MacMillan's Reading Books
Part 2 out of 6
For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word--
"Oh come ye in peace here, or come ye in war?--
Or to dance at our bridal? young Lord Lochinvar!"
"I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied:
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide!
And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine!
There be maidens in Scotland, more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar!"
The bride kissed the goblet, the knight took it up,
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup!
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh--
With a smile on her lip, and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar--
"Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar,
So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
That never a hall such a galliard did grace!
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume,
And the bride-maidens whispered, "'Twere better by far
To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar!"
One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
When they reached the hall door, and the charger stood
So light to the croup the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
"She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur;
They'll have fleet steeds that follow!" cried young
There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan;
Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran;
There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lea,
But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see!
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?
[Notes: _Lochinvar_. The song sung by Dame Heron in 'Marmion,' one of
Scott's longest and most famous poems. The fame of Scott (1771-1832)
rests partly on these poems, but much more on the novels, in which he is
excelled by no one.
_He stay'd not for brake_. Brake, a word of Scandinavian origin, means a
place overgrown with brambles; from the crackling noise they make as one
passes over them.
_Love swells like the Solway_. For a scene in which the rapid advance
of the Solway tide is described, see the beginning of Scott's novel of
_Galliard_. A gay rollicker. Used also in Chaucer.
_Scaur_. A rough, broken ground. The same word as scar.]
* * * * *
LEARNING TO RIDE.
Some time before my father had bought a small Shetland pony for us,
Moggy by name, upon which we were to complete our own education in
riding, we had already mastered the rudiments under the care of our
grandfather's coachman. He had been in our family thirty years, and we
were as fond of him as if he had been a relation. He had taught us to
sit up and hold the bridle, while he led a quiet old cob up and down
with a leading rein. But, now that Moggy was come, we were to make quite
a new step in horsemanship. Our parents had a theory that boys must
teach themselves, and that a saddle (except for propriety, when we rode
to a neighbour's house to carry a message, or had to appear otherwise
in public) was a hindrance rather than a help. So, after our morning's
lessons, the coachman used to take us to the paddock in which Moggy
lived, put her bridle on, and leave us to our own devices. I could see
that that moment was from the first one of keen enjoyment to my brother.
He would scramble up on her back, while she went on grazing--without
caring to bring her to the elm stool in the corner of the field, which
was our mounting place--pull her head up, kick his heels into her sides,
and go scampering away round the paddock with the keenest delight. He
was Moggy's master from the first day, though she not unfrequently
managed to get rid of him by sharp turns, or stopping dead short in her
gallop. She knew it quite well; and, just as well, that she was mistress
as soon as I was on her back. For weeks it never came to my turn,
without my wishing myself anywhere else. George would give me a lift
up, and start her. She would trot a few yards, and then begin grazing,
notwithstanding my timid expostulations and gentle pullings at her
bridle. Then he would run up, and pull up her head, and start her again,
and she would bolt off with a flirt of her head, and never be content
till I was safely on the grass. The moment that was effected she took to
grazing again, and I believe enjoyed the whole performance as much as
George, and certainly far more than I did. We always brought her a
carrot, or bit of sugar, in our pockets, and she was much more like a
great good-tempered dog with us than a pony.
_Memoir of a Brother_. T. HUGHES.
* * * * *
Oft has it been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
With eyes that hardly served at most
To guard their master 'gainst a post:
Yet round the world the blade has been
To see whatever can be seen.
Returning from his finished tour,
Grown ten times perter than before.
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travelled fool your mouth will stop:
"Sir, if my judgment you'll allow--
I've seen--and sure I ought to know."
So begs you'd pay a due submission
And acquiesce in his decision.
Two travellers of such a cast,
As o'er Arabia's wilds they passed,
And on their way in friendly chat,
Now talked of this, and now of that:
Discoursed a while, 'mongst other matter,
Of the chameleon's form and nature.
"A stranger animal," cries one,
"Sure never lived beneath the sun;
A lizard's body, lean and long,
A fish's head, a serpent's tongue,
Its foot with triple claw disjoined;
And what a length of tail behind!
How slow its pace! And then its hue--
Who ever saw so fine a blue?"--
"Hold there," the other quick replies,
"'Tis green; I saw it with these eyes
As late with open mouth it lay,
And warmed it in the sunny ray;
Stretched at its ease the beast I viewed,
And saw it eat the air for food."
"I've seen it, sir, as well as you,
And must again affirm it blue:
At leisure I the beast surveyed
Extended in the cooling shade."
"'Tis green, 'tis green, sir, I assure you."
"Green!" cried the other in a fury:
"Why, do you think I've lost my eyes?"
"'Twere no great loss," the friend replies,
"For if they always serve you thus,
You'll find them of but little use."
So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows,
When luckily came by a third:
To him the question they referred,
And begged he'd tell them if he knew,
Whether the thing was green or blue?
"Sirs," cries the umpire, "cease your pother,
The creature's neither one nor t'other.
I caught the animal last night,
And view'd it o'er by candle-light:
I marked it well--'twas black as jet.
You stare; but, sirs, I've got it yet:
And can produce it"--"Pray, sir, do:
I'll lay my life the thing is blue."
"And I'll be sworn, that when you've seen
The reptile you'll pronounce him green!"
"Well, then, at once to ease the doubt,"
Replies the man, "I'll turn him out:
And when before your eyes I've set him,
If you don't find him black, I'll eat him,"
He said, and full before their sight,
Produced the beast, and lo!--'twas white.
Both stared: the man looked wondrous wise:
"My children," the chameleon cries
(Then first the creature found a tongue),
"You all are right, and all are wrong;
When next you tell of what you view,
Think others see as well as you!
Nor wonder if you find that none
Prefers your eyesight to his own."
* * * * *
MOSES AT THE FAIR
All this conversation, however, was only preparatory to another scheme;
and indeed I dreaded as much. This was nothing less than that, as we
were now to hold up our heads a little higher in the world, it would be
proper to sell the colt, which was grown old, at a neighbouring fair,
and buy us a horse that would carry us single or double upon an
occasion, and make a pretty appearance at church, or upon a visit. This
at first I opposed stoutly; but it was stoutly defended. However, as I
weakened, my antagonist gained strength, till at last it was resolved
to part with him. As the fair happened on the following day, I had
intentions of going myself; but my wife persuaded me that I had got a
cold, and nothing could prevail upon her to permit me from home. "No, my
dear," said she, "our son Moses is a discreet boy, and can buy and sell
to a very good advantage: you know all our great bargains are of his
purchasing. He always stands out and higgles, and actually tires them
till he gets a bargain."
As I had some opinion of my son's prudence, I was willing enough to
entrust him with this commission; and the next morning I perceived his
sisters mighty busy in fitting out Moses for the fair; trimming his
hair, brushing his buckles, and cocking his hat with pins. The business
of the toilet being over, we had at last the satisfaction of seeing
him mounted upon the colt, with a deal box before him to bring
home groceries in. He had on a coat made of that cloth they call
"thunder-and-lightning," which, though grown too short, was much too
good to be thrown away. His waistcoat was of gosling green, and his
sisters had tied his hair with a broad black riband. We all followed him
several paces from the door, bawling after him, "Good luck! good luck!"
till we could see him no longer. ***
I changed the subject by seeming to wonder what could keep our son so
long at the fair, as it was now almost nightfall. "Never mind our son,"
cried my wife; "depend upon it, he knows what he is about. I'll warrant
we'll never see him sell his hen of a rainy day. I have seen him bring
such bargains as would amaze one. I'll tell you a good story about that,
that will make you split your sides with laughing. But, as I live,
yonder comes Moses, without a horse, and the box on his back."
As she spoke, Moses came slowly on foot, and sweating under the deal
box, which he had strapped round his shoulders like a pedlar. "Welcome,
welcome, Moses! Well, my boy, what have you brought us from the fair?"
"I have brought you myself," cried Moses, with a sly look, and resting
the box on the dresser. "Ay, Moses," cried my wife, "that we know; but
where is the horse?" "I have sold him," cried Moses, "for three pounds
five shillings and twopence." "Well done, my good boy," returned she;
"I knew you would touch them off. Between ourselves, three pounds five
shillings and twopence is no bad day's work. Come, let us have it then."
"I have brought back no money," cried Moses again. "I have laid it all
out in a bargain, and here it is," pulling out a bundle from his breast;
"here they are; a gross of green spectacles, with silver rims and
shagreen cases." "A gross of green spectacles!" repeated my wife, in a
faint voice. "And you have parted with the colt, and brought us back
nothing but a gross of green paltry spectacles!" "Dear mother," cried
the boy, "why won't you listen to reason? I had them a dead bargain,
or I should not have brought them. The silver rims alone will sell for
double the money." "A fig for the silver rims," cried my wife, in a
passion: "I dare swear they won't sell for above half the money at the
rate of broken silver, five shillings an ounce." "You need be under no
uneasiness," cried I, "about selling the rims, for they are not worth
sixpence; for I perceive they are only copper varnished over." "What!"
cried my wife, "not silver! the rims not silver?" "No," cried I, "no
more silver than your saucepan." "And so," returned she, "we have parted
with the colt, and have only got a gross of green spectacles, with
copper rims and shagreen cases? A murrain take such trumpery! The
blockhead has been imposed upon, and should have known his company
better." "There, my dear," cried I, "you are wrong; he should not have
known them at all." "Marry, hang the idiot!" returned she, "to bring me
such stuff: if I had them I would throw them in the fire." "There again
you are wrong, my dear," cried I, "for though they be copper, we will
keep them by us, as copper spectacles, you know, are better than
By this time the unfortunate Moses was undeceived. He now saw that he
had been imposed upon by a prowling sharper, who, observing his figure,
had marked him for an easy prey. I therefore asked the circumstances
of his deception. He sold the horse, it seems, and walked the fair in
search of another. A reverend-looking man brought him to a tent, under
pretence of having one to sell. "Here," continued Moses, "we met another
man, very well dressed, who desired to borrow twenty pounds upon these,
saying that he wanted money, and would dispose of them for a third of
the value. The first gentleman, who pretended to be my friend, whispered
me to buy them, and cautioned me not to let so good an offer pass. I
sent for Mr. Flamborough, and they talked him up as finely as they did
me; and so at last we were persuaded to buy the two gross between us."
[Note: _Moses at the fair_. This is an incident taken from Goldsmith's
novel, 'The Vicar of Wakefield.' The narrator throughout is the Vicar
himself, who tells us the simple joys and sorrows of his family, and the
foibles of each member of it.]
* * * * *
Happy the man whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter, fire.
Blest who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years, glide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mixed; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
[Notes: _Alexander Pope_, born 1688, died 1744. The author of numerous
poems and translations, all of them marked by the same lucid thought and
polished versification. The Essay on Man, the Satires and Epistles, and
the translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, are amongst the most
Write a paraphrase of the first two stanzas.]
* * * * *
WHANG THE MILLER.
Whang, the miller, was naturally avaricious; nobody loved money better
than he, or more respected those that had it. When people would talk of
a rich man in company, Whang would say, "I know him very well; he and I
are intimate; he stood for a child of mine." But if ever a poor man was
mentioned, he had not the least knowledge of the man; he might be very
well for aught he knew; but he was not fond of many acquaintances, and
loved to choose his company.
Whang, however, with all his eagerness for riches, was in reality poor;
he had nothing but the profits of his mill to support him; but though
these were small, they were certain; while his mill stood and went, he
was sure of eating; and his frugality was such that he every day laid
some money by, which he would at intervals count and contemplate with
much satisfaction. Yet still his acquisitions were not equal to his
desires; he only found himself above want, whereas he desired to be
possessed of affluence.
One day, as he was indulging these wishes, he was informed that a
neighbour of his had found a pan of money under ground, having dreamed
of it three nights running before. These tidings were daggers to the
heart of poor Whang. "Here am I," says he, "toiling and moiling from
morning till night for a few paltry farthings, while neighbour Hunks
only goes quietly to bed, and dreams himself into thousands before
morning. Oh that I could dream like him! with what pleasure would I dig
round the pan; how slily would I carry it home; not even nay wife should
see me; and then, oh, the pleasure of thrusting one's hand into a heap
of gold up to the elbow!"
Such reflections only served to make the miller unhappy; he discontinued
his former assiduity; he was quite disgusted with small gains, and his
customers began to forsake him. Every day he repeated the wish, and
every night laid himself down in order to dream. Fortune, that was for a
long time unkind, at last, however, seemed to smile upon his distresses,
and indulged him with the wished-for vision. He dreamed that under
a certain part of the foundation of his mill there was concealed a
monstrous pan of gold and diamonds, buried deep in the ground, and
covered with a large flat stone. He rose up, thanked the stars that were
at last pleased to take pity on his sufferings, and concealed his good
luck from every person, as is usual in money dreams, in order to have
the vision repeated the two succeeding nights, by which he should be
certain of its veracity. His wishes in this also were answered; he still
dreamed of the same pan of money, in the very same place.
Now, therefore, it was past a doubt; so, getting up early the third
morning, he repairs alone, with a mattock in his hand, to the mill, and
began to undermine that part of the wall which the vision directed.
The first omen of success that he met was a broken mug; digging still
deeper, he turns up a house tile, quite new and entire. At last, after
much digging, he came to the broad flat stone, but then so large, that
it was beyond one man's strength to remove it. "Here," cried he, in
raptures, to himself, "here it is! under this stone there is room for a
very large pan of diamonds indeed! I must e'en go home to my wife, and
tell her the whole affair, and get her to assist me in turning it up."
Away, therefore, he goes, and acquaints his wife with every circumstance
of their good fortune. Her raptures on this occasion may easily be
imagined; she flew round his neck, and embraced him in an agony of joy:
but those transports, however, did not delay their eagerness to know the
exact sum; returning, therefore, speedily together to the place where
Whang had been digging, there they found--not indeed the expected
treasure, but the mill, their only support, undermined and fallen.
[Note: _He stood for a child of mine_, i.e., stood as godfather for a
child of mine.]
* * * * *
A SEA SONG.
A wet sheet and a flowing sea,
A wind that follows fast,
And fills the white and rustling sail
And bends the gallant mast.
And bends the gallant mast, my boys,
While, like the eagle free,
Away the good ship flies, and leaves
Old England on the lee.
Oh, for a soft and gentle wind,
I heard a fair one cry:
But give to me the snoring breeze
And white waves heaving high.
And white waves heaving high, my lads,
A good ship, tight and free,
The world of waters is our home,
And merry men are we.
There's tempest in yon horned moon,
And lightning in yon cloud;
And hark the music, mariners!
The wind is piping loud.
The wind is piping loud, my boys,
The lightning flashes free;
While the hollow oak our palace is,
Our heritage the sea.
[Note: _A wet sheet_. The _sheet_ is the rope fastened to the lower
corner of a sail to retain it in position.]
* * * * *
ON THE LOSS OF THE 'ROYAL GEORGE.'
Toll for the brave!
The brave that are no more;
All sunk beneath the wave,
Fast by their native shore!
Eight hundred of the brave,
Whose courage well was tried,
Had made the vessel heel,
And laid her on her side.
A land breeze shook the shrouds,
And she was overset;
Down went the 'Royal George,'
With all her crew complete.
Toll for the brave!
Brave Kempenfeldt is gone;
His last sea-fight is fought;
His work of glory done.
It was not in the battle;
No tempest gave the shock;
She sprang no fatal leak;
She ran upon no rock.
His sword was in its sheath;
His fingers held the pen,
When Kempenfeldt went down,
With twice four hundred men.
Weigh the vessel up,
Once dreaded by our foes!
And mingle with our cup,
The tear that England owes.
Her timbers yet are sound,
And she may float again,
Full-charged with England's thunder,
And plough the distant main.
But Kempenfeldt is gone,
His victories are o'er;
And he and his eight hundred
Shall plough the wave no more.
[Note: _The Royal George_. A ship of war, which went down with Admiral
Kempenfeldt and her crew off Spithead in 1782, while undergoing a
* * * * *
After we had rowed, or rather driven, about a league and a half, as we
reckoned it, a raging wave, mountain-like, came rolling astern of us,
and plainly bade us expect our end. In a word, it took us with such a
fury that it overset the boat at once; and, separating us as well from
the boat as from one another, gave us not time hardly to say, "O God!"
for we were all swallowed up in a moment.
Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt when I sunk
into the water; for though I swam very well, yet I could not deliver
myself from the waves, so as to draw breath, till that wave having
driven me, or rather carried me a vast way on towards the shore, and
having spent itself, went back, and left me upon the land almost dry,
but half dead from the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind
as well as breath left, that, seeing myself nearer the mainland than I
expected, I got upon my feet, and endeavoured to make on towards the
land as fast as I could, before another wave should return, and take me
up again. But I soon found it was impossible to avoid it; for I saw the
sea come after me as high as a great hill, and as furious as an enemy,
which I had no means or strength to contend with; my business was to
hold my breath, and raise myself upon the water, if I could: and so by
swimming to preserve my breathing, and pilot myself towards the shore,
if possible; my greatest concern now being, that the sea, as it would
carry me a great way towards the shore when it came on, might not carry
me back again with it when it gave back towards the sea.
The wave that came upon me again, buried me at once twenty or thirty
feet deep in its own body; and I could feel myself carried with a mighty
force and swiftness towards the shore a very great way; but I held my
breath, and assisted myself to swim still forward with all my might. I
was ready to burst with holding my breath, when, as I felt myself rising
up, so, to my immediate relief, I found my head and hands shoot out
above the surface of the water; and though it was not two seconds of
time that I could keep myself so, yet it relieved me greatly, gave me
breath and new courage. I was covered again with water a good while, but
not so long but I held it out; and finding the water had spent itself,
and began to return, I struck forward against the return of the waves,
and felt ground again with my feet. I stood still a few moments to
recover breath, and till the water went from me, and then took to my
heels, and run with what strength I had farther towards the shore. But
neither would this deliver me from the fury of the sea, which came
pouring in after me again, and twice more I was lifted up by the waves,
and carried forwards as before, the shore being very flat.
The last time of these two had well near been fatal to me; for the
sea having hurried me along as before, landed me, or rather dashed
me against a piece of a rock, and that with such force as it left me
senseless, and indeed helpless, as to my own deliverance; for the blow
taking my side and breast, beat the breath, as it were, quite out of my
body; and had it returned again immediately, I must have been strangled
in the water; but I recovered a little before the return of the waves,
and seeing I should be covered again with the water, I resolved to hold
fast by a piece of the rock, and so to hold my breath, if possible, till
the wave went back; now as the waves were not so high as at first, being
near land, I held my hold till the wave abated, and then fetched another
run, which brought me so near the shore that the next wave, though it
went over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to carry me away, and the
next run I took, I got to the main land, where, to my great comfort, I
clambered up the clifts of the shore, and sat me down upon the grass,
free from danger, and quite out of the reach of the water.
DEFOE'S _Robinson Crusoe_.
[Notes: _Daniel Defoe_, born 1663, died 1731. He was prominent as a
political writer, but his later fame has rested chiefly on his works of
fiction, of which 'Robinson Crusoe' (from which this extract is taken)
is the most important.
"_Gave us not time hardly to say_." This to us has the effect of a
double negative. But if we take "hardly" in its strict sense, the
sentence is clear: "did not give us time, even with difficulty, to say."
(_at foot_)."_As_ I felt myself rising up, _so_ to my
immediate relief." Note this use of _as_ and _so_, in a way which now
_Run_. The older form, for which we would use _ran_.
"That with such force, _as_ it left me," &c. For _as_, we would now use
_Clifts of the shore_. Like clefts, broken openings in the shore.]
* * * * *
When Britain first, at Heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sung this strain:
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves,
Britons never will be slaves!
The nations, not so blessed as thee,
Must in their turn to tyrants fall;
While thou shalt flourish great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.
Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke;
As the loud blast that tears the skies,
Serves but to root thy native oak.
Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame:
All their attempts to bend thee down
Will but arouse thy generous flame;
But work their woe and thy renown.
To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine;
All thine shall be the subject main:
And every shore it circles thine.
The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair:
Blessed isle! with matchless beauty crowned,
And manly hearts to guard the fair:
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves,
Britons never will be slaves!
[Notes: _James Thomson_, born 1700, died 1748. He was educated for the
Scotch ministry, but came to London, and commenced his career as a poet
by the series of poems called the 'Seasons,' descriptive of scenes in
_The Muses, i.e._, the Sciences and Arts, which flourish best
where there are free institutions.]
* * * * *
There was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her Beauty and her Chivalry; and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage-bell;--
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising
Did ye not hear it?--No; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street:
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet--
But hark!--That heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
Arm! arm! it is--it is--the cannon's opening roar!
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness:
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise?
And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning-star;
While throng'd the citizens, with terror dumb,
Or whispering, with white lips,--"The foe! they come!
And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass,
Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves,
Over the unreturning brave,--alas!
Ere evening to be trodden like the grass,
Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
In its next verdure; when this fiery mass
Of living valour, rolling on the foe
And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low!
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay,
The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,
The morn the marshalling in arms,--the day
Battle's magnificently stern array!
The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent
The earth is cover'd thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover--heap'd and pent,
Rider and horse,--friend, foe,--in one red burial blent!
[Notes:_Waterloo_. Fought, 1815, between Napoleon on one side, and
Wellington and Blucher (the Prussian General) on the other. Its result
was the defeat of Napoleon, and his imprisonment by the Allies in St.
Helena. The festivities held at Brussels, the headquarters of the
British Army, on the eve of the battle, were rudely disturbed by the
news that the action had already begun.
_Ardennes_. A district on the frontier of France, bordering on Belgium.
_Ivry_. The battle in which Henry IV., in the struggle for the crown of
France, completely routed the forces of the Catholic League (1590).
_My white plume shine_. The white plume was the distinctive mark of the
House of Bourbon.
_Oriflamme_, or Auriflamme (lit. Flame of Gold), originally the banner
of the Abbey of St. Denis, afterwards appropriated by the crown of
France. "Let the helmet of Navarre (Henry's own country) be to-day the
Royal Standard of France."
_Culverin_. A piece of artillery of long range.
_The fiery Duke_ (of Mayenne).
_Pricking fast_. Cf. "a gentle knight was pricking o'er the plain"
_With all the hireling chivalry of Guelders and Almayne_. The
allies of the League. Almayne or Almen, a district in the Netherlands.
* * * * *
The King is come to marshal us, in all his armour drest,
And he has bound a snow-white plume upon his gallant crest.
He look'd upon his people, and a tear was in his eye:
He look'd upon the traitors, and his glance was stern and
Right graciously he smiled on us, as roll'd from wing to
Down all our line a deafening shout, "God save our Lord the
"And if my standard-bearer fall, as fall full well he may,
For never saw I promise yet of such a bloody fray,
Press where ye see my white plume shine, amidst the ranks
And be your Oriflamme to-day the helmet of Navarre."
Hurrah! the foes are moving. Hark to the mingled din
Of fife, and steed, and trump, and drum, and roaring
The fiery Duke is pricking fast across St. Andre's plain,
With all the hireling chivalry of Guelders and Almayne.
Now by the lips of those we love, fair gentlemen of France,
Charge for the Golden Lilies,--upon them with the lance!
A thousand spurs are striking deep, a thousand spears in
A thousand knights are pressing close behind the snow-white
And in they burst, and on they rush'd, while, like a
Amidst the thickest carnage blazed the helmet of Navarre.
Now, God be praised, the day is ours! Mayenne hath turned
D'Aumale hath cried for quarter. The Flemish Count is
Their ranks are breaking like thin clouds before a Biscay
The field is heap'd with bleeding steeds, and flags, and
And then we thought on vengeance, and, all along our van,
"Remember St. Bartholomew!" was pass'd from man to man:
But out spake gentle Henry, "No Frenchman is my foe;
Down, down, with every foreigner! but let your brethren
Oh! was there ever such a knight, in friendship or in war,
As our Sovereign Lord, King Henry, the soldier of Navarre!
Ho! maidens of Vienna; ho! matrons of Lucerne;
Weep, weep, and rend your hair for those who never shall
Ho! Philip, send, for charity, thy Mexican pistoles,
That Antwerp monks may sing a mass for thy poor spearmen's
Ho! gallant nobles of the League, look that your arms be
Ho! burghers of St. Genevieve, keep watch and ward to-
For our God hath crush'd the tyrant, our God hath raised
And mock'd the counsel of the wise, and the valour of the
Then glory to His holy name, from whom all glories are;
And glory to our Sovereign Lord, King Henry of Navarre!
[Notes: _D'Aumale_, The Duke of; another leader of the League.
_The Flemish Court_. Count Egmont, the son of the Count Egmont, whose
death on the scaffold in 1568, in consequence of the resistance he
offered to the tyranny of Philip II. of Spain, has made the name famous.
The son, on the other hand, was the attached servant of Philip II.; and
was unnatural enough to say, when reminded of his father, "Talk not of
him, he deserved his death."
_Remember St. Bartholomew_, i.e., the massacre of the Protestants on St.
Bartholomew's day, 1572.
_Maidens of Vienna: matrons of Lucerne_. In reference to the Austrian
and Swiss Allies of the League.
_Thy Mexican pistoles_. Alluding to the riches gained by the Spanish
monarchy from her American colonies.
_Ho! burghers of St. Genevieve_ = citizens of Paris, of which St.
Genevieve was held to be the patron saint.]
* * * * *
NECESSITY THE MOTHER OF INVENTION.
And now I began to apply myself to make such necessary things as I found
I most wanted, as particularly a chair or a table; for without these I
was not able to enjoy the few comforts I had in the world; I could not
write or eat, or do several things with so much pleasure without a
So I went to work; and here I must needs observe that, as reason is the
substance and original of the mathematics, so by stating and squaring
everything by reason, and by making the most rational judgment of
things, every man may be in time master of every mechanic art. I
had never handled a tool in my life, and yet in time, by labour,
application, and contrivance, I found at last that I wanted nothing but
I could have made it, especially if I had had tools; however, I made
abundance of things, even without tools, and some with no more tools
than an adze and a hatchet, which perhaps were never made that way
before, and that with infinite labour; for example, if I wanted a board,
I had no other way but to cut down a tree, set it on an edge before me,
and hew it flat on either side with my axe, till I had brought it to be
as thin as a plank, and then dubb it smooth with my adze. It is true, by
this method, I could make but one board out of a whole tree, but this I
had no remedy for but patience, any more than I had for the prodigious
deal of time and labour which it took me up to make a plank or board;
but my time or labour was little worth, and so it was as well employed
one way as another.
However, I made me a table and a chair, as I observed above, in the
first place, and this I did out of the short pieces of boards that
I brought on my raft from the ship: but when I had wrought out some
boards, as above, I made large shelves of the breadth of a foot and a
half one over another, all along one side of my cave, to lay all my
tools, nails, and iron-work, and in a word, to separate everything at
large in their places, that I might come easily at them; I knocked
pieces into the wall of the rock to hang my guns and all things that
would hang up. So that had my cave been to be seen, it looked like a
general magazine of all necessary things, and I had everything so ready
at my hand, that it was a great pleasure to me to see all my goods in
such order, and especially to find my stock of all necessaries so great.
DEFOE'S _Robinson Crusoe._
[Notes: _Reason is the substance and original of the mathematics_.
Original here = origin or foundation.]
_The most rational judgment_ = the judgment most in accordance with
* * * * *
Clime of the unforgotten brave!
Whose land from plain to mountain-cave
Was Freedom's home or Glory's grave!
Shrine of the mighty! can it be
That this is all remains of thee?
Approach, thou craven crouching slave:
Say, is not this Thermopylae?
These waters blue that round you lave,--
Oh servile offspring of the free!--
Pronounce what sea, what shore is this?
The gulf, the rock of Salamis!
These scenes, their story not unknown,
Arise, and make again your own;
Snatch from the ashes of your sires
The embers of their former fires;
And he who in the strife expires
Will add to theirs a name of fear
That Tyranny shall quake to hear,
And leave his sons a hope, a fame,
They too will rather die than shame:
For Freedom's battle once begun,
Bequeathed by bleeding Sire to Son,
Though baffled oft is ever won.
Bear witness, Greece, thy living page!
Attest it many a deathless age!
While kings, in dusty darkness hid,
Have left a nameless pyramid,
Thy heroes, though the general doom
Hath swept the column from their tomb,
A mightier monument command,
The mountains of their native land!
There points thy Muse to stranger's eye
The graves of those that cannot die!
'Twere long to tell, and sad to trace,
Each step from splendour to disgrace,
Enough--no foreign foe could quell
Thy soul, till from itself it fell;
Yes! Self-abasement paved the way
To villain-bonds and despot sway.
[Notes: _Lord Byron_, born 1788, died 1824. The most powerful English
poet of the early part of this century.
_Thermapylae._ The pass at which Leonidas and his Spartans resisted the
approach of the Persians (B.C. 480).
_Salamis_. Where the Athenians fought the great naval battle which
destroyed the Persian fleet, and secured the liberties of Greece.]
* * * * *
THE TEMPLE OF FAME.
The Temple shakes, the sounding gates unfold,
Wide vaults appear, and roofs of fretted gold,
Raised on a thousand pillars wreathed around
With laurel-foliage and with eagles crowned;
Of bright transparent beryl were the walls,
The friezes gold, and gold the capitals:
As heaven with stars, the roof with jewels glows,
And ever-living lamps depend in rows.
Full in the passage of each spacious gate
The sage historians in white garments wait:
Graved o'er their seats, the form of Time was found,
His scythe reversed, and both his pinions bound.
Within stood heroes, who through loud alarms
In bloody fields pursued renown in arms.
High on a throne, with trophies charged, I viewed
The youth that all things but himself subdued;
His feet on sceptres and tiaras trode,
And his horned head belied the Libyan god.
There Caesar, graced with both Minervas, shone;
Caesar, the world's great master, and his own;
Unmoved, superior still in every state,
And scarce detested in his country's fate.
But chief were those, who not for empire fought,
But with their toils their people's safety bought:
High o'er the rest Epaminondas stood:
Timoleon, glorious in his brother's blood:
Bold Scipio, saviour of the Roman state,
Great in his triumphs, in retirement great;
And wise Aurelius, in whose well-taught mind
With boundless power unbounded virtue joined,
His own strict judge, and patron of mankind.
Much-suffering heroes next their honours claim,
Those of less noisy and less guilty fame,
Fair Virtue's silent train: supreme of these
Here ever shines the godlike Socrates;
He whom ungrateful Athens could expel,
At all times just but when he signed the shell:
Here his abode the martyred Phocion claims,
With Agis, not the last of Spartan names:
Unconquered Cato shows the wound he tore,
And Brutus his ill Genius meets no more.
But in the centre of the hallowed choir,
Six pompous columns o'er the rest aspire;
Around the shrine itself of Fame they stand,
Hold the chief honours, and the Fane command.
High on the first the mighty Homer shone;
Eternal adamant composed his throne;
Father of verse! in holy fillets drest,
His silver beard waved gently o'er his breast:
Though blind, a boldness in his looks appears;
In years he seemed, but not impaired by years.
The wars of Troy were round the pillar seen:
Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian Queen;
Here Hector glorious from Patroclus' fall,
Here dragged in triumph round the Trojan wall.
Motion and life did every part inspire,
Bold was the work, and proved the master's fire.
A strong expression most he seemed t' affect,
And here and there disclosed a brave neglect.
A golden column next in rank appeared,
On which a shrine of purest gold was reared;
Finished the whole, and laboured every part,
With patient touches of unwearied art;
The Mantuan there in sober triumph sate,
Composed his posture, and his look sedate:
On Homer still he fixed a reverent eye,
Great without pride, in modest majesty,
In living sculpture on the sides were spread
The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead:
Eliza stretched upon the funeral pyre,
Aeneas bending with his aged sire:
Troy flamed in burning gold, and o'er the throne
_Arms and the Man_ in golden ciphers shone.
Four swans sustain a car of silver bright,
With heads advanced, and pinions stretched for flight,
Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode,
And seemed to labour with the inspiring God.
Across the harp a careless hand he flings,
And boldly sinks into the sounding strings.
The figured games of Greece the column grace,
Neptune and Jove survey the rapid race.
The youths hang o'er their chariots as they run;
The fiery steeds seem starting from the stone:
The champions in distorted postures threat;
And all appeared irregularly great.
Here happy Horace tuned th' Ausonian lyre
To sweeter sounds, and tempered Pindar's fire;
Pleased with Alcaeus' manly rage t' infuse
The softer spirit of the Sapphic Muse.
The polished pillar different sculptures grace;
A work outlasting monumental brass.
Here smiling Loves and Bacchanals appear,
The Julian star, and great Augustus here:
The Doves, that round the infant Poet spread
Myrtles and bays, hang hov'ring o'er his head.
Here, in a shrine that cast a dazzling light,
Sate, fixed in thought, the mighty Stagyrite:
His sacred head a radiant zodiac crowned,
And various animals his sides surround:
His piercing eyes, erect, appear to view
Superior worlds, and look all Nature through.
With equal rays immortal Tully shone;
The Roman rostra decked the Consul's throne:
Gathering his flowing robe, he seemed to stand
In act to speak, and graceful stretched his hand.
Behind, Rome's Genius waits with civic crowns,
And the great Father of his country owns.
These massy columns in a circle rise,
O'er which a pompous dome invades the skies:
Scarce to the top I stretched my aching sight,
So large it spread, and swelled to such a height.
Full in the midst proud Fame's imperial seat
With jewels blazed magnificently great:
The vivid emeralds there revive the eye,
The flaming rubies show their sanguine dye,
Bright azure rays from lively sapphires stream,
And lucid amber casts a golden gleam,
With various coloured light the pavement shone,
And all on fire appeared the glowing throne;
The dome's high arch reflects the mingled blaze,
And forms a rainbow of alternate rays.
When on the Goddess first I cast my sight,
Scarce seemed her stature of a cubit's height;
But swelled to larger size the more I gazed,
Till to the roof her towering front she raised;
With her the Temple every moment grew,
And ampler vistas opened to my view:
Upward the columns shoot, the roofs ascend,
And arches widen, and long aisles extend,
Such was her form, as ancient Bards have told,
Wings raise her arms, and wings her feet infold;
A thousand busy tongues the Goddess bears,
A thousand open eyes, a thousand listening ears.
Beneath, in order ranged, the tuneful Nine
(Her virgin handmaids) still attend the shrine:
With eyes on Fame for ever fixed, they sing;
For Fame they raise the voice, and tune the string:
With Time's first birth began the heavenly lays,
And last eternal through the length of days.
Around these wonders, as I cast a look,
The trumpet sounded, and the temple shook,
And all the nations, summoned at the call,
From diff'rent quarters, fill the crowded hall:
Of various tongues the mingled sounds were heard;
In various garbs promiscuous throngs appeared;
Thick as the bees that with the spring renew
Their flow'ry toils, and sip the fragrant dew,
When the winged colonies first tempt the sky,
O'er dusky fields and shaded waters fly;
Or, settling, seize the sweets the blossoms yield,
And a low murmur runs along the field.
Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend,
And all degrees before the Goddess bend;
The poor, the rich, the valiant, and the sage,
And boasting youth, and narrative old age.
Their pleas were diff'rent, their request the same:
For good and bad alike are fond of Fame.
Some she disgraced, and some with honours crowned;
Unlike successes equal merits found.
Thus her blind sister, fickle Fortune, reigns,
And, undiscerning, scatters crowns and chains.
First at the shrine the Learned world appear,
And to the Goddess thus prefer their pray'r:
"Long have we sought t' instruct and please mankind,
With studies pale, with midnight vigils blind;
But thanked by few, rewarded yet by none.
We here appeal to thy superior throne:
On wit and learning the just prize bestow,
For fame is all we must expect below."
The Goddess heard, and bade the Muses raise
The golden Trumpet of eternal Praise:
From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound
That fills the circuit of the world around.
Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud:
The notes, at first, were rather sweet than loud.
By just degrees they ev'ry moment rise,
Fill the wide earth, and gain upon the skies.
At ev'ry breath were balmy odours shed,
Which still grew sweeter as they wider spread;
Less fragrant scents th' unfolding rose exhales,
Or spices breathing in Arabian gales.
Next these, the good and just, an awful train,
Thus, on their knees, address the sacred fane:
"Since living virtue is with envy cursed,
And the best men are treated like the worst,
Do thou, just Goddess, call our merits forth,
And give each deed th' exact intrinsic worth."
"Not with bare justice shall your act be crowned,"
(Said Fame,) "but high above desert renowned:
Let fuller notes th' applauding world amaze,
And the loud clarion labour in your praise."
This band dismissed, behold another crowd
Preferred the same request, and lowly bowed;
The constant tenour of whose well-spent days
No less deserved a just return of praise.
But straight the direful Trump of Slander sounds;
Through the big dome the doubling thunder bounds;
Loud as the burst of cannon rends the skies,
The dire report through ev'ry region flies;
In ev'ry ear incessant rumours rung,
And gath'ring scandals grew on ev'ry tongue.
From the black trumpet's rusty concave broke
Sulphureous flames, and clouds of rolling smoke;
The pois'nous vapour blots the purple skies,
And withers all before it as it flies.
A troop came next, who crowns and armour wore,
And proud defiance in their looks they bore:
"For thee" (they cried), "amidst alarms and strife,
We sailed in tempests down the stream of life;
For thee whole nations filled with flames and blood,
And swam to empire through the purple flood.
Those ills we dared, thy inspiration own;
What virtue seemed was done for thee alone."
"Ambitious fools!" (the Queen replied, and frowned):
"Be all your acts in dark oblivion drowned;
There sleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone,
Your statues mouldered, and your names unknown!"
A sudden cloud straight snatched them from my sight,
And each majestic phantom sunk in night.
Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen;
Plain was their dress, and modest was their mien.
"Great idol of mankind! we neither claim
The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame!
But safe, in deserts, from the applause of men,
Would die unheard-of, as we lived unseen.
'Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight
Those acts of goodness, which themselves requite.
O let us still the secret joy partake,
To follow virtue ev'n for virtue's sake."
"And live there men who slight immortal fame?
Who, then, with incense shall adore our name?
But, mortals! know, 'tis still our greatest pride
To blaze those virtues which the good would hide.
Rise! Muses, rise! add all your tuneful breath;
These must not sleep in darkness and in death,"
She said: in air the trembling music floats,
And on the winds triumphant swell the notes:
So soft, though high; so loud, and yet so clear;
Ev'n list'ning angels leaned from heaven to hear:
To farthest shores th' ambrosial spirit flies,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.
[Notes: _Alexander Pope_. (See previous note on Pope.) The hint of this
poem is taken from one by Chaucer, called 'The House of Fame.'
_Depend in rows. Depend_ in its proper and literal meaning, "hang down."
_The youth that all things but himself subdued_ = Alexander the Great
_His feet on sceptres and tiaras trod. Tiaras_, in reference to his
conquests over the Asiatic monarchies.
_His horned head belied the Libyan god_. "The desire to be thought the
son of Jupiter Ammon caused him to wear the horns of that god, and to
represent the same upon his coins." _(Pope's note_.) Libyan = African.
_Caesar graced with both Minervas, i.e.,_ by warlike and literary
genius; as the conqueror of Gaul and the writer of the 'Commentaries.'
_Scarce detested in his country's fate_. Whom even the enslaving of his
country scarce makes us detest.
_Epaminondas_ (died 362 B.C.), the maintainer of Theban independence.
_Timoleon_, of Corinth, who slew his brother when he found him aspiring
to be tyrant in the state (died 337 B.C.).
_Scipio_. The conqueror of Carthage, which was long the rival of Rome.
_Aurelius, i.e.,_ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 A.D.), Emperor of
Rome; one of the brightest characters in Roman history.
_Socrates_. The great Greek philosopher, who, in maintaining truth,
incurred the charge of infecting the young men of Athens with impiety,
and was put to death by being made to drink hemlock. His life and
teaching are known to us through the writings of his disciple, Plato.
_He whom ungrateful Athens_, &c., i.e., Aristides (see page 171),
distinguished by the surname of _The Just_. He was unjust, Pope means,
only when he signed the shell for his own condemnation.
_Phocion_. An Athenian general and statesman (402-318 B.C.), put to
death by Polysperchon. He injured rather than helped the liberties of
_Agis_, "King of Sparta, who endeavoured to restore his state to
greatness by a radical agrarian reform, was after a mock trial murdered
in prison, B.C. 241." _Ward_.
_Cato_, who, to escape disgrace amid the evils which befell his country,
stabbed himself in 46 B.C.
_Brutus his ill Genius meets no more_. See the account of the Eve of
Philippi in Book IV.
_The wars of Troy_. Described by Homer in his Iliad.
_Tydides (Diomede) wounds the Cyprian Queen (Venus)_. A scene described
in the Iliad.
_Hector_. Slew Patroclus, the friend of Achilles, and in revenge was
dragged by him round the walls of Troy.
_The Mantuan_, i.e., the Roman poet Virgil, author of the Aeneid, born
at Mantua (70-19 B.C.)
_Eliza_ = Elissa, or Dido, whose misfortunes are described in the
_Aeneas bending with his aged sire_. Aeneas carried his father,
Anchises, from the flames of Troy on his shoulders.
_Arms and the Man_. The opening words of the Aeneid.
_Pindar_. Of Thebes, who holds the first place among the lyric poets of
Greece. The character and subjects of his poetry, of which the portions
remaining to us are the Triumphal Odes, celebrating victories gained in
the great games of Greece, are indicated by the lines that follow.
_Happy Horace_ (65-8 B.C.). The epithet is used to describe the
lightsome and genial tone of Horace's poetry. _Ausonian lyre_ = Italian
song. Ausonia is a poetical name for Italy.
_Alcoeus and Sappho_. Two of the early lyric poets of Greece.
_A work outlasting monumental brass_. This line is suggested by one of
Horace, when he describes his work as "a monument more lasting than
_The Julian star, and great Augustus here_. Referring to the Imperial
house and its representative, Augustus, Horace's chief patron.
_Stagyrite_. Aristotle, the great philosopher of Greece (384-322 B.C.),
born at Stagira. Pope here shortens the second syllable by a poetical
_Tully_. Marcus Tullius Cicero, the great orator, statesman, and writer
of Rome. For saving the city from the conspiracy of Catiline, he was
honoured with the title of "Father of his country."
_Narrative old age_. Talkative old age.
_Unlike successes equal merits found_ = The same desert found now
success, now failure.]
* * * * *
The following narrative is from the periodical account of the Moravian
Missions. It contains some of the most impressive descriptions I ever
remember to have read.
Brother Samuel Liebiseh was at the time of this occurrence entrusted
with the general care of the brethren's missions on the coast of
Labrador. The duties of his office required a visit to Okkak, the most
northern of our settlements, and about one hundred and fifty English
miles distant from Nain, the place where he resided. Brother William
Turner being appointed to accompany him, they left Nain together on
March the 11th, 1782, early in the morning, with very clear weather,
the stars shining with uncommon lustre. The sledge was driven by the
baptised Esquimaux Mark, and another sledge with Esquimaux joined
An Esquimaux sledge is drawn by a species of dogs, not unlike a wolf in
shape. Like them, they never bark, but howl disagreeably. They are kept
by the Esquimaux in greater or larger packs or teams, in proportion to
the affluence of the master. They quietly submit to be harnessed for
their work, and are treated with little mercy by the heathen Esquimaux,
who make them do hard duty for the small quantity of food they allow
them. This consists chiefly in offal, old skins, entrails, such parts of
whale-flesh as are unfit for other use, rotten whale-fins, &c.; and if
they are not provided with this kind of dog's meat, they leave them to
go and seek dead fish or muscles upon the beach.
When pinched with hunger they will swallow almost anything, and on a
journey it is necessary to secure the harness within the snow-house
over night, lest, by devouring it, they should render it impossible
to proceed in the morning. When the travellers arrive at their night
quarters, and the dogs are unharnessed, they are left to burrow on the
snow, where they please, and in the morning are sure to come at their
driver's call, when they receive some food. Their strength and speed;
even with a hungry stomach, is astonishing. In fastening them to the
sledge, care is taken not to let them go abreast. They are tied by
separate thongs, of unequal lengths, to a horizontal bar in the fore
part of the sledge; an old knowing one leads the way, running ten or
twenty paces ahead, directed by the driver's whip, which is of great
length, and can be well managed only by an Esquimaux. The other dogs
follow like a flock of sheep. If one of them receives a lash, he
generally bites his neighbour, and the bite goes round.
To return to our travellers. The sledge contained five men, one woman,
and a child. All were in good spirits, and appearances being much in
their favour, they hoped to reach Okkak in safety in two or three days.
The track over the frozen sea was in the best possible order, and they
went with ease at the rate of six or seven miles an hour. After they
had passed the islands in the bay of Nain, they kept at a considerable
distance from the coast, both to gain the smoothest part of the ice, and
to weather the high rocky promontory of Kiglapeit. About eight o'clock
they met a sledge with Esquimaux turning in from the sea. After the
usual salutation, the Esquimaux, alighting, held some conversation, as
is their general practice, the result of which was, that some hints were
thrown out by the strange Esquimaux that it might be better to return.
However, as the missionaries saw no reason whatever for it, and only
suspected that the Esquimaux wished to enjoy the company of their
friends a little longer, they proceeded. After some time, their own
Esquimaux hinted that there was a ground swell under the ice. It was
then hardly perceptible, except on lying down and applying the ear close
to the ice, when a hollow, disagreeably grating and roaring noise was
heard, as if ascending from the abyss. The weather remained clear,
except towards the east, where a bank of light clouds appeared,
interspersed with some dark streaks. But the wind being strong from the
north-west, nothing less than a sudden change of weather was expected.
The sun had now reached its height, and there was as yet little or no
alteration in the appearance of the sky. But the motion of the sea
under the ice had grown more perceptible, so as rather to alarm the
travellers, and they began to think it prudent to keep closer to the
shore. The ice had cracks and large fissures in many places, some
of which formed chasms of one or two feet wide; but as they are not
uncommon even in its best state, and the dogs easily leap over them, the
sledge following without danger, they are only terrible to new comers.
As soon as the sun declined towards the west, the wind increased and
rose to a storm, the bank of clouds from the east began to ascend, and
the dark streaks to put themselves in motion against the wind. The snow
was violently driven about by partial whirlwinds, both on the ice, and
from off the peaks of the high mountains, and filled the air. At the
same time the ground-swell had increased so much that its effect upon
the ice became very extraordinary and alarming. The sledges, instead of
gliding along smoothly upon an even surface, sometimes ran with violence
after the dogs, and shortly after seemed with difficulty to ascend
the rising hill; for the elasticity of so vast a body of ice, of many
leagues square, supported by a troubled sea, though in some places
three or four yards in thickness, would, in some degree, occasion an
undulatory motion not unlike that of a sheet of paper accommodating
itself to the surface of a rippling stream. Noises were now likewise
distinctly heard in many directions, like the report of cannon, owing to
the bursting of the ice at some distance.
The Esquimaux, therefore, drove with all haste towards the shore,
intending to take up their night-quarters on the south side of the
Nivak. But as it plainly appeared that the ice would break and disperse
in the open sea, Mark advised to push forward to the north of the Nivak,
from whence he hoped the track to Okkak might still remain entire. To
this proposal the company agreed; but when the sledges approached the
coast, the prospect before them was truly terrific. The ice having
broken loose from the rocks, was forced up and down, grinding and
breaking into a thousand pieces against the precipices, with a
tremendous noise, which, added to the raging of the wind, and the snow
driving about in the air, deprived the travellers almost of the power of
hearing and seeing anything distinctly.
To make the land at any risk was now the only hope left, but it was with
the utmost difficulty the frighted dogs could be forced forward, the
whole body of ice sinking frequently below the surface of the rocks,
then rising above it. As the only moment to land was when it gained
the level of the coast, the attempt was extremely nice and hazardous.
However, by God's mercy, it succeeded; both sledges gained the shore,
and were drawn up the beach with much difficulty.
The travellers had hardly time to reflect with gratitude to God on their
safety, when that part of the ice from which they had just now made good
their landing burst asunder, and the water, forcing itself from below,
covered and precipitated it into the sea. In an instant, as if by a
signal given, the whole mass of ice, extending for several miles from
the coast, and as far as the eye could reach, began to burst and be
overwhelmed by the immense waves. The sight was tremendous and awfully
grand: the large fields of ice, raising themselves out of the water,
striking against each other and plunging into the deep with a violence
not to be described, and a noise like the discharge of innumerable
batteries of heavy guns. The darkness of the night, the roaring of the
wind and sea, and the dashing of the waves and ice against the rocks,
filled the travellers with sensations of awe and horror, so as almost
to deprive them of the power of utterance. They stood overwhelmed with
astonishment at their miraculous escape, and even the heathen Esquimaux
expressed gratitude to God for their deliverance.
[Note: _But high above desert renowned_ = Let it be renowned high above
* * * * *
A HAPPY LIFE.
How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his highest skill.
Whose passions not his masters are;
Whose soul is still prepared for death;
Not tied unto the world with care
Of prince's ear, or vulgar breath.
Who hath his life from rumours freed;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat:
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great.
Who envies none whom chance doth raise,
Or vice: who never understood
How deepest wounds are given with praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good.
Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend.
This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.
SIR HENRY WOTTON.
[Notes: _Sir Henry Wotton_ (1568-1639). A poet, ambassador, and
miscellaneous writer, in the reign of James I.
_Born or taught_ = whether from natural character or by training.
_Nor ruin make oppressors great_ = nor _his_ ruin, &c.
_How deepest wounds are given with praise_. How praise may only cover
some concealed injury.]
* * * * *
For us the winds do blow;
The earth doth rest, heaven move, and fountains flow.
Nothing we see but means our good,
As our delight, or as our treasure:
The whole is either cupboard of our food,
Or cabinet of pleasure.
The stars have us to bed;
Night draws the curtain, which the sun withdraws;
Music and light attend our head;
All things unto our flesh are kind
In their descent and being; to our mind
In their ascent and cause.
More servants wait on Man
Than he'll take notice of. In every path
He treads down that which doth befriend him,
When sickness makes him pale and wan.
O mighty love! Man is one world, and hath
Another to attend him.
Since, then, My God, Thou hast
So brave a palace built, O dwell in it,
That it may dwell with Thee at last!
Till then afford us so much wit
That, as the world serves _us_, we may serve _Thee_,
And both thy servants be.
[Notes: _George Herbert_ (1593-1632). A clergyman of the Church of
England, the author of many religious works in prose and poetry. His
poetry is overfull of conceits, but in spite of these is eminently
graceful and rich with fancy.
_The stars have its to led, i.e.,_ conduct, or show us to bed.
_All things unto our flesh are kind, &c., i.e.,_ as they minister to the
needs of our body here below, so they minister to the mind by leading
us to think of the Higher Cause that brings them into being. The words
_descent_ and _accent_ are not to be pressed; they are rather balanced
one against the other, according to the fashion of the day.]
* * * * *
Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky,
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night;
For thou must die.
Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
Thy root is ever in its grave,
And thou must die.
Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie,
My music shows ye have your closes,
And all must die.
Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like seasoned timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.
[Note:----_The bridal of the earth and sky, i.e.,_ in which all the
beauties of sky and earth are united.]
* * * * *
DEATH THE CONQUEROR.
The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate:
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.
Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill;
But their strong nerves at last must yield,
They tame but one another still.
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath,
When they, pale captives, creep to death.
The garlands wither on your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
Upon death's purple altar now
See, where the victor-victim bleeds;
All heads must come
To the cold tomb,
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.
[Notes: _James Shirley_ (1594-1666). A dramatic poet.
_And plant fresh laurels when they kill_ = even by the death they spread
around them in war, they may win new laurel-wreaths by victory.
_Purple_. As stained with blood.]
* * * * *
GROWTH OF EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY.
Various improvements in the system of jurisprudence, and administration
of justice, occasioned a change in manners, of great importance and of
extensive effect. They gave rise to a distinction of professions; they
obliged men to cultivate different talents, and to aim at different
accomplishments, in order to qualify themselves for the various
departments and functions which became necessary in society. Among
uncivilized nations there is but one profession honourable, that of
arms. All the ingenuity and vigour of the human mind are exerted in
acquiring military skill or address. The functions of peace are few and
simple, and require no particular course of education or of study as a
preparation for discharging them. This was the state of Europe during
several centuries. Every gentleman, born a soldier, scorned any other
occupation; he was taught no science but that of war; even his exercises
and pastimes were feats of martial prowess. Nor did the judicial
character, which persons of noble birth were alone entitled to assume,
demand any degree of knowledge beyond that which such untutored soldiers
possessed. To recollect a few traditionary customs which time had
confirmed, and rendered respectable; to mark out the lists of battle
with due formality; to observe the issue of the combat; and to pronounce
whether it had been conducted according to the laws of arms, included
everything that a baron, who acted as a judge, found it necessary to
But when the forms of legal proceedings were fixed, when the rules of
decision were committed to writing, and collected into a body, law
became a science, the knowledge of which required a regular course of
study, together with long attention to the practice of courts. Martial
and illiterate nobles had neither leisure nor inclination to undertake a
task so laborious, as well as so foreign from all the occupations which
they deemed entertaining, or suitable to their rank. They gradually
relinquished their places in courts of justice, where their ignorance
exposed them to contempt. They became, weary of attending to the
discussion of cases, which grew too intricate for them to comprehend.
Not only the judicial determination of points which were the subject of
controversy, but the conduct of all legal business and transactions, was
committed to persons trained by previous study and application to the
knowledge of law. An order of men, to whom their fellow-citizens had
daily recourse for advice, and to whom they looked up for decision in
their most important concerns, naturally acquired consideration and
influence in society. They were advanced to honours which had been
considered hitherto as the peculiar rewards of military virtue. They
were entrusted with offices of the highest dignity and most extensive
power. Thus, another profession than that of arms came to be introduced
among the laity, and was reputed honourable. The functions of civil
life were attended to. The talents requisite for discharging them were
cultivated. A new road was opened to wealth and eminence. The arts and
virtues of peace were placed in their proper rank, and received their
While improvements, so important with respect to the state of society
and the administration of justice, gradually made progress in Europe,
sentiments more liberal and generous had begun to animate the nobles.
These were inspired by the spirit of chivalry, which, though considered,
commonly, as a wild institution, the effect of caprice, and the source
of extravagance, arose naturally from the state of society at that
period, and had a very serious influence in refining the manners of the
European nations. The feudal state was a state of almost perpetual war,
rapine, and anarchy, during which the weak and unarmed were exposed
to insults or injuries. The power of the sovereign was too limited to
prevent these wrongs; and the administration of justice too feeble
to redress them. The most effectual protection against violence and
oppression was often found to be that which the valour and generosity
of private persons afforded. The same spirit of enterprise which had
prompted so many gentlemen to take arms in defence of the oppressed
pilgrims in Palestine, incited others to declare themselves the patrons
and avengers of injured innocence at home. When the final reduction of
the Holy Land under the dominion of infidels put an end to these foreign
expeditions, the latter was the only employment left for the activity
and courage of adventurers. To check the insolence of overgrown
oppressors; to rescue the helpless from captivity; to protect or to
avenge women, orphans, and ecclesiastics, who could not bear arms in
their own defence; to redress wrongs, and to remove grievances, were
deemed acts of the highest prowess and merit. Valour, humanity,
courtesy, justice, honour, were the characteristic qualities of
chivalry. To these was added religion, which mingled itself with every
passion and institution during the Middle Ages, and, by infusing a large
proportion of enthusiastic zeal, gave them such force as carried them
to romantic excess. Men were trained to knighthood by a long previous
discipline; they were admitted into the order by solemnities no less
devout than pompous; every person of noble birth courted that honour; it
was deemed a distinction superior to royalty; and monarchs were proud to
receive it from the hands of private gentlemen.
This singular institution, in which valour, gallantry, and religion,
were so strangely blended, was wonderfully adapted to the taste and
genius of martial nobles; and its effects were soon visible in their
manners. War was carried on with less ferocity, when humanity came to be
deemed the ornament of knighthood no less than courage. More gentle and
polished manners were introduced, when courtesy was recommended as the
most amiable of knightly virtues. Violence and oppression decreased,
when it was reckoned meritorious to check and to punish them. A
scrupulous adherence to truth, with the most religious attention to
fulfil every engagement, became the distinguishing characteristic of a
gentleman, because chivalry was regarded as the school of honour, and
inculcated the most delicate sensibility with respect to those points.
The admiration of these qualities, together with the high distinctions
and prerogatives conferred on knighthood in every part of Europe,
inspired persons of noble birth on some occasions with a species of
military fanaticism, and led them to extravagant enterprises. But they
deeply imprinted on their minds the principles of generosity and honour.
These were strengthened by everything that can affect the senses or
touch the heart. The wild exploits of those romantic knights who sallied
forth in quest of adventures are well known, and have been treated with
proper ridicule. The political and permanent effects of the spirit of
chivalry have been less observed. Perhaps the humanity which accompanies
all the operations of war, the refinements of gallantry, and the point
of honour, the three chief circumstances which distinguished modern from
ancient manners, may be ascribed in a great measure to this institution,
which has appeared whimsical to superficial observers, but by its
effects has proved of great benefit to mankind. The sentiments which
chivalry inspired had a wonderful influence on manners and conduct
during the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries.
They were so deeply rooted, that they continued to operate after the
vigour and reputation of the institution itself began to decline. Some
considerable transactions recorded in the following history resemble
the adventurous exploits of chivalry, rather than the well-regulated
operations of sound policy. Some of the most eminent personages, whose
characters will be delineated, were strongly tinctured with this
romantic spirit. Francis I. was ambitious to distinguish himself by all
the qualities of an accomplished knight, and endeavoured to imitate the
enterprising genius of chivalry in war, as well as its pomp and courtesy
during peace. The fame which the French monarch acquired by these
splendid actions, so far dazzled his more temperate rival, that he
departed on some occasions from his usual prudence and moderation, and
emulated Francis in deeds of prowess or of gallantry.
The progress of science and the cultivation of literature had
considerable effect in changing the manners of the European nations,
and introducing that civility and refinement by which they are now
distinguished. At the time when their empire was overturned, the
Romans, though they had lost that correct taste which has rendered the
productions of their ancestors standards of excellence, and models of
imitation for succeeding ages, still preserved their love of letters,
and cultivated the arts with great ardour. But rude barbarians were
so far from being struck with any admiration of these unknown
accomplishments, that they despised them. They were not arrived at that
state of society, when those faculties of the human mind which have
beauty and elegance for their objects begin to unfold themselves. They
were strangers to most of those wants and desires which are the parents
of ingenious invention; and as they did not comprehend either the merit
or utility of the Roman arts, they destroyed the monuments of them, with
an industry not inferior to that with which their posterity have since
studied to preserve or to recover them. The convulsions occasioned by
the settlement of so many unpolished tribes in the empire; the frequent
as well as violent revolutions in every kingdom which they established;
together with the interior defects in the form of government which they
introduced, banished security and leisure. They prevented the growth
of taste, or the culture of science, and kept Europe, during several
centuries, in that state of ignorance which has been already described.
But the events and institutions which I have enumerated produced great
alterations in society. As soon as their operation, in restoring liberty
and independence to one part of the community, began to be felt; as soon
as they began to communicate to all the members of society some taste
of the advantages arising from commerce, from public order, and from
personal security, the human mind became conscious of powers which it
did not formerly perceive, and fond of occupations or pursuits of which
it was formerly incapable. Towards the beginning of the twelfth century,
we discern the first symptoms of its awakening from that lethargy in
which it had been long sunk, and observe it turning with curiosity and
attention towards new objects.
[Notes: _Francis I_. (1494-1547). King of France; the contemporary of
Henry VIII. and of Charles V., Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The
constant rivalry and ever recurring wars between Francis and the latter,
occupy a great part of European history during the first half of the
_His more temperate rival, i.e.,_ Charles V.
_At the time when their empire was overturned, the_ _Romans, &c._ In 410
A.D., by the incursions of the Goths.]
* * * * *
(AN ODE FOR MUSIC.)
When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Thronged around her magic cell,
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possessed beyond the Muse's painting:
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined,--
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round
They snatched her instruments of sound;
And, as they oft had heard, apart,
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each, for Madness ruled the hour,
Would prove his own expressive power.
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewildered laid,
And back recoiled, he knew not why,
E'en at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rushed: his eyes on fire,
In lightnings owned his secret stings;
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