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cessary terms, he was to be called to the bar. He put in his claim for this nomination. But the benchers, with a feeling which did them honour, unanimously rejected him, on the grounds, that having been in holy orders they could not countenance such an indecent and impious desertion.
As Mr. Horne Tooke's abilities and his violence were occa. sionally of great use to the leaders of parties, he was occasionally much courted and highly considered by them. Mr. Fox declared him to be a man of very eminent use to the commonwealth, and publicly patronised and praised him.
Mr. Tooke came forward as a candidate for Westminster in 1790. Mr. Fox and lord Hood stood at the same time. On this occasion he kept himself in reserve till the very morning of the election, when he published a hand-bill, in which he declared his purpose. Mr. Tooke did not of course succeed, and he presented in consequence a petition to parliament, in which he treated all parties with the utinost insolence. It was written, however, in his usual style of plain energy and popular eloquencé.
Mr. Tooke next appeared as the advocate of the French revolution, and he soon attracted the attention of government upon his movements and avowed principles. He was arrested as a traitor, and tried by a special commission. The jury acquitted the whole of them, but the popular voice, or at least the best part of the people, though they did not approve of the violence of the accusation, felt only one regret, that they had not been all tried for sedition instead of treason.
Mr. Tooke, in the interval of his political pursuits, has published several excellent pieces of literature. His principal work of this kind is the “ Diversions of Purley," a most profound and learned Grammatical Treatise.
Mr. Tooke likewise published an attack on his royal highness the prince regent, and in a pamphlet on the Marriage Act, took occasion to speak with his usual contempt of the royal family.
Lord Camelford, an eccentric character, at length procured Mr. Tooke to be returned as member of parliament for the borough of Old Sarum. On Monday, Feb. 16, 1801, he took his seat, and on the 4th of May he was declared ineligible, as having been in holy orders. His seat was in consequence vacated, and a new writ issued.
From this period Mr. Tooke has been only known as the friend and political instructor of sir Francis Burdett, and whatever may be the feeling of the country upon the loss of a man of so much faction, bustle, and celebrity, sir Francis, we believe, will have occasion sincerely to regret his death.
Mr. Horne Tooke died at Wimbledon, about twelve o'clock
on Wednesday night, in the 77th year of his age. He had lost the use of his lower extremities, and his dissolution had been for some time expected. Symptoms of mortification recently appeared, which soon occasioned his death. He was attended by his two daughters, Dr. Pearson, Mr. Cline, and sir Francis Burdett. Being informed of his approaching change, he signified, with a placid look, that he was fully prepared, and had reason to be grateful for having passed so long and so happy a life, which he would willingly have had extended if it had been possible. He expressed satisfaction at being surrounded in his last moments by those most dear to him; and his confidence in the existence of a Supreme Being, whose final purpose was the happiness of his creatures. His facetiousness did not forsake him. When supposed to be in a state of entire insensibility, sir Francis Burdett mixed up a cordial for him, which his medical friends said it would be to no purpose to administer; but sir Francis persevered, and raised Mr. Tooke, who opened his eyes, and seeing who offered the draught, took the glass and drank the contents with eagerness. He had previously observed, that he should not be like the man at Strasburgh, who, when doomed to death, requested time to pray, till the patience of the magistrates was exhausted, and then, as a last expedient, begged to be permitted to close his life with his favourite amusement of ninepins, but who kept bowling on, with an evident determination never to finish the
game. He desired that no funeral ceremony should be said over his remains, but that six of the poorest men in the parish should have a guinea each for bearing him to the vault in his garden.
FROM THE LA BELLE ASSEMBLEE.
SINGULAR AND INTERESTING NARRATIVE.
IN the wars betwixt the Russians and the Turks, there are many barbarities committed by the troops of both nations, and they frequently rather contrive which shall lay a plan for a murder with more ingenuity, than fight with the open bravery and generosity of European warfare. The following story, told and vouched as a truth by a respectable officer in the service of the Court of Muscovy, is a most remarkable instance of this. The two armies, he said, were encamped at no great distance from each other, on the banks of the Danube, and there was a deep morass between them, at the approaches to which each of the armies had piquets. Owing to the length of time the war had been carried on in the country, necessaries were becoming somewhat
scarce ; and the officers, in particular, having been deprived of many of these little luxuries which are considered of so much importance in a camp, were very liberal to any one who could provide for them.
Amongst others, whom the love of money tempted to engage in this traffic, there was an old woman of a very singular character and appearance. She was accustomed to bargain with the officers, to afford them every thing, at a very inconsiderable price, on condition, that if they were killed before that time, she should have their property. Many of them were extremely willing to make an agreement on these terms, as they had no prospect of fighting for a long while after the time she mentioned ; and they were accordingly supplied in every thing they wished.
Every one, to the great surprise of their comrades, were killed almost at her day, and almost in such a manner as could excite no suspicion that she had the smallest connexion with it; it was perhaps their turn to go out on a foraging party, and they were met by a detachment of the enemy on the same errand, or some dangerous post was given to their charge, on which they were attacked, and their whole party cut to pieces. The thing, however, happened so naturally, that others only cursed the luck of the old witch, and continued to make agreements with her; “ among others," said the officer, “ I was tempted, through curiosity, as much as other motives to visit her, and bargained for something, on condition that she should have my gold watch and seals, should I be killed before the expiration of a fortnight. The time past on till the last evening, and at that time it was not my turn to do any duty, till two days after. I was making merry upon the subject of Madame Grim's disappointment, and took a walk out to see the guard march off for a post on the outside of the camp, to which a great deal of importance had been always attached, as it was the only pass by which the Turks could surprise us. It was likewise the only thing of which I was afraid in my bargain; for, during the whole of the week, every detachment that had been sent to watch it, had been found in the morning dead, to a man, with their heads cut off ; and although the numbers had been almost doubled every time, it had been of no avail; none of them returned alive. I was quite secure, but felt a little of that horror which naturally seizes one on very narrowly escaping a terrible danger, especially as many of the officers, killed on this spot, had fallen just at the time the old hag had predicted.
The men were drawn up, and ready to march, and my comrades were telling me I was one of the luckiest tellows in the world; when a message was sent from head-quarters for the next officer, in order to assume the command of the guard, as
he, whose turn it was, had fallen sick. I was somewhat disconcerted at this; but still, as it was not my turn, I found all safe: and to my great satisfaction the guard at last marched off; while I betook myself to my tent for the night. Imagine my consternation, however, when not many minutes after, orders were sent that I should mount and follow the detachment, as the officer had his arm broke by a fall from his horse. There was no alternative, so with as good a grace as might be, I took my place; comforting myself that I had twice as many men as any of the others, and would at least stand against the Turks, though much superior in numbers, till I could send for assistance. The post was on the side of a deep morass, and only accessible by two ways, one from the Turkish camp, and one backwards, by which we reached it. Nothing seemed to disturb us, and I had entirely forgotten my superstitions ; the night was very beautiful, and the dead stillness of every thing around, interrupted only at slow intervals by the neighing of the horses, or the solitary voice of the sentinels, made the scene all solemn. We were in this situation for a considerable time, when, as if it had been thunder, the shouts of men, the clattering of horses, and the sound of arms were heard close upon our post; and, in a moment, several troops of Turkish hussars, half naked, and brandishing their cimetars in defence, were seen galloping down the descent of the opposite ground. The moon shone full upon them, and their savage appearance, together with their number, which was more than double ours, made us all tremble. It was impossible to think of retreating; that would have ruined us, for we had a post of honour; and to meet such a host of savages was certain death. They were on us in an instant, I had only time to draw up my men with their backs to the morass. The Turks cut and slaughtered at a terrible rate : and though my brave fellows behaved like heroes, they were hewed to pieces in a twinkling ; I was left with only one or two, and was most dreadfully wounded; cut across my breast with a sabre, my head bleeding, and almost blind with rage and blood, I was still eager for revenge, and would have had it—the leader of the murderers was just at the point of my sabre, and I going to stab him to the heart, when one of his attendants perceiving my design, made a furious blow at me; his cimetar, however, or something else, terrified the horse, which ran backwards, and sunk me into one of the deepest holes in the morass. He was inevitably gone, and I felt myself suffocated. By some means, however, I caught hold of the grass on the banks, and hung there a few minutes till I recovered my senses. The Turks supposing I was dead, made no more inquiries after me, while I was obliged to witness such a scene of horror as never human being saw.
The field was
strewed with men and horses, dead and dying, and the Turks were busy cutting off the heads of those they had killed. They went away at last, and I endeavoured tu extricate myself, in which, by my weakness, I was several times unsuccessful. I came out, however; but guess my horror when I was instantly seized by a gigantic Turk, whom I had not observed pillaging the dead bodies; he very cooly took out a knife to cut iny head off. I besought him in the name of God to spare me, and I told him I had friends who would give him a large reward if he did. He said he was not certain of that, but if he took my head to the camp, he would get thirty dollars for the delivery of it, and was proceeding to his purpose, notwithstanding my struggles, when I luckily perceived a dagger at his belt; I drew it, and stabbed him as near the heart as I could think; he instantly fell ; and thanking Heaven for preserving me through so much, I took up the shaft of a lance, and supported myself on it to the camp. The general had my story the next day, and came to inquire of me. I was so weak that I could hardly collect myself sufficiently to speak; something, however, came across me about the old woman, and I could only say that the guard should be doubled, but a false number be given out in the camp. This was done accordingly, and the Turks found themselves fairly out-numbered. I then told my suspicions; and when the old hag was seized, and brought a little to it by the fear of being given to the soldiers for a mark to be shot at, she confessed she had always made it her practice to inform the Turks of the number of men to be set on our out-posts.—She had frequently done us the like good offices. With respect to her contrivances she confessed a great deal, and that when she witnessed a combat between two, one of which was a friend, she contrived to irritate the other's horse somehow in such a manner that it threw him. The soldiers insisted she should be burnt alive, but the commander contented himself with nailing her ears to a post for a day, and giving her the knout.