« PredošláPokračovať »
hearted even assailed the heroic Adrian Van der Werf with threats and reproaches as he passed through the streets. A crowd had gathered around him as he reached a triangular place in the centre of the town, into which many of the principal streets emptied themselves, and upon one side of which stood the church of St. Pancras. There stood the burgomaster, a tall, haggard, imposing figure, with dark visage and a tranquil but commanding eye. waved his broad-leaved felt hat for silence, and then exclaimed, in language which has been almost literally preserved, "What would ye, my friends? Why do ye murmur that we do not break our vows and surrender the city to the Spaniards ?-a fate more horrible than the agony which she now endures. I tell
I have made an oath to hold the city; and may God give me strength to keep my oath! I can die but once, whether by your hands, the enemy's, or by the hand of God. My own fate is indifferent to me; not so that of the city intrusted to my care. I know that we shall starve if not soon relieved; but starvation is preferable to the dishonoured death which is the only alternative. Your menaces move me not; my life is at your disposal; here is my sword, plunge it into my breast, and divide my flesh among you.
Take my body to appease your hunger, but expect no surrender so long as I remain alive."
On the 28th of September a dove flew into the city, bringing a letter from Admiral Boisot. In this despatch the position of the fleet at North Aa was described in encouraging terms, and the inhabitants were assured that, in a very few days at furthest, the long-expected relief would enter their gates. The tempest came to their relief. A violent equinoctial gale, on the night of the
. 1st and 2nd of October, came storming from the north-west, shifting after a few hours full eight points, and then blowing still more violently from the south-west. The waters of the North Sea were piled in vast masses upon the southern coast of Holland, and then dashed furiously landward, the ocean rising over the earth and sweeping with unrestrained power across the ruined dykes. In the course of twenty-four hours the fleet at North Aa, instead of nine inches, had more than two feet of water. .... On it went, sweeping over the broad waters which lay between Zoeterwoude and Zwieten; as they approached some shallows which led into the great Mere, the Zealanders dashed into the sea, and with sheer strength shouldered every vessel through. .... On again the fleet of Boisot still went, and, overcoming every obstacle, entered the city on the morning of the 3rd of October. Leyden was relieved.
J. L. MOTLEY.
BATTLE OF THE BALTIC.
OF Nelson and the North
Out spoke the victor then, Sing the glorious day's renown,
As he hailed them o'er the wave: When to battle fierce came forth
“Ye are brothers ! ye are men !
! All the might of Denmark's crown,
And we conquer but to save; And her arms along the deep prou lly shone; So peace instead of death let us bring;-By each gun the lighted brand,
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet, In a bold, determined hand,
With the crews, at England's feet, And the Prince of all the land
And make submission meet Led them on.
To our King.”
Like leviathans afloat,
Then Denmark bless'd our chief,
But the might of England flushed
Now joy, Old England, raise ! To anticipate the scene;
For the tidings of thy might, And her van the fleeter rushed
By the festal cities' blaze, O'er the deadly space between.
Whilst the wine-cup shines in light; Hearts of oak!” our captain cried, when And yet, amidst that joy and uproar,
Let us think of them that sleep, From its adamantine lips
Full many a fathom deep, Spread a death-shade round the ships, By thy wild and stormy steep, Like the hurricane eclipse
Elsinore ! Of the sun.
Brave hearts ! to Britain's pride Again! again! again!
Once so faithful and so true, And the havoc did not slack,
On the deck of fame that died, Till a feeble cheer the Dane
With the gallant good Riou : To our cheering sent us back;
Soft sigh the winds of heaven o'er their Their shots along the deep slowly boom:Then ceased and all is wail,
While the billow mournful rolls, As they strike the shattered sail;
And the mermaid's song condoles, Or, in conflagration pale,
Singing glory to the souls Light the gloom.
Of the brave!
LITTLE more than fifty years have passed since Poland continued to occupy a high place among the Powers of Europe. Her natural means of wealth and force were inferior to those of few states of the second order. The surface of the country exceeded that of France; and the number of inhabitants was estimated, at the era of the first partition, at fourteen millions--a population probably
a exceeding that of the British Islands, or of the Spanish Peninsula. The climate was nowhere unfriendly to health, or unfavourable to labour; the soil was fertile, the produce redundant; a large portion of the country, still uncleared, afforded ample scope for agricultural enterprise. Great rivers afforded easy means of opening an internal navigation from the Baltic to the Mediterranean.
In addition to these natural advantages, there were many of those circumstances in the history and situation of Poland which render a people fond and proud of their country, and foster that national spirit which is the most effectual instrument either of defence or aggrandizement.
Till the middle of the seventeenth century, she was the predominating Power of the North. With Hungary, and the maritime strength of Venice, she formed the eastern defence of Christendom against the Turkish tyrants of Greece; and, on the north-east, she was long the sole barrier against the more obscure barbarians of Muscovy, after they had thrown off the Tartarian yoke. A nation which thus constituted a part of the vanguard of civilization necessarily became martial, and gained all the renown in arms which could be acquired before war had become a science. The wars of the Poles-irregular, romantic, full of personal adventure, dependent on individual courage and peculiar character, proceeding little from the policy of cabinets, but deeply imbued by those sentiments of chivalry which may pervade a nation, chequered by extraordinary vicissitudes, carried on against barbarous enemies in remote and wild provinces—were calculated to
leave a deep impression on the feelings of the people, and to give every man the liveliest interest in the glories and dangers of his country.
Whatever renders the members of a community more like each other, and unlike their neighbours, usually strengthens the bond of attachment between them. The Poles were the only representatives of the Sarmatian race in the assembly of civilized nations. Their language and their national literature were cultivated with great success. They contributed, in one instance, signally to the progress of science; and they took no ignoble part in those classical studies which composed the common literature of Europe. They were bound to their country by the peculiarities of its institutions and usages; perhaps, also, by the very defects in their government which at last contributed to its fall, by those dangerous privileges, and by that tumultuary independence, which rendered their condition as much above that of the slaves of absolute monarchy as it was below the lot of those who inherit the blessings of legal and moral freedom.
They had once another singularity, of which they might have been proud, if they had not abandoned it in times which ought to have been more enlightened. Soon after the Reformation, they set the first example of that true religious liberty, which equally admits the members of all sects to the privileges, the offices, and dignities of the commonwealth. For nearly a century they afforded a secure asylum to those obnoxious sects of Anabaptists and Unitarians, whom all other states excluded from toleration; and the Hebrew nation, proscribed everywhere else, for several ages found a second country, with protection to their learned and religious establishments, in this hospitable and tolerant land.
But the Polish people fell—after a wise and virtuous attempt to establish liberty, and a heroic struggle to defend it—by the flagitious wickedness of Russia, by the foul treachery of Prussia, by the unprincipled accession of Austria, and by the shortsighted as well as mean-spirited acquiescence of all the nations of Europe.
SIR JAMES MACINTOSH
THE DOWNFALL OF POLAND.
OH, sacred Truth! thy triumph ceased | Oh, bloodiest picture in the book of a while,
Time! And Hope, thy sister, ceased with thee to Sarmatia fell—unwept--without a crime ! smile,
Found not a generous friend, a pitying When leagued Oppression poured to North- foe, ern wars
Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her Her whiskered pandoors and her fierce woe ! hussars,
Dropped from her nerveless grasp the shatWaved her dread standard to the breeze of morn,
Closed her bright eye, and curbed her high Pealed her loud drum, and twanged her career: trumpet-horn;
Hope, for a season bade the world fareTumultuous Horror brooded o'er her van,
well, Presaging wrath to Poland--and to man ! And Freedom shrieked -- as KOSCIUSCO
Warsaw's last champion, from her heights, surveyed,
The sun went down; nor ceased the carWide o'er the fields, a waste of ruin laid :
nage there “O Heaven !” he cried, “my bleeding Tumultuous murder shook the midnight
country save! Is there no hand on high to shield the On Prague's proud arch the fires of ruin brave?
glow, Yet, though destruction sweep those lovely His blood-dyed waters murmuring far beplains,
low. Rise, fellow-men! our COUNTRY yet re- The storm prevails ! the rampart yields a mains !
way! By that dread name we wave the sword on Bursts the wild cry of horror and dis
high, And swear for her to live-with her to Hark! as the smouldering piles with thundie!”
der fall, A thousand shrieks for hopeless mercy
call He said, and on the rampart heights Earth shook ! red meteors flashed along arrayed
the sky! His trusty warriors, few, but undis
And conscious Nature shuddered at the mayed : Firm-paced and slow, a horrid front they
form, Still as the breeze, but dreadful as the Departed spirits of the mighty dead! storm!
Ye that at Marathon and Leuctra bled ! Low, murmuring sounds along their ban- Friends of the world ! restore your swords ners fly,
to man; REVENGE OR DEATH !-the watchword and Fight in his sacred cause, and lead the reply;
van! Then pealed the notes, omnipotent to Yet for Sarmatia's tears of blood atone, charm,
And make her arm puissant as your And the loud tocsin tolled their last alarm! own!
Oh once again to Freedom's cause reIn vain-alas ! in vain, ye gallant few,
turn From rank to rank your volleyed thunders The patriot TELL—the BRUCE of Ban.