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of horror, and exclaimed, in the last articulate words I ever heard him utter, “0, Mr. Osbaldistone, save me !
save me!" I was so much moved by this horrid spectacle, that, although in momentary expectation of sharing his fate, I did attempt to speak in his behalf, but, as might have been expected, my interference was sternly disregarded. The victim was held fast by some, while others, binding a large heavy stone in a plaid, tied it round his neck, and others again eagerly stripped him of some part of his dress. Half naked, and thus manacled, they hurried him into the lake, there about twelve feet deep, drowning his last death-shriek with a loud halloo of vindictive triumph, over which, however, the yell of mortal agony was distinctly heard. The heavy burden splashed in the dark-blue waters of the lake; and the Highlanders, with their pole-axes and swords, watched an instant, to guard, lest, extricating himself from the load to which he was attached, he might have struggled to regain the shore. But the knot had been securely bound; the victim sunk without effort; the waters, which his fall had disturbed, settled calmly over him; and the unit of that life for which he had pleaded so strongly, was forever withdrawn from the sum of human existence.
Ex. III. — THE PLANETARY Systems. — Hervey.
[Serious, Descriptive, and Didactic Style.]
To us, who dwell on its surface, the earth is by far the most extensive orb that our eyes can anywhere behold : it is also clothed with verdure, distinguished by trees, and adorned with a variety of beautiful decorations; whereas, to a spectator placed on one of the planets, it wears a uniform aspect, looks all luminous, and no larger than a spot. To beings who dwell at still greater distances, it entirely disappears. That which we call alternately the morning and the evening star, – as in one part of the orbit she rides foremost in the procession of night, in the other ushers in and anticipates the dawn, - is a planetary world, which, and the four others, that so wonderfully vary their mystic dance, are in themselves dark bodies, and shine only by reflection ; have fields, and seas, and skies of their own, are furnished with all accommodations for animal subsistence, and are supposed to be the abodes of intellectual life ; all which, together with our earthly habitation, are dependent on that grand dispenser of divine munificence,
the sun ; receive their light from the distribution of his rays, and derive their comfort from his benign agency.
This sun, however, with all its attendant planets, is but a very little part of the grand machine of the universe : every star, though in appearance no bigger than the diamond that glitters upon a lady's ring, is really a vast globe, like the sun in size and in glory; no less spacious, no less luminous, than the radiant source of the day : so that every star is not barely a world, but the centre of a magnificent system; has a retinue of worlds, irradiated by its beams, and revolving round its attractive influence, all which are lost to our sight in unmeasurable wilds of ether.
It is observed by a very judicious writer, that if the sun himself, which enlightens this part of the creation, were extinguished, and all the host of planetary worlds, which move about him, were annihilated, they would not be missed by an eye that can take in the whole compass of nature, any more than a grain of sand upon the sea-shore. The bulk of which they consist, and the space which they occupy, are so exceedingly little in comparison of the whole, that their loss would scarce leave a blank in the immensity of God's works.
Ex. IV. - CHATHAM'S REBUKE OF LORD SUFFOLK.
[Declamatory Amazement, Detestation, and Abhorrence.] Who is the man,
that, in addition to the disgraces and mischiefs of the war, has dared to authorize and associate to our arms the tomahawk and scalping-knife of the savage ? to call into civilized alliance, the wild and inhuman inhabitant of the woods ? to delegate to the merciless Indian, the defence of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of his barbarous war against our brethren? My lords, these enormities cry aloud, for redress and punishment. But, my lords, this barbarous measure has been defended, not only on the principles of policy and necessity, but also on those of morality ; “ for it is perfectly allowable,” says Lord Suffolk, “ to use all the means, which God and nature have put into our hands.” I am astonished, I am shocked, to hear such principles confessed; to hear them avowed in this house, or in this country! My lords, I did not intend to encroach so much on your attention ; but I cannot repress my indignation I feel myself impelled to speak. My lords, we are called upon as members of this house, as men, as Christians, to protest against such horrible barbarity! 6. That God and nature have put into our hands !” What ideas of God and nature, that noble lord may entertain, I know not; but I know, that such detestable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity. What! to attribute the sacred sanction of God and nature, to the massacres of the Indian scalping-knife! to the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, devouring, drinking the blood of his mangled victims! Such notions shock every precept of morality, every feeling of humanity, every sentiment of honor. These abominable principles, and this more abominable avowal of them, demand the most decisive indignation.
I call upon that right reverend, and this most learned bench, to vindicate the religion of their God, to support the justice of their country. I call upon the bishops, to interpose the unsullied sanctity of their lawn; upon the judges, to interpose the purity of their ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honor of your lordships, to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to vindicate the national character. I solemnly call upon your lordships, and upon every order of men in the state, to stamp upon this infamous procedure, the indelible stigma of the public abhorrence. More particularly, I call upon the holy prelates of our religion, to do away this iniquity ; let them perform a lustration, to purify the country from this deep and deadly sin.
Ex. V.- PATRICK HENRY'S SPEECH IN FAVOR OF RESIST
ANCE TO GREAT BRITAIN. [Declamatory Erpostulation, Courage, Confidence, Resolute De
fiance, Rousing Appeal, Deep Determination.] They tell us, sir, that we are weak — unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed; and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house ? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot ?
Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means, which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that, which we possess, are invincible by any force, which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight alone. There is a just God, who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. — Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable - and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come! 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, or 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 give me liberty, or give me death !
Ex. VI. — THE OCEAN. — Byron.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean - roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain ;
Stops with the shore ; — upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay Creator the vain title take Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war
These are thy toys; and, as the snowy flake, They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires, chang'd in all save thee —
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they? Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests ! - in all time-
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark heaving — boundless, endless, and sublime !
Of the Invisible. — Even from out thy slime
Ex. VII. — BATTLE OF WATERLOO. — Byron. There was a sound of revelry hy night;
And Belgium's capital had gathered then Her Beauty and her Chivalry; and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily ; and when Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again, And all went merry as a marriage bell ; But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell ! Did ye not hear it? — No; 't was but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street: On with the dance ! let joy be unconfined ;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet