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SIEGE OF CALAIS.
BROOKE. EDWARD III. (after the battle of Cre'ssy) laid siege to Cala'is. He had fortified his camp/t in so impregnable a m'anner, that all the efforts of France) proved ineffe'ctual/ to raise the siege, or throw su'ccours/ into the city. The c'itizens (under Count Vienne, their gallant go'vernor) made an admirable defe'nce. Fraʼnce/ had now put the sickle into her second ha'rvest, since E'dward (with his victorious a'rmy) sat down before the town. The eyes of all E'urope/ were intent on the issue. At leʼngth, fa'mine/ did more for Edward/ than a'rms. After suffering unheard-of calamities, they resolved to attempt the enemy's ca'mp. They boldly sallied forth ; the En'glish/ joined bat'tle ; an'd, after a long and desperate eng'agement, Count Vie'nne was taken pris'oner, and the citi'zens (who survived the slau'ghter) retired within their ga'tes. The comm'and/ dev'olving upon Eustace St. Pi'erre (a man of mean bi'rth, but of exalted virtue), he offered to capitulate with E'dward, provi'ded/ he permitted them to depart with li'fe and liberty. Edward (to avoid the imputation of cr’uelty) consented to spare the bu'lk of the plebseians, provi`ded/ they delivered up to him six of their principal cit'izens/ with halters about their ne'cks (as victims of due ato^nement for that spirit of rebe'llion, with which they had inflamed the v’ulgar.I) When
* It will be observed, that when “ that” is a conjunction, it requires a pause both before and after it. 1† Whilst “of” in general must be pronounced as a component part of the word which precedes it, as “approbation-of,” “sensible-of,” &c. every other preposition, without exception, requires a pause before it.
| It will be obvious to the general reader, in the absence of antithesis (which is, either when expressed or understood, the parent of all emphasis) that some words naturally require more accentual force than others ;among these, “ the verb " stands prominently forward as claiming our first attention ; next the noun, adjective, &c., thus easily and gradually diminishing in force, down to the particles.
zens (with their families) through the camp of the English. Before they departed, how'ever, they desired permission to take the last adi'eu of their deliv'erers. What a. pa'rting ! what a sce'ne ! They cro'wded (with their wives and ch'ildren) about St. Pi'erre and his fellow-pri'soners. They embraced; they clung around; they fell pro‘strate before them. They groa'ned ; they wept alo'ud ; and the joint cla'mour of their mo'urning/ passed the ga'tes of the c'ity, and was he’ard/ throughout the English camp.— The E'nglish (by this time) were apprised of what passed within Ca'lais. They heard the voice of lamentation, and their so'uls/ were tou'ched with compa'ssion. Each of the soldiers/ prepared a portion of his own vic'tuals to w'elcome and enterta'in the half-famished inh'abitants ; and they loa'ded them/ with as much as their present weakness was able to besar, in order/ to supply them with su'stenance/ by the way. At length St. Pierre and his fellow-vi'ctims/ appeared under the conduct of Sir W'alter and a gua'rd. All the tents of the En'glish/ were instantly emptied. The soldiers poured from all pa'rts, and arranged themselves on each si'de, to beho'ld, to conte'mplate, to admiîre, this little band of patriots/ as they pas'sed. They bowed down to them on all si des. They murmured their applause of that virtuel which they could not but rev'ere, even in enemies; and they regarded those roʻpes (which they had vo'luntarily assumed about their n'ecks) as ensigns of greater dignity/ than that of the British ga’rter. As soon as they had reached the presence—“ Mauny,” (says the mo'narch,) " are these the principal inhabitants of Ca'lais ?” “ They ar'e," (says Ma'uny :) “ they are not only the principal men of Calais, they are the principal men of Fraînce, my Loʻrd, if viʻrtue/ has any share in the act of enn'obling.” “Were they delivered p'eaceably?” (says. E'dward) “ was there no resi’stance, no comm'otion among the pe'ople ?” “ Not in the le'ast, my Loʻrd; the people would all have pe'rished, rather than have delivered the le^ast of these to your Majesty. They are self-delivered, self-devoîted, and co'me/ to offer up their inestimable h'eads/ as an ample eq'uivalent for the ra'nsom of tho'usands.” Edward was secretly piqued at this reply of Sir Walter ; but he knew the privilege of a British s'ubject, and suppressed his resentment. " Exp'erience” (says h'e) “ has ever show'n, that lenity/ only serves to invite people to new crimes. Seve'rity (at times) is indispensably ne'cessary/ to compel s'ubjects to submis'sion by pu
n'ishment and example. Gʻo," (he cried to an o'fficer) “ lead these men to execution.”
At this i'nstant/ a sound of tri'umph was heard throughout the ca'mp. The qu'een/ had just arrived with a powerful reinforcement of gallant troops. Sir Walter Mauny flew to receive her m'ajesty, and briefly informed her of the parti'culars/ respecting the six victims.
As soon as she had been welcomed by E'dward and his co'urt, she desired a private au'dience.—My Lo'rd,” (said she) “ the question I am to enter up'on, is not touching the lives of a few mech'anics—it respects the h'onour of the English na'tion; it respects the glory of my E'dward, my h'usband, my ki`ng. You think/ you have sentenced six of your enemies to d'eath. No, my Lor'd, they have sentenced themse'lves ; and their execution/ would be the execution/ of their ow'n orders, not the orders of Edward. The stage on which they would s'uffer, would be to th'em a stage of honour, but a stage of shame to E'dward ; a reproa'ch to his co'nquests ; an indelible disgrace/ to his na'me. Let us rather disappoint these haughty b'urghers, who wish to invest themselves with glory at o'ur-expense. We cannot whoʻlly deprive them of the merit of a sa'crifice so nobly inte’nded, but we may cut them sho'rt of their des'ires ; in the place of that dea'th/ by which their glory would be consu'mmate, let us bury them under gi'fts ; let us put them to confuʼsion with appla'uses. We shall thereby defeat them of that popular opin'ion, which never fails to attend tho'se who suffer in the cause of vilrtue.”—“I am convinced : you have preva'iled. Be it so," replied Edward : “ prevent the exec'ution; have them instantly befo're us.” They came; when the Que'en (with an aspect and accents diffusing sw'eetness) thus bespo'ke them :-“ Natives of Fra'nce, and inhabitants of Cal'ais, you have put us to a vast expense of blo'od and tr'easure/ in the recovery of our just and natural inh'eritance : but you have acted up to the be'st of an erroneous ju'dgment; and we admire and ho'nour in you that va'lour and v'irtue/ by which we are so long kept oʻut of our rightful posse'ssions. You noble bu'rghers ! you excellent ci'tizens ! (though you were teînfold the enemies of our person and our thr'one,) we can feel nothing, on our part, save resp'ect and affec'tion-for-you. You have been sufficiently te'sted. We loose your cha'ins : we snatch you from the scaffold ; and we thank you for that lesson of humilia'tion which you tea'ch us,