Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

her hair streaming over the pillow, and her soft blooming cheek joined to the pale, wrinkled, emaciated and burning visage of the sinking veteran. I can only hear her sweet plaintive voice, endeavouring to inspire comfort and hope, but choked with bursting sobs which she could no longer restrain !

Lieutenant M, felt himself dying. He ordered himself to be raised in the bed, and spoke his last injunctions with a voice, which had death in its every tone." God bless you," he said, “ my dearest child-God in heaven bless you !-Your only earthly hope is in the friend who stands beside you. Merit his protection--treat him as you have treated me. My poor, poor, girl, I meant to be a kind and affectionate parent to you-but I fear that I have been your worst enemy. Oh Heaven! let it not be so! She at least cannot deserve such misery, as I have known. Merciful Heaven, let not her father's fate be hers." He then put his hand upon her head, and once more solemnly and impressively blest her. He would have placed her hand in mine; as a token of giving her into my protection. But at the very moment she fainted and fell upon the ground. I carried her motionless form carefully from the chamber, and before she recovered her senses, her father was no more.

I returned to Lieutenant M.; who was now calm, composed, and perfectly resigned to his approaching fate. “ The bitterness of death,” he said, “ is past. As an Englishman, and a soldier, I have learnt to look upon the extinction of life without concern or terror.”

66 And as a christian," said I. “ Ass

Assuredly,” he replied ; and bowed his head in reverent submission. “ My only wish to live,” he continued, “ was for the sake of my child; and you will be a better guardian to her, than I have been. I have your promise ?” he added, looking steadfastly in my face“ have I not ?” “ My most solemn and irrevocable promise.” “ Then I am contented. You will also settle my affairs, and pay my debts. I would not have dishonour attach to my name after my death. I am asking too much;" he said, after a pause, “ but this is no time for pride or hesitation. If you see any of my family, say that I forgave

[ocr errors]

them; and tell my dear, dear daughter, that my last earthly thought was a prayer for her happiness.-For you" -his voice had been gradually weaker and weaker, and he stopped. His hand had been placed upon mine—I felt it stiffen and grow cold. I looked at his features-but they were fixed-I felt his heart-but it no longer beat. His miseries were over !

Yes! his last thought was his child's. Of all human attachments the loveliest and holiest, perhaps, is the affection of a father for a daughter. There is not only parental fondness and protecting tenderness; but there is the remembrance of early love, refined and chastened and purified, without passion and without change.

In examining the affairs of Lieutenant M. I found his circumstances so completely deranged, that, if left to his own resources, it would have been absolutely impossible for him to have remained long out of prison.

I hope and trust, that I did my duty to his daughter. It was fortunately in my power to settle upon her a small independence, and to reconcile her to some part of her father's family. She has since married a man of some fortune and distinction; and I have often letters from her, in all of which she expresses both her happiness and her gratitude.

LETTER TO THE REV. DR. MONK,

PROFESSOR OF GREEK,
IN THF. UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.

INTRODUCTION.

The struggle of the Greeks for independence is a passing event of such stupendous interest, that it must be needless to bespeak for it the attention of the British nation. They, however, will deserve well of their countrymen, who, on an occasion such as this, can enlighten their views, add something to their information, and give a proper direction to their sympathy. England is placed in a position of extreme delicacy; the question, which regards the best course which she can adopt, is one of most difficult decision; it is, whether she can obey the first impulses of all humane and generous natures ; or must be restrained by maxims of state, and bound down by the iron chain of coercive circumstances. Whatever England does, or omits to do, the eyes of the world must be upon her. Her conduct must be a matter of no ordinary curiosity to the nations of the Continent ; but to those, whe are immediately concerned in the present struggle, of intense and soul-exciting anxiety. For ourselves, as persons, who have assumed certain public capacities, and public duties; as subjects of the British empire ; as men, and as Christians; we cannot look on such occurrences with an eye of indifference. But our interference will be actuated solely by a desire to see, that England pursues measures the most worthy of herself. It is our wish to promote the true interests, and maintain the proud character, of the country. We would not have her honour tarnished, and her name reviled, either from precipitate violence, or from disgraceful forbearance. We would have her, if it be possible, assist the cause of freedom and humanity ; without breaking her existing treaties, aggravating her heavy burdens, or compromising her tranquillity, her dignity, and her good faith. If it be possible, we would shew ourselves to be the friends of liberty, without being the enemies of social order or established dynasties. But upon the point, how far these different objects can be reconciled, we confess ourselves somewhat in the dark. At all events, we are influenced by no selfish or unpatriotic views;, in this, as in all other instances, we shall disdain to lend ourselves to the political purposes of a faction. Our aim is to elicit truth; and to have a subject, of such immense and vital importance, whether we regard the general principle or the particular case, freely canvassed; fully, thoroughly, and impartially discussed.

We, therefore, publish the following letter with much pleasure; but, we must remark, without pledging ourselves by any means to a strict conformity with all the opinions, which it contains. The majority of our Council is, in fact, dissentient on several particulars; but there is no space left for them to state the grounds of their dissent. We

insert this letter ; because it is an earnest and powerful appeal in behalf of a people, which has been free, and is enslaved ; which has been illustrious, and is degraded ; which has shed a moral and intellectual light over the nations of Europe, and is now sunk herself in ignorance and darkness ; which has contributed to the happiness of mankind, and is now crushed beneath the worst and deadliest of all human afflictions. And we shall insert with equal pleasure any arguments on the other side of the question, which are written with the same spirit, the same eloquence, and the same sincerity.

LETTER. Sir,

You have now for many years filled the dignified and arduous office of Professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge; and it seems to be the opinion of all, that you have filled it with zeal and ability. During that period, you must have been led, by inclination as well as by duty, to an animated and ardent study of Greek literature; and you have not disdained to endeavour to catch a few of those rays of glory which it still continues to reflect upon its satellites. If I am correctly informed, the same altar which received the first fruits of your youthful talents, is to be covered by the riper produce of your manhood; so that, if not an inspired, you may certainly be considered an unwearied, votary. I am willing to believe, that you possess that first attribute of genius, the power of intense and fervid admiration; and you have certainly been contemplating for years an object of the most radiant and matchless beauty. Under these circumstances, I shall not insult you, by attempting to express the passionate and devoted attachment which you must feel for Greece, its inhabitants, its very soil ; the fountain of your mental cultivation, the basis of your literary reputation. It must be “a love without reproach or blame," originating in beauty, and sustained by gratitude. What then must have been the feelings with which you viewed the first convulsive starts, which shewed that this object of your adoration was about to rouse itself from its long and deathlike sleep ;

with what interest, or rather with what agony must you have seen it toss and writhe upon its bed of torture! But when it had actually risen in its wrath, when it had put forth its regenerated strength, and was struggling furiously with the dæmons of tyranny and superstition, and lust, and rapine, and murder, which were endeavouring to load it with triple chains, you too must surely have felt the “ certaminis gaudia,” and have burnt to assist, as you could not partake, in the strife. You will pardon me for having thus far, perhaps presumptuously, attempted to describe emotions which have been confined to your own breast. I am now come to a point where imagination must stop. I must now record your actions, or nothing. With the history of these, however, you have not thought proper to supply the world ; and we are consequently bound to believe, that you have been unable or unwilling to pass the narrow bound which parts thought and action, and that you have suffered some of the noblest feelings of the human mind to degenerate into a barren sympathy.

In dragging you and your brother Professors before the tribunal of public opinion, it will easily be believed, that I am actuated by the purest motives-it matters not whether I am acquainted with any or all of you personally; I have not done, nor can have done, any thing to forfeit my indefeasible right of examining the conduct of those holding public situations. If I can shew what you might have done in this most holy cause, and prove (which, how. ever, is self-evident), that you ought to have done it, what shall prevent me from inflicting the censure which your omission has deserved ? not even the fear of wounding the feelings of otherwise respectable and eminent individuals

Ελλάδος μάλιστ' έγωγε της ταλαιπώρου στένω,
Η θέλουσα δράν τι κεδνόν βαρβάρους, τους ουδένας,

Καταγελώντας εξανήσει δια σε! ! The scene of desolation, which is so admirably described in the well-known letter of Sulpicius, was indeed sufficiently heart-rending to shew, by contrast, the insignificance of all private grief ; but the spectacle which the same countries now present, would afford a more amiable consolation to a lover of the human race. There are few sor

« AnteriorContinuar »