Page images

L. Lacy. No moderation?

Luke. They cannot look for't, and preserve in me
A thriving citizen's credit. Your bonds lie

For your son's truth, and they shall answer all
They have run out: the masters never prosper'd

Since gentlemen's sons grew prentices: when we look
To have our business done at home, they are
Abroad in the tennis-court, or in Partridge alley,
In Lambeth Marsh, or a cheating ordinary,

Where I found your sons. I have your bonds, look to 't.
A thousand pounds a-piece, and that will hardly

Repair my losses.

L. Lacy. Thou dar'st not shew thyself

[blocks in formation]

The usage of your brother's wife and daughters;

You shall find you are not lawless, and that your moneys
Cannot justify your villainies.

Luke. I endure this.

And, good my lord, now you talk in time of moneys,

Pay in what you owe me. And give me leave to wonder

Your wisdom should have leisure to consider

The business of these gentlemen, or my carriage

To my sister, or my nieces, being yourself

So much in my danger.

L. Lacy. In thy danger?

Luke. Mine.

I find in my counting-house a manor pawn'd,

Pawn'd, my good lord; Lacy manor, and that manor

From which you have the title of a lord,

An it please your good lordship! You are a nobleman;
Pray you pay in my moneys: the interest

Will eat faster in't than aquafortis in iron,

Now though you bear me hard, I love your lordship.

I grant your person to be privileged

From all arrests; yet there lives a foolish creature

Call'd an under-sheriff, who, being well paid, will serve
An extent on lord's or lown's land. Pay it in:
I would be loth your name should sink, or that
Your hopeful son, when he returns from travel,
Should find you, my lord, without land.
For my good counsel: look you to your bonds; had I known
Of your coming, believe 't, I would have had serjeants ready.
Lord, how you fret! but that a tavern's near,

You are angry

You should taste a cup of muscadine in my house,

To wash down sorrow; but there it will do better:
I know you'll drink a health to me.


[WAR is a pompous thing, and to read of a glorious victory is an exciting occupation. But war cannot be understood unless we become familiar with some of the details of wickedness and suffering which follow in its train. There is no lack of such melancholy narratives. We give one published in Harte's 'Life of Gustavus Adolphus;' being the relation of a clergyman who witnessed the storm of Magdeburg in the Thirty Years' War, when Tilly, the general of the Imperial troops, ravaged that devoted city, and gave it up to all the excesses of his mercenary soldiers. The poor minister of the Gospel of Peace escaped;-but we may imagine what became of the wretched people, who had no worldly goods wherewith to propitiate their brutal assailants.]

Going out of church immediately after sermon, some people of St. James's parish passed by, and told me the enemy had entered the town. With difficulty could I persuade myself that this was any thing more than a false alarm; but the news unfortunately proved too true. I then lost my presence of mind, and as my wife and maid-servant were with me, we ran directly to my colleague, M. Malsio's house, and left our own house open. At M. Malsio's we found many people, who had fled to him in great perplexity. We comforted and exhorted each other, as far as the terror of our minds would give us leave. I was summoned thence to discharge the last duties to a colonel who lay dangerously wounded. I resolved to go, and sent my maid to fetch my gown: but before my departure from my wife and neighbours, I told them that the affair appeared to me to be concluded, and that we should meet no more in this world. My wife reproached me in a flood of tears, crying, "Can you prevail on yourself to leave me to perish all alone? You must answer for it before God?" I represented to her the obligations of my function, and the importance of the moments I was called upon to give my assistance in.

As I crossed the great street a multitude of matrons and young women flocked about me, and besought me, in all the agonies of distress, to advise them what to do. I told them, my best advice was to recommend themselves to God's protecting grace, and prepare for death. At length I entered the colonel's lodging, and found nim stretched on the floor, and very weak. I gave him such consolation as the disorder of my mind would permit me: he heard me with great attention, and ordered a small present of gold to be given me, which I left on the table. In this interval, the enemy poured in by crowds at the Hamburg gate, and fired on the multitude as upon beasts of prey. Suddenly my wife and maid-servant entered the room, and persuaded me to remove immediately, alleging we should meet with no quarter, if the enemy found us in an apartment filled with armas. We ran down into the court-yard of the house, and placed ourselves in the gateway. Our enemies soon burst the gate open with an eagerness that cannot be described. The first address they made to me was, "Priest, deliver thy money." I gave them about four and twenty shillings in a little box, which they accepted with good will: but when they opened the box, and found only silver, they raised their tone, and demanded gold. I represented to them that I was at some distance from my house, and could not at present possibly give them more. They were reasonable enough to be contented with my auswer, and left us, after having plundered the house, without offering us any insult. There was a well-looking youth among the crowd, to whom my wife addressed herself, and besought him in God's name to protect us: "My dear child," said he, "it is a thing impossible; we must pursue our enemies ;" and so they retired.

In that moment another party of soldiers rushed in, who demanded also our money. We contented them with seven shillings and a couple of silver spoons, which the maid frotunately had concealed in her pocket. They were scarce gone

before a soldier entered alone with the most furious countenance I ever saw; each cheek was puffed out with a musket-ball, and he carried two muskets on his shoulder. The moment he perceived me, he cried with a voice of thunder, "Priest, give me thy money, or thou art dead." As I had nothing to give him, I made my apology in the most affecting manner: he levelled a piece to shoot me, but my wife luckily turned it with her hand, and the ball passed over my head. At length, finding we had no money, he asked for plate: my wife gave him some silver trinkets, and he went his way.

A little after came four or five soldiers, who only said, "Wicked priest, what doest thou here?" Having said thus much, they departed.

We were now inclined to shelter ourselves in the uppermost lodgings of the house, hoping there to be less exposed and better concealed. We entered a chamber that

had several beds in it, and passed some time there in the most insupportable agonies. Nothing was heard in the streets but the cries of the expiring people; nor were the houses much more quiet; every thing was burst open or cut to pieces. We were soon discovered in our retirement: a number of soldiers poured in, and one who carried a hatchet made an attempt to cleave my skull, but a companion hindered him and said, Comrade, what are you doing, don't you perceive that he is a clergyman?"


[ocr errors]

When these were gone, a singie soldier came in, to whom my wife gave a crape handkerchief off her neck; upon which he retired without offering us any injury. His successor was not so reasonable: for entering the chamber with his sword drawn, he immediately discharged a blow upon my head, saying, "Priest, give me thy money." The stroke stunned me; the blood gushed out in abundance, and frightened my wife and servant to that degree that they both continued motionless. The barbarian turned round to my wife, aimed a blow at her, but it glanced fortunately on her gown, which happened to be lined with furs, and wounded her not. Amazed to see us so submissive and patient, he looked at us fixedly for some moments. I laid hold of this interval to represent to him that I was not in my own house, being come to the place where I was to discharge my duty to a dying person, but if he would grant us quarter, and protect us to our home, I would then bestow upon him all I had. 'Agreed, priest," said he, "give me thy wealth, and I will give thee the watch-word: it is Jesu Maria; pronounce that, and no one will hurt theo." We went down stairs directly, highly contented to have found such a protector. The street was covered with the dead and dying their cries were enough to have pierced the hearts of the greatest barbarians. We walked over the bodies, and when we arrived at the church of St. Catherine, met an officer of distinction on horseback. This generous person soon discovered us, and seeing me covered with blood, said to the person who conducted us, "Fellow-soldier, fellow-soldier, take care what you do to these persons." At the same time he said to my wife, "Madam, is yonder house yours?" My wife having answered that it was, "Well," added he, "take hold of my stirrup, conduct me thither, and you shall have quarter." Then turning to me, and making a sign to the soldiers with his hand, he said to me, "Gentlemen of Magdeburg, you yourselves are the occasion of this destruction: you might have acted otherwise." The soldier who had used me ill, took this opportunity to steal away. Upon entering my house, we found it filled with a multitude of plunderers, whom the officer, who was a colonel, ordered away. He then said he would take up his lodging with us, and having posted two soldiers for a guard to us, left us with a promise to return forthwith. We gave, with great cheerfulness, a good breakfast o our sentinels, who complimented us on the lucky fortune of falling into their colonel's hands; at the same time representing to us that their fellow-soldiers made a considerable booty while they continued inactive merely as a safe-guard to us, and

therefore beseeching us to render them an equivalent to a certain degree. Upon this I gave them four rose-nobles, with which they were well contented, and showed so much humanity as to make us an offer to go and search for any acquaintance whom we desired to place in safety with us. I told them I had one particular friend who had escaped to the cathedral, as I conjectured, and promised them a good gratuity on his part if they saved his life. One of them accompanied by my maid-servant went to the church, and called my friend often by name; but it was all in vain, no one answered, and we never heard mention of him from that period.

Some moments after our colonel returned, and asked if any person had offered us the least incivility. After we had disculpated the soldiers in this respect, he hastened abroad to see if there was any possibility to extinguish the fire, which had already seized great part of the city: he had hardly got into the street, when he returned, with uncommon hastiness, and said, "Show me the way out of the town, for I see plainly we shall perish in the flames if we stay here a few minutes longer." Upon this we threw the best of our goods and movables into a vaulted cellar, covered the trap-door with earth, and made our escape. My wife took nothing with her but my robe; my maid seized a neighbour's infant child by the hand, whom we found crying at his father's door, and led him away. We found it impossible to pass through the gates of the town, which were all in a flame, and the streets burnt with great fury on either side: in a word, the heat was so intense that it was with difficulty we were able to breathe. Having made several unsuccessful attempts, we determined at last to make our escape on the side of the town next the Elbe. The streets were clogged with dead bodies, and the groans of the dying were insupportable. The Walloons and Croatians attacked us every moment, but our generous colonel protected us from their fury. When we gained the bastion, which stands on the bank of the Elbe, we descended it by the scaling-ladders which the Imperialists had made use of in the assault, and arrived at length in the enemy's camp near Rottensee, thoroughly fatigued and extremely alarmed.

The colonel made us enter his tent, and presented us some refreshments. That ceremony being over, "Well," said he, "having saved your lives, what return do you make me?" We told him that for the present we had nothing to bestow, but that we would transfer to him all the money and plate that we had buried in the cellar, which was the whole of our worldly possessions. At this instant maný Imperial officers came in, and one chanced to say to me, "Ego tibi condoleo, ego sum addictus Fidei Augustana." The distressed state I found myself in made me unable to give a proper reply to the condolences of a man who carried arms against those whose religion he professed, and whose hard fortune he pretended to deplorë.

Next day the colonel sent one of his domestics with my maid-servant to search for the treasure we had buried in the cellar, but they returned without success, because as the fire still continued they could not approach the trap-door. In the meanwhile the colonel made us his guests at his own table, and during our whole stay treated us not as prisoners, but as intimate friends.

One day at dinner an officer of the company happened to say, that our sins were the cause of all the evil we suffered, and that God had made use of the Catholic army to chastise us; to whom my wife replied, that the observation perhaps was but too true; however, take care, continued she, lest God in the end should throw that very scourge into the flames. This sort of prophecy was fulfilled soon afterwards on the selfsame Imperial army, which was almost totally destroyed at the battle of Leipzic. At length I ventured one day to ask our colonel to give us leave to depart: he complied immediately, on condition that we paid our ransom. Next morning I sent my maid into the town to try if there was any possibility of penetrating into the cellar, she was more fortunate that day, and returned with all our wealth. Having

returned our thanks to our deliverer, he immediately ordered a passport to be prepared for us, with permission to retire to whatever place we should think proper, and made us a present of a crown to defray the expense of our journey. This brave Spaniard was colonel of the regiment of Savelli, and named Don Jose de Ainsa.



[PAUL LOUIS COURIER, who was born in 1774, served in the French army in Italy, in 1798-9. He was a scholar, and a man of taste; and his letters are full of indignation at the rapacity of the French conquerors. After the peace of Amiens he published several translations from The Greek. On the renewal of the war he served again in Italy; and held the rank of a chief of squadron in the Austrian campaign of 1809. He gave in his resignation in 1809, for his independent spirit made him obnoxious to the creatures of Napoleon. His literary reputation is chiefly built upon the political tracts which he wrote after the restoration of the Bourbons, which, in their caustic humour, are almost unequalled, and have been compared with the celebrated Lettres Provençales' of Pascal. The little piece which we translate gives no notion of his peculiar powers, but it is well adapted for an extract. The story is contained in a letter to his cousin, Madame Pigalle.]

I was once travelling in Calabria; a land of wicked people, who, I believe, hate every one, and particularly the French; the reason why, would take long to tell you, suffice it to say that they mortally hate us, and that one gets on very badly when one falls into their hands. I had for a companion a young man with a face-my faith, like the gentleman that we saw at Kincy; you remember? and better still perhaps ---I don't say so to interest you, but because it is a fact. In these mountains the roads are precipices; our horses got on with much difficulty; my companion went first; a path which appeared to him shorter and more practicable led us astray. It was my fault. Ought I to have trusted to a head only twenty years old? Whilst daylight lasted we tried to find our way through the wood, but the more we tried, the more bewildered we became, and it was pitch dark when we arrived at a very black-looking house. We entered, not without fear, but what could we do? We found a whole family of colliers at table; they immediately invited us to join them; my young man did not wait to be pressed: there we were eating and drinking; he at least, for I was examining the place and the appearance of our hosts. Our hosts had quite the look of colliers, but the house you would have taken for an arsenal; there was nothing but guns, pistols, swords, knives and cutlasses. Every thing displeased me, and I saw very well that I displeased them. My companion, on the contrary, was quite one of the family, he laughed and talked with them, and with an imprudence that I ought to have foreseen (but to what purpose, if it was decreed), he told at once where we came from, where we were going, and that we were Frenchmen Just imagine! amongst our most mortal enemies, alone, out of our road, so far from all human succour! and then, to omit nothing that might ruin us, he played the rich man, promised to give the next morning, as a remuneration to these people and to our guides, whatever they wished. Then he spoke of his portmanteau, begging them to take care of it, and to put it at the head of his bed; he did not wish, he said, for any other pillow. Oh, youth, youth! you are to be pitied! Cousin, one would have thought we carried the crown diamonds. What caused him so much solicitude about this portmanteau was his mistress's letters. Supper over, they left 118. Our hosts slept below, we in the upper room, where we had supped. A loft raised some seven or eight feet, which was reached by a ladder, was the resting place that awaited us; a sort of nest. into which we were to introduce ourselves by

« PreviousContinue »