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They proved to be a she-bear and her two cubs ; but the cubs were nearly as large as the dam. They ran eagerly to the fire, and drew out from the flames part of the flesh of the sea-horse that remained unconsumed, and ate it voraciously. The crew from the ship threw great lumps of the flesh of the sea-horse, which they had still left, upon the ice. These the old bear carried away singly ; laid every lump before her cubs as she brought it, and dividing it, gave each a share, reserving but a small portion to herself
. As she was taking away the last piece, they levelled their muskets at the cubs, and shot them both dead ; and in her retreat, they wounded the dam, but not mortally.
It would have drawn tears of pity from any but unfeeling minds to mark the affectionate concern expressed by this poor beast, in the last moments of her expiring young:
Though she was sorely wounded, and could but just crawl to the place where they lay, she carried the lump of flesh which she had fetched away, and placed it before them. Seeing that they refused to eat, she laid her paws first upon one and then upon the other, and endeavored to raise them up. It was pitiful to hear her moan. When she found she could not stir them, she went off; and, stopping when she had gotten to some distance, she looked back and moaned. When she found that she could not entice them away, she returned, and smelling around them, began to lick their wounds. She went off a second time as before ; and having crawled a few paces, looked again behind her, and for some time stood moaning. But still her cubs not rising to follow her, she returned to them again, and, with signs of inexpressible fondness, went round one and round the other, pawing them and moaning. Finding at last that they were cold and lifeless, she raised her head towards the ship and growled at the murderers, who then shot her with a volley of musket balls. She fell between her cubs and died licking their wounds.
The Miseries of War.-ROBERT HALL. THOUGH the whole race of man is doomed to dissolution, and we are all hastening to our long home; yet at each suc
cessive moment, life and death seemn to divide between them the dominion of mankind, and life to have the larger share. It is otherwise in war: death reigns there without a rival, and without control. War is the work, the element, or rather the sport and triumph of Death, who glories not only in the extent of his conquest, but in the richness of his spoil. In the other methods of attack, in the other forms which death assumes, the feeble and the aged, who at the best can live but a short time, are usually the victims; here they are the vigorous and the strong.
It is remarked by the most ancient of poets, that in peace children bury their pārents, in war pārents bury their children : nor is the difference small. Children lament their pārents, sincerely, indeed, but with that moderate and tranquil sorrow, which it is natural for those to feel who are conscious of retaining many tender ties, many animating prospects. Pārents mourn for their children with the bitterness of despair ; the aged pārent, the widowed mother, loses, when she is deprived of her children, every thing but the capacity of suffering ; her heart, withered and desolate, admits no other object, cherishes no other hope. It is Rachel, weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are not.
But, to confine our attention to the number of the slain, would give us a very inadequate idea of the ravages of the sword. The lot of those who perish instantaneously may be considered, apart from religious prospects, as comparatively happy, since they are exempt from those lingering diseases and slow torments to which others are liable. We cannot see an individual expire, though a stranger, or an enemy, without being sensibly moved, and prompted by compassion to lend him every assistance in our power. Every trace of resentment vanishes in a moment: every other emotion gives way to pity and terror.
In these last extremities we remember nothing but the respect and tenderness due to our common nature. scene then must a field of battle present, where thousands are left without assistance, and without pity, with their wounds exposed to the piercing air, while the blood, freezing as it flows, binds them to the earth, amidst the trampling of horses, and the insults of an enraged foe! If they are spared by the humanity of the enemy, and carried from the field, it is but a prolongation of torment. Conveyed in uneasy vehicles, often to a remote distance, through roads
What a swept into
almost impassable, they are lodged in ill-prepared receptacles for the wounded and the sick, where the variety of distress baffles all the efforts of humanity and skill, and renders it impossible to give to each the attention he demands. Far from their native home, no tender assiduities of friendship, no well-known voice, no wife, or mother, or sister, is near to sooth their sorrows, relieve their thirst, or close their eyes in death! Unhappy man! and must you be the grave unnoticed and unnumbered, and no friendly tear be shed for your sufferings, or mingled with your dust?
We must remember, however, that as a very small proportion of a military life is spent in actual combat, so it is a very small part of its miseries which must be ascribed to this source. More are consumed by the rust of inactivity than by the edge of the sword; confined to a scanty or unwholesome diet, exposed in sickly climates, harassed with tiresome marches and perpetual alarms; their life is a continual scene of hardships and dangers. They grow familiar with hunger, cold, and watchfulness. Crowded into hospitals and prisons, contagion spreads amongst their ranks, till the ravages of disease exceed those of the enemy.
We have hitherto only adverted to the sufferings of those who are engaged in the profession of arms, without taking into our account the situation of the countries which are the scene of hostilities. How dreadful to hold every thing at the mercy of an enemy, and to receive life itself as a boon dependent on the sword! How boundless the fears which such a situation must inspire, where the issues of life and death are determined by no known laws, principles, or customs, and no conjecture can be formed of our destiny, except as far as it is dimly deciphered in characters of blood, in the dictates of revenge, and the capric'es of power!
Conceive but for a moment the consternation which the approach of an invading army would impress on the peaceful villages in our own neighborhood. When you have placed yourselves for an instant in that situation, you will learn to sympathize with those unhappy countries which have sustained the ravages of arms. But how is it possible to give you an idea of these horrors? Here you behold rich harvests, the bounty of Heaven, and the reward of industry, consumed in a moment, or trampled under foot, while famine and pestilence follow the steps of desolation. There the cottages of peasants given up to the flames, mothers expiring through fear, not for themselves but their infants ; the inhabitants flying with their helpless babes in all directions, miserable fugitives on their native soil! In another part you witness opulent cities taken by storm; the streets, where no sounds were heard but those of peaceful industry, filled on a sudden with slaughter and blood, resounding with the cries of the pursuing and the pursued; the palaces of nobles demolished, the houses of the rich pillaged, and every age, sex, and rank, mingled in promiscuous massacre and ruin?
Nature and Poetry favorable to virtue.—Humility recommend
ed in judging of the ways of Providence.—BEATTIE.
Whose votaries feast on raptures ever new!
To sing thy glories with devotion due !
Blest be the day I 'scaped the wrangling crew
And held high converse with the godlike few,
Who, to th' enraptured heart, and ear, and eye, Teach beauty, virtue, truth, and love, and melody.
Then hail, ye mighty masters of the lay,
Nature's true sons, the friends of man and truth!
Amused my childhood, and informed my youth.
Your voice each rugged path of life can smooth,
For well I know wherever reside,
Ah me! neglected on the lonesome plain,
As yet poor Edwin never knew your lore,
And driving snow, the cottage shut the door.
Then, as instructed by tradition hoar,
Or chant the old heroic ditty o'er,
Various and strange was the long-winded tale ;
And halls, and knights, and feats of arms displayed :
merry swains who quaff the nut-brown ale,
The moonlight revel of the fairy glade;
And ply in caves th’ unutterable trade,
'Midst fiends and spectres, quench the moon in blood, Yell in the midnight storm, or ride th' infuriate flood.
But when to horror his amazement rose,
A gentler strain the beldam would rehearse,
The orphan-babes, and guardian uncle fierce.
O cruel! will no pang of pity pierce
For sure, if aught of virtue last, or verse,
To latest times shall tender souls bemoan
Behold, with berries smeared, with brambles torn,t
The babes now famished, lay them down to die:
Folded in one another's arms they lie;
Nor friend, nor stranger, hears their dying cry: “For from the town the man returns no more.”
But thou, who Heaven's just vengeance dar'st defy,
This deed, with fruitless tears, shalt soon deplore, When Death lays waste thy house, and flames consume thy
Brightened one moment Edwin's starting tear :
And innocence thus die by doom severe ?"
O Edwin! while thy heart is yet sincere,
Dark, even at noontide, is our mortal sphere;
But, let us hope ;-to doubt is to rebel ;
What is 't ye do?
MACBETH.—[Act IV. Scene 1. + See the fine old ballad, called The Children in the Wood.