صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Oh! had I come one moment sooner!-it bleeds to death --his gentle heart bleeds with it.

Peace to thee, generous swain! I see thou walkeft off with anguish--but thy joys fhall balance it; for happy is thy cottage, and happy is the harer of it, and happy are the lambs which sport about you.

STERNES

CHAP. II.
LIBERTY AND SLAVERY.

Disguise thyself as thou wilt, fill, Slavery ! ftill thou art a bitter draught; and though thousands in all ages have been made to drink of thee, thou art no less bitter on that account. It is thou, LIBERTY! thrice sweet and gracious goddess, whom all in public or in private worship, whose taste is grateful, and ever will be so, till Nature herfelf fhall change mano tint of words can spot thy snowy mantle, or chymic power turn thy fceptro into iron with thee to fmile upon him as he eats his crust, the fwain is happier than his monarch, from whofe court thou art exiled. Gracious Heaven! grant me but health, thou great Beftower of it, and give me but this fair goddess as my companion; and shower down thy mitres, if it seems good unto thy divine providence, upon those heads which are aching for them.

PURSUING: these ideas, I sat down clofe by my table, and leaning my head upon my hand; I began to figure to: myself the miseries of confinement. I was in a right frame for it, and fo I gave full scope to my imagination. I was going to begin with the millions of ту.

fellow. creatures born to no inheritance' but slavery; but finding, however affecting the picture was, that I could not bring it nearer me, and that he multitude of sad groups in it did but distract me I took a single captive, and having first fut him up

in

[ocr errors]

in his dungeon, I then looked through the twilight of his grated door to take his picture.

I Beheld his body half wasted away with long expectation and confinement, and felt what kind of sicknefs of the heart it was which arises from hope deferred. Upon 'looking nearer, I saw him pale and feverish: in thirty years the wettern breeze had not once fanned his blood-he bad seen no fun, no moon, in all that time-nor had the voice of friend or kinfinan breathed through his lattice. His children

Bur here my heart began to bleed—and I was forced to go on with another part of the portrait.

He was fitting upon the ground upon a little straw, in the furtheft corner of his dungeon, which was alternately his chair and bed: a little calendar of small sticks was laid at the head, notched all over with the dismal days and nights he had passed there-he had one of these little sticks in his hand and with a rusty nail he was etching another day of mifery to add to the heap. As I darkened the little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door, then caft it down-hook his head, and went on with his. work of affliion. I heard his chains upon his legs as he turned his body to lay his little stick upon the bundle-He gave a deep figh-I saw the iron enter into his foul-I burst into tears - I could not sustain the picture of confine. ment which my fancy had drawna

STERNE,

CHAP. III.
CORPORAL TRIM'S ELOQUENCE.
-M,

young master in London is dead, faid Oba diah

- Here is fad news, Trim, cried Susannah, wiping her eyes as Trim stepped into the kitchen-mafter Bobby is dead. I LAMENT for him from my heart and my soul, said L6

Trim,

Trim, fetching a figh-poor creature !--poor boy!--poor gentleman!

He was alive laft Whitfuntide, faid the coachmap. Whitfuntide ! alas! cried Trim, extending his right arm, and falling instantly into the fame attitude in which he read the fermon, what is Whitsuntide, Jonathan, (for that was the coachman's name,) or Shroveride, or any tide or time past, to this ? Are we not here now, continued the corporal (ftriking the end of his stick perpendicularly upon the floor, so as to give an idea of health and stability), and are we not (dropping his hat upon the ground) gone! in a moment !-It was infinitely striking! Sasannah burt into a flood of tears We are not stocks and stones-Jonathan, Obadiah, the cook-maid, all melted. The foolish fat scullion herself, who was fcouring a. fifh kettle upon

her knees, was roused with it. The whole kitchen crowded about the corporal.

Are we not here now,--and gone in a moment." There was nothing in the sentence- it was one of your felf-evident truths we have the advantage of hearing every day; and if Trim had not trusted more to his hat than his head, he had made nothing at all of it..

Are we not here now, continued the corporal, and are we not” (dropping his hat plump upon the ground and paosing before he pronounced the word) “ gone! in a moment?” The defont of the hat was as if a heavy lump of elay had been kneaded into the crown of it:- Nothing could have expressed the sentiment of mortality, of which it was the type and forerunner, like it; his hand seemed to vanish from under it, it fell dead, the corporal's eye fixed upon it as upon a corpse, -and Susannah burcht into a flood of teass.

STERNE.
CHAP. IV.

THE MAN OF ROSS.
All our praises why should Lords engrofs ?
Rise, bomed Mufe ! and ling the Man or Ross :

Pleas'd

Pleas'd Vaga echoes through her winding bounds,
And rapid Severn hoarse applause resounds.
Who hung with woods yon mountain's sultry brow?
From the dry rock who bade the waters flow?
Not to the skies in useless columns cost,
Or in proud falls magnificently lost,
But clear and artless, pouring through the plain
Health to the sick, and folace to the swain.
Whose causeway parts the vale with shady rows?
Whose seats the weary traveller repose ?
Who taught that Heav'n-directed spire to rise ?
“ The Man of Ross,” each lisping babe replies.
Behold the market place with poor o'erspread!
The Man of Ross divides the weekly bread:
He feeds yon almlhouse, neat, but void of state,'
Where age and want sit smiling at the gate :
Him portion'd maids, apprentic'd orphans bless,
The
young

who labour, and the old who rest.
Is
any

fick? The Man of Ross relieves,
Prescribes, attends, the med'cine makes, and gives.
Is there a variance ? Enter but his door,
Balk'd are the courts, and contest is no more.
Despairing quacks with curses fled the place,
And vile attornies, now a useless race.
Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue
What all so wish, but want the power to do!
O say! what sums that gen'rous hand supply?
What mines, to swell that boundless charity ?

Of debts and taxes, wife and children clear,
This man poffefs'd-five hundred pounds a year.
Blush Grandeur, blush! proud Courts withdraw your blaze !
Ye little stars! hide

your
diminish'd

rays.
And what! no monument, inscription, stone ?
His race, his form, his name almoft unknown!

Who

Who builds a Church to God, and not to Fame, Will never mark the marble with his Name: Go fearch it there, where to be born and die; Of rich and poor makes all the hiftory ; Enough, that virtue fill'd the space between ; Prov'd, by the ends of being, to have been Pope.

CHAP. V. THE COUNTRY CLERGYMAN. Near yonder copfe, where once the garden Smiled, . And still where many a garden flow'r grows wild ; 7 here, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, 'The village preacher's modest manfion rose. A man he was, to all the country dear, And paffing rich with forty pounds a year; Remote from towns he ran his godly race, Nor e'er had chang'd, nor wish'd to change his place; Unpractis'a he to fawn, or seek for pow'r, By doctrines falhion'd to the varying hour; Far other aims his heart had learn’d to prize, More fkill'd to raife the wretched than to rise. His house was known to all the vagrant train, He chid their wand'rings, but reliev'd their pain ; The long remember'd beggar was his gueit, Whose beard descending swept his aged breaft: The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud, Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd: The broken foldier, kindly bade to stay, Sate by his fire, and talk'd the night away ;. Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done, Shoulder'a his crutch, and show'd how fields were won. Pleas'd with his guests, the good man learn'd to glow, And quite forgot their vices in their woe; Careless their merits, or their faults to scan, His pity gave ere charity began.

Thos

« السابقةمتابعة »