Imágenes de páginas

penetrated his plans, smote him a terrible blow at Cow. pens.*

8. Compelled to retreat, he completely foiled, by a series of skilful manquvres and forced marches, every attempt to reach him. Unable to cope with his adversary in the open field, he retired, like the lion, slowly and resolutely. His pursuer was ever kept in view, and could not make a mistake without receiving a blow.

9. He thus led his enemy through the entire State of North Carolina; and the moment he turned, followed him, and dealt him such a staggering blow at Guilford, that he was compelled to a precipitate flight. No sooner was Cornwallis beyond his reach, than he turned upon the enemy's posts in South Carolina, and carrying them one after another, brought the war to Charleston itself. His combinations were admirable, and succeeded beyond the most sanguine expectations.

10. The resources of his mind were inexhaustible?: there was no plan too hopeless for him to attempt. Without a dollar from government, and penniless himself, he managed to keep an army in the field, and to conquer with it.

11. His soldiers loved him with devotion, and having seen. him extricate himself so often from apparently inevitable ruin, they came, at length, to regard him as invincible. Sharing all their toils and dangers, and partaking of all their sufferings, he so won their affections that they would go wherever he commanded.

12. His patriotism was of the purest kind. His own reputation and life he regarded as nothing in the cause of freedom. Next to his country he loved Washington; and no mean ambition, or envy of his great leader, ever sullied his noble character. 13. That affection was returned, and the two heroes

* CÖW' PENŞ. A post village in South Carolina.

moved side by side, as tried friends, through the revolutionary struggle. He was a man whose like is seldom seen; and placed in any country, opposed to any commander, would have stood first in the rank of military chieftains.

1 FLÖR'ID. Flushed with red. 15 CXM-PĀIGN'. The time during which 2 ÎN-DÔM'I-TA-BLE. Not to be sub-l an arıay keeps the field in one year; dued ; invincible.

the movements or operations of an 8 TXC'TỊCs. The science of military army for a certain time or purpose.

and naval movements and posi- | - MA-N@OlVREŞ (-nu'vạrş). Military tions for battle.

or naval movements or evolutions. 4 IN-TÜ'I-TİVE. Perceived by the mind 7 ÎN-EX-HÂUST'I-BLE. That cannot be

immediately, without reasoning or 1 exhausted or spent; unfailing. testimony.

| 8 PĀ'TRI-QT-IŞM.Love of one's country.


MACAULAY. [Thomas Babington Macaulay was born in England, in the year 1800, and died in 1859. In 1830 he became a member of Parliament, and took an active part in the debates on the Reform Bill. He was created a peer of England, with the title of Baron Macaulay of Rothley, in 1857. His writings consist of a history of England, in five volumes, “ Lays of Ancient Rome” and other poems, numerous essays, and parliamentary speeches. They are all remarkable for brilliant rhetorical power, animation, energy, and affluence of illustration.

The ballad, from which the following is an extract, commemorates a legend of early Roman history. Lars Porsena (pör'sę-na), king of the town of Clusum in Etruria, or Tuscany, having declared war against Rome, suddenly appeared with his army on the opposite bank of the Tiber. The safety of the city depended upon the destruction of the bridge across the river. At this juncture, three Roman citizens volunteered to defend the head of the bridge until it should be demolished.]

The Consul's ? brow was sad, and the Consul's speech was low,
And darkly looked he at the wall, and darkly at the foe.
* Their van will be upon us before the bridge goes down ;
And if they once may win the bridge, what hope to save the town?"

Then out spake brave Horatius, the Captain of the gate:
“ To every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late.

And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gode.

3. “ Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, with all the speed ye may ; I, with two more to help me, will hold the foe in play. In yon strait path a thousand may well be stopped by three. Now, who will stand on either hand, and keep the bridge with me?"


Then out spake Spurius Lartius * - a Ramnian proud was he: “ Lo, I will stand on thy right hand, and keep the bridge with thee." And out spake strong Herminius, of Titian + blood was he: “I will abide on thy left side, and keep the bridge with thee.”

5. 6. Horatius," quoth ? the Consul, “ as thou sayest, so let it be.” And straight against that great array forth went the dauntless Three; For Romans in Rome's quarrel spared neither land nor gold, Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life, in the brave days of old.

Meanwhile the Tuscan army, right glorious to behold,

Came flashing back the noonday light,
Rank behind rank, like surges bright

Of a broad sea of gold.
Four hundred trumpets sounded a peal of warlike glee,

As that great host, with measured tread,
And spears advanced, and ensigns spread,
Rolled slowly towards the bridge's head,

Where stood the dauntless Three.

The Three stood calm and silent, and looked upon the foes,
And a great shout of laughter from all the vanguard 4 rose :

And forth three chiefs came spurring before that mighty mass !
To earth they sprang, their swords they drew
And lifted high their shields, and flew

To win the narrow pass;

* SPŪ'RI-OS LÄR'T}-Ys (-she-ůs).


Aunus from green Tifernum, Lord of the Hill of Vines;
And Seius, * whose eight hundred slaves sicken in Ilva's mines;

And Picus, long to Clusium + vassal in peace and war,
Who led to fight his Umbrian powers
From that gray crag where, girt with towers,
The fortress of Nequinum lowers

O'er the pale waves of Nar.

9. Stout Lartius hurled down Aunus into the stream beneath; Herminius struck at Seius, and clove him to the teeth; At Picus brave Horatius darted one fiery thrust, And the proud Umbrian's gilded arms clashed in the bloody dust.


Then Ocnus of Falerii I rushed on the Roman Three;
And Lausulus of Urgo, the rover of the sea;

And Aruns g of Volsinium, who slew the great wild boar,
The great wild boar that had his den
Amidst the reeds of Cosa's fen,
And wasted fields and slaughtered men

Along Albinia's shore.


Herminius smote down Aruns; Lartius laid Ocnus low:
Right to the heart of Lausulus, Horatius sent a blow.

* Lie there,” he cried, “ fell: pirate! No more, aghast and pale,
From Ostia's walls the crowd shall mark
The track of thy destroying bark.
No more Campania's hinds 6 shall fly
To woods and caverns when they spy

Thy thrice accurséd sail.”


But now no sound of laughter was heard amongst the foes.
A wild and wrathful clamor from all the vanguard rose.
Six spears' lengths from the entrance halted that deep array,
And for a space no man came forth to win the narrow way.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

13. But hark! the cry is Astur: And lo! the ranks divide; And the great Lord of Luna comes, with his stately stride. l'pon his ample shoulders clangs loud the fourfold shield, And in his hand he shakes the brand which none but he can wield.

He smiled on those bold Romans, a smile serene and high;
He eyed the finching Tuscans, and scorn was in his eye.
Quoth he, “ The she-wolf's litter stand savagely at bay?:
But will ye dare to follow, if Astur clears the way ? "

15. Then whirling up his broadsword with both hands to the height, He rushed against Horatius, and smote with all his might.

With shield and blade, Horatius right deftly 8 turned the blow. The blow, though turned, came yet too nigh; It missed his helm, but gashed his thigh : The Tuscar.s raised a joyful cry

To see the red blood flow.


He reeled, and on Herminius he leaned one breathing-space;
Then, like a wildcat mad with wounds, sprang right at Astur's

face. Through teeth, and skull, and helmet, so fierce a thrust he sped, The good sword stood a hand-breadth out behind the Tuscan's head,

And the great Lord of Luna fell at that deadly stroke,
As falls on Mount Alvernus a thunder-smitten oak.
Far o'er the crashing forest the giant arms lie spread;
And the pale augurso, muttering low, gaze on the blasted head.

18. On Astur's throat Horatius right firmly pressed his heel, And thrice and four times tugged amain lo, ere he wrenched out the

steel. “ And see,” he cried, “ the welcome, fair guests, that waits you here ! What noble Lucumo comes next to taste our Roman cheer?”

« AnteriorContinuar »