Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

the miseries of confinement. I was in a right frame for it, and so I gave full scope to my imagination.

I was going to begin with the millions of my fellowcreatures born to no inheritance but slavery ; but finding, however affecting the picture was, that I could not bring it nearer me, and that the multitude of sad groups in it did but distract me

- took a single captive, and having first shut him up 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 fickness of the heart it was which arises from hope deferred. Upon looking nearer I saw him pale and feverish : in thirty years the western breeze had not once fanned his blood he had seen no fun, no moon in all that time-nor had the voice of friend or kinsınan breathed throngh his lattice. His children

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

He was sitting 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 were 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 ruity nail he was etching another day of misery to add to the heap. As I darkened the little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door, then cast it down-hook his head, and went on with his work of affliction. I heard his chains upon his legs, as he turned his body to lay his little stick upon the bundle--He gave a deep figliad saw the iron enter into his soul-I burst into

teai's

tears~ I could not sustain the picture of confinement which my fancy had drawn.

STERNE.

CH A P. III.

CORPORAL TRIM's ELOQUENCE.

-My young master in London is dead, faid

--Here is fad news, Trim, cried Susannah, wiping her eyes as Trim stepped into the kitchen,-master Bobby is dead.

I LAMENT for him from my heart and my foul, said Trim, fetching a figh-poor creature ;-poor boy ?--poor gentleman !

He was alive laft Whitsuntide, said the coachman. Whitsuntide ! alas ! cried Trim, extending his right arm, and falling instantly into the same attitude in which he read the fermon, what is whitsuntide, Jonathan, (for that was the coachman's name) or Shrovetide, or any tide or time past, to this ? Are we not here now, continued the corporal, (striking the end of his stick perpendicular 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 ! Susannah burst 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 scouring a fish-kettle upon her knees, was roused with it. The whole kitchen crouded about the corporal.

Are we not here now,—and gone in a moment ?". - There was nothing in the sentence mit was ont of your M6

fert

Telf-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 fupon the ground-and

pausing, before he pronounced the word) gone ! in a “ moment ?” The descent of the hat was as it a heavy lump of clay had been kneaded into the crown of it.-Nothing could have expresfed 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 burft into a flood of tears,

STERNE,

CH A P.

IV.

THE MAN OF ROS S.

LL our. praises why should Lords engrofs ?

A Rossi

Pleas’d Vaga echoes through her wir. ling bounds,
And rapid Severn hoarse applause resounds.
Who hung with woods yon mountain's fultry brow?
From the dry rock who bade the waters flow?
Not to the skies in useless columns toft,
Or in proud falls magnificently lost,
But clear and artless, pouring through the plain
Health to the sick, and solace 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 lifping babe replies.

Behold

Behold the market-place with poor o'erspread !
The Man of Ross divides the weekly bread :
He feeds yon alms-house, neat, but void of state,
Where

age

and want fit smiling at the gate :
Him portion'd maids, apprentic'd orphans bleft,
"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 conceft 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!
Oh 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 diminishid

rays.
And what ! no monument, infcription, stone ?,
His race, his form, his name almost unknown!
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 history ;
Enough, that Virtue fill'd the space between ;
Prov'd by the ends of being to have been,

POPE.

СНАР,

CHA P. V.

THE COUNTRY CLERGYMAN.

NEAR yonder copse, where once the garden smil’d,

And still where many a garden flower grows

wild
There, 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 passing 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'd he to fawn, or seek for power,
By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learn’d to prize,
More skill'd to raise the wretched than to rise.
His house was known to all the vagrant train,
He chid their wanderings, but reliev'd their pain,
The long remember'd beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending {wcpt lis aged breast ;
The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claim’d kindred there, and had his claim's allow'd ;
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay ;
Sate by the fire, and talk'd the night away;
Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of forrow done,
Shoulder'd his crutch, and show'd how fields were won,
Pleas'd with his grefli, 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.

Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
And even luis failings lean'd to Virtue's fide ;

But

!

« AnteriorContinuar »