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ing the coming host. I stood beside him, and though I mastered my feelings and showed the same front and bearing that he did, I think it was not the same within. I glanced at the space between our station and the mountains-there was no hope of escape there; I looked at the dense mass of horses and riders, now for an instant at a stand. I saw the plungings and curvetings of the impatient steeds, the glitter of their trappings, the flowing, gilded dresses of the riders, the flashing of their scimitars, and, I could distinguish, dashing here and there, among the mass, the high-cap of the furious Delhi; and, as I thought of the feeble barrier on which I stood, and over which they could dash their steeds at a single leap, I half shuddered, and my thoughts flew back to home, to my mother, and to the nursery; I felt all that man must feel when first in danger, but which we are too cowardly to betray by looks or words.
But there was no time for thought; there was a sudden movement of the foe-the horses dashed forward toward us at a gallop, the riders waved their scimitars, and raised a tremendous yell of "Hu! Hu ! Hu! Allah! Hu!"—when I felt myself pulled into the ditch by Francesco when, putting out my gun through a hole made for the purpose, I lay and waited till they should be within shot. There was a deadly, breathless silence among us; there were moving of lips in prayer, but no sound; there was making of sudden crosses, but no eye ceased to glance along the gun-barrel towards the foe, who, advancing, like lightning, now began to raise their carbines. I saw them bend their bodies, and try to crouch behind their horses' necks; I saw the very glare of their eyes,—when, in an instant, a flash of fire ran along their line-their balls whizzed over our heads-our muskets instantly rattled in reply; the smoke arose, and, after that, I saw nothing, and thought of nothing, but to load and fire; and fire we did so fast and furiously into the cloud of smoke, out of which flashed the enemy's guns, and where they seemed to be a moment checked; but as the smoke arose I saw a troop of a dozen, dash within a few yards of us, fire their pistols, receive our shots, wheel, and away; and, when the smoke again cleared up, they were half a mile distant.
Then there was shouting, and congratulation, and exultation, in our hitherto breathless band; W. leaped over the barrier, and, yatagan in hand, would have advanced—but no one followed the fool-hardy boy.
a few minutes more the enemy were moving off at a full trot, and we saw no more of them.
Half a dozen slight wounds was all the damage we received, and the carcasses of a few horses were all the proof we had of the loss of the enemy; but the rich saddles of two of them were soaking with yet warm blood; and as we knew the Turks always carry off their dead, if possible, our leaders did not fail to report fifty slain Moslems, besides a great number of wounded; and, I doubt not, our skirmish will flourish in the journals of the day, as a desperate and bloody fight.
At sunset, we left our dangerous position, and a hard night's march brought us to the main body, where we were more secure. But W. soon tired even of that; his restless spirit needed more excitement, and the company of some reckless spirits, whom he had unfortunately met with, and who pressed him to join them in Western Greece, where they had, as they said, hard fighting, indeed, but beauty and wassail to recompense them. I trembled as he left me, for I knew he was the
darling of an aged mother, and the hope of a proud family; I knew he was high-minded and generous; but goaded, as he was, by ambition, and credulous, and inexperienced, he might become the victim of his own passions, or of the villany of others.
Months rolled away, and nothing from W. I heard, indeed, strange tales of the proceedings of some Europeans, in Western Greece; men talked of dissipation and unnatural crimes; of treason and assassination; but the East abounds with such tales, and I noticed them not.
One evening, at Hydra, I was sitting gazing on the rich sunset, and for the want of any one with whom to exchange the tones of my native tongue, and in the absence of books, I was repeating the oft-repeated lines of our beloved bard :
"On Old Egina's rock and Hydra's isle
The god of gladness casts his parting smile;
Here my attention was attracted by the singular appearance of a young man, who was coming slowly along the street, apparently very weak and exhausted; his once magnificently embroidered dress presented a strange contrast of rags and riches, of splendor and dirt; he was without arms, though his silver cartridge-boxes and pistol-belt shewed him to have been a soldier. As he drew near, I saw that he was sallow and emaciated, and was surprised to find him turning in at our gate; I met him at the door, against which he supported himself with one hand, while he, hesitatingly, held out the other to me, and fixed upon me his ghastly sunken eyes. I took his hand, doubtfully, when he exclaimed in a hollow voice-" Do you not know me ?" It was W.; but so changed! so different from the fiery, yet blooming youth, I had seen a few months before, that I could scarce believe my eyes.
We got him food, and tried to cheer
and find out his disorder; but he was sad and reserved; or, if he roused himself, and tried to laugh, it was with the hollow, heartless laugh of the distracted. I suspected his mind was affected, and we got him to retire, having made up the best bed we could, with some rags, on the floor of an adjoining
At midnight, I was awakened from a sound. sleep, by the most dreadful screams from the room of W. I seized a pistol in one hand, and a sword in the other, and dashing open his door with a blow of my foot, found him rolling on the floor, apparently weltering in his blood, and groaning out in a dreadful voice-"I am stabbed, and murderedI am dying!" "Who has stabbed you?" cried I, looking eagerly around the room, "there is no one here." "There, there," cried he, clinging around my legs, and pointing to a dark corner of the room, "there he is there," and threw himself back with a groan. I advanced slowly and cautiously toward the corner, with my sword thrust
out as far before me as possible. I almost fancied I could see the glare of a pair of eyes; I expected the instant flash of a pistol; there was certainly a dark figure; I thrust quickly at it-and hit-the bare wall! Not a soul was to be found; and then the truth flashed upon W. had been dreaming-his conscience had conjured up a spectre. I passed my hand over his body before a light could be brought, and persuaded him he was neither dying, nor even wounded.
But it was long before he ceased to tremble, and to be agitated; and, when I attempted to go out of the room with the light, he shrieked aloud, and begged, for God's sake, I would not leave him in the dark.
There were horrible workings of his yet unseared conscience, and before morning the unhappy youth disclosed to us the plot, which, aided by his own folly, and pride and ambition, had made him a wretch, a traitor, and an assassin! He told a tale which bore every impress of truth, which subsequent events have proved to be in the main correct, and which is yet so strange, and so horrible, as to seem to belong rather to the province of romance than of history.
66 LEON, A FRAGMENT," AN UNPUBLISHED POEM,
BY THE LATE DR. DRAKE.
SUCH was thy life; a fragment brief and bright,
EXTRACT FROM THE JEWISH CONVERT.
AN UNWRITTEN TALE.
SOON after the occurrences related, and the final adjustment of them, and the more effectually to prevent all misrepresentations to the Roman authorities, it seemed advisable to me to go up to Jerusalem, and if possible to have a personal interview with the Roman governor, Pontius Pilatus, whose general reputation for justice and probity was so far good, that I thought might, with confidence, look for a favorable termination of the affair. Another motive, partly of interest and partly of curiosity, also influenced me. At no great distance from Jerusalem lived a family of our near kindred, being the children of my mother's cousin. With this family in my boyish days we had considerable intimacy, which, for several years past had been broken up by the various calamities I have already described as having befallen our house, and my own absence so long from the country. They, too, had been visited by affliction; the parents and two of the younger members of the family had died, and there remained but two sisters and a brother, all unmarried, and living in reduced circumstances, though still with sufficient means of modest comforts. The father had taken an active part in some of the disturbances following the death of Herod the Great, which had been severely visited upon his property by the satellites of Roman authority. Having, however, made his peace, and procured his personal safety by the sacrifice of much of his wealth, he had, at length, withdrawn from the active business of the world to a small estate in the town of Bethany, where he remained until his death, undisturbed, save by the loss of some farther remnants of his property, which fell a prey to the convulsions of the world around him.
The brother and sisters, above referred to, as now the only survivers of the family, were nearly of my own age, and had been, more especially, my companions and playmates, in the days of former intercourse, and association still linked their names and forms with many hours of youthful pleasure, and scenes of past enjoyment. It was but natural, then, that when, after some years of stormy vicissitudes upon the sea of life, and after the loss of many much endeared to me by the ties of kindred or well-tried affection, I found myself again an inhabitant of my native land, and of the dwelling of my fathers; wasted and desolate as it in some degree was, it was but natural, that I should look around me to discover the sources of happiness, and the means of gratifying the affections of our nature still within my reach, and while memory retraced the sunny steps of departed time, that a yearning should arise in my bosom to see again the friends in whose company they were trodden, now too, with but few exceptions, the nearest kindred remaining to me.
Such was the source and nature of my interest; my curiosity had a different origin. In making the inquiries which afforded me this knowledge of their present condition, I also learned other things concerning them, for the full understanding of which farther detail is necessary.
In the early ages of our nation, we had been favored, above all others, with a direct communication with the Most High; and rulers,
priests and judges, receiving their appointments especially from the manifestation of His will, had guided our affairs, and raised them to the summit of their glory. In later times, under a succession of monarchs, ascending the throne by hereditary right, or often usurping it by violence, and distinguished far more often for their evil, than for their good qualities, and for their wanton violation of our most sacred and holy laws, than by their concern for the welfare of their people, the intercourse with the Deity had been kept up through the medium of the prophets, men not possessing any temporal authority, but inspired by the wisdom of the Most High to rebuke the sins of the people, and of their rulers, to point out to them their wickedness, and to foretell to them the visitations of God's wrath, which would be a consequence of persisting in the ways of ill-doing. As time passed on with but little or transient effect, these denunciations became darker and more gloomy, and the terrors that they threatened, were threatened as things that must inevitably come to pass, and from which there would be no escape; while yet there was an ambiguity in the language in which they were conveyed, that, favored by the natural self-confidence of men in their own judgement, and the success of their own schemes, prevented their being applied by the rulers and the mass of the nation to their own times and actions, so that they pursued their course, heaping crime upon crime, and preparing the way for the threatened wrath, till the beginning of preparation for the final catastrophe overtook them in the destruction of the national independence and sovereignty.
After this time the race of the prophets ceased; and though some transient gleams of prosperity, and even of temporary freedom for the most part from foreign domination, yet at times illuminated our annals, they were produced by the merely human energies and virtues of men, that sprang up from time to time in the natural course of events, and who did and dared from patriotism and zeal for the purity of religion, without being favored by any special manifestation of Divine Will, or any direct interposition of Divine Power.
Through all the fearful denunciations of the prophets, there still might be traced the vestiges of hope, a presage of future glory struggling through the clouds and storms of the moral world, as sun-beams throw their light through the tempests, that blacken and convulse the natural heavens. There was in many of them, from time to time, a promise held out of some one that was to arise, whose power should transcend any that had ever before appeared upon earth,—and who was to rescue the people forever from the calamities brought upon them by their own sins, and those of their rulers; and not only so, but who should extend his dominion over the whole earth. In some, this promise was so distinctly made, the very race whence this deliverer should arise, was distinctly, though figuratively pointed out, and even allusions were made, though obscurely, to the time when he should appear. It may readily be supposed from the circumstances above related as belonging to the history of our national career, that faith was not wanting to our people in expecting the fulfilment of this promise. On the contrary, it was ever present, an argument for impatience un der the galling yoke of foreign servitude, and a perpetual stimulus to the fanatic to acts of desperate rebellion. Thus, in later days, from time to time a person would spring up, proclaiming that the appointed