« ZurückWeiter »
and such I therefore hope will be yours. Resentment; indeed, may remain, perhaps, cannot be quite extinguished in the noblest minds; but revenge never will harbour there. Higher principles than those of the first, and better principles than those of the latter, will infallibly influence men whose thoughts and whose hearts are enlarged, and cause them to prefer the whole to any part of mankind, especially to so small a part as one's single self.
Believe me, my lord, I look upon you as a spirit entered into another life, as one just upon the edge of immortality, where the passions and affections must be much more exalted, and where you ought to despise all little views and all mean retrospects. Nothing is worth your looking back; and, therefore, look forward, and make (as you can) the world look after you. But take care that it be not with pity, but with esteem and admiration.
I am, with the greatest sincerity and passion for your fame as well as happiness, your, &c. POPE. Atterbury.-- Francis Atterbury, bishop of Rochester, was
born 6th March, 1662, and consecrated bishop in 1713. In 1722, he was suspected of intriguing in favour of the exiled Stuarts. He was committed to the Tower, and a Bill of Pains and Penalties passed through both Houses of Parliament, sentencing Atterbury to deprivation and exile. The last years of his life were spent in France, and were devoted to scheming both in favour of the Pretender, and in favour of his own return to England. He died 15th February, 1732, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
PUNISHMENT OF A SPY. I SHALL never forget the delightful sensation with which I exchanged the dark, smoky, smothering, atmosphere of the Highland hut, in which we had passed the night so uncomfortably, for the refreshing fragrance of the morning air; and the glorious beams of the rising sun, which, from a tabernacle of purple and golden clouds, were darted full on such a scene of natural romance and beauty as had never before greeted my eyes. To the left lay the valley, down which the Forth wandered on its easterly course, surrounding the beautiful detached hill with all its garland of woods. On the right, amid a profusion of thickets, knolls, and crags, lay the bed of a broad mountain-lake, lightly curled into tiny waves by the breath of the morning breeze, each glittering in its course under the influence of the sunbeams. High hills, rocks, and banks, waving with natural forests of birch and oak, formed the borders of this enchanting sheet of water; and, as their leaves rustled to the wind and twinkled in the sun, gave to the depth of solitude a sort of life and vivacity. Man alone seemed to be placed in a state of inferiority, in a scene where all the ordinary features of nature were raised and exalted. .
It was under the burning influence of revenge that the wife of Macgregor commanded that the hostage exchanged for her husband's safety should be brought into her presence. I believe her sons had kept this unfortunate wretch out of her sight, for fear of the consequences; but, if it was so, their humane precaution only postponed his fate. They dragged forward at her summons a wretch already half dead with terror, in whose agonised features I recognised, to my horror and astonishment, my old acquaintance Morris.
He fell prostrate before the female chief with an effort to clasp her knees, from which she drew back, as if his touch had been pollution : so that all he could do, in token of the extremity of his humiliation, was to kiss the hem of her plaid. I never heard entreaties for life poured forth with such agony of spirit. The ecstacy of fear was such, that instead of paralysing his tongue (as on ordinary occasions), it even rendered him eloquent, and, with cheeks as pale as ashes, hands compressed in agony, eyes that seemed to be taking their last look of all mortal objects, he protested, with the deepest oaths, his total ignorance of any design on the life of Rob Roy, whom he swore he loved and honoured as his own soul. In the inconsistency of his terror, he said he was but the agent of others, and he muttered the name of Rashleigh. He prayed but for life—for life he would give all he had in the world ;it was but life he asked—life, if it were to be prolonged under tortures and privations ;-he asked only breath, though it should be drawn in the damps of the lowest caverns of their hills.
It is impossible to describe the scorn, the loathing, and contempt, with which the wife of Macgregor regarded this wretched petitioner for the poor boon of existence.
“I could have bid you live,” she said, “had life been to you the same weary and wasting burden that it is to me —that it is to every noble and generous
mind. But you-wretch! you could creep through the world unaffected by its various disgraces, its ineffable miseries, its constantly accumulating masses of crime and sorrow-you could live and enjoy yourself, while the noble-minded are betrayed—while nameless and birthless villains tread on the neck of the brave and longdescended :—you could enjoy yourself, like a butcher's dog in the shambles, fattening on garbage, while the slaughter of the brave went on around you! This enjoyment you shall not live to partake of :—you shall die, -base dog—and that before yon cloud has passed over the sun.
She gave a brief command in Gaelic to her attendants, two of whom seized upon the prostrate suppliant, and hurried him to the brink of a cliff which overhung the flood. He set up the most piercing and dreadful cries that fear ever uttered :-I may well term them dreadful, for they haunted my sleep for years afterwards. As the murderers, or executioners (call them as you will), dragged him along, he recognised me even in that
moment of horror, and exclaimed, in the last articulate words I ever heard him utter, “Oh, Mr. Osbaldiston, save me ! save me!”
I was so much moved by this horrid spectacle, that, although in momentary expectation of sharing his fate, I did attempt to speak in his behalf; but, as might have been expected, my interference was sternly disregarded. The victim was held fast by some, while others, binding a large heavy stone in a plaid, tied it round his neck, and others again eagerly stripped him of some part of his dress. Half naked, and thus manacled, they hurried him into the lake (there about twelve feet deep), drowning his last death-shriek with a loud halloo of vindictive triumph ; over which, however, the yell of mortal agony was distinctly heard. The heavy burden splashed in the dark blue waters of the lake, and the Highlanders, with their pole-axes and swords, watched an instant, to guard, lest, extricating himself from the load to which he was attached, he might have struggled to regain the shore. But the knot had been securely bound ; the victim sunk without effort; the waters, which his fall had disturbed, settled calmly over him, and the unit of that life, for which he had pleaded so strongly, was for ever withdrawn from the sum of human existence. Scott.
A HURRICANE IN AMERICA. [JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, a celebrated American naturalist, was
born 4th May, 1780. He was a voluminous writer on all subjects connected with natural history. He died 27th
January, 1851.] I HAD left the village of Shawaney, situated on the banks of the Ohio, on my return from Henderson, which is also situated on the banks of the same beautiful stream. The weather was pleasant, and I thought not warmer than usual at that season. My horse was jogging quietly along, and my thoughts were for once at least in the course of my life entirely engaged in commercial speculations. I had forded Highland Creek, and was on the eve of entering a tract of bottom land or valley that lay between it and Canoe Creek, when on a sudden I remarked a great difference in the aspect of the heavens. A hazy thickness had overspread the country, and I for some time expected an earthquake, but my horse exhibited no propensity to stop and prepare for such an occurrence. I had nearly arrived at the verge of the valley, when I thought fit to stop near a brook, and dismounted to quench the thirst which had come upon me.
I was leaning on my knees, with my lips about to touch the water, when, from my proximity to the earth, I heard a distant murmuring sound of an extraordinary nature. I drank, however, and as I rose on my feet, looked towards the south-west, when I observed a yellowish oval spot, the appearance of which was quite new to me. Little time was left to me for consideration, as the next moment a smart breeze began to agitate the taller trees. It increased to an unexpected height, and already the smaller branches and twigs were seen falling in a slanting direction towards the ground. Two minutes had scarcely elapsed, when the whole forest before me was in fearful motion. Here and there, where one tree pressed against another, a creaking noise was produced, similar to that occasioned by the violent gusts which sometimes sweep over the country. Turning instinctively toward the direction from which the wind blew, I saw, to my great astonishment, that the noblest trees of the forest bent their lofty heads for a while, and unable to stand against the blast, were falling to pieces. First, the branches were broken off with a crackling noise, then went the upper part of the massy trunks, and in many places whole trees of gigantic size were falling entire to the ground. So rapid was the progress of the storm, that before I could think of taking measures to insure my safety,