Page images
PDF
EPUB

imprisonment, a prey to my remorse, the stings of which become still more severe by the want of any object to dissipate my thoughts; and those torments, though long and horrible, would never efface my crime either in the sight of justice or of men; death, therefore, in whatever shape it may come, is a thousand times preferable.

In this sentiment I cast myself at your majesty's feet, humbly supplicating that you will be pleased to make me undergo in your dominions the punishment I have but too well deserved.

My heart was not naturally vitious; a moment of frenzy plunged it into the abyss where it is now sunk; yet, though not less guilty, nor less worthy of chastisement, if it cannot obtain pardon, it may deserve some pity. May your majesty, then, deign to listen to the voice of that pity, and spare me the shame of an execution in France, by putting me to death in Portugal. I know well that the prejudice of the French, even if I pay to justice the punishment to which I shall be condemned, will affix perpetual infamy to my memory. But surely, when justice is once satisfied, no trace of the crime remains, and prejudice ought to rest contented. I dare to hope, therefore, that by petitioning for, and voluntarily offering myself to the death I have deserved, I may deliver my soul from an ignominy for which it was not formed, but which it has notwithstanding incurred.

In my last moments I shall have the consolation of thinking that my name will no longer be held in horror, and when I bid a final adieu to the authors of my life, I shall be enabled to say to them, “ Your son is still worthy of you; he has wiped off the shame with which he covered you; he has expiated the crime which he committed, and has regained a title to your compassion."

Should I have the good fortune to excite your majesty's pity, and your clemency induce you to grant such a petition, your majesty.cannot apprehend that your justice, which interests itself for every object, will be liable to the least impeachment of violating the rights of nations, by punishing in your own dominions the subject of another monarchy, for a crime committed in his native country. On the contrary, I flatter myself I shall be able to demonstrate to your majesty, that justice even requires my punishment at your hands. I am not guilty as a Frenchman; it is not that nation I have offended; I am guilty as a man, and owe to all mankind an expiation of my crime. Wherever there are men, and laws to govern them, I bear about the mark of disapprobation with which I am stigmatized; wherever my crime is known, my blood may be lawfully shed; and in this country it is known by my confession to your majesty. I am at once the accuser, the witness, and the criminal; what more is wanting but the sentence of condemnation, which I supplicate your majesty to pronounce?

I yenture to entertain the greatest hopes of obtaining a request which enables your majesty to unite justice with mercy, If the torments of soul distracted by the most violent emotions on the recollection of a crime repugnant to its very essence, can deserve any pity, it is a favour I entreat from your majesty's clemency, when I ask for death to put an end to my miseries, and expiate a crime at which human nature shudders. If, on the contrary, my guilt be too atrocious for any favour to be shown, I call upon your justice, I inform against a criminal, and petition for his execution.

Had your majesty been engaged in war, before expiating my crime by the proper punishment, I would have petitioned for liberty to shed my guilty blood in your service, that my death might not be entirely useless; but your majesty having the happiness to enjoy profound peace, every drop of my blood is due to justice. If I obtain that favour, I shall be indebted to your majesty for the recovery of my virtue, the preservation of my honour, and the end of my miseries. If, on the contrary, you judge that, considering the enormity of my crime, my blood ought not to pollute your dominions, nothing remains for me but despair. In either case, I shall, with my last breath, offer up my prayers for the prosperity of your majesty's reign.

Waiting the decision which is to fix my fate, I am, with hope and fear, and with the most profound respect, your majesty's most humble and most obedient servant,

Brunzi d'Entrecasteaux.

POETRY.

For the Analectic Magazine.

FHE TOMB OF THE HUMMING-BIRD.

Here, in this gråve, filled up with roses,

Where beauty shall repair to weep, A little humming-bird reposes,

Consigned to death's perpetual sleep.

The flowers whose sweets he stole away,

Though scatter'd by the stormy shower',
In spring new blossoms shall display,
To charm the tenants of the bower.

But thou no more with dazzling plume

Shalt hover o'er the sweet-brier trec ; The roses dying in thy tomb

Is all the sweetness left for thee!

Oh no! the tears which Harriet sheds

Haply shall bid new flowrets spring, Bright violets here shall wave their heads,

And o'er thy grave fresh fragrance fling.

'Twas she that lur'd thee to thy fate;

Her cheeks so blush'd like roses rare, You fearless flew, but found, too late,

The living rose may prove a snare. New York, June, 1814.

DAYS OF YORE.

BY JOANNA BAILLIE.

Now bár the door, shut out the gale,
And fill the horn with foaming ale,
A cheerful cup, and rousing fire,
And thrilling harp, my soul inspire !

[blocks in formation]

TO AN INDIAN GOLD COIN,

1

BY DR. LEYDEN.

These lines need no eulogium ; they are warm from the heart, and must come home powerfu'ly to the feelings of every reader. The author, a native of Scotland, had gone as an adventurer to India in search of fortune. When at last it was within his grasp, he found that he had gained bis prize too late-health had for. ever fled. He died a few years ago, a victim to the peculiar diseases of that climate.]

Slave of the dark and dirty mine,

What vanity hath brought thee here !
How can I love to see thee shine

So bright, whom I have bought so dear!
The tent rope's fapping lone I bear,

For twilight converse, arm in arm;
The Jackal's shriek bursts on mine ear,

Whom mirth and music wont to charm.

By Cherieul's dark wandering stream,

Where cane tufts shadow all the wild,
Sweet visions haunt my waking dreams

Of Teviot loved while still a child;
Of castled rocks stupendous piled,

By Esk, or Eden's classic wave,
Where loves of youth and friendship smiled,

Uncursed by thee, vile yellow slave !

Fade day dreams sweet, from mem'ry fade!

The perished bliss of youth's first prime,
That once so bright on fancy played,

Revi ves no more in after time.
Far from my sacred natal clime

I haste to an untimely grave;
The daring thoughts that soared sublime

Are sunk in ocean's southern wave.

Slave of the mine! thy yellow light

Gleams baleful as the tombfire drear
A gentle vision comes by night

My lonely, widowed heart to cheer;
Her eyes are dim with many a tear,

That once were guiding stars to mine;
Her fond heart throbs with many a fear!

I cannot bear to see thee shine.

« PreviousContinue »