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killed in the field of battle, and five hundred taken prisoners, of whom seventy-nine were wounded. They were all confined in Weston church, where five of them died of their wounds. About five hundred more were taken prisoners in the pursuit, and upwards of five hundred were apprehended afterwards by the civil officers and others.
“ Immediately after the battle, the Earl of Fever. fham ordered twenty-two of the prisoners to be hanged on the spot, four of whom were hanged in chains. The fate of one man in particular is too extraordinary to be passed over. This person, who was remarkably swift of foot, was prevailed upon, on condition of being pardoned, to entertain the general with an instance of his agility. Accordingly having stripped himfelf naked, a halter was put round his neck, and the opposite end of it was fastened to the neck of a horse. They started at a place called Bussex-rhine, and ran from thence to Brintsfield bridge, a distance fomewhat exceeding half a-mile; and though the horse went at full speed, the man kept pace with him the whole way. But, note withstanding this exertion of his ability, and the terms of the agreement, the inhuman general ordered him to be hanged with the rest *.
“ The barbarity of the soldiers, who were employed in burying the flain, was yet greater. Several unfortunate men of the Duke's party, who lay wounded on the field, were thrown into the earth with the dead; and some endeavouring, with the little strength they had left, to crawl out of their graves were prevented by the unfeeling soldiers, who dispatched them with their spades !”
* Alluding to the barbarities practised by the Earl of Feversham, towards his prisoners, Mr. Grainger remarks, “ His uncle, the famous Marsal Turenne, who knew and practised every part of generalship, never treated his prisoners in this manner.” Toulmin's History of Taunton. VOL. VIII.
Upon Upon reading this horrible account of Sedgemoor battle, and its attendant cruelties, emotions of grief must arise within our breast. On such occasions we may well exclaim with a modern poet :
-Spirit of death,
Drop his red sword, and weep the work of death! War is in itself one of the greatest maladies that can afflict mankind. It is indeed that tremendous evil which Providence employs to punish guilty pations, when inferior chastisements have failed in their falutary operation. In its train follows a scene of congregated horrors. Nor is any individual abie to form an adequate judgment of its mischiefs, except he has been an eye-witness to its devastations. The late Mr. Mason (a respectable clergyman of the church of England) has most juftly furnithed us with the fol. lowing picture of its effects; it is death personified as a -warrior :
Hark! heard ye not yon footstep dread,
I spy'd the sparkling of his spear,
Wide wav'd his bickering blade and fir’d the angry air ! Defensive war alone, indeed, can be justified by the dictates of reason or the precepts of Revelation. The Quakers, a most respectable body of people, are, however, of opinion, that no war will admit of a satisfactory vindication. They contend that their religion fue lemnly prohibits every species of destruction. Certain it is, that the doctrines of Christ are of a most pacific tendency; that thote persons who have imbibed most of their spirit, are least inclined to contention, and, finally, the prophecies assure us, that when revelation thall have attained to its full efficacy on the human race, WAR SHALL BE NO MORE ! In the mean time we must Jament the bloody contests with which the world is filled; nor can we help admiring Miss More's beautiful lines :
O blind to think
PERCY, Nor must I quit this almost boundless subject, with. out communicating to you the following anecdote, related by a very modern traveller—" 1 visited,” says he, “ with interest and attention, the plain where the famous battle was fought between the Czar Peter the Great, and Charles of Sweden. The mound still remains that was built with the bodies of the sain! On being dug into, it exhibits an awful melange of the skeletons of men and horses, with the iron heels of boois, rusty spears, and broken weapons.”
This account accords with a curious passage to be found in the first Georgic of VIRGIL, which shews
I i 2
that such spectacles are by no means peculiar to modern times :
Agricola, incurvo terram molitus aratro
In the year 1789, I myself went over the Plains of Culloden, near Inverness, where the rebels where defeated with great flaughter, by the Duke of Cumberland, April 16, 1746. Though near fifty years had elapsed since that period, yet the spot where the Nain were interred was perfectly diftinguishable from the rest of the moor by its sunken state and extraordinary fertility! I picked up half a skull, which was found just beneath the surface of the ground, and brought it with me to England, as a relic of that memorable day. By this victory the hopes of an unrelenting enemy were extinguished, and the blessings both of liberty and of the Protestant religion, secured to us and to our posterity.
For this digreffion I make no apology-an hatred of war and the love of peace, are indiffolubly connected with the comfort and happiness of mankind.
Passing on from Bridgewater towards Wells, a lovely prospect opened to us on the left, which might be pronounced almost unrivalled for its charming variety. Part of Somersetshire, the Bristol Channel ftudded by the two little islands called the Holmes, and in the further part
of the landscape the mountains of Wales, rose to view in rich and grand succession. The counties of Glamorgan and Monmouth were distinêtly discerned in the skirts of the horizon-the latter of which, containing the place of my birth (natale solum) gave rise to pleasing sensations. I involuntarily thought of many dear relatives and friends, encircled by their native hills, and enjoying the honest gains of their peaceful industry. The whole group of objects now engaging the attention, constituted no ordinary scene, and was contemplated by us with no common emotions. The union of land and water enters into a highly beautiful landscape here we beheld them in perfection.
We soon reached the ancient town of Glastonbury. Here are the fine ruins of an abbey, once called the Mother of all Saints, which justly attract the attention of the traveller. It is pretended that the bodies of Jofeph of Arithmathea, of King Arthur, and of King Edward the Confessor, were buried here, for the place was distinguished in the earliest periods of our history. At present the town is large and well built, cuntain. ing two parish churches. On a steep hill near this place, itands a very ancient tower, commonly called Glastonbury Tor, commanding an extensive prospect, and serving as a land-mark for feamen. Its history is involved in profound obscurity. Upon the summit of this Tor the last Abbot of this famous place was hung by the order of that cruel despot Henry the Eighth, for not acknowledging his supremacy.
The hill was also remarkable for the holy thorn, which was said, in former times, to blossom yearly on Christmas-day. The story is, that it sprung from St. Joseph of Arithmathea's staff, stuck by him in the ground. It would discompose the most serious gravity to read what Hearne, Broughton, and Camden, have written on this curious subject. Dr. James Montague, Bishop of Bath and Wells, in King James the First's days, was so wonderfully taken with the holy thorn, that he thought a branch of it a present worthy the acceptance of the then Queen Anne, King James's confort, Natural historians have since discovered, that