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appeared at a little distance from us, what seemed to be an enormous sheet of phosphorus, stretched out upon the waves; it occupied a great space in front of us. This spectacle, under the circumstances I have just described, had something romantic, imposing, and majestic in it, which attracted all our notice.
"Every one, on board both vessels, hurried to the prow, to enjoy so singular an appearance. We soon came up with the phenomenon, and perceived at once that this brilliant light was caused, simply, by the presence of an innumerable quantity of large zoophytes, which, lifted up by the waves, and carried forward along with them, were floating at different depths, and appeared to partake of various forms. The individuals which were situated deep in the water, and were imperfectly seen, appeared like large masses bound together, or rather, like enormous red balls; while those which appeared on the surface of the waves, perfectly resembled cylinders of red-hot iron.
"In the mean time, all the naturalists of both vessels were equally strenuous in their endeavours to obtain these singular creatures. One of our party soon succeeded in withdrawing from the water more than thirty or forty, which we immediately proceeded to examine. The length of these animals differed from three to seven inches, their form was lengthened and nearly cylindrical. As to their colour, when in a state of rest, or immediately after death, they were of a transparent yellow, mixed with a dirty green; but when, during life, they spontaneously contracted themselves, if they could be induced to this act by gentle irritation, they became instantly of the colour of molten iron of extreme brilliancy, but in the same manner as this metal, as it becomes cooler, they assumed a host of agreeable, delicate, and varying tints, such as red, pink, orange, green, and azure blue. This last colour, above all, was as bright as it was pure.
"I may here observe," says Peron, "that during the whole of our long and numerous voyages in the midst of different seas, we never afterwards observed any animals resembling these, so that it would appear that they are confined between the 19th and 20th degrees of longitude, to the east of the meridian of Paris, and the 3rd and 4th degrees of north latitude."
THE LAST DAYS AND THOUGHTS OF DR. JOHNSON,
FROM THE LETTERS OF MRS. HANNAH MORE.
Dec. 1784. Poor dear Johnson! he is past all hope. The dropsy has brought him to the point of death: his legs are scarified, but nothing will do. I have, however, the comfort to hear that his dread of dying is in a great measure subdued, and now he says " the bitterness of death is past." [We have been told in previous letters of the same writer, that this great man's dread of death had been exceedingly great.] He sent, the other day, for Sir Joshua Reynolds; and, after much serious conversation,JehJ.
him, he had three favours to beg of him; and he hoped he would not refuse a dying friend, be they what they would. Sir Joshua promised. The first was, that he would never paint on a Sunday; the second, that he would forgive him thirty pounds that he had lent him, as he wanted to leave them to a distressed family; the third was, that he would read the Bible whenever he had an opportunity, and that he would never omit it on a Sunday. There was no difficulty on the first point; but at length, Sir Joshua promised to gratify him in all. How delighted should I be to hear the dying discourses of this great and good man, now that faith has subdued his fears. I wish I could see him.
In a letter written at a subsequent period, we find the following very interesting particulars, not generally known. The writer is recording a conversation which she had with the Rev. Mr. Storry, respecting Dr. Johnson.
We were riding together near Colchester, when I asked Mr. S. whether he had ever heard that Dr. Johnson had expressed great dissatisfaction with himself, on the approach of death, and that in reply to friends, who, in order to comfort him, spoke of his writings in defence of virtue and religion, he had said "admitting all you urge to be true, how can I toll when I have done enough." Mr. S. assured me that what I have just mentioned was perfectly correct, and then added the following interesting particulars.
Dr. Johnson, said he, did feel as you describe, and was not comforted by the ordinary topics of conversation which were addressed to him. In consequence, he desired to see a clergyman, and particularly described the views and character of the person whom he wished to consult. After soma consideration, a Mr. Winstanley was named, and the Doctor requested Sir John Hawkins to write a note in his name, requesting Mr. W.'s attendance as a minister.
Mr. W., who was in a very weak state of health, was quite overpowered on receiving the note, and felt appalled by the very thought of encountering the talents and learning of Dr. Johnson. In his embarrassment, he went to his friend Colonel Pownall, and told him what had happened, asking, at the same time, for his advice how to act. The Colonel who was a pious man, urged him immediately to follow what appeared to be a remarkable leading of Providence, and for the time, argued his friend out of his nervous apprehension; but after he had left Mr. Pownall, Mr. W.'s fears returned in so great a degree, as to prevail upon him to abandon the thought of a personal interview with the Doctor. He determined, in consequence, to write him a letter that letter I think Mr. Storry said he had seen, at least a copy of it, and part of it he repeated to me, as follows:
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the honour of your note, and am very sorry that the state of my health prevents my compliance with your request; but my nerves are so shattered, that I feel as if I should be quite confounded by your presence, and instead of promoting, should only injure the cause in which you desire my aid. Permit me, therefore, to write what I should wish to say, were I present. I can easily conceive what would be the subjects of your inquiry. I can conceive that the views of yourself have changed with your condition, and that on the near approach of death, what you once considered mere peccadillos, have risen into mountains of guilt, while your best actions have dwindled into nothing. On whichever side you look, you see only positive transgressions, or defective obedience; and hence in self-despair, are eagerly inquiring, "What shall I do to be saved?" I say to you in the language of the Baptist, "Behold the Lamb of God," &c. &c. When Sir John Hawkins came to this part of Mr. W.'s letter, the Doctor interrupted him anxiously, asking, '* Does he say so? Read it again Sir John." Sir John complied, upon which the Doctor said, "I must see the man, write again to him!" A second note was accordingly sent; but even this repeated solicitation could not prevail over Mr. W.'s fears. He was led, however, by it, to write again to the Doctor, renewing and enlarging upon the subject of his first letter; and these communications, together with the conversation of the late Mr. Latrobe, who was a particular friend of Dr. Johnson, appear to have been blessed by God, in bringing this great man to the renunciation of self, and a simple reliance on Jesus as his Saviour, thus also communicating to him that peace which he had found the world could not give, and which, when the world was fading from his view, was to fill the void, and dissipate the gloom, even of the valley of the shadow of death.
I cannot conclude without remarking what honour God has hereby put upon the doctrine of faith in a crucified Saviour. The man whose intellectual powers had awed all around him, was in his turn made to tremble, when the period arrived when all knowledge is useless, and vanishes away, except the knowledge of the true God, and of Jesus Christ, whom he has sent. Effectually to attain this knowledge, this giant in literature must become a little child. The man looked up to as a prodigy of wisdom, must become a fool, that he might be wise. What a comment is this upon that word, "The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be laid low, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day."
Another anecdote from the same source, relating to the last hours and thoughts of this great man, is highly interesting.
FROM MRS. HANNAH HOKE.
Mr. Pepys wrote me a very kind letter on the death of Johnson, thinking I should be impatient to hear something relating to his last hours. Dr. Brocklesby, his physician, was with him; he said to him a little before he died, "Doctor, you are a worthy man, and my friend, but I am afraid you are no Christian! What can I do better for you, than offer up in your presence, a prayer to the great God, that you may become a Christian in every sense of the word!" Instantly he fell on his knees, and put up a fervent prayer j when he got up, he caught hold of his hand with great earnestness, and cried, "Doctor, you do not say Amen." The Doctor looked foolishly, but after a pause, cried " Amen!" Johnson said, " My dear doctor, believe a dying man, there is no salvation but in the sacrifice of the Lamb of God: go home, write down my prayer, and every word I have said, and bring it me to-morrow." Brocklesby did so.
A friend desired Dr. Johnson would make his will, and as Hume in his last moments had made an impious declaration of his opinions, he thought it would tend to counteract the poison, if Johnson would make a Public confession of his faith in his will. He said he would; seized the pen with great earnestness, and asked what was the usual form of beginning a will. His friend told him. After the usual forms he wrote, "I offer my soul to the great and merciful God, I offer it full of pollution, but in full assurance that it will be cleansed in the blood of the Redeemer." And for some time he wrote on with the same vigour and:
spirit as if he had been in perfect health. When he expressed some of his former dread of dying, Sir John said, " If you, Doctor, have these fears, what is to become of me and others?" "Oh! Sir," said he, "I have written piously, it is true; but I have lived too much like other men." It was a consolation to him, however, in his last hours, that he had never written in derogation of religion or virtue. He talked of his death and funeral, at times, with great composure. On the Monday morning, he fell into a sound sleep, and continued in that state for twelve hours, and then died without a groan.
No action of his life became him like the leaving it. His death makes a kind of era in literature; piety and goodness will not easily find a more able defender; it is delightful to see him set, as it were, his dying seal to the profession of his life, and to the truth of Christianity.
I now recollect, with melancholy pleasure, two little anedotes of this departed genius, indicating a zeal for religion, which one cannot but admire, however characteristically rough. When the Abbe Rayual was introduced to him, upon the Abbe"s advancing to take his hand, Dr. J. drew back, and put his hands behind him, and afterwards replied to the expostulation of a friend, " Sir, I will not shake hands with an infidel." At another time, I remember asking him, if he did not think the Dean of Deny a very agreeable man, to which he made no ansrwer; and on my repeating my question, "Child," said he, "I will not speak any thing in favour of a Sabbathbreaker, to please you, nor any one else." T.
When passing near the Riet river-gate, and while our oxen were grazing, Van Wyk, the colonist, related to us the following interesting circumstance. "It is now," he said, " more than two years since, in the very place where we stand, I ventured to take one of the most daring shots that ever was hazarded. My wife was sitting within the house, near the door, the children were playing about her, and I was without, near the house, busied in doing something to a wagon, when suddenly, though it was mid-day, an enormous lion appeared, came up and laid himself quietly down in the shade, upon the very threshold of the door. My wife, either frozen with fear, or aware of the danger attending any attempt to fly, remained motionless in her place, while the children took refuge in her lap. The cry they uttered attracted my attention, and I hastened towards the door; but my astonishment may well be conceived, when I found the entrance to it barred in such a way. Although the animal had not seen me, unarmed as I was, escape seemed impossible; yet I glided gently, scarcely knowing what I meant to do, to the side of my house, up to the window of my chamber, where I knew my loaded gun was standing. By a most happy chance I bad set it into the corner close by the window, so that I could reach it with my hand; for, as you may perceive, the opening is too small to admit of my having got in; and, still more fortunately, the door of the room was open, so that I could see the whole danger of the scene. The lion was beginning to move, perhaps with the intention of making a spring. There was no longer any time to think; 1 called softly to the mother not to be alarmed; and invoking the name of the Lord, fired my piece! The ball passed directly over the hair of my boy's head, and lodged in the forehead of the lion, immediately over his eyes, which shot forth, as it were, sparks of fire, and stretched him on the ground, so that he never stirred more." Indeed, we all shuddered as we listened to this relation. Never, as he himself observed, was a more daring attempt hazarded. Had he failed in his aim, mother and children were all inevitably lost; if the boy had moved, he had been struck; the least turn in the lion, and the shot had not been mortal to him. To have taken an aim at him without, was impossible; while the shadow of any one advancing in the bright sun, would have betrayed him; to consum mate the whole, the head of the creature was in some sort protected by the door-post,—Lichtbnstein's TrmtU,
THE WELLINGTON SHIELD.
No. X. Tee Entry Into Toulouse.
Notwithstanding the repeated defeats which Soult had experienced in his attempts to relieve the fortresses of St. Sebastian's and Pamplona, he was unwilling, without a further struggle, to abandon the hope of saving them from capture. Accordingly, on the 31st of August, he made a desperate attack on the left wing of the allies, covering the siege of St. Sebastian's; his efforts being directed entirely against a corps of Spaniards, who were posted on the heights of St. Martial. The French, despising their antagonists, advanced with extreme confidence up the steep acclivity; but the brave defenders, waiting till their assailants had nearly gained the summit, charged them with the bayonet, and at once breaking their column, pursued them with slaughter. On the very day that this attack was made, the town of St. Sebastian's was carried by assault, and the garrison driven into the castle, which held out for only a few days longer.
The left wing of the allies being thus disengaged, preparations were made for the invasion of France. It was not possible to act on the offensive upon a great scale, until the fall of Pamplona; but, on the 31st of October, the garrison of that fortress, to the number of 4000, having exhausted the whole of their provisions, surrendered prisoners of war, and thus disengaged the right of the allies from the task of covering the blockade.
The winter set in unusually wet and inclement; the low grounds, in the vicinity of the rivers which separated the hostile armies, were become one continued marsh; and the troops on both sides remained quiet in their cantonments. This repose lasted, with scarcely any interruption, till the middle of February, 1814, when, the weather becoming more favourable, Lord Wellington resolved to take the field, and leaving a part of his army to invest Bayonne, with the remainder to carry the war into the heart of France. By the 26th, a bridge of boats was laid down across the Adour (on the banks of which Bayonne stands), about two miles and a half below that town, and scarcely a mile from the sea. The operation was one of great difficulty, for the river is 270 yards broad, and the tide and ripple are so formidable as to preclude the use of any thing smaller than decked vessels of twenty or thirty tons' burden. The French had never thought of guarding this passage, deeming the width and depth of the river, and the rapidity of its current, to be obstacles of too formidable a nature to be overcome; and the town was thus blockaded on both sides of the Adour, without any serious resistance.
While the left of the allied army was thus occupied, Lord Wellington was leading the remainder towards the interior of the French territory, dislodging the enemy from the positions which they occupied, as he advanced. Leaving Bayonne to its own resources, Soult immediately concentrated his forces behind the Gave de Pau, at Orthes, and takmg up a very strong position, appeared determined to await the issue of a battle. On the 27th, the British attacked him, and met with an obstinate resistance from his troops, •who showed, on tills occasion, a spirit more determined than ordinary; but the enemy at length gave way, and fled with precipitation; but the victory was marked by an incident, "for the possible consequences of which," says the author of Annals of the Peninsular Campaigns, " no success, however brilliant, could have made compensation. During the engagement, Lord Wellington was struck by a grape-shot, which drove the pommel of his sword against his side, with such
violence, as to occasion a severe contusion. He was, in consequence, unable to cross the intersected country in his front, in time to direct the movement of the different divisions in pursuit. But for this misfortune, the results of Orthes would probably have been even more decisive."
After this defeat, Soult was forced, by Lord Wellington's manoeuvres, to retreat to St. Sever, upon the Adour, in the direction of Bourdeaux; but the allies being compelled to halt by the unfavourableness of the weather, the Marshal took the opportunity of ascending the Adour, with the view of drawing near the Pyrenees, and transferring the seat of war to that quarter. The road to Bourdeaux was thus left open to the allies; and Lord Wellington, assured that a powerful party existed in that city, in favour of the legitimate sovereign of France, despatched Marshal Beresfbrd, with a strong force, to drive out the French military, and afford the inhabitants an opportunity of declaring their sentiments. This object was accomplished without any resistance, and Marshal Beresford entered the city on the 12th of March. Soult was closely pressed by his opponent, and at length, on the 24th, he retired into Toulouse, breaking down all the bridges as he passed.
Three days afterwards, the allies arrived in front of that city, on the left bank of the Garonne; and, having succeeded, on the 4th of April, in throwing a bridge across the river, prepared at once to act on the offensive. In the mean while Soult had been diligently providing against the attack, neglecting no means of defence of which he could avail himself. Toulouse possessed many local advantages; its walls, though old, being of great thickness, and covered, on three fourths of their extent, by the great canal of Languedoc, or the waters of the Garonne. But the French Marshal, considering their defences insufficient, had taken up a formidable position on a range of heights, covering the approach to the eastern side of the city, which he had strongly fortified by intrenchments and redoubts. This it was absolutely necessary to attack; and, Lord Wellington having made his dispositions for that purpose, they were carried into successful execution on the 10th of April. The French were driven successively from all their redoubts; and at night every one of their posts was withdrawn within their intrenched line, behind the canal. Toulouse was now enclosed on three sides, and a very short time would have sufficed to enable the allies to complete its investment. Soult was summoned to surrender, but he replied that he would rather bury himself in the ruins of the city; yet he was too well aware of the difficulty of his situation to entertain any hope of success. "He had, however," says Colonel Jones, "at his disposal 35,000 troops, and desperation might have given a force to his expiring efforts, which would have occasioned a severe loss to the brave men who held him encaged; and as the conclusion of peace, though not officially known, was too credibly reported to be doubted, the victor, desirous of avoiding an unnecessary effusion of blood, permitted the French army, without molestation, to file out of the town, in the night of the 11th, by the road of Carcassone, passing withiu cannon-i-hot under the heights of Pugada, crowned by his troops, and bristling with his artillery."
The allies entered Toulouse on the following morning, not as conquerors, but as friends and deliverers; they were received with enthusiastic acclamations, and the white flag was hoisted by the inhabitants, in token of their allegiance to the ancient dynasty of the Bourbon kings. On the evening of the same day, messengers arrived from Paris, to inform Lord Wellington that the Allied Sovereigns had declared they would enter into no fresh negotiations with Buonaparte, because of his bad faith; that the senate had passed resolutions, declaring that he had forfeited all right to the crown, and absolving the soldiers and the nation from their oaths of allegiance; finally, that he had submitted to their decree, and was allowed to retire to Elba, with the independent sovereignty of that island.
"It was in the theatre," says Mr. Southey, "that this news was published, for the theatre was not closed that night: the dead were lying all around the walls; the hospitals, and many of the houses were filled with wounded, all of whom were not yet brought in. The inhabitants themselves had been, by the mercy of Providence, spared from the horrors of an assault, of a blockade, which would speedily have caused famine; and from the evils of fire and sword which they apprehended; and it was the theatre at Toulouse that was opened, not the churches !—But the play was altered, and Richard Coeur dc Lion was represented for the sake of its applicable passages and songs. Nothing could exceed the cheering at these passages, except the bursts of applause with which Lord Wellington was received and greeted, whenever he moved; only those who know the French character, said one who was present, could imagine the excessive joy of the people,—they shouted and wept, and shouted again."
The officers who brought the news from Paris, passed through Bourdeaux, and a communication was made from thence to Sir John Hope, who commanded the force blockading Bayonne; but, the information not being official, Sir John did not think proper to notify it officially to General Thouvenot, the governor of the garrison. He desired however that the officers on the out-posts should communicate the intelligence to the French officers at their advanced picquets, in the hope that it might prevent any hostilities in the mean time. The intimation seems to have produced a very different effect, for early on the morning of the 14th a sortie waa made in great force, from the intrenched
camp in front of the citadel of Bayonne, upon the position occupied by the allies. The assailants were driven back with great slaughter, but not without a loss to the blockading force of more than eight hundred, in killed, wounded, and prisoners; Sir John Hope himself being among the captured. It is melancholy to think that so many brave men should have been sacrificed to the incredulity of tl » French governor; and he has even been charged with having acted under a less excusable motive, and having planned the affair rather with the wish to gratify a bitter feeling of enmity towards the allies, than in the hope of attaining Jiny military object. At all events his conduct contrasts strongly with the humane forbearance of the Duke of Wellington, in allowing the French army to withdraw from Toulouse, when he might have destroyed it.
These events were quickly followed by a definitive arrangement for the suspension of hostilities; soon after which, the Portuguese and Spaniards recrossed the Pyrenees, and the British embarked for England. Thus terminated the war which had now been waged for seven years in the Peninsula and the South of France.
Reading makes a full man, conversation a ready man, writing an exact man. Bacon.