網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Jagger under his robe, but the shiny point was exposed to public view, and seemed to say, “ Let me die in honourable defence, not by the treachery of an assassin !"

He persevered in the course of patriotism with unabated ardour; he got a law passed for lessening the number of years that soldiers were obliged to serve; another for establishing the last appeal to the people; another for dividing the judicial power in civil causes between the knights and the senate, which was, before, judge in its own cause. In fine, he desired the tribuneship a second year, to ratify and put in practice these laws.

On the day of election, he was about to repair to the capitol; unlucky omens were reported; he dreaded none in his country's cause. Cornelia trembled, but was silent. He hastened to the assembly; the people burst into shouts of joy and applause. Soon after, a friend rushed through the crowd—“ The rich and great in the senate have conspired to murder you!" "Gird up your gowns,” cried Tiberius," and stand on your defence as well as unarmed men can.—People,” cried he, “ your defenders are in danger, this head is in danger;" and he touch. ed it with his hand. The people fled." He demands a crown!" said some scoundrel, and hurried to the senate. Scipio Nasica, a great landholder, and proprietor of men, flaming with wrath, cries, “ Let those who regard the republic, and the public peace, follow me.” The senate, their clients, their slaves, armed with clubs, ran furiously to the capitol; they broke through the pusillanimous populace, (they were not a people!) slew three hundred, and murdered Tiberius! The senate of Rome first spilled the blood of the Roman people; first had recourse to arms, and slaughter; and assassinated, before the Temple of Jupiter, a magistrate, whom the law had declared sacred and inviolable.

The dead body of Tiberius Gracchus was cast into the Tiber. The people beheld it. The wife of the Ædile Lucretius Vespillo was passing by—“Lo!" she said, “one of the JEWELS or CORNELIA!"

Cornelia had still another-it was Caius,

1

O'HALLORAN, OR THE INSURGENT CHIEF.

AN IRISH HISTORICAL TALE OF 1798.

CHAPTER I.
A gallant youth, just fresh from college halls,
With love of vature glowing in his breast,
Roams venturously amidst her wildest scenes,
With fervid and romantic admiration-

THAUNUS THE DROID.

PERHAPS no where in the British Islands, will the admirer of the grand and sublime, in the works of nature, find more gratification than along the northern shores of the county of Antrim. From the Gabbon precipices, near the entrance of Larne Harbour, to Port Rush, near Colerain, a long range of rocky coast, extending upwards of fifty miles, exhibits, in some places, the boldest pronontories jutting into the sea, and perforated with numerous caverns, into many of which the raging waters pour with reverberating noise. In other places, small bays, occasioned by the mouths of the rivers and rivulets that there seek a junction with the ocean, interrupt the continuity of the rocky chain, and by affording to the visiter the view of towns and villages, surrounded by the fertility of nature, and the convepiencies of art, produce a striking and pleasing contrast to the prevailing wildness of the coast, and make its grandeur still more grand.

The Giant's Causeway, which forms a part of this wonderful coast, has long been an object of astonishment, both to the philosopher and the peasant. It is annually visited by travellers from all countries, where science excites curiosity, and the wonders of nature inspire admiration.

Edward Barrymore was in his twenty-second year, and had just finished his education at Trinity College, when he resolved to visit this interesting coast, and examine with his own eyes, those immense structures, of which he had heard so much, and which, both as a man of science and of taste, he was so well calculated to enjoy. It was in the afternoon of a very fine day, in the month of May 1797, when he arrived at the promontory of Ballygally. He alighted and sent forward his servant with the horses to the next town, which was about three miles

distant, intending after he had explored the cliffs, to follow along the beach on foot.

He descended the crags, and got to the beach, when turning round a huge rock, he perceived an elderly gentleman, with a young lady, advancing along a sandy portion of the shore towards him. Not wishing to be seen, and, at the same time, , struck with the appearance of the lady, he concealed himself in such a manner, that he had a fair view of them, without being himself noticed. They advanced slowly until they came to the bottom of the rock where he was stationed, when all at once they disappeared; but not until they were so near, that he heard the lady utter the following exclamation : “ Oh father, what miseries are in store for thousands !” and, immediately he was startled with a sound, as it part of the cliff on which he reclined had broken off. Full of astonishment, he got down to the bottom of the rock, but could perceive no traces of the persons, who had just the moment before excited so much of his attention. Their sudden disappearance was to him quite unaccountable, unless he should suppose, that they had found admission into some cavity within the rock. He viewed it at every accessible point, and minutely examined every fracture and crevice, in the hope of discovering some concealed entrance, but in vain. He imagined, however, that he heard, as from a distance, the sounds of footsteps and voices; but they soon died away, and left nothing audible, but the screaming of the sea-fowl, and the dashing of the waves upon the shore.

Edward, however, determined to remain near the spot until night, in hopes that something might take place that would lead to an explanation of the mystery. For this purpose, he chose a recess on a level with the beach, under an over-arching ledge of the precipice, by which he conceived the fair vision, and her companion, if they were really mortal, must return, as he knew that there was no passing by the way he came, unless by clambering up the rocks, a task which would be almost impracticable for the lady.

Having a small volume of Dryden's Virgil in his pocket, the loves of Æneas and Dido, soon engrossed his attention, and the time unheedingly stole away, until the shades of twilight aroused

him from his situation. The tide, which had been advancing all the time, now rolled at his feet, and rendered it impossible for him to retreat from his recess without the greatest danger. He was a good swimmer, but the shore was unknown to him, so that he could not tell how far he might be from any spot, where it' would be possible to land. To stay where he was, was evident destruction. The tide encroached rapidly upon him, and he had no alternative but to encounter the wave. He, accordingly, plunged in, and endeavoured to gain the mysterious rock, for the purpose of escaping by the way he came. A current of water, however, that issued, now that the tide was so far advanced, between that and another rock farther out in the sea, rendered his efforts unavailing, and becoming exhausted, he ex.. pected nothing but immediate dissolution. In this situation, he heard a scream, and immediately a loud voice calling, “ Swim a little more to the right, and out to sea-1 shall help you!" He obeyed, and got out of the influence of the current that had baflled him but was on the point of sinking with fatigue, when a powerful arm seized him, and dragged him to the shore in a state of insensibility.

When Edward recovered, he found himself in bed, in a small apartment belonging to a respectable farm house. The mysterious gentleman was employed rubbing his breast with warm spirits, while his fair companion sprinkled heartshorn drops over his brows and temples, and occasionally applied them to his nostrils. An elderly peasant woman was also busy rubbing his feet and legs with warm flannels.

“ Oh, father! thank heaven! he breathes,” were the first sounds heard by Edward, on his recovery. “God be praised ! then all is well,” was the reply. He lifted his head to look at his preservers, and to thank them, but his voice faultered, and he could only press the hand of the young lady, in token of gratitude. A lovely blush suffused her countenance, but she spoke not; while her father exhorted Edward to remain silent, as perhaps exertion, in his present exhausted state, might be attended with bad consequences. Edward obeyed, for his mind was so distracted with the hurry and variety of his reflections, and the strangeness and intensity of his emotions, that he knew

not what remarks to make, or if he knew them, he could not find suitable expressions to convey them. He was glad, therefore, to conceal his confusion in silence.

He was not long in this confused state of agitation, approaching almost to delirium, until a doctor, for whom the old gentleman had sent immediately on getting him ashore, arrived from Larne, the adjoining town. After extracting some blood, and administering a composing draught, he ordered the room to be kept quiet, so that the patient might have an opportunity in silence and repose, to recover from his fatigue and agitation; then giving a few other necessary directions, and assuring the by-standers, that all danger was over, he took his leave, promising to return the next morning. The old gentleman and his daughter, then wished Edward a good night, and retired.

Left to himself, he gave a range to his imagination, on the strange occurrences of the day. His fair attendant still seemed to bend over bim, as she did when he first opened his eyes from his trance; and the fervour of his joyful exclamation, at his recovery, still seemed to reverberate in his ears. His exhaustion, however, and the influence of the medicine he had taken, soon interfered with these waking dreams, and he fell into a refreshing sleep, which continued till midnight. When he awoke he found that he had been attended by two decent-looking elderly people, a man and woman, who appeared to have been reading a newspaper. Not perceiving when he awoke, they continued the conversation which had been excited by the newspaper.

“ An' they are raising a subscription for the benefit of Orr's family, an' I this day put my name down for half a guinea, for you know, my dear, that what is gi'en to the persecuted, in a guid cause, is never lost; besides, I would not let it be said, that William Caldwell, refused to help a man who was suffering for his country.”

“Ah, my dear, you did weel to gie the mony, but I wish these things may come to a good end. There's sae mony sodgers in the country, and sae mony informers, and sae mony kingsmen, that I'm feared the poor United Irishmen will never do ony guid. Not but I wish God may bless the cause, for if they get leave to gae on, they will persecute and kill a great

VOL. 1.-No. J.

5

« 上一頁繼續 »