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The rite of baptism was over, and the religious service of the day closed by a Psalm. The mighty rocks hemmed in the holy sound, and sent it, in a more compacted volume, clear, sweet, and strong, up to heaven. When the Psalm ceased, an echo, like a spirit's voice, was heard dying away high up among the magnificent architecture of the cliffs, and once more might be noticed in the silence the reviving voice of the waterfall.
Just then a large stone fell from the top of the cliff into the pool, a loud voice was heard, and a plaid hụng over on the point of a shepherd's staff. Their watchful sentinel had descried danger, and this was his warning. Forthwith the congregation rose.
There were paths dangerous to unpractised feet, along the ledges of the rocks, leading up to several caves and places of concealment. The more active and young assisted the elder — more especially the old pastor, and the women with the infants; and many minutes had not elapsed, till not a living creature was visible in the channel of the stream, but all of them hidden, or nearly so, in the clefts and caverns.
The shepherd who had given the alarm had lain down again in his plaid instantly on the green sward upon the summit of these precipices. A party of soldiers were immediately upon him, and demanded what signals he had been making, and to whom; when one of them, looking over the edge of the cliff, exclaimed, “ See, see! Humphrey, we have caught the whole tabernacle of the Lord in a net at last. There they are, praising God among the stones of the river Mouss. These are the Cartland Craigs. By my soul's salvation, a noble cathedral ! * Fling the lying sentinel over the cliffs. Here is a canting covenanter for you, deceiving honest soldiers on the very Sabbath day. Over with him, over with him out of the gallery into the pit.”
But the shepherd had vanished like a shadow; and mixing with the tall green broom and bushes, was making his unseen way towards a wood. " Satan has saved his servant; but come, my lads
- follow me; I know the way down into the bed of the stream - and the steps up to Wallace's Cave. They are called the · Kittle Nine Stanes.' The hunt 's up. We'll be all in at the death. Halloo my boys — halloo !”
The soldiers dashed down a less precipitous part of the wooded banks, a little below the “craigs,” and hurried up the channel. But when they reached the altar where the old gray-haired minister had been seen standing, and the rocks that had been covered with people, all was silent and solitary; not a creature to be seen “Here is a Bible dropt by some of them,” cried a soldier, and, with his foot, spun it away into the pool. “ A bonnet, a bonnet,” cried another, — now for the pretty sanctified face that rolled its demure
eyes below it.'
But, after a few jests and oaths, the soldiers stood still, eyeing with a kind of mysterious dread the black and silent walls of the rock that hemmed them in, and hearing only the small voice of the stream that sent a profounder stillness through the heart of that majestic solitude. “Curse these cowardly covenanters - what, if they tumble down upon our heads pieces of rock from their hiding-places? Advance? Or retreat?'
There was no reply. For a slight fear was upon every man ; musket or bayonet could be of little use to men obliged to clamber up rocks, along slender paths, leading, they knew not where; and they were aware that armed men now-a-days, worshipped God, men of iron hearts, who feared not the glitter of the soldier's arms - neither barrel nor bayonet - men of long stride, firm step, and broad breast, who, on the open field, would have overthrown the marshalled line, and gone first and foremost, if a city had to be taken by storm.
As the soldiers were standing together irresolute, a noise came upon their ears like distant thunder, but even more appalling ; and a slight current of air, as if propelled by it, passed whispering along the sweet-briers, and the broom, and the tresses of the birch trees. It came deepening, and rolling, and roaring on, and the very Cartland Craigs shook to their foundation as if in an earthquake. “The Lord have mercy upon us - what is this?” And down fell many of the miserable wretches on their knees, and some on their faces, upon the sharp-pointed rocks. Now, it was like the sound of many myriads of chariots rolling on their iron axles down the stony channel of the torrent.
The old gray-haired minister issued from the mouth of Wallace's Cave, and said, with a loud voice, “ The Lord God terrible reigneth.” A water-spout had burst up among the moorlands, and the river in its power, was at hand. There it came, tumbling along into that long reach of cliffs, and in a moment filled it with one mass of waves. Huge, agitated clouds of foam rode on the surface of a blood-red torrent, An
army must have been swept off by that flood. The soldiers perished in a moment; but high up in the cliffs, above the sweep of destruction, were the covenanters — men, women, and children, uttering prayers to God, unheard by themselves, in that raging thunder.
XVII. - SPECIMEN OF THE ELOQUENCE OF JOHN ADAMS. - Webster.
The war must go on. We must fight it through. And if the war must go on, why put off longer the Declaration of Independence? That measure will strengthen us. It will give us character abroad.
Why then, sir, do we not, as soon as possible, change this from a civil to a national war? And since we must fight it through, why not put ourselves in a state to enjoy all the benefits of victory, if we gain the victory?
If we fail, it can be no worse for us. But we shall not fail. The cause will raise up armies; the cause will create navies. The people, the people, if we are true to them, will carry us, and will carry themselves, gloriously, through this struggle.
I care not how fickle other people have been found. I know the people of these colonies; and I know that resistance to British aggression is deep and settled in their hearts and cannot be eradicated. Every colony, indeed, has expressed its willingness to follow, if we but take the lead. Sir, the declaration will inspire the people with increased courage. Instead of a long and bloody war for restoration of privileges, for redress of grievances, for chartered immunities, held under a British king, set before them the glorious object of entire independence, and it will breathe into them anew the breath of life.
Read this declaration at the head of the army; every sword will be drawn from its scabbard, and the solemn vow uttered, to maintain it, or to perish on the bed of honor. Publish it from the pulpit; religion will approve it, and the love of religious liberty will cling round it, resolved to stand with it or fall with it. Send it to the public halls; proclaim it there ; let them hear it, who heard the first roar of the enemy's cannon ; let them see it, who saw their brothers and their sons fall on the field of Bunker Hill, and in the streets of Lexington and Concord, and the very walls will cry out in its support.
Sir, I know the uncertainty of human affairs, but I see, I see clea through this day's business. You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to the time, when this declaration shall be made good. We may die ; die, colonists ; die, slaves; die, it may be, ignominiously and on the scaffold. Be it so.
If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But while I do live, let mo
Be it so.
have a country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free country.
But whatever may be our fate, be assured, be assured, that this declaration will stand. It may cost treasure, and it may cost blood; but it will stand, and it will richly compensate for both. Through the thick gloom of the present, I see the brightness of the future, as the sun in heaven. We shall make this a glorious, an immortal day. When we are in our graves, our children will honor it. They will celebrate it with thanksgiving, with festivity, with bonfires, and illuminations. On its annual return they will shed tears, "copious, gushing tears, not of subjection and slavery, not of agony and distress, but of exultation, of gratitude, and of joy.
Sir, before God, I believe the hour is come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off, as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment : independence, now; and INDEPENDENCE FOREVER.
XIV.- RESULTS OF THE HEROISM OF THE PILGRIMS. — E. Everett.
Methinks I see it now, that one solitary, adventurous vessel, the Mayflower of a forlorn hope, freighted with the prospects of a future state, and bound across the unknown sea. I behold it pursuing, with a thousand misgivings, the uncertain, the tedious voyage. Suns rise and set, and weeks and months pass, and winter surprises them on the deep, but brings them not the sight of the wished-for shore. I see them now, scantily supplied with provisions, crowded almost to suffocation in their ill-stored prison; — delayed by calms, pursuing a circuitous route, - and now drivep in fury before the raging tempest, on the high and giddy waves. The awful voice of the storm howls through the rigging. The laboring masts seem straining from their başe ; — the dismal sound of the pumps is heard ; the ship leaps, as it were, madly, from billow to billow ; — the ocean breaks, and settles with ingulphing floods over the floating deck, and beats with deadening, shivering weight, against the staggered vessel. — I se them, escaped from these perils, pursuing their all but desperate undertaking, and landed at last, after a five months' passage, on the ice-clad rocks of Plymouth, - weak and weary from the voyage, poorly armed, scantily provisioned, depending on the charity of their ship-master for a draught of beer on board, drinking nothing but
water on 'shore, - without shelter, - without means, surrounded by hostile tribes.
Shut now the volume of history, and tell me, on any principle of human probability, what shall be the fate of this handful of adventurers. — Tell me, man of military science, in how many months were they all swept off by the thirty savage tribes, enumerated within the early limits of New England ? Tell me, politician, how long did this shadow of a colony, on which your conventions and treaties had not smiled, languish on the distant coast? Student of history, compare for me the baffled projects, the deserted settlements, the abandoned adventures of other times, and find the parallel of this. Was it the winter's storm, beating upon the houseless heads of women and children; was it hard labor and spare meals ; - was it disease, the tomahawk, - was it the deep malady of a blighted hope, a ruined enterprise, and a broken heart, aching in its last moments at the recollection of the loved and left beyond the sea; was it some, or all of these united, that hurried this forsaken company to their melancholy fate? — And is it possible that neither of these causes, that not all combined, were able to blast this bud of hope ? - Is it possible, that from a beginning so feeble, so frail, so worthy, not so much of admiration as of pity, there has gone forth a progress so steady, a growth so wonderful, an expansion so ample, a reality so important, a promise, yet to be fulfilled, so glorious ?