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Too fondly press'd, they withering fade, more interesting, than on the spot
THE MADMAN'S GRAVE.
Where Rathlin's fierce contending tides,
In storms and calms incessant roar, In the year 1793, an unknown ma And rudely lash the moss-grown sides niac, whose dress and figure bore the of Ballycastle's rock-bound shore. vestiges of a once better lot, wandered Where western winds for age prevail to Ballycastle, a beautiful village on
And chide the weary wanderers stay, the shore of the county of Antrim, Ire
Who crowd the heaven aspiring sail, land. He was sullen, melancholy, and
And swiftly fly the dangerous bay.
Where the dark mine of old so samd, incommunicative: his days and nights were spent among the lofty rocks in the By song of poets never nam’d,
Now echoes to the tempest's moanneighbourhood of the bay, and his food
Unmark'd by any sculptur'd stone. was the shell-fish or sea-weed that was
'Tis there beneath the rock's bold brow, washed in by the tide. A life of such And lash'd by every foaming wave, hardship and privation would soon have The child of sorrow's eyes may view, terminated the career of one endued The poor deserted madman's grave.with unimpaired reason; but insanity The sea-pink droops its feeble head, hardens the constitution by depriving it The lonely night-hawk screaming flies of a sense of its affliction, and by divert Above the spot where low and dead,
The maniac's form for ever lies. ing the mind from real, to imaginary ob
No plated mockery held his frame, jects. At certain periods of the month his sullenness was changed to frenzy,
No train of friends wept o'er his bier;
No child sobb'd loud a father's name, he would then groan and shriek as if
Or kiss'd a speechless mother's tear. suffering from excessive anguish, and
Long, long beside the dangerous shore although the neighbouring peasantry Beneath the wintry blast he stray'd, were frequently disturbed by his night. And mingled with the ocean's roar ly moanings, yet as he never attempt The dreadful cries he nightly made. ed any act of violence, they suffered His feet by every rough rock torn, him unrestrained to indulge his misery. Through snares of death he urg'd his way; For several weeks he continued thus
With him despair rose every morn, alternately melancholy or outrageous,
And clos'd each sad and cheerless day.
Yet dark oblivion's gloomy veil, until one night, in the latter end of Ju
O'er all his senses was not flungly, when the neighbouring cottagers
The midnight wanderer heard the tale, were awakened by the loudness and horror of his shrieks. For a while they Remembrance rack'd his tortur'd brain
Of deep distress flow from his tongue. continued violent, then grew fainter,
Where hope has fled, a dreadful guest, and at length sunk in total silence.
And incoherence mark'd the strain, Early the following morning, a fisher Which sighs convey'd from misery's breast.
arose to examine a kelp-kiln, Dire was the night, when his last cry which he had lit the night before, Pierc'd sad and oft the troubled air: when the shocking spectacle of the The sun rose o'er the Fairhead high half consumed maniac met his sight. But shone upon no maniac there. The wretched sufferer, while wander-' The storm may raise the troubled sea,
The wild winds o'er the mountain rave; ing on the projecting ledge of a steep
The maniac's soul from pain is freecliff, had missed his footing, tumbled
He sleeps in yonder nameless grave. down the precipice, and rolled into
Oh God of heaven! on me look down; the blazing kiln, which burned at the
Though dark distress be ever mine, base of the rock! His mutilated re
Lct reason still maintain her throne, mains were enveloped in a piece of And I will bear, and not repine. sail cloth, and buried in a little green With reason all my steps to guide recess at the foot of the precipice from My soul shall shine supremely brave,which he fell. The verdure of this spot When mercy sbuns the vault of pride, is rendered more lively, by being con
And peace wide opens misery's grave.
M. B. trasted with the gray tints of the sur
Ballycastle bay is formed by the promonrounding rocks: it is adorned with sea
tories of Fairhead and Bengore: it is very pink and other marine flowers, and on
unsafe from the prevalence of westerly winds. no part of the romantic shores of An
† A mine was discovered near the Fairtrim, does the traveller of taste, feel head, which had been worked some hundred emotio!
more varied, or sensations
Art. 1.-1. Views of England, during a residence of ten years;
six of them as a prisoner of war. By major general Pillet, knight of St. Louis, and member of the legion of honour. Translated
from the French. 2. The Truth respecting England; or an Impartial Examination
of the work of Mr. Pillet, and of various other writers on the same subject. Published, and dedicated to the English nation, by J. A. Vievard, proprietor and editor. THESE works are not a little singular in their character and
history. The first is a spirited attack on the English nation by a French general officer, whose book has been suppressed, we understand, by the French government, but translated and republished in the United States; the second, a defence of the same people, published in England, in the English language, by another Frenchman, whose principal ground of apology consists in maintaining that the French nation is more wretched, immoral, and corrupt than the English! Betwixt them both, that unfortunate nation fares so badly, that, notwithstanding the scurvy and unneighbourly manner in which the British writers and critics have, from time to time, treated us of this western world, we have been induced to come forward in behalf of that suffering people: by endeavouring to defend them, as far as lies in our power, not only from the attacks of the major general, but the defence of the redoubtable M. Vievard; which, if the truth must be told, is rather the worst of the two. The general charges them gallantly in the character of an enemy, while M. Vievard, by his vindication, in our poor opinion, leaves them rather worse off than he found them.
Indeed, with all our critical sagacity, we are not, at this moment, perfectly satisfied, whether the latter gentleman is serious or not; whether, in fact, his defence be not rather a mischievous piece of irony, than a serious attempt to vindicate a calumniated nation. Thus, in denying the charge of tippling, brought by the general against the English ladies of quality, he admits its truth, when applied to all other classes of people, accounting for it, oddly enough, on the score of patriotism! VOL. XII.
Political interest,' says M. Vievard, 'has on its side contributed to increase the consumption of spirituous liquors. Considerable duties are imposed on them, and they contribute, in a great proportion, to the wants of the treasury. Can we then be astonished, that the English of every rank, endeavour to encourage, by the example which they give, a consumption become national? Can we be surprised, that the custom of drinking, as M. Pillet politely says, is become general in England, in a country where, above all, they are patriots and citizens? When we are fully penetrated with this great truth, that there is nothing which an Englishman does not sacrifice to the interest of his country, and to the support of his government, we no longer think it shameful that the rich, the nobility, the first persons of the state, and even the princes of the royal family, adopt customs and a mode of living which testify a deference for the spirit and wants of the nation?'pp. 66-67. This now is one of the best reasons for drinking we ever heard; it is worth all Dr. Aldrich's five reasons put together.
Again-in reply to the major general's assertions with respect to the general cupidity of the English nation, M. Vievard, instead of controverting, proceeds to account for it in the following philosophical manner: After acknowledging it to be true, he observes, page 83, It would be proper, in the spirit of impartial justice, to examine the causes so profoundly multiplied in every commercial and maritime nation, which could induce a whole mass of people, of all conditions, to contract that spirit of avidity and of rapine. If M. Pillet had proceeded to an examination of such importance, with all the information and all the reflection which it requires, that observer would have acknowledged, that this desire of gain, this appetite for riches and fortune, of which he accuses the English character,—that this innate desire of acquiring, as he calls it, does not originate in the natural character of the English, but that it is the effect, and the necessary effect of commerce, to which that nation is generally devoted, and which it could not renounce for an instant without compromising its existence. Thus, this spirit of avidity and rapine' appears to be essential to the existence of England, although not originally a part of her character, but naturally growing out of those commercial habits, without which she cannot subsist!
Again-M. Vievard remarking on the assertion of the major general, that the liberty of the press is at present in England in complete dependance on the rich and powerful, and, in some sort, at the mercy of the royal authority, breaks out into the following rhapsody: "The liberty of the press, a right the most precious which man can enjoy, since it secures to him
the preservation of his civil and political privileges—the liberty of the press is the bulwark, the safeguard, the eternal and invincible protector of the English constitution. He adds, immediately after—' But the law of libel represses, with the utmost rigour, the writer who outrages the royal majesty, who calumniates that majesty in the person of the ministers,' &c. Again our suspicions are excited that M. Vie
vard is a great dealer in irony. If these passages were not written previous to the late suspension of the laws for the security of free discussion and personal liberty in England, they certainly were intended as a severe satire upon the freedom of the press in that country. And here we will take leave to observe, that the same epithets are applied in different countries, and under different systems of government, not only to different degrees of the same thing, but sometimes to things totally different. During the late struggles in Spain, the word liberty, for instance, was made use of with great effect, and gained many friends abroad, although it afterwards appeared, that this liberty was nothing more than the liberty of restoring king Ferdinand, and reviving the inquisition. In like manner, during the short exercise of power by the Spanish Cortes, a free press was established, subject to the supervision of three censors, two of whom were ecclesiastics. So, also, in England, where the press is still called free, and where M. Vievard maintains it to be the bulwark, the safeguard, the eternal and invinci
protector of the English constitution,' we have seen all the provisions of that very constitution, calculated for the security of personal freedom, broken, or as it is politely called, suspended, solely for the purpose of punishing certain free speakers and writers, who, though they transgressed no law, yet were, at the same time, putting the constitution in jeopardy. Thus it appears clearly, that in some free countries, the constitution may be broken to preserve the constitution, and a free press maintained, by the suspension of all laws for its support. It may therefore be well to caution the really free people, of this, the only free nation of the earth, how they suffer themselves to be deceived by mere names; to advise them, in short, when they hear the word freedom used as characteristic of any European government, to look to the system thus designated. They will then generally find, that what is there called, by a figure of rhetoric, liberty, is nothing more than what we are accustomed to look upon as abject slavery.
To us Americans, it must also appear evident, that M. Vievard is indulging this strain of irony in its fullest latitude, when, in reply to the major general, he denies that the Engiish sailors and soldiers are in fact slaves for life, when once they enter the service; and, in the spirit of triumphant burlesque, asks— Is the English soldier (or sailor) seen to desert, even in time of war, like those of other nations, although in England he alienates a great part of the most precious rights? Is the English subject seen to apostatize his country, and go to beg letters of naturalization in a foreign country?' Thus does this wily Frenchman covertly reproach England with that propensity to desertion and emigration, so remarkably evinced of late years by her soldiers, sailors, and subjects, to the perceptions of our countrymen!
In one part of his book, the major general takes occasion to remark, that the English nation makes a jest of perjury, and instances the case of lord Ellenborough, ' who causes to be exercised, in the name of his son, and by an old domestic of his house, the place of
head gaoler, or marshal of the Fleet Prison, in London. This domestic; it seems, is obliged to make oath before lord Ellenborough himself, who enjoys the emoluments of this place, that he, the domestic, is the true titular head of the place, and that he does not hold it in the name, or for the advantage of any one. Now we will venture to say, that no person, whose object it really was to wipe away a great national stain, such as that of national perjury, would have made an explanation, or apology, which goes far beyond the original assertion of M. Pillet, in rendering support to the charge. 'Who,' exclaims M. Vievard,' does not see, in the case of lord Ellenborough, that kind of survivorship, which it is the custom, every where, to grant to a functionary after long services; a survivorship which requires, for form's sake, that kind of oath, or fictitious security?' Again, says he' Can we range equally, in the rank of perjuries, those kinds of false oaths, or rather of false declarations, of personal qualification, of our income in landed property, of fortune, or of merchandize, which take place daily in England, either to fill a public function, or to avoid a surcharge of taxes, or the payment of certain duties, or the delays so hurtful to the facility of commercial enterprize? A multitude of these (false) declarations, which are called oaths, are certainly innocent, at least if we do not view them according to a strict sense of morality, or rather of religion.' If M. Vievard should ever, by any chance, happen to see this obscure article of ours, we beg him distinctly to understand, that if the national character of our country should happen to be assailed by the Quarterly Reviewer, or any other notorious libeller, we will take it as a particular favour (as'sir Peter Teazle says to Mrs. Candour) if he will refrain from undertaking our defence.'
Pursuing this original and happy mode of extenuating what he cannot, or will not deny, M. Vievard proceeds to assign a curious reason for the prodigious increase of pauperism in England, as noticed by the major general. “Assuredly,' says he, this great number of persons reduced to depend on public help, is a great evil, we might say a great error; but it is necessary always to return, in order to explain or excuse it, to the prodigious extension of industry and commerce.' This is the first time we ever heard that plenty of business, and a disposition to work, were the causes of poverty among the labouring classes. It takes M. Vievard upwards of twenty pages to make it fairly out, and as usual, he finds it necessary to bolster up his theory by stoutly anathematizing the French revolution, and Napoleon Bonaparte, the roots of all evil past, present, and to come. This ingenious mode of reasoning he borrows, we suspect, from our brothers of the Quarterly Review, who always put honest John Bull off the scent of the real causes of his grievances, by appealing to his fears and antipathies, and starting Bonaparte for a chace.
Having laboured through this ingenious theory, M. Vievard goes on to examine the statements of the major general, relating to
in which prisoners of war are lodged and treated in