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In one rude clash he struck the lyre, And swept with hurried hand the strings.

With woful measures, wan Despair– Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled: A solemn, strange, and mingled air,
‘Twas sad by fits, by starts ’twas wild.

But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair, What was thy delighted measure?
Still it whispered promised pleasure, And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail; Still would her touch the scene prolong; And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, She called on Echo still through all the song; And, where her sweetest theme she chose, A soft responsive voice was heard at every close; And hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hair;–

And longer had she sung:–but, with a frown, Revenge impatient rose:
He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down, And, with a withering look,
The war-denouncing trumpet took, And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne’er prophetic sounds so full of woe! And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat:

And though sometimes, each dreary pause between, Dejected Pity at his side,
Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien, While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head.

Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fixed; Sad proof of thy distressful state! Of differing themes the veering song was mixed; And now it courted Love, now raving called on Hate.

With eyes upraised, as one inspired, Pale Melancholy sat retired;
And from her wild sequestered seat, In notes by distance made more sweet, Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul; And dashing soft from rocks around, Bubbling runnels joined the sound:
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole, Or, o’er some haunted stream, with fond delay, Round a holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace and lonely musing,– In hollow murmurs died away.

But oh, how altered was its sprightlier tone! When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue, Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew, Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung, The hunter’s call to Faun and Dryad known! The oak-crowned Sisters and their chaste-eyed Queen, Satyrs and Sylvan boys, were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green. Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear,
And Sport leaped up, and seized his beechen spear.

Last came Joy’s ecstatic trial;
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addressed; But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best: They would have thought, who heard the strain, They saw in Tempe’s vale her native maids, Amidst the festal-sounding shades,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing; While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings, Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round; Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound; And he, amidst his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay, Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.

O Music! sphere-descended maid, Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom’s aid!
Why, goddess, why, to us denied, Lay’st thou thy ancient lyre aside? As in that loved, Athenian bower
You learned an all-commanding power. Thy mimic soul; O nymph endeared!
Can well recall what then it heard. Where is thy native simple heart
Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art? Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime! Thy wonders in that god-like age,
Fill thy recording Sister’s page;– ‘Tis said, and I believe the tale, Thy humblest reed could more prevail, Had more of strength, diviner rage, Than all which charms this laggard age, E’en all at once together found
Cecilia’s mingled world of sound;– O bid our vain endeavours cease:
Revive the just designs of Greece: Return in all thy simple state!
Confirm the tales her sons relate!

COLLINS.

[Notes: _William Collins_ (1720-1756). A poet, who throughout life struggled with adversity, and who, though he produced little, refined everything he wrote with a most fastidious taste and with elaborate care.

_Shell_, according to a fashion common with the poets of the first half of the 18th century, stands for lyre. The Latin word _testudo_, a shell is often so used.

_Possessed beyond the Muse’s painting_ = enthralled beyond what poetry can describe.

_His own expressive power, i.e.,_ his power to express his own feelings.

_In lightnings owned his secret stings_ = in lightning-like touches confessed the hidden fury which inspired him.

_Veering song_. The ever-changeful song.

_Her wild sequestered seat_. Sequestered properly is used of something which, being in dispute, is deposited in a third person’s hands: hence of something set apart or in retirement.

_Round a holy calm diffusing_ = diffusing around a holy calm.

_Buskin_. A boot reaching above the ankle. _Gemmed_ = sparkling as with gems.

Faun and Dryad_. Creatures with whom ancient mythology peopled the woods.

_Their chaste-eyed Queen_ = Diana.

_Brown exercise_. Exercise is here personified and represented as brown and sunburnt.

_Viol_. A stringed musical instrument.

_In Tempe’s vale_. In Thessaly, especially connected with the worship of Apollo, the god of poetry and music.

_Sphere-descended maid_. A metaphor common with the poets, and taken from a Greek fancy most elaborately described in Plato’s ‘Republic,’ where the system of the universe is pictured as a series of whorls linked in harmony.

_Thy mimic soul_. Thy soul apt to imitate.

_Devote_ = devoted. A form more close to that of the Latin participle, from which it is derived.

_Thy recording Sister_ = the Muse of History.

_Cecilia’s mingled world of sound_ = the organ. So St. Cecilia is called in Dryden’s Ode, “Inventress of the vocal frame.”

_The just designs_ = the well-conceived, artistic designs.]

* * * * *

“A WHALE HUNT.”

A tide of unusual height had carried the whale over a large bar of sand, into the voe or creek in which he was now lying. So soon as he found the water ebbing, he became sensible of his danger, and had made desperate efforts to get over the shallow water, where the waves broke on the bar but hitherto he had rather injured than mended his condition, having got himself partly aground, and lying therefore particularly exposed to the meditated attack. At this moment the enemy came down upon him. The front ranks consisted of the young and hardy, armed in the miscellaneous manner we have described; while, to witness and animate their efforts, the young women, and the elderly persons of both sexes, took their place among the rocks, which overhung the scene of action.

As the boats had to double a little headland, ere they opened the mouth of the voe, those who came by land to the shores of the inlet had time to make the necessary reconnaissances upon the force and situation of the enemy, on whom they were about to commence a simultaneous attack by land and sea.

This duty, the stout-hearted and experienced general–for so the Udaller might be termed–would entrust to no eyes but his own; and, indeed, his external appearance, and his sage conduct, rendered him alike qualified for the command which he enjoyed. His gold-laced hat was exchanged for a bearskin cap, his suit of blue broadcloth, with its scarlet lining, and loops, and frogs of bullion, had given place to a red flannel jacket, with buttons of black horn, over which he wore a seal-skin shirt curiously seamed and plaited on the bosom, such as are used by the Esquimaux, and sometimes by the Greenland whale-fishers. Sea-boots of a formidable size completed his dress, and in his hand he held a large whaling-knife, which he brandished, as if impatient to employ it in the operation of _flinching_ the huge animal which lay before them,–that is, the act of separating its flesh from its bones. Upon closer examination, however, he was obliged to confess that the sport to which he had conducted his friends, however much it corresponded with the magnificent scale of his hospitality, was likely to be attended with its own peculiar dangers and difficulties.

The animal, upwards of sixty feet in length, was lying perfectly still, in a deep part of the voe into which it had weltered, and where it seemed to await the return of tide, of which it was probably assured by instinct. A council of experienced harpooners was instantly called, and it was agreed that an effort should be made to noose the tail of this torpid leviathan, by casting a cable around it, to be made fast by anchors to the shore, and thus to secure against his escape, in case the tide should make before they were able to dispatch him. Three boats were destined to this delicate piece of service, one of which the Udaller himself proposed to command, while Cleveland and Mertoun were to direct the two others. This being decided, they sat down on the strand, waiting with impatience until the naval part of the force should arrive in the voe. It was during this interval, that Triptolemus Yellowley, after measuring with his eyes the extraordinary size of the whale, observed, that in his poor mind, “A wain[1] with six owsen,[2] or with sixty owsen either, if they were the owsen of the country, could not drag siccan[3] a huge creature from the water, where it was now lying, to the sea-beach.”

Trifling as this remark may seem to the reader, it was connected with a subject which always fired the blood of the old Udaller, who, glancing upon Triptolemus a quick and stern look, asked him what it signified, supposing a hundred oxen could not drag the whale upon the beach? Mr. Yellowley, though not much liking the tone with which the question was put, felt that his dignity and his profit compelled him to answer as follows:–“Nay, sir; you know yourself, Master Magnus Troil, and every one knows that knows anything, that whales of siccan size as may not be masterfully dragged on shore by the instrumentality of one wain with six owsen, are the right and property of the Admiral, who is at this time the same noble lord who is, moreover, Chamberlain of these isles.”

“And I tell you, Mr. Triptolemus Yellowley,” said the Udaller, “as I would tell your master if he were here, that every man who risks his life to bring that fish ashore, shall have an equal and partition, according to our ancient and lovable Norse custom and wont; nay, if there is so much as a woman looking on, that will but touch the cable, she will be partner with us. All shall share that lend a hand, and never a one else. So you, Master Factor, shall be busy as well as other folk, and think yourself lucky to share like other folk. Jump into that boat” (for the boats had by this time pulled round the headland), “and you, my lads, make way for the factor in the stern-sheets–he shall be the first man this day that shall strike the fish.”

The three boats destined for this perilous service now approached the dark mass, which lay like an islet in the deepest part of the voe, and suffered them to approach without showing any sign of animation. Silently, and with such precaution as the extreme delicacy of the operation required, the intrepid adventurers, after the failure of their first attempt, and the expenditure of considerable time, succeeded in casting a cable around the body of the torpid monster, and in carrying the ends of it ashore, when a hundred hands were instantly employed in securing them. But ere this was accomplished, the tide began to make fast, and the Udaller informed his assistants that either the fish must be killed or at least greatly wounded ere the depth of water on the bar was sufficient to float him; or that he was not unlikely to escape from their joint prowess.

“Wherefore,” said he, “we must set to work, and the factor shall have the honour to make the first throw.”

The valiant Triptolemus caught the word; and it is necessary to say that the patience of the whale, in suffering himself to be noosed without resistance, had abated his terrors, and very much lowered the creature in his opinion. He protested the fish had no more wit, and scarcely more activity, than a black snail; and, influenced by this undue contempt of the adversary, he waited neither for a farther signal, nor a better weapon, nor a more suitable position, but, rising in his energy, hurled his graip with all his force against the unfortunate monster. The boats had not yet retreated from him to the distance necessary to ensure safety, when this injudicious commencement of the war took place.

Magnus Troil, who had only jested with the factor, and had reserved the launching the first spear against the whale to some much more skilful hand, had just time to exclaim, “Mind yourselves, lads, or we are all stamped!” when the monster, roused at once from inactivity by the blow of the factor’s missile, blew, with a noise resembling the explosion of a steam-engine, a huge shower of water into the air, and at the same time began to lash the waves with its tail in every direction. The boat in which Magnus presided received the shower of brine which the animal spouted aloft; and the adventurous Triptolemus, who had a full share of the immersion, was so much astonished and terrified by the consequences of his own valorous deed, that he tumbled backwards amongst the feet of the people, who, too busy to attend to him, were actively engaged in getting the boat into shoal water, out of the whale’s reach. Here he lay for some minutes, trampled on by the feet of the boatmen, until they lay on their oars to bale, when the Udaller ordered them to pull to shore, and land this spare hand, who had commenced the fishing so inauspiciously.

While this was doing, the other boats had also pulled off to safer distance, and now, from these as well as from the shore, the unfortunate native of the deep was overwhelmed by all kinds of missiles–harpoons and spears flew against him on all sides–guns were fired, and each various means of annoyance plied which could excite him to exhaust his strength in useless rage. When the animal found that he was locked in by shallows on all sides, and became sensible, at the same time, of the strain of the cable on his body, the convulsive efforts which he made to escape, accompanied with sounds resembling deep and loud groans, would have moved the compassion of all but a practised whale-fisher. The repeated showers which he spouted into the air began now to be mingled with blood, and the waves which surrounded him assumed the same crimson appearance. Meantime the attempts of the assailants were redoubled; but Mordaunt Mertoun and Cleveland, in particular, exerted themselves to the uttermost, contending who should display most courage in approaching the monster, so tremendous in its agonies, and should inflict the most deep and deadly wounds upon its huge bulk.

The contest seemed at last pretty well over; for although the animal continued from time to time to make frantic exertions for liberty, yet its strength appeared so much exhausted, that, even with the assistance of the tide, which had now risen considerably, it was thought it could scarcely extricate itself.

Magnus gave the signal to venture nearer to the whale, calling out at the same time, “Close in, lads, she is not half so mad now–the Factor may look for a winter’s oil for the two lamps at Harfra–pull close in, lads.”

Ere his orders could be obeyed, the other two boats had anticipated his purpose; and Mordaunt Mertoun, eager to distinguish himself above Cleveland, had with the whole strength he possessed, plunged a half-pike into the body of the animal. But the leviathan, like a nation whose resources appear totally exhausted by previous losses and calamities, collected his whole remaining force for an effort, which proved at once desperate and successful. The wound, last received had probably reached through his external defences of blubber, and attained some very sensitive part of the system; for he roared loud, as he sent to the sky a mingled sheet of brine and blood, and snapping the strong cable like a twig, overset Mertoun’s boat with a blow of his tail, shot himself, by a mighty effort, over the bar, upon which the tide had now risen considerably, and made out to sea, carrying with him a whole grove of the implements which had been planted in his body, and leaving behind him, on the waters, a dark red trace of his course.

SCOTT.

[Notes: [1] Waggon.

[2] Oxen.

[3] Such.]

* * * * *

VISION OF BELSHAZZAR.

The King was on his throne.
The Satraps throng’d the hall: A thousand bright lamps shone
O’er that high festival.
A thousand cups of gold,
In Judah deem’d divine–
Jehovah’s vessels hold
The godless heathen’s wine!

In that same hour and hall,
The fingers of a hand
Came forth against the wall.
And wrote as if on sand:
The fingers of a man;–
A solitary hand
Along the letters ran,
And traced them like a wand.

The monarch saw, and shook,
And bade no more rejoice;
All bloodless wax’d his look,
And tremulous his voice.
“Let the men of lore appear,
The wisest of the earth,
And expound the words of fear,
Which mar our royal mirth.”

Chaldea’s seers are good,
But here they have no skill;
And the unknown letters stood
Untold and awful still.
And Babel’s men of age
Are wise and deep in lore;
But now they were not sage,
They saw–but knew no more.

A captive in the land,
A stranger and a youth,
He heard the king’s command,
He saw that writing’s truth.
The lamps around were bright,
The prophecy in view;
He read it on that night,–
The morrow proved it true.

“Belshazzar’s grave is made,
His kingdom pass’d away,
He, in the balance weigh’d,
Is light and worthless clay;
The shroud his robe of state,
His canopy the stone;
The Mede is at his gate!
The Persian on his throne!”

BYRON.

[Notes: _Belshazzar_, the last king of Babylon, lived probably in the 6th century B.C. He was defeated by the Medes and Persians combined.

_Satraps_. The governors or magistrates of provinces.

_A thousand cups of gold_, &c. Taken in the captivity of Judah.

_A captive in the land_ = the Prophet Daniel.]

* * * * *

YE MARINERS OF ENGLAND.

Ye mariners of England,
That guard our native seas,
Whose flag has braved a thousand years The battle and the breeze!
Your glorious standard launch again, To match another foe!
And sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow; And the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.

The spirit of your fathers
Shall start from every wave!– For the deck it was their field of fame, And ocean was their grave;
Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell, Your manly hearts shall glow,

As ye sweep through the deep
While the stormy winds do blow; While the battle rages loud and long, And the stormy winds do blow.

Britannia needs no bulwarks,
No towers along the steep;
Her march is o’er the mountain-waves, Her home is on the deep.
With thunders from her native oak, She quells the floods below,
As they roar on the shore,
When the stormy winds do blow. While the battle rages loud and long, And the stormy winds do blow.

The meteor flag of England
Shall yet terrific burn;
Till danger’s troubled night depart, And the star of peace return.
Then, then, ye ocean warriors!
Your song and feast shall flow To the fame of your name,
When the storm has ceased to blow; When the fiery fight is heard no more, And the storm has ceased to blow.

CAMPBELL.

[Notes: _Blake_. Robert Blake (1598-1657), an English admiral under Cromwell, chiefly distinguished for his victories over the Dutch.]

* * * * *

A SHIPWRECK.

One morning I can remember well, how we watched from the Hartland Cliffs a great barque, which came drifting and rolling in before the western gale, while we followed her up the coast, parsons and sportsmen, farmers and Preventive men, with the Manby’s mortar lumbering behind us in a cart, through stone gaps and track-ways, from headland to headland. The maddening excitement of expectation as she ran wildly towards the cliffs at our feet, and then sheered off again inexplicably;–her foremast and bowsprit, I recollect, were gone short off by the deck; a few rags of sail fluttered from her main and mizen. But with all straining of eyes and glasses, we could discern no sign of man on board. Well I recollect the mingled disappointment and admiration of the Preventive men, as a fresh set of salvors appeared in view, in the form of a boat’s crew of Clovelly fishermen; how we watched breathlessly the little black speck crawling and struggling up in the teeth of the gale, under the shelter of the land, till, when the ship had rounded a point into smoother water, she seized on her like some tiny spider on a huge unwieldy fly; and then how one still smaller black speck showed aloft on the main-yard, and another–and then the desperate efforts to get the topsail set–and how we saw it tear out of their hands again, and again, and again, and almost fancied we could hear the thunder of its flappings above the roar of the gale, and the mountains of surf which made the rocks ring beneath our feet;–and how we stood silent, shuddering, expecting every moment to see whirled into the sea from the plunging yards one of those same tiny black specks, in each one of which was a living human soul, with sad women praying for him at home! And then how they tried to get her head round to the wind, and disappeared instantly in a cloud of white spray–and let her head fall back again–and jammed it round again, and disappeared again–and at last let her drive helplessly up the bay, while we kept pace with her along the cliffs; and how at last, when she had been mastered and fairly taken in tow, and was within two miles of the pier, and all hearts were merry with the hopes of a prize which would make them rich, perhaps, for years to come–one-third, I suppose, of the whole value of her cargo–how she broke loose from them at the last moment, and rushed frantically in upon those huge rocks below us, leaping great banks of slate at the blow of each breaker, tearing off masses of ironstone which lie there to this day to tell the tale, till she drove up high and dry against the cliff, and lay, like an enormous stranded whale, grinding and crashing herself to pieces against the walls of her adamantine cage. And well I recollect the sad records of the log-book which was left on board the deserted ship; how she had been waterlogged for weeks and weeks, buoyed up by her timber cargo, the crew clinging in the tops, and crawling down, when they dared, for putrid biscuit-dust and drops of water, till the water was washed overboard and gone; and then notice after notice, “On this day such an one died,” “On this day such an one was washed away”–the log kept up to the last, even when there was only that to tell, by the stern business-like merchant skipper, whoever he was; and how at last, when there was neither food nor water, the strong man’s heart seemed to have quailed, or perhaps risen, into a prayer, jotted down in the log–“The Lord have mercy on us!”–and then a blank of several pages, and, scribbled with a famine-shaken hand, “Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth;”–and so the log and the ship were left to the rats, which covered the deck when our men boarded her. And well I remember the last act of that tragedy; for a ship has really, as sailors feel, a personality, almost a life and soul of her own; and as long as her timbers hold together, all is not over. You can hardly call her a corpse, though the human beings who inhabited her, and were her soul, may have fled into the far eternities; and so we felt that night, as we came down along the woodland road, with the north-west wind hurling dead branches and showers of crisp oak-leaves about our heads; till suddenly, as we staggered out of the wood, we came upon such a picture as it would have baffled Correggio, or Rembrandt himself, to imitate. Under a wall was a long tent of sails and spars, filled with Preventive men, fishermen, Lloyd’s underwriters, lying about in every variety of strange attitude and costume; while candles, stuck in bayonet-handles in the wall, poured out a wild glare over shaggy faces and glittering weapons, and piles of timber, and rusty iron cable, that glowed red-hot in the light, and then streamed up the glen towards us through the salt misty air in long fans of light, sending fiery bars over the brown transparent oak foliage and the sad beds of withered autumn flowers, and glorifying the wild flakes of foam, as they rushed across the light-stream, into troops of tiny silver angels, that vanished into the night and hid themselves among the woods from the fierce spirit of the storm. And then, just where the glare of the lights and watch-fires was most brilliant, there too the black shadows of the cliff had placed the point of intensest darkness, lightening gradually upwards right and left, between the two great jaws of the glen, into a chaos of grey mist, where the eye could discern no form of sea or cloud, but a perpetual shifting and quivering as if the whole atmosphere was writhing with agony in the clutches of the wind.

The ship was breaking up; and we sat by her like hopeless physicians by a deathbed-side, to watch the last struggle,–and “the effects of the deceased.” I recollect our literally warping ourselves down to the beach, holding on by rocks and posts. There was a saddened awe-struck silence, even upon the gentleman from Lloyd’s with the pen behind his ear. A sudden turn of the clouds let in a wild gleam of moonshine upon the white leaping heads of the breakers, and on the pyramid of the Black-church Rock, which stands in summer in such calm grandeur gazing down on the smiling bay, with the white sand of Braunton and the red cliffs of Portledge shining through its two vast arches; and against a slab of rock on the right, for years afterwards discoloured with her paint, lay the ship, rising slowly on every surge, to drop again with a piteous crash as the wave fell back from the cliff, and dragged the roaring pebbles back with it under the coming wall of foam. You have heard of ships at the last moment crying aloud like living things in agony? I heard it then, as the stumps of her masts rocked and reeled in her, and every plank and joint strained and screamed with the dreadful tension.

A horrible image–a human being shrieking on the rack; rose up before me at those strange semi-human cries, and would not be put away–and I tried to turn, and yet my eyes were riveted on the black mass, which seemed vainly to implore the help of man against the stern ministers of the Omnipotent.

Still she seemed to linger in the death-struggle, and we turned at last away; when, lo! a wave, huger than all before it, rushed up the boulders towards us. We had just time to save ourselves. A dull, thunderous groan, as if a mountain had collapsed, rose above the roar of the tempest; and we all turned with an instinctive knowledge of what had happened, just in time to see the huge mass melt away into the boiling white, and vanish for evermore. And then the very raving of the wind seemed hushed with awe; the very breakers plunged more silently towards the shore, with something of a sullen compunction; and as we stood and strained our eyes into the gloom, one black plank after another crawled up out of the darkness upon the head of the coming surge, and threw itself at our feet like the corpse of a drowning man, too spent to struggle more.

CHARLES KINGSLEY.

* * * * *

A SHIPWRECK.

Then rose from sea to sky the wild farewell,– Then shrieked the timid, and stood still the brave,– Then some leaped overboard with dreadful yell, As eager to anticipate their grave; And the sea yawned around her like a hell, And down she sucked with her the whirling wave, Like one who grapples with his enemy, And strives to strangle him before he die.

And first one universal shriek there rushed, Louder than the loud ocean, like a crash Of echoing thunder; and then all was hushed, Save the wild wind and the remorseless dash Of billows; but at intervals there gushed, Accompanied with a convulsive splash, A solitary shriek, the bubbling cry
Of some strong swimmer in his agony.

BYRON.

* * * * *

THE HAPPY WARRIOR.

Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he That every man in arms should wish to be? –It is the generous Spirit, who when brought Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought Upon the plan that pleased his boyish thought: Whose high endeavours are an inward light That makes the path before him always bright: Who, with a natural instinct to discern What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn: Abides by this resolve, and stops not there, But makes his moral being his prime care; Who, doomed to go in company with Pain, And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train! Turns his necessity to glorious gain; In face of these doth exercise a power Which is our human nature’s highest dower; Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves Of their bad influence, and their good receives: By objects, which might force the soul to abate Her feeling, rendered more compassionate; Is placable–because occasions rise
So often that demand such sacrifice; More skilful in self knowledge, even more pure, As tempted more; more able to endure, As more exposed to suffering and distress; Thence, also, more alive to tenderness. –Tis he whose law is reason; who depends Upon that law as on the best of friends; Whence, in a state where men are tempted still To evil for a guard against worse ill, And what in quality or act is best
Doth seldom on a right foundation rest, He labours good on good to fix, and owes To virtue every triumph that he knows: –Who, if he rise to station of command, Rises by open means; and there will stand On honourable terms, or else retire, And in himself possess his own desire; Who comprehends his trust, and to the same Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim; And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state: Whom they must follow; on whose head must fall, Like showers of manna, if they come at all; Whose powers shed round him in the common strife, Or mild concerns of ordinary life,
A constant influence, a peculiar grace; But who, if he be called upon to face Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined Great issues, good or bad for human kind, Is happy as a Lover; and attired
With sudden brightness, like a Man inspired; And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw: Or if an unexpected call succeed,
Come when it will, is equal to the need: –He who, though thus endued as with a sense And faculty for storm and turbulence, Is yet a Soul whose master-bias leans To homefelt pleasures and to gentle scenes; Sweet images! which, wheresoe’er he be, Are at his heart; and such fidelity
It is his darling passion to approve; More brave for this, that he hath much to love:– ‘Tis, finally, the Man, who, lifted, high, Conspicuous object in a Nation’s eye, Or left unthought of in obscurity,– Who, with a toward or untoward lot,
Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not– Plays, in the many games of life, that one Where what he most doth value must be won: Whom neither shape of danger can dismay, Nor thought of tender happiness betray; Who not content that former worth stand fast, Looks forward, persevering to the last, From well to better, daily self-surpassed: Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth For ever, and to noble deeds give birth, Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame, And leave a dead unprofitable name– Finds comfort in himself and in his cause; And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws His breath in confidence of Heaven’s applause: This is the happy Warrior; this is he That every Man in arms should wish to be.

Wordsworth.

[Notes: _Turns his necessity to glorious gain_. Turns the necessity which lies on him of fellowship with pain, and fear, and bloodshed, into glorious gain.

_More skilful in self knowledge, even more pure, as tempted more_. “His self-knowledge and his purity are all the greater because of the temptations he has had to withstand.”

_Whose law is reason_ = whose every action is obedient to reason.

_In himself possess his own desire_. According to Aristotle, virtuous activity is the highest reward the good man can attain; virtue has no end beyond action; according to the modern proverb, “Virtue is its own reward.”

_More brave for this, that he hath much to love_. Here also Wordsworth follows Aristotle in his description of the virtue of manliness. The good man, according to Aristotle, is most brave of all in encountering “the awful moment of great issues,” in that he has the most to lose by death.

_Not content that former worth stand fast_. Not content to rest on the foundation of accomplished good and worthy deeds, solid though it be.

_Finds comfort in himself_. Compare: “In himself possess his own desire.”]

* * * * *

THE BLACK PRINCE.

He was the first great English captain, who showed what English soldiers were, and what they could do against Frenchmen, and against all the world. He was the first English Prince who showed what it was to be a true gentleman. He was the first, but he was not the last. We have seen how, when he died, Englishmen thought that all their hopes had died with him. But we know that it was not so; we know that the life of a great nation is not bound up in the life of a single man; we know that the valour and the courtesy and the chivalry of England are not buried in the grave of the Plantagenet Prince. It needs only a glance round the country, to see that the high character of an English gentleman, of which the Black Prince was the noble pattern, is still to be found everywhere; and has since his time been spreading itself more and more through classes, which in his time seemed incapable of reaching it. It needs only a glance down the names of our own Cathedral (of Canterbury); and the tablets on the walls, with their tattered flags, will tell you in a moment that he, as he lies up there aloft, with his head resting on his helmet, and his spurs on his feet, is but the first of a long line of English heroes–that the brave men who fought at Sobraon and Feroozeshah are the true descendants of those who fought at Cressy and Poitiers.

And not to soldiers only, but to all who are engaged in the long warfare of life, is his conduct an example. To unite in our lives the two qualities expressed in his motto, “High spirit” and “reverent service,” is to be, indeed, not only a true gentleman and a true soldier, but a true Christian also. To show to all who differ from us, not only in war but in peace, that delicate forbearance, that fear of hurting another’s feelings, that happy art of saying the right thing to the right person, which he showed to the captive king, would indeed add a grace and a charm to the whole course of this troublesome world, such as none can afford to lose, whether high or low. Happy are they, who having this gift by birth and station, use it for its highest purposes; still more happy are they, who having it not by birth and station, have acquired it, as it may be acquired, by Christian gentleness and Christian charity.

And, lastly, to act in all the various difficulties of our every-day life, with that coolness, and calmness, and faith in a higher power than his own, which he showed when the appalling danger of his situation burst upon him at Poitiers, would smooth a hundred difficulties, and ensure a hundred victories. We often think that we have no power in ourselves, no advantages of position, to help us against our many temptations, to overcome the many obstacles we encounter. Let us take our stand by the Black Prince’s tomb, and go back once more in thought to the distant fields of France. A slight rise in the wild upland plain, a steep lane through vineyards and underwood, this was all that he had, humanly speaking, on his side; but he turned it to the utmost use of which it could be made, and won the most glorious of battles. So, in like manner, our advantages may be slight–hardly perceptible to any but ourselves–let us turn them to account, and the results will be a hundredfold; we have only to adopt the Black Prince’s bold and cheering words, when first he saw his enemies, “God is my help. I must fight them as best I can;” adding that lofty, yet resigned and humble prayer, which he uttered when the battle was announced to be inevitable, and which has since become a proverb, “God defend the right.”

DEAN STANLEY’S _Memorials of Canterbury_.

[Notes: _The Black Prince_. Edward, the son of Edward III, and father of Richard II. He not only won for the English the renown of conquest, but befriended the early efforts after liberty. His untimely death plunged England into the evils of a long minority under his son. The one stain on his name is his massacre of the townsfolk of Limoges.

“_Reverent service_,” or “I serve” (Ich dien), the motto adopted by the Black Prince from the King of Bohemia, his defeated foe.

_Poitiers_. His victory won over the French king, John, whom he took prisoner (1356).]

* * * * *

THE ASSEMBLY OF URI.

Let me ask you to follow me in spirit to the very home and birth-place of freedom, to the land where we need not myth or fable to add aught to the fresh and gladdening feeling with which we for the first time tread the soil and drink the air of the immemorial democracy of Uri. It is one of the opening days of May: it is the morning of Sunday; for men then deem that the better the day the better the deed; they deem that the Creator cannot be more truly honoured than in using, in His fear and in His presence, the highest of the gifts which He has bestowed on man. But deem not that, because the day of Christian worship is chosen for the great yearly assembly of a Christian commonwealth, the more direct sacred duties of the day are forgotten. Before we, in our luxurious island, have lifted ourselves from our beds, the men of the mountains, Catholic and Protestant alike, have already paid the morning’s worship in God’s temple. They have heard the mass of the priest, or they have listened to the sermon of the pastor, before some of us have awakened to the fact that the morn of the holy day has come. And when I saw men thronging the crowded church, or kneeling, for want of space within, on the bare ground beside the open door, and when I saw them marching thence to do the highest duties of men and citizens, I could hardly forbear thinking of the saying of Holy Writ, that “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” From the market-place of Altdorf, the little capital of the Canton, the procession makes its way to the place of meeting at Bozlingen. First marches the little army of the Canton, an army whose weapons can never be used save to drive back an invader from their land. Over their heads floats the banner, the bull’s head of Uri, the ensign which led men to victory on the fields of Sempach and Morgarten. And before them all, on the shoulders of men clad in a garb of ages past, are borne the famous horns, the spoils of the wild bull of ancient days, the very horns whose blast struck such dread into the fearless heart of Charles of Burgundy. Then, with their lictors before them, come the magistrates of the commonwealth on horseback, the chief magistrate, the Landammann, with his sword by his side. The people follow the chiefs whom they have chosen to the place of meeting, a circle in a green meadow with a pine forest rising above their heads and a mighty spur of the mountain range facing them on the other side of the valley. The multitude of the freemen take their seats around the chief ruler of the commonwealth, whose term of office comes that day to an end. The Assembly opens; a short space is first given to prayer, silent prayer offered up by each man in the temple of God’s own rearing. Then comes the business of the day. If changes in the law are demanded, they are then laid before the vote of the Assembly, in which each citizen of full age has an equal vote and an equal right of speech. The yearly magistrates have now discharged all their duties; their term of office is at an end, the trust which has been placed in their hands falls back into the hands of those by whom it was given, into the hands of the sovereign people. The chief of the commonwealth, now such no longer, leaves his seat of office, and takes his place as a simple citizen in the ranks of his fellows. It rests with the freewill of the Assembly to call him back to his chair of office, or to set another there in his stead. Men who have neither looked into the history of the past, nor yet troubled themselves to learn what happens year by year in their own age, are fond of declaiming against the caprice and ingratitude of the people, and of telling us that under a democratic government neither men nor measures can remain for an hour unchanged. The witness alike of the present and of the past is an answer to baseless theories like these. The spirit which made democratic Athens year by year bestow her highest offices on the patrician Perikles and the reactionary Phokion, still lives in the democracies of Switzerland. The ministers of kings, whether despotic or constitutional, may vainly envy the sure tenure of office which falls to the lot of those who are chosen to rule by the voice of the people. Alike in the whole Confederation and in the single Canton, re-election is the rule; the rejection of the outgoing magistrate is the rare exception. The Landammann of Uri, whom his countrymen have raised to the seat of honour, and who has done nothing to lose their confidence, need not fear that when he has gone to the place of meeting in the pomp of office, his place in the march homeward will be transferred to another against his will.

E. A. FREEMAN.

[Notes: _Uri._ A Swiss canton which, early in the 14th century, united with Unterwalden and Schwytz to form the Swiss Confederation.

_Sempach_ (1386) _and Morgarten_ (1315), both great victories won by the Swiss over the Austrians.

—-_Charles the Bold of Burgundy_ was defeated by the Swiss in 1476 at Morat.

_ Perikles_. A great orator and statesman, who, in the middle of the 5th century, B.C., guided the policy of Athens, and made her the centre of literature, philosophy, and art.

_ Phokion _. An Athenian statesman of the 4th century B.C., who opposed Demosthenes in his efforts to resist Philip of Macedon. His reactionary policy was atoned for by the uprightness of his character.]

* * * * *

LIBERTY.

‘Tis liberty alone that gives the flower Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume; And we are weeds without it. All constraint, Except what wisdom lays on evil men, Is evil: hurts the faculties, impedes Their progress in the road of science: blinds The eyesight of Discovery; and begets, In those that suffer it, a sordid mind Bestial, a meagre intellect, unfit
To be the tenant of man’s noble form. Thee therefore still, blameworthy as thou art, With all thy loss of empire, and though squeez’d By public exigence, till annual food Fails for the craving hunger of the state, Thee I account still happy, and the chief Among the nations, seeing thou art free, My native nook of earth! Thy clime is rude, Replete with vapours, and disposes much All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine: Thine unadult’rate manners are less soft And plausible than social life requires, And thou hast need of discipline and art, To give thee what politer France receives From nature’s bounty–that humane address And sweetness, without which no pleasure is In converse, either starv’d by cold reserve, Or flush’d with fierce dispute, a senseless brawl– Yet being free, I love thee; for the sake Of that one feature can be well content, Disgrac’d as thou hast been, poor as thou art, To seek no sublunary rest beside.
But, once enslav’d, farewell! I could endure Chains nowhere patiently; and chains at home, Where I am free by birthright, not at all. Then what were left of roughness in the grain Of British natures, wanting its excuse That it belongs to freemen, would disgust And shock me. I should then with double pain Feel all the rigour of thy fickle clime; And, if I must bewail the blessing lost, For which our Hampdens and our Sydneys bled, I would at least bewail it under skies Milder, among a people less austere; In scenes, which, having never known me free, Would not reproach me with the loss I felt. Do I forebode impossible events,
And tremble at vain dreams? Heaven grant I may! But the age of virtuous politics is past, And we are deep in that of cold pretence. Patriots are grown too shrewd to be sincere, And we too wise to trust them. He that takes Deep in his soft credulity the stamp Design’d by loud declaimers on the part Of liberty, themselves the slaves of lust, Incurs derision for his easy faith,
And lack of knowledge, and with cause enough: For when was public virtue to be found, Where private was not? Can he love the whole, Who loves no part? He be a nation’s friend, Who is in truth the friend of no man there? Can he be strenuous in his country’s cause, Who slights the charities, for whose dear sake That country, if at all, must be beloved?

Cowper.

[Notes: _Hampden_–_Sydney_. (See previous note on them)

_He that takes deep in his soft credulity, &c., i.e.,_ he that credulously takes in the impression which demagogues, who claim to speak on behalf of liberty, intend that he should take.

_Delude_. A violent torrent, displacing earth in its course.

_Strid_. A yawning chasm between rocks.

_The Battle of Culloden_ (1746) closed the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 by the defeat of the Highlanders, and with it the last hopes of the Stuart cause. The Duke of Cumberland was the leader of the Hanoverian army.]

* * * * *

MY WINTER GARDEN.

No one is less inclined to depreciate that magnificent winter-garden at the Crystal Palace: yet let me, if I choose, prefer my own; I argue that, in the first place, it is far larger. You may drive, I hear, through the grand one at Chatsworth for a quarter of a mile. You may ride through mine for fifteen miles on end. I prefer, too, to any glass roof which Sir Joseph Paxton ever planned, that dome above my head some three miles high, of soft dappled grey and yellow cloud, through the vast lattice-work whereof the blue sky peeps, and sheds down tender gleams on yellow bogs, and softly rounded heather knolls, and pale chalk ranges gleaming far away. But, above all, I glory in my evergreens. What winter-garden can compare for them with mine? True, I have but four kinds–Scotch fir, holly, furze, and the heath; and by way of relief to them, only brows of brown fern, sheets of yellow bog-grass, and here and there a leafless birch, whose purple tresses are even more lovely to my eye than those fragrant green ones which she puts on in spring. Well: in painting as in music, what effects are more grand than those produced by the scientific combination, in endless new variety, of a few simple elements? Enough for me is the one purple birch; the bright hollies round its stem sparkling with scarlet beads; the furze-patch, rich with its lacework of interwoven light and shade, tipped here and there with a golden bud; the deep soft heather carpet, which invites you to lie down and dream for hours; and behind all, the wall of red fir-stems, and the dark fir-roof with its jagged edges a mile long, against the soft grey sky.

An ugly, straight-edged, monotonous fir-plantation? Well, I like it, outside and inside. I need no saw-edge of mountain peaks to stir up my imagination with the sense of the sublime, while I can watch the saw-edge of those fir peaks against the red sunset. They are my Alps; little ones, it may be: but after all, as I asked before, what is size? A phantom of our brain; an optical delusion. Grandeur, if you will consider wisely, consists in form, and not in size: and to the eye of the philosopher, the curve drawn on a paper two inches long, is just as magnificent, just as symbolic of divine mysteries and melodies, as when embodied in the span of some cathedral roof. Have you eyes to see? Then lie down on the grass, and look near enough to see something more of what is to be seen; and you will find tropic jungles in every square foot of turf; mountain cliffs and debacles at the mouth of every rabbit burrow: dark strids, tremendous cataracts, “deep glooms and sudden glories,” in every foot-broad rill which wanders through the turf. All is there for you to see, if you will but rid yourself of “that idol of space;” and Nature, as everyone will tell you who has seen dissected an insect under the microscope, is as grand and graceful in her smallest as in her hugest forms.

The March breeze is chilly: but I can be always warm if I like in my winter-garden. I turn my horse’s head to the red wall of fir-stems, and leap over the furze-grown bank into my cathedral, wherein if there be no saints, there are likewise no priestcraft and no idols; but endless vistas of smooth red green-veined shafts holding up the warm dark roof, lessening away into endless gloom, paved with rich brown fir-needle–a carpet at which Nature has been at work for forty years. Red shafts, green roof, and here and there a pane of blue sky–neither Owen Jones nor Willement can improve upon that ecclesiastical ornamentation,–while for incense I have the fresh healthy turpentine fragrance, far sweeter to my nostrils than the stifling narcotic odour which fills a Roman Catholic cathedral. There is not a breath of air within: but the breeze sighs over the roof above in a soft whisper. I shut my eyes and listen. Surely that is the murmur of the summer sea upon the summer sands in Devon far away. I hear the innumerable wavelets spend themselves gently upon the shore, and die away to rise again. And with the innumerable wave-sighs come innumerable memories, and faces which I shall never see again upon this earth. I will not tell even you of that, old friend. It has two notes, two keys rather, that Eolian-harp of fir-needles above my head; according as the wind is east or west, the needles dry or wet. This easterly key of to-day is shriller, more cheerful, warmer in sound, though the day itself be colder: but grander still, as well as softer, is the sad soughing key in which the south-west wind roars on, rain-laden, over the forest, and calls me forth–being a minute philosopher–to catch trout in the nearest chalk-stream.

The breeze is gone a while; and I am in perfect silence–a silence which may be heard. Not a sound; and not a moving object; absolutely none. The absence of animal life is solemn, startling. That ring-dove, who was cooing half a mile away, has hushed his moan; that flock of long-tailed titmice, which were twinging and pecking about the fir-cones a few minutes since, are gone: and now there is not even a gnat to quiver in the slant sun-rays. Did a spider run over these dead leaves, I almost fancy I could hear his footfall. The creaking of the saddle, the soft step of the mare upon the fir-needles, jar my ears. I seem alone in a dead world. A dead world: and yet so full of life, if I had eyes to see! Above my head every fir-needle is breathing–breathing for ever; currents unnumbered circulate in every bough, quickened by some undiscovered miracle; around me every fir-stem is distilling strange juices, which no laboratory of man can make; and where my dull eye sees only death, the eye of God sees boundless life and motion, health and use.

CHARLES KINGSLEY.

* * * * *

ASPECTS OF NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN COUNTRIES.

The charts of the world which have been drawn up by modern science have thrown into a narrow space the expression of a vast amount of knowledge, but I have never yet seen any pictorial enough to enable the spectator to imagine the kind of contrast in physical character which exists between northern and southern countries. We know the differences in detail, but we have not that broad glance or grasp which would enable us to feel them in their fulness. We know that gentians grow on the Alps, and olives on the Apennines; but we do not enough conceive for ourselves that variegated mosaic of the world’s surface which a bird sees in its migration, that difference between the district of the gentian and of the olive which the stork and the swallow see far off, as they lean upon the sirocco wind. Let us, for a moment, try to raise ourselves even above the level of their flight, and imagine the Mediterranean lying beneath us like an irregular lake, and all its ancient promontories sleeping in the sun; here and there an angry spot of thunder, a grey stain of storm, moving upon the burning field; and here and there a fixed wreath of white volcano smoke, surrounded by its circle of ashes; but for the most part a great peacefulness of light, Syria and Greece, Italy and Spain, laid like pieces of a golden pavement into the sea-blue, chased, as we stoop nearer to them, with bossy beaten work of mountain chains, and glowing softly with terraced gardens, and flowers heavy with frankincense, mixed among masses of laurel and orange, and plumy palm, that abate with their grey-green shadows the burning of the marble rocks, and of the ledges of the porphyry sloping under lucent sand. Then let us pass farther towards the north, until we see the orient colours change gradually into a vast belt of rainy green, where the pastures of Switzerland, and poplar valleys of France, and dark forests of the Danube and Carpathians stretch from the mouths of the Loire to those of the Volga, seen through clefts in grey swirls of rain-cloud and flaky veils of the mist of the brooks, spreading low along the pasture lands; and then, farther north still, to see the earth heave into mighty masses of leaden rock and heathy moor, bordering with a broad waste of gloomy purple that belt of field and wood, and splintering into irregular and grisly islands amidst the northern seas beaten by storm, and chilled by ice-drift, and tormented by furious pulses of contending tide, until the roots of the last forests fail from among the hill ravines, and the hunger of the north wind bites their peaks into barrenness; and, at last, the wall of ice, durable like iron, sets, death-like, its white teeth against us out of the polar twilight. And, having once traversed in thought this gradation of the zoned iris of the earth in all its material vastness, let us go down nearer to it, and watch the parallel change in the belt of animal life: the multitudes of swift and brilliant creatures that glance in the air and sea, or tread the sands of the southern zone; striped zebras and spotted leopards, glistening serpents, and birds arrayed in purple and scarlet. Let us contrast their delicacy and brilliancy of colour, and swiftness of motion, with the frost-cramped strength, and shaggy covering, and dusky plumage of the northern tribes; contrast the Arabian horse with the Shetland, the tiger and leopard with the wolf and bear, the antelope with the elk, the bird of Paradise with the osprey; and then, submissively acknowledging the great laws by which the earth and all that it bears are ruled throughout their being, let us not condemn, but rejoice in the expression by man of his own rest in the statues of the lands that gave him birth. Let us watch him with reverence as he sets side by side the burning gems, and smooths with soft sculpture the jasper pillars that are to reflect a ceaseless sunshine, and rise into a cloudless sky; but not with less reverence let us stand by him, when, with rough strength and hurried stroke, he smites an uncouth animation out of the rocks which he has torn from among the moss of the moor-land, and heaves into the darkened air the pile of iron buttress and rugged wall, instinct with work of an imagination as wild and wayward as the northern sea; creations of ungainly shape and rigid limb, but full of wolfish life; fierce as the winds that beat, and changeful as the clouds that shade them.

JOHN RUSKIN.

* * * * *

THE TROSACHS.

The western waves of ebbing day
Rolled o’er the glen their level way; Each purple peak, each flinty spire,
Was bathed in floods of living fire. But not a setting beam could glow
Within the dark ravines below,
Where twined the path, in shadow hid, Bound many a rocky pyramid,
Shooting abruptly from the dell
Its thunder-splintered pinnacle; Bound many an insulated mass,
The native bulwarks of the pass, Huge as the tower which builders vain Presumptuous piled on Shinar’s plain. The rocky summits, split and rent,
Formed turret, dome, or battlement. Or seemed fantastically set
With cupola or minaret,
Wild crests as pagod ever decked, Or mosque of eastern architect.
Nor were these earth-born castles bare, Nor lacked they many a banner fair;
For, from their shivered brows displayed, Far o’er the unfathomable glade,
All twinkling with the dew-drop’s sheen, The briar-rose fell in streamers green, And creeping shrubs, of thousand dyes, Waved in the west wind’s summer sighs.

Boon nature scattered, free and wild, Each plant or flower, the mountain’s child. Here eglantine embalmed the air,
Hawthorn and hazel mingled there; The primrose pale and violet flower,
Found in each cliff a narrow bower; Foxglove and nightshade, side by side, Emblems of punishment and pride,
Grouped their dark hues with every stain, The weather-beaten crags retain.
With boughs that quaked at every breath, Grey birch and aspen wept beneath;
Aloft the ash and warrior oak
Cast anchor in the rifted rock;
And higher yet the pine tree hung His shatter’d trunk, and frequent flung, Where seemed the cliffs to meet on high, His boughs athwart the narrowed sky
Highest of all, where white peaks glanced, Where glistening streamers waved and danced, The wanderer’s eye could barely view
The summer heaven’s delicious blue; So wondrous wild, the whole might seem The scenery of a fairy dream.
Onward, amid the copse ‘gan peep A narrow inlet still and deep,
Affording scarce such breadth of brim, As served the wild duck’s brood to swim; Lost for a space, through thickets veering, But broader when again appearing,
Tall rocks and tufted knolls their face Could on the dark blue mirror trace;
And farther as the hunter stray’d, Still broader sweep its channels made. The shaggy mounds no longer stood,
Emerging from entangled wood,
But, wave-encircled, seemed to float, Like castle girdled with its moat;
Yet broader floods extending still, Divide them from their parent hill,
Till each, retiring, claims to be An islet in an inland sea.

And now, to issue from the glen,
No pathway meets the wanderer’s ken, Unless he climb, with footing nice,
A far projecting precipice.
The broom’s tough roots his ladder made, The hazel saplings lent their aid;
And thus an airy point he won.
Where, gleaming with the setting sun, One burnish’d sheet of living gold,
Loch-Katrine lay beneath him rolled; In all her length far winding lay,
With promontory, creek, and bay, And islands that, empurpled bright,
Floated amid the livelier light; And mountains, that like giants stand, To sentinel enchanted land.
High on the south, huge Benvenue Down to the lake in masses threw
Crags, knolls, and mounds, confusedly hurled, The fragments of an earlier world;
A wildering forest feathered o’er His ruined sides and summit hoar.
While on the north, through middle air, Ben-an heaved high his forehead bare.

SCOTT.

* * * * *

LOCHIEL’S WARNING.

_Seer_. Lochiel! Lochiel! beware of the day When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array! For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight, And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight; They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown; Wo, wo to the riders that trample them down! Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain, And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain. But hark! through the fast-flashing lightning of war, What steed to the desert flies frantic and far? ‘Tis thine, O Glenullin! whose bride shall await, Like a love-lighted watchfire, all night at the gate. A steed comes at morning; no rider is there; But its bridle is red with the sign of despair. Weep, Albyn, to death and captivity led! O weep, but thy tears cannot number the dead; For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave, Culloden! that reeks with the blood of the brave.

_Lochiel_. Go preach to the coward, thou death- telling seer!
Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear, Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright.

_Seer_. Ha! laugh’st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn?
Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn! Say, rushed the bold eagle exultingly forth From his home, in the dark-rolling clouds of the north? Lo! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode Companionless, bearing destruction abroad; But down let him stoop from his havoc on high! Ah! home let him speed, for the spoiler is nigh. Why flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast? ‘Tis the fire shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven From his eyrie that beacons the darkness of heaven. Oh, crested Lochiel! the peerless in might, Whose banners arise on the battlements’ height, Heaven’s fire is around thee, to blast and to burn: Return to thy dwelling! all lonely return! For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood, And a wild mother scream o’er her famishing brood.

_Lochiel_. False wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled my clan–
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one! They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death. Then welcome be Cumberland’s steed to the shock! Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock! But we to his kindred, and we to his cause, When Albyn her claymore indignantly draws; When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd, Clanranald the dauntless, and Moray the proud; All plaided and plumed in their tartan array—-

_Seer_.—-Lochiel! Lochiel! beware of the day! For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal, But man cannot cover what God would reveal. ‘Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore, And coming events cast their shadows before. I tell thee, Culloden’s dread echoes shall ring, With the bloodhounds that bark for thy fugitive king. Lo! anointed by heaven with the vials of wrath, Behold, where he flies on his desolate path! Now in darkness and billows he sweeps from my sight; Rise! rise! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight!– ‘Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors; Culloden is lost, and my country deplores. But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where? For the red eye of battle is shut in despair. Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banished, forlorn, Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn? Ah, no! for a darker departure is near,– The war drum is muffled, and black is the bier; His death bell is tolling! Oh, mercy! dispel Yon sight that it freezes my spirit to tell! Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs, And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims; Accursed be the faggots that blaze at his feet, Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat, With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale—-

_Lochiel_. Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the tale:
For never shall Albyn a destiny meet So black with dishonour, so foul with retreat. Though my perishing ranks should be strewed in their gore,
Like ocean weeds heaped on the surf-beaten shore, Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains, While the kindling of life in his bosom remains, Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low, With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe! And leaving in battle no blot on his name, Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.

CAMPBELL.

[Note: _Life flutters convulsed &c._ Describes the barbarous death which awaited the traitor according to the statute book of England, as it then stood. This was the penalty dealt to the rebels of 1745.]

* * * * *

COLUMBUS IN SIGHT OF LAND.

For three days they stood in this direction, and the further they went the more frequent and encouraging were the signs of land. Flights of small birds of various colours, some of them such as sing in the fields, came flying about the ships, and then continued towards the south-west, and others were heard also flying by in the night. Tunny fish played about the smooth sea, and a heron, a pelican, and a duck, were seen, all bound in the same direction. The herbage which floated by was fresh and green, as if recently from land, and the air, Columbus observes, was sweet and fragrant as April breezes in Seville.

All these, however, were regarded by the crews as so many delusions beguiling them on to destruction; and when, on the evening of the third day, they beheld the sun go down upon a shoreless horizon, they broke forth into turbulent clamour. They exclaimed against this obstinacy in tempting fate by continuing on into a boundless sea. They insisted upon turning home, and abandoning the voyage as hopeless. Columbus endeavoured to pacify them by gentle words and promises of large rewards; but finding that they only increased in clamour, he assumed a decided tone. He told them it was useless to murmur; the expedition had been sent by the sovereigns to seek the Indies, and, happen what might, he was determined to persevere, until, by the blessing of God, he should accomplish the enterprise.

Columbus was now at open defiance with his crew, and his situation became desperate. Fortunately the manifestations of the vicinity of land were such on the following day as no longer to admit a doubt. Beside a quantity of fresh weeds, such as grow in rivers, they saw a green fish of a kind which keeps about rocks; then a branch of thorn with berries on it, and recently separated from the tree, floated by them; then they picked up a reed, a small board, and, above all, a staff artificially carved. All gloom and mutiny now gave way to sanguine expectation; and throughout the day each one was eagerly on the watch, in hopes of being the first to discover the long-sought-for land.

In the evening, when, according to invariable custom on board of the admiral’s ship, the mariners had sung the vesper hymn to the Virgin, he made an impressive address to his crew. He pointed out the goodness of God in thus conducting them by soft and favouring breezes across a tranquil ocean, cheering their hopes continually with fresh signs, increasing as their fears augmented, and thus leading and guiding them to a promised land. He now reminded them of the orders he had given on leaving the Canaries, that, after sailing westward seven hundred leagues, they should not make sail after midnight. Present appearances authorized such a precaution. He thought it probable they would make land that very night; he ordered, therefore, a vigilant look-out to be kept from the forecastle, promising to whomsoever should make the discovery a doublet of velvet, in addition to the pension to be given by the sovereigns.

The breeze had been fresh all day, with more sea than usual, and they had made great progress. At sunset they had stood again to the west, and were ploughing the waves at a rapid rate, the Pinta keeping the lead from her superior sailing. The greatest animation prevailed throughout the ships; not an eye was closed that night. As the evening darkened, Columbus took his station on the top of the castle or cabin on the high poop of his vessel, ranging his eye along the dusky horizon, and maintaining an intense and unremitting watch. About ten o’clock he thought he beheld a light glimmering at a great distance. Fearing his eager hopes might deceive him, he called to Pedro Gutierrez, gentleman of the king’s bedchamber, and inquired whether he saw such a light: the latter replied in the affirmative. Doubtful whether it might not be some delusion of the fancy, Columbus called Rodrigo Sanchez of Segovia, and made the same inquiry. By the time the latter had ascended the round-house, the light had disappeared. They saw it once or twice afterwards in sudden and passing gleams, as if it were a torch in the bark of a fisherman, rising and sinking with the waves, or in the hand of some person on shore, borne up and down as he walked from house to house. So transient and uncertain were these gleams, that few attached any importance to them; Columbus, however, considered them as certain signs of land, and, moreover, that the land was inhabited.

They continued their course until two in the morning, when a gun from the Pinta gave the joyful signal of land. It was first descried by a mariner named Rodrigo de Triana; but the reward was afterwards adjudged to the admiral, for having previously perceived the light. The land was now clearly seen about two leagues distant, whereupon they took in sail, and laid to, waiting impatiently for the dawn.

The thoughts and feelings of Columbus in this little space of time must have been tumultuous and intense. At length, in spite of every difficulty and danger, he had accomplished his object. The great mystery of the ocean was revealed; his theory, which had been the scoff of sages, was triumphantly established; he had secured to himself a glory durable as the world itself.

It is difficult to conceive the feelings of such a man, at such a moment, or the conjectures which must have thronged upon his mind, as to the land before him, covered with darkness. That it was fruitful was evident from the vegetables which floated from its shores. He thought, too, that he perceived the fragrance of aromatic groves. The moving light he had beheld proved it the residence of man. But what were its inhabitants? Were they like those of the other parts of the globe, or were they some strange and monstrous race, such as the imagination was prone in those times to give to all remote and unknown regions? Had he come upon some wild island far in the Indian Sea, or was this the famed Cipango itself, the object of his golden fancies? A thousand speculations of the kind must have swarmed upon him, as, with his anxious crews, he waited for the night to pass away; wondering whether the morning light would reveal a savage wilderness, or dawn upon spicy groves, and glittering fanes, and gilded cities, and all the splendour of oriental civilization.

It was on Friday morning, the 12th of October, that Columbus first beheld the New World. As the day dawned he saw before him a level island, several leagues in extent, and covered with trees like a continual orchard. Though apparently uncultivated, it was populous, for the inhabitants were seen issuing from all parts of the woods and running to the shore. They were perfectly naked, and, as they stood gazing at the ships, appeared by their attitudes and gestures to be lost in astonishment. Columbus made signal for the ships to cast anchor, and the boats to be manned and armed. He entered his own boat, richly attired in scarlet, and holding the royal standard; whilst Martin Alonzo Pinzon, and Vincent Yanez his brother, put off in company in their boats, each with a banner of the enterprize emblazoned with a green cross, having on either side the letters F. and Y., the initials of the Castilian monarchs Fernando and Ysabel, surmounted by crowns.

As he approached the shore, Columbus, who was disposed for all kinds of agreeable impressions, was delighted with the purity and suavity of the atmosphere, the crystal transparency of the sea, and the extraordinary beauty of the vegetation. He beheld, also, fruits of an unknown kind upon the trees which overhung the shores. On landing he threw himself on his knees, kissed the earth, and returned thanks to God with tears of joy. His example was followed by the rest, whose hearts indeed overflowed with the same feelings of gratitude, Columbus then rising, drew his sword, displayed the royal standard, and assembling round him the two captains, with Rodrigo de Escobedo, notary of the armament, Rodrigo Sanchez, and the rest who had landed, he took solemn possession in the name of the Castilian sovereigns, giving the island the name of San Salvador. Having complied with the requisite forms and ceremonies, he called upon all present to take the oath of obedience to him, as admiral and viceroy, representing the persons of the sovereigns.

The feelings of the crew now burst forth in the most extravagant transports. They had recently considered themselves devoted men, hurrying forward to destruction; they now looked upon themselves as favourites of fortune, and gave themselves up to the most unbounded joy. They thronged around the admiral with overflowing zeal, some embracing him, others kissing his hands. Those who had been most mutinous and turbulent during the voyage, were now most devoted and enthusiastic. Some begged favours of him, as if he had already wealth and honours in his gift. Many abject spirits, who had outraged him by their insolence, now crouched at his feet, begging pardon for all the trouble they had caused him, and promising the blindest obedience for the future.

WASHINGTON IRVING.

[Notes: _Columbus_. Christopher Columbus of Genoa (born 1430, died 1506), the discoverer of America. His first expedition was made in 1492.

“_The reward was afterwards adjudged to the admiral_.” This has often been alleged, and apparently with considerable reason, as a stain upon the name of Columbus.]

* * * * *

COLUMBUS SHIPWRECKED.

On the morning of the 24th of December, Columbus set sail from Port St. Thomas before sunrise, and steered to the eastward, with an intention of anchoring at the harbour of the cacique Guacanagari. The wind was from the land, but so light as scarcely to fill the sails, and the ships made but little progress. At eleven o’clock at night, being Christmas eve, they were within a league or a league and a half of the residence of the cacique; and Columbus, who had hitherto kept watch, finding the sea calm and smooth, and the ship almost motionless, retired to rest, not having slept the preceding night. He was, in general, extremely wakeful on his coasting voyages, passing whole nights upon deck in all weathers; never trusting to the watchfulness of others where there was any difficulty or danger to be provided against. In the present instance he felt perfectly secure; not merely on account of profound calm, but because the boats on the preceding day, in their visit to the cacique, had reconnoitred the coast, and had reported that there were neither rocks nor shoals in their course.

No sooner had he retired, than the steersman gave the helm in charge to one of the ship-boys, and went to sleep. This was in direct violation of an invariable order of the admiral, that the helm should never be intrusted to the boys. The rest of the mariners who had the watch took like advantage of the absence of Columbus, and in a little while the whole crew was buried in sleep. In the meantime the treacherous currents, which run swiftly along this coast, carried the vessel quietly, but with force, upon a sand-bank. The heedless boy had not noticed the breakers, although they made a roaring that might have been heard a league. No sooner, however, did he feel the rudder strike, and hear the tumult of the rushing sea, than he began to cry for aid. Columbus, whose careful thoughts never permitted him to sleep profoundly, was the first on deck. The master of the ship, whose duty it was to have been on watch, next made his appearance, followed by others of the crew, half awake. The admiral ordered them to take the boat and carry out an anchor astern, to warp the vessel off. The master and the sailors sprang into the boat; but, confused as men are apt to be when suddenly awakened by an alarm, instead of obeying the commands of Columbus, they rowed off to the other caravel, about half a league to windward.

In the meantime the master had reached the caravel, and made known the perilous state in which he had left the vessel. He was reproached with his pusillanimous desertion; the commander of the caravel manned his boat and hastened to the relief of the admiral, followed by the recreant master, covered with shame and confusion.

It was too late to save the ship, the current having set her more upon the bank. The admiral, seeing that his boat had deserted him, that the ship had swung across the stream, and that the water was continually gaining upon her, ordered the mast to be cut away, in the hope of lightening her sufficiently to float her off. Every effort was in vain. The keel was firmly bedded in the sand; the shock had opened several seams; while the swell of the breakers, striking her broadside, left her each moment more and more aground, until she fell over on one side. Fortunately the weather continued calm, otherwise the ship must have gone to pieces, and the whole crew might have perished amidst the currents and breakers.

The admiral and her men took refuge on board the caravel. Diego de Arana, chief judge of the armament, and Pedro Gutierrez, the king’s butler, were immediately sent on shore as envoys to the cacique Guaeanagari, to inform him of the intended visit of the admiral, and of his disastrous shipwreck. In the meantime, as a light wind had sprung up from shore, and the admiral was ignorant of his situation, and of the rocks and banks that might be lurking around him, he lay to until daylight.

The habitation of the cacique was about a league and a half from the wreck. When he heard of the misfortune of his guest, he manifested the utmost affliction, and even shed tears. He immediately sent all his people, with all the canoes, large and small, that could be mustered; and so active were they in their assistance, that in a little while the vessel was unloaded. The cacique himself, and his brothers and relatives, rendered all the aid in their power, both on sea and land; keeping vigilant guard that everything should be conducted with order, and the property secured from injury or theft. From time to time, he sent some one of his family, or some principal person of his attendants, to console and cheer the admiral, assuring him that everything he possessed should be at his disposal.

Never, in a civilized country, were the vaunted rites of hospitality more scrupulously observed, than by this uncultivated savage. All the effects landed from the ships were deposited near his dwelling; and an armed guard surrounded them all night, until houses could be prepared in which to store them. There seemed, however, even among the common people, no disposition to take advantage of the misfortune of the stranger. Although they beheld what must in their eyes have been inestimable treasures, cast, as it were, upon their shores, and open to depredation, yet there was not the least attempt to pilfer, nor, in transporting the effects from the ships, had they appropriated the most trifling article. On the contrary, a general sympathy was visible in their countenances and actions; and to have witnessed their concern, one would have supposed the misfortune to have happened to themselves.

“So loving, so tractable, so peaceable are these people,” says Columbus in his journal, “that I swear to your Majesties, there is not in the world a better nation, nor a better land. They love their neighbours as themselves; and their discourse is ever sweet and gentle, and accompanied with a smile; and though it is true that they are naked, yet their manners are decorous and praiseworthy.”

WASHINGTON IRVING.

[Note: _Cacique_. The chief of an Indian tribe. The word was adopted by the Spaniards from the language of the natives of San Domingo.

* * * * *

ROBBED IN THE DESERT.

I departed from Kooma, accompanied by two shepherds, who were going towards Sibidooloo. The road was very steep and rocky, and as my horse had hurt his feet much, he travelled slowly and with great difficulty; for in many places the ascent was so sharp, and the declivities so great, that if he had made one false step, he must inevitably have been dashed to pieces. The herds being anxious to proceed, gave themselves little trouble about me or my horse, and kept walking on at a considerable distance. It was about eleven o’clock, as I stopped to drink a little water at a rivulet (my companions being near a quarter of a mile before me), that I heard some people calling to each other, and presently a loud screaming, as from a person in great distress. I immediately conjectured that a lion had taken one of the shepherds, and mounted my horse to have a better view of what had happened. The noise, however, ceased; and I rode slowly towards the place from whence I thought it proceeded, calling out, but without receiving any answer. In a little time, however, I perceived one of the shepherds lying among the long grass near the road; and, though I could see no blood upon him, concluded he was dead. But when I came close to him, he whispered to me to stop, telling me that a party of armed men had seized upon his companion, and shot two arrows at himself as he was making his escape. I stopped to consider what course to take, and looking round, saw at a little distance a man sitting upon the stump of a tree; I distinguished also the heads of six or seven more; sitting among the grass, with muskets in their hands. I had now no hopes of escaping, and therefore determined to ride forward towards them. As I approached them, I was in hopes they were elephant hunters, and by way of opening the conversation, inquired if they had shot anything; but, without returning an answer, one of them ordered me to dismount; and then, as if recollecting himself, waved with his hand for me to proceed. I accordingly rode past, and had with some difficulty crossed a deep rivulet, when I heard somebody holloa; and looking back, saw those I took for elephant hunters now running after me, and calling out to me to turn back. I stopped until they were all come up, when they informed me that the King of the Foulahs had sent them on purpose to bring me, my horse, and everything that belonged to me, to Fooladoo, and that therefore I must turn back, and go along with them. Without hesitating a moment, I turned round and followed them, and we travelled together near a quarter of a mile without exchanging a word. When coming to a dark place of the wood, one of them said, in the Mandingo language, “This place will do,” and immediately snatched my hat from my head. Though I was by no means free of apprehension, yet I resolved to show as few signs of fear as possible; and therefore told them, unless my hat was returned to me, I should go no farther. But before I had time to receive an answer, another drew his knife, and seizing upon a metal button which remained upon my waistcoat, cut it off, and put it in his pocket. Their intention was now obvious, and I thought that the more easily they were permitted to rob me of everything, the less I had to fear. I therefore allowed them to search my pockets without resistance, and examine every part of my apparel, which they did with scrupulous exactness. But observing that I had one waistcoat under another, they insisted that I should cast them both off; and at last, to make sure work, stripped me quite naked. Even my half-boots (though the sole of one of them was tied to my foot with a broken bridle-rein) were narrowly inspected. Whilst they were examining the plunder, I begged them with great earnestness to return my pocket compass; but when I pointed it out to them, as it was lying on the ground, one of the banditti thinking I was about to take it up, cocked his musket, and swore that he would lay me dead on the spot if I presumed to lay my hand on it. After this some of them went away with my horse, and the remainder stood considering whether they should leave me quite naked, or allow me something to shelter me from the sun. Humanity at last prevailed; they returned me the worst of the two shirts and a pair of trowsers; and, as they went away, one of them threw back my hat, in the crown of which I kept my memorandums; and this was probably the reason they did not wish to keep it. After they were gone, I sat for some time looking around me with amazement and terror; whichever way I turned, nothing appeared but danger and difficulty. I saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness in the depth of the rainy season, naked and alone, surrounded by savage animals, and men still more savage. I was five hundred miles from the nearest European settlement. All these circumstances crowded at once to my recollection; and I confess that my spirits began to fail me. I considered my fate as certain, and that I had no alternative but to lie down and perish. At this moment, painful as my reflections were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss irresistibly caught my eye. I mention this to show from what trifling circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation; for though the whole plant was not larger than the tip of one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves, and capsule without admiration. Can that Being (thought I), who planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image?–surely not! Reflections like these would not allow me to despair; I started up, and disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forwards, assured that relief was at hand; and I was not disappointed. In a short time I came to a small village, at the entrance of which I overtook the two shepherds who had come with me from Rooma. They were much surprised to see me, for they said they never doubted that the Foulahs, when they had robbed, had murdered me. Departing from this village, we travelled over several rocky ridges, and at sunset arrived at Sibidooloo, the frontier town of the kingdom of Manding.

MUNGO PARK.

[Note: _Mungo Park_. Born in Selkirkshire in 1771; set out on his first African exploration in 1795. His object was to explore the Niger; and this he had done to a great extent when he was murdered (as is supposed) by the natives in 1805.]

* * * * *

REST FROM BATTLE.

Now deep in ocean sunk the lamp of light, And drew behind the cloudy veil of night; The conquering Trojans mourn his beams decayed; The Greeks rejoicing bless the friendly shade. The victors keep the field: and Hector calls A martial council near the navy walls: These to Scamander’s bank apart he led, Where thinly scattered lay the heaps of dead. The assembled chiefs, descending on the ground, Attend his order, and their prince surround. A massy spear he bore of mighty strength, Of full ten cubits was the lance’s length; The point was brass, refulgent to behold, Fixed to the wood with circling rings of gold: The noble Hector on his lance reclined, And bending forward, thus revealed his mind: “Ye valiant Trojans, with attention hear! Ye Dardan bands, and generous aids, give ear! This day, we hoped, would wrap in conquering flame Greece with her ships, and crown our toils with fame. But darkness now, to save the cowards, falls, And guards them trembling in their wooden walls. Obey the night, and use her peaceful hours, Our steeds to forage, and refresh our powers. Straight from the town be sheep and oxen sought, And strengthening bread and generous wine be brought. Wide o’er the field, high blazing to the sky, Let numerous fires the absent sun supply, The flaming piles with plenteous fuel raise, Till the bright morn her purple beam displays; Lest, in the silence and the shades of night, Greece on her sable ships attempt her flight. Not unmolested let the wretches gain Their lofty decks, or safely cleave the main: Some hostile wound let every dart bestow, Some lasting token of the Phrygian foe: Wounds, that long hence may ask their spouses’ care, And warn their children from a Trojan war. Now, through the circuit of our Ilion wall, Let sacred heralds sound the solemn call; To bid the sires with hoary honours crowned, And beardless youths, our battlements surround. Firm be the guard, while distant lie our powers, And let the matrons hang with lights the towers: Lest, under covert of the midnight shade, The insidious foe the naked town invade. Suffice, to-night, these orders to obey; A nobler charge shall rouse the dawning day. The gods, I trust, shall give to Hector’s hand, From these detested foes to free the land, Who ploughed, with fates averse, the watery way; For Trojan vultures a predestined prey. Our common safety must be now the care; But soon as morning paints the fields of air, Sheathed in bright arms let every troop engage, And the fired fleet behold the battle rage. Then, then shall Hector and Tydides prove, Whose fates are heaviest in the scale of Jove. To-morrow’s light (O haste the glorious morn!) Shall see his bloody spoils in triumph borne, With this keen javelin shall his breast be gored, And prostrate heroes bleed around their lord. Certain as this, oh! might my days endure, From age inglorious, and black death secure; So might my life and glory know no bound, Like Pallas worshipped, like the sun renowned! As the next dawn, the last they shall enjoy, Shall crush the Greeks, and end the woes of Troy.”

The leader spoke. From all his host around Shouts of applause along the shores resound. Each from the yoke the smoking steeds untied, And fixed their headstalls to his chariot-side. Fat sheep and oxen from the town are led, With generous wine, and all-sustaining bread. Full hecatombs lay burning on the shore; The winds to heaven the curling vapours bore; Ungrateful offering to the immortal powers! Whose wrath hung heavy o’er the Trojan towers; Nor Priam nor his sons obtained their grace; Proud Troy they hated, and her guilty race.