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vere anchorite questioned the dying sinner with unsparing rigor. “Do you believe entirely in the mercy of God? :Yes, I feel it in my heart. Are you truly ready to restore all the possessions and estates, which you have unjustly acquired ? -The dying Duke hesitated; he counted up in his mind the sums which he had hoarded ; delusion whispered that nearly all were the acquisition of honest inventions; self-love suggested that the sternest censor would take but little from his opulence. The pains of hell were threatened if he denied; and he gathered courage to reply, that he was ready to make restitution. Once inore the unyielding priest resumed his inquisition. Will you resign the sovereignty of Florence, and restore the democracy of the republic ? Lorenzo, like Macbeth, bad acquired a crown ; but, unlike Macbeth, he saw sons of his own, about to become his successors. He gloried in the hope of being the father of princes, the founder of a line of hereditary sovereigns. Should he resign this brilliant hope? Should he be dismayed by the wild words of a visionary? Should he tremble at the threats of a confessor ? Should he stoop to die as a merchant, when he had reigned as a monarch? No! though hell itself were opening beneath his bed.
Not that! I cannot part with that.' Savonarola left his bedside with indignation, and Lorenzo died without shrift.
And you, brave Cobham, to the latest breath,
Oh! save my country, Heaven!' shall be your last. Such was the exclamation of the worthy Quincy, whose virtues have been fitly commemorated by the pious reverence of his son. The celebrated Admiral Blake breathed his last, as he came in sight of England, happy in at least descrying the land, of which he had advanced the glory by his brilliant victories. Quincy died, as he came in sight of Massachusetts. He loved his family ; but his last words were for his country. • Oh that I might live,'—it was his dying wish,—to render to my country one last service.'
The coward dies panic-stricken ; the superstitious man dies with visions of terror floating before his fancy. We knew an instance of a man, who was so terrified by the apprehension of eternal wo, that he hurried as if to meet it, and in his despair, cut his throat. The phenomenon was strange ; but the fact is unquestionable. The giddy, that are near a precipice, totter towards the brink, which they would shun. Every body remembers the atheism and bald sensuality of the septuagenarian Alexander VI. History bides her face, as she relates his detestable and scandalous vices; she hides her face that her blushes for humanity may not be visible. And the name of his natural son, Cesar Borgia, is a proverb ; a synonym for the most vicious incarnation of unqualified selfishness. Now learn from one story the infinite baseness of a cowardly nature. Borgia had, by the most solemn oaths, induced the Duke of Gravina, Oliverotto, Vitellozzo Vitelli, and another, to meet him in Senigaglia, for the purpose of forming a treaty. The truth of the tale is attested by Macchiavelli. Treachery was prepared, the order was issued for the massacre of Oliverotto and Vitelli. Will it be believed ? Vitelli, as he expired, begged of the infamous Borgia, his assassin, to obtain of Alexander a dispensation for his omissions; a release from purgatory. Can there be greater human weakness ?
Yet the death-bed of Cromwell himself was not free from superstition. He asked, when near his end, if the elect could never fall. Never,' replied Godwin the preacher. "Then am I safe,' said the man, whose last years had been stained by cruelty and tyranny; then am I safe, for I am sure I was once in a state of grace.
Ximenes, to the last, languished from disappointment at the loss of power and the want of royal favor. A smile from Louis would have cheered the death-bed of Racine. They were the victims of a weak passion, which was not gratified, and which they could not subdue.
In a brave mind the love of honor endures to the last. 'Don't give up the ship,' cried Lawrence, as his life blood was flowing in torrents. Abimelech groaned that he fell ignobly by the hand of a woman. We knew a man, who expressed in his last moments more apprehension, lest his fortune should not be enough to pay his debts, than sympathy for the approaching poverty of his family. The sense of honor was piqued; he feared his good name would suffer among those, whose confidence in him had exceeded his ability of requital. We have ever admired the gallant death of Sir Richard Grenville, who, in a single ship, encountered a numerous Aleet; and when mortally wounded, husbanded bis strength, till he could summon his victors to bear testimony to his courage and his
patriotism. Here die I, Richard Grenville, with a joyous and quiet mind, for that I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, fighting for his country, queen, religion and honor.'
The public of Boston and its vicinity have been recently instructed in the details of the treason of Benedict Arnold, by an inquirer, who has compassed earth and sea in search of historic truth, and has merited the applause of his country, not less for candor and judgment, than for diligence and ability. The victim of the treason was André. He protested against the manner of his death; and not against dying. He dreaded the gallows,—not the loss of life. The sentiment in his breast was one of honest pride. His mind repelled the service of treachery ; and holding a stain upon his honor to be worse than a sentence of death, his feelings were those of poignant bitterness, in the fear lest the manner of his execution should be taken as evidence, that the hangman closed for him a career of ignominy. He felt the sense of honor, the rising emotions of pride, the same sentiment which filled the breast of Lawrence, of Nelson, and of Wolfe ; a keen sense, which to the latter rendered death easy and triumphant, because it was attended by victory ; but, in the case of André, added new bitterness to the cup of affliction, by menacing opprobrium as a necessary consequence of a disgraceful execution.
Finally : a well balanced mind meets death with calmness, resignation and hope. Saint Louis died among the ruins of Carthage ; a Christian king, laboring in vain to expel the religion of Mahomet from the spot, where Dido had planted the gods of Syria. My friends,' said he, I have finished my course. Do not mourn for me. It is natural, that I, as your chief and leader, should go before you. You must follow me. Keep yourselves in readiness for the journey.' Then giving his son his blessing, and the kindest and best advice, he received the sacrament, closed his eyes, and died, as he repeated from the Psalms, ' I will come into thy house ; I will worship in thy holy temple.'
The curate of St. Sulpice asked the confessor, who had shrived Montesquieu on his death bed, if the penitent had given satisfaction. Yes,' replied father Roust, ' like a man of genius.' The curate was dissatisfied; he was unwilling to leave to the dying man a moment of tranquillity ; and he addressed him, Sir, are you truly conscious of the greatness of God?' Yes,' said the departing philosopher, ' and of the littleness of man.'
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How calm were the last moments of Cuvier! What benevolence of feeling and self-possession diffused serenity round his departure ! Confident that the hand of death was upon bim, he submitted to the application of remedies, that he might gratify his friends, who still hoped to preserve his life. They had recourse to leeches; and with delightful simplicity the great naturalist observed, that it was he who had discovered that leeches possess red blood. The discovery was one, which he had made in his youth, and which was communicated to the public in one of the early memoirs that first made him known. The thoughts of the dying naturalist recurred to the scenes of his early life, to the coast of Normandy, where, in the solitude of conscious genius, he had roamed by the side of the ocean, and had won his way to fame by observing the wonders of animal life, which are nourished in its depths. He remembered his youth of poverty, the sullen rejection which his first claims for advancement had received; and all the vicissitudes of action and of suffering, through which he had been led to the highest distinctions in science. The son of the Wirtemberg soldier, too weak in bodily health to embrace the profession of his father, had found his way into the secrets of nature, and revealed to an admiring world the novelties, which his sagacity and power of comparison had discovered. The man, who in bis own country had been refused the means of becoming the village pastor of an ignorant peasantry, had charined the most polished circles of Paris by the clearness of his descriptions, as he had commanded the attention of the Deputies of France by the grace and fluency of his elocution. And now he was calmly predicting his departure. His respiration became rapid. Raising his head, he suffered it to fall, as if in meditation. His soul had passed to its Creator without a struggle. Those, who entered afterwards, would have thought that the noble old man, seated in his arm chair by the fire-place, was asleep; and would have walked softly across the room for fear of disturbing him.' Heaven had but recalled his own.'
The death of Haller, the great predecessor of Cuvier, was not more tranquil. His declining years were spent among the mountains of his own favorite Switzerland ; and when the hour of death approached, he watched like a philosopher the ebbing of life, and observed the beating of his pulse till the power of sensation was gone.
A tranquil death is alone suited to the man of science,-to the scholar. He should cultivate letters to the last moment of his life ; he should resign public bonors, as calmly as one would take off a domino on returning from a mask. He should listen to the signal for his departure, not with exultation, and not with indifference. He should respect the dread solemnity of the change, and repose in hope on the bosom of death. He should pass, without boldness and without fear, from the struggles of inquiry to the certainty of knowledge ; from a world of doubt to a world of truth.
ART. VI.-Hutchinson's Third Volume... - The History of Massachusetts Bay, from 1749 to 1774; de comprising a detailed Narrative of the Origin and 110, Early Stages of the American Revolution. By Thom:17As HUTCHINSON, Esq. L.L. D., formerly Governor of to the Province. Edited from the Author's MS., by his bevol! Grandson, the Rev. John Hutchinson, M. A. London. Pode 1828. 4!. ne . In i !! į le deleghel, de
This book was thought important enough to justify a formal vote of the Massachusetts Historical Society, requesting its publication, and a subsequent subscription for five hundred copies in this quarter, without which the editor hesitated to proceed. It seems, however, to have attracted but little attention, except from the few, who are curious in antiquities, while book-making speculations from superficial observers of our manners and public institutions are sought for with a kind of passion. To complain of this, or to inquire for its causes, is not our present purpose. In literary, as in political affairs, there is no appeal from the decision of the public. But we may be allowed, at least, to recommend a different taste, by introducing to notice from time to time such British works, as, with apparently greater value, have from some cause failed of proportionate success.
The title page, as given above, is not the one which is found in the copies transmitted to subscribers in this country. The dedication to Lord Lyndhurst, and a Preface of ten or more pages are also wanting. The editor probably thought that something might be necessary to recommend the work to notice at home, which would appear altogether superfluous here. The