Sounds like the plot to the latest movie, right?
Bring out the popcorn and let's watch
But it's not a trailer to a movie
It's very real
I know I'm not going to last long
But I'm not ready to say goodbye yet
So I'll simply say
See you when I wake up from this nightmare
She hands him a feather
from her broken wing
He dips it in her tears,
and pens her resurrection
I’m moving on
I tell myself
I like him
saying those words
So I can believe them
No matter what I do
You'll still be it for me
But I have to protect my heart
I have to move on
I'll learn to
Stop loving you
And your face
And your touch
And your expressions
So hard to decipher
Maybe I'm hoping
For you to realize
What you missed
Or maybe I'm just done
With it all
But for now
I have to say goodbye
Our suitcase is filled to the brim.
We packed long ago, in the early times of us.
We are an adventure.
We dreamed of going places last fall.
Back when we liked each other but
Giggled and blushed furiously at the
Mere thought of exposing our scenario's
Of going places with each other, to the other.
All through December and January
We flirted with ideas of where we could go.
We planned in our minds what new places
We could venture to.
The great wonders we could see and the
Places we could experience with the other.
In the middle of February we finalized plans.
We bought tickets to some of the happiest places on Earth.
We packed bags and off we went
To see new places.
Places full of beauty,
Places where the earth trusted us to appreciate it.
Places that were fragile, places that had rough terrain.
We'd take different paths occasionally,
Never failing to end back up where we belong though,
Hand in hand, together.
Shared experiences which I wouldn't want to share
With anyone but you.
We found the map to each other's hearts.
A treasure chest led you to the key. Unlocking
My fears. My deepest desires. My trust. My love.
You led the way to a walled castle
Planted in the middle of a magical forest.
You helped me through those walls,
Across the moat and to the heart of it all.
A ballroom with beautiful music
Flowing sweetly into our ears.
You showed me that I can arrive to
New places, even when the path is rocky.
When walls seem high, and I'm scared of what lays beyond the door.
Traveling with you has been the most
Cherished adventure of my life.
Regardless of how many planes I've caught,
Of how many strangers I meet along the way.
Because I'm simply a tourist.
Going through the motions,
Staying a day or two, before re-stuffing
My bag and coming back here.
I miss my castle.
I'm not a traveler without you.
I use bulky binoculars to see the little things
You could so easily point out to me otherwise.
Passport messily stamped, postcards collected.
Where's my love? My guide. My best friend.
I use GPS to find my way around, whereas
You use the stars. A map. Intuition.
Maybe you can't come to these places with me.
Because the hotel was booked and you couldn't
Find tickets on the same train as I.
That doesn't mean our adventures are over.
I've never trusted anyone before to watch
The suitcase with my heart and happiness in it,
Across an ocean.
I'm waiting in my ballroom, my love.
A dancer, frail but strong. Waiting
To dance with her faithful companion
Waiting to travel to more places.
Because the only destination I really care about
Is your arms.
Prose Challenge of the Week #52
Good morning, Prosers,
It’s week fifty-two of the Prose Challenge of the Week! Last week saw you all writing synopses for our new Prose Original series, Collabowrite. We had shed-loads of superb entries to read, so thank you everyone.
Before we find out which one of you takes the $100 prize and the runner-up prize of 1000 coins, let’s take a look at this week’s prompt:
Prose Challenge of the Week #52: Pick a classic poem and re-write it, modernize it, and share your poetic interpretation of the piece. The winner will be chosen based on a number of criteria, this includes: fire, form, and creative edge. Number of reads, bookmarks, and shares will also be taken into consideration. The winner will receive $100 and will be placed first on our Spotlight page and the runner-up will receive 1000 coins. When sharing to social media, please use the hashtag #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Get writing now
Back to the winner of week fifty-one. We have read all of your entries and thoroughly enjoyed every single one. There can only be one winner and one runner up, however, and after much deliberation the runner up, and the recipient of 1000 coins is, @LaurusTet with their piece “Walls of New Caledonia.” Congratulations! Now for the champion of the challenge, our winner this week is, @Sandflea68 with their piece “Sinister Disconnection.” Congratulations to you, we will be in touch shortly to arrange transfer of your winnings! It is also @Sandflea68’s job to write the first chapter of our Prose Collabowrite Original Book. If you want to get involved and write a subsequent chapter, comment below!
That’s all for this week, here’s to a week filled with all things Prose!
Until next time, Prosers,