« ZurückWeiter »
ceive him as a volunteer, on board the feet | ter his love of popularity, and stimulate him to the then lying at Portsmouth, but the admiral achievement of those feats for which he became refused. This was only a few days previous casion he appeared in Paris as a Highland chief
so distinguished in his younger days. On one octo the battle of the 27th July, 1778, be- tain in proper costume, the very beau ideal of a tween the British feet, under Admiral Kep- Celtic hero. He was a go marksman, excelled pel, and the French fleet, under the Comte in the sword exercise, and could send an d'Orvilliers. Mr. Rowan frankly acknow- from a bow half as far again as any other man in
France. Such accomplishments caused him to be ledges that when on the return of H.M.S. respected by the men, while his noble Herculean Victory, he visited the ward of those wounded figure and perfect politeness made him a favourite in the action, be did not feel quite so sorry with the ladies. He was fond of driving a phaëfor his disappointment as when it first oc
ton, and paddling in an Indian canoe; few could
match his dexterity in rowing, or the gracefulness curred.
and variety of his rapid movements in skatingThirsting for adventure, as he did, and whether on the Thames, the Liffey, the Delaware, baulked so often in his attempts to be use- or the Elbe, he fully active, we are surprised that Mr. Rowan
• with balance nice, did not enter the line, or take some other Hung o'er the glittering steel, and hissed along
the ice.' decided method to gratify his honest ambi. tion. Possibly his being heir to a large
“ The following instance of his prowess is well fortune, or the wishes of his own family, stood Lincolnshire, trying a hunter, which he had pur
worthy of record. While he was a young man in too much in the way of his natural disposi-chased, the horses of a waggon took fright and tion. Be this as it may, he shewed so little ran off. At first he thought it was a baggage inclination for a more sober and settled ex-waggon, but discovering that it was crowded with istence, that the approach of his thirtieth women and children, he instantly rode between
it and a precipice to which it was rapidly apyear found him still leading a bachelor life.
proaching. His horse was killed by the shock; He had not, however, been entirely unmind- but he succeeded in stopping the waggon by ful of the necessity for a change in his con- twisting its chains round his arm, and resisting dition: in the year 1781, he was married at
its motion with all his strength. His arm was Paris to Miss Sarah Anne Dawson, a young the approbation which such an act of generous
dreadfully lacerated; but he felt compensated by Irish lady, “ of great personal beauty," and self-devotion drew from her whose praise he vaapparently no ordinary mental endowments. lued inost, and who was soon to become his Having visited London with his bride, for bride." the purpose of registering their marriage, he
A feat of a different description is recorded returned to Paris, where, or in other parts by Doctor Drummoud, in an earlier part of of France, he resided for a couple of years, the book:and at last in 1784, came to settle in Ire
" Another anecdote has been recorded of Mr. land.
Rowan, highly characteristic of his daring and geThis perhaps is as fit a place as we shall nerous spirit. While he was quartered at Gosbe able to find, for a passage or two from port, as Captain of Grenadiers in the Huntingdon Dr. Drummond's additions to the memoir ; in his clothes from Gosport to Plymouth, but
Militia, some person undertook, for a bet, to swim in which, while the Doctor sums up, with a
when brought to the trial, flinched, and refused to succinct simplicity, the various accomplish- make the attempt. Rowan, supposing tbat the ments of his hero, the reader inay trace some man could not afford to lose the bet, though faint outlines of the comeliness, strength, and small, offered to take his place, and of course win
or pay. The offer was accepted, and many bets courage, which combined with his warinth of
were made on the occasion, as he was to swim in heart, and generous independent spirit, could his full regimental dress, and across a tide that hardly have failed to make Hamilton Rowan, runs with great impetuosity. Accordingly he what in fact he so speedily became, a general slung his fusee on his back,—for at that time favourite with all classes in Ireland. 'Twas a
Grenadier officers, as well as private soldiers, car
ried fusees,-and like another Cassius, a popularity which he never ceased to merit, tered as he was, he plunged in and which, amid all the social and political
And breasted changes that he survived to witness, it was The surge most swollen that met him; his bold his rare good fortune to retain undiminished head to the close of a long and well-spent life. 'Bove the contentious wave he kept, and oared
Himself with his good arms, in lively strokes, “Mr. Rowan had a tall and commanding per- To the shore that o'er his wave-worn basis bowed son, in which agility, strength, and grace were
As stooping to relieve him.' combined. His features were expressive, and strongly marked. In his younger days he was
“When half way across, he lost his grenadier cap, universally regarded as handsome, and so attrac- but performed the feat, and landed on the Portstive of admiration, that the eyes of all were turned mouth side, amidst the cheers of the spectators, upon him whenever he came into public; a cir- and the congratulations of his friends and brother cumstance whigh must have greatly tended to fosa officers, who followed him in boats." The person
who lost refused to pay, saying the condition was, The admirers of modern civilization have to swim over fully accoutred, and that by losing few more favourite topics, than the advanhis cap he lost the bet. Mr. Rowan asked his friends and the people around him, “What is your tage which in these days, mind hath over opinion?' “That the loser is no gentleman,' an- muscle, in guiding the affairs of men, conswered they, and if he does not pay, we will tie trasting therewith of course, the vice versa him to a boat and swim him over to Gosport in miseries of a more barbarous state. Taken tow.' 'Very well,” said Rowan, I care little for in a wide sense, as regards the welfare of myself
, but I do for those who staked their money the many, and the finding an audible voice on me; and had you said I lost, as no time was mentioned, I should have borrowed another cap, for their suffering and their will, and putting tied it on, and while I was wet, have swum back that will into effect by comparatively peaceto Gosport. The bets were all paid : and it may ful methods, the saying is not amiss; it has seem scarcely necessary to add, that two gold as much truth in it as the finders or the watches, which he was accustomed to carry, were, with his uniform, completely spoiled by the salt venders of it, are likely to bring to any water."
market they frequent. But as a test between Another anecdote, though somewhat apo- man and man, in the struggle between man cryphal, is characteristic in many respects, and man, (a struggle so fearfully increased and as we are in a gossiping mood, our read- by the crowding of modern existence, and ers shall have it. "It is, like the former two, the rivalry of communities also, and their duly adorned with a poetical quotation, a spe- industrial mechanism, which the steam encies of embellishment for which the worthy gine hath of late years a thousand fold exeditor has naturally a strong predilection. asperated,)—applied in this way, as we often
“Mr. Rowan, during his residence in France, hear it, we take it to be little better than a having gone on a shooting excursion, met with piece of cant, and one of those cants too, many French and English strangers at a country which tickle the vanity of the age, and lead house or chateau, and among them one with whom it into follies, which, perverse as it is, it he had high words, which led to a conflict that might have been attended with fatal consequences. might not otherwise think of. They had dressed for dinner, wearing swords, as
With all this talk, we doubt, if in respect was the fashion, and met in the saloon where the of personal advancement, or individual indispute originated,--probably, as usual, about fluence, it has ever been much otherwise than some trifle—the dissention of a doit—some it is now. As indeed in any community, trick not worth an egg.' Ladies being present, above the dignity of an oyster-bed, or a Rowan,
‘Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, rabbit-warren, seems likely to be the case. went out with the French gentleman on a balcony ruled ever; every coarsest fibre thereof, as
This wondrous frame of society hath spirit platform, where both drew, and instantly proceeded to decide their controversy by the sword. well as the minutest nerve: 'tis only thereby, Rowan's powerful arm, with his superior skill in by virtue of the life breathed into and abiding fencing, gave him a manifest advantage. His an- in it, and throughout pervading it, that tagonist grew warm, and at every thrust or parry, society hath ever held together, or could epithet, which so enraged Rowan that he closed exist at all. There have been times, in which with him, and a l'Anglais, gave him a terrible this would have been a truism of offensive blow of his fist, which nearly knocked him down. triteness; but no feeling that it would be so
In the scuffle the Frenchman lost his sword, then now, has interposed to prevent our repeating took to flight, and actually got on the parapet, it; we have seen too much, and to our sorwhich was barely two feet wide, and twenty above the ground. Rowan pursued him on the row read too much, of that beggarly vanity, same dangerous eminence, like Achilles after peculiar to the past and present centuries, Hector, but not with the same deadly animosity ; which solaces itself with the blessed belief, for though he might have taken summary ven- that the hosts of the by-gone generations geance, he contented himself with giving him a few strokes with the blade of his sword upon the were, with few exceptions, brutes, or idiots, head and shoulders, but doing him no serious in
or both. A strange pride of ancestry this, jury. The spectators were in terror lest one or and a still stranger blindness, and ingratitude both should fall from the narrow parapet, till at worse than all! We believe, however, that last the terrified Frenchman dropped down, and probably thought himself fortunate in escaping, Nor, while we wish them a happy riddance
men are getting weary and ashamed of it. though at the expense of a fractured limb."
of the like, ought we to forget that it was With this our extracts must terminate the unreasoning admiration for the earlier for the present.
times, professed by the upholders of wrong,
that forced the seekers of redress into so *“ This I presume," remarks the Doctor, a more arduous exploit than Lord Byron's and many errors, and dimmed to their contracted Lieutenant Ekenhead's swimming across the Hel- gaze the glories of their truest benefactorslespont."
those ancestral bequeathers of rights, long
struggled for, and knowledge hardly won, it to be in this wise: not that either has and virtue which knew not itself, yet was gained over the other advantage which beits own reward. As men learn better why fore it had not, but rather that both are they are bound to revere past ages, and debarred of much occupation, which in what they really owe to them, they will earlier times they had not failed to enjoy surely learn also a truer respect for thein- and profit by. And 'tis hard to say which selves; a meek and just, and temperate pride, class of society, the high or the low, the taking the place of a weak, fretful, ignorant, rich or the poor, more acutely feel this : pitiable vanity.
enough that ihey all suffer by it. Pending such a hopeful consummation, And thus, to draw straight this tangled we would take the wassenting reader back thread with which we have so long detained to the earliest records, and ask him what he our readers, we must think it a pity, for finds there, or how, twixt man and man, the many reasons, that our stalwart, goodway of the world hath altered ? The strong natured Hamilton Rowan was not born a and hairy Esau finds the sleek and smooth- couple of centuries carlier. The business skinned Jacob somewhat an overmatch for of “ owning land,” to which he was prehim ; the meek Joseph changes a prison appointed, was then accompanied, if not for a palace, and is, for many years, the with more numerous duties, at least with virtual lord of Egypt. The good-natured more active occupations to beguile the hulking Ajax, the hot-headed Agamemmon, tedium of life—or in other words, duties the god-like Achilles himself, thresh and which could not be neglected with impunity; are threshed upon occasion, but it is after which it was dangerous as well as uncomall, the much experienced Nestor, the fortable to leave unperformed, and moreover, sprighily Diomede, the inventive Ulysses, which it was pleasurable enough to be conthat advance the Grecian cause, so that ineu's stantly fulfilling. We have in the foregoing eyes, in doubt and danger, turn to where they pages, given some account of Hamilton stand : the self-reliant Hector obeys with- Rowan's early life, and have seen that with out a murmur the word of the wiser Helenus, the heartiest endeavours on his part, it was and if once or twice Polydamas puts him yet so far the life of an idler, pleasant, but out of temper, 'tis the sense of his own of little profit to himself or any one else, inferiority, that makes him unjust and pas- save that in his peregrinations he acquired, sionate. So hath it been ever, so will it no doubt, some knowledge of the world, ever be; soul and body, mind and muscle, and considerable grace of manner. Now now in union, again in disunion, cheering so long as landlordism shall continue to and aiding, or jostling and stilling one Dourish, so long as young men are allowed another, as the whim takes them, or the fates to be heirs to large properties, with the weal decree. Mind, pluck, spunk, soul, spirit, and woe of hundreds or thousands so greatly will do much for one; Tydeus was a little depending on them, we must think it a man, and so was Napoleon : even dwarf question of some importance ;-whether the and hunch-back heroes may often be met occupations and exercises of their carly years with in history. On the other hand, an might not be made more directly subservient active, inventive spirit taking up its abode to their after usefulness as lords of the soil ? in a tough, healthy, capacious body, is won. And it is exactly in the case of a man like derfully aided thereby. Look at Walter Hamilton Rowan, a noble, compassionale, Scott, Cobbett, O'Connell; what work they warm-hearted human being, and not an aris-have done, to say nothing of all the super- tocratic icicle, that the question may be fluous trouble, which for wilfulness or pas- most pertinently put. He was, as we shall time they chose to burden themselves witbal. afterwards sce, an excellent landlord, so And again, look at Cowper, Coleridge, Lamb, far as his insight and information allowed men of far finer endowment, how in tasks him; 'twas impossible he could have been beneath their powers, or oft times no.task at otherwise. But regularly taught his duties, all, they fretted and frittered away their and trained to pracuse them, what might he existence, their weak spirits in weak bodies not have been ? His high spirit and unfinding life too rough a game. So with bending rectitude resting on a basis of conJew and Greek, ancient and modern, wild tinued public usefulness, his activity and and tame, Malay and Yankee, hath it fared, benevolence would have been more seldom and will ; nor much as the world has changed, wasted on inadequate or unworthy objects; is this among its changes.
and while his ability to serve his country, Yet a change in respect of mind and and enlarge her liberties, would have been muscle, there undoubtedly is, and we take ten-fold greater, he would, if sacrificed at all, have been so with the satisfaction of headed, and made his followers glad with purchasing with his exile or his death, some the flesh of plundered beeves ; or bid them more enduring benefit for the land he loved. dwell in peace and prosperity for miles In these times, and let the landlords look to around his sheltering stronghold, fearing no it, if they mean to remain such-to be widely insidious foe ? How would the qualities and permanently useful in that high station, which made bim popular with our fathers, inust come not by good will alone, or well- have made him powerful then, and honoured meaning philantrophy, but by long previous of a numerous clan. Those thirty idle years training, artificial and new-langled if they would have been the reverse of idle, and his will, but every day becoming more indis- whole life, though not so peaceful, happier pensable for their very existence; an educa- far perhaps, and certainly not less useful. tion, we mean, comprehensively and steadily But this is now almost an idle speculadirected to the one great end of making them tion: to each man is his time allotted, and know their duties, and acquire the habit of be his portion good or evil, he and his practising them.
fellows must make the best of it. Our All this, though imperfectly, would have Hamilton Rowan was born in the eighteenth come about more easily three centuries ago. century and not in the fifteenth; what he was, Had Hamilton Rowan lived then, his noble rather than what he might have been, it faculties would have found fitter employ- becomes us to consider and enquire : and ment, and made him a man of note, in a as we have now presented to our readers, a fashion pleasanter for himself, and just as brief sketch of his early life, so we purpose good for the world. As a chiestain on the in a succeeding paper to follow his course, Scottish borders, or on the banks of the though the perils of imprisonment and exile, Rhine, or the Blackwater, or in his own till we see him once more restored to our castle of Killyleagh, had the O'Neils been land,--one of the few among many thousands dispossessed so early, what glorious occu- who have left it, because they loved it; yet pation might he not have found for himself ? dared return to die in it. How many a foray would he not have
NO, I CANNOT SING TO NIGHT."
Ask me not-for why should sorro :v
Jar upon your ears to-night?
Casting gloom where all is light?
Hoping 'twill respond aright;
No, I cannot sing to night.
Memory's finger traces there,
Scenes like this, and forms as dear.
What remains of hours so bright ?-
No, I cannot sing to-night!
Voices, silent in the tomb :
As when in their pride of bloom.
Even now, a hand doth write,
No, I cannot sing to-night.
STORIES OF THE PYRENEES. No. IV.
THE PRISONERS ON PAROLE.
“We were soon obliged to abate this rate cied straw, indulging in the folly of hope, of speed; the way—I had not been, as I told the most outright one, 'twould appear to you, in a state to mind that, or scarcely common sense, that could be yielded to in any other circumstance of our inarch of our actual position. yesternight,-grew every moment more diffi- “ An hour, or two, it might be, passed; cult and uncertain ; at one time our horses wc had progressed during the time but found footing on a bed of irregular stone a small distance from our starting place; and gravel ; at another, with much effort, and, according as we continued to toil in a deep slippery pool of mire. The in- on, the road still presented new difficulties, cessant rain of the preceding weeks had, now winding through a precipitous glen, in the mountain gorges we were passing darkened by overhanging masses of wood, through, here, at the upper part of a and traversed at bottom by a turbid stream, declivity, over which its accumulated tor- that, rushing, full swoln by many channels, rents had swept,-laid bare the rocky from the heights foaming, bubbling, and underground, and there, further on in the splashing, washed the edge of the path; descent, driven down detached masses of it would have been impossible in many earth and sand, quickly formed below into spots to get forward two abreast. the slimy consistence of a morass.
“On approaching the issue of the pass, twice, as we advanced, wbile gazing, with widening towards the more open and level the quickened view that imminence of per- country, sounds well known to my cars, insonal peril gives, up the pine heights that distinct at first, but soon remarked and crowned, right and left, the sides of these listened to more attentively by every one passcs, (exactly, as parts of the valley we of the detachment, particularly its prompt rode through this evening, are topped) I commander, were heard announcing more fancied, indistinctly, and without attaching clearly at each step, that a sharp coulmuch importance to the matter, I could test had again begun in the plain below, descry a sort of movement there, that to the theatre of the one we yesterday had my hoping,-one catches, you know, at a been present in, and become victims of. straw in dilemmas like ours,—struck me as Compact heavy vollies of musketry, answerbeing like that of men and arms. No one ing one another at intervals, were interseemed to observe this incident, whether mingled with occasional irregular more real or not, but myself; and, supposing the prolonged discharges. We could quickly former case, what could it avail to me or hear, or imagine we heard shouts, cries, and my unfortunate companion ? It might be a clashings,—the rolling of druins, or a trum. manæuvre of the republicans, not of our pet call. To do more, to see what the casc friends; it might be a fond deception of inight be, was, as yet, impossible; plunged my excited brain ; it might be,—but what as we were, in the valley's depths, which use repeating the surmises, that at the mo. still encompassed us, and only abruptly ment when first I caught, or imagined I terminated at the entrance, and disclosed in caught a glimpse of what seemed,—that sudden wide-stretched view, seeming started me at once into a kind of lof plain I have had occasion so often to instinctive hope. I have already said, that mention. then, in my days of primny youth, I was “ Instantly ordering to halt, the lieutenant well prone to be a hoper in the worst of dashed forward with a few troopers, for the baps; by and by we shall be able to guess purpose, we concluded, of course, of reconwhether, in the present instance, I was noitering,—not forgetting, first, to make us right or wrong in still, on the turn of a fan- | take place in the inidst of the remaining
the low expanse
For the preceding parts sec vol. ii. pp. 234, 363, 435,