Verse 41. "Who provideth for the raven " - This bird is chosen, perhaps, for his voracious appetite, and general hunger for prey, beyond most other fowls. He makes a continual cry, and the cry is that of hunger. He dares not frequent the habitations of men, as he is considered a bird of ill omen, and hated by all. This verse is finely paraphrased by Dr. YOUNG: - "Fond man! the vision of a moment made! Dream of a dream, and shadow of a shade! What worlds hast thou produced, what creatures framed, What insects cherish'd, that thy God is blamed? When pain'd with hunger, the wild raven's brood Calls upon God, importunate for food, Who hears their cry ? Who grants their hoarse request, And stills the glamours of the craving nest?" On which he has this note: - "The reason given why the raven is particularly mentioned as the care of Providence is, because by her clamourous and importunate voice she particularly seems always calling upon it; thence korassw, a korax, is to ask earnestly. - AElian. lib.
ii., c. 48. And since there were ravens on the banks of the Nile, more clamourous than the rest of that species, those probably are meant in this place." THE commencement of Cicero's oration against Catiline, to which I have referred on ver. 3, is the following: - Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? Quamdiu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? Quem ad finem sese effrenata jactabit audacia? Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium palatii-nihil urbis vigiliae, - nihil timor popuii, - nihii concursus bonorum omnium, - nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus-nihil horum ora, vultusque moverunt? Patere tua consilia nan sentis? Constrictam jam omnium horum conscientia teneri conjurationem tuam non vides? Quid proxima, quid superiore nocte egeris, - ubi fueris, quos convocaveris, - quid consilii ceperis, quem nostrum ignorare arbitraris? O tempora! O mores! Senatus haec intelligit, - consul videt; hic tamen vivit! Vivit? immo vero eitam in senatum venit; fit publici consilii particeps; notat et designat oculis ad caedem unumquemque nostrum! Nos autem, viri fortes, satisfacere reipublicae videmur, si istius furorem ac tela vitemus! "How long wilt thou, O Catiline, abuse our patience? How long shall thy madness out-brave our justice? To what extremities art thou resolved to push thy unbridled insolence of guilt? Canst thou behold the nocturnal arms that watch the palatium, - the guards of the city, - the consternation of the citizens, - all the wise and worthy clustering into consultation,- the impregnable situation of the seat of the senate, - and the reproachful looks of the fathers of Rome? Canst thou behold all this, and yet remain undaunted and unabashed? Art thou insensible that thy measures are detected? Art thou insensible that this senate, now thoroughly informed, comprehend the whole extent of thy guilt? Show me the senator ignorant of thy practices during the last and preceding night, of the place where you met, the company you summoned, and the crime you concerted. The senate is conscious, - the consul is witness to all this; yet, O how mean and degenerate! the traitor lives! Lives? he mixes with the senate; he shares in our counsels; with a steady eye he surveys us; he anticipates his guilt; he enjoys the murderous thought, and coolly marks us to bleed! Yet we, boldly passive in our country's cause, think we act like Romans, if we can escape his frantic rage!" The reader will perceive how finely Cicero rushes into this invective, as if the danger had been too immediate to give him leisure for the formality of address and introduction. See Guthrie's Orations of Cicero. Here is eloquence! Here is nature! And in thus speaking her language, the true orator pierces with his lightnings the deepest recesses of the heart. The success of this species of oratory is infallible in the pulpit, when the preacher understands how to manage it.