« AnteriorContinuar »
DEATH OF KING PHILIP.-Irving.
IT is said that when the Indian Chieftain, King Philip, had long borne up against a series of miseries and misfortunes, the treachery of his followers reduced him to utter despondency. The spring of hope was broken-the ardour of enterprise was extinguished: he looked around, and all was danger and darkness; there was no eye to pity, nor any arm that could bring deliverance. With a scanty band of followers, who still remained true to his desperate fortunes, the unhappy Philip wandered back to the vicinity of Mount Hope, the ancient dwelling of his fathers. He wandered, like a spectre among the scenes of former power and prosperity, bereft of home, of family, and friend.
Even at his last refuge of desperation and despair, a sullen grandeur gathers round his memory. We picture him to ourselves seated among his care-worn followers, brooding in silence over his blasted fortunes, and acquiring a savage sublimity from the wildness and dreariness of his lurking-place. Defeated, but not dismayed-crushed to the earth, but not humiliated-he seemed to grow more haughty beneath disaster, and to experience a fierce satisfaction in draining the last dregs of bitterness. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above it. The idea of submission awakened the fury of Philip, and he smote to death a follower who proposed an expedient of peace. The brother of the victim escaped, and in revenge betrayed the retreat of his chieftain. A body of white men and Indians were immediately despatched to the swamp where Philip lay crouched, glaring with fury and despair. Before he was aware of their approach, they had begun to surround him. In a little while he saw five of his trustiest followers laid dead at his feet; all resistance was vain; he rushed forth from his covert, and made a headlong attempt to escape, but was shot through the heart by a renegado Indian of his own nation.
Such was the fate of the brave, but unfortunate King Philip; persecuted while living, slandered and dishonoured when dead. If, however, we consider even the prejudiced anecdotes furnished us by his enemies, we may perceive in them traces of amiable and lofty character, sufficient to awaken sympathy for his fate, and respect for his memory.
We find, that amidst all the harassing cares and ferocious passions of constant warfare, he was alive to the softer feelings of connubial love and paternal tenderness, and to the generous sentiment of friendship. The captivity of his beloved wife and only son is mentioned with exultation, as causing him poignant misery: the death of any near friend is triumphantly recorded as a new blow on his sensibilities; but the treachery and desertion of many of his followers, in whose affections he had confided, is said to have desolated his heart, and to have bereaved him of all farther comfort. He was a patriot, attached to his native soil-a prince, true to his subjects, and indignant at their wrongs-a soldier, daring in battle, firm in adversity, patient of fatigue, of hunger, of every variety of bodily suffering, and ready to perish in the cause he had espoused. Proud of heart, and with an untameable love of natural liberty, he preferred to enjoy it among the beasts of the forests, or in the dismal and famished recesses of swamps and morasses, rather than bow his haughty spirit to submission, and live dependent and despised in the ease and luxury of the settlements. With heroic qualities and bold achievements that would have graced a civilized warriour, and have rendered him the theme of the poet and the historian, he lived a wanderer and a fugitive in his native land, and went down, like a lonely bark foundering amid darkness and tempest-without a pitying eye to weep his fall, or a friendly hand to record his struggle.
ADDRESS OF A SWISS DEPUTY TO CHARLES, DUKE OF BURGUNDY. Scott.
MY LORD,-A schedule in your Highness's hands, has stated the sense of many injuries, received at the hand of your Highness's officers, and those of Romont, Count of Savoy, your strict ally and adviser: we have a right to suppose, he has your Highness's countenance. For Count Romont-he has already felt with whom he has to contend: but we have as yet taken no measures to avenge injuries, affronts, interruptions to our commerce, from those who have availed themselves of your Highness's authority, to inter
cept our countrymen, spoil our goods, impress their persons, and even in some instances take their lives.
The affray at La Ferette-(I can vouch for what I saw) had no origin or abettance from us: nevertheless, it is impossible an independent nation can suffer the repetition of such injuries; and free and independent we are determined to remain, or to die in defence of our rights.
What then must follow, unless your Highness listens to the terms, which I am commissioned to offer? Wara war to extermination: for, so long as one of our confederacy can wield a halbert, so long, if this fatal strife once commences, there will be war between your powerful realms, and our poor and barren states.
And what can the noble Duke of Burgundy gain by such a strife? Is it wealth and plunder? Alas, my lord, there is more gold and silver on the very bridle-bits of your Highness's household troops, than can be found in the public treasures or private hoards of our whole confederacy. Is it fame and glory you aspire to? There is little honour to be won by a numerous army over a few scattered bands, --by men clad in mail over half-armed husbandmen and shepherds. Of such conquest small were the glory.
But if, as all Christian men believe, and as it is the constant trust of my countrymen, from memory of the times of our fathers,-if the Lord of Hosts should cast the balance in behalf of the fewer numbers and worse armed party, I leave it with your Highness to judge, what would, in that event, be the diminution of worship and fame.
Is it extent of vassalage and dominion your Highness desires, by warring with your mountain neighbours? Know that you may, if it be God's will, gain our barren and rugged mountains; but, like our ancestors of old, we will seek refuge in wilder and more distant solitudes, and when we have resisted to the last, we will starve in the icy wastes of the glaciers. Ay, men, women, and children, we will be frozen into annihilation together, ere one free Switzer will acknowledge a foreign master
EXTRACT FROM MR. ERSKINE'S DEFENCE OF MR. STOCKDALE.
THE unhappy people of India, feeble and effeminate as they are from the softness of their climate, and subdued and broken as they have been by the knavery and strength of civilization, still occasionally start up in all the vigour and intelligence of insulted nature. To be governed at all, they must be governed with a rod of iron; and our empire in the east would long since have been lost to Great Britain, if civil skill and military powers, had not united their efforts to support an authority which Heaven never gave, by means which it never can sanction.
Gentlemen, I think I can observe that you are touched with this way of considering the subject; and I can account for it: I have not been considering it through the cold medium of books, but have been speaking of man, and his nature, and of human dominion, from what I have seen of them myself amongst reluctant nations, submitting to our authority.
I know what they feel, and how such feelings can alone be repressed. I have heard them in my youth from a naked savage, in the indignant character of a prince, surrounded by his subjects, addressing the government of a British colony, holding a bundle of sticks in his hand as the notes of his unlettered eloquence. 'Who is it?' said the jealous ruler over the desert, encroached upon by the restless foot of the English adventurer, 'Who is it that causes that river to rise in the high mountains, and to empty itself in the ocean? Who is it that causes to blow the loud winds of winter, that calms them again in the summer? Who is it that rears up the shades of those lofty forests, and blasts them with the quick lightning at his pleasure? The same Being, who gave to you a country on the other side of the waters, and gave ours to us; and by this title we will defend it,' said the warriour, throwing down his tomahawk upon the ground, and raising the war-sound of his
These are the feelings of subjugated man all round the globe; and depend upon it, nothing but fear will control, where it is vain to look for affection.
TO THE EAGLE.-Percival.
BIRD of the broad and sweeping wing!
Thou art perched aloft on the beetling crag, And the waves are white below,
And on, with a haste that cannot lag,
Again thou hast plumed thy wing for flight
And away, like a spirit wreathed in light,
Thou hurriest over the myriad waves,
When the night storm gathers dim and dark,
Lord of the boundless realm of air!
The hearts of the bold and ardent dare