« PreviousContinue »
I took a single captive, and having first shut him up in his dungeon, I then looked through the twilight of his grated door to take his picture.
I beheld his body half wasted away with long expectation and confinement, and felt what kind of sickness of the heart it was which arises from hope deferred. Upon looking nearer, I saw him pale and feverish ; in thirty years the western breeze had not once fanned his blood--he had seen no sun, no moon in all that time--nor had the voice of friend or kinsman breathed through his lattice. His children
But here my heart began to bleed -- and I was forced to go on with another part of the portrait
He was sitting upon the ground upon a little straw, in the furthest corner of his dungeon, which was alternately his chair and bed : a hitte calendar of small sticks were laid at the head, notched all over with the dismal days and nights he had passed there--he had one of these little sticks in his hand, and with a . rusty nail he was etching another day of misery to add to the heap. As I darkened the little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door, then cast it down---shook his head, and went on with his work of afllica tion. I heard bis chains upon his legs, as he turned his body to lay his little stick upon the bundle--He gave a deep sigh--I saw the iron enter into his soul--I burst into tears--I could not sustain the picture of confinement which my fancy bad drawn.
towardight he hathe heaps another dad with
CH A P. I I I.
---IVIY young master in London is dead, said Obediah-· --Here is sad news, Trim, cried Susannah, wiping her eyes as Trim stepped into the kitchen--master Bobby is dead.
I lament for him from my heart and my soul, said Trim, fetching a sigh--poor creature !--poor boy !--poor gentleman !
He was alive last Whitsuntide , said the coachman.--\Vhitsuntide !--Alas! cried Trim, extending his right arm, and falling instantly in to tlie same attitude in which he read the sermon, --what is, Whitsuntide, Jonathan, (for that was the coachman's name ) or Shrovetide, or any tide or time past, to this ? Are we not here now, continued the corporal , ( striking the end of his stick perpendicularly upon the floor , so as to give an idea of health an stability) and are we not (dropping his hat upon the ground ) gone-- in a moment !--It was infinitely striking ! Susannah burst into a flood of tears--We are not stocks avdstones--Jonathan, Obediah, the cook-maid, all melted-The foolish fat scullion herself, who was scouring a fish kettle upon her knees, was roused with it. --The whole kitchen crouded about the corporal. .
« Are we not here now,--and gone in a moment ? » -- There was nothing in the sentence--it was one of your self-evident truths vie have the advantage of hearing every day ; and if Trim had not trusted more to his bat
than his head, he had made nothing at all of it.
a Are we not here now, continued the cor« poral, and are we not » ( dropping his hat plump upon the ground --and pausing before he pronounced the word) « gone! in a mo« ment ? » The descent of the hat was as if a heavy lump of clay had been kneade into the crown of it.--Nothing could have expressed the sentiment of mortality, of which it was the type and forerunner, like it ; his hand seemed to vanish from under it, it fell dead , the corporal's eye fixed upon it, as upon a corpse ,-and Susannach burst into a flood of tears.
-All our praises why should Lords engross?
But clear and artless, pouring through the plain · Health to the sick , and solace to the swain ? Whose causeway parts the vale with shady rows? Whose seats the weary traveller repose ? Who taught that heax'n-directed spire to rise ? « The Man of Ross, » each lisping babe replies.
Behold the market place with poor o'erspread! - The Man of Ross divides the weekly bread:
He feeds yon alms-house, neat, but void of state ,
The young who labour, and the old who rest.
And what! no monument, inscription, stone? His race, his form, his name almost unknown! Who builds a Church to God, and not to Fame, Will never mark the marble with his Name : Go search it there, where to be born and die, Of rich and poor makes all the history; Enough, that Virtue fill'd the space between ; Prov'd by the ends of being to have been. Pope.
CHA P. V.
The Country Clergyman. N EAR yonder copse, where once the garden
smil'l, And still where many a garden flower grows wild; There where a few torr shrubs the place disclose, The village preacher's modest mansion rose. A man he was, to all the country dear, And passing rich with forty pounds a year: ' Remote frim towns he ran his godly race, Nor e'er had chang'd, nor wish'd to change his
place: Unpractis'd he to fawn or seek for power, By doctrines fashion’d to the varying hours
Far other aims his heart had learn’d to prize, i
won. Pleas'd with his guests, the good man learn'd to
Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, :
Beside the bed, where parting life was laid, And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismay'd , The reverend champion stood. At his controul, Despair and anguish tled the struggling soul; Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise, And bis last falt'ring accents whisper'd praise.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace, . His looks adorn'd the venerable place ; Truth from his lips prevail?d with double sway, And fools who came to scoff, remain'd to pray. The service past; around the pious man, With ready zeal each honest rustic ran; E'en children follow'd with endearing wile, : And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's