The library of choice literature : poetry and prose selected from the most admired authors (Volume 4) online

. (page 26 of 75)
Online LibraryUnknownThe library of choice literature : poetry and prose selected from the most admired authors (Volume 4) → online text (page 26 of 75)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

For their kemps and for their kindred who there their

lives had lorn.

Men of strength and honor weltering lay that morrow :
All the knights and vassals had mickle pain and sorrow
King Etzel's merry feast was done, but with mourning

did it end :
Thus evermore does Love with pain and sorrow send.

What sithence there befell I cannot sing or say,
Heathens bold and Christians full sorely wept that day,
With many a swain and lady, and many maidens

Here ends the tale adventurous, bight the Niblungsong.


[KARL THEODOR KORNER, a distinguished German pa-
triot and poet, born at Dresden 1791, killed in battle
1813. His life was devoted to rousing his countrymen
against the tremendous despotism of Napoleon, and he
died with heroic valour in his twenty second year, his
countrymen taking up his inspiring war songs, and sing-
ing them for years with the utmost enthusiasm. Kor
ner's poems were collected under the title of " Lyre and
Sword ;" the famous sword-song, and the one given below
are among his best.

Where is the minstrel's fatherland ?
Where noble spirits beam in light ;
Where love- wreaths bloom for beauty bright ;
Where noble minds enraptured dream
Of every high and hallowed theme :

This was the minstrel's fatherland !

How name ye the minstrel's fatherland?.
Now o' er the corses of children slain
She weeps a foreign tyrant's reign ;

She once was the land of the good oak-tree,
The German land, the land of the free :
So named we once my fatherland !

Why weeps the minstrel' s fatherland ?
She weeps, that, for a tyrant, still,
Her princes check their people's will ;
That her sacred words unheeded fly,
And that none will list her vengeful cry :

Therefore weeps my fatherland !

Whom calls the minstrel's fatherland?
She calls upon the God of heaven,
In a voice which Vengeance' self hath given ;
She calls on a free, devoted band ;
She calls for an avenging hand :

Thus calls the minstrel's fatherland !

What will she do, thy fatherland ?
She will drive her tyrant foes away ;
She will scare the bloodhound from his prey ;
She will bear her son no more a slave,
Or will yield him at least a freeman's grave :

This will she do, my fatherland !

And what are the hopes of thy fatherland ?

She hopes, at length, for a glorious prize ;

She hopes her people will arise ;

She hopes in the great award of Heaven ;

And she sees, at length, an avenger given :
And these are the hopes of my fatherland !


[PHILIP HENRY STANHOPE (formerly known as Lord
MAHON, from his family name) an English historian,
was born Jan. 31, 1805, died Dec. 24, 1875. Educated at
Oxford, he served twenty years in Parliament, was in
Peel's cabinet in 1834 and 1845, and received high honors
from the learned societies of Europe. His best works
are "History of England from 1713 to 1783," 7 vols. "Life
of William Pitt," 4 vols. (1861), and "History of England
under Queen Anne," (1870.) Earl Stanhope is a vigor-
ous and careful historical writer.]

Charles Edward Stuart is one of those
characters that cannot be portrayed at a
single sketch, but have so greatly altered,
as to require a new delineation at different
periods. View him in his later years, and
we behold the ruins of intemperance as
wasted but not as venerable as those of
time ; we find him in his anticipated age a
besotted drunkard, a peevish husband, a



tyrannical master his understanding de
based, and his temper soured. But no
such was the Charles Stuart of 1745. No
such was the gallant Prince full of youth
of hope, of courage, who, landing with seven
men in the wilds of Moidart, could rally a
kingdom round his banner, and scatter his
foes before him at Preston and at Falkirk
Not such was the gay and courtly host o
Holyrood. Not such was he, whose en
durance of fatigue and eagerness for battle
shone pre-eminent, even amongst Highlanc
chiefs ; while fairer critics proclaimed him
the most winning in conversation, the most
graceful in the dance ! Can we think lowly
of one who could acquire such unbounded
popularity in so few months, and over so
noble a nation as the Scots ; who could so
deeply stamp his image on their hearts
that, even thirty or forty years after his de-
parture, his name, as we are told, alway
awakened the most ardent praises from all
who had known him the most rugged
hearts were seen to melt at his remembrance
and tears to steal down the furrowed
cheeks of the veteran ? Let us, then, with-
out denying the faults of his character, or
extenuating the degradation of his age, do
justice to the lustre of his manhood.

The person of Charles I begin with this
for the sake of female readers was tall
and well formed ; his limbs athletic and
active. He excelled in all manly exercises,
and was inured to every kind of toil, espe-
cially long marches on foot, having applied
himself to field sports in Italy, and become
an excellent walker. His face was strik-
ingly handsome, of a perfect oval and a
fdir complexion ; his eyes light-blue ; his
features high and noble. Contrary to the
custom of the time, which prescribed pe-
rukes, his own fair hair usually fell in long
ringlets on his neck. This goodly person
was enhanced by his graceful manners ;
frequently condescending to the most fami-
liar kindness, yet always shielded by a re-
gal dignity, he had a peculiar talent to
please and to persuade, and never failed to
adapt his conversation to the taste or to the
station of those whom he addressed. Yet
he owed nothing to his education : it had
been intrusted to Sir Thomas Sheridan, an
Irish Roman Catholic, who has not escaped
the suspicion of being in the pay of the
British government, and at their instiga-
tion betraying his duty as a teacher. I am
bound to say, that I have found no corrobo-
ration of so foul a charge. Sheridan

appears to me to have lived and died a man
of honour; but history can only acquit him
of base perfidy by accusing him of gross
neglect. He had certainly left his pupil
uninstructed hi the most common elements
of knowledge. Charles's letters, which I
have seen amongst the Stuart Papers, are
written in a large, rude, rambling hand like
a school-boy's. In spelling, they are still
more deficient. With him ' humour,' for
example, becomes UMEB : the weapon he
knew so well how to wield, is a SORD ; and
even his own father's name appears under
the alias of GEMS. Nor are these errors
confined to a single language ; who to
give another instance from his French
would recognise a hunting-knife in COOTO
DE CHAS ? I can, therefore, readily believe
that, as Dr. King assures us, he knew very
little of the history or constitution of Eng-
land. But the letters of Charles, while they
prove his want of education, no less clearly
display his natural powers, great energy of
character, and great warmth of heart.
Writing confidentially, just before he sailed
for Scotland, he says : ' I made my devo-
tions on Pentecost Day, recommending
myself particularly to the Almighty on this
occasion to guide and direct me, and to
continue to me always the same sentiments,
which are, rather to suffer anything than
fail in any of my duties.' His young
brother, Henry of York, is mentioned with
the utmost tenderness ; and though on his
return from Scotland, he conceived that he
lad reason to complain of Henry's coldness
and reserve, the fault is lightly touched
upon, and Charles observes that, whatever
may be his brother's want of kindness, it
shall never diminish his own. To his
ather, his tone is both affectionate and du-
iful : he frequently acknowledges his good-
ness ; and when, at the outset of his great
nterprise of 1745, he entreats a blessing
rom the pope, surely the sternest Romanist
might forgive him for adding, that he shall
hink a blessing from his parent more pre-
3ious and more holy still. As to his friends
and partisans, Prince Charles has been of-
en accused of not being sufficiently moved
)y their sufferings, or grateful for their ser-
vices. Bred up amidst monks and bigots,
who seemed far less afraid of his remaining
excluded from power, than that on gaining
e should use it liberally, he had been taught
he highest notions of prerogative and here-
ditary right. From thence he might infer,
hat those who served him in Scotland did



no more than their duty ; were merely ful-
filling a plain social obligation ; and were
not, therefore, entitled to any very especial
praise and admiration. Yet, on the other
hand, we must remember how prone are all
exiles to exaggerate their own desert, to
think no rewards sufficient for it, and to
complain of neglect even where none really
exists ; and moreover that, in point of fact,
many passages from Charles's most familiar
correspondence might be adduced to shew a
watchful and affectionate care for his adher-
ents. As a very young man, he determined
that he would sooner submit to personal pri-
vation than embarrass his friends by con-
tracting debts. On returning from Scot-
land, he told the French minister, D'Argen-
son, that he would never ask anything for
himself, but was ready to go down on his
knees to obtain favours for his brother-exiles.
Once, after lamenting some divisions and
misconduct amongst his servants, he de-
clares that, nevertheless, an honest man is
so highly to be prized that, " unless your
majesty orders me, I should part with them
with a sore heart." Nay, more, as it appears
to me, this warm feeling of Charles for his
unfortunate friends survived almost alone,
when, in his decline of life, nearly every
other noble quality had been dimmed and
defaced from his mind. In 1783, Mr.
Greathead, a personal friend of Mr. Fox,
succeeded in obtaining an interview with
him at Rome. Being alone with him for
some time, the English traveller studiously
led the conversation to his enterprise in
Scotland. The Prince shewed some re-
luctance to enter upon the subject, and
seemed to suffer much pain at the re-
membrance ; but Mr. Greathead, with more
of curiosity than of discretion, still per-
severed. At length, then, the Prince ap-
peared to shake off the load which oppressed
him ; his eye brightened, his face assumed
unwonted animation ; and he began the
narrative of his Scottish campaigns with a
vehement energy of manner, recounting his
marches, his battles, his victories, and his
defeat ; his hairbreadth escapes, and the
inviolable and devoted attachment of his
Highland followers, and at length proceed-
ing to the dreadful penalties which so many
of them had subsequently undergone. But
the recital of their sufferings appeared to
wound him far more deeply than his own :
then, and not till then, his fortitude forsook
him, his voice faltered, his eye became fixed,
and he fell to the floor in convulsions. At

the noise, in rushed the Duchess of Albany,
his illegitimate daughter, who happened to
be in the next apartment. " Sir," she ex-
claimed to Mr. Greathead, " what is this ?
You must have been speaking to my father
about Scotland and the Highlanders ? No
one dares to mention these subjects in his

Once more, however, let me turn from
the last gleams of the expiring flame to the
hours of its meridian brightness. In esti-
mating the abilities of Prince Charles, I
may first observe that they stood in most
direct contrast to his father's. Each ex-
celled in what the other wanted. No man
could express himself with more clearness
and elegance than James ; it has been said
of him that he wrote better than any of those
whom he employed ; but, on the other hand,
his conduct was always deficient in energy
and enterprise. Charles, as we have seen,
was no penman ; while in action in doing
what deserves to be written, and not in
merely writing what deserves to be read
he stood far superior. He had some little
experience of war having, when very
young, joined the Spanish army at the siege
of Gaeta, and distinguished himself on that
occasion and he loved it as the birthright
both of a Sobieski and a Stuart. His quick
intelligence, his promptness of decision, and
his contempt of danger, are recorded on \m-
questionable testimony. His talents as a
leader probably never rose above the com-
mon level ; yet, in some cases in Scotland,
where he and his more practised officers
differed in opinion, it will, I think, appear
that they were wrong and he was right. No
knight of the olden time could have a loftier
sense of honour ; indeed he pushed it to
such wild extremes, that it often led him
into error and misfortune. Thus he lost
the battle of Culloden in a great measure
because he disdained to take advantage of
the ground, and deemed it more chivalrous
to meet the enemy on equal terms. Thus,
also, his wilful and froward conduct at the
peace of Aix-la-Chapelle proceeded from a
false point of honour, which he thought in-
volved in it. At other times, again, this
generous spirit may deserve unmingled
praise : he could never be persuaded or
provoked into adopting any harsh measures
of retaliation ; his extreme lenity to his pri-
soners, even to such as had attempted his
life, was, it seems, a common matter of
complaint among his troops ; and even
when encouragement had been given to his



assassination, and a price put upon his head,
he continued most earnestly to urge, that in
no possible case should ' the Elector,' as he
called his rival, suffer any personal injury
or insult. This anxiety was always present
in his mind. Mr. Forsyth, a gentleman
whose description of Italy is far the best
that has appeared, and whose scrupulous
accuracy and superior means of information
will be acknowledged by all travellers, re-
lates how, only a tew years after the Scot-
tish expedition, Charles, relying on the faith
of a single adherent, set out for London in
an humble disguise, and under the name of
Smith. On arriving there, he was introduced
at midnight into a room full of conspirators
whom he had never previously seen. " Here,"
said his conductor, " is the person you want,"
and left him locked up in the mysterious
assembly. These were men who imagined
themselves equal, at that time, to treat with
him for the throne of England. " Dispose
of me, gentlemen, as you please," said
Charles ; " my life is in your power, and I
therefore can stipulate for nothing. Yet
give me, I entreat, one solemn promise, that
if your design should succeed, the present
family shall be sent safely and honourably

Another quality of Charles's mind was
great firmness of resolution, which pride and
sorrow afterwards hardened into sullen ob-
stinacy. He was likewise at all times prone
to gusts and sallies of anger, when his
language became the more peremptory, from
a haughty consciousness of his adversities.
I have found among his papers a note with-
out direction, but no doubt intended for
some tardy officer. It contained only these
words : ;< I order you to execute my orders,
or else never to come back." Such harsh-
ness might, probably, turn a wavering
adherent to the latter alternative. Thus,
also, his public expressions of resentment
against the court of France, at different pe-
riods were certainly far more just than po-
litic. There seemed always swelling at his
heart a proud determination that no man
should dare to use him the worse for his
evil fortune, and that he should sacrifice
anything or everything sooner than his dig-

This is a portrait of Charles Edward as he
appeared in his prime. In a subsequent
volume, Lord Stanhope gives a sketch of
him in his later years, part of which we sub
join :

An English lady who was at Rome in

1770 observes: " The Pretender is naturally
above the middle size, but stoops excessively;
he appears bloated and red in the face ; his
countenance heavy and sleepy, which is at-
tributed to his having given into excess of
drinking ; but, when a young man, he must
have been esteemed handsome. His com-
plexion is of the fair tint, his eyes blue, his
hair light-brown, and the contour of his face
a long oval ; he is by no means thin, has a
noble person, and a graceful manner. His
dress was scarlet, laced with broad gold-
lace ; he wears the blue riband outside of
his coat, from which depends a cameo an-
tique, as large as the palm of my hand ; and
he wears the same garter and motto as those
of the noble Order of St. George in Eng-
land. Upon the whole, he has a melan-
choly, mortified appearance. Two gentle-
men constantly attend him ; they are of
Irish extraction, and Roman Catholics you
may be sure. At Princess Palestrina's he
asked me if I understood the game of
tarrochi, which they were about to play at.
I answered in the negative : upon which,
taking the pack in his hands, he desired to
know if I had ever seen such odd cards. I
replied that they were very odd indeed. He
then, displaying them, said : Here is every-
thing in the world to be found in these cards
the sun, moon, the stars ; and here,' says
he, throwing me a card, ' is the pope ; here
is the devil ; and,' added he, ' there is but
one of the trio wanting, and you know who
that should be!' [The Pretender.] I
was so amazed, so astonished, though he
spoke this last in a laughing, good-humoured
manner, that I did not know which way to
look ; and as to a reply, I made none."

In his youth, Charles, as we have seen,
had formed the resolution of marrying only
a Protestant princess : however, he remained
single during the greater part of his career ;
and when, in 1754, he was urged by his
father to take a wife, he replied : " The un-
worthy behaviour of certain ministers, the
10th of December, 1748, has put it out of
my power to settle anywhere without honour
or interest being at stake ; and were it even
possible for me to find a place of abode, I
think our family have had sufferings enough,
which will always hinder me to marry, so
long as in misfortune, for that would only
conduce to increase misery, or subject any
of the family that should have the spirit of
their father to be tied neck and heel, rather
than yield to a vile ministry." Neverthe-
less, in 1772, at the age of fifty-two, Charles



espoused a Roman Catholic, and a girl of
twenty, Princess Louisa of Stolberg. This
union proved as unhappy as it was ill as-
sorted. Charles treated his young wife with
very little kindness. He appears, in fact, to
have contracted a disparaging opinion of
her sex in general ; and I have found, in a
paper of his writing about that period : ' As
for men, I have studied them closely ; and
were I to live till fourscore, I could scarcely
know them better than now ; but as for
women, I have thought it useless, they being
so much more wicked and impenetrable.'
Ungenerous and ungrateful words ! Surely,
as he wrote them, the image of Flora Mac-
donald should have risen in his heart and
restrained his pen 1


[JOHX G. SAXE, born in Vermont, 1816, is most notable
as a writer of humorous poetry. Educated at Middle-
bury College, he became lawyer, editor, and Vermont
State Attorney, ii null y devoting himself to literature and
to public lectures. Sale has written five or six volumes
of poems, mostly humorous, which have been received
with such favour, as to have called for about forty edi-
tions, American and English.]

An attorney was taking a turn,

In shabby habiliments drest ;
His coat it was shockingly worn,

And the rust had invested his vest ;

His breeches had suffered a rent,
His linen and worsted were worse,

He had scarce a whole crown in his hat,
And not half-a-crown in his purse.

And thus as he wandered along,
A cheerless and comfortless elf,

He sought for relief in a song,

Or complainingly talked to himself:

41 Unfortunate man that I am !

I've never a client but grief;
The case is, I've no case at all,

And in brief, I have never a brief !

" I've waited, and waited in vain,
Expecting an opening to find,

"Whore an honest young lawyer might gain
Some reward for the toil of his mind.

" "Tis not that I'm wanting in law,

Or lack an intelligent face,
That others have cases to plead,

While I have to plead for a case 1

44 Oh ! how can a modest young man
E'er hope for the smallest progression,

The profession's already so full
Of lawyers so full of profession !"

While thus he was strolling around,

His eye accidentally fell
On a very deep hole in the ground,

And he sighed to himself, " It is well!"

To curb his emotion he sat

On the kerb-stone the space of a minute ;
Then cried, " Here's an opening at last 1"

And in less than a jiffy was in it.

Next morning twelve citizens came
('Twas the coroner bade them attend),

To the end it might be determined
How the man had determined his end.

44 The man was a lawyer, I hear !"
Quoth the foreman who sat on the corse ;

1 'A lawyer ? alas !" said another,
44 He undoubtedly died of remorse."

A third said " He knew the deceased,
An attorney well versed in the lawa ;

And as to the cause of his death,

'Twas no doubt from the want of a cause 1"

The jury decided at length,

After solemnly weighing the matter,

44 That the lawyer was drowned because
He could not keep his head above water."


[DR. JOHN LINGARD, an English historian, born 1771,
died 1851, became a Roman Catholic priest in 1795, pub-
lished " The History of England," eight volumes 1819-25,
a work of great ability and research, and some minor

At length Cromwell fixed on his plan to
procure the dissolution of the parliament,
and to vest for a time the sovereign authority
in a council of forty persons, with himself
at their head. It was his wish to effect this
quietly by the votes of the parliament his
resolution to effect it by open force, if such



rotes were refused. Several meetings were
held by the officers and members at the
lodgings of the Lord-general in Whitehall.
St. John and a few others gave their assent ;
the rest, under the guidance of Whitelock
and Widrington, declared that the dissolu-
tion would be dangerous, and the establish-
ment of the proposed council unwarrantable.
In the meantime the House resumed the
consideration of the new representative
body ; and several qualifications were voted,
to all of which the officers raised objections,
but chiefly to the " admission of members,"
a project to strengthen the government by
the introduction of the Presbyterian interest.
" Never," said Cromwell, " shall any of that
judgment who have deserted the good cause
be admitted to power." On the last meet-
ing, held on the 19th of April, all these
points were long and warmly debated.
Some of the officers declared that the par-
liament must be dissolved " one way or
other ;" but the general checked their indis-
cretion and precipitancy, and the assembly
broke up at midnight, with an understanding
that the leading men on each side should
resume the subject in the morning.

At an early hour the conference was re-
commenced, and, after a short time, inter-
rupted, in consequence of the receipt of a
notice by the general, that it was the inten-
tion of the House to comply with the desires
of the army. This was a mistake ; the op-
posite party had indeed resolved to pass a
bill of dissolution ; not, however, the bill
proposed by the officers, but their own bill,
containing all the obnoxious provisions, and
to pass it that very morning, that it might
obtain the force of law before their adver-
saries could have time to appeal to the
power of the sword. While Harrison " most
strictly and humbly "conjured them to pause
before they took so important a step, In-
goldsby hastened to inform the Lord-general
at Whitehall. His resolution was imme-
diately formed, and a company of musketeers
received orders to accompany him to the
House. At this eventful moment, big with
the most important consequences both to
himself and his country, whatever were the
workings of Cromwell's mind, he had the
art to conceal them from the eyes of the be-
holders. Leaving the military in the lobby,
he entered the House and composedly seated
himself on one of the outer benches. His
dress was a plain suit of black cloth, with
gray worsted stockings. For a while he
seemed to listen with interest to the debate ;

but when the Speaker was going to put the

Online LibraryUnknownThe library of choice literature : poetry and prose selected from the most admired authors (Volume 4) → online text (page 26 of 75)