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cable office. But the cabinet council of English creditors would not suffer their Nabob of Arcot to sign the treaty, nor even to give to a prince', at least his equal, the ordinary titles of respect, and courtesy. I From that time forward, a continued plot' was carried on within the divan, | black, and white, of the Nabob of Arcot', | for the destruction of this Hyder Ali. | As to the outward members of the double, or rather treble government of Madras, which had signed the treaty, they were always prevented by some overruling influence | (which they do not describe, but which cannot be misunderstood) | from performing what justice, and interest | combined so evidently to enforce. |
When at length Hyder Ali | found that he had to do with men, who either would sign no convention, | or whom no treaty, and no signature could bind, and who were the determined enemies of human intercourse itself, he decreed to make the country possessed by these incorrigible, and predestinated criminals, | a memorable example to mankind. He resolved, in the gloomy recesses of a mind, capacious of such things, | to leave the whole Carnatic | an everlasting monument of vengeance, and to put perpetual desolation, | as a barrier between him, and those | against whom, the faith which holds the moral elements of the world together, was no protection.
He became at length | so confident of his force, and so collected in his might, | that he made no secret whatever of his dreadful resolution. | Having terminated his disputes with every enemy, and every rival, who buried their mutual animosities in their common interest against the creditors of the Nabob of Arcot, he drew from every quarter, whatever a savage ferocity | could add to his new rudiments in the art of destruction; and, compounding all the materials of fury, | hav'oc, and desola'tion, | into one black cloud, he hung for a while on the declivities of the mountains. Whilst the authors of all these evils, were idly, and stupidly
gazing on this menacing meteor | (which blackened all the horizon) it suddenly burst, and poured down the whole of its contents | upon the plains of the Carnatic. |
Then ensued a scene of wo; | the like of which no eye had seen, nor heart conceived, and which no tongue can adequately tell. All the horrors of war, before known, or heard of, were mercy to that new havoc. A storm of universal fire', blasted every field, consumed every house, and destroyed every temple. The miserable inhabitants, flying from their flaming villages, | in part, were slaughtered; others, | without regard to sex', to age', to rank', or sacredness of function- fathers torn from their children, | husbands, from wives, | enveloped in a whirlwind of cav'alry, and amidst the goading spears of drivers, and the trampling of pursuing hor'ses, were swept into captivity in an unknown, and hostile land. Those who were able to evade this tempest, | fled to the walled cities; but escaping from fire', sword', and exile, they fell into the jaws of famine. |
For eighteen months', without intermission, this destruction raged from the gates of Madras to the gates of Tanjore,; and so completely did these masters in their art, Hyder Ali, and his more ferocious son, absolve themselves of their impious vow, that, when the British armies traversed, as they did, the Carnatic for hundreds of miles in all directions, through the whole line of their march, they did not see one man, not one woman', not one child, not one fourfooted beast of any description whatever. One dead, uniform silence | reigned over the whole region. |
I had a dream | which was not all' a dream
Rayless, and path less; and the icy earth |
Swung blind and black'ning in the moonless air. |
And they did live by watch'-fires; and the thrones,
The brows of men, by the despairing light, |
The wild birds shriek'd, | And, terrified, I did flutter on the ground, | And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes' | Came tame, and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd, | And twin'd themselves among the multitude, | Hissing, but sting less. They were slain for food; | And war, which, for a moment, was no more, |
Did glut' himself again: | a meal was bought
No love' was left; | All earth was but one thought; and that was death, | Immediate, and inglo'rious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all en trails. | Men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh; |
The crowd was famish'd by degrees. ; but two'
Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things |
And, shivering, scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands, |
Which was a mockery. Then they lifted up
The world was void; | The populous, and the powerful was* a lump, |
*Some, being anxious to correct what is already right, have substituted were for was.
Seasonless, herb.less, tree less, | man'less, | life less
Of aid from them,
Lucius, Sempronius, and Senators.
Semp. Rome still survives in this assembl'd sen ate! | Let us remember we are Ca'to's friends, | And act like men who claim that glorious title. | Luc. Cato will soon be here, and open to us The occasion of our meeting. Hark! he comes ! | May all the guardian gods of Rome direct him! | [Enter CATO.]
[Flourish of Trumpets.
Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in council— | Cæsar's approach has summon'd us together; | And Rome attends her fate from our resolves. | How shall we treat this bold aspiring man? | Success still follows him, and backs his crimes、: | Pharsalia gave him Rome'; | Egypt has since Receiv'd his yoke; and the whole Nile' is Cæsar's. I Why should I mention Juba's overthrow, | And Scipio's death? | Numidia's burning sands Still smoke with blood. | 'Tis time we should decree What course to take. Our foe advan'ces on us, | And envies us e'en Libya's sultry deserts.