The Percy Anecdotes:
'He who sincerely loves his country, leaves the
fragrance of a good name to a hundred ages.'
PEKIN GAZETTE, NOV. 13, 1814.
Love of Country
The States-General of Former Times.
A Hottentot Boy
Greenlanders in Denmark
Liberation of Drontheim
A Good Counsellor
Earl of Stair
Sir George Rooke
Sir Henry Vane
Origin of the Order of Christian Charity
Something Better than Power
Liberty of Conscience
Keys of Paris
Emperor of Russia
Destruction of Frederikshald
Eustace St. Pierre
Siege of Copenhagen
Lord William Russell
Singular Oath of Allegiance
Julian the Apostate
Chief Justice Rebuked
Siege of Orleans by the Huns
Sir John Spencer
Mr. Bayly of Epsom
Loyal Subscriptions of 1745
The Rat in the Statue
Sir Jerome Bowes
Alexander, the Roman Emperor
Lorenzo de Medici
Republic of San Marino
The Smallest Republic
Freedom of the Press
Grand Duchess of Weimar
Earl of Chatham
The Patriotic Brothers
Siege of Novogorod
The Earl of Effingham
Duke of Bedford
The De Witts
Empress Maria Theresa
Scottish Loyalty in the American War
WHEN Pericles, the noble Athenian, was on his death bed, and the chief citizens were about him rehearsing his illustrious services to the republic, and the virtues that in him were so conspicuous: Pericles, whom they supposed speechless and insensible, overheard, and thus addressed them: 'I wonder that you should so honourably mention those achievements that are common to other generals, and which fortune claims a share in; and yet omit what I value above them all, viz., that in the whole exercise of my authority in turbulent times, and when I had many great enemies yet I never gave any of my fellow citizens cause to put on mourning, either for themselves or any of their relatives.'
Love of Country.
Patriotism, or the love of country, is so general, that no spot, even were it a desert, but is remembered with pleasure, provided it is our own. The Cretans called it by a name which indicated a mother's love for her children. The Ethiopian imagines that God made his sands and deserts, while angels only were employed in forming the rest of the globe. The Arabian tribe of Ouadelin conceive that the sun, moon, and stars rise only for them. The Maltese, insulated on a rock, distinguish their island by the appellation of 'The Flower of the World;' and the Caribbees esteem their country a Paradise, and themselves alone entitled to the name of man.
The Abbe de Lille relates of an Indian who, amid the splendour of Paris, beholding a banana tree in the Jardin des Plantes, bathed it with his tears, and for a moment seemed to be transported to his own land. And when an European advised some American Indians to emigrate to another district, 'What!' said they, 'shall we say to the bones of our fathers: arise, and follow us to a foreign country!'
Bosman relates, that the negroes of the gold coast of Africa are so desirous of being, buried in their own country that if a man die at some distance from it, and his friends are not able to take his entire body to his native spot they cut off his head, one arm, and one leg; cleanse them, boil them, and then carry them to the desired spot, where they inter them with great solemnity. And the Javanese have such an affection for the place of their nativity, that no advantages can induce the agricultural tribes in particular, to quit the tombs of their fathers.
The Norwegians, proud of their barren summits, inscribe upon their rix dollars 'spirit, loyalty, valour, and whatever is honourable, let the world learn among the rocks of Norway.'
The deputies of Philip, King of Macedon, offered a great sum of money in that prince's name to Phocion the Athenian, and entreated him to accept it, if not for himself, at least for his children, who were in circumstances that prevented them from supporting the glory of his name. 'If they resemble me,' said Phocion, 'the little spot of ground, on the produce of which I have hitherto lived, and which has raised me to the glory you mention, will be sufficient to maintain them.' Alexander, the son of Philip, afterwards sent him a hundred talents. Phocion enquired what design Alexander had in sending him so large a sum, when he did not remit anything to the rest of the Athenians? 'It is,' said they 'because Alexander looks upon you as the most just and virtuous man.' 'Let him,' replied Phocion, 'suffer me still to enjoy that character, and to deserve it.'
When Fabius Maximus was created Dictator, it was for the purpose of more effectually carrying on the war against Hannibal, who was gaining great advantages over the Romans at the head of his victorious troops in Italy. These advantages having been owing to the rash and impetuous conduct of some of those generals who had preceded Fabius in this important command, he was induced both from the general coolness of his temper and from the particular circumstances of the campaign, to act a more circumspect part, by prudently avoiding a general engagement.
This drew upon him much unjust censure, not only from his enemies at Rome, but from the soldiers of his army, both parties imputing his judicious conduct to a principle of cowardice. The noble answer he returned when these calumnies were reported of him, well deserves to be remembered. 'I should be a coward, indeed,' replied this brave and experienced captain, 'if I were to be terrified into a change of measures by groundless clamours and reproaches. That man,' added he, 'is unfit to be at the head of an army, who is capable of being influenced by the calumnies or caprice of those whom he is appointed to command.'
Neither bribes nor promises could gain Epaminondas from the interests of his country, nor would threatenings or danger make him betray its honour. It was this noble ardour for his country, that made him go and fight for it as a private sentinel, when his ungrateful countrymen had been induced, by the prevailing faction, to strip him of all his posts.
The Persians knowing of what consequence it would be to bring Epaminondas over to their interest, spared no means to effect it; but were so far from succeeding, that he gave them a very mortifying repulse. Diomedon of Cyzicus, in particular, had been sent to offer him a large sum of money, and had even gained over a favourite of his, named Micythus. Epaminondas rejected the offer with the scorn and indignation of a true patriot, saying, that he would never set the wealth of the whole world in competition with the interest of his country. 'It is plain,' said he to the Persian agent, 'that you do not know me: but let me advise you to make the best of your way home, before you attempt to corrupt another Theban.'
The behaviour of Epaminondas to Jason was still more noble. Jason had gone to Thebes to negotiate a peace; and as he did not doubt that Epaminondas's narrow circumstances would induce him to accept some present, he tried to gain his friendship by one so valuable, that it was not likely to be refused by an indigent person. 'This attempt to corrupt me,' said Epaminondas, refusing the bribe, 'I resent as the greatest indignity that can be offered to me, and shall look upon it in no other view than as a declaration of war; and as I am born a member of this free state, I shall be so far from selling the freedom of voting to my fellow citizens, that I will maintain it with all my might.'
Theanor was soon after despatched to Thebes with presents from Arcesius. When the Thebans debated whether or not they should be accepted, Epaminondas boldly declared against it; and addressing himself to Theanor, said, 'Jason resented my rejecting the vast presents with which he designed to corrupt me; and I gave him such an answer as his attempt deserved. Your offers are indeed more honourable, and consistent with virtue, and as such we esteem them; but then they are like physic to a man in health. Were you, or any of our allies, who imagined us to be at war, and incapable of maintaining It, to send us a supply of men, arms, and provisions, do you expect we should accept of it, when you found us enjoying a profound peace? The case is much the same. Your generosity has made you look upon us as sinking under the poverty of our condition; whereas that very poverty, instead of being burthensome to us, we look upon as our greatest happiness, glory, and delight, and as the most welcome guest that can come within our walls. The philosophers who sent you here, in that, made the noblest use they could of their wealth, and you may assure them, that we highly commend and thank them for it; but tell them, at the same time, that we make the right use of our poverty.' Theanor, still desirous to engage him to accept something valuable from him, begged that he would take at least as much as would reimburse him for the charges which Polymnus, his father, had been at in the maintenance and funeral obsequies of his late preceptor, Lysis. Epaminondas replied, 'That Lysis had abundantly repaid him, in the pains he took to make him cherish the practice of poverty.' In vain did Theanor endeavour to make him sensible of the necessity of acquiring at least an honourable competency, it only gave the other an opportunity of displaying his talent in praise of his favourite notion of poverty, which he did with such forcible reasoning as left Theanor without reply.
When Lycurgus, by his institutes, had settled the form of the Spartan commonwealth, he declared he would go and consult the Oracle at Delphos, to know whether the system he had established was good for the people, and in the meantime he exacted a solemn oath from the Spartans that they should not alter any of these laws until he returned. The Oracle pronounced his institution beneficial to the public, of which he gave notice to the king, senate, and people of Sparta; and having done this, he went into a voluntary banishment, from which he would never return, that the Spartans might not be freed from the oath they had taken. Lycurgus died in Crete; and fearing the Spartans might carry his remains to Sparta, as a presence for making innovations or alterations in the government, he gave orders that, after his death, his body should be burnt and the ashes thrown into the sea.
When Herodotus, taking advantage of the domestic troubles at Rome, possessed himself of the capitol, the Consul Valerius Publicola repulsed him, but fell at the head of his troops. Another consul was now to be elected, and after much deliberation the choice fell on Cin cinnatus, in consequence of which the senate sent deputies to him to invite him to come and take possession of the magistracy. He was then at work in his field, and, being his own ploughman, he was dressed in a manner suitable to that profession. When he saw the deputies coming towards him, he stopped his oxen, very much surprised at seeing such a number of persons, and not knowing what they could want with him.
One of the company approached him and requested him to put on a more suitable dress. He went into his hut, and having put on other clothes, 'he presented himself to those who were waiting for him without doors. They immediately saluted him Consul, and invested him with the purple robe; the lictors ranged themselves before him ready to obey his orders, and begged him to follow them to Rome. Troubled at this sight, he for some time shed tears in silence. At last, recovering himself, he said only these words: 'My field will not be sown this year!' and then repaired to Rome
The conduct of Cincinnatus during his consulship fully showed what patriotism and greatness of soul had inhabited a poor wretched cottage. By the vigour and prudence of his measures, he appeased the tumult, and reinstated judiciary proceedings, which had been interrupted during many years. So peaceful a government could not fail of applause, and the people, in consequence, expressed their entire satisfaction with it. But what charmed them was that, upon the expiration of his term, he refused to be continued in office with no less constancy than he had pain at first in accepting it. The senate, in particular, forgot nothing that might induce him to comply with being continued in the consulship but all their entreaties and solicitations were to no purpose.
No sooner had this great man resigned his office than domestic troubles again embroiled the state, and the Roman state were forced to declare that the commonwealth required a dictator. Cincinnatus was immediately nominated to the office, and the deputies sent to announce it to him again found him at his plough. He, however, accepted the office, and a second time saved his country.
Cincinnatus afterwards received the honour of the most splendid triumph that ever adorned any general's success, for having in the space of sixteen days, during; which he had been invested with the dictatorship, saved the Roman camp from the most imminent danger; defeated and cut to pieces the army of the enemy; taken and plundered one of their finest cities, and left a garrison in it, and, lastly gratefully repaid the Tusculans, who had sent an army to their assistance.
Such were a few of the advantages which this great patriot rendered his country.
Sensible of their obligations, and desirous to convince him of their regard and gratitude, the senate made him an offer of as much of the land he had taken from the enemy as he should think proper to accept, with as many slaves and cattle as were necessary to stock it.
He returned them his thanks, but would accept of nothing but a crown of gold of a pound weight, decreed him by the army. He had no passion or desire beyond the field he cultivated and the laborious life he had embraced - more glorious and contented with his poverty than others with the empire of the world.
Ptolemy Philadelphus, King of Egypt having sent to desire the friendship of the Roman people, an embassy was despatched from Rome in the following year to return the civility. The ambassadors were Q. Fabius Gurges, Cn. Fabius Pictor, with Numerius, his brother; and Q. Ogulnius. The disinterested air with which they appeared sufficiently indicated the greatness of their souls. Ptolemy gave them a splendid entertainment, and took that opportunity to present each of them with a crown of gold, which they received because they were unwilling to disoblige him by declining the honour he intended them but they went the next morning and placed them on the heads of the king's statues erected in the public parts of the city. The king likewise having tendered them very considerable presents at their audience of leave, they received them as they before accepted of the crowns, but before they went to the senate to give an account of their embassy after their I arrival at Rome, they deposited all those presents in the public treasury, and made it evident, by so noble a conduct, that persons of honour ought, when they serve the public, to propose no other advantage to themselves than the honour of acquitting themselves well of their duty. The republic, howsoever, would not suffer itself to be exceeded in generosity of sentiment. The senate and people came to a resolution that the ambassadors, in consideration of the services they had rendered the state, should receive a sum of money equivalent to what they had deposited in the public treasury
When Pedaretus, the Spartan, missed the honour of being elected one of the three hundred who held a distinguished rank in the city, he went home extremely well satisfied, saying he was overjoyed to find that there were three hundred men in Sparta more honourable than himself.
In the year 1148, the Venedi having overrun the whole province of Wagraa, came before the little town of Susle, which at that juncture had not above an hundred men in it. The Venedi troops, consisting of three thousand men, set fire to all the avenues, and began to attack the place with the utmost fury; but perceiving by the brave resistance of the townsmen that they should pay dear for their conquest, they proposed a capitulation, and offered not to touch the lives or limbs of the inhabitants' on their laying down their arms and quitting this fortress.
The people in the town were eager to close with these conditions, when a priest, named Gerlau, thus harangued them. 'Countrymen, consider well the consequences of surrendering. Do you imagine such submission will Save your lives? That there is any faith in these barbarians? Can you be ignorant that of all foreigners, the Venedi hate the Frisians most? Our very name they hold m detestation. I conjure you, my friends, by the great Creator of the earth, who is able to protect us against any numbers, I conjure you to exert your strength, and renew your efforts. Whilst within this fence we are masters of our hands, masters of our weapons, and have hopes of saving our lives; but once disarmed, our fate will be an ignominious death. Take, then, your swords, which the enemy would fain get from you without fighting; drench therm in their blood; revenge your slaughtered friends and relations; give these strangers a sample of your courage, make them feel you are men, and determine to sell your lives as dear as possible'
These words he seconded with a suitable action, for, throwing open the gates, he rushed towards the enemy, laid numbers of them at his feet, and though he lost an eye, and was wounded in the body, continued fighting with indefatigable impetuosity; when the townsmen joined him, and repulsed the enemy, notwithstanding a vast superiority of numbers.
The mountains near Shiraz in Persia are desolate and dreary, yet so attached are the Persian shepherds to them, that when the British secretary of embassy was observing their height and sterility, one of them enquired with an air of exultation, whether his country could boast of anything like them? And when Mirza Abul Hassan, the Persian ambassador, was in England, he replied to an argument relative to the comparative beauty of England and Persia: 'It is true, we have not such fine houses, adorned with looking glasses, as you have; no carriages, nor are we rich; but we have better fruit, and we see the sun almost every day.'
Nothing could be more solemn or impressive than the manner in which Henry III, in the thirty-seventh year of his reign, ratified Magna Charta. The king, with all his nobles, the bishops, and chief prelates in their clerical robes and ornaments, with burning candles in their hands, assembled to hear the terrible sentence of excommunication pronounced against those who should infringe the great charter. The candles being lighted, the king gave his to a prelate, saying, 'It becomes not me, being no priest, to hold this candle, my heart shall be a greater testimony, and then laid his hand on his breast, while the sentence of excommunication was pronounced. This done, he caused the charter of King John, his father, to be openly read. Then having thrown away their candles, which lay smoking on the ground, they uttered a solemn curse against those who incurred the sentence; the king, with a loud voice, exclaiming, 'As God me help, I will, as I am a man, a Christian, a knight, a king, crowned and anointed, inviolably observe all these things.' The bells then rung, and the people shouted for joy.
Notwithstanding these solemn protestations, the king soon broke his oath; so that at a Parliament held at London, in the forty-second year of his reign, the baron) bound him to release them from their allegiance, whenever he infringed the charter.
The States-General of Former Times.
When Philip the Third, King of Spain sent his ambassador to treat with the states of Holland about their independance, he was shown into an ante-chamber, where he waited to see the members of the states pass by. He stayed for some time, and seeing none but a parcel of plain dressed men with bundles in their hands (which, as many came from distant provinces, contained their linen and provisions, he turned to his interpreter, and asked him when the states would come? The man replied, that those were the members whom he saw go by. The envoy, on this, wrote to the commanders-in-chief of the Spanish army, to advise the king, his master, to make peace as soon as possible. In his letter was this remarkable passage: 'I expected to have seen in the states a splendid appearance; but instead of that, I saw only a parcel of plain dressed men, with sensible faces, who came into council with their provisions in their hands. Their parsimony will ruin the king. my master, in the course of the war, if it be continued, for there is no contending with people, whose nobles can live upon a shilling a day, and will do everything for the service of the country' The king, struck with this account, agreed to treat with them as an independent state, and to put an end to the war.
When Bornholm was obliged to submit to the Swedes, on account of their superiority in the Baltic, Mr. Jens Koefod, and the Rev. Mr. Paul Anker, projected the resolute plan of throwing off the Swedish joke, and appointed for the accomplishment of their purpose, the day on which Prindsenkiold, the Swedish commander, was to pass from Fort Hammershuus to Hasle and Roenne, to collect the taxes. Mr. Koefod on horseback, with five followers, went in search of Prindsenkiold, whom he found at the house of the Burgomaster at Roenne. Mounting a guard before the door, Mr. Koefod, with his little party, entered the house, and declaring themselves to be Danes, ordered Prindsenkiold, as their enemy, to surrender on pain of death. The Swede obeyed; but having shortly afterwards attempted to escape, a musket shot arrested his progress.
Having thus commenced the glorious task of rescuing their country from a foreign yoke Mr. Koefod and one of his followers seized two horses belonging to Prindsenkiold, and rode from village to village to raise men. Citizens, clergy, end peasantry, crowded with arms to the churches, and the next morning made their appearance before Hammershuus; when the Swedes, dismayed by their formidable appearance, and the loss of their own leader, surrendered. The inhabitants then took possession of the country, confined their prisoners, and sent to Copenhagen for a commander-inchief; but no one arriving for some time, Mr. Jens Koefod, with the consent of his countrymen, assumed the office, and discharged it faithfully.
A Hottentot Boy.
A Hottentot boy, taken from his cradle, and bred up in the manners of the French Colonists, voyaged to India, where he engaged in the trade for many years. In the course of his mercantile transactions, he visited the Cape of Good Hope; and naturally desirous of seeing the spot in which he was born, as well as of visiting his relatives, he went to their huts. He there beheld them clad in sheer skins, and disfigured with oil; but after staying a short time with them, became so attached to the spot, and so charmed with the simplicity of their lives and manners, that he resolved to quit the society to which he had been accustomed, and to adopt the more barbarous language, manners, and habits of his relatives. With this view, he returned to the Cape, and obtaining an audience of the governor, thus addressed him: 'I have returned from the huts of my relatives, in order to inform you that I have resolved to renounce the mode of life you have taught me to embrace. I will follow the manners and religion of my ancestors, to the day of my death: I will keep this collar and sword which you have given me, as a mark of my affection: but all the rest of my habiliments and property I shall leave behind me.' Saving this, he ran out of the chamber, and was never seen or heard of after.
Greenlanders in Denmark.
In the historical introduction to a volume of Hans Egede, is related an account of several Greenlanders who were imported into Denmark. The king desired that particular attention might be paid to them. Milk, cheese, butter, raw flesh, and fish, were served up to them in abundance; and everything was done that was thought likely to captivate them, but nothing was able to divert their melancholy. Their country was ever uppermost in their minds; and they were observed continually to turn a wistful and desponding look towards the north. Three of them fell sick, and died; two pined away with regret; and one of them was observed frequently to shed tears, whenever he saw a child at the breast of its mother. They made several attempts to escape, but without success. At length one of them succeeded, and it is supposed was overwhelmed by the sea in his little boat, as he was never heard of afterwards
Tavo, the Archbishop of Lund, and Iver Axelsen, an opulent landholder in Schonen, had a very serious quarrel, which they were on the point of deciding by a duel, when Charles Knudsen, King of Sweden, unexpectedly invaded Schonen, at the time that no assistance could be obtained from Denmark, on account of the Sound being nearly covered with ice. The enemy ransacked the country, and advancing rapidly towards Lund, the capital, summoned the archbishop to surrender. Iver Axelsen, seeing his country in danger? instantly forgot all personal enmity in a wish to promote the public good; and calling upon the archbishop, he said, 'The common enemy is at our door, and we cannot hope for any relief from our king. Let us, therefore, now unite; our own dispute should await till a better opportunity presents itself. We will combine our counsel and our strength; the welfare of our country demands it from us. Endeavour to gain an armistice from Charles Kundsen, even if it is but for a few days; I will in the meantime collect as many troops as possible.'
The archbishop, who had bravely defended himself, and despised the threats of the invader, accepted the proposition of Iver Axelsen. They acted in concert against the enemy, and thereby became strong enough not only to check his progress, but even to repulse him.
When General Tilly, with a numerous army, was preparing to attack Holstein, Christian the Fourth summoned the states of his kingdom to attend at Rendsboorg, to concert measures for the defence of the realm. In this assembly, Geert Rantzau, Stadtholder of Holstein, rose, and in an eloquent speech urged the necessity of encountering the enemy before he had reached their frontiers. He recommended to the nobility to lead personally into the field as many troops as they should be able to collect, saying, 'Although I am now upwards of sixty-eight years old, and have very indifferent health, yet it is certainly my firm intention to march against the enemy, and I therefore trust to the patriotism and loyalty of my countrymen, who I doubt not will follow my example.'
The nobility encouraged by the patriotic ardour of the veteran, followed kits example, and Holstein was saved. When Rantzau died, he was attended to the grave by Christian the Fourth, who refused to mount a horse, richly caparisoned for his service' saying, 'Geert Rantzau often trudged on foot for our sakes, now let us walk for his.'
Liberation of Drontheim.
At the peace of Roeskilde, the diocese of Drontheim was ceded to Sweden, and taken possession of by Governor Stiernshild. The brave Norwegians, incensed that a haughty conqueror should rule over them, burned with ardour to emancipate themselves, but were restrained from attempting It, by a consideration that treaties should be held sacred.
But scarcely had Charles Gustavus sounded the tocsin of war, than the Norwegians, rushing from their mountains like a tremendous torrent, meditated a dreadful vengeance on their foes. Ten thousand men rose in arms, and took the road to Drontheim. When General Bielke, the commander-in-chief in Norway, heard of this event, he despatched General Reichwien to take the command of those heroes. The whole diocese of Drontheim declared against the Swedes, and eagerly rallied under the standard of Denmark.
This intelligence reaching Sweden, a body of troops was ordered to march to the support of Drontheim; but the Norwegian peasantry met them on their frontiers, and gave them such a reception, that all hopes of invading Norway were relinquished. Other bodies of peasantry marched against Drontheim, which, as well as the whole diocese, the Swedish governor found himself compelled to surrender.
The Emperor Vespasian laid his peremptory commands on a senator, to give his vote against the interests of his country, and threatened him with immediate death, in case 'he spoke the least word in favour of the other party. The intrepid patriot, conscious that through his prevailing influence there was a chance of saving the people of Rome from utter ruin, answered with a smile, 'Did I ever tell you I was immortal? my virtue is at my own disposal my life I know is at yours; do then what you will, I shall do what I ought: and if I fall in the service of my country, I shall have more triumph in my death, than you in all your laurels.'
Jacob Dannefaer, a young man who had served in the war of 1657 against Sweden, was among the number of Danes who were delivered up to Sweden in pursuance of the treaty of Roeskilde. He was, however, taken notice of by Admiral Vrangel, who forced him into his service. When the peace was suddenly broken by the Swedes, they invaded Zealand, laid siege to Copenhagen, and took Cronborg, where they found an immense booty. This they shipped in a vessel for Sweden; the crew were entirely Swedes, except Jacob Dannefaer and a few Danish peasants.
The tale of his country's sufferings, excited in Dannefaer a wish to render Denmark a service, however perilous the attempt. He consulted with his countrymen on board, and proposed that they should endeavour to seize the vessel; this was agreed upon, and in order to carry the project into execution, it was arranged, that as soon as a sufficient number of the crew should quit the deck, Dannefaer should attack the commander, while the peasants were to close the hatches. The wished-for moment arriving, Dannefaer ordered the captain to surrender, out finding himself resisted he ran him through the body. Dannefaer then turned to the mate, whom he commanded to steer for Copenhagen, and stood over him with a drawn sword, lest he might disobey his orders. The peasants had in the meantime, performed their part of the patriotic enterprise, and there being no further opposition, Dahnefaer carried the ship and treasure to Copenhagen, where it was of great service in enabling the king to prosecute the war to a successful issue.
'Great Boadicea, glory of thy race,
Britannia's honour, and thy foe's disgrace;
In burning fancy I behold each fight
Where female velour warr'd for Albion's right;
Thy very fall perpetuates thy fame,
And Suetonius' laurels droop with shame.'
Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni, who had been insulted in her person and in her family, took advantage of the absence of Suetonius, when he invaded Anglesey, to become the principal mover of a most formidable revolt, in order to revenge her own wrongs, and the grievous oppression of the people under the Roman yoke. Three Roman stations were soon laid in ashes, and upwards of seventy thousand of her persecutors slain, when Boadicea's army, increased to two hundred and thirty thousand, was met by Suetonius, who with all his exertion could not raise more than ten thousand men.
With this army, small as it was, he determined on hazarding a battle, and having formed his army, waited the approach of the Britons, who soon appeared, covering the plains with immense numbers. Boadicea, with her daughters, drove in her chariot along the ranks, renewing the detail of Roman injustice, and encouraging her troops in the most animating language, while Suetonius, on his side, did not neglect to cheer his men by a suitable oration. The Britons came on, uttering loud shouts, menaces, and songs of victory. The Romans, closely drawn up, awaited the event in silence, and received the attack of the natives with great firmness; having then expended all their javelins, with dreadful carnage to the enemy, they rushed forward from all parts at once, observing the form of a wedge, the more easily to penetrate such an immense multitude; the first ranks of their opponents were hewn in pieces, but the rest crowding to surround the Romans, a bloody contest ensued. The British war chariots occasioned terrible annoyance to their enemies until Suetonius ordered his men to direct their blows at the naked bodies of the drivers. The action was long maintained with fury on both sides; but finally, the superior skill, coolness and bravery of the Romans, triumphed over the obstinacy and desperation of the British. Prodigious numbers perished beneath the swords of the legions, or by the charges of the cavalry, who trampled all before them, while the crowds that endeavoured to save themselves by flight, met an insurmountable impediment in their own waggons, which enclosed them m the form of a semicircle. Here the slaughter was terrible; for mercy, in the circumstances of Suetonius, would have been in the highest degree imprudent. The Romans in the heat of their fury, spared neither age nor sex. Even the beasts of burden struck through with darts, increased the horrors of the scene, and the heaps of dead covered the plains, the fields, and the surrounding forests. Upwards of eighty thousand Britons are computed to have perished on this occasion; while of the Romans, four hundred were killed, and scarcely so many wounded.
The remaining Britons, terrified at this dreadful chastisement departed into their respective districts; and Boadicea perished herself soon after the battle, either through chagrin or by poison.
A Good Counsellor.
In the reign of Richard II., the several lords and commissioners who had confederated together to relieve their country from tyranny and oppression had a meeting at Haringay Park near Highgate. Intelligence of this was brought to the king, at a time when Sir Hugo de Lyn (who was thought to be deranged) was present. The king turned to him, and asked him what he should do with these men? The old knight answered, with a smiling countenance, 'Let us march out and kill every man of them: and then you will have destroyed the worthiest men and the best subjects in your dominions.'
Alonzo the Fourth, surnamed the Brave, ascended the throne of Portugal in the vigour of his age. The pleasures of the chase engrossed his whole attention; his confidants and favourites encouraged and allured him to it; his time was spent in the forest, while the affairs of government were neglected, or executed by those whose interest it was to keep their sovereign in ignorance. His presence at last, being essential at Lisbon, he entered the council with all the impetuosity and fervour of a juvenile sportsman; and with great familiarity and gaiety, entertaining his nobles with the history of a whole month spent in hunting, fishing, and shooting. When he had finished his narrative, a nobleman of the first rank rose up. 'Courts and camps,' said he 'are allowed for kings, not woods and deserts. Even the affairs of private men suffer, when recreation is preferred to business; but when the phantasies of pleasure engross the thoughts of a king a whole nation is consigned to ruin. We came here for other purposes than to hear the exploits of a chase. If your majesty will attend to the wants, and remove the grievances, of your people, you will find them obedient subjects; if not,' The king starting with rage, interrupted him: 'If not, what?' 'If not,' resumed the nobleman in a firm and manly tone, 'they will look out for another and a better king!' Alonzo, in the highest transports of passion, expressed his resentment, and hastened out of the room. In a little time, however, he returned calm and reconciled. 'I perceive,' said he, 'the truth of what you say; he who will not excuse the duties of a king, cannot long have good subjects. Remember, from this day forward, I am no longer Alonzo the sportsman, but Alonzo, King of Portugal.' His majesty kept this resolve with the most rigid observance, and became as a warrior and politician, the greatest of the Portuguese monarchs.
This illustrious monarch, in answer to a petition of the lord mayor and aldermen of the city of London, on the 6th of November, 1718, said, 'I shall be glad, not only for your sakes, but for my own, if any defects which may touch the rights of my good subjects are discovered in my time, since that will furnish me with the means of giving you, and all my people, an indisputable proof of my tenderness of their privileges.'
During the patriotic war in Corsica, the nephew of a criminal condemned to. death went to General Paoli, in company with a lady of distinction, to solicit the life of his uncle. The nephew's anxiety made him think that the lady did not speak with sufficient force and earnestness. He therefore advanced and addressing Paoli, said, 'Sir, is it proper for me to speak?' as if he felt it was unlawful he should make such an application. Paoli bade him proceed. 'Sir,' said he, 'may I beg the life of my uncle? If it is granted, his relations will make a gift to the state of a thousand zechins. We will furnish fifty soldiers in pay during the siege of Furiani. We will agree that my uncle shall be banished, and will engage that he shall never return to the island.' Paoli knew the nephew to be a man of worth, and replied, 'You are acquainted with the circumstances of this case, and such is my confidence in you, that if you will say that giving your uncle a pardon would be just, useful, or honourable for Corsica, I promise you it shall be granted.' Though the affection between relations is exceedingly strong in the Corsicans, the young man turned round, burst into tears, and quitted the general, saying, 'Non vorrei vendere l'onore della patria per mille zechini.' 'I would not have the honour of my country sold for a thousand zechins;' and the uncle suffered.
Charles Gustavus, King of Sweden, returning from Poland with his victorious troops, entered Holstein, which he soon conquered; a severe frost had bound the waters, so that he crossed from Jutland to Funen, and thence to Zealand, with the utmost facility. The Danes attempted to stop his rapid progress in vain, and Charles made his appearance before Copenhagen at the head of his whole army.
Frederic III., King of Denmark, fearing to put the fate of his empire to the hazard of the day, thought it expedient to sue for peace: and Charles, with some hesitation, consented to a negotiation, demanding, however besides other advantages, that there should be delivered up to him, Schonen, Holland, Breking, Bahuus, Drontheim, Bornholm, and some domains belonging to Denmark, in the island of Rugen.
Joachim Gersdorff, one of the deputies on the part of Denmark, fired with indignation at the haughty terms of the enemy, remonstrated with firmness, but was at length compelled to yield. When this patriot took up the pen to sign the fatal treaty he turned round and emphatically said, 'Vellum me nescire litteras.'
Gersdorff displayed equal zeal at the subsequent siege of Copenhagen; the city teeing at that time but ill provided with accommodation for the wounded Dutch who had suffered in fighting their passage through the Sound, he generously subscribed 4000 rix dollars for their relief.
This virtuous patriot represented his native town of Kingston-upon-Hull for a period of twenty years, and was the last member of parliament who received pay from his constituents, the sum being four shillings a day! Although he frequently attacked King Charles II. in his satires, yet the king was very fond of his conversation, and tried every means to win him over to his side, but in vain. His inflexible integrity of principle was proof against all temptations, either of his own distresses (and he was often reduced to great poverty), or of the large offers made him by the court, which was earnest in the endeavouring to gain a man of his talents and character on their side.
The king having had Marvell at the palace one night, when he was most cordially and splendidly entertained, sent the lord treasurer, Danby, the next morning, to find out his lodgings, which were then up two pair of stairs, in one of the little courts in the Strand. Here he was busily engaged in writing when the treasurer abruptly opened the door upon him. Surprised at seeing such an unexpected visitor, he told his lordship, he had, he believed, mistaken his way. 'Not now I have found Mr. Marvell,' replied the Lord Danby. He then assured him he was expressly sent to him from the king, and his message was to know what his majesty could do to serve him? 'It is not in his majesty's power to serve me, my lord' answered Mr. Marvell, jocularly; but the lord treasurer making a serious affair of it, he told him that he full well knew the nature of courts, having been in many, and that whoever is distinguished by the favour of the prince is always expected to vote in his interest. Lord Danby told him that his majesty, from the just sense he had of his merit alone, desired to know whether there was any place at court he could be pleased with? Mr. Marvell replied, with the utmost steadiness, that he could not with honour accept the offer, since if he did, he must either be ungrateful to the king in voting against him, or false to his country in giving in to the measures of the court. The only favour which he begged therefore of his majesty was, that he would esteem him as dutiful a subject as any he had, and acting more truly in his proper interest while thus he refused his offers than he could possibly do should he accept them. The lord treasurer finding his solicitations to be quite fruitless, and that no arguments could prevail on him to accept any post under the government, told him the king had ordered him a thousand pounds, which my lord hoped he would receive till he could think what further to ask of his majesty. But Mr. Marvell continued equally inflexible to this temptation, and rejected the money with the same steadfastness of mind with which he had refused the proffer of a place, though he was at that instant so straitened for walls of cash that he was obliged, as soon as Lord Danby took his leave, to send to a friend to borrow a guinea; so far did the love of public good overrule all sense of private interest in his honest heart.
Earl of Stair.
The Earl of Stair was as much celebrated for his patriotism, as for his polite accomplishments, generosity, and military talents. When all his offices and honours were taken from him by Sir Robert Walpole for voting in parliament against the excise scheme, he retired to Scotland, and put his estate into the hands of trustees, to pay bills drawn by him in his magnificent embassy to Paris, which administration had refused to accept; reserving only a hundred pounds a month for himself During this period, he was often seen holding the plough three or four hours at a time. Yet on receiving visits of ceremony, he could put on the great man and the great style of living, for he was fond of adorning a fine person with a graceful dress, and two French horns and a French cook had refused to quit his service when he retired.
When the messenger brought the king's letter for him to take the command of the army, he had only ten pounds in the house. He sent expresses for the gentlemen of his own family, showed the king's letter, and desired them to find money to carry him to London. They asked how much he wanted, and when they should bring it; his answer was, 'The more the better, and the sooner the better.' They brought him three thousand guineas. The circumstance came to the king's ears, who expressed to his ministers the uneasiness he felt at Lord Stair's difficulties in money matters. One proposed that the king should make him a present of a sum of money when he arrived. Another said, Lord Stair was so high spirited, that if he was offered money, he would run back to his own country, and they should lose their general. A third suggested, that to save his delicacy the king should give him six commissions of cornets to dispose of, which, at that time, sold for a thousand pounds a piece. The king liked this idea best, and gave the commissions blank to Lord Stair, saying, they were intended to pay for his journey and equipage. But in going from court to his own house, he gave all the six away.
The best princes are apt to forget their obligations to their best subjects, especially when they dare to oppose their high will. The Earl of Stair had spoken and voted, as he thought at least, for the good of his country against the measures of the court and ministry. Queen Caroline, the next time she saw him at court after his obnoxious behaviour in the House of Lords, told his lordship that she was sorry he went out of his proper sphere. 'He was a good fellow.' she owned, 'but wished he would not dabble in politics.' 'Madam,' said the earl, 'if I had not some years ago meddled in political matters, I should never have had the honour to see your majesty at St. James's.'
Soon after William the Third had been raised to the throne of England, a French ship belonging to the fleet of Admiral Tourville took prisoner an honest Sussex fisherman. The admiral was then preparing to make a descent upon England in favour of King James; and intending to land in Sussex
he was earnest to know how the people of that county stood affected to the government. He ordered the fisherman upon deck, and began himself to question him how he and his neighbours loved King James, and how the Prince of Orange, or King William as you call him, said the admiral, and how they were affected to the government. The fisherman stared, and said, 'that he never had seen either of the gentlefolks whom his honour was pleased to mention, in his life; that, mayhap,
they were very civil persons: and he had no ill-will to either; God bless them both: as to matters of government, how should he know anything of them, for he could neither read nor write?' The admiral continued to question him, but without effect; for he found the fellow grossly ignorant of all public transactions. At last, 'Come, come,' says the admiral, 'you are a good likely fellow, and as you. are so very indifferent about all parties, you can have no objection to carrying a musket in my ship.' 'What? carry a musket to fight against my country!' cried out the fellow; 'indeed, your honour must excuse me, you shall put me to a thousand deaths before I fight against my country.'
When Procopius usurped the imperial purple, Arbetio, a respectable veteran of the great Constantine, who had been distinguished by the honours of the consulship, was persuaded to leave his retirement, and once more to conduct an army to the field. In the heat of action, calmly taking off his helmet, he showed his grey hairs and venerable countenance, and saluting the soldiers of Procopius by the endearing names of children and companions, exhorted them no longer to support the desperate cause of a contemptible tyrant, but to follow their old commander, who had so often led them to honour and victory. In the two engagements of Thyatira, and Naconia, Procopius was deserted by his troops, and after wandering some time among the woods and mountains of Phrygia, he was betrayed by his desponding followers, conducted to the imperial camp, and immediately beheaded.
Sir George Rooke.
When the brave Sir George Rooke was making his will, some friends who were present expressed their surprise that he had not more to leave. 'Why,' said the worthy man 'I do not leave much, but what I do leave was honestly acquired, for it never cost a sailor a tear, nor my country a farthing.'
On one of those occasions when that intrepid reformer, John Knox, took the liberty of lecturing Queen Mary from the pulpit, her majesty indignantly exclaimed, 'What have ye to do with my marriage? Or what are you in this commonwealth?' 'A subject born within the same, madam,' replied the reformer, piqued by the last question, and the contemptuous tone in which it was proposed.
'And albeit I be neither earl, lord, nor baron in It, yet has God made me (how abject that ever I be in your eyes) a profitable member within the same. Yea, madam, to me it appertains no less to forewarn of such things as may hurt it, if I foresee them, than it cloth to any of the nobility; for both my vocation and conscience require plainness of me. And therefore, madam, to yourself I say that which I speak in public place: whensoever the nobility of this realm shall consent that ye be subject to an unfaithful husband, they do as much as in them lieth to renounce Christ, to banish his truth from them, to betray the freedom of this realm, and perchance it shall in the end do small comfort to yourself.'
Sir Henry Vane.
In the reign of Charles I. the fees of Sir Henry Vane's office as treasurer of the navy, though but fourpence in the pound, by reason of the Dutch war amounted to £30,000 per annum. Of this circumstance he had the magnanimity to acquaint the parliament; and observing that such profit was a shameful robbery of the public, offered to give up his patent, which he had obtained from Charles I., and to accept in lieu, for an agent he had bred up to the business, a salary of £200 a year. The parliament readily assented to the proposal; and as a reward for his public virtue settled on Sir Henry an annuity of £1,200. How many are there to whom, in these critical and trying times, we might well say, 'Go ye and do likewise?'
Origin of the Order of Christian Charity.
Henry III. of France passing near the castle of Chamont, stopped and dined there. In the court yard and gardens he was surprised to see several men who wanted either a leg or an arm. 'Sire,' said the host, William Pot, a knight of Rhodes, 'a merchant who thought himself under great obligations to my father, died three years ago; having none but distant relations, he left me by his will, 600,000 livres; I have appropriated this fund, and the interest of this sum, to the nourishment and support of fifteen soldiers born on my estate, and whom their wounds have disabled from serving your majesty.' This foundation of the Knight of Rhodes, gave Henry III. the idea of an order of Christian charity for poor officers and soldiers maimed in war. The troubles which harassed the kingdom, prevented this establishment from being supported, and it sunk again after the death of Henry the Fourth, who had resumed the design in 1605. The creation of the palace of Mars with magnificence, and on a solid foundation, was reserved for Louis the Fourteenth.
Something Better than Power.
The Duke of Wirtemberg dining in company with some sovereign princes and petty German potentates, the conversation turned upon their different forces and powers. After hearing all their pretensions, the duke said:
'I do not envy any one of you that power which God has given you, but there IS one thing of which I can boast, which is, that in my little state, I can walk at all hours alone, and in security. I ramble among the woods, I lie down to sleep under some trees unconcerned, for I fear neither the sword of a robber nor of an injured subject. Which of the crowned heads of Europe can say the same?'
Liberty of Conscience.
James II. in his Autobiography, relates, that 'it having been proposed and solicited by the Lord Roberts, Lord Ashley Cooper, and others, that by the king's declaration, a toleration should be granted to tender consciences, in pursuance of, and grounded on, the declaration of Breda; it was resolved by his majesty, in a private council held by him in the chancellor's (Lord Clarendon's) lodgings at Worcester House, that a declaration to that purpose should be brought into the House of Lords, the Duke of York (afterwards James II. ) being also very much for it. But when that business afterwards came to be debated before the Lords, the chancellor spoke violently against it; and being seconded by the bishops and others of the zealous Church of England men, it was laid aside, which did not a little cool the king's warm heart towards the chancellor.' What an instructive lesson! Had that declaration of liberty of conscience which Charles II. and his brother so earnestly wished for, been adopted, it would have been the commencement of a reform, which might have saved Clarendon from banishment, and the house of his royal master from downfall. The history of England might not then have been illustrated by a glorious, because necessary, revolution.
At the time that the treasury of Poland was exhausted, the city of Warsaw drained of its last ducat, the provinces laid waste, and every means of raising a supply seemed impracticable, the council, hopeless of devising any expedient for even a temporary succour, met in his majesty's cabinet, to consult about obtaining resources. The debate was as desponding as their situation, until Thaddeus Sobieski, who had hitherto been a silent observer, rose from hi, seat. He advanced towards Stanislaus, and taking from his neck, and other parts of his person, those magnificent jewels which it was customary to wear in the presence of the king, he knelt down, and laying them at the feet of his majesty, said, in a suppressed voice, 'These are trifles, but such as they are and all of the like kind which I possess, I beseech your majesty to appropriate to the public service.'
'Noble young man!' cried the king, raising him from the ground, 'you have indeed taught me a lesson; I accept these jewels with gratitude. Here,' said he, turning to the treasurer, 'put them into the national fund, and let them be followed by my own, with my plate, which, I desire, may be instantly sent to the mint. One half of It the army shall have, the other we must expend in giving some little support to the surviving families of the brave men who have fallen in our defence.'
The palatine readily united with his grandson, in the surrender of all their personal property, for the benefit of their country, and according to their example, the treasury was soon filled with gratuities from the nobles which enabled the army to march out, newly equipped, and in high spirits.
A Corsican gentleman who had been taken prisoner by the Genoese, was thrown into a dark dungeon where he was chained to the ground. While he was in this dismal situation, the Genoese sent a message to him, that if he would accept of a commission in their service, he might have it. 'No,' said he 'were I to accept your offer, it would be with a determined purpose to take the first opportunity of returning to the service of my country. But I would not have my countrymen even suspect that I could be one moment unfaithful.'
When the French armies entered Switzerland, at the commencement of the revolution, Aloys Reding resumed the sword in favour of his country, and performed many splendid actions. But the armies of his enemies were too numerous, and treachery and cowardice thinned his own ranks. At length the time arrived which was to decide the issue of the contest. Certain death appeared to await the whole band of heroic Swiss. On the sublime heights of Morgarten, Reding appeared at the head of his troops. Morgarten had been a theatre for the performance of great actions, and calling to mind the heroic achievements of ancient times, the brave general thus addressed his soldiers. 'Comrades and fellow citizens! the decisive moment is arrived. Surrounded by enemies, and deserted by our friends, it only remains to know if we will courageously Imitate the example formerly set by our ancestors among these magnificent mountains; indeed upon the spot on which we now stand. An almost instant death awaits us. If any one fear, let him retire, we will not reproach him; but let us not impose upon each other at this solemn hour. I would rather have a hundred men firm and steadfast in their duty, than a large army which, by flight, might occasion confusion; or by precipitous retreat, immolate the brave men who would still defend themselves. As to myself, I promise not to abandon you, even in the greatest danger. Death and no retreat! If you participate in my resolution, let two men come out of your ranks, and swear to me, in your name, that you will be faithful to your promises.'
When the chieftain had finished his address, his soldiers, who had been leaning on their arms, and listening in reverential silence, distantly hailed its conclusion with loud shouts, of 'we will never desert you;' 'we will never abandon you,' 'we will share your fate, whatever it may be.' Two men then moved out of each rank, as Reding had desired; and giving their hands to their chief, confirmed the oath their comrades had taken. This treaty of alliance between the chief and his soldiers was sworn in open day, and in one of the sublimest scenes in all Switzerland; a treaty which, as the historian Zochockle observes, bears marks of patriarchal manners worthy the simplicity of the golden age. These brave men fought and bled with the resolution of heroes, and the enthusiasm of patriots; but fate having for a time decreed the subjugation of their country, they fought therefore in yam.
Keys of Paris.
When Louis XIV. after his momentary reconciliation to his people, went to the Hotel de Ville to receive the keys of Paris, M. Bailly, the new mayor, addressed his majesty in a speech which, commenced with the following piquant observation: 'Sire, I present your majesty with the keys of the good city of Paris. They are the same which were presented to Henry IV. He reconquered his people, now it is the people who have reconquered their king.'
On the 15th of July, 1789, when the unfortunate Louis XVI. paid an unexpected visit to the States General of France, the clergy, nobility, and commons, taking hold of each other's hands, formed a semi-circle around his majesty, and conducted him to the palace, crying out, 'Il ne lui faut pas d'autres gardes des corps.'
Emperor of Russia.
In the memorable war against Russia in 1812, the news of the entrance of the French into Smolensko, arrived during the conferences of the Prince of Sweden with the Emperor of Russia; and it was there that Alexander contracted the engagement with himself and the Prince Royal, his ally, never to sign a treaty of peace. 'Should Petersburg be taken' said he, 'I will retire into Siberia. I will there resume our ancient customs; and like our long-bearded ancestors, we will return anew to conquer the empire.' 'This resolution will liberate Europe,' exclaimed the Prince Royal: and his prediction was accomplished.
In the year 1710, the Danish fleet under the command of Admiral Gyldenlseve, was sent to the Baltic in pursuit of a Swedish fleet: but in consequence of the sudden sickness of his crew, he found it necessary to sail for Kioege Bay, and secure a defensive position.
The Swedish admiral having received intelligence of the calamity, hastened to take advantage of it. He appeared off the bay, and engaged, but did not conquer the fleet.
During the engagement, one of the Danish line of battle ships, the Danbrog, took fire; nor could all their efforts to extinguish the flames avail. Captain Hvitfeldt saw one ray of hope which, at the moment, promised safety to himself and his crew; it was to cut his cables and drive ashore; there was, however, danger to be apprehended if the wind should change, that the vessel might drive among the Danish fleet, and thus endanger both the shipping and the town. Of the two evils, Hvitfeldt chose the least. He gave positive orders that the cables should not be cut; and then sent his officers among the crew, to ask them if it would not be more glorious to pursue the destruction of the enemy while the Danbrog existed, than by an attempt merely to save themselves, endanger the lives of thousands of their countrymen?
The sailors answered the noble proposal of their gallant captain by the most cordial cheers. Hvitfeldt then sent six men on board the admiral to inform him of their determination, and to bid their country farewell. In a few minutes the flames reached the magazine, explosion followed, and the whole crew perished in one of the most patriotic acts of self devotion ever recorded.
Destruction of Frederikshald.
The town of Frederikshald was attacked by Charles the Twelfth, during his invasion of Norway in 1716, and made a most vigorous resistance. The citizens defended the town from street to street, and house to house; but the superiority of the Swedes prevailed, and the town was taken.
Although Charles was thus become master of the town, yet the inhabitants refused to acknowledge his authority. Some of them retired to the fort, and others went on board the praam they had constructed, or hid themselves in the mountains. From all quarters a constant fire was kept up on the town, especially from the fort, to expel the enemy. A few hours after the surrender of the town, Charles sent a trumpeter to the fort, to solicit a truce, but he was sent back with the following answer: 'The King of Sweden being an uninvited guest, it is our duty to send him whence he came.' The fidelity with which they kept their promise, was soon evident to
Charles; for when they found it impossible to dislodge the enemy by their cannon, they desperately set fire to the town. The citizens eagerly hastened to fire their own houses, while the enemy in vain sought to extinguish the increasing flames. The scene of horror was considerably augmented by the fire of the artillery from the fort and the praam.
Charles, whom nature had endowed with an invincible spirit, strengthened by a familiarity with danger, stood appalled with this extraordinary spectacle, and left the town that very day,
Eustace St. Pierre.
When Edward the Third, after the battle of Cressy, laid siege to Calais, the citizens under the command of Count Vienne, the governor, made an admirable defence. Day after day the English effected many a breach, which they expected to storm by break of day; but when morning appeared, they beheld new ramparts raised nightly, erected out of the ruins which the previous day had made. France had now put her sickle into her second harvest since Edward, with his victorious army, sat clown before the town. The eyes of all Europe were intent on the issue. The English made their approaches and attacks without remission, but the citizens were as obstinate in repelling all their efforts. At length famine did more for Edward than arms. After the citizens had devoured the lean carcases of their half-starved cattle, they tore up old foundations and rubbish, in search of vermin; they fed on boiled leather and the weeds of exhausted gardens, and a morsel of damaged corn was accounted matter of luxury. In this extremity they resolved to attempt the enemy's camp. They boldly sallied forth; the English joined battle, and after a long and desperate engagement, Count Vienne was taken prisoner; and the citizens who survived the slaughter retired within their gates.
The command now devolved on Eustace St. Plerre, the mayor of the town, a man of humble birth, but of the most exalted virtue; Eustace soon found himself under the necessity of capitulating, and offered to deliver the city up to Edward, with all the wealth and possessions of the citizens, provided they might be permitted to depart with life and liberty. As Edward had long expected to ascend the throne of France, he was exasperated against these people, whose sole velour had so long defeated his warmest hopes; he, therefore, determined to take an exemplary revenge. He answered by Sir Walter Mauny that they all deserved capital punishment, as obstinate traitors to him, their true and lawful sovereign; that, however, in his wonted clemency, he consented to pardon the bulk of the plebeians, provided they would deliver up to him six of their principal citizens, with halters about their necks as victims of due atonement for that spirit of rebellion with which they had inflamed the common people. All the remains of this desolate city were convened in the great square; and like men arraigned at a tribunal from whence there was no appeal, expected, with throbbing hearts, the sentence of their conqueror. When Sir Walter had declared his message, consternation and dismay were impressed on every face, each looked upon death as his own inevitable lot; for how should they desire to be saved at the price proposed? Whom had they to deliver up, save parents, brothers, kindred, or valiant neighbours, who had so often exposed their lives in their defence? To a long and dead silence, deep sighs and groans succeeded; till Eustace St. Pierre, ascending a little eminence, thus addressed the assembly:
'My friends and fellow citizens, you see the condition to which we are reduced, we must either submit to the terms of our cruel and ensnaring conqueror, or yield up our tender infants, our wives, and chaste daughters to the ferocity of the soldiery. We well know what the tyrant intends by his specious offers of mercy. It does not satiate his vengeance to make us merely miserable, he would make us criminal; he would make us contemptible; he will grant us life on no condition save that of being unworthy of it. Look about you, my friends, and fix your eyes on the persons whom you wish to deliver up as the victims of your own safety. Which of these would you appoint to the rack, the axe, or the halter? Is there any here who has not watched for you, who has not fought for you, who has not bled for you? Who, through the length of this inveterate siege, has not suffered fatigues and miseries a thousand times worse than death, that you and yours might survive to days of peace and prosperity? Is it your preservers, then, whom you would destine to destruction? You will not, you cannot do it. Justice, honour, humanity, make such a treason impossible. Where then is our resource? Is there any expedient left, whereby we may avoid guilt and infamy on one hand, or the desolation and horrors of a sacked city on the other? There is, my friends there is one expedient left, a gracious, an excellent, a god-like expedient! Is there any here to whom virtue is dearer than life? let him offer himself an oblation for the safety of his people! he shall not fail of a blessed approbation from that Power, who offered up his only Son for the salvation of mankind.'
He spoke, but a universal silence ensued. Each man looked around for the example of that virtue and magnanimity in others, which all wished to approve in themselves, though they wanted the resolution. At length St. Pierre resumed:-
'It had been base in me, my fellow-citizens to promote any matter of danger to others which I myself had not been willing to undergo in my own person. But I held it ungenerous to deprive any man of that preference and estimation which might attend a first offer on so signal an occasion, for I doubt not but there are many here as ready, nay, more zealous for this martyrdom, than I can be, however modesty and the fear of imputed ostentation may withhold them from being foremost in exhibiting their merits. Indeed, the station to which the captivity of Count Vienne has unhappily raised me, imports a right to be the first in giving my life for your sakes. I give it freely, I give it cheerfully: who comes next?' 'Your son!' exclaimed a youth, not yet come to maturity. 'Ah, my child!' cried St. Pierre, 'I am then twice sacrificed. But no, I have rather begotten thee a second time. Thy years are few, but full, my son: the victim of virtue has reached the utmost purpose and goal of mortality. Who next, my friends? This is the hour of heroes.' 'Your kinsman!' cried John de Aire. 'Your kinsman!' cried James Wissant. 'Your kinsman!' cried Peter Wissant. 'Ah!' exclaimed Sir Walter Mauny, bursting into tears, 'why was I not a citizen of Calais?'
The sixth victim was still wanting, but was quickly supplied by lot, from numbers who were now emulous of so ennobling an example.
The keys of the city were then delivered to Sir Walter. He then took the six prisoners into his custody. He ordered the gates to be opened, and gave charge to his attendants to conduct the remaining citizens, with their families, through the camp of the English.
Before they departed, however, they desired permission to take their last adieu of their deliverers. What a parting! what a scene! They crowded with their wives and children about St. Pierre and his fellow-prisoners. They embraced; they clung around; they fell prostrate before them. They groaned; they wept aloud; and the joint clamour of their mourning passed the gates of the city, and was heard throughout the camp.
At length, St. Pierre and his fellow victims appeared under the conduct of Sir Walter and his guard. All the tents of the English were instantly emptied. The soldiers poured from all parts, and arranged themselves on each side to behold, to contemplate, to admire this little band of patriots as they passed. They murmured their applause of that virtue which they could not but revere, even in enemies; and they regarded those ropes which they had voluntarily assumed about their necks, as ensigns greater in dignity than that of the British Garter.
To the eternal honour of Philippa, the Queen of Edward, through her intercession, the lives of these virtuous citizens were spared. [See Anecdotes of Humanity.]
The town of Nyekoebing, doomed to the flames by Charles Gustavus, King of Sweden, in consequence of the inhabitants being unable to pay the heavy contributions levied upon them, was preserved by the bold and patriotic conduct of the rector, the Rev. Mr. Jessen.
Sunday was the day appointed by the enemy for carrying into execution their dreadful purpose; and the impending danger naturally afforded a most affecting subject for the clergyman's discourse. He expatiated on the miserable fate to which he and his fellow citizens were doomed, and pointed out the only source of consolation in religion. Perceiving some Swedes of rank in the lower part of the church, he raised his voice, and eloquently animadverted on cruelty and oppression.
The worthy minister had scarcely entered his house after the service of the morning, when he received a message from Charles Gustavus, who had been at church, signifying his Swedish majesty's intention of dining with with trim. The clergyman still retaining sparks of that warmth with which he had pleaded the cause of his countrymen, instantly returned the following answer: 'Sire, my dinner consists in peas-soup and pork; it is all your majesty's soldiers have left me; and such fare being too mean for a king, I most humbly beg to decline the honour your majesty most graciously intended me.'
The king, however, would not be refused, and sent another messenger, announcing his approach. At table, Mr. Jessen turned the conversation on the distressed inhabitants, and exerted all his eloquence to move the Swedish monarch in their behalf, until, at last, the king assured him that he would spare the town. Orders were issued accordingly, and the more effectually to prevent the inhabitants from sustaining injury, Charles Gustavus ordered a guard for their protection.
This act of the patriotic Jessen is recorded by a portrait placed in the town-hall at Nyekoebing. It represents a venerable man, whose expressive features give assurance of the eloquent and persevering zeal with which he succeeded in personally assuaging the anger of a warlike king, and averting a general calamity.
During the seven years' war the exertions of the Prussians at some critical periods to support the sinking fortunes of their enterprising monarch, were of a nature truly astonishing; but they were far outdone by the public sacrifices which were voluntarily made by individuals to repel the invasion of the French in 1813, An anecdote of a Silesian girl is recorded, which serves in a striking manner to show the general feeling which pervaded the country. Whilst her neighbours and family were contributing in different ways to the expenses of the war, she was for some time in the greatest distress at her inability to manifest her patriotism, as she possessed nothing which she could dispose of for that purpose. At length the idea struck her that her hair, which was of great beauty, and the pride of her parents, might be of some value; and she accordingly set off one morning privately for Breslau, and disposed of her beautiful tresses for a couple of dollars. The hairdresser, however, with whom she had negociated the bargain, being touched with the girl's conduct, reserved his purchase for the manufacture of bracelets and other ornaments; and as the story became public, he in the end sold so many, that he was enabled by this fair maiden's locks alone) to subscribe a hundred dollars to the exigencies of the state.
Siege of Copenhagen.
When Charles Gustavus laid siege a second time to Copenhagen, the city was very ill prepared for defence. The fortifications were in many places decayed, there was no supply of provisions, and the garrison scarcely amounted to a thousand men. The sudden attack of the Swedes prevented any reinforcement reaching the city, either by sea or land. Frederick the Third sued for peace; but the King of Sweden replied, "I will explain the cause of the war when I have conquered Denmark." A general terror now prevailed in the Danish court, some members of which entreated the king to consult his own safety, by escaping to Norway or Holland. "No," said he, "I am resolved to perish or conquer in my own nest. I shall cease to value life, when my kingdom is trampled upon by my enemies."
The king then ordered the drums to beat to arms throughout the city, and issued the following proclamation. "His majesty confiding in the unanimity and valour of all true Danes and Norwegians, and firmly persuaded that nothing will be left undone by them which can in any degree tend to the delivery of their country, declares to all such persons as may feel reluctant to partake the dangers of the contest, that they are free to leave the city, while it is yet time, and not be an encumbrance to those who are determined to stand or fall with our royal self."
Such a declaration from the king, could not fail to inspire all classes with hope and confidence, and the brave Frederick soon found in every subject a hero and a patriot. The city, which a few hours before was without troops, suddenly displayed as many warriors as could be furnished with arms. These were divided into four classes, the nobility, the clergy, the citizens, and the soldiery. Their hearts beat with patriotic fire, and every individual longed for an opportunity of hurling death and destruction on the enemy.
The first object was to restore order on the ramparts; all lent a willing hand to this essential duty; even women rivalled each other in supplying materials. The fortifications being thus repaired, the suburbs were set on fire in the presence of the Swedish army.
Charles opened his trenches, while his fleet bombarded the city; but all in vain. When any part of the town was on fire, the citizens hastened to extinguish it, and whenever the Swedes showed any intention of scaling the ramparts, they met with a most vigorous resistance; the king sharing every danger with his subjects, and by his presence and example encouraging them to persevere. Thus the first month of the siege passed amidst a succession of calamities, fears, and expectations; but the fall of Cronborg, and the delay of the Dutch fleet, which had been long expected, threw a momentary gloom over the city, though an unconquerable spirit still animated every soul. Opulent individuals applied their wealth to the relief of the poor; while the king sold many of his valuables, and pledged other parts of his property, to obtain money, which he distributed among the necessitous.
When the siege had continued three months, during which no impression whatever was made on the city, which proudly mocked the efforts, and defied the rage of the Swedish monarch, the Dutch fleet entered the Sound; and after fighting its way into port, brought a vast supply of men and provisions to the besieged city.
The sea was soon after frozen over, and every preparation was made by the Swedes for storming the city, which they perpetually harassed. The guards in the city were doubled; persons were employed in breaking the ice, and every individual was on the alert by day and by night, ready for the impending moment. The men went to work as soon as they were relieved from guard, and mounted guard when they left off work.
At length the important night arrived. The Swedes commenced the assault the utmost fury, and continued to storm the town the whole night. A few succeeded in scaling the ramparts; but they had to contend with men resolved to bury themselves in the ruins of their city, rather than be subdued. The Swedes, after sustaining a great loss of men, and some of their best officers, were compelled to retreat, nor did they ever attempt to renew the attack.
A short time before the storming took place the English ambassador advised Frederick to sue for peace on any terms; but the king replied, in a dignified tone, "I will beg peace from none, I am accustomed to look danger in the face. Charles may come when he pleases, but he may rest assured he will meet with men who know how to give him a proper reception.' He then mounted his horse, and rode about encouraging his brethren in arms, assuring them that he would watch and fight for them to the last. He kept his word, for he continued on horseback during the storming, and was always where the assault was the fiercest.
Though it perhaps can scarcely be said of Brutus, that he was 'the noblest Roman of them all,' yet his inflexible regard to justice and to liberty are entitled to the highest admiration; and perhaps of all the distinguished personages of antiquity, he best deserves to tee considered as the model of a virtuous citizen. According to modern manners, when assassination under any circumstance is strongly and justly reprobated, the death of Caesar was a crime which no redeeming virtues of Brutus could atone for; but tyrannicide was viewed by the Romans in a very different light from what it appears at present; and it is not by the ideas of our own times that we are to judge of the heroes of antiquity. It is said that Brutus was guilty of the highest ingratitude by killing Caesar, who had been his benefactor; but in the opinion of the ancients, this circumstance only rendered his act the more glorious; since by disregarding favours to himself, he showed the greater attachment to his country. How clearly has Shakspeare drawn the line between Brutus' friendship for Caesar, and his love for his country. 'If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say that Brutus' love for Caesar was no less than his. If, then, that friend demand why Brutes rose against Caesar, this is my answer: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more."
The celebrated letter which Brutus wrote to Cicero, on his having interceded for his pardon with Octavius, perfectly marks his character, and breathes the purest principles of true patriotism. 'I have read,' he says, 'a part of your letter which you sent to Octavius, transmitted to me by Atticus. Your zeal and concern for my safety gave me no new pleasure: for it is not only common, but our daily news, to hear something which you have said or done with your usual fidelity, in the support of my honour and dignity. Yet that same part of your letter affected me with the most sensible grief which my mind could possibly receive. For you compliment him so highly for his services to the republic, and in a strain so suppliant and abject, that - What shall I say? - I am ashamed of the wretched state to which we are reduced - yet it must be said, - you recommend my safety to him; (to which, what death is not preferable?) and plainly show, that our servitude is not yet abolished, but our master only changed. Recollect your words, and deny them, if you dare, to be the prayers of a slave to his king. There is one thing, you say, which is required and expected from him, that he will allow those citizens to live in safety, of whom all honest men, and the people of Rome, think well. But what, if he will not allow it? Shall we be the less safe for that? It is better not to be safe, than to be made safe by him. For my part, I can never think all the gods so averse to the safety of the Roman people, that Octavius must be entreated for the life of any one citizen, I will not say for the deliverers of the world. It is a pleasure to talk thus magnificently, and it becomes me surely-to do so to those who know not either what to fear for any one, or what to ask of any one. Can you, Cicero, allow Octavius to have this power, and be still a friend to him? Or, if you have any value for me, would you wish to see me at Rome, when I must first be recommended to the boy, that he would permit me to be there? What reason have you to thank him, if you think it necessary to beg of him that he would grant and suffer us to live in safety? Or is it to be reckoned a kindness, that he chooses to see himself, rather than Antony, in the condition to have such petitions addressed to him? One may supplicate, indeed, the successor, but never the avenger of another's tyranny, that those who have deserved well of the republic may be safe. It was this weakness and despair, not more blameable, indeed, in you than in all, which first pushed on Caesar to the ambition of reigning; and after his death determined Antony to attempt to seize his place; and has raised this boy so high, that you judge it necessary to address your prayers to him, for the preservation of men of our rank; and that we can be saved only by the mercy of one, scarce yet a man. What reason,' he continues, 'had we to rejoice at Caesar's death, if after it we were still to continue slaves? Let other people be as indolent as they please; but, as for me, may the gods deprive me sooner of everything, than the resolution of not allowing to the heir of him whom I killed, what I did not allow to the man himself, nor would suffer even in my father were he living, to have more power than the laws and the senate. How can you imagine that the rest of you can ever be free under him, without whose leave there is no place for us in that city? Or how is it possible for you, after all, to obtain what you ask? You beg, that he would allow us to be safe. Shall we then receive safety, think you, when we have received life from him? But how can we re ceive it, if we first part with our honour and our liberty? Do you fancy, that to live at Rome is to be safe? It is the thing, and not the place, which must secure that to me: for I was never safe while Caesar lived, till I had resolved with myself upon that attempt: nor can I in any place live in exile, as long as I hate slavery and insults above all other evils. Is not this to fall back again into the same state of darkness, when he who has taken upon him the name of the tyrant (though in the cities of Greece, when the tyrants are de stroyed, their children also perish with them) must be entreated, that the avengers of ty ranny may be safe? Can I ever wish to see that city, or think it a city, which has not the power even to accept liberty, when offered, and even forced upon it, but has more dread of the name of their late king, in the person of a boy, than confidence in itself; though it has seen that very king taken off in the utmost height of power, by the virtue of a few? Do not recommend me, therefore, any more to your Caesar, nor yourself indeed, if you will hearken to me. You set a very high value on the few years that remain to you at that age, if for the sake of them you can supplicate that boy. But take care, after all, lest what you have done, and are doing, so laudably against Antony, instead of being applauded as the effect of a great mind, be not charged to the account of your fear. For if you are pleased with Octavius, so as to petition him for our safety, you will be thought not to have disliked a master, but to have wanted a more friendly one. As for myself, may I never re turn to you, if I ever either supplicate any man, or do not restrain those who are disposed to do it, from supplicating for themselves: or I will remove to a distance from all such who can be slaves, and fancy myself at Rome, wherever I can live free, and shall pity you, whose fond desire of life neither age nor honours, nor the example of other men's virtue, can moderate. For my part, I shall ever think myself happy, as long as I can please myself with the persuasion, that my piety has been fully requited. For what can be happier than for a man, conscious of virtuous acts, and content with liberty, to despise all human affairs? Yet I will never yield to those who are fond of yielding, or be conquered by those who are willing to be conquered themselves but will first try and attempt everything, nor ever desist from dragging our city out of slavery. If such fortune attends me as I ought to have, we shall all rejoice: if not, I shall rejoice myself. For how can this life be spent better, than in thoughts and acts which tend to make my countrymen free? I beg and beseech you, Cicero, not to desert the cause through weariness or diffidence. In repelling present evils, have your eye always on the future, lest they insinuate themselves before you are aware. Consider that the fortitude and the courage with which you delivered the republic when consul, and now again when consular, are nothing without constancy and equability. The case of tried virtue, I own, is harder than of untried: we require services from it as debts, and, if anything disappoints us, we blame with resentment, as if we had been deceived by it. Wherefore, for Cicero to withstand Antony, though it be a part highly commendable, yet, because such a consul seemed, of course, to promise us such a consular, nobody wonders at it. But if the same Cicero, in the case of others, should waver at last in that resolution which he exerted with such firmness and greatness of mind against Antony, he would deprive himself, not only of the hopes of future glory, but forfeit even that which is past: for nothing is great in itself but what flows from the result of our judgment, nor does it become any man, more than you, to love the republic, and to be the patron of liberty; on the account either of your natural talents, or your former acts, or the wishes and expectations of all men. Octavius, therefore, must not be intreated to suffer us to live in safety. Do you rather rouse yourself so far, as to think that city in which you have acted the noblest part, free and flourishing, as long as there are leaders still to the people to resist the designs of traitors.'
Lord William Russell.
A fortunate occurrence gave birth to the wealth, honour, and patriotism of the Bedford family. During the reign of Henry the Seventh, the Archduke of Austria, on his passage from Flanders to Spain, was driven by a violent storm into Weymouth, where he was hospitably received and princely entertained by Sir Thomas Trenchard, whose house was situated upon that coast, until the king should be informed of his arrival. Meanwhile, Mr. Thomas Russell, who lived in that vicinity, because he had travelled abroad, and could speak different languages, was sent for-to converse with the duke, who was so captivated with his intelligence and manners, that he carried him along with him to court, where he warmly recommended him to the king, who instantly made him one of his privy council. By steady steps, and increasing merit, the ancestors of Lord Russell added to their fortune and fame. The patriot William Russell inherited from his ancestors those religious and political principles which are founded upon a regular execution of our ancient constitutional laws - government by parliaments, and trial by juries. Lord Russell was one of those who indicted the Duke of York as a popish recusant, before the grand jury et Westminster; but before they could give judgment, they were dismissed in an irregular manner. Unmoved by this defeat Lord Russell rose in his place in the House and spoke in the following manner: 'Mr. Speaker. Sir, seeing by God's providence and his majesty's favour, we are here assembled to deliberate concerning the great affairs of the nation, I humbly conceive that we ought to begin first with that which is of most consequence to our king and country and to take into consideration how to save the main, before we spend any time about the particulars. Sir, I am of opinion that the life of our king, the safety of our country and the protestant religion, are in great danger from popery; and that either this parliament must suppress the power and growth of popery, or else that popery will soon destroy not only parliament, but all that is near and dear to us.' His lordship accordingly moved that they should take into consideration how to suppress popery, and to prevent a popish successor; and a bill passed the House of Commons to disable James, Duke of York, from inheriting the imperial crown, because he was a papist. This bill Russell carried up to the House of Lords, where it was lost by sixty-three against thirty. On this occasion, Lord Russell is said to have exclaimed with a violence unequal to his nature, 'If my own father had been one of the sixty-three, I should have voted him an enemy to the king and kingdom.'
Upon another occasion, when the king requested a supply, Lord Russell declared, that whenever he should free the house from the danger of a popish successor, and remove from his council and places of trust all those who were in the duke's interest, he should be ready to give all he had in the world, but till then, a vote of money would only have the effect of destroying themselves with their own hands, together with the rights and liberties of their country. With equal steadiness and unabating fortitude, he continued to defend the rights and liberties of his country against the unlawful, unconstitutional, and tyrannical measure of government, till he, at last, fell a martyr in the glorious cause of freedom and of his country.
The diet of the Arabian tribes in Persia is more frugal than that of any other of the inhabitants of that kingdom. It consists chiefly of dates. Some years ago, a woman belonging to one of the Arab families settled at Abusheker, had gone to England with the children of the British resident at that place. When she returned, all crowded around her to hear the report of the country she had visited. She described the roads, the carriages, the horses, the wealth and splendour of the cities, and the highly cultivated state of the country. Her audience were full of envy at the condition of Englishmen, and were on the point of retiring with that impression, when the woman happened to add, that the country she had visited only wanted one thing to make it delightful. 'What is that?' was the enquiry. 'It has not a date tree in it,' said she. 'I never ceased to look for one all the time I was there, but I looked in vain.' The sentiments of the Arabs who listened to her, were in an instant changed by this information. It was no longer envy, but pity, which they felt for men who were condemned to live in a country where there are no date trees.
'Such is the patriot's boast where'er we roam,
His first best country is at home.'
The celebrated answer of our old barons when it was proposed to introduce some part of the Roman laws, 'Nolumus leges Angliae mutare,' is by no means so strongly adverse to innovation, as an institution of Charondas, legislator of Thurium, a city of Magna Grecia. Whoever proposed a new law, was obliged to appear in the Senate House with a rope about his neck, and remain in that situation during the debate. If the law was approved, he was set at liberty: but if it was negatived, he was immediately strangled.
Singular Oath of Allegiance.
The people of Arragon in the election of their kings used the following form of election: 'We, the free-born inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Arragon, who are equal to you, Don Philip, and something more, elect you to be our king, on condition, that you preserve to us our rights and privileges. If in this you fail, we own you for our king no longer.'
Julian the Apostate.
Julian the Apostate was not insensible of the advantages of freedom. He sincerely abhorred the system of Oriental despotism which Diocletian, Constantine, and the patient habits of fourscore years had established in the empire. A motive of superstition prevented the execution of the design which Julian had frequently meditated, of relieving his head from the weight of a costly diadem; but he absolutely refused the title of Dominus, or lord, a word which was grown so familiar to the ears of the Romans, that they no longer remembered its servile and humiliating origin. The office, or rather the name, of consul, was cherished by a prince who contemplated with reverence the ruins of the republic, and the same behaviour which had been assumed by the prudence of Augustus was adopted by Julian from choice and inclination. On the calends of January, at break of day, the new consuls, Mamertinus and Nevitta, hastened to the palace to salute the emperor. As soon as he was informed of their approach, he leaped from his throne, eagerly advanced to meet them, and compelled the blushing magistrates to receive the demonstrations of his affected humility. From the palace they proceeded to the senate. The emperor on foot marched before their litters; and the gazing multitude admired the image of ancient time, or secretly blamed a conduct which, in their eyes, degraded the majesty of the purple.
During the games of the Circus, he had imprudently, or designedly, performed the manumission of a slave in the presence of the consul. The moment he was reminded that he had trespassed on the jurisdiction of another magistrate, he condemned himself to pay a fine of ten pounds of gold, and embraced that public occasion of declaring to the world that he was subject, like the rest of his fellow-citizens, to the laws, and even to the forms, of the republic.
The attention of Julian was extended to every province in his empire; he abolished, by repeated edicts, the unjust and pernicious exemptions which had withdrawn so many idle citizens from the service of their country; and by imposing an equal distribution of public duties, he restored the strength, the splendour, or according to the glowing expression of Libanus, the soul of the expiring cities of his empire. He relieved the distress, and restored the beauty, of the cities of Epirus and Peloponnesus. Athens acknowledged him for her benefactor; Argos, for her deliverer.
Julian sustained adversity with firmness and prosperity with moderation. After an interval of one hundred and twenty years from the death of Alexander Severus, the Romans beheld an emperor who made no distinction between his duties and his pleasures; who laboured to relieve the distress, and to revive the spirit of his subjects; and who endeavoured always to connect authority with merit, and happiness with virtue. Even faction, and religious faction, was constrained to acknowledge the superiority of his genius, in peace as well as in war, and to confess with a sigh, that the apostate Julian was a lover of his country, and that he deserved the empire of the world.
The patriotic zeal of Barneveldt, the celebrated Dutch statesman, inducing him to limit the authority of Maurice, Prince of Orange, the second Stadtholder of Holland, the partisans of that prince falsely accused him of a design to deliver his country into the hands of the Spanish monarch. On this absurd charge, he was tried by twenty-six commissioners deputed from the seven provinces, condemned and beheaded in 1619. His sons, William and Rene, with a view of revenging the death of their father, formed a conspiracy against the usurper, which was discovered. William fled, but Rene was taken and condemned to die, which fatal circumstance has immortalized the memory of his mother, of whom the following anecdote is recorded. She solicited a pardon for Rene; upon which Maurice expressed his surprise, that she should do that for her son which she had refused to do for her husband. To this remark she replied, with indignation, 'I would not ask a pardon for my husband, because he was innocent; I solicit it for my son, because he is guilty.'
Chief Justice Rebuked.
A few months before the abdication of James the Second, Lord Chancellor Jeffries, of infamous memory, went to Arundel, in order to influence an election. He took his residence at the castle, and went on the day of election to the Town Hall, where Mr. Peckham, then Mayor of Arundel, held his court. The mayor, on seeing Jeffries, instantly ordered him to withdraw, and in case of refusal, threatened to commit him. 'You,' said he, 'who ought to be the guardian of our laws, and of our sacred constitution, shall not thus audaciously violate them. This is my court, and my jurisdiction is above yours.' Jeffries, who was unwilling to perplex the king's affairs further, retired immediately. The next morning he invited Peckham to breakfast with him, which he accepted; but he had the honesty to refuse a lucrative situation which the-chancellor offered him.
The late Duke of Leinster having a particular friendship for a young banker in Dublin arising from his patriotism and general good character, returned him for one of his boroughs. The banker, on waiting on his Grace to thank him for the honour, received this truly noble declaration. 'Sir, I have returned you for this borough because I think you a good private character, and a man fit to serve your country. I have, however, one condition to make with you in return, which is, that in every parliamentary discussion whatever, you never consider yourself in the least connected with me, or my interests.'
After the battle of Ivry, Henry the Fourth of France being very much in want of money, asked one of his most trusty courtiers where he could procure some The courtier mentioned a rich merchant's wife, who was a zealous royalist. The monarch, in disguise, immediately accompanied his courtier on his visit to the lady, Madame le Clerc, who received them with great hospitality, and congratulated them on the success of the king's arms. 'Alas! madam,' replied the courtier, 'to what purpose are all-our victories. We are in the greatest distress imaginable. His majesty has no money to pay his troops; they threaten to revolt, and join the league. Mayenne will triumph at last.' 'Is it possible?' exclaimed Madame le Clerc: 'but I hope that will not afflict our sovereign, and that he will find new resources in the loyalty of his subjects.' She then quitted the room but soon returned with several bags of gold, which she presented, saying, 'This is all I can do at present. Go and relieve the king from his anxiety; wish him all the success and happiness he deserves, tell him to be confident that he reigns in the hearts of his subjects, and that my life and fortune are and ever will be, at his disposal.'
The king could no longer conceal his incognito. 'Generous woman,' he cried, 'my friend has no occasion to go far to tell his majesty the excellence of your heart, here he stands before you, and is a witness to it Be assured that the favour will be indelibly engraved on the heart of your prince.'
From that time, success attended the king and when he was master of the capital, and safely seated on the throne, he sent for Madame le Clerc, and presenting her to a full and brilliant court, said, 'You see this lady who is a true friend of mine. To her I owe all the successes of my last campaigns. It was she who lent me money to carry on the war, when the troops threatened to abandon me.'
As soon as intelligence was received in Norway, that the Swedes, under Charles Gustavus, had laid siege to Copenhagen Lauritz Undahl, a magistrate at Christiana, collected all his cash and valuables, even to his wife's necklace and other diamonds, and sent them to Holland, for the purchase of fire arms; which, when be obtained, he distributed to a company of artillery raised at his own expense.
At the conclusion of the war, Frederick the Third offered to reimburse the expenses his subjects had incurred in providing for the defence of the country. The patriotic Undahl would not, however, accept of any, recompense. 'I consider it my duty,' said he, 'to devote not only my property, but my life, to the service of my country.'
Siege of Orleans by the Huns.
When Orleans was besieged by the Huns under the command of Attila, in the fifth century, the pastoral diligence of Anianus, a bishop of primitive sanctity, and consummate prudence, exhausted every art of religious policy to support their courage till the arrival of the expected succours. After an obstinate siege, the walls were shaken by the battering rams; the Huns had already occupied the suburbs; and the people who were incapable of bearing arms, lay prostrate in prayer. Anianus, who anxiously counted the days and hours, despatched a trusty messenger to observe from the ramparts the face of the distant country. He returned twice without any intelligence that could inspire hope or comfort; but in his third report he mentioned a small cloud, which he had faintly descried at the extremity of the horizon. 'It is the aid of God!' exclaimed the bishop in a tone of patriotism, joy, and pious confidence; and the whole multitude repeated after him, 'It is the aid of God!' The remote object on which every eye was fixed, became each moment larger and more distinct, the Roman and Gothic banners were gradually perceived and soon discovered, in deep array, the impatient squadrons of AEtius and Theodoric who pressed forwards to the relief of Orleans On their approach, the king of the Huns raised the siege, and sounded a retreat.
On the surrender of Lord Cornwallis in the revolutionary war of America, the crew of the Loyalist, a frigate of twenty-two guns, was immediately conveyed to the Count de Grasse's fleet. Of that fleet, the Ardent, captured off Plymouth, made one, but she was in a very leaky condition. The Count being informed that the carpenter of the Loyalist was a clever fellow, and perfectly acquainted with the chain pump, of which the French were then quite ignorant, ordered him on board the Ville de Paris, and said to him, 'Sir, you are to go on board the Ardent directly, use your utmost skill, and save her from sinking, for which service, you shall have a premium, and the encouragement due to the carpenter of an equal rate in the British navy. To this I pledge my honour; but if you refuse you shall have nothing but bread and water during your captivity.' The tar, surprised at being thus addressed in his own language by the French admiral, boldly answered. 'Noble Count, I am your prisoner; it is in your power to compel me; but never let it be said, that a British sailor forgot his duty to his king and country, and entered voluntarily into the service of the enemy. Your promises are no inducement to me; and your threats shall not force me to injure my country.' To the eternal disgrace of Count de Grasse, he rewarded this noble conduct by wanton severity as long as he had it in his power to inflict it; but on his exchange, Admiral Rodney appointed him carpenter of his own ship and which the Board of Admiralty confirmed.
Sir John Spencer.
One of the wealthiest of London's lord mayors, was also the most patriotic This was Sir John Spencer, who filled the civic chair in 1594. In that year, the government required the Bridge House, or city granary, as a store-house for provisions for the navy but this was refused by Sir John Spencer who boldly remonstrating with Lord Burleigh, told them, that in order to provide against a dearth, the Bridge House had been filled with grain from foreign parts for the use of the city, and that therefore 'they could with no convenience spare the same.' Sir John was then told, that 'he should hear more to his dislike' for this refusal. He replied, that if they did procure any letters for the Bridge House, 'he doubted not but to answer them to their lordships' (of a privy council) good acceptance.'
When the queen, intending to take the recorder, Sir John Crooke, into her service, desired the lord mayor to return her the names of the persons intended to be put in nomination for that office, the citizens, alarmed at so extraordinary a proceeding, and fearing it might affect their privileges, nominated only one person, and this act was so ably and firmly vindicated by Sir John Spencer, that the queen never made the alteration she proposed.
Mr. Bayly of Epsom.
In 1782, it was proposed in several counties of England, to raise a subscription in each sufficient to add a ship of the line to the British navy. Among the contributors to this patriotic measure was Nathaniel Bayly, Esq., of Epsom, who sent the sum of one hundred guineas, with the following letter, to Middleton, Esq., the High Sheriff of Suffolk. The letter was dated September 26, 1782:-
'SIR, - After returning you my thanks for the trouble you are taking to procure an adequate subscription in the county of Suffolk for the laudable purpose of adding a ship of the line to the navy of Great Britain, give me leave to beg that you will subscribe a hundred guineas thereto for me. Haying no estate or interest in your county, (more than in common with every Englishman who may think himself, as I do, deeply interested in every place and part of the British empire,) is the reason that I did not offer you my mite sooner, but hearing that the subscription is not yet completed, and hoping that in so liberal a nation there may be many persons disposed to contribute in the same manner, without regard to local interest, particularly in London and other great cities, which have ever been remarkable for their liberality. So that I doubt riot if other subscriptions are set on foot, they will meet with the greatest encouragement in the same way; for I assure you, sir, and hereby pledge myself to give the same sum, not only to each of the twelve counties you have promised, but to every other county and city in which subscriptions shall be opened-for the like good purpose throughout our three kingdoms.
'I have the honour to be, &c.
The name of Hampden is dear to every English patriot; his love of country was untainted by selfishness; his resistance to authority unstained by crime, he pleaded and remonstrated against the encroachments of power, until pleading and remonstrance were disregarded; and he only resorted to arms when the liberties of his country were so endangered, as to render it criminal to remain any longer passive.
John Hampden was descended from one of the most ancient families in Buckinghamshire. When he had attained his thirtieth year he was chosen to represent his native county in parliament, an event which roused to exertion those principles of virtue and patriotism which seemed latent in his character. He was consulted by the leading members of parliament in all the important points of opposition. It was Hampden's peculiar talent to act powerfully when he seemed most disengaged He made no public figure, however, till 1636, when he became universally known by a solemn trial at the King's Bench, on his refusing to pay the ship-money. He carried himself, as Clarendon tells us, through this whole suit with such singular temper and modesty, that he obtained more credit and advantage by losing it, than the king did service by gaining it. The infamous judgment given by the judges on this cause, only roused the nation to a more serious attention to the conduct and views of the court; and encouraged those men of genius and abilities who laid the grounds for the succeeding revolution, to concert measures how to improve, to an effectual height, the growing discontent.
From this time Hampden soon grew to be one of the most popular men of the nation, and a leading member in the Long Parliament. 'The eyes of all men,' says Clarendon, 'were fixed upon him as the pater patriae; and the pilot that must steer the vessel through the tempests and rocks which threatened it.
NW that he had engaged in the important scheme of abridging the power of the court, and reforming the government of the country, he totally discarded the levities of his youth, and became remarkable for the sobriety and strictness of his manners, which, still retaining his natural vivacity of temper, he embellished with an affable, cheerful, and polished behaviour in the parliament of 1640, an event which had been long and impatiently expected by the people, and to which the indefatigable industry, activity, and abilities of Hampden had in a good measure conduced. He was one of the chief directors of the anti-court party; and especially trusted in the business of watching the king's conduct in Scotland, and preventing the Scots being seduced from the interests of liberty, by the cabals and cajolements of the court. His art of directing the understanding and governing the inclinations of men, being such, in all the transactions between the two nations, he was appointed by the parliament one of the commissioners to treat with that people. When the quarrel between the king and the parliament came to hostilities, he accepted the command of a regiment of foot under the Earl of Essex, and was one of the first who opened the war, by an action at a place called Brill, in Buckinghamshire. As the sagacity and intrepidity of his conduct in the character of a senator had rendered him so much the object of the king's indignation as to be one of the six members marked for particular vengeance, so his activity and bravery in the field, and his wise and spirited counsels on the operations of the wet, rendered him so formidable a rival of Essex, that it was thought, had he lived, his party, who were at this time highly incensed at that general's conduct, would have taken the command from him, and given it to Hampden.
Clarendon has drawn the portrait of this eminent personage; but though marked with those partial lines which distinguished the hand of this historian, it is the testimony of an enemy to virtues possessed only by the foremost rank of men. All the talents and virtues which render private life useful, amiable, and respectable, were united in Hampden, in the highest degree, with those excellencies which guide the jarring opinions of popular counsels to determine points and, whilst he penetrated into the most secret designs of other men, he never discovered more of his own inclinations than was necessary to the purpose in hand. In debate he was so much a master, that, joining the art of Socrates with the graces of Cicero, he fixed his own opinion under the modest guise of desiring to Improve by that of others and, contrary to the nature of disputes, left a pleasing impression, which prejudiced his antagonist in his favour, even when he had not convinced or altered his judgment. His behaviour was so generally uniform, and unaffectedly affable, and his conversation so enlivened by his vivacity, so seasoned by his knowledge and understanding, and so well applied to the genius, humour, and prejudices of those he conversed with, that his talents, to gain popularity, were absolute With qualities of this high nature, he possessed in council penetration and discernment, with a sagacity on which no one could impose, an industry and vigilance which were indefatigable with the entire command of his passions and affections, an advantage which gave him a decided superiority over less regulated minds. Whilst there were any hopes that the administration of the country could be corrected, without the entire overthrow of the constitution, Hampden chose, before other preferment, the superintendence of the prince's mind, aiming to correct the source from whence the happiness or misfortunes of the empire, if the Government continued monarchical, must flow: but the aversion which the king discovered to those regulations which were necessary to secure the freedom of the constitution from any future attempt of the crown, with the schemes he had entered on to punish the authors of reformation, and rescind his concessions, determined the conduct of Hampden. Convinced that Charles's affections and understanding were too corrupt to be trusted with power in any degree, he sought the abolition of monarchy, as the only cure to national grievances, warmly opposing all overtures for treaties, as dangerous snares, or any other expedient than conquest for accommodation.
This virtuous patriot was shot in the shoulder by a brace of bullets on Chalgrove field in the year 1642, and after lingering six days, expired in exquisite pain. The king, on hearing of Hampden being wounded, though he was then in arms against him, immediately sent his own physician to attend him, and expressed his consciousness of his integrity, and the regret he felt at his severe wound.
In such respect is the memory of Hampden still held by his grateful countrymen, that some years ago one of his descendants being deficient in an amount of public money, he was exonerated from the debt due to Government by an Act of Parliament, particularly expressing that it was for the services which his illustrious ancestor had rendered to the country, that this mark of favour was shown to him.
Loyal Subscriptions of 1745.
In the rebellion of 1745, a large subscription which was entered into for the support of the government, was filled with unexampled expedition. The Duke of Grafton, congratulating his royal master, George the Second, on such an unequivocal proof of the affections of his subjects, his majesty replied, in his broken English, 'My good lord, my peoples be my wife; though they quarrel with me themselves, they will not suffer others to do it.
The Rat in the Statue.
Hoen Thong, the Emperor of China, was sitting one day in the gardens of Pekin with his favourite counsellor Ti Chi. They talked of the long glories of the Chinese empire from the beginning of the world to the present era; the excellence of its laws, and the wisdom of its government. 'Ti Chi,' said the emperor, 'what is most to be feared in a government?' 'In my opinion, sire,' replied the counsellor, 'nothing is more to be dreaded than what they call the "Rat in the Statue."' The emperor not understanding the allegory, Ti Chi explained it to him. 'You know sire,' said he, 'that it is a common practice to erect statues to the genius of the place: these statues are of wood, hollow within, and painted without. If a rat gets into one of them, one does not know how to get him out.
One dares not make use of fire, for fear of burning the wood; one cannot dip it in water, for fear of washing off the colours; so that the regard one has for the statue, saves the rat that has got into it. Such, sire, are in every government, those who, without virtue or merit, have gained the favour of their prince. They ruin everything; one sees it, one laments it, but one does not know how to remedy it.'
Sir Jerome Bowes.
Sir Jerome Bowes, who was proud of being the guardian of his sovereign's and his country's honour, was sent to Moscow as ambassador from Queen Elizabeth to the Emperor Ian Vasilovich. On entering the presence chamber, he was desired by the emperor to take his seat at ten paces distance, and send to him her majesty's letter and present. Sir Jerome thinking this unreasonable, stepped forward towards the emperor, but was intercepted by the chancellor, who wished to take the letters. The ambassador said, that 'her majesty had directed no letters to him,' and so went forward, and delivered them himself into the emperor's own hands.
In the course of his mission, Sir Jerome standing up boldly for his country, offended the emperor, who with a stern and angry countenance told him, 'that he did not reckon the Queen of England to be his fellow.' Sir Jerome disliking such speeches, and unwilling to suffer this autocrat to speak lightly of the honour and greatness of her majesty, boldly told him to his face, 'that the queen, his mistress, was as great as any prince in Christendom, equal to him that thought himself the greatest, and well able to defend herself against the malice of any whomsoever.' The emperor on this was so enraged, that he declared, 'if he were not an ambassador, he would throw him out of doors.' Sir Jerome replied coolly, 'that he was in his power, but he had a mistress who would revenge any injury done to him.' The emperor unable to bear it longer, bade him get home; when Sir Jerome, 'with no more reverence than such usage required, saluted the emperor and departed.'
No sooner was the ambassador gone, and the emperor's rage somewhat abated, than 'he commended the ambassador before his council, because he would not endure one ill word to be spoken against his mistress, and therewithal wished himself to have such a servant.' After this, Sir Jerome was treated with such high distinction, and obtained such great privileges for the English nation, that Ian Vasilovich was henceforth named by his enemies, 'the English Emperor.'
Alexander, the Roman Emperor.
So deeply was the love of his country impressed on the mind of Alexander, the Roman emperor, that he is said never to have given any public office out of favour or friendship, but to have employed such only as were, both by himself and the senate judged the best qualified for the discharge of the trust reposed in them. He preferred one to the command of the guards, who had retired into the country on purpose to avoid that office, saying, that with him, the declining such honourable employments was the best recommendation to them. He would not suffer any public employments to be sold, saying, 'He who buys, must sell in his turn, and it would be unjust to punish one for selling, after he has been suffered to buy.' He never pardoned any crime committed against the public but suffered no one to be condemned, till his cause was thoroughly heard, and his offence evidently proved. He was an irreconcilable enemy to such as were convicted of having plundered the provinces, and oppressed the people committed to their care. These he never spared, though - his friends, favourites, and kinsmen, but sentenced them to death, and caused them to be executed like common malefactors, notwithstanding their quality or former services.
Lorenzo de Medici.
No man ever died in Florence, or in the whole extent of Italy, with a higher reputation, or was more lamented by his country, than Lorenzo de Medici. Not only his fellow citizens, but all the princes in Italy, were so sensibly affected by his death, that there was not one of them who did not send ambassadors to Florence, to testify their grief, and to condole with the republic on so great a loss. That they had just reasons for these demonstrations of sorrow, was soon fully manifested; for immediately after his decease, such a flame of discord was kindled as has preyed upon the vitals of Italy ever since. As a patron of the arts, Lorenzo was as much distinguished as he was for his patriotism. He restored the academy of Pisa, founded another at Florence, and formed a noble gallery and garden. Well, therefore, did he merit the title of 'Lorenzo the Magnificent.'
'I defy,' said the brave General Paoli, 'Rome, Sparta, or Thebes, to show me thirty years of such patriotism as Corsica can boast.' This little island has experienced more vicissitudes; and been subjected to a greater variety of masters, than any other part of Europe. Different states have held it in subjection by turns, just as their power predominated over that of their neighbours. During the prosperity of the Carthaginians, Corsica owned them for its lords, afterwards it passed successively to the Romans, and to their conquerors, the barbarians from the north, then to the Saracens; afterwards to the Pope, who made a transfer of it to the Pisans; and lastly it was wrested from them by their more powerful neighbours and competitors, the Genoese; who, after some severe struggles, attended with varied successes, became, in 1354, its complete and undisputed sovereigns.
The despotism of the Genoese made all the former durance and suffering of the Corsicans appear light and trivial. The yoke was, however, too formidable to be easily broken; until, unable to bear longer their oppressions, they revolted in formidable numbers in 1729, and obtained several successes over the Genoese. It was in the course of this protracted contest, that Theodore de Newhoff was elected king; but after a short and unhappy reign, he resigned the office. The Corsicans still continued under their own patriot leaders, to emancipate their country, when, in 1755, Pascal Paoli, then a student at Naples, was raised to the chief command. Nothing could be more gratifying to the feelings of Pascal, than this voluntary and striking testimony of the good opinion and attachment of the people among whom he had been born; and, impressed with the generous ambition of serving his country, by asserting its liberties, he resolved to comply with the honourable proposal which had been made to him. His resolution on this occasion was not the rash impulse of the moment, induced by the prospect, fascinating at all times to the mind of youth, of eminence and fame; it was the reluctant determination of genuine patriotism, in which his diffidence and fear were forcibly overcome by the imperious calls of public duty. Of the greatness of the undertaking in which he was about to embark, and of the difficulties and dangers attending it, he was by no means insensible; but, considering his abilities, whatever they might be, as the rightful property of his country, he nobly determined to make every necessary sacrifice of a personal nature, to advance as far as he was able, its welfare and prosperity. This resolution was highly pleasing to his venerable father. He viewed with feelings of parental exultation, the obedience of his son to the calls of his oppressed country; and a ray of patriotic hope beamed in his countenance, when he beheld him about to embark, in all the fire of youth, in the great cause to which he had himself devoted many of the best years of his protracted life. When on the eve of bidding a last adieu to his son, the venerable sire, agitated by a crowd of contending feelings, addressed him in the following affectionate language: 'My son, I may possibly never see you more; but in my mind I shall ever be present with you. Your design is a great and a noble one; and I doubt not but that God will bless you in it. The little which remains to me of life, I will allot to your cause, in offering up my prayers and supplications to heaven for your protection and prosperity.'
When Paoli landed in the island, all was enthusiasm and hope. His appearance seemed to verify every eulogium which had been passed upon his character, and to realize every expectation which had been formed upon the report of his talents. His dignified, though modest demeanour, his manly aspect, and general firmness and energy of character, rendered more engaging and attractive by his amiable temper, and affable deportment towards all with whom he conversed, warmed all hearts with admiration, and afforded an auspicious earnest of the eminence he was ultimately to attain. His formal appointment to the chief command, which took place soon after his arrival, was announced to the public in a proclamation of the supreme council, dated at St. Antonio of the White House, July 15, 1755. At the time Paoli was invested with the government of the island, the state of its affairs, and the general condition of its inhabitants, were most disorderly and wretched, and required the most prompt exertions of the great powers of his genius to regulate and reform them. The Genoese, notwithstanding every exertion to expel them, were still in possession of a great part of the country, and there was a total want of that discipline and subordination among the Corsican troops, and of that harmony and confidence among their leaders, so essentially necessary to enable them to act with vigour and effect, and they were almost entirely destitute of the arms, ammunition, and money, requisite to prosecute a successful warfare against so determined and vindictive a foe as they had to contend with.
Paoli was, however, soon enabled to drive the Genoese from all the interior districts, and to confine them to the maritime towns. The people under the command of Paoli, had now become tolerably united, and cordially cooperated with the ruling powers. Strong measures were therefore adopted to harass the enemy, and a spirited manifesto-was published, inviting the Corsicans to come forward, and to exert their utmost power to emancipate themselves from the bondage under which they had so long groaned. The Genoese became alarmed, well knowing, by dear-bought experience, the courage and intrepidity of the islanders, and beholding, with trepidation and alarm, the increased energies with which they had been inspired by the wise counsels and animating example of their patriotic leader. The Genoese sought to negociate, but Paoli and his brave associates in arms resolved never to make peace, until the Genoese should recognise the freedom and independence of Corsica. All prospect of negociation being thus broken off, the affairs of the Corsican patriots assumed a most serious aspect. They presented memorials to the sovereigns of Europe, in the hopes that some one would interfere in their behalf; but
'Truths would you teach, and save a sinking land.
All hear, none aid you, and few understand;'
and the Corsicans, instead of support, found that France had agreed by treaty to assist Genoa with six battalions, to garrison the towns they still held in Corsica. During the four years for which this treaty was to remain in force, Paoli confined his attention principally to such regulations as were necessary to preserve the country from being harassed and plundered by these auxiliaries; and the only military operation of consequence which took place in this interval, was an attack upon the small island of Capraja, in the vicinity of Corsica, then in the possession of the Genoese; which, after a vigorous assault, was carried by the patriots, in the month of May, 1767.
When Paoli and his followers were anxiously waiting the expiration of the term during which the Genoese were to receive the assistance of the French forces sent to the island, an event happened, which threw a dark cloud over this devoted country and its brave defenders, and excited the indignation of every considerate man in Europe. The republic, beholding the unyielding constancy with which the Corsicans maintained their cause, and reflecting upon the immense expenses of the contest they were carrying on against them, entered into a negociation with the French court to transfer the island, and actually concluded a treaty, whereby they transferred to them all their claims, such as they were, to its possession and sovereignty. As a preliminary step in the ratification of this treaty, the towns then garrisoned by the French troops, were to be considered as ceded to France; and the remainder of the island was to be recovered from Paoli by the French themselves, either by negociation or by force. The French minister, the Duke de Choiseul, was certainly very illadvised in this unfortunate bargain. Notwithstanding the lesson which the fatal experience of the Genoese might have taught him to the contrary, he appears to have thought, that in the hands of France, the conquest or subjugation of the island might be accomplished without much difficulty; and little knowing, the firm and determined character of genuine patriotism, exerting itself in the defence of all that is dear to man, he made overtures to Paoli to forego any farther opposition, and to suffer the French government to take quiet possession of their purchased territory. To induce his compliance, it was proposed to him, to recognise his commission as commander-in-chief, and to continue to him that rank and authority, with this only, though indeed essential, difference, that he was to hold it under the supreme authority of the French government. But Paoli was not to be so easily inveigled into the toils of a corrupt court. He rejected its proposal with becoming dignity and spirit, declaring that 'the rocks which surrounded him should melt away, ere he would betray a cause which he held in common with the meanest Corsican.' Negotiations having thus proved ineffectual to corrupt this Timoleon of modern times, the French minister found he must have recourse to more powerful means to force his submission. The war was begun by the French troops already in the island, under the command of the Count de Marbeuf; but as it was soon perceived that this force was too small and insignificant to prosecute any offensive operations of consequence, a reinforcement, consisting of about five thousand men, under the command of the Marquess de Chauvelin, was sent to its assistance. These troops landed at Bastia, flushed with the most sanguine hopes of victory, considering it impossible that so disorderly and ill-accoutred an army as that of Paoli appeared to them, could long hold out against so numerous and well disciplined a body as themselves. The event however, proved that they were mistaken. In their first attack, indeed, they proved successful, and forced their enemies to relinquish the entrenchment, which they had formed on the heights of Croce, Maillebois, and St. Antonio, but being too highly elated with this advantage, they pursued their career with too little circumspection, and fell into a snare which Paoli, who had withdrawn his troops to the other side of the Guolo, had laid for them. They were suddenly attacked by five or six thousand men, under the command of Clement Paoli, the brother of Pascal, and routed in all directions. Paoli immediately proceeded to lay siege to Borgo, a strong position of which the French army had obtained possession in their first successes, and which had been entrusted to the command of M. de Lude. Having no artillery, their menaces were regarded as impotent by their enemies, and treated with ridicule. The Corsicans, however, invested the place on the 5th of December and blockaded De Lude and his troops so completely, as to cut off all communication between him and the main body, and to deprive him of all supplies of water for himself and his men. At length his situation became so desperate, that M. de Chauvelin conceived it to be his duty to risk the safety of his whole army to endeavour to relieve him. Accordingly an ill-conducted attack was made on the Corsicans, which terminated in their complete success. The French forces were driven back with the loss of about three hundred men, and De Lude was obliged to capitulate, with all the infantry, the colours of the royal legion, and four pieces of artillery, while the victorious Corsicans had not to lament the loss of one man in any part of the engagement. After this signal defeat, in which Paoli and his brave countrymen covered themselves with glory, M. de Chauvelin retreated in consternation to Bastia, leaving his conquerors in quiet possession of the field they had so nobly won. The French commander soon afterwards returned home in disgrace and Marbeuf succeeded him pro tempore. A suspension of arms was agreed upon between the new commander and Paoli; but Dumourier, who served in the French army as adjutant-general, being at variance with Marbeuf determined not to remain idle. Under pretence that the Corsicans in opposition to Paoli, were not included in this treaty, he intrigued with several of the principal families among them, agreed to carry on the war at their head, and actually assaulted the post of Isola Rossa, and took the tower of Giralette by storm. This impotent warfare was, however, soon terminated, and the Corsican patriots had leisure to direct their thoughts to operations of greater consequence. Elated by their late successes, and willing to avail themselves of the favourable opportunity which the consternation of their invaders offered for the purpose, they entered into a regular and systematic conspiracy, to destroy or utterly to expel them from the island. All the quarters occupied by the French were to be assaulted at one and the same time, and six battalions that wintered in Oletta were to be murdered by their hosts. This massacre did not take place, but the general attack was carried into execution. A battalion of the regiment of La Mark was surprised and cut off in the Patrimonio. Reprisals ensued, and the war again broke out with increased violence.
Favourable as was the termination of this campaign to Paoli and his followers, they were too soon convinced that their victory had. not secured them any lasting advantages. They found that France had sent a reinforcement of twenty battalions and two legions under the command of the Count de Vaux, whose military talents and resolution Paoli well knew how to estimate. Desperate as the affairs of the islanders had now become, they did not despair, but appeared animated with life and vigour, proportioned to the emergency, and determined to grasp the darling form of liberty, while life or hope remained. To the formidable armament of their enemies, they opposed a firm, undaunted front, tenaciously defending, and' as they retreated, dearly selling every inch of ground to their foes. These foes were, however, too numerous and too formidable, and Paoli and his brave associates, after prosecuting the struggle for some time, even when it became hopeless, were obliged to abandon their country to its unprincipled spoilers.
A Corsican serjeant, who fell in one of the desperate actions against the Genoese, when dying, wrote to Paoli thus: 'I salute you. Take care of my aged father. In two hours I shall be with the rest who have bravely died for their country.'
The following letter from the secretary of General Paoli, to his brother at Leghorn, exhibits the patriotic character of that great man. 'My dear brother, I have ventured to acquaint you by one of our friends, that we expect this night to settle the method of our embarkation. We are here to the number of five hundred and thirty-seven, entirely surrounded by four thousand of the French army. Our general never showed himself greater than in the midst of his misfortunes; he animates us by his example, and consoles us by his discourse continually. Yesterday he ascended a small eminence in the middle of the camp, and delivered the speech which I have inclosed. We have resolved to die with our arms in our hands, if we do not succeed in escaping to some other place, where we hope to wait until a change of circumstances revives our expectations, and again restores us to our country.
'At length, my brave companions, we are reduced to the last extremity. That dreadful event, which neither a war of thirty years, the rancorous hatred of the Genoese, nor the forces of different European powers, could bring about, is now produced by the effect of' gold alone! Our unfortunate countrymen, deceived and led away by their corrupted chiefs, are even going themselves to embrace those chains which are forging for them! Our once happy constitution is overthrown! Most of our friends are either slain or made prisoners! and for us, who have had the misfortune to see and weep over the ruins of our country, what remains? Nothing but a sad alternative, death or slavery! Can any of you, to lengthen out a short life of wretchedness, become slaves to injustice and oppression? Alas! my dear friends, let us reject with scorn that shameful thought. As neither the gold nor the splendid offers of France, have had power to tempt me to dishonour, I trust the success of their arms has not made me contemptible. After the reputation of having conquered, there is nothing more estimable than a glorious death! Let us then lose no time, but either force our way, sword in hand, through the ranks of our enemies, and in a distant land wait for happier times to avenge our country's wrongs, or terminate our honourable career, our short remains of life, by dying gloriously as we have lived.'
After this, the brave chief embraced the followers of his fortune, and in the dead of night, having fought his way through the French, escaped to the ruins of a convent on the sea shore, where he concealed himself two days, and then found means to embark on board an English vessel bound to Leghorn, where he arrived in safety. His entrance into that harbour had more the appearance of a victory than of a flight. All the English ships saluted him with their artillery, and displayed their colours, and though it rained most violently when he landed, the people of all ranks ran in crowds towards the mole, and received the brave chief with the greatest acclamations of joy.
The Castle of Corte, in possession of the Genoese, was besieged with great vigour by the Corsicans, commanded by Gaffori. By a strange want of thought, the nurse who had the care of Gaffori's eldest son, then an infant, wandering some distance from the camp, was seen by the Genoese, who making a sudden sally, seized the nurse and the child, and carried them into the castle. This circumstance cast a great damp over the Corsican army, and the Genoese thought they might demand any terms from Gaffori, while they retained so dear a pledge. When he advanced with his cannon against the castle, they held up his son directly over that part of the wall against which his artillery was levelled. The Corsicans stopped, and began to draw back'; but Gaffori, with the resolution of a Roman, stood at their head, and ordered them to continue their fire. Fortunately his firmness was not broken by losing his child, as it escaped unhurt.
Gaffori, previous to the revolutionary war under Paoli, was once informed that a band of assassins were coming against him. He went out and met them with serene dignity, and begging that they would hear him, if but for a moment, he gave them so pathetic a picture of the distresses of their country, and roused them to such a degree against the authors of their oppression, that the assassins threw themselves at his feet, implored his forgiveness, and instantly joined his banners.
In the struggles which Corsica made to shake off the yoke of the Genoese, two sons of Count Domenico Rivarola were seized, though in a Tuscan vessel with a British passport, and carried to Genoa. The republic thought this would certainly prevent the Count from continuing with the patriots. They offered to restore him his possessions release his two sons, and make him general of the Corsican troops in their service, if he would desert the patriot army. He answered with resolution and magnanimity; 'No: my sons they shall be obliged to give me, and all their other offers I consider as nothing in comparison of the just enterprise in which I am engaged, and in which I will persevere while I have life.'
Republic of San Marino.
When Cardinal Alberoni was Legate of Romagna, in 1740, he endeavoured to bring the little republic of San Marino, which bordered on his government, under the dominion of the Pope. The Cardinal had intrigued so successfully with some of the principal inhabitants, that the day was fixed on which these republicans were to swear allegiance to the sovereign under whose protection they had put themselves. On the day appointed Alberoni rode up the mountain with his suite and was received at the door of the principal church by the priests, and the chief inhabitants of the place. He was conducted to his seat under a canopy to hear high mass and Te Deum sung; a ceremony usual in all catholic countries on similar occasions. Unluckily however, for the views of Alberoni, the mass began, as was usual in that republic, with the word Libertas. This word had such en effect upon the minds of the hearers, who began then for the first time perhaps to recollect that they were about to lose the thing itself, that they fell upon the Cardinal and his attendants drove them out of the church, and made them descend the very steep mountain of Marino with rapidity; after which the Popes left the, inhabitants to their old form of government.
The Smallest Republic.
Amid the various opinions concerning the different modes of government, it is not universally known which is the smallest republic in Europe. It is the village of Gerisau in Switzerland, which is situated on the eastern branch of the Lake of Schweitz, at the foot of Mount Rigi. Its territory is only six miles in length and three in breadth, situated partly on a small neck of land at the edge of the lake, and partly lying upon the rapid declivity of the Rigi. It contains about 1200 inhabitants. They have their general assembly of burgesses, their landamman, their council of regency, their courts of justice, and their militia, but there is not a single horse in the whole territory of the republic, as indeed may well be supposed, for the only way of arriving at the town is by water, excepting a narrow path down the steep sides of the mountain which is almost impassable. Gerisau is composed entirely of scattered houses and cottages of a very neat and picturesque appearance. Each dwelling is provided with a field or small garden. The inhabitants are much employed in preparing silk for the manufactures of Basle. This little republic is under the protection of the four cantons of Lucerne, Uri, Schweitz, and Underwalden; and in case of war, furnishes its quota of men. To the ambitious politician, who judges of governments by extent of dominion and power, such a diminutive republic, thrown into an obscure corner, and scarcely known out of its own contracted territory, must appear unworthy of notice, but the smallest spot of earth on which true civil freedom is cultivated and flourishes cannot fail to interest those who know the real value of liberty and independence, and are convinced that political happiness does not consist in great opulence and extensive empire.
Alexius Comnenius meaning to depose Nicephorus Botoniates, the Emperor of Constantinople, sent Caesar Ducas in the habit of a monk, to spy how the city was defended. He brought word back, that they must take heed how they assaulted one particular part which was guarded by the Barangi, and that to tempt them by bribery was impracticable, 'for,' says he, 'these battle-axe men adhering firmly to the traditions of their own country, think faith to their leaders to be their portion of inheritance.' These Barangi, who were, undoubtedly Englishmen, are supposed by some writers to have fled their country when they found the Normans prevail.
Freedom of the Press.
A letter appeared in a newspaper, giving a ludicrous account of one of the heads of the Bourbon family; upon which, not only the Spanish ambassador, but all the ambassadors belonging to that family, joined in a memorial which was delivered to Lord Weymouth, insisting upon condign punishment being inflicted upon the printer, and even threatening us as a nation if such satisfaction was refused. To this the secretary of state answered like a man of sense and spirit, that he was surprised the ambassadors could be so ignorant of the constitution of this country, as not to know that it was out of the power of government to punish a printer in the way their excellencies desired; that he was sorry for the affront offerred to their sovereign, that the English newspapers took liberties with their own king, and a foreign prince had no great cause to be angry, if he was sometimes treated with the same freedom, since the laws of the land were equally the shelter of the offenders in both cases. As to the threats, he smiled at them; but added, that if what the printers had done, could be construed into a libel, the attorney-general should be spoken to, a prosecution commenced, and such damages adjudged, as a jury of Englishmen thought equitable.
Prince Masserano, the Spanish ambassador, was greatly enraged at this answer of Lord Weymouth's, and exclaimed, 'What, not punish the rascal who has called the King of Spain a fool?' 'No,' said Lord Weymouth, 'I cannot, for these very printers have said the same of our king, who is a sensible man; and when brought to trial by our course of law, they were acquitted.
When the Senate of Genoa proposed to build a fortress in the middle of the city, in order to ensure its tranquillity, and to protect the life of Andrea Doria, which was in danger, this distinguished patriot opposed the measure very violently, saying, 'that Genoa could never preserve its liberty by mere ramparts, and by a garrison; that it must owe that inestimable blessing to the disinterestedness of the nobles, and the obedience of the people. God forbid,' he exclaimed, 'that to ensure the safety of the remainder of my life, my country should be rendered obnoxious to slavery! This fortress, which some of you wish to build, will only contribute one day or other to reduce the republic to a state of servitude.'
Notwithstanding that the principles of the Quakers will not allow them to sanction war, much less contribute to its support, unless when compelled, yet in the rebellion of 1745, a deputation of this society waited on Sir William Yonge and Lord Ligonier, with an offer to furnish, at their own expense, to the troops employed in his majesty's service during the winter in the north, a supply of woollen waistcoats, to be worn under their other clothing. The offer was accepted.
Grand Duchess of Weimar.
When the battle of Jena had decided the fate of the North of Germany, the French army, headed by Napoleon, marched on Weimar. The grand duke was at that time absent with the army, and the duchess only remained in the castle, whither, on the approach of the French, the poor deserted women, children, and inhabitants of the town, all flocked for safety. The gates were opened to them, and the grand duchess sheltered and protected them with the kindness of a mother. On Napoleon's entry, he summoned her royal highness to abandon the castle and attend him. She refused, and an order for the pillage of the palace and town was instantly Issued. The duchess remained firm, and determined, if possible, to avert this fate from her little capital. Her efforts were crowned with success, and her firmness even induced Napoleon at last to wait on her in person. Her noble deportment and energetic pleadings wrought upon the conqueror, and induced him to with. draw his cruel order. The grand duchess underwent the severest hardships for the accomplishment of her admirable purpose; remaining shut up in the castle, with her helpless subjects, for several days, almost without the bare necessaries of life.
In the early part of the year 1789, when the nation was in a state of despondency respecting the health of his late venerable majesty, George the Third, and a change in the administration was thought extremely probable, It occurred to several gentlemen of the first respectability in the city of London, that Mr. Pitt, on quitting office, would be in a situation of great embarrassment, not only from some debts which he had unavoidably incurred, but as to the means of his subsistence. They felt the strong impression, in which the nation participated, of his great virtues, as well as of his eminent talents; and they were sensible, in common with the major part of their countrymen, of the value of those services to which his life had been hitherto devoted, particularly to those commercial interests in which they were deeply concerned. Under this impression, a certain number of merchants and ship-owners met, and resolved to raise the sum of £100,000, to be presented to him as? free gift - the wellearned reward of his meritorious exertions; each subscriber engaging never to divulge the name of himself, or of any other person contributing, in order to prevent its being known to any one except themselves, who the contributors were. The only exception to this engagement of secrecy, was a respectable baronet, who was deputed to learn from a friend of the minister's, in 'whet manner the token of esteem and gratitude (as it was expressed) could be presented most acceptably to Mr. Pitt.
Highly flattering as the offer was, and seasonable as the act would have been, the friend applied to entertained doubts of Mr. Pitt accepting the proffered bounty, and there. fore thought it right to apprize him of the intention. This occasioned a long discussion on the subject, which ended in Mr. Pitt expressing a positive and fixed determination to decline the acceptance of this liberal and generous offer; a determination that nothing could shake, for when it was urged that it never could be known to him who the subscribers were, and they were men whose fortunes put them out of all probability of ever soliciting the smallest favour from him, his reply was, 'that if he should, at any future time of his life, return to office, he should never see a gentleman from the city without its occurring to him that he might be one of his subscribers.'
This positive determination was communicated to the baronet before alluded to, which put an end to the measure; and in a few days after, Mr. Pitt, in conversing about his future plans, remarked, that had he lost his situation in the ministry, he had taken a fixed resolution to return to the bar, and to apply unremittingly to that profession, in order to extricate himself from his difficulties, and to secure, as far as he should be able, the means of future independence.
While the Seahorse man-of-war, then commanded by Sir Hugh Palliser, was lying in Leith Roads, a man, under indentures as an apprentice, had been engaged as a sailor on board that ship. On a petition from his master, and upon production of the indentures, Judge Philip, of the High Court of Admiralty granted a warrant to bring the man on shore to be examined. A messenger went on board to apprehend him, but was told by Captain Palliser that he considered himself as only subject to the Lords of the Admiralty, and that he would not suffer the man to go on shore. Upon this, the messenger, with his blazon upon his breast, broke his rod of peace, and reported this act of illegal deforcement to the Admiralty Court. The Judge Philip then granted a warrant to apprehend Captain Palliser himself, and to commit him to prison No attempt was made to execute this warrant until the Captain came on shore, when he was instantly seized and imprisoned. Next day he was brought into court, and refused to submit to its jurisdiction, asserting that he held his commission from the Board of Admiralty, to which alone he was responsible for his conduct. He was therefore remanded to prison, where he remained six weeks, until the apprentice was delivered up to his master. When this case was reported by the Earl of Findlater, then Lord High Admiral of Scotland, to Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, the latter remarked that 'he was a bold judge who had done this, but what he had done was right.'
It is said to this day, by the lovers of good wine in Scotland, who are not few, that Sir Hugh Palliser obtained a severe revenge against the Scots, on account of the affront he sustained in this affair. Before the union between England and Scotland, French wines had been subjected, on their importation into Scotland, to very trifling duties. They were therefore imported in great abundance; and claret was universally used by persons in easy circumstances. After the treaty of union and after whet is called the Methven treaty with Portugal, by which the Portuguese wines obtained a. preference in Britain, the French wines being thereby subjected to double duties, the British ministry avoided enforcing the law in Scotland; they had two reasons for this. In the first place, Scotland was considered as a poor country, the revenue from which was of little importance; and secondly, they did not wish to render the union unpopular, by violently attacking, or attempting to alter, the ancient habits of the people. Accordingly, they connived at the importation to Scotland of French wines, under the name of Portuguese wines. It is said, however, with what truth we know not, that Sir Hugh Palliser, on his return to England, represented Scotland as now become a wealthy and luxurious country; remonstrated with administration against their past conduct, in allowing the revenue to be defrauded annually of a large sum of money: and threatened, that unless the law was enforced, he would endeavour to bring the subject before the English public Sir Hugh's remonstrances were favourably listened to, and the collectors of the revenue in Scotland were instructed to enforce the law relative to French wines. This was for some time accomplished with difficulty. The deep bays or friths which run far into the country of Scotland, afforded great opportunities for smuggling, at a time when the British navy did not possess that absolute dominion over the ocean which it has since acquired. When seizures were made, the juries in Exchequer, during a long period, would never confess themselves able to distinguish the taste of French from that of Portuguese wines. Their verdicts were therefore almost uniformly against the crown. Nor was this spirit absolutely got quit of till the early part of Mr. Pitt's administration, when the duties upon wine were brought under the management of the excise.
Patrick Henry was the son of Colonel John Henry, a native of Aberdeen in Scotland, and born at Studley, in the county of Hanover and state of Virginia. In his youth he gave no signs of future greatness. No persuasion could induce him either to read or to work, but he ran wild in the forest, and divided his time between the uproar of the chase and the languor of inaction.
He married at eighteen; he was for some time a farmer, and then entered into mercantile undertakings, which in a few years rendered him a bankrupt, and reduced him to a state of wretchedness. He now determined to try the bar. About this time the famous contest between the clergy on the one hand, and the legislature and the people of Virginia on the other, concerning the stipends of the former, took place; and he exhibited such displays of eloquence in 'the parsons' cause,' as it was termed, as drew the admiration of all his fellow citizens. His exertions were so unexampled, so unexpected so instantaneous, that he obtained the appellation of 'The Orator of Nature.'
When the question first came to be agitated concerning the right of the British parliament to tax America, he gave as has been truly remarked, 'the first impulse to the ball of the revolution.' Men who were on other occasions distinguished for intrepidity and decision, hung back, unwilling to submit, yet afraid to speak out in the language of bold and open' defiance. In this hour of despondency, suspense, and consternation, Henry arose to cheer the drooping spirits of his countrymen, and to call forth all the energies of the Americans to contend for their freedom. When the House of Burgesses was within three days of its expected close, Henry produced and carried the far-famed resolutions concerning the stamp act, which formed the first firm opposition to the scheme of taxing America by the British parliament.
In 1774, he appeared in the venerable body of the old continental congress of the United States, when it met for the first time. Henry broke the silence which for awhile overawed the minds of all present, and as he advanced, rose with the magnitude and importance of the subject, to the noblest displays of argument and eloquence. 'This,' said he, 'is not the time for ceremony, the question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. It is nothing less than freedom or slavery. If we wish to be free, we must fight - I repeat it, sir, we must fight! an appeal to arms and to the God of hosts, is all that is left us.' It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace! peace! but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the north, will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms, our brethren are already in the field! why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, and peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me,' cried he, with both his arms extended aloft, his brows knit, every feature marked with the resolute purpose of his soul, and his voice swelled to its boldest note of exclamation, 'give me liberty or give me death!' He took his seat, and the cry 'to arms!' seemed to quiver upon every lip and beam from every eye.
Henry lived to witness the glorious issue of that revolution which his genius had set in motion; and, to use his own prophetic language before the commencement of the revolution, 'to see America take her station amongst the nations of the earth.'
A meeting was called in Boston, in consequence of some new inroads upon the rights and liberties of the people. Adams, who sat silent, listening to their violent harangues, at last rose, and after a few remarks, concluded with saying: 'A Grecian philosopher, who was lying asleep upon the grass, was roused by the bite of some animal upon the palm of his hand. He closed his hand suddenly, as he awoke, and found that he had caught a field mouse. As he was examining the little animal who dared to attack him, it unexpectedly bit him a second time; he dropped it, and it made its escape. Now, fellow citizens, what think you was the reflection he made upon this trifling circumstance? It was this: that there is no animal, however weak and contemptible, which cannot defend its own liberty, if it will only fight for it.' The cause of American independence owed much to the zeal and intrepidity of this individual. In comparison with the politicians of expediency and intrigue, his love of liberty, his sincerity, his honesty, and his consistency of character, raised him into true dignity. Compared with those who have governed empires and swayed the fate of nations, but whose history is tarnished by corruption and venality, the memory of this humble patriot is enrolled among the defenders of his country, and repeated with gratitude and respect by the meanest citizen of that state which he contributed to render free.
Admiral Boscawen was little infected with the spirit of party which at his time prevailed in the navy, to the injury of the country, and reproach of the profession. When on his return from some expedition, he found his friends out of place, and another administration appointed, he was asked whether he | would continue as a Lord of the Admiralty with them? he replied very nobly: The country has a right to the services of its professional men, and should 1 be sent again upon any expedition, my situation at the Admiralty will facilitate the equipment of the fleet I am to command.'
Earl of Chatham.
On certain occasions, Lord Chatham not only opposed the opinions of his brethren in office, but had the courage and integrity to oppose the prejudices of his sovereign, when he thought them inimical to the interests of his country. An instance of this occurred in the case of General Wolfe, when he appointed him to command at the siege of Quebec. Lord Chatham gave to the general the appointment of all his officers; and the list which Wolfe presented, included the name of a gentleman who was obnoxious to his sovereign, George the Second, on account of some advice which, as a military man, he had given to his son, the Duke of Cumberland. Lord Ligonier, then commander-in-chief, took the list to the king, who, as was expected, made some objections to a particular name, and refused to sign the commission. Lord Chatham sent him into the closet a second time, with no better success. Lord Ligonier refused to go in the third time; at Lord Chatham's suggestion, he was, however, told, that he should lose his place if he did not; and that, on his representing the name to his sovereign, he should tell him the peculiar state of the expedition, and that in order to make any general completely responsible or his conduct, he should be made, as much as possible, inexcusable, if he did not succeed; and that in consequence, whatever an officer, who was entrusted with any service of confidence and consequence, required, should, if possible, be complied with. Lord Ligonier went in a third time, and told his sovereign what Lord Chatham had requested him to say. The good sense of the monarch so completely disarmed his prejudice, that he signed the commission as he was desired.
During the reign of his late majesty, the footway through Richmond Park to Wimbledon, East Sheen, and Kingston, was shut up by order of the ranger, and no passage allowed without a ticket. This encroachment would probably have been submitted to, but for the patriotic courage of Mr. John Lewis, of Richmond, one of those
'Village Hampdens, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrants of their fields withstood.'
Lewis took a friend with him to the spot; waited for the opportunity of a carriage passing through; and when the door-keeper was shutting the gates, interposed, and offered to go in. 'Where is your ticket?' said the keeper 'What occasion is there for a ticket? anybody may pass through here,' said Lewis. 'Not without a ticket,' replied the keeper. 'Yes they may, and I will,' said Lewis. The keeper resisted, and shut the gate; on which Lewis brought his action, which was tried at the Surrey Assizes, before Sir Michael Foster, when Lewis obtained a decree in his favour. When the right of the footpath was established, Lewis was asked whether he would have a door or a step ladder; but he chose the latter, but in mere spite the steps of it were set at such a distance as rendered it almost useless.
When the same judge happened to go the i Home Circuit, Lewis again complained to the court.' 'My lord,' says he, 'they have left such a space between the steps of the ladder that children and old men are unable to get up it.' 'I have observed it myself,' said this honest judge, 'and I desire, Mr. Lewis, that you will see it so constructed, that not only children and old men, but old women too, may be able to get up.'
A few years afterwards, the king wished to obtain possession of a narrow lane of great length, which separated Richmond and Kew Garden, and led a shorter way from Richmond to Kew and Brentford Ferry. As it was intended to get the consent of the parishioners to the measure, the queen's steward 'made a great dinner and invited many,' end among the rest, John Lewis. Knowing himself to be somewhat obnoxious to the court and its retainers, Lewis at first refused the invitation, but at length determined to go.
The bottle was freely circulated amidst a profusion of the luxuries of the season. Lewis however, determined to keep possession of his sober faculties, and was on his guard accordingly. Late in the evening, when most of the company had departed, the steward got up and expatiating on the benevolence and amiable qualities of the queen, who was lady of the manor, declared how infinitely she would be obliged to the inhabitants of Richmond, for giving up the road in question; but that if it was disagreeable to a single inhabitant of the place, she did not wish the surrender to be made. 'I am that individual,' said Mr. Lewis to the steward: 'and with as much respect for her majesty as you or any man can entertain, I do not feel myself at liberty to compliment the queen with the privileges and advantages of my townsmen and their posterity. Their rights are sacred and neither in our disposal, nor in that of others. We are in our day, the guardians of a trust committed to us by our forefathers, and we are guilty of infidelity and fraud, if these trusts do not pass unimpaired through our hands into the possession of our children.'
The design was given up at that time; but an Act of Parliament a few years after, alienated that right which John Lewis would never have relinquished.
The last war in Russia incontestably proved that extraordinary efforts of patriotism, under a despotic government, do not always proceed from despotic measures; and that the system of slavery to which the Russian peasant is subject, is not such as to extinguish all love of his country.
The Carthaginian matrons have been celebrated for the sacrifice of their hair for the defence of their city, when attacked by the Romans; the patriotism of all ranks in Russia, during the invasion by the French in 1812, was exhibited in an equal, though more efficient, manner. Voluntary offers of men and money, and of whatever might assist the prosecution of the war, were presented to the emperor from every quarter, and with an earnestness that would not be denied. The grand duchess, his sister, set the example, by offering to raise a regiment on her estates, to combat the powerful adventurer who had solicited her hand. The imperial city of Moscow magnificently proposed to arm and equip 80,000 men. The veteran Platoff, whose blood had been so often shed in defence of Russia on former occasions, now showed his ardour for the cause in which he was engaged, by promising his daughter and 200,000 roubles to the hero who should rid the world of the invader; and frequent instances occurred of young men of fortune, who were content to serve as subalterns in the corps which they had raised, and to yield the command to abler officers. Nor was this enthusiasm confined to the higher orders; the peasantry flocked from all quarters to avail themselves of the general permission to enlist in the army. The success of the English in the Peninsula had reached their ears, and they were often heard to exclaim, 'What, shall a small state like Portugal succeed in expelling the French, with the assistance of England: and shall Russia not revenge the blood of those who fell at Eylau and Friedland?'
But the most extraordinary instance of activity was shown in the creation of a galley fleet, for the purpose of transporting a body of 15,000 men from Finland to the relief of Riga. Within the short space of six weeks, above a hundred gunboats were built and equipped, and sailed to fulfil the object for which they were intended.
History does not present to us, replete as it is with scenes of blood and slaughter, any event more strikingly tremendous than the conflagration of Moscow; or any instance of resolution and patriotism more strongly exemplified, than in the conduct of the governor and inhabitants of this great city, at this critical period. When Moscow had been laid in ashes by an act of noble patriotic devotion, Rostopchin, the governor, with his forces, retreated. His country palace, situated at Voronovo, a short distance from Moscow, was the only asylum which remained to him; but on the approach of the French, he set fire to it with his own hands, leaving the following letter to the enemy, on the occasion, which strongly marks his character:-
'I have for eight years embellished this country house, and I have lived happy in it in the bosom of my family. The inhabitants of this estate, to the number of 1720, quit it at your approach, and I set fire to my house that it may not be polluted by your presence Frenchmen, I have abandoned to you my two Moscow houses, worth half a million of roubles; here you will only find ashes.
(Signed) COUNT TEDOR ROSTOPCHIN.'
His example stimulated the peasants of the neighbourhood to unheard of sacrifices; and they were seen in all directions, on the approach of the enemy, setting fire to the faggots which they had previously placed against their houses. When Bonaparte found that they could not be induced by coercive measures to bring in forage for his troops, he endeavoured to engage them by promises of payment. In some instances, the villagers affected to consent, and then fell upon the parties sent to receive the provisions. Such determined resistance could not fail to provoke the barbarity of the French; and all the cruelties of which the Buccaneers have been accused, were exercised against the villagers who fell into their power.
Several attempts were made to enlist the prisoners brought in on these occasions into the French service. One intrepid fellow, whose hand had been marked with the name of Napoleon, seized the hatchet which was stuck in his belt, and chopped off his arm, declaring it should never wield a weapon against his country. Twelve of Count Woronzoff's peasants fell into the hands of the French, and Bonaparte gave them their choice, either to enter into his army, or to be put to death in the course of an hour. They all refused to enter, and at the expiration of the hour he repeated his offer, upon which the first four crossed themselves, and submitted to their fate; after such a proof of the total inefficacy of compulsory measures, the officer, ashamed of the infamous task entrusted to him, permitted the rest to escape.
When Sir George Rodney resided in France, to avoid his creditors, his distress became a subject of public notoriety. It had long been suspected by M. de Sartine, the Minister of Police, who was no stranger to his merits; he accordingly communicated his ideas to the Duc de Biron, and persuaded him to make the admiral an offer of the command of the French fleet in the West Indies; and also to proffer a very liberal supply of money, to enable him to discharge his pecuniary embarrassments.
In order to accomplish this infamous design with greater ease, the duke immediately sent a very civil invitation to Sir George, to spend some weeks at his house; which he accepted. One morning, during a walk in the gardens, the duke, with great caution and politeness, sounded the admiral on the subject; but so far was the ingenuous mind of Sir George from suspecting what so strange a conversation could lead to, that he at length imagined the duke must be deranged, and in consequence began to regard him with pity. The duke mistaking Sir George's conduct, came at once to the point, and openly declared to him 'that as the king, his royal master, intended the West Indies should become the theatre of the present war, he was commissioned to make the most unbounded offers to Sir George if he would quit the English service, - and accept the command of a French squadron.'
The brave admiral, with great temper, though much agitated, instantly replied, 'My distresses, sir, it is true, have driven me from the bosom of my country, but no temptation whatever can estrange me from her service. Had this offer been a voluntary one of your own, I should have deemed it an insult; but I am glad to learn it proceeds from a source that can do no wrong.
The Duc de Biron, struck with the patriotic virtue of the British tar, from that time became his sincere friend, and enabled Sir George to return to his native country, where he solicited and obtained an important command.
Andrea Doria was one of the greatest naval commanders, and one of the truest patriots, that the republic of Genoa could ever boast. He was in the service of France; but when he found that Francis the First had some designs upon the prosperity and freedom of Genoa, by repairing the fortifications, and adding a citadel to the city of Savona, he addressed him in the following letter: - 'Great prince, he who makes use of the power heaven has put into his hands, to reverse the common order of human affairs, employs it to a very bad purpose. The city of Genoa has always been the capital of Liguria; arid posterity will not behold without astonishment that your majesty has deprived it of that advantage without any reason. The Genoese perceive how your projects are likely to affect their interests. They entreat you to give them up, and not to suffer the general good to be sacrificed to the interests of a few of your courtiers. I take the liberty to join my entreaties to those of my countrymen, and to request this of you as the reward of the services I have been able to render France. If circumstances lay your majesty under the necessity of wanting money, I will, in addition to the appointments which are due to me from your majesty, present you with fourscore thousand gold crowns.'
Francis returning no answer to this letter, and Doria perceiving that the fortifications were still going on, told Trivulci, 'that the republic of Genoa would submit to anything sooner than see Savona torn from their dominions:' adding, 'with respect to myself, I shall sacrifice the friendship of a King of France to the interests of my country. Pray tell this to your sovereign as soon as you can and assure him, that it is not a desire of gain which makes me act thus; it is an honest indignation at observing, that the prayers I made to him in favour of my injured country which he is taking pains to oppress, do not meet with that attention to which they are entitled.'
Francis now ordered Doria to be seized in the port of Genoa, and brought prisoner to France; but he escaped with his vessels, and returned soon after to Genoa.
The highest ambition of Doria, on returning to his native country, was to deliver it from a foreign yoke, and a favourable opportunity occurred. Afflicted by the pestilence, the city of Genoa was almost deserted by its inhabitants; the French garrison being neither regularly paid nor recruited, was reduced to an inconsiderable number. Doria's emissaries found that such of the citizens who remained, were alike weary of the French and the imperial yoke, the rigour of which they had alternately experienced they were ready to welcome him as their deliverer, and to second all his measures. Things wearing this promising aspect, he sailed towards Genoa; on his approach, the French galleys retired, a small body of men which he landed, surprised one of the gates of Genoa in the night time; the French governor, with his feeble garrison, shut himself up in the citadel, and Doria took possession of the town without resistance, or the shedding of blood. Want of provisions soon constrained Trivulci, the French governor, to capitulate, the people, eager to abolish this monument of their servitude, ran together with a tumultuous violence, and levelled the citadel with the ground.
It was now in the power of Doria to have rendered himself the sovereign of his country, which he had liberated from oppression. The fame of his former actions, the success of his present attempt, the attachment of his friends, the gratitude' of his countrymen, together with the support ofthe Emperor, all conspired to secure him success, and to invite him to a throne. But with, a magnanimity of which there are but few examples, he sacrificed all thoughts of aggrandizing to himself the virtuous satisfaction of establishing liberty in his country. Having assembled the whole body of the people in the court before his palace, he assured them that the happiness of seeing them once more in possession of their freedom, was to him a full reward for all his services; that more delighted with the name of citizen than of sovereign, he claimed no preeminence or power above his equals, but remitted entirely to them the right of settling what form of government they would now choose to be established among them. The people listened to him with admiration and joy. Twelve persons were elected to new model the constitution of the republic. The influence of Doria's virtues and example communicated itself to his countrymen, the factions which had long torn and willed the state, seemed to be forgotten; prudent precautions were taken to prevent their reviving, and the same form of government which has subsisted with little variation since that time in Genoa, was established with universal applause. Doria having soon put an end to the divisions of his fellow citizens, and driven away the foreign enemy which menaced their destruction, he was by public acclamation declared perpetual Doge of the Republic. This distinction he, however, refused, telling the people that it was more honourable for him to be thought worthy of such a distinction by his. fellow-citizens, than actually to possess it; that he begged to be permitted to be subservient to the laws of his country, like any other subject of it. The senate, astonished at his noble modesty, and at his attachment to the republic, passed a decree which declared him 'The Father and Deliverer of his Country;' erected a statue to him in the midst of the great square of Genoa; built for him a palace in the same place, which was to be called by his name; ordained that he and his posterity should be exempt from imposts of all kinds; and that these decrees should be engraved on a plate of brass, appended to the walls of his palace, as a memorial of the services he had done his country, and of the gratitude of that country towards him.
The Patriotic Brothers.
When the war between the Carthaginians and the inhabitants of Cyrene on the limits of their territories, had reduced both nations very low, they agreed that each state should appoint two commissioners, who should set out from their respective cities on the same day, and that the spot on which they met should be the boundary of both states. In consequence of this, two brothers, called Philacni, were sent out from Carthage, who advanced with great celerity; while those from Cyrene were much slower in their motions. Whether this proceeded from accident, design, or perfidy, IS unknown, but the Cyreneans finding themselves so far outstripped by the Philaeni, accused them of breach of faith, asserting that they had set out before the time appointed, and consequently that the terms of the convention were broken.
The Philaeni denied the charge, and desired them to propose some expedient whereby their differences might be accommodated, promising to submit to it, whatever It might be. The Cyreneans then proposed, either that the Philaeni should retire from the place where they then were, or that they should be buried alive upon the spot. With this last I condition the brothers immediately complied, and by their death gained a large extent of territory to their country. The Carthaginians ever after celebrated this as a most brave and heroic action, paid them divine honours; and endeavoured to immortalize their names by erecting two altars there, with suitable inscriptions upon them.
The invincible attachment which the French bear to their country, is one of the best features in their national character. No distance, no time, no wrongs, can diminish it. Wherever I they may be placed, the honour and interests of their country are paramount to all selfish considerations.
Whatever injuries the French may have sustained, though their property should have been confiscated, their families butchered, and themselves proscribed, we have seen that the honour of France was still dear to them; insomuch, that for this cause the emigrants were often known to rejoice at victories which prolonged the time of their exile, and seemed to render it perpetual.
Siege of Novogorod.
At the time that Russia had as many enemies as she could number neighbours, all of whom seemed to strive which could do her the greatest injury, Charles IX. King of Sweden, laid siege to Novogorod. The Swedes got possession of the city through the negligence of the inhabitants. A chief of the Strelitz, or shooters, with four of his companions and forty Cossacks, nobly sacrificed themselves in defending the town. The curate of St. Sophia shut himself up in his house with a few friends, who, animated by his courage, fired on the enemy, and killed numbers of them, and at last suffered themselves to be burnt in the house rather than yield, determined that as they could not deliver their country from a foreign yoke, they would not survive its independence.
When the intelligence of the battle of Lexington, which took place on the 19th of April, 1775, reached General Putnam, he was engaged in ploughing on his farm at Brooklyn, in Connecticut. He instantly unyoked his cattle, left his plough standing in the unfinished furrow in the midst of the field, and without stopping to change his dress, immediately set off for the scene of military transactions in the vicinity of Boston. Upon entering the army, he was appointed to the rank of major-general. On the conclusion of the war, General Washington wrote a letter to General Putnam, in which he warmly expressed the sense he entertained of his services. 'The name of Putnam,' says he, 'is not forgotten, nor will it be, but with that stroke of time which shall obliterate from my mind the remembrance of all those toils and fatigues through which we have struggled for the preservation and establishment of the rights, liberties, and independence of our country.'
The noble enterprise undertaken by a simple burgess of Nijni Novogorod to save his country, is worthy of the highest praise. This brave patriot, whose name was Kozma Minin, was a butcher by trade. He assembled his fellow citizens, and exhorted them to sacrifice their fortunes: sell their houses, clothes, and furniture; and even to pledge their wives and children, if necessary, to raise money for the troops, and to place an intrepid general at their head. His enthusiasm fired all hearts; money was raised for the troops, the appropriation of which was confided to Minin; and Pojarski, distinguished by his military exploits, was requested to take the command of the troops which they had undertaken to.
At the news of this magnanimous design, the neighbouring cities were seized with an equal ambition of sharing in the honour of delivering the empire. Their zeal was crowned with success. As they advanced, the number of the combatants increased, and Minin and Pojarski, after being victorious in several battles, succeeded in driving out the Poles, reconquered Moscow, and rescued their country.
Patriotism more ardent, or bravery more determined, was never displayed by any people, than by the Suliots in resisting the power of Ali Pasha. [See Anecdotes of War.] One of the most distinguished of the Suliot chiefs, was Captain Tzavella, who under pretence of a negotiation, was with fifty of his brave countrymen treacherously ensnared, and all of them bound except three. Two of these snatching up their weapons, fought desperately till they fell covered with wounds; whilst the other man, remarkably swift of foot, made his escape, unhurt by a thousand shots that were fired after him, swam over the river Kahamas, and directing his course to Suli, arrived in time to put his countrymen upon their guard against the insidious enemy. The next day Ali appeared in their district I with his whole army, and having ordered I Captain Tzavella to be brought into his presence, he promised him the most ample rewards upon condition of his procuring the submission of the republic, with the horrible alternative of being flayed alive, if his fellow citizens continued obstinate in their opposition. 'Release me from my fetters, then,' said Tzavella, 'for my countrymen will never submit whilst I am in your power.' Ali, however, too wary to let his prey escape him thus, demanded what security he would give for his return if his mission should prove unsuccessful? 'My only son Foto, who is a thousand times dearer to me, and more valuable to his country than my own life.' Upon these conditions, Tzavella was released, and an equal number of Albanians and Suliots met at the bottom of the mountain to exchange the prisoners.
When Tzavella arrived in Suli, he convoked all the other captains in council, and urged them to a vigorous defence. He then sent the following letter to the tyrant. 'All Pasha I rejoice that I have deceived a deceiver. I am here to defend my country against a robber. My son is doomed to death, but I will desperately avenge him before I die. Some Turks, like yourself, will say that I am a merciless father, to sacrifice my child for my own liberation. I answer, that if you had taken the mountain, you would have massacred my son with all the rest of my family and my countrymen. In that case, I could not have revenged his death. If we arc victorious, I shall have other children: my wife is young. If my boy be not willing, young as he is, to sacrifice himself for his country, he is not worthy to live, or to be acknowledged as a child of mine; nor ought he to be named as a worthy son of Greece, unless he can meet death with fortitude. Advance then, thou traitor, I am impatient for revenge; I, your sworn enemy.
CAPTAIN LAMBRO TZAVELLA.'
The Pasha, as may be supposed, was highly indignant at this answer, and the failure of his insidious schemes. He did not, however put the boy to death, but sent him to Ioannina, to be confined there with the rest of his countrymen. On his arrival, he was brought into the presence of Ali's chief minister, Mahomet Effendi, and his son Veli, who put his constancy to the proof, by informing him, that they had received the Pasha's orders to roast him alive. 'Have you?' replied the undaunted youth. 'Then if my father conquers, he will serve you the same.' His heroic answer pleased Vely, who is by no means of a cruel disposition, and Foto was merely sent into confinement at one of the monasteries of the island
After a protracted warfare, Ali again proposed a truce, and demanded twenty-four hostages as a security against the violation of his territory. When these were given up, the deceitful Vizir threw off the mask, imprisoned these unfortunate men, and threatened them with death by torture, unless the republic should surrender unconditionally. To his perfidious proposals the following answer was returned
'Vizir Ali Pasha, we greet you. - By suchtreacherous conduct you do nothing else but sully your own reputation, and increase out determined resistance against you. Know this, that we have already lost seventeen victims sacrificed in their country's cause; let these other twenty-four then be added to the number: their memory will live in the breasts of their fellow citizens. But the republic will not on their account surrender itself Henceforward we neither desire, nor will we entertain any friendship with you; since in all transactions, and on every occasion, you are a violator of good faith.'
This infamous behaviour of Ali so exasperated the Suliots, that they prohibited all correspondence with him, and threw his letters unopened into the fire. The hostages in the meantime were sent to Ioannina, where, as it was a custom with the Suliots never to deliver up their arms, and no one was found daring enough to demand them, a stratagem was devised for this purpose. Being all sent to the island in the lake, the hegumenos, or prior of a convent there, invited them to attend divine service, on occasion of' a solemn festival, his proposal was unwarily accepted by the Suliots, who, according to custom, deposited their weapons in the church porch, under the pledged faith of the hegumenos: one man, however, named Fotomara, retained his arms and in reply to the remonstrances of the monk, observed, 'Whilst my country is at war, caloyer, I lay not down my arms; nor do I commit impiety, in my opinion, by entering armed into the temple of God under such circumstances.'
At their egress out of church, they found their arms conveyed away, and a party of Albanian soldiers ready to seize and bind them; the commander then approached Fotomara, and desired him to surrender his weapons. The gallant youth made a motion as if he would have shot the person who made this request, but in a moment the probable fate of his companions flashed across his mind, he restrained himself, and thus calmly replied: 'The worthless coward lays down his arms to preserve an ignoble life, the palikar in death alone; see then how a Suliot lays down his arms.' At these words he turned the pistol to his own breast, and fell, shot through the heart. His companions were all kept in close confinement, distributed amongst the different convents of the island.
The treacherous Ali now sought to purchase Suli, for which he offered two thousand purses with permission to settle in any part of his dominions free of taxes. This offer was treated with contempt.
After the failure of these public proposals, Ali turned all his thoughts to excite individual treachery within this brave republic. Accordingly, he dispatched a letter secretly to the valiant Captain Dimo Zerva, promising him eight hundred purses, with all the honours he could desire, if he would betray the republic. Zerva immediately convened the chiefs, read the letter in their presence, and returned the following answer on the spot:-
'I thank you, vizir, for the kind regard you express towards me, but I beseech you not to send the purses, for I should not know how to count them: and if I did, believe me, that one single pebble belonging to my country, much less that country itself, would in my eyes appear too great a return for them. Equally vain are the honours you offer to bestow upon me The honours of a Suliot lie in his arms. With these I hope to immortalize my name and preserve my country.'
The name of Andrew Hofer, the brave leader of the Tyrolese, is not only dear to every German, but to every one who admires undaunted courage and genuine patriotism. Hofer was of a phlegmatic disposition, fond of ease and tranquillity, and only to be roused to action by the love of his country. The mention of a victory gained by Austria, or in the cause of his native country; an allusion to the old times of the Tyrol; an enthusiastic word in favour of the emperor, or the House of Austria, were appeals which had too powerful an effect on the feelings of Hofer; and he who, according to the testimony of those who attended him, conducted himself in his last moments as 'un ero Christiano e martire intrepido,' was for some time bathed in tears, and unable to utter a word.
When the French invaded the Tyrol, which had been abandoned by the Austrians, Andrew Hofer roused the slumbering spirit of his countrymen, and offered to lead them against the enemy. He declared that he would accept the office of commander-in-chief if they wished to confer it on him; but if they preferred any other leader he was prepared to draw his sword as simple commandant of the Passeyr valley, where he was born; and that in whatever situation it pleased God to place him, he would sacrifice his life for the cause of his country. This declaration was received with shouts of approbation, and Hofer from that moment became commander-inchief of the Tyrolese.
The spirit of Hofer soon ran through the whole of the Tyrol, and in some of the districts the enthusiasm was such, that the women took an active part in the hostilities, and aided each other to hurl down stones upon the enemy's troops in the narrow defiles. A girl of eighteen, named Josephine Negretti, assumed the dress of a man, and was several times in action with the sharpshooters, carrying a rifle, and using it with considerable dexterity.
Three times Hofer delivered his country from the Bavarians and the French, and a grand festival was held at Inspruck, in honour of him. He was that day formally invested with a medal sent to him by the emperor, in the great church, at the foot of the tomb of Maximilian, by the abbot of Wilna, amidst the acclamations of the people.
Tragical events now followed; the Bavarians gained ground in the Tyrol, and their successes were followed by a treaty of peace between France and Austria. Hofer could not brook the idea of becoming a subject of France, and when he was deserted by all his followers, he retired to a place of concealment in the mountains of his native valley, where he remained for some time undiscovered, in spite of the active search that was made for him, and the reward that was offered for his head. The place of his concealment, in which he remained from the end of November to the end of the month of January following, was a solitary Alpine hut, four long leagues distant from his own house, at times inaccessible from the snow which surrounded it; a few faithful adherents supplied him from time to time with the food that was necessary for himself and his family, and more than once he was visited by confidential messengers from the Emperor of Austria, who used every entreaty to make him quit his abode, and follow them to Austria, assuring him, at the same time, a safe conduct through the enemy's army. But Hofer steadily refused all their offers, and expressed his determination never to abandon either his country or his family.
At length, the secret of his concealment was made known to the French, who sent a body of sixteen hundred men to take him prisoner; and two thousand more were ordered to be in readiness to assist them, so fearful were they of some attempt being made to rescue him. It was dark when the French approached his hut, but as soon as Hofer heard the officer inquire for him, he came intrepidly forward, and gave himself up. He was then marched, together with his wife, his daughter, and his son, who was twelve years old, through Meran to Botzen, amidst the shouts of the French soldiery and the tears of his countrymen.
On his arrival at Mantua, a court martial was immediately held, for the purpose of trying him, but while it was still sitting, a telegraphic dispatch from Milan ordered him for execution within twenty-four hours, thus putting it out of the power of Austria to interfere in his behalf.
The fatal morning of his execution now arrived. As the clock struck eleven, the generale sounded, a battalion of grenadiers was drawn out, and the officers who were to attend the execution entered his prison. As Hofer came from it, he passed by the barracks on the Porta Molina, in which the Tyrolese were confined; all who were there fell on their knees, put up their prayers, and wept aloud. Those who were at large in the citadel, assembled on the road by which he passed and, approaching as near as the escort permitted them, threw themselves on the ground and implored his blessing. This Hofer gave them, and then begged their forgiveness for having been the cause of their present misfortunes, assuring them, at the same time, that he felt confident that they would once again return under the dominion of the Emperor Francis, to whom he cried out the last 'vivat,' with a clear and steady voice. He delivered to Manifesti, the priest, everything he possessed, to be distributed among his countrymen; this consisted of 500 florins in Austrian bank notes, his silver snuff-box and his beautiful rosary; a few moments before his death, he also delivered to his faithful attendant his small silver rosary, which he constantly carried about him.
On the broad bastion, at a little distance from the Porta Ceresa, the commanding officer halted his men. The grenadiers formed a square open in the rear; twelve men and a corporal stepped forward, while Hofer re mained standing in the centre. The drummer then offered him a white handkerchief to bind his eyes, and told him that it was necessary to kneel down, but Hofer declined the hand kerchief, and peremptorily refused to kneel, observing, 'that he was used to stand upright before his Creator, and in that posture he would deliver up his spirit to him.' He cau tioned the corporal to perform his duty well, at the same time presenting him with a piece of twenty kreutzers; and having uttered a few words by way of farewell, expressive of his unshaken attachment to his native country, he pronounced the word 'fire,' with a firm voice. His death, like that of Palm, was not instantaneous, for on the first fire he sunk only on his knees, a merciful shot, however, at last despatched him. The spot on which he fell, is still considered sacred by his country men and companions in arms.
Thus perished in the prime of life, Andrew Hofer, a plain uneducated village inn-keeper, who opposed for some time with success the enormous power of France and Bavaria, with an army of rude undisciplined peasants.
By his companions and countrymen he was regarded as the hero, the saviour of his country; and his name is never mentioned in the Tyrol without tears of grateful affection and admiration.
A simple tomb has been erected to the memory of Hofer on the Brenner, at a short distance from his own habitation; it contains no other inscription than his name, and the dates of his birth and death. The record of his actions is left to be transmitted, as it doubtless will be to the latest posterity, in the popular stories and rude ballads of the mountaineers, who love and revere his name, and consider him as a model of disinterested loyalty and devoted attachment to his native land.
When Germany was struggling to emancipate herself from a foreign yoke, Theodore Korner, the young hero whose energetic poems helped so powerfully to kindle a patriotic spirit among his countrymen, could no longer endure the indolent occupations of a poet. He left Vienna in March, 1813, and joined a distinguished free corps, in which he soon rose to rank, and became the idol of his comrades. He courted danger and death with the cool devotion of heroism; and his poems perpetually breathe a quiet foreboding of his approaching fate. He was killed in an engagement with the French at Rosenburg, in Mecklenburg, on the 26th of August, 1813. On the morning of that day, he wrote in his pocket-book, and read to a friend, when the signal for attack was given, his exquisite dialogue with his sword, called 'The Sword Song.' The effect of Korner's spirit-stirring strains, on the indignant and struggling Germans, was electrical. They struck on the soul with all the power of the most inspiring martial music; and at this day, they are universally loved and admired. They revive the recollections of glory, and penetrate the hearts of the Germans like the notes of the trumpet of victory, or the triumphant din of battle melting in the distance. This youthful hero fell at the age of twenty-two. One of his patriotic songs, entitled, 'Men and Dastards,' was commenced in the bivouac hut on the Slecknitz, on the morning of an engagement. A single stanza will show what a glorious spirit it breathed.
'The land is roused, the storm breaks loose
What traitor hand now shrinks from its use?
Shame on the pale-fac'd wretch, who cowers
In chimney corners and damsels' bowers;
Shame on thee, craven recreant sot!
Our German maidens greet thee not;
Our German carols joy thee not;
Our German wine inspires thee not
On in the van!
Man to man!
Whoe'er a faulchion's hilt can span.'
The small town of Parga, on the coast of Epirus, which maintained its independence for ages under the protection of the Venetian republic, and which boldly contested for liberty for six months against the Turks, was by a treaty, in which the British nation was a party, ceded to their most inveterate and deadly enemies. This event took place in 1814; stipulations of a favourable kind were made in behalf of the Parguinotes and it was agreed, that every one who would rather withdraw from his country, than trust to the faithless promises of Ali Pacha, for to him they were then ceded, was to have the privilege of retiring, and to have the value of his property paid to him by the Albanian tyrant.
When the commissioners of Great Britain and the Porte first met to ascertain what portion of the natives chose to relinquish their country? or share in its disgrace, they were called one by one with the greatest formality before the two commissioners; and all, without exception, declared, that rather than submit to the Ottoman authority, they would for ever abandon their country, were they even to lose all they possessed. They added, that in quitting the land of their birth, they would disinter and carry away the bones of their forefathers, that they might not have to reproach themselves with having left those sacred relics to the most cruel enemies of theirs.
One of the Parguinotes, named Gianachi, Zulla, who was deaf and dumb, being interrogated his turn as to the course which he proposed to take, and having ascertained what was signified to him, indignantly turned to the Turkish commissioner, and by the most energetic and unequivocal gestures, gave him to understand that he would never remain under the dominion of the Pacha.
Three years afterwards, the Parguinotes were again assembled, and again expressed their determination not to live under the yoke of the Turks: at length, in June 1819, it was determined to enforce the cession; and the British commissioner informed the Parguinotes, that in conformity with the arrangements with Ali Pacha, a Turkish force was to enter their territory without delay. The Parguinotes having held a consultation, sent to inform the commandant, that as such was the determination of the British commissioner they had unanimously resolved, that should one single Turk enter their territory, before all of them should have had a fair opportunity of leaving it, they would put to death their wives and children, and then defend themselves against any force, Christian or Turkish, that should violate the pledge made to them, and that they would fight until one only should survive to tell the story.
The English commandant perceiving by their preparations, that their resolution was irrevocable, despatched General Sir Frederick Adam to expostulate with them. That officer, on his arrival at Parga, observed a large fire in a public square, where the inhabitants had heaped together the bones of their ancestors collected from the churches and cemeteries.
All the male population stood armed at the doors of their respective dwellings; the women and children were within awaiting their fate; a gloomy and awful silence prevailed. A few of the primates, with the protopata at their head, received General Adam on his landing, and assured him that the meditated sacrifice would be immediately made, unless he could stop the entrance of the Turks, who had already arrived near their frontier, and effectually protect their embarkation and departure.
Fortunately, Sir Frederick Adam found means to prevail on the Turkish commandant to halt with his force. The embarkation then commenced, and all the Parguinotes proceeded to Corfu. The Turks on their entrance found Parga a desert, and the only signal that marked their reception, was the smoke of the funeral pile, in which its late inhabitants had consumed the bones of their forefathers. The unfortunate emigrants waited at Corfu as houseless wanderers, the distribution of the miserable pittance of £48 per head, which had been awarded to them as a compensation for the loss of their property, their social endearments, and their country.
When the lord mayor, aldermen, common council, and livery of the city of London framed their celebrated remonstrance to George III. on the subject of the violation of the constitution in the case of the Middlesex election, the sheriffs and city remembrancer were desired to wait upon the king, to know when his majesty would be pleased to receive the same. On arriving at the palace, they were told that the king was at dinner. While waiting to know when they might come again, Lord Denbigh came up to the city remembrancer, and asked him whether the remonstrance was signed and sealed, or how it was authenticated? The remembrancer said that he was a city officer, and that it was no part of his office to give Lord Denbigh an answer to his question. Lord Denbigh then went to Mr. Sheriff Townshend, and asked him whether the business which brought him was not new and singular, and whether the city had ever presented a remonstrance to the king before? Mr. Townshend answered with a question equally pertinent. Did ever a King of England before turn a deaf ear to the petitions of sixty thousand freeholders, and his back on those who presented them? A message was then brought out to them, that it was his majesty's pleasure that they should wait on him next day at St. James's. On attending there accordingly, they were admitted, after waiting about three hours, into the closet, where Mr. Sheriff Townshend addressed his majesty in the following words:
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
'By order of the lord mayor, aldermen, and livery of the city of London, in Common Hall assembled, we took the earliest opportunity, as was our duty, to wait upon your majesty; but being then prevented by one of your majesty's household, who informed us that it was your majesty's pleasure to receive us this day, we wait on your majesty humbly to know when your majesty will please to be attended with a humble address, remonstrance, alla petition.'
His majesty was pleased to return the following answer:
'As the case is entirely new, I will take time to consider it, and transmit you an answer by one of my principal secretaries of state.'
On the following evening, the sheriffs received the following letter from Lord Weymouth.
'GENTLEMEN, St. James's, March 8.
'The king commands me to inform you, in consequence of the. message which you brought yesterday to St. James's, that he is always ready to receive applications from any of his subjects; but as the present case of address, remonstrance, and petition, seems entirely new, I am commanded to inquire of you in what manner it is authenticated, and what the nature of the assembly was in which this measure was adopted? When you furnish me with answers to these questions I shall signify to you his majesty's farther pleasure.
'I am, gentlemen, your most obedient and humble servant,
'Sheriffs of London.'
Next day, at twenty minutes after twelve, the sheriffs went to St. James's. The remembrancer told Lord Bolingbroke, who was the lord in waiting, that the sheriffs of London were attending his majesty's pleasure, and that they required an audience. Soon after the two secretaries of state, Lord Rochford and Lord Weymouth, came to the sheriffs and Lord Weymouth asked them 'Whether they had received his letter, which was written by his majesty's order?'
Sheriffs. 'We have.'
Lord Weymouth. 'His majesty desires to know whether you come in consequence of that letter; or whether you come on any fresh business?'
Sheriffs. 'We come in consequence of that letter.'
Lord Weymouth. 'Would it not be more proper to send an answer in writing through me?'
Sheriffs. 'We act ministerially as sheriffs of London; we have a right to an audience, and cannot communicate to any other person than the king, the subject of our message.'
Lord Weymouth. 'I do not dispute your right to an audience; but would it not be better and more accurate to give your message to me in writing?'
Sheriffs. 'We know the value and consequence of the citizens' right to apply immediately to the king, and not to a third person and we do not mean that any of their rights and privileges shall be betrayed by our means.'
The secretaries then withdrew, but after some time returned, when Lord Weymouth said, 'His majesty understanding that you come ministerially authorized with a message from the city of London, will see you as soon as the levee is over.'
As soon as the levee was over, the sheriffs were introduced into the king's closet. The king did not as usual receive them alone, but Lords Gower, Rochford, and Weymouth were present. Mr. Sheriff Townshend addressed his majesty in these words.
'MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
'When we last had the honour to appear before you, your majesty was graciously pleased to promise an answer by one of your majesty's principal secretaries of state but we had yesterday questions proposed to us by Lord Weymouth. In answer to which, we beg humbly to inform your majesty, that the application which we make to your majesty, we make as sheriffs of the city of London by the direction of the livery, in Common Hall legally assembled. The address, remonstrance, and petition, to be presented to your majesty by their chief magistrate, is the act of the citizens of London, in their greatest court, and is ordered by them to be properly authenticated as their act.'
His majesty shortly replied,
'I will consider of the answer you have given me.'
It was afterwards seriously debated in council, whether or no the magistrates of London should be admitted to an audience, but it was in the end thought expedient to yield the point; and Lord Weymouth wrote a letter to the sheriffs, appointing a day for the king's receiving of the remonstrance The lord mayor, accompanied by several of the aldermen, the sheriffs, one hundred and fifty-three of the common council, a committee of the livery, the common serjeant, remembrancer, and other city officers, accordingly repaired in great state to St. James's, and were received by his majesty seated on the throne. The address, remonstrance, and petition, having been read, his majesty was pleased to read the following answer:
'I shall always be ready to receive the requests and to listen to the complaints of my subjects; but it gives me great concern to find that any of them should have been so far misled, as to offer me an address and remonstrance, the contents of which I cannot but consider disrespectful to me, injurious to parliament, and irreconcilable to the principles of the constitution.
'I have ever made the law of the land the rule of my conduct, esteeming it my chiefest glory to reign over a free people. With this view, I have always been careful, as well to execute faithfully the trust reposed in me, as to avoid even the appearance of invading any of those powers which the constitution has placed in my hands. It is only by persevering in such a conduct, that I can either discharge my own duty, or secure to my subjects the free enjoyment of those rights which my family were called to defend: and while I act upon these principles, I shall have a right to expect, and I am confident I shall continue to receive, the steady and affectionate support of my people.'
The lord mayor (Beckford) replied, that as chief magistrate of London, and also one of its representatives in parliament, he considered himself as its servant, and that he had done no more than his duty.
The lord mayor and the rest of the deputation then kissed the king's hand and retired.
The censure which the king passed on the remonstrance, was afterwards fortified by approving addresses from both Houses of Parliament, carried by unusually large majorities; bitt the city, nothing daunted, resolved on presenting a second remonstrance, couched in still more energetic terms. 'Your majesty,' said they, 'cannot disapprove that we here assert the clearest principles of the constitution, against the insidious attempt of evil counsellors, to perplex, confound, and shake them. We are determined to abide by those rights and liberties which our forefathers bravely vindicated at the ever memorable revolution, and which their sons will ever resolutely defend. We, therefore, now renew at the foot of the throne, our claim to the indispensable right of the subject: a full, free, and unmutilated parliament, legally chosen in all its members; a right which this House of Commons have manifestly violated, depriving at their will and pleasure, the county of Middlesex of one of its legal representatives, and arbitrarily nominating as a knight of the shire, a person not elected by the majority of" the freeholders. As the only constitutional means of reparation now left for the injured electors of Great Britain, we implore with most urgent supplications, the dissolution of this present parliament, the removal of evil ministers, and the total extinction of that fatal influence which has caused such national discontent.'
When this second remonstrance was presented to the king, by the lord mayor, aldermen, &c. his majesty, seated on the throne, read the following answer:
'I should have been wanting to the public, as well as to myself, if I had not expressed my dissatisfaction at the late address.
'MY sentiments on that subject continue the same; and I shall ill deserve to be considered as the father of my people, If I could suffer myself to be prevailed upon to make such an use of my prerogative, as 1 cannot but think inconsistent with the interest, and dangerous to the constitution, of the kingdom.'
The lord mayor (Beckford) then made the following unpremeditated, but noble reply:
'MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN,
'Will your majesty be pleased so far to condescend, as to permit the mayor of your loyal city of London, to declare in your royal presence, on behalf of his fellow citizens, how much the bare apprehension of your majesty's displeasure would at all times affect their minds: the declaration of that displeasure, has already filled them with inexpressible anxiety, and with the deepest affliction. Permit me, sire, to assure your majesty, that your majesty has not, in all your dominions, any subjects more faithful, more dutiful, or more affectionate to your majesty's person and family, or more ready to sacrifice their lives and fortunes in the maintenance of the true honour and dignity of your crown.
'We do, therefore, with the greatest humility and submission, most earnestly supplicate your majesty, that you will not dismiss us from your presence, without expressing a more favourable opinion of your faithful citizens, and without some comfort, without some prospect at least of redress.
' Permit me, sire, farther to observe, that whoever has already dared, or shall hereafter endeavour, by false insinuations and suggestions to alienate your majesty's affections from your loyal subjects in general; and from the city of London in particular, and to withdraw your confidence in, and regard for, your people, is an enemy to your majesty's person and family, a violator of the public peace, and a betrayer of our happy constitution, as it was established at the glorious revolution.'
The lord mayor waited near a minute for a reply- - for some 'more favourable opinion,' but none was given. The humility, and the serious firmness, with which the venerable magistrate uttered these words, filled the whole court with admiration and confusion. They saw among the indignant citizens before them, very different countenances than they had expected, from a description by Lord Pomfret, who was pleased to declare in the House of Lords, that 'however swaggering and impudent the behaviour of the low citizens might be on their own dunghill, when they came into the royal presence, their heads hung down like bulrushes, and they blinked with their eyes like owls in the sunshine.'
The conduct of the lord mayor on this occasion, received, as it justly merited, the thanks of his fellow citizens. His reply was ordered to be inserted in the city books; and afterwards at his death, on a monument erected in the Guildhall to his memory.
When it is recollected, that the cause for which the city of London thus boldly contended in these remonstrances, was that which triumphed at last in spite of the united efforts of the court, the ministry, and the parliament, and has since been solemnly and universally recognised as the cause of the constitution, and of liberty, it is impossible to appreciate too highly the national importance of the conduct which they pursued. We may well say with Junius, that 'the noble spirit of the metropolis, is the life-blood of the state collected at the heart; from that point it circulates with health and vigour through every artery of the constitution;' or with Wilkes, the hero of the contest, that 'English history does not give a stronger instance of the uprightness of our countrymen, nor an example of any body of men more untainted by corruption, more uninfluenced by every consideration of fear or interest, and more calm, yet determined in a great cause.'
The Earl of Effingham.
When the unhappy contest broke out between Britain and her American colonies, the Earl of Effngham, who had then the command of the 22nd regiment, was one of those who thought and declared in his place in parliament, that the colonies only contended for that freedom which was their birthright.
The 22nd being one of the regiments which was afterwards destined to attempt by force of arms to reduce the Americans to obedience, his lordship had no alternative, but either to resign his command, or take the field against his principles. The choice could not be for a moment doubtful. His lordship sent in his resignation, accompanied by the following letter:
'To Lord Barrington, Secretary at War.
'My lord, I beg the favour of your lordship to lay before his majesty the peculiar embarrassment of my present situation. Your lordship is no stranger to the conduct I have observed in the unhappy contest with our American colonies. The king is too just, and too generous, not to believe that the votes I have given in parliament, have been given according to the dictates of my conscience. Whether I have erred or not, the course of public events must determine; in the meantime, if I were capable of such duplicity, as to be in any way concerned in enforcing those weapons of which I have so publicly and so solemnly expressed my disapprobation, I should ill deserve what I am most ambitious of obtaining the esteem and favourable opinion of my sovereign. My request, therefore, to your lordship, is this; that after having laid these circumstances before the king, you will assure his majesty, that he has not a subject who is more ready than I am with the utmost cheerfulness to sacrifice my life and fortune in support of the safety, honour, and dignity of his majesty's crown and person. But the very same principles which have inspired me with these unalterable sentiments of duty and affection to his majesty will not suffer me to be instrumental in depriving any part of his people of those liberties which form the best security of their fidelity and obedience to his government. As I cannot, without reproach to my conscience, consent to bear arms against my fellow subjects in America, in what to my weak discernment is not a clear cause, and as it seems now to be finally resolved that the 22nd regiment is to go upon American service, I desire your lordship to lay me in the most dutiful manner at his Majesty's feet, and humbly beg that I may be permitted to retire. Your lordship will also be so obliging as to entreat, that as I waive what the custom of the service would entitle me to, the right of selling what I bought, I may be allowed to retain my rank in the army, that whenever the enemy, or the ambition of foreign powers, should require it, I may be enabled to serve his majesty and my country in that way in which alone I can expect to serve him with any degree of effect.
'Your lordship will easily conceive the regret and mortification I feel at being necessitated to quit the military profession, which has been that of my ancestors during many generations; to which I have been bred almost from my infancy: to which I have devoted the study of my life; and to perfect myself m which, I have sought instruction and service in whatever part of the world they could be formed.
'I have delayed this to the last moment, lest any wrong construction should be given to a conduct which is influenced only by the purest motives. I complain of nothing. I love my profession, and should think it highly blameable to quit any course of life in which I might be useful to the public, so long as my constitutional principle, and my notions of honour, permitted me to continue in it.
'I have the honour to be, with much respect, your lordship's most obedient and most humble servant,
The king was so well convinced of the conscientious motives from which Lord Effingham acted, that his majesty, while he regretted the loss of his services, was pleased to declare that he should not lose the benefit of his rank upon any future occasion.
In a subsequent debate in the House of Lords, his lordship alluding to his resignation, thus feelingly expressed himself: 'Ever since I was of an age to have any ambition at all, my highest has been to serve my country in a military capacity. If there was on earth au event dreaded, it was to see this country so situated, as to make that profession incompatible with my duty as a citizen.
'That period has in my opinion arrived; and I have thought myself bound to relinquish the hopes I had formed, by a resignation; which appeared to me the only method of avoiding the guilt of enslaving my country, and embruing my hands in the blood of her sons.
'When the duties of a soldier and a citizen become inconsistent, I shall always think myself obliged to sink the character of the soldier into that of the citizen, until such time as those duties shall again, by the malice of our real enemies, become united.
'It is no small sacrifice that a man makes, who gives up his profession; but it is a greater, when a predilection strengthened by habit, has given so strong an attachment Do his profession as I feel. I have, however, this consolation; that by making this sacrifice, I at least give to my country an unequivocal proof of the sincerity of my principles.'
At a public meeting afterwards, of the free-holders of the county of Middlesex, they unanimously voted their thanks to 'the Earl of Effingham, the citizen and soldier who refused to draw his sword against the rights of his fellow subjects.'
Duke of Bedford.
When his Grace the Duke of Bedford negociated a peace with France, he signed the preliminaries with the French minister Choiseul, and stipulated no farther for the East India Company than he was advised by the Court of Directors. A gentleman, a Dutch Jew, of great abilities and respectable character, hearing this, wrote a letter to the duke, informing him, that the English East India Company had materially neglected their own interest, as their chief conquests were made subsequent to the period at which they had fixed their claim of sovereignty; and if these latter conquests were to be restored, an immense annual revenue would necessarily be taken from England. The duke, struck with the force of the fact, yet greatly embarrassed how to act, as preliminaries were actually signed, repaired to the French minister, and addressed him thus: 'My lord, I have committed a great mistake in signing the preliminaries, as the affair of the India possessions must be carried down to the last conquest in Asia.' To this Choiseul replied, Your Grace astonishes me; I thought I had been treating with the minister of a great nation, and not with a student in politics, who does not consider the validity of written engagements.' The duke replied, 'Your reproach, my lord, is just; but I will not add treachery to negligence, nor deliberately betray my country because I have unaccountably neglected her interests in a single circumstance; therefore, unless your lordship agrees to cede the latter conquests in India, I shall return home in twelve hours, and submit the fate of my head to an English parliament.' Choiseul, struck with the intrepidity of the duke, yielded the point, and Britain now enjoys above half a million annually, through the firmness of a man whom it was once even patriotism to calumniate. On the termination of the affair to his satisfaction, his Grace gave the Dutch gentleman the warmest recommendation to the English East India Company, who conferred upon him a pension of £500 annually, for the important service which he had rendered.
A few days previous to the battle of Malplaquet, it was publicly talked of at Versailles, that a very important battle would soon take place between the French army commanded by Marshal Villars, and the Allied army under Prince Eugene and Marlborough. Louis XIV., who for some years had met with many mortifying repulses, seemed to be very uneasy about the event. Marshal Boufflers, in order to quiet in some degree the perturbation of his sovereign's mind, offered, though a senior officer to Villars, to go and serve under him, sacrificing all personal considerations to the glory of his country. His proposal was accepted and he repaired to the camp. On his arrival, a very singular contest took place between the two commanders. Villars desired to have Boufflers for his leader, but the latter persisted in yielding him all the glory, while he shared the danger. No event in the life of Boufflers ever contributed more to render his name illustrious.
Marshal Villars, who commanded the left wing at the battle, being obliged to retire on account of a wound he had received, Marshal Boufflers charged the enemy six times after this accident; but finding they had made themselves masters of a wood through which they penetrated into the centre of the French army, he yielded them the field of battle, and made a retreat in such good order, that the allies declined pursuing him.
The De Witts.
At the age of twenty-five, John de Witt, the second son of Jacob de Witt, burgomaster of Dort, was elected pensionary of Dort, and so distinguished himself by his able conduct, that he was soon after made pensionary over all Holland. Upon this occasion, when some of his friends reminded him of the hard fate of his predecessor, Barneveldt, he replied, that 'human life was liable to trouble and danger, and that he thought it honourable to save his country, which he was resolved to do, whatever returns he might meet with.' Finding the war in which Holland was then engaged with England, destructive to the commerce and best interests of the commonwealth, he immediately opened a negociation with Cromwell, and concluded a peace on honourable terms. When the usual period of his office had expired, he was unanimously continued in it, by a resolution of the states; and on hostilities again breaking out with England, at the restoration, he showed himself not less skilful and brave in the field, than wise and temperate in the cabinet. He was appointed one of the commissioners for the direction of the navy, and made such vigorous dispositions, that he had a fleet ready for sea, before the admirals themselves imagined it possible, though naval affairs were quite new to him. After Opdam's defeat and death, it being deemed expedient that a commission of deputies from the states should command the fleet, he was one of three to whom this important trust was confided, and, in the execution of it, distinguished himself in a very remarkable manner, by his nautical sagacity and intrepidity. He conducted the fleet out of the Texel at a time when, in the opinion of all naval men, the state of the wind rendered it impossible. In a dreadful storm which they afterwards encountered off Norway, he remained upon deck all the time, and never changed his clothes, nor took any refreshment, but in common with the men: and when he saw a want of hands, assisted himself, and obliged his officers to follow his example.
In 1667, De Witt finding a favourable conjuncture for executing the great design of the warm republicans of that time, he prevailed on the states to pass an edict, by which the office of stadtholder was for ever abolished, and the liberty of Holland, as it was supposed, fixed on an everlasting basis. In obedience to this edict, the Prince of Orange, when in 1672 he was elected captain and admiral general, solemnly abjured the stadtholdership. The prince, however, had partisans at work, whose intrigues were directed to a very different end. A tumult was stirred up at Dort, and the people declared they would have the old order of things revived, and that the prince should be their stadtholder. The prince came in person to Dort, on the invitation of the inhabitants, and accepted of the office. Most of the other towns and provinces followed the example. The pensionary, unable to contend with this tide of events, begged his dismission, and it was granted him. He now retired into private life, and deplored in secret the misfortunes of his country, which, from the highest prosperity, fell, as it were all at once, to the very brink of ruin. An invasion from the French concurred with their own intestine divisions to spread everywhere terror and confusion; while, to exclude De Witt and his friends from any chance of returning popularity, the Prince of Orange's party were unceasing in their endeavours to heap every possible degree of odium upon them. The mob were instigated to pull down a house in which the pensionary was supposed to be lying sick; an attempt was made to assassinate both him and his brother Cornelius, on the same day, in different places; and the Count de Monthas, who had married the* sister, was ordered to be arrested in camp as a traitor, though he' had behaved with the greatest courage and integrity. Cornelius was at length accused by one Ticklaer, a barber, of a design of poisoning the prince; and though his judges could not declare him guilty, he was condemned to exile. But before this sentence could be fulfilled, his ignominious accuser persuaded the people that he would be rescued out of the prison in which he was confined; on this, they instantly armed and surrounded the place, where it unfortunately happened that the pensionary was on a visit to his brother. The mob broke open the doors, and dragging the unhappy brothers forth, barbarously murdered them. They carried their dead bodies to the gallows, where they hung the pensionary a foot higher than his brother, and after mangling their bodies, cut their clothes in a thousand pieces, and sent them about the country as trophies of conquest.
The pensionary was in his forty-seventh year. 'He was,' says Hume, 'a minister equally eminent for greatness of mind, for capacity, and for integrity.' Sir William Temple, who was intimately acquainted with his character, speaks of him, on various occasions, in the highest terms of admiration and praise. He observes, that when he was at the head of the government, he differed nothing in his manner of living from an ordinary citizen. When he made visits, he was attended only by a single footman, and on common occasions, he was frequently seen in the streets without any attendant at all. His office for the first ten years brought him in little more than .£300; and in the latter part of his life, not above .£700 The states made him an offer of a gift of £10,000; but he refused it as a bad example in a free government.
Never perhaps was the fame of any man more cherished by a people, than that of William Wallace is by the Scottish nation. His exploits have been for ages the darling theme of all ranks of the people; and in those parts of the country where his adventures chiefly lay, there is scarcely a lofty rock, high fall of water, lonely cave, or other remarkable object in nature, which is not designated by a name dear to every romantic, youthful, and patriotic mind. The recorded feats in the life of Wallace, rank him not only among the first patriots of his nation, but among the first of all who have deserved that honourable appellation. He made his appearance in the theatre of active life at a most interesting period. A disputed succession to the Scottish crown had been submitted to the decision of Edward the First of England. The office of umpire, gave the English king a fatal ascendancy over the Scottish nobles, and especially over the competitors for. the crown. Baliol was preferred, on condition that he would acknowledge the dependence of Scotland upon the English crown; but at 'last, under the mortification of repeated insults, he resigned the crown altogether into the hands of Edward on the 3rd of July, 1296. All Scotland was now overrun by an English army, and the government placed in the hands of English deputies, who made it odious to the people by their exactions and oppressions. At this critical moment was the standard of freedom first unfurled by William Wallace, the younger son of a private gentleman, Wallace of Elderslie. To great bodily strength and activity, and a courage which delighted in danger, he united an inventiveness of enterprise, a fertility of resources, and a generous gallantry of manner, well calculated to gain him an authority over the rude and undisciplined multitude who answered his patriotic call. In May, 1297, he began to infest the English quarters, and soon made his numbers formidable. The first person of note who joined him, was Sir William Douglas. With their united forces, these two allies attempted to surprise Ormesby, the English Justiciary, while holding a court at Scoon: . but a precipitate flight disappointed them of their expected prey. After this, the patriotic band roved over the whole country, assaulted castles, and slew the English wherever they met with them. Several men of the highest rank now joined the standard of freedom among others, Bruce the Steward of Scotland, and his brother, Sir Alexander de Lindsay; Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell; Sir Richard Lunden, and Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow. But unfortunately, they brought more splendour than real strength to the cause. Wallace, though the master spirit of the whole enterprise, was of too humble a rank among the gentlemen of Scotland, to be readily acknowledged by them for their chief; and where merit like his was not recognised as the best title to supreme command, it is easy to conceive that the conflict of pretensions must have been endless. All the leaders claimed to be independent of each other; and to nothing, even of the most obvious advantage, could their common consent be obtained. While the Scottish army, thus enfeebled by disease, lay posted near Irvine, a chosen and numerous body of forces which had been sent from England by Edward, approached to give them battle. All the nobles and barons who had joined the party of Wallace, Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell alone excepted, consented to treat with the English; and for themselves and their adherents made submission to Edward. Wallace and Moray refused to have any concern with the ignoble capitulation; and collecting together a few faithful companions of their fortunes, retired indignantly towards the north. Under the conduct of these two able leaders, the patriot band soon recruited its numbers; and when the English advanced to Stirling was prepared to dispute with them the passage of the Forth. Warren, Earl of Surrey, the English general, imagining that Wallace might still be won over, dispatched two friars to the Scottish camp proffering terms. 'Return,' said Wallace, 'and tell your masters, that we come not here to treat, but to assert our right, and to set Scotland free. Let them advance; they will find us prepared.' 'He defies us!' cried the English, and impatiently demanded to be led on. The Scotch were encamped on the opposite side of the river to that occupied by the English; who to approach them, had to defile over a long narrow wooden bridge. As soon as the van of the English had crossed the bridge, and before they could form themselves in order of battle, Wallace rushed down, and broke them in a moment. Many thousands were slain on the field, or drowned in attempting to recross the river. A general panic instantly seized the main body of the English; they set fire to the bridge, abandoned all their baggage, and did not cease their flight till they had reached Berwick, which they also speedily evacuated. The loss of the Scots would have been inconsiderable, had they not numbered among their slain Sir Andrew Moray, the gallant and faithful companion of Wallace.
Scotland was thus once more free; but in consequence of bad seasons and the disorders of war, it suffered severely from famine. With the view of procuring sustenance to his remaining followers, Wallace marched his army into the North of England; and for upwards of three weeks, the whole of that wide tract of country from Cockermouth and Carlisle, to the gates of Newcastle, was wasted with all the fury of revenge, licence, and rapacity.
Wallace now assumed the title of Guardian of Scotland, in name of King John, (Baliol) and by the consent of the Scottish Nation. That he was virtually so, there can be no doubt, and we ought therefore to be the less scrupulous in enquiring as to the forms which attended his investiture with this high dignity. With the aid and countenance of only one of all the Scottish barons, the lamented Andrew Moray, and supported by the lower orders of Scottish people alone, he had freed his country from English thraldom, and restored it to its ancient independence. A service so great and unexampled, gave him a claim to the appellation of Scotland's Guardian, which wanted neither form nor solemnity to make it as welt founded as any title that ever existed.
The barons who had stood aloof during the struggle for liberty, now began, as before, to intermeddle with the fruits of the conquests so gloriously achieved. Of Wallace they speedily evinced the utmost jealousy. His elevation wounded their pride; his great services were an unceasing reproach to their inactivity in the public cause. Strife and division were again introduced into the Scottish camp, at a time when, more than ever, unanimity was necessary to the establishment of the national independence. Edward had again invaded Scotland with a powerful army, and Wallace had a second time to risk a general battle for Scottish Freedom. In the neighbourhood of Falkirk the hostile armies met. Wallace had now around him, a Cumming, a Stewart, a Graham, a Macduff, and other names of equal note in Scottish chieftainship; but feebler, through the jealousy and distrust of so many rivals, than when alone with the gallant Moray, he led his countrymen to battle; victory had deserted his plume. The Scots were defeated with great slaughter; and though for some time after they kept up the war in detached parties, they were no longerable to muster an army in the field. Edward, with his victorious troops swept the whole country, from the Tweed to the Northern Ocean; and there was scarcely any place of importance, but owned his sway.
Yet amid this wreck of the national liberties, Wallace despaired not. He had lived a freeman; and a freeman he resolved to die. All his endeavours to rouse his countrymen, were, however, in vain. The season of resistance was, for the present, past. Wallace perceived that there remained no more hope, and sought out a place of concealment, where eluding the vengeance of Edward, he might silently lament over his fallen country. Nothing now remained in Scotland unconquered, except the castle of Stirling, which was at length compelled to surrender. But Wallace still lived; and while he existed, though without forces, and without an ostensible place of residence, his countrymen were not absolutely without hope, nor Edward without fear. Every exertion was made to discover his retreat; and at length he was betrayed into the hands of the English. He was brought to Westminster, and arraigned there as a traitor to Edward, and as having burnt villages, stormed castles, and slaughtered many subjects of England. 'I never was a traitor,' exclaimed Wallace, indignantly. 'What injury I could do to Edward, the enemy of my liege sovereign and of my country, I have done, and I glory in it.' Sentence of death was pronounced against him, and immediately executed, with that studied rigour in the circumstances of the punishment, which while seeking to make impressions of terror, excites pity. His head was placed on a pinnacle at London; and his mangled limbs were distributed over the land. Thus cruelly perished a man whom Edward could never subdue, and whose only crime was an invincible attachment to freedom and independence.
After the death of Wallace, the conquest of Scotland, which it had taken Edward fifteen years to accomplish, seemed complete; but the fire of patriotism was only smothered, not extinguished. Robert Bruce, the grandson of the competitor of the crown against Baliol, fought in the ranks of the English army at the battle of Falkirk, and the Scottish historians say, that he encountered Wallace in person in the field, and that Wallace found means, instead of obstinately fighting his antagonist, to form an appointment with him for a future meeting. Bruce is said to have kept his appointment, and to have been urged by the eloquence of Wallace into that path of patriotic ambition, which he afterwards successfully pursued. For the present, he was constrained to return with the victorious Edward to England; but he lost no time in concerting with some of his countrymen at the English court, the means of redressing their country's wrongs, and liberating it from the English yoke. Edward obtained, through treachery intelligence of the project which was on foot among the Scottish chiefs, and had resolved on committing Bruce to close custody, when a speedy flight saved him from his grasp. All the movements of Bruce were so strictly watched, that no person could venture to confer with him by a letter, but a friend who felt interested in his welfare, and was apprised of the resolution of Edward to seize his person, sent him by a servant, under some presence, a pair of spurs. Bruce penetrated the symbolical meaning of the present, and instantly fled to Scotland, where in a few days he arrived in safety. With the aid of his brother, Edward Bruce of Douglas, and some other chiefs, he succeeded in raising numbers of his countrymen to rally again round the royal banner of Scotland. His cause for awhile seemed desperate, and there were moments when he was even constrained to consult his safety, by wandering in the mountains, and sheltering in the caves. But adverse fortune only served to add vigour to his determination to set his country free. He was in a short time able, with the flower and strength of Scotland around him, to meet the English king in person at Bannockburn, in the neighbourhood of Stirling, not far from the spot where Wallace had once emancipated his country, by the route of the forces under the Earl of Surrey. On the eve of this ever memorable battle, Maurice, Abbot of Inchaffray, celebrated mass in the midst of the Scottish army. He then passed along the front bare-footed, with a crucifix in his hand, and in a few words, exhorted the Scots to fight for their rights and liberty. The Scots fell down upon their knees. Edward perceiving this, cried out, 'See, they yield, they implore 'mercy.' 'They do,' answered Umfraville, one of his commanders, 'they do implore mercy but not from us. On that field they will be victorious or die.' On the morning of the battle, while both armies were in view of each other, and eager to engage, Bruce, with a crown above his helmet, and a battle-axe in his hand, ascended an eminence, and haranguing his troops, reminded them of the ancient bravery and the valiant deeds of their ancestors; recapitulated the wrongs and indignities they had suffered from the English; called to their recollection the deeds, and the fall, of the brave and patriotic Wallace; and earnestly exhorted them to stand firm, and enter the field with the full determination to conquer or die. 'Let that determination;' he concluded gather strength with every blow of your arms, and every fall of your brave companions. Thus let the rallying word be, "Scotland's freedom, or death!' To arms! to arms! my dear and brave companions." The onset was tremendous; and long and severe the conflict. Victory declared at last on the side of liberty and right; and before the sun set, Scotland was free.
The victory of Bannockburn put an end to all questions about the right of succession to the crown, and to the divisions, and consequent weakness, which had embarrassed the Scots in their preceding contests. The glory of Robert Bruce was complete; his name was unboundedly popular; and no candidate for the throne could, for the future, hope to supplant his descendants. Accordingly, though the barons retained their turbulence, and the authority of the crown was inadequate to the internal good government of the kingdom, yet as no dispute existed about the person of the monarch; the throne always formed the rallying point of the national independence to such a degree, as to extinguish all hope of future conquest.
When General Washington, the immortal saviour of his country, had closed his career in the French and Indian war, and had become a member of the house of burgesses, the speaker, Robinson, was directed by a vote of the house, to return their thanks to that gentleman, on behalf of the colony, for the distinguished military services which he had rendered to his country. As soon as Washington took his seat, Mr. Robinson, in obedience to this order, and following the impulse of his own generous and grateful heart, discharged the duty with great dignity; but with such warmth of colouring and strength of expression, as entirely confounded the young hero. He rose to express his acknowledgments for the honour but such was his trepidation and confusion that he could not give distinct utterance to a single syllable. He blushed, stammered, and trembled, for a second; when the speaker relieved him, by a stroke of address that would have done honour to Louis XIV. in his proudest and happiest moments. 'Sit down, Mr. Washington,' said he, with a conciliating smile; 'your modesty is equal to your velour; and that surpasses the power of any language that I possess.'
If the character of an individual were to be estimated in proportion to the services he has rendered his native country, there are few names would stand higher on the roll of patriotism, than that of Henry Grattan. In an age when apostacy and dereliction of principle were too often rewarded with wealth and honours, he, though possessing but a slender fortune, remained untainted; and during the whole of his long parliamentary career, he never compromised or forgot the interests of his native Ireland.
Mr. Grattan first became a member of the Irish Parliament in 1775. Ireland was then in a state of great humiliation, being only considered as a province. Her legislature was a petty council, incapable of originating laws, and her courts of justice subordinate to those of England, and incompetent to a final deci sign. Destitute of foreign commerce, from which she had been excluded by British monopoly, her manufacturers were crushed by the weight of British competition, and the industry of the population checked from want of encouragement. In short, bankruptcy, discontent, and wretchedness, covered the face of Ireland.
While other politicians were attributing these evils to various causes, and offering temporizing palliatives for their redress, Mr. Grattan traced them to their source; and no sooner was he seated in the Irish House of Commons, than he urged the legislature to complain of the restraints on commerce, and declared that nothing but a free trade could save Ireland from ruin. His efforts were seconded by the unanimous voice of the country; and such was the effect, that after a little hesitation on the part of the British Parliament, the commerce of Ireland was partially thrown open.
Mr. Grattan was now become an object of adoration to the people, his popularity seemed to impart new energy to his mind, and he continued to exert himself with indefatigable assiduity in the senate; and by leading the mind of the public, and even the legislature itself, to the consideration of national rights, he paved the way for that darling measure which he afterwards accomplished.
Directed by an acute understanding, which could catch the moment propitious to exertion, and proportion its zeal to the object, Mr. Grattan by his parliamentary speeches roused his country to a continued thirst for independence; until at length he caught as he inspired the sacred flame; and by one of those extraordinary displays of impassioned eloquence, to which even the eloquent can only rise when a momentous object seems to furnish adequate powers, he obtained the celebrated declaration, that the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland, and they alone, could make laws to bind Ireland in any case whatsoever.
No sooner had this important declaration been obtained, than Mr. Bagenal, a member of the House of Commons, gave notice of a motion for voting the sum of £100,000, for the purchasing an estate, and building a suitable mansion, for their illustrious benefactor, Henry Grattan, Esq., and his heirs for ever, in testimony of their gratitude for the unequalled services he had done for Ireland. 'Far be it from me,' said Mr. Bagenal, 'to compare even the services of a Marlborough to those for which we stand indebted, for we have no deductions to make from our gratitude. The efforts of Mr. Grattan have been so timed, and conducted with so much wisdom, and his appearance was so essential to the establishment of liberty at this most critical juncture, that without superstition, men may well record it amongst the most propitious interpositions of heaven. I am conscious that I may have anticipated men infinitely better qualified to bring such a measure forward, but one excuse I have - for it is not the impatient wish which every one must feel, to see such a character great and exalted - it is not from vanity or ambition to distinguish myself, but as I never had any personal acquaintance with our great benefactor, I thought it might come as well from one on whom he could not have any private claim, as from those distinguished individuals who, to the admiration of his talents and his patriotism, add the additional gratification of his personal friendship Virtue, to be sure, is its own reward; and we know that the consciousness of having done such a service, must render Mr. Grattan the happiest of men, but has he no claims on us? shall we be ungrateful? God forbid! Gratitude, national gratitude, is a virtue which the benefits we have received demand us to exhibit; gratitude is often neglected by individuals, for the want of power, we, I trust, shall never have such another opportunity of exercising ours, and God forbid that we should suffer it to escape.
The sum proposed to be given to Mr. Grattan was £100,000; but at the express instance of his own particular friends, this sum was reduced to £50,000, which he accepted as the offering of a grateful people for benefits conferred.
In the various struggles which have taken place for the representation of Westminister in parliament, the advocates of popular rights never found a more ardent or a more disinterested friend, than Sam House, who although a publican, possessed so much influence, and was so persevering in his exertions, that he was more than once the principal cause of returning Mr. Fox to parliament.
During the memorable contest for Westminster between Fox, Hood, and Wray, Sam, without solicitation, kept open house; and the friends of Mr. Fox seeing the profusion with which he gave refreshments to the electors, were afraid that through his uncommon zeal in the cause of freedom, he would injure himself. They, therefore, determined to make him a recompense; but knowing his greatness of soul, the difficulty was to do it in such a manner as not to hurt his feelings. It was agreed that a quantity of beer and spirits should be sent to him, to supply for what he had given away. Mr. Byug and some other friends waited upon Sam, and acquainted him with this resolution. Sam considering it an insult to offer him a recompense, with the calmness of a philosopher and an expressive look of disdain, he said, 'Gentlemen, mind your own business, and leave me to do as I like.'
Empress Maria Theresa.
The illustrious Maria Theresa had scarcely been vested with the regal purple, when she found herself encompassed by enemies, each more eager than the rest to devour the possessions bequeathed to her by her ancestors. In this distressing situation, she acted with becoming magnanimity, nor once betrayed the weakness or the terrors of a woman. She quitted Vienna, and threw herself into the arms of the Hungarians. Having assembled the four orders of the state, on the 31st of August, 1741, she appeared amongst them, with her eldest son (afterwards the emperor Joseph) at her breast, and addressed them in Latin, a language which she perfectly understood, telling them that, 'abandoned by her friends, persecuted by her enemies, attacked by her nearest relations, she had no other resource left, but to stay in that kingdom, and commit her person, her children, her sceptre, and her crown, to the care of her faithful subjects.' The Palatines, at once softened and inflamed by this pathetic speech, drawing forth their satires, exclaimed as one man, 'Moriamur pro regina nostra, Maria Theresa." We will die for our sovereign, Maria Theresa.' Supplied with money, from England, Holland, Flanders, and Venice, but principally supported by her own magnanimity, and the desperate ardour of her troops, she stood out against, and finally triumphed over, the combination against her.
Scottish Loyalty in the American War.
During the unhappy contest with America the people of Scotland were as remarkable for their strenuous support of the measures of government, as those of England were for the countenance which they gave to the resistance of the colonists. Both were equally sincere though not perhaps equally enlightened in their conduct: but in all patriotic displays, it is by the motive, rather than the event, that their merit ought to be appreciated. The exertions of the Scotch at this period, took their start from what would have sunk the spirit of other nations, the calamity which befell General Burgoyne's army. In that blow, each individual felt his pride personally injured, and with ardour threw the expression of it into action.
The Duke of Hamilton, representative of the united houses of Hamilton and Douglas in which last house, by a singularity unparalleled in history, ten heroes succeeded to each other, prepared to go to America, with a regiment of a thousand men raised on his own estate; and generous as brave, he would not take advantage of his rank, to rise above older officers, but accepted the commission of youngest captain in his own regiment.
The Duke of Athol raised another regiment of the same number, among the men of Athol; and besides the king's bounty, gave two guineas to each recruit. But tempering zeal for his country, with humanity for his countrymen, he obliged himself to maintain the families of the recruits who went from his estates if they needed support, and never during his life to raise the rents of such tenants as sent a son or brother to join the royal standard.
Lord M'Leod, anxious to wash away the treasons of his families with his own blood, raised a regiment of the like number on the I estate to the possession of which he was born. I Nor did he even ask government to be restored to his estate, as the reward of his services. The generous followers of a fallen family, vied with each other who should most help to raise it up again, by showing their attachment to their sovereign and to his lordship.
The inhabitants of Glasgow raised and clothed, at their own expense, a regiment also of a thousand men, against those very Americans at whose mercy a million of their property lay at the time; and with an honest confidence in his majesty, left the nomination of their officers to him. They raised a great sum to maintain the families of the recruits in their absence; and they made them and their families freemen of their corporation for ever.
The city of Edinburgh raised and clothed a regiment of the same number. They, indeed recommended a list of officers to the king but they did so on this principle, that they thought it would prove a double incitement to the ardour of the officers, to find that the applauding voice of their country, as well as the approbation of their prince, were to bear testimony to their merits. And with this view the most delicate, and even the most scrupulous attention, was shown to the military claims of the individuals who were recommended.
The families of Argyle, Gordon, Seaforth, and Macdonald, also raised each a regiment of a thousand men on their own estates.
Smaller towns offered to raise companies at their own expense; and many corporations within their own estates offered bounty-money to soldiers, tome to the extent of five guineas a man.
But amongst just compliments to higher ranks, let not the brave commoners of Scotland be forgot. Many recruits refused to take bounty at all; and there were soldiers in the Edinburgh and Glasgow regiments, worth one hundred pounds. When one of them was asked why he left his own business to embark in the perils of war, his Spartan answer was 'Principle!' Tradesmen m Glasgow, worth only £200, subscribed half their fortunes. A club of a hundred common weavers in that place draughted fourteen of their number for recruits, and made up a stock of £300, to maintain their families in their absence. One thousand common manufacturers in the same city, collected a thousand guineas; and the trades, as bodies corporate, subscribed between five and six thousand guineas. Two sixpenny clubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow collected £100 each. The link boys at Edinburgh, about thirty in number, gave thirty guineas. The affluent may sneer at the recital, but they should blush when they do; for the voluntary mite of the poor, is a more sure and far more pleasing proof to a virtuous prince of the affections of his people, than all the incense of the rich.
When the writers to the signet by an unanimous vote, gave five hundred guineas to the Edinburgh regiment, they spoke the voice of Scotland, in the following simple, but manly words of their vote: 'That the world may see the unhappy contest i, not the. cause of a ministry, or any particular number of men but the cause of the legislature, animated and supported by the whole body of the nation, as well as communities.'
When Britain was threatened with invasion from the French in 1803, the enemy, confident in his mighty preparations, anticipated the conquest of the only power that opposed a barrier to his insatiable ambition, and lured his myriads to the desperate enterprise, by holding out the spoil of rich and happy England as their sure reward. To repel the proud invader, the whole nation rose in arms. All ranks and classes rallied round the throne) trusting in the aid of Divine Providence, by whose protecting favour this country has so long enjoyed her inestimable civil and religious blessings. Their firmness awed the foe; and the boasted flotillas that were to spread destruction through the British fleets, and bring devastation to our shores, were seen creeping along their own coast for shelter, or vainly manoeuvering within their harbours.
The national spirit at this period, was in no small degree stimulated and upheld by the establishment in the city of London of a subscription fund, which was very appropriately denominated the PATRIOTIC FUND. It was founded with the view of granting honourable badges of distinction to those who signalized themselves in the cause of their country, of alleviating the sufferings of those who were wounded, and of providing for the families of those who fell in repelling or annoying an implacable foe.
The liberality with which this institution was supported, was equal to the public spirit in which it originated. By a report of the committee for the management of the fund, dated 12th July, 1815, it appears that in twelve years, the subscriptions and accumulation of interest amounted to no less than £543,450, 18s. 11d.; - out of which, gratuities and relief had been distributed to 18,000 individuals, including widows, children and relatives of persons killed and wounded, and disabled seamen and soldiers. So ample indeed were the funds subscribed, that the committee found it necessary to abstain from any further appeal to the public, confident that should circumstances render it thereafter necessary, they should not appeal in vain 'but that the spirit and liberality of Britons will always rise equal to the occasion, when called upon to relieve the sufferings and reward the velour of those who distinguish themselves in the defence of their country.'
Few young noblemen ever entered public life under more favourable auspices than Earl Fitzwilliam. Inheriting a good fortune from his father, he was also considered as presumptive heir to the large estates of the Marquess of Rockingham; and as the friend of this nobleman, and the Dukes of Devonshire and Portland, the Earl of Carlisle, and Mr. Fox, he was considered a patriot from his connexions.
The parliamentary conduct of his lordship justified the expectations that had been formed of him; and during a period of more than half a century, in which he has regularly attended in his seat in the House of Peers, it may be boldly affirmed that he never gave a single vote that could be deemed hostile to the liberties and interests of his country.
During the great political contest from 1780 to 1782, when the nation evinced its anxiety for peace, Earl Fitzwilliam, both by his motions in the House of Peers, and by his active support of the efforts of other noble lords, was greatly instrumental in terminating the war.
In 1795, Earl Fitzwilliam was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, an event which was hailed with the most enthusiastic joy by the whole population of that country. Confidence in the measures of government, and in the proceedings of the Irish parliament were inspired by the presence of his lordship, who accepted the office with a determination to make Ireland happy. His lordship, however, soon found, that in order to do this he must dismiss from offices those men whose situations were the very pivot on which the executive government revolved. In their room, Earl Fitzwilliam called others to fill the several offices of the state, whose integrity and political virtue were unimpeached. Indeed a character for public virtue seemed alone to be the quality which governed all his appointments.
The Irish parliament seconded his lordship's endeavours to tranquillize the country, and promote the general good of the empire; but while the country was anticipating the benefits of such an administration, Earl Fitzwilliam was recalled. No sooner was this made public, than a panic pervaded the whole kingdom, but more particularly the city of Dublin. The nation again seemed to sink into despondency.
When Earl Fitzwilliam left Dublin, the houses arid shops in every street through which he passed were shut up and a solemn silence and melancholy mourning marked the event in the Irish metropolis.
Earl Fitzwilliam's attachment to Ireland did not terminate with his vice-royalty, as he has always been one of her sincerest and most constant friends in parliament. During the unfortunate rebellion in that country, his lordship's estates suffered considerably, yet he refused all compensation either from parliament or from the nation.
Earl Fitzwilliam has sometimes shared in the administration, when the Whig party, to which he is attached, has been in power; but in the whole of his lordship's public life, he has proved himself less a party man than a patriot; and the sovereign does not possess a more loyal subject, or his country a truer friend, than Earl Fitzwilliam.
The generosity of two Emperors of China, says the Abbe Raynal, is much revered, on account of their preferring the interests of the state to those of their own families; and excluding their own children from the succession to the throne) to make room for men taken from the plough. Not less revered is the memory of the husbandmen thus raised to the diadem, because they sowed the seeds of the happiness and stability of the empire, in the fertile bosom of the earth; that inexhaustible source of whatever conduces to the nourishment, and consequently to the increase of mankind. In imitation of these royal husbandmen, the Emperors of China to this day become husbandmen officially. It is one of their public functions to break up the ground in spring; and the parade, and magnificence which accompany this ceremony, draw together all the families in the neighbourhood of the capital. They flock i.` crowds to see their sovereign perform this solemnity in honour of the first of all arts. It is not, as m the Sables of Greece, a god who tends the flocks of a king; it is the father of his people, who holding the I plough with his own hands, shows his children what are the true riches of the state; In a little time the emperor repairs again to the field which he has ploughed himself, to sow the seed which is most proper for the ground. The example of the prince is followed in all the provinces; and at the same seasons the viceroys repeat the same ceremonies in the presence of numerous crowds of husbandmen.
In the beginning of the reign of Ching-tang, about the year before Christ, 1747, there happened a drought and famine all over the empire of China, which lasted seven years, no rain having fallen in that long interval of time. The emperor, greatly affected with the distress of his country, consulted the college of astronomers, and was told by the president that the wrath of heaven could only be appeased by human blood.
The pious emperor on hearing this answer and imputing so dreadful a calamity to his own faults, resolved to devote himself a victim for the preservation of his people. In order to this, he retired to his palace, and after spending three days in fasting, laid his royal robes aside. He then ordered the venerable grey hairs, which adorned his head, to be cut off, his beard to be shaved, and his nails to be pared, sacrificing what, in China, is considered as the greatest marks of honour, to the safety of his country.
Deprived of these marks of honour, barefooted, in the posture of a criminal, and his body sprinkled over with ashes, he appeared in the court before the palace, and lifting up his hands to heaven, entreated the Supreme Being to spare his subjects, and let the whole weight of his just wrath fall on his devoted head. He had scarce done praying, when the sky became covered with clouds, and a general rain followed, by which the earth was rendered fruitful, and plenty restored all over the empire.
Perhaps no prince in the world ever gave a greater instance of paternal love for his country, nor performed a greater act of humiliation and devotion to avert the wrath of the offended Majesty of heaven for the sins of a people, which, through the bad examples of many irreligious and wicked emperors, had rendered their vices and impieties ripe for judgment. These crimes the generous and pious emperor was willing to take upon himself, and to devote his own life as a sacrifice i to atone for the transgressions of his people.
The Percy Anecdotes: