Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the highest of the class, place ROBERT EMMETT. Wholly free from the follies and frailties of youth-though how capable he was of the most devoted passion, events afterwards proved—the pursuit of science, in which he admirably distinguished himself, seemed at the time, the only object that at all divided his attention with the enthusiasm for Irish freedom, which in him was an hereditary as well as a natural feeling, himself being the second martyr his family had given to the cause. Simple in all his habits, and with a repose of look and manner indicating but little movement within, it was only when the spring was touched that set his fcelings, and through them, his intellect, in motion, that he at all rose above the level of ordinary

On no occasion was this more peculiarly striking than in those displays of oratory with which, both in the Debating and Historical Society, he so often enchained the sympathy and attention of his young audience. No two individuals indeed could look more unlike to each other than was this same youth to himself before rising to speak and after—the brow that had appeared inanimate and almost drooping, at once elevating itself in all the consciousness of power, and the whole countenance and figure of the speaker assuming a change as of one suddenly inspired. Of his oratory, it must be . recollected, (I speak from youthful impressions, but I have heard little since that appeared to me of a loftier, or what is far more rare in Irish eloquence, purer character;) and the effects it produced, as well from its own exciting power as from the susceptibility with which the audience caught up every allusion to passing events, was such as to attract seriously the attention of the fellows; and, by their desire, one of the scholars, a man of advanced standing and reputation for oratory, came to attend our debates, expressly for the purpose of answering Emmett, and endeavoring to neutral-, ize the fervor of his impassioned eloquence, Such in heart and mind was another of the devoted men, who, with gifts that would have made them the ornaments and supports of a well-regulated community, were yet driven to live the lives of conspirators, and die the death of traitors, by a system of government which it would be difficult even to think of with patience, did we not gather a hope from the present aspect of the whole civilized world, that such a system of bigotry and misrule can never exist again."

men.

>

PART VII.

Some account of Miss Curran-Her devotion to the memory

of Emmett-Irving's Sketch of their love, &c. ROMANCE nor reality, neither furnish an instance of such genuine devotion as that of Sarah Curran for Robert Emmett. She loved him and his memory, though it excluded her from the paternal roof, and compelled her to seek protection among strangers. Charles Phillips says in his new work:

" The curtain had fallen, the scaffold had its victim, and the world's idle work went on as usual, after youth and genius, and enthusiasm had thus mournfully passed away from it. But there was one young heart which Emmett's image had long made its habitationthat of his love-Sarah.” That heart was

" now broken, but the image still remained amid its ruins. The sequel to her brief sad story is soon told. Her home unhappy, her father offended, her mind daily harrassed by associations reminding her of happiness forever banished, she sought a solace in the friendly family of Mr. Penrose, in the vicinity of Cork. She found there a frequent guest in the person

66

of a Capt. Sturgeon. This gentleman became deeply interested in her fate, and prevailed on her, in her desolation, to accept his hand, though she too truly told him her affections were in the grave. In a few short months she was there herself, having died in Sicily, broken-hearted. Her grave is in the village of New Market, her father's birth-place. Who can reíuse to shed a tear o'er it? The following sweet lines of Moore commemorate her misfortunes; and it is said that when left alone, she was heard to sing them at Mr. Penrose's :

She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps,

And lovers are roand her sighing;
But coldly she turns from their gaze and weeps,

For her heart in his grave is lying.

She sings the wild song of her dear native plains,

Every note which be loved awakiog;
Ah! little they think who delight in her strains,

How the heart of the minstrel is breaking.

IIe had liv'd for his love, for his country he died,

They were all that to life had entwiped him;
Nor soon shall the tears of his country be dried,

Nor long will his love stay behind him.
Ch! make her a grave where the sunbeams rest,

When they make her a glorious morrow;
They'll shine o'er her sleep, like a smile in the west, ,

From her own loved island of sorrow.

Captain Sturgeon, who survived her many years, died in battle in the Peninsula war. Emmett's love breathed her last a resigned and pious Christian.'

Washington Irving, in his Sketch Book, pays a beautiful tribute to the memory of this unhappy pair. It is said that Lord Byron had a friend to read this sketch to him on his dying bed. Though it is rather long, we give it in full:

I never heard
Of any true affection, but 'twas nipt
With care, that like the caterpillar, eats
The leaves of spring's sweetest book, the rose.

MIDDLETON. It is a common practice with those who have outlived the susceptibility of early feeling, or have been brought up in the gay heartlessness of dissipated life, to laugh at all love stories, and to treat the tales of romantic passion as mere fictions of novelists and poets. My observations on human nature have induced me to think otherwise. They have convinced me, that however the surface of the character may be chilled and frozen by the cares of the world, or cultivated into mere smiles by the arts of society, still there are dormant fires lurking in

« AnteriorContinuar »