« 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 whicA 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 hud the voice of friend or kinsman breathed through liis lattice. His childrren—
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 litte 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 rnsty nail he was etching another day of mi»ery to add to the heap. As I darkened the little light he had*, he lifted up a hopeless eye toward? the door, then cast it down—shook his head , and went on with his work of affliction. I heard his cfiains 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 had drawn. STEllNE.
Corporal Trim's Eloquence.
. Y 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, saiJ Trim, fetching a sigh—poor creature !—poor boy-!—poor gentleman!
He was alive last Whitsuntide, said the coachman.—Whitsuntide!—Alas ! cried Trim, extending his right arm , and falling instantly in to the same at'itude 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 slick 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 and stones—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 eorporal.
« Are we not here now,—and gone in a moment ? » — There was nothing in the sentence—it was one of your self evident truths v.-e have the advantage of hearing every day; a.d if Trim had not trusted more to his hat than his head, he had made nothing at all of it.
« 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 wa* 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.
C Hap. IV.
— Xjul our praises why should Lords engross?
The young who labour, and the old who rest.
. your blaze I
And what! no monument, inscription, stone?
XN Ear. yonder copse , where once the garden
smilM , And still where many a garden flower grows WiW; There where a fow torn 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: Rrmoie fr m towns he ran his godly race, Nor e'er hal chang'd, nor wish'd to change N>
place: Onpractis'd he to fawn or seek for power, By doctrines fashion'd to the yarying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learn' d to prize ,
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 controut, Despair and anguish tied the struggling soul; Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise, And his 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, reinain'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 th* good man'* smile;