Page images
PDF
EPUB

The grey old walls were hung with scarlet. The long gal. leries were crowded by such an audience as has rarely excited the fears or the emulation of an orator. There were gathered together, from all parts of a great, free, and enlightened realm, grace and female loveliness, wit and learning, the representatives of every science and of every art. There were seated round the Queen the fair-haired young daughters of the House of Brunswick. There the Ambassadors of great Kings and Commonwealths gazed with admiration on à spectacle which no other country in the world could present. There Siddons, in the prime of her majestic beauty, looked with emotion on the scene. There the historian of the Roman Empire thought of the days when, before a senate which had still some show of freedom, Cicero and Tacitus thundered against the oppressors of Sicily and Africa. There were seen, side by side, the greatest painter and the greatest scholar of the age-Reynolds and Parr.

The Sergeants made proclamation. Hastings advanced to the bar and bent his knee. The culprit was indeed not unworthy of that great presence. He had ruled an extensive and populous country, had made laws and treaties, had sent forth armies, had set up and pulled down princes. And in his high place he had so borne himself, that all had feared him, most had loved him, and hatred itself could deny him no title to glory, except virtue. He looked like a great man, and not like a bad man. . A person small and emaciated, yet deriving dignity from a carriage which, while it indicated deference to the Court, indicated also habitual self-possession and self-respect ;-a high and intellectual forehead ;-a brow pensive, but not gloomy ;- -a mouth of inflexible decision ; a face pale and worn, but serene ;-such was the aspect with which the great proconsul presented himself to his judges,

His counsel accompanied him,-men, all of whom were afterwards raised by their talents and learning to the highest posts in their profession.

But neither the culprit nor his advocates attracted so much notice as the accusers. In the midst of the blaze of red drapery, a space had been fitted up with green benches and tables for the Commons. The

with Burke at their head, appeared in full dress. Even Fox, generally so regardless of his appearance, had paid to the illustrous tribunal the compliment of wearing a bag and sword. Pitt had refused

managers,

to be one of the conductors of the impeachment. But there stood Fox and Sheridan. There was Burke, in amplitude of comprehension and richness of imagination, superior to every orator, ancient or modern. There appeared the finest gentleman of the age-his face beaming with intelligence and spirit

-the ingenious, the high-souled Windham. Nor, though surrounded by such men, did the youngest manager pass unnoticed. Those who have listened with delight, till the morning sun shone on the tapestries of the House of Lords, to the lofty and animated eloquence of Charles Earl Grey, are able to form some estimate of the powers of a race of men among whom he was not the foremost.

Macaulay.

VII.-THE TWO-FOLD RESCUE.
LATIN.

Con-tin'gen-cies, no......tangěre. Re-ligʻion, N..............legare. Re-member, v............memor. Cir'cum-stan-ces, n.....stāre, Sum'moned, v............monēre. The late Rev. Legh Richmond was once speaking at a meeting at Edinburgh, for the advancement of religion among sailors, when he related the following facts :

" When I reflect on the character and circumstances of seamen, I cannot, without peculiar interest, recollect the time when a young man went to sea, whose feelings were ill suited to all the contingencies of a sea-faring life. I remember that the time came when it was said that the vessel in which he had sailed had been wrecked, and that the young man was dead, and no intimation had reached the ears of his affectionate parents of any change in his views as to the things of God. And I remember the time when that young man was so far restored again to his family, that although they saw him not, they heard that he had been saved from the shipwreck. That young man, too, was found by the blessed God while on the ocean, with the Bible only, which his father, at parting, had put into his hand. It was blessed to him in the midst of the carnal companions by whom he was surrounded. This means of grace, without any human instruction, was made effectual to the salvation of his soul. The time came when that young man, who had been a foe to religion, lifted up, in the Bay of Gibraltar, at his mast-head, a Bethel flag, and summoned his sailors to prayer, and prayed with them, and bade the missionary exhort them.--And when I tell you that that yonng man is my own son, you will see that I may well say, God bless the Sailors' Friend !"

VIII.-PUNCTUALITY, GEORGE Washington, the celebrated commander of the American army, was born in 1732, in Virginia. Died, Dec. 14, 1799, in his 68th year. LATIN, Mor'ti.fy, n...............

...mors, facěre. Con'gress, No................

..grădi. Vol-un-teered', v......... Velle. Pres’i-dent, n............

...sedēre. When General Washington assigned to meet Congress at noon, he never failed to be passing the door of the hall while the clock was striking twelve.- Whither his guests were present or not, he always dined at four. Not unfrequently new members of Congress, who were invited to dine with him, delayed until dinner was half over, and he would then remark, "Gentlemen, we are punctual here." When he visited Boston in 1788, he appointed eight A.M. as the hour when he should set out for Salem, and while the Old South church clock was striking eight, he was mounting his horse. The company of cavalry, which volunteered to escort him, were parading in Tremont-Street, after his departure, and it was not until the President reached Charles River Bridge, that they overtook him, On the arrival of the corps, the President, with perfect good nature, said, “ Major, I thought you had been too long in my family, not to know when it was eight o'clock." Captain Pease, the father of the stage establishment in the United States, had a beautiful pair of horses hich he wished to dispose of to the President, whom he knew to be an excellent judge of horses. The President appointed five o'clock in the morning to examine them. But the captain did not arrive with the horses until a quarter after five, when he was told by the groom that the President was there at five, and was then fulfilling other engagements. Pease, much mortified, wàs obliged to wait a week for another opportunity, merely for delaying the first quarter of an hour,

IX.-AN OLD SOLDIER,
LATIN.

Pro-mot'ed, v...... ....movēre,
Ag-i-ta'tion, no...........agěre, Par-tic'u-lar, adj... .pars.
Im-pa'tient, adj......... pati. Ter'race, n....... .terra.
Vet'er-an, n........ .vetus. In-di-gest'ion, no... ..gerěre.
Oc-caʼsions, n............caděre. Cham'pi-on, n...... .campus.
In-volve',

.... Volvěre. Re-spon'ses, N... ........spondēre.

The Hall was thrown into some little agitation, a few days since by the arrival of General Harbottle. He had been expected for several days, and looked for, rather impatiently, by several of the family. Master Simon assured me that I would like the general hugely, for he was a blade of the old school, and an excellent table companion. Lady Lillycraft, also appeared to be somewhat fluttered, on the morning of the general's arrival, for he had been one of her early admirers; and she recollected him only as a dashing young ensign, just come upon the town. She actually spent an hour longer at her toilette, and made her appearance with her hair uncommonly frizzed and powdered, and an additional quantity of rouge. She was evidently a little surprised and shocked, therefore, at finding the lithe dashing ensign transformed into a corpulent old general, with a double chin ; though it was a perfect picture to witness their salutations; the graciousness of her profound courtesy, and the air of the old school with which the general took off his hat, swayed it gently in his hand, and bowed his powdered head.

All this bustle and anticipation has caused me to study the general with a little more attention than, perhaps, I should otherwise have done ; and the few days that he has already passed at the Hall have enabled me, I think, to furnish a tolerable likeness of him to the reader.

He is, as Master Simon observed, a soldier of the old school, with powdered head, side locks, and pigtail. His face is shaped like the stern of a Dutch man-of-war, narrow at top, and wide at bottom, with full rosy cheeks and a double chin ; so that to use the cant of the day, his organs of eating may be said to be powerfully developed.

The general, though a veteran, has seen very little active service, except the taking of Seringapatam, which forms an era in his history. He wears a large emerald in his bosom, and a diamond on his finger, which he got on that occasion, and whoever is unlucky enough to notice either, is sure to involve himself in the whole history of the siege. To judge from the general's conversation, the taking of Seringapatam is the most important affair that has occured for the last century.

On the approach of warlike times on the continent, he was rapidly promoted to get him out of the way of younger of. ficers of merit ; until, having been hoisted to the rank of general, he was quietly laid on the shelf. Since that time

P

his campaigns have been principally confined to wateringplaces ; where he drinks the waters for a slight touch of the liver which he got in India ; and plays whist with old dowagers, with whom he has flirted in his younger days. Indeed he talks of all the fine women of the last half-century, and according to hints which he now and then drops, has enjoyed the particular smiles of many of them.

He has seen considerable garrison duty, and can speak of almost every place famous for good quarters, and where the inhabitants give good dinners. He is a diner-out of firstrate currency, when in town; being invited to one place, because he had been seen at another. In the same way he is invited about the country-seats, and can describe half the seats in the kingdom, from actual observation ; nor is any one better versed in court gossip, and the pedigrees and intermarriages of the nobility.

As the general is an old bachelor, and an old beau, and there are several ladies at the Hall, especially his quondam flame Lady Lillycraft, he is put rather upon his gallantry. He commonly passes some time, therefore, at his toilette, and takes the field at a late hour every morning, with his hair dressed out and powdered, and a rose in his button-hole. After he has breakfasted, he walks up and down the terrace in the sunshine, humming an air, and hemming between every stave, carrying one hand behind his back, and with the other touching his cane to the ground, and then raising it up to his shoulder. Should he, in these morning promenades, meet any of the elder ladies of the family, as he frequently does Lady Lillycraft, his hat is immediately in his hand, and it is enough to remind one of those courtly groups of ladies and gentlemen, in old prints of Windsor-terrace, or Kensingtongarden.

He talks frequently about “the service," and is fond of humming the old song,

Why, soldiers, why,
Should we be melancholy boys !
Why, soldiers, why,

Whose business 'tis to die. I cannot discover, however, that the general has ever ran any great risk of dying, except from an apoplexy, or an indigestion. He criticises all the battles on the continent, and discusses the merits of the commanders, but never fails to

« PreviousContinue »