Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors]

“BRING forth the horse!” — the horse was brought:

In truth he was a noble steed,

A Tartar of the Ukraine breed, -
Who looked as though the speed of thought
Were in his limbs ; but he was wild, -

Wild as the wild deer, and untaught;
With spur and bridle undefiled,

'T was but a day he had been caught;
And, snorting, with erected mane,
And struggling fiercely, but in vain,
In the full foam of wrath and dread,
To me the desert-born was led.
They bound me on — that menial throng -
Upon his back, with many a thong;
Then loosed him, with a sudden lash.
Away! — away! — and on we dash!
Torrents less rapid and less rash.

Away! — away! — my breath was gone;
I saw not-where he hurried on.
’T was scarcely yet the break of day;
And on he foamed ! — away! — away
The last of human sounds which rose,
As I was darted from my foes,
Was the wild shout of savage laughter
Which on the wind came roaring after,

A moment from that rabble rout.

With sudden wrath I wrenched my head,

And snapped the cord which to the mane

Had bound my neck in lieu of reîn, And, writhing half my form about,' . Howled back my rage; but ’mid the tread, The thunder of my courser's speed, Perchance they did not hear nor heed. It vexes me, for I would fain Have paid their insult back again

I paid it well-in after days :
There is not of that castle-gate,
Its drawbridge and portcullis' weight,
Stone, bar, moat, bridge, or barrier left;
Nor of its fields a blade of grass,

Save what grows on a ridge of wall,
Where stood the hearth-stone of the hall;
And many a time ye there might pass,
Nor dream that e'er that fortress was!

I saw its turrets in a blaze,
Their crackling battlements all cleft,

And the hot lead pour down like rain From off the scorched and blackening roof, Whose thickness was not vengeance-proof.

They little thought, that day of pain, When launched, as on the lightning's flash, They băde me to destruction dash,

That one day I should come again, With twice five thousand horse, to thank

The Count for his uncourteous ride. They played me then a bitter prank,

When, with the wild horse for my guide,
They bound me to his foaming flank.
At length I played them one as frank;
For time at last sets all things even ;

And if we do but watch the hour,
There never yet was human power

Which could evade, if unforgiven,
The patient search and vigil long
Of him who treasures up a wrong.

LORD BYRON. (1788 — 1824.)

:

. XXIII. — THE AMERICANS NOT TO BE CONQUERED.

[ocr errors]

1. Sir, it ill becomes the duty and dignity of Parliament to lose itself in such a fulsome, adulatory Address to the Throne as that now proposed. We ought răther to approach it with sound and wholesome advice, and even with remonstrances against the ministers who have precipitated the British nation into an unjust, ruinous, murderous, and felonious war.

2. I call the war with our brethren in America an - unjust and felonious war, because the primary cause and confessed origin of it is to attempt to take their money from them without their consent, con'trary to the common rights of all mankind, and to those great fundamental principles of the English constitution, for which Hampden bled:

3. I assert that it is a murderous war, because it is an effort to deprive men of their lives for standing up in the defense of their property and their clear rights. Such a war, I fear, will draw down the vengeance of Heaven on this devoted kingdom. Sir, is any minis.

ter weak enough to flatter himself with the conquest of America ? You can not, with all your al-lies', with all the mercenary ruffians of the North, you can not effect so wicked a purpose.

4. The Americans will dispute every inch of ter. ritory with you, every narrow pass, every strong defile, every Thermop'ylæ, every Bunker's Hill! More than half the empire is already lost, and almost all the rest is in confusion and anarchy. We have appealed to the sword, and what have we gained ? Bunker's Hill only, and that with a loss of twelve hundred men! Are we to pay as dear for the rest of America ? The idea of the conquest of that immense country is as romantic as it is unjust.

5. The honorable gentleman who moved this Address says, “ The Americans have been treated with lenity.” Will facts justify the assertion? Was your Boston Port Bill a measure of lenity ? Was your Fishery Bill a measure of lenity? Was your bill for taking away the charter of Massachusetts Bay a measure of lenity? I omit your many other gross provocations and insults, by which the brave Americans have been driven to their present state.

6. Whether that state is one of rebellion, or of fit and just resistance to unlawful acts of power, I shall not declare. This I know: a successful resistance is a revolution, not a rebellion. Rebellion, indeed, appears on the back of a flying enemy, but Revolution flames on the breast-plate of the victorious warrior. Who can tell whether, in consequence of this day's action, the scabbard may not be thrown away by them, as well as by us; and, should success attend them, whether, in a few years, the independent Americans may not celebrate the glorious era of the revolu. tion of 1775, as we do that of 1688 ?

JOHN WILKES. (1717 — 1797.)

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

1. The following authentic story of a magpie was communicated to Fraser's London Magazine, by a clergyman. It proves the truth of the Rev. Sydney Smith's observation, that, whatever powers of oratory a minister may have, all command over the attention of his audience is at once-lost when a bird makes its appearance in the church. Such, certainly, was the case with Jack, a magpie, well known' in a village in the county of Kent, in England, for his mischievous propensities, and who entered the village church, in the afternoon of Sunday, July 25th, 1852, during the time of divine service.

2. Our friend hopped quietly in at the open door, and, for a time, surveyed the congregation, rec'ogniz ing many a friend, who was wont to greet him with words of kindness and familiarity. But on this occasion Jack was surprised at finding that no notice was taken of him. At last he seemed determined that he would not be thus overlooked; and down the middle aisle he marched, knocking at the door of each pew, and announcing his arrival to the inmates with a clear, loud, “Here am I !This move had the desired effect; for in a very few moments every eye was turned upon our hero.

3. The worthy minister, finding himself in a decided minority, and perceiving broad grins coming over the

« AnteriorContinuar »