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Waved her dread standard to the breeze of morn,
Warsaw's last champion, from her heights, surveyed, Wide o'er the fields, a waste of ruin laid : “O Heaven!” he cried, “my bleeding country save! Is there no hand on high to shield the brave? Yet, though destruction sweep these lovely plains, Rise, fellow-men! our COUNTRY yet remains ! By that dread name, we wave the sword on high, And swear, for her to live - with her to die!”
He said : and, on the rampart-heights, arrayed
In vain, alas! in vain, ye gallant few, From rank to rank your volleyed thunder flew : Oh! bloodiest picture in the book of time, Sarmatia fell — unwept - without a crime! Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe, Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her woe. Dropped from her nerveless grasp the shattered spear, Closed her bright eye, and curbed her high career. Hope, for a season, bade the world farewell, And Freedom shrieked as Kosciusko fell !
The sun went down, nor ceased the carnage there; Tumultuous murder shook the midnight air : On Prague's proud arch the fires of ruin glow, His blood-dyed waters murmuring far below. The storm prevails ! the rampart yields a way — Bursts the wild cry of horror and dismay ! Hark! as the smoldering piles with thunder fall, A thousand shrieks for hopeless mercy call ! Earth shook ! red meteors flashed along the sky! And conscious Nature shuddered at the cry!
Departed spirits of the mighty dead ! Ye that at Marathon and Leuctra bled ! Friends of the world ! restore your swords to man, Fight in his sacred cause, and lead the van! Yet for Sarmatia's tears of blood atone, And make her arm puissant as your own! Oh! once again to freedom's cause return, The patriot Tell — the Bruce of Bannockburn.
THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN OF THE SEVEN
punc-til'ious (-til'yus), exact in forms an-i-mos'i-ty, hatred.
of behavior. ca-nā'ry, wine made in the Canary quar'ter-sess'ions, a general court Isles.
held quarterly by county justices. clown, an ignorant country fellow. scur'ri-lous, low, vulgar. mit'ti-mus, a warrant of commitment still-room, a room where liquors are to prison.
We should be much mistaken if we pictured to ourselves the squires of the seventeenth century as men bearing a close resemblance to their descendants, the county members and chairmen of quarter-sessions with whom we are familiar. The modern country gentleman generally receives a liberal education, passes from a. distinguished school to a distinguished college, and has ample opportunity to become an excellent scholar. He has generally seen something of foreign countries. A considerable part of his life has generally been passed in the capital; and the refinements of the capital follow him into the country. There is perhaps no class of dwellings so pleasing as the rural seats of the English gentry. In the parks and pleasure-grounds, nature, dressed, yet not disguised, by art, wears her most allur
." From the History of England, Chapter III.
In the buildings, good sense and good taste combine to produce a happy union of the comfortable and the graceful. The pictures, the musical instruments, the library, would in any other country be considered as proving the owner to be an eminently polished and accomplished man.
A country gentleman who witnessed the Revolution was probably in receipt of about a fourth part of the rent which his acres now yield to his posterity.
He was, therefore, as compared with his posterity, a poor man, and was generally under the necessity of residing, with little interruption, on his estate. To travel on the Continent, to maintain an establishment in London, or even to visit London frequently, were pleasures in which only the great proprietors could indulge. It may be confidently affirmed that of the squires whose names were then in the commissions of Peace and Lieutenancy, not one in twenty went to town once in five years, or had ever in his life wandered so far as Paris. Many lords of manors had received an education differing little from that of their menial servants.
The heir of an estate often passed his boyhood and youth at the seat of his family, with no better tutors than grooms and gamekeepers, and scarce attained learning enough to sign his name to a mittimus. If he went to school and to college, he generally returned before he was twenty to the seclusion of the old hall, and there, unless his mind were very happily constituted by nature, soon forgot his academical pursuits in rural business and pleasures. His chief serious employment was the care of his property. He examined samples of grain, handled pigs, and, on market-days, made
bargains over a tankard with drovers and hop-merchants.
His chief pleasures were commonly derived from field-sports and from an unrefined sensuality. His language and pronunciation were such as we should now expect to hear only from the most ignorant clowns. His oaths, coarse jests, and scurrilous terms of abuse were uttered with the broadest accent of his province. It was easy to discern, from the first words which he spoke, whether he came from Somersetshire or Yorkshire.
He troubled himself little about decorating his abode, and, if he attempted decoration, seldom produced any thing but deformity. The litter of a farm-yard gathered under the windows of his bed-chamber, and the cabbages and the gooseberry-bushes grew close to his hall-door. His table was loaded with coarse plenty, and guests were cordially welcomed to it. But, as the habit of drinking to excess was general in the class to which he belonged, and as his fortune did not enable him to intoxicate large assemblies daily with claret or canary, strong beer was the ordinary beverage.
The quantity of beer consumed in those days was indeed enormous; for beer then was to the middle and lower classes not only all that beer now is, but all that wine, tea, and ardent spirits now are. It was only at great houses, or on great occasions, that foreign drink was placed on the board. The ladies of the house, whose business it had commonly been to cook the repast, retired as soon as the dishes had been devoured, and left the gentlemen to their ale and tobacco. The coarse jollity of the afternoon was often prolonged till the revelers were laid under the table.