Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

of such a length of time. We know/ that/* by far the most, acute of tho'se/ wh'o (in la^tter d'ays) have adopted the unfˇavourable view of Mary's ch'aracter, lo'nged (like the executioner before his dreadful task was performed) to kiss the fair hand of h'er/ on whom he was about to perfo'rm/ so horrible a duty.

SIEGE OF CALAIS.
BROOKE.

EDWARD III'. (after the battle of Cre'ssy) laid siege to Cala'is. He had fortified his ca'mp/t in so impregnable a m'anner, that all the efforts of France/ proved ineffectual/ to raise the siege, or throw succours/ into the city. The c'itizens (under Count Vienne, their gallant go'vernor) made an admirable defe'nce. Fra'nce/ had now put the sickle into her second harvest, since E'dward (with his victorious a'rmy) sat down before the town. The eyes of all E'urope/ were intent on the is'sue. At length, fa`mine/ did more for Edward/ than a'rms. After suffering unheard-of cal'amities, they resolved to attempt the enemy's ca'mp. They boldly sallied for'th; the English/ joined bat'tle; an'd, after a long and desperate engagement, Count Vie'nne/ was taken pris'oner, and the citi'zens (who survived the slaughter) retired within their ga'tes. The comm'and/ dev'olving upon Eustace St. Pierre (a man of mean birth, but of exalted v'irtue), he offered to capitulate with E'dward, provided/ he permitted them to depart with life and liberty. Edward (to avoid the imputation of cruelty) consented to spare the bulk of the pleb'eians, provi'ded/ they delivered up to him six of their principal citizens/ with halters about their ne'cks (as victims of due ato^nement for that spirit of rebellion/ with which they had inflamed the v'ulgar.‡) When

* It will be observed, that when "that" is a conjunction, it requires a pause both before and after it.

† Whilst "of" in general must be pronounced as a component part of the word which precedes it, as "approbation-of," "sensible-of," &c. every other preposition, without exception, requires a pause before it.

It will be obvious to the general reader, in the absence of antithesis (which is, either when expressed or understood, the parent of all emphasis) that some words naturally require more accentual force than others;— among these," the verb" stands prominently forward as claiming our first attention; next the noun, adjective, &c., thus easily and gradually diminishing in force, down to the particles.

Concluding tone.

Is

his m'essenger (Sir Walter Ma'uny) delivered the terms, consterna'tion and pale dism'ay were impressed on every cou`ntenance. To a long and dead silence, deep sighs and groans succeeded, till Eustace St. Pierre (getting up to a little e'minence) th ́us addressed the assembly:- My friends, we are brought to great straits this day. We must either yield to the terms of our cruel and ensna'ring-conqueror, or give up/ our tender in'fants, our wives, and da'ughters, to the bloody and brutal lu'sts of the violating so'ldiers. Is there any expedient l'eft, whereby we may avoid the guilt and infamy of delivering up tho'se/ who have suffered every misery wi'th you, on the o'ne-hand, or the desolation and horror of a sacked city, on the other? There is, my friends, there is o^ne expedient left; a gracious, an e'xcellent, a god-like expedient left. there any here to whom virtue/ is dearer than life? Let him offer himself an obl'ation/ for the s'afety of his people! He shall not fail of a blessed approba'tion/ from that power who/ offered up his only S'on/ for the salvation of mankind." He spo'ke; but a universal s'ilence ensu`ed. Each m'an/ looked around/ for the example of that virtue and magnani'mity/ which all wished to approve in themselves, though they wanted the resolution. At length St. Pierre resu'med-"I doubt not/ but there are many h'ere/ as rea'dy, n'ay, m'ore-zealous of this martyrdom than I can b'e; though the station/ to which I am raised by the captivity of Lord Vi'enne, imparts a right to be the first in giving my life for your sa'kes. I give it freely; I give it cheerfully. Who comes next?" "Your so'n," (exclaimed a youth not yet come to maturity.) "Ah! my child!" (cried St. Pierre) "I am then twi'ce sa crificed. But n'o; I have rather given thee being a se'cond-time. Thy years are fe'w, but full, my so'n. The victim of virtue/ has reached the utmost purpose and goal of mortality. Who ne'xt, my friends? Th'is/ is the hour of heroes." "Your kinsman," cried John de Ai're.- “Your ki’nsman," cried James Wis'sant. “Your kinsman," cried Pe^ter Wissant." A'h !" (exclaimed Sir Walter Mauny, bursting into tears,) "why was not I' a citizen of C'alais !" The sixth victim was still wa'nting, but was quickly supplied by lo't, from numbers/ who were now emulous of so ennobling an example. The keys of the city were then delivered to Sir Walter. He took the six pri'soners/ into his cu'stody; then ordered the gates to be opened, and gave charge to his atte'ndants/ to conduct the remaining c'iti

zens (with their families) through the camp of the English. Before they departed, how'ever, they desired permission to take the last adi'eu of their deliv'erers. What a parting! what a sce'ne! They cro'wded (with their wives and ch ́ildren) about St. Pierre and his fellow-pri'soners. They embr'aced; they clung around; they fell pro'strate before them. They groa'ned; they wept aloud; and the joint cla'mour of their mo'urning/passed the ga'tes of the c'ity, and was he'ard/throughout the English ca'mp.-The English (by this time) were apprised of what passed within Calais. They heard the voice of lamentation, and their so'uls/ were tou'ched with compa`ssion. Each of the soldiers/ prepared a portion of his own vic`tuals to w'elcome and enterta'in the half-famished inh'abitants; and they loa'ded them/ with as much as their present weakness was able to be'ar, in or'der/ to supply them with sustenance/ by the way. At length St. Pierre and his fellow-vi'ctims/ appeared under the conduct of Sir Walter and a guard. All the tents of the English/ were instantly emptied. The soldiers poured from all parts, and arranged themselves on each si'de, to behold, to conte'mplate, to admi're, this little band of p'atriots/ as they pas'sed. They bowed down to them on all sides. They murmured their applause of that virtue/ which they could not but rev'ere/ even in e^nemies; and they regarded those ro'pes (which they had voluntarily assumed about their necks) as ensigns of greater dignity/ than that of the British ga'rter. As soon as they had reached the presence" Mauny," (says the monarch,)" are the'se the principal inhabitants of Ca'lais?" "They are," (says Mauny :) they are not only the principal men of Calais, they are the principal men of France, my Lo'rd, if virtue/ has any share in the act of enn'obling." "Were they delivered p'eaceably ?" (says E'dward) "was there no resistance, no comm'otion/ among the pe'ople ?" "Not in the least, my Lo'rd; the people would all have pe'rished, rather than have delivered the le^ast of these to your Majesty. They are self-deli'vered, self-devo^ted, and come/ to offer up their inestimable h'eads/ as an ample eq'uivalent/ for the ransom of thousands." Edward was secretly piqued at this reply of Sir W'alter; but he knew the privilege of a British s'ubject, and suppressed his resentment. "Exp'erience" (says h'e) "has ever show'n, that le'nity/ only serves to invite people to new crimes. Severity (at times) is indispensably necessary/ to compel s'ubjects to submis'sion by pu

66

n'ishment and example. G'o," (he cried to an officer) “lead these men to execution."

At this instant/ a sound of tri'umph was heard throughout the camp. The qu'een/ had just arrived with a powerful reinforcement of gallant tro'ops. Sir Walter Mauny flew to receive her m'ajesty, and briefly informed her of the parti'culars/ respecting the six victims.

As soon as she had been welcomed by Edward and his court, she desired a private au'dience." My Lo'rd," (said she) "the question I am to enter up'on, is not touching the lives of a few mech'anics—it respects the h'onour of the English na'tion; it respects the glory of my E'dward, my h'usband, my ki^ng. You think/ you have sentenced six of your enemies to d'eath. No, my Lord, they have sentenced themse`lves; and their execu`tion/ would be the execution/ of their ow`n orders, no't the orders of E'dward. The stage/ on which they would suffer, would be to th'em a stage of honour, but a stage of shame to E'dward; a reproach to his conquests; an indelible disgrace/ to his na'me. Let us rather disappoint these haughty b'urghers, who wish to invest themselves with glory/ at o'ur-expense. We cannot wholly deprive them of the merit of a sa'crifice/ so nobly intended, but we may cut them sho`rt of their desires; in the place of that death/ by which their glory would be consummate, let us bury them under gifts; let us put them to confusion with applauses. We shall thereby defeat them of that popular opin'ion/ which never fails to attend those who suffer in the cause of virtue."am convi'nced: you have prevailed. Be it so," replied E'dward: prevent the execution; have them instantly befo`re us.' They ca'me; when the Que'en (with an aspect and accents diffusing sweetness) thus bespo'ke them :-" Natives of France, and inhabitants of Cal'ais, you have put us to a vast expense of blo'od and treasure/ in the recovery of our just and na'tural inheritance: but/ you have acted up to the be'st of an erroneous judgment; and we admire and honour in you that va`lour and v ́irtue/ by which we are so long kept out of our rightful posse'ssions. You noble burghers! you excellent citizens ! (though you were te^nfold the enemies of our person and our thr'one,) we can feel nothing, on our part, save respect and affec'tion-for-you. You have been sufficiently tested. We your cha'ins we snatch you from the scaffold; and we thank you for that lesson of humiliation which you teach us,

66

loose

I

when you sho'w us, that excellence is not of blo'od, of title, of station; that virtue gives a dignity superior to that of kiˇngs; and that tho`se/ whom the Almighty/ informs with sentiments like yours, are ju'stly and e'minently raised/ above all hu^man distinctions. You are now free to depart to your ki`nsfolk, your co^untrymen, to all tho'se/ whose lives and liberties you have so nobly redeemed, provi'ded/ you refuse not the to`kens of our esteem. Yet we would rather bind you to ourselves, by every endearing obligation; and/ for this purpose, we offer to you/ your choice of the gifts and hon'ours/ that Edward/ has to bestow.-Rivals for fa`me, but always friends to virtue, we wish that England/ were entitled to call you he'r so'ns !""Ah! my country!" (exclaimed Pie'rre) "it is now that I tre'mble-for-you. Edward/ only wins our cities; cities; but a Philippa/ conquers he^arts."

DESCRIPTION OF KESWICK VALE.

DR. BROWN.

In my way to the North from Hagley, I passed through Dov'edale; an'd/ to say the truth, was disappointed-in-it. When I came to Bu'xton, I visited another or two of their romantic sc ́enes; but the'se/ are inferior to Do'vedale. They are all but poor miniatures of Ke'swick; which/ exceeds them more in gran deur/ than you can imagine; and mo ́re (if p'ossible) in beauty/ than in grandeur.

Instead of the narrow slip of a valley/ which is seen at Do'vedale, you have/ at Ke'swick/ a vast amphith ́eatre, in circumference about twenty miles. Instead of a meagre ri ́vulet, a noble li`ving l'ake (ten miles round, of an oblong fo'rm) adorned with a variety of wooded is'lands. The rocks indeed of Dovedale/ are finely wi'ld, poin`ted, and irregular; but the hills/ are both little and una`nimated; and the margin of the bro'ok/ is poorly edged with wee'ds, mora`ss, and br'ush-wood. But/ at Ke'swick, you w'ill (on one side of the lak'e) see a rich and beautiful lan'dscape of cultivated fields, rising to the eye in fine inequ'alities, with noble groves of o'ak (happily disp'ersed) and climbing the adjacent h ́ills (sha'de above sha'de) in the most various and picture'sque-forms. On the opposite sh'ore/ you will find rocks and cliffs of stupendous

Concluding tone.

« ZurückWeiter »