Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

It passed o'er

The battle-plain, where sword, and spear, and shield,
Flashed in the light of mid-day; and the strength
Of serrieda hosts is shivered, and the grass,
Green from the soil of carnage, waves above
The crushed and mold'ring skeleton. It came
And faded like a wreath of mist at eve;

Yet, ere it melted in the viewless air,
It heralded its millions to their home
In the dim land of dreams.

Remorseless Time!

Fierce spirit of the glass and scythe ! what power
Can stay him in his silent course, or melt

On, still on

His iron heart to pity!
He presses, and forever. The proud bird,
The Condord of the Andes, that can soar

Through heaven's unfathomable depths, or brave
The fury of the northern hurricane,

And bathe his plumage in the thunder's home,
Furls his broad wings at nightfall, and sinks down
To rest upon his mountain crag; but Time
Knows not the weight of sleep or weariness;
And Night's deep darkness has no chain to bind
His rushing pinion.

Revolutions sweep

7.

O'er earth, like troubled visions o'er the breast
Of dreaming sorrow; cities rise and sink
Like bubbles on the water; fiery isles
Spring blazing from the ocean, and go back
To their mysterious caverns; mountains rear
To heaven their bald and blackened cliffs, and bow
Their tall heads to the plain; new empires rise,
Gathering the strength of hoary centuries,

a Serried; compact, pressed together. b Hour glass. c Scythe of Death. d Condor; probably the largest bird of flight known. The wings of one of the largest measured from the tip of one extended wing to the other, fourteen feet.

8.

And rush down like the Alpine avalanche,
Startling the nations.

Yet Time,

Time, the tomb-builder, holds his fierce career,
Dark, stern, all pitiless; and pauses not
Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path,
To sit and muse, like other conquerors,
Upon the fearful ruin he has wrought.

LESSON LXIV.

INTEGRITY.

a

1. AMONG the prisoners taken at the battle of Hoosac, by the Americans, was an inhabitant of Hancock, in the county of Berkshire, a plain farmer, named Jackson. This man had conscientiously taken the side of the British in the revolutionary contest, and felt himself bound to seize the earliest opportunity of employing himself in the service of his king. Hearing that Colonel Baum, a British officer, was advancing, with a body of troops, towards Bennington in Vermont, he rose early, saddled his horse, and rode to Hoosac, intending to attach himself to his corps.

с

2. Here he was taken prisoner in such circumstances as proved his intention, beyond every reasonable doubt. Besides, he was too honest to deny it. Accordingly he was committed to the charge of the high sheriff of the county, who immediately confined him in the county jail. This building was, at that time, so much out of repair that, without a guard, no prisoner could be kept in it, who wished to escape. But to escape, however, was in no degree consonant with Jackson's idea of right; and he thought no more seriously of making an attempt of this nature, than he would have done in his own house.

a Hoo'sac; a town in New York, celebrated for the battle between the British and the Americans under Gen. Stark. b Berkshire; one of the western counties of Massachusetts. c Baum (Bawm:) the English commander, slain in the battle of Hoosac, gen ⚫ly called the battle of Bennington.

3. After he had lain quietly in jail a few days, he told the sheriff that he was losing his time and earning nothing, and wished he would permit him to go out and work in the daytime, promising to return regularly at evening to his quarters in the prison. The sheriff having become acquainted with his character, readily acceded to his proposal. Accordingly Jackson went out regularly during the remaining part of the autumn, and the following winter and spring, until the beginning of May, and every evening returned at the proper time to the jail.

4. In this manner he performed a day's work every day, with scarcely any exception besides the Sabbath, through the whole period. In the month of May, he was to be tried for high treason. The sheriff made preparations to conduct him to Springfield, where he was to be tried. But he told the sheriff that it was not worth his while to take this trouble, for he could just as well go alone, and it would save both the expense and the inconvenience of the sheriff's journey.

5. The sheriff, after a little reflection, assented to his proposal, and Jackson commenced his journey; the only one, it is believed, which was ever undertaken, in the same manner, for the same object. While on his journey, he was overtaken by the Honorable T. Edwards, from whom this account was received. "Whither are you going?" said Mr. Edwards. "To Springfield, sir," answered Jackson, "to be tried for my life." Accordingly he proceeded directly to Springfield, surrendered himself to the sheriff there; was tried, found guilty, and condemned to die.

6. Application was made to the executive council for pardon. The facts were stated, the evidence by which they were supported, and the sentence grounded on them. The question was then put by the president, "Shall a pardon be granted to Jackson?" The gentleman who first spoke, observed that the case was perfectly clear; the act charged against Jackson was unquestionably high treason; and the proof was

a Springfield; a town in Massachusetts.

complete. If a pardon be granted in this case, he saw no reason why it should not be granted in every other.

7. In the same manner answered those who spoke after him, When it came to the turn of Mr. Edwards, who was one of the council, he related this story, with those little circumstances of particularity, which give light and shade a living reality. At the same time, he evidently made no effort to be pathetic. As is always the case, this simplicity gave the narration its full force.

8. The council began to hesitate. One of the members at length observed, "Surely, such a man as this ought not to be sent to the gallows." To this opinion the members unanimously agreed. A pardon was immediately made out and transmitted to Springfield, and Jackson returned to his family. Never was exhibited a stronger proof that honesty is wisdom.

LESSON LXV.

HAFED'S DREAM.a

TODD.

1. Ar the foot of one of those gigantic mountains in Asia' which lift up their heads so far above the clouds that the eye of man never saw their summits, stood a beautiful cottage, facing the east. The mountain stream leaped and murmured on the north; the verdant plain, where the bright-eyed gazelle sported, lay spread out in front; the garden and the oliveyard, filled with every flower and every fruit which an oriental sun could pencil and ripen, lay on the south; while back, on the west, rose the everlasting mountain.

2. Here were walks, and shades, and fruits, such as were found no where else. The sun shone upon no spot more luxuriant; the moonbeams struggled to enter no place more delightful; and the soft wings of the breezes of evening fanned no such abode in all the east.

a Ha'fed's dream; a fictitious narrative, in the style of an oriental tale, designed to show the folly of a belief in a government of chance. b Asia, (a'she-a).

3. The howl of the wolf was never heard here; the sly fox never came here to destroy; and here the serpent's hiss was never heard. This cottage was the home of Hafed, the aged and the prosperous. He reared this cottage; he adorned this spot; and here, for more than fourscore years, he had lived and studied.

4. During all this time, the sun had never forgotten to visit him daily; the harvest had never failed, the pestilence had never destroyed, and the mountain stream had never dried up. The wife of his youth still lived to cheer and bless him; and his son and daughter were such as were not to be found in all that Province. No youth could rein the horse, hurl the javelin, chase the lion, or delight the social circle, like this son.

5. No daughter of kings could be found so beautiful and perfect, as was this daughter, with an eye so bright and joyous, and a form so symmetrical as hers. But who can insure earthly happiness? In one short week, Hafed was stripped of all his joys. His wife went to see a new white peacock, which it was said a neighbor, who lived a mile off in the ravine, had just brought home. She took cold, a quick fever followed, and on her return, Hafed saw that she must die.

6. Before two days were gone, the old man was standing at her open grave. He gazed long, and said impatiently, "Cover her, cover the only woman that I ever loved!' The son and daughter had returned from the burial of their mother, fatigued and sick. The nurse gave them, as she thought, a simple medicine. In a few hours it was found to be poison.

7. Hafed saw that they must die; for the laws of nature are fixed; and poison kills. He buried them in one wide, deep grave, and it seemed as if in that grave he buried his reason and his religion. He tore his gray hair, he cursed the light of day, and wished the moon turned into blood; and above all, declared that the laws which God had established were all wrong, useless, and worse than none.

8. He wished the world were governed by chance; but, as

a Symmetrical; proportionate in all its parts.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »