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HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL EXTRACTS.
with the qualities that we love, not with the talents that we admire; she was an agreeable woman rather than an illustrious queen. The vivacity of her spirit, not suf ficiently tempered with sound judgment, and the warmth of her heart, which was not at all times under the restraint of discretion, betrayed her both into errors and into crimes. To say that she was always unfortunate, will not account for that long and almost uninterrupted succession of calamities which befel her; we must likewise add, that she was often imprudent. Her passion for Darnley was rash, youthful, and excessive. And though the sudden transition to the opposite extreme was the natural effect of her ill-requited love, and of his ingratitude, insolence, and brutality; yet neither these, nor Bothwell's artful addresses and important services, can justify her attachments to that nobleman. Even the manners of the age, licentious as they were, are no apology for this unhappy passion; nor can they induce us to look on that tragical and infamous scene which followed it, with less abhorrence. Humanity will draw a veil over this part of her character, which it cannot approve, and may, perhaps, prompt some to impute her actions to her situation, more than to her disposition; and to lament the unhappiness of the former, rather than accuse the perverseness of the latter. Mary's sufferings exceed, both in degree and in duration, those tragical distresses which fancy has feigned to excite sorrow and commiseration; and while we survey them, we are apt altogether to forget her frailties, we think of her faults with less indignation, and approve of our tears, as if they were shed for a person who had attained much nearer to pure virtue. No man, says Brantome, ever beheld her person without admiration and love, or will read her history without sorrow. Robertson.
1.-Reyno and Alpin.
Reyno. THE wind and rain are over. Calm is the noon of day. The clouds are divided in heaven. Over the green hill, flies the inconstant sun. Red, through the stony vale, comes down the stream of the hill. Sweet are thy murmurs, O stream! but more sweet is the voice I hear.-It is the voice of Alpin, the son of song, mourning for the dead.-Bent is his head of age, and red his tearful eye-Alpin, thou son of song, why alone on the silent hill? Why complainest thou as a blast in the wood-as a wave on the lonely shore?
Alpin. My tears, O Reyno! are for the dead-my voice for the inhabitants of the grave. Tall thou art on the hill-fair among the sons of the plain. But thou shalt fall like Morar; and the mourner shall sit on thy tomb. The hills shall know thee no more. Thy bow shall lie in the hall unstrung.Thou wert swift, O Morar! as a roe on the hill-terrible as a meteor of fire. -Thy wrath was as the storm-thy sword, in battle, as lightning in the field.Thy voice was like a stream after rain-like thunder on distant hills.Many fell by thy arm-they were consumed in the flames of thy wrath. But when thou didst return from war, how peaceful was thy brow! Thy face was like the sun after rain-like the moon in the silence of night-calm as the breast of the lake, when the loud wind is hushed into repose.Narrow is thy dwelling now-dark the place of thine abode. With three steps I compass thy grave, O thou who wast so great before! Four stones, with their heads of moss, are the only memorial of thee. A tree, with searce a leaf-long grass whistling in the wind-mark to the hunter's eye, the grave of the mighty Morar.-Morar! thou art low indeed: thou hast no mother to mourn thee; no maid with her tears of love: dead is she that brought thee forth; fallen is the daugh
ter of Morglan.-Who, on his staff, is this? who this, whose head is white with age, whose eyes are galled with tears, who quakes at every step?It is thy father, O Morar! the father of no son, but thee.Weep, thou father of Morar! weep; but thy son heareth thee not. Deep is the sleep of the dead-low their pillow of dust. No more shall he hear thy voice-no more awake at thy call.- When shall it be morn in the grave, to bid the slumberer awake?-Farewell! thou bravest of men: thou conqueror in the field: but the field shall see thee no more; nor the gloomy wood be lightened with the splendour of thy steel.- -Thou hast left no son-but the song shall preserve thy name.
2.-On Military Glory.
"You will grant me, however," interposed Tiberius, "that there are refined and sensible delights, in their nature proper for the gratification of a monarch, which are always sure to give rational enjoyment without the danger of disgusting by repetition ?""As for instance ?" says Belisarius.-The love of glory, for instance," replied the "But what sort of glory ?"young man."Why, of all the various classes of glory, renown in arms must hold the foremost place."-"Very well; that is your position and do you think the pleasure that springs from conquest has a sincere and lasting charm in it? Alas! when millions are stretched in mangled heaps upon the field of battle, can the mind in that situation taste of joy? I can make allowance for those who have met danger in all its shapes; they may be permitted to congratulate themselves, that they have escaped with their lives; but in the case of a king born with sensibility of heart, the day that spills a deluge of human blood, and bids the tears of natural affection flow in rivers round the land, that cannot be a day of true enjoyment. I have more than once traversed over a field of battle; I would have been glad to have seen a Nero in my place; the tears of humanity must have burst from him. I know there are princes who take the
pleasure of a campaign, as they do that of hunting, and who send forth their people to the fray, as they let slip their dogs; but the rage of conquest is like the unrelenting temper of avarice, which torments itself, and is to the last insatiable. A province has been invaded; it has been subdued; it lies contiguous to another not yet attempted: desire begins to kindle; invasion happens after invasion; ambition irritates itself to new projects, till at length comes a reverse of fortune, which exceeds, in the mortification it brings, all the pride and joy of former victories. But to give things every flattering appearance, let us suppose a train of uninterrupted success: yet, even in that case, the conqueror pushes forward, like another Alexander, to the limits of the world, and then, like him, remeasures back his course, fatigued with triumphs, a burden to himself and mankind, at a loss what to do with the immense tracts which he has depopulated, and melancholy with the reflection that an acre of his conquests would suffice to maintain him, and a little pit-hole to hide his remains from the world. In my youth I saw the sepulchre of Cyrus; a stone bore this inscription: "I am Cyrus, he who subdued the Persian empire. Friend, whoever thou art, or whereever thy native country, envy me not the scanty space that covers my clay-cold ashes." Alas! said I, turning aside from the mournful epitaph, "is it worth while to be a conqueror !"
Tiberius interrupted him with astonishment; "Can these be the sentiments of Belisarius ?"-" Yes, young man, thus thinks Belisarius: he is able to decide upon the subject. Of all the plagues which the pride of man has engendered, the rage of conquest is the most destructive." Marmontel.
3.-The Dead Ass.
AND this, said he, putting the remains of a crust into his wallet and this should have been thy portion, said he, hadst thou been alive to have shared it with me. I thought by the accent, it had been an apostrophe to his child; but it was to his ass, and to the very ass we
had seen dead on the road, which had occasioned La Fleur's misadventure. The man seemed to lament it much; and it instantly brought into my mind Sancho's lamentation for his; but he did it with more true touches of nature.
The mourner was sitting upon a stone bench at the door, with the ass's pannel and its bridle on one side, which he took up from time to time-then laid them down-looked at them, and shook his head. He then took his crust of bread out of his wallet again, as if to eat it; held it some time in his hand-then laid it upon the bit of his ass's bridle-looked wistfully at the little arrangement he had made-and then gave a sigh.
The simplicity of his grief drew numbers about him, and La Fleur among the rest, while the horses were getting ready; as I continued sitting in the post-chaise, I could see and hear over their heads.
He said he had come last from Spain, where he had been from the furthest borders of Franconia; and had got so far on his return home, when his ass died. Every one seemed desirous to know, what business could have taken so old and poor a man so far a journey from his own home.
It had pleased Heaven, he said, to bless him with three sons, the finest lads in all Germany; but having in one week lost two of them by the small-pox, and the youngest falling ill of the same distemper, he was afraid of being bereft of them all, and made a vow, if Heaven would not take him from him also he would go in gratitude to St Iago in Spain.
When the mourner got thus far in his story, he stopped to pay nature her tribute and wept bitterly.
He said Heaven had accepted the conditions; and that he had set out from his cottage with this poor ture, who had been a patient partner of his journeythat it had eaten the same bread with him all the way, and was unto him as a friend.
Every body who stood about, heard the poor fellow with concern-La Fleur offered him money-The mourner said he did not want it-it was not the value of the ass-but the loss of him.-The ass, he said, he