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look of all mortal objects, he protested, with the deepest oaths, his total ignorance of any design on the life of Rob Roy, whom he swore he loved and honored as his own soul. — In the inconsistency of his terror, he said, he was but the agent of others, and he muttered the name of Rashleigh. He prayed but for life - for life he would give all he had in the world ; — it was but life he asked — life, if it were to be prolonged under tortures and privations ;- he asked only breath, though it should be drawn in the damps of the lowest caverns of their hills.
It is impossible to describe the scorn, the loathing, and contempt, with which the wife of Macgregor regarded this wretched petitioner for the poor boon of existence.
“I could have bid you live,” she said, “ had life been to you the same weary and wasting burden that it is to me — that it is to every noble and generous mind. — But you — wretch! you could creep through the world unaffected by its various disgraces, its ineffable
miseries, its constantly accumulating masses of crime and sorrow, • you could live and enjoy yourself, while the noble-minded are
betrayed, - while nameless and birthless villains tread on the neck of the brave and long-descended, - you could enjoy yourself, like a butcher's dog in the shambles, battening on garbage, while the slaughter of the brave went on around you! This enjoyment you shall not live to partake of; you shall die, base dog, and that before yon cloud has passed over the sun.”
She gave a brief command, in Gaelic, to her attendants, two of whom seized upon the prostrate suppliant, and hurried him to the brink of a cliff which overhung the flood. He set up the most piercing and dreadful cries that fear ever uttered — I may well term them dreadful ; for they haunted my sleep for years afterwards. As the murderers, or executioners, call them as you will, dragged him along, he recognized me even in that moment of horror, and exclaimed, in the last articulate words I ever heard him utter, “O, Mr. Osbaldistone, save me! — save me!”
I was so much moved by this horrid spectacle, that, although in momentary expectation of sharing his fate, I did attempt to speak in his behalf, but, as might have been expected, my interference was sternly disregarded. The victim was held fast by some, while others, binding a large heavy stone in a plaid, tied it round his neck, and others again eagerly stripped him of some part of his dress. Half naked, and thus manacled, they hurried him into the lake, there about twelve feet deep, drowning his last death-shriek with a loud halloo of vindictive triumph, over which, however, the yell of mortal agony was distinctly heard. The heavy burden splashed in the darkblue waters of the lake; and the Highlanders, with their pole-axes and swords, watched an instant, to guard, lest, extricating himself from the load to which he was attached, he might have struggled to regain the shore. But the knot had been securely bound ; the victim sunk without effort; the waters, which his fall had disturbed, settled calmly over him; and the unit of that life for which he had pleaded so strongly, was forever withdrawn from the sum of human existence.
III. – THE PLANETARY SYSTEMS. – Hervey.
(Serious, Descriptive, and Didactic Style.) To us, who dwell on its surface, the earth is by far the most extensive orb that our eyes can anywhere behold: it is also clothed with verdure, distinguished by trees, and adorned with a variety of beautiful decorations; whereas, to a spectator placed on one of the planets, it wears a uniform aspect, looks all luminous, and no larger than a spot. To beings who dwell at still greater distances, it entirely disappears. That which we call alternately the morning and the evening star, - as in one part of her orbit she rides foremost in the procession of night, in the other ushers in and anticipates the dawn, — is a planetary world, which, and the four others, that so wonderfully vary their mystic dance, are in themselves dark bodies, and shine only by reflection ; have fields, and seas, and skies of their own, are furnished with all accommodations for animal subsistence, and are supposed to be the abodes of intellectual life; all which. together with our earthly habitation, are dependent on that grand dispenser of divine munificence, the sun; receive their light from the distribution of his rays, and derive their comfort from his benign agency.
This sun, however, with all its attendant planets, is but a very little part of the grand machine of the universe : every star, though in appearance no bigger than the diamond that glitters upon a lady's ring, is really a vast globe, like the sun in size and in glory; no less spacious, no less luminous, than the radiant source of the day : so that every star is not barely a world, but the centre of a magnificent system ; has a retinue of worlds, irradiated by its beams, and revolving round its attractive influence, all which are lost to our sight in unmeasurable wilds of ether.
It is observed by a very judicious writer, that if the sun himself, which enlightens this part of the creation, were extinguished, and all the host of planetary worlds, which move about him, were annihilated, they would not be missed by an eye that can take in the whole compass
of nature, any more than a grain of sand upon the sea-shore. The bulk of which they consist, and the space which they occupy, are so exceeding little in comparison of the whole, that their loss would scarce leave a blank in the immensity of God's works.
IV.- CHATHAM'S REBUKE OF LORD SUFFOLK. (Declamatory Interrogation, Detestation, and Abhorrence.) Who is the man, that, in addition to the disgraces and mischiefs of the war, has dared to authorize and associate to our arms the tomahawk and scalping-knife of the savage ?. to call into civilized alliance, the wild and inhuman inhabitant of the woods ?— to delegate to the merciless Indian, the defence of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of his barbarous war against our brethren? My lords, these enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment. But, my lords, this barbarous measure has been defended, not only on the principles of policy and necessity, but also on those of morality ; " for it is perfectly allowable,” says Lord Suffolk, “to use all the means, which God and nature have put into our hands.” I am astonished, I am shocked, to hear such principles confessed; to hear them avowed in this house, or in this country!
My lords, I did not intend to encroach so much on your attention ; but I cannot repress my indignation - † feel myself impelled to speak. My lords, we are called upon as members of this house, as men, as Christians, to protest against such horrible barbarity!“ That God and nature have put into our hands !” What ideas of God and nature, that noble lord may entertain, I know not; but I know, that such detestable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity. What! to attribute the sacred sanction of God and nature, to the massacres of the Indian scalping-knife! to the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, devouring, drinking the blood of his mangled victims! Such notions shock every precept of morality, every feeling of humanity, every sentiment of honor. These abominable principles, and this more abominable avowal of them, demand the most decisive indignation.
I call upon that right reverend, and this most learned bench, to vindicate the religion of their God, to support the justice of their country. I call upon the bishops, to interpose the unsullied sanctity of their lawn ; - upon the judges, to interpose the purity of their
ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honor of your lordships to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own.
I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to vindicate the national character. I solemnly call upon your lordships, and upon every order of men in the state, to stamp upon this infamous procedure, the indelible stigma of the public abhorrence. More particularly, I call upon the holy prelates of our religion, to do away this iniquity; let them perform a lustration, to purify the country from this deep and deadly sin.
V. - EXTRACT FROM PATRICK Henry's SPEECH IN FAVOR OF THE WAR
(Declamatory Expostulation, Courage, Confidence, Resolute Defiance,
Rousing Appeal, Deep Determination.) They tell us, sir, that we are weak — unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed; and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house ? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction ? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means, which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight alone. There is a just God, who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone: it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston ! The war is inevitable- and let it come!
I repeat it, sir, let it come!
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace, - but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale, that sweeps from the north, will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms ! Our brethren are already in the field ! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What
would they have ? - Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!—I know not what course others may take; but as for me - give me liberty, or give me death!
VI. – THE OCEAN. - Byron.
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Stops with the shore ; - upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed ; nor doth remain
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
The armaments, which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay Creator the vain title take
These are thy toys; and, as the snowy flake,
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
And many a tyrant since ; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play-
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests ! - in all time -
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime