« AnteriorContinuar »
in heaps, as the men happened to fall in flight, or in a body, resisted to the last ; fragments of javelins, and the limbs of horses lay scattered about the field: human sculls were seen upon the trunks of trees. In the adja. cent woods slood the savage altars where the tribunes, and the principal centurions were offered up a sacrifice with barbarous rites. Some of the soldiers who survived that dreadful day, and afterwards broke their chains, related circumstantiaily several particulars. “Here ihe commanders of the legions were put to the sword; on that spot the eagles were seized; there Varus received his first wound, and this the place where he gave himself the mortal stab, and died by his own sword.
“Yonder mound was the tribunal from which Arminius harangüed his countrymen. Here he fixed his gibbets, there he dug his funeral trenches, and in that quarler he offered every marli of scorn and insolence to the Roman Eagles.” Six years had elapsed since the overthrow of Varus, and in the same spot the Roman army collected the bones of their slaughtered countrymen. Whether they were burying the remains of strangers or of their own friends, no man knew; all, however, considered themselves as performing the last obsequies to their kindred and their brother sidiers. While employed in this pious office, their hearts were lorn with contending passions ; by turns oppressed with grief, and burning for revenge.
A monument to the memory of the dead was raised with turf ; Germanicus, with his own hand laid the first sod; discharging at once a tribute due to the legions, and sympathizing with the rest of the army
EULOGY ON GENERAL WASHINGTON. In contemplating the revolution of this country, tha mind naturally recurs to the means by which so great an object was acconiplished, and its eye at once rests upon Washington ! À man, a soldier, and a patriot“ lake him for all in all,” we “shall not look upon his fike again." Between Cincinnatus. and him, rmany characteristic features of resemblance may be distinctly traced that admirable Roman, after having successfully fought his country's battles, turned she sword of death into the life-providing plough share, and laying down all dignity, save that of human nature, retired to the cultivation of his fields. So did the great, the more than great, the good Washington. Cincinnatus possessed the amor patriæ in no less a degree; but his merit in the possession was certainly less for with the first breath he drew, he inhaled the air of freedom, and the first drop of milk that sustained him, was strongly impiegnated with the love of liberty! In him, not to have been a republican, had been criminal. Not so was it with Columbia's hero. Although born, fostered, and educated under a monarchy, yet, when the great, the paramount call of country, aroused him to the assertion of her rights, he arose a colossal pillar to perpetuate to future ages the glory of the emancipation of America! But why should such a feeble pen as mine attempt an eulogy His memory is embalmed with the tears of a grateful people, and his immortal part has met that immortality which is the sure reward of the just and good.
ON GENERAL LA FAYETTE'S RECEPTION IN THE UNI.
TED STATES IN 1824. Never was the aphorism Vox Populi! Vox Dei! exemplified until now. It remained for Columbia to give the elucidation. What have been all earthly triumphs compared to the one which is now passing before our eyes.-Alexander entered Babylon reeking with the gore, and riding upon the necks of a prostrate people. Cæsar entered Rome, trampling upon the liberties of his country. La Fayette enters America with the halo of Washington around his head, and the shouts and blessings of free millions vibrating in his heart, standing upon earth with feelings raised to heaven! Oh what a glorious lesson to poor weak infidelity! and what a proof that man has a soul, and is an emanation of the Deity! But expression sinks under the magnitude of the subject.
Soldier! again thou comest to save thy adopted country, for hereafter, when republics may tauntingly be accused of ingratitude, let America say–LA FAYETTE!
THE WIDOW AND HER SON.
MARLOWE's TAMBURLAINE. During my residence in ihe country, I used frequentIs to altend ai the old village church. Its shadowy aisles, its mouldering monuments, its dark oaken pannelling, all reverend with the gloom of departed years, seemed to fil it for the hammt of solemn meditation. A Sunday, too, in the country, is so holy in its repose : such a pensive quiet reigns over the face of nature, that every restless passion is charmed down, and we feel all the natural religion of the soul gently springing up with
Sweet olay! so pure, so-calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky. I do not pretend 10 be what is called a devout man, out there are feelings that visit me in a country church, amidst the beautiful serenity of nature, which I expe. rienre no where else ; and if not a more religious, 1 think I am a better man on Sunday than on any other day of the seven. But in this church I felt myself con. Linnally thrown back upon the world by the frigidity and pomp of the poor worms around me. The only being that seemed thoroughly to feel the huinble and prostrate piels of illrue christian, was a poor decrepid old woman, bending umder the weight of years and infirmi. ties. She bore the traces of something better than abjeci poveris. The lingerings of decent pride were rişib.e in her appearance. Her dress, though hunble in the extreine, was scrupulonisly clean. Some trivial respect, too, has been awarded her, for she did not lake her sent among the village poor, bul sat alone on the steps of the altar. She seemed to have survived all love all friendship, all society, and to have nothing left her but the hopes of heaven. When I saw her feebly rising and bending her aged form in prayer,--habitually conning her prayer book, which her palsied hand and failing eyes could not permit her to read, but which she evidently knew by heart-I felt persuaded that the faultering voice of that poor woman arose to heaven far be. -fore ihe responses of the clerk, the swell of the organ, or the chanting of the choir. I am fond of loitering about country churches, and this was so delighifully situated, that it frequently attracted me. It stood on a knoll, round which a small stream made a beautiful bend, and then wound its way through a long reach of soft meadow scenery. The church was surrounded by yew trees, which seemed almost coeval with itself. Its tall Gothic spire shot up lightly from ainong them, with rooks and crows generally wheeling about it. I vas seated there one still sunny inorning, watching tivo la. borers who were digging a grave. They had chosen one of the most remote and neglected corners of the church-yard, where, by the number of nameless graves around, it would appear that the indigent and friendless were hurried into the earth. I was cold that the new made grave was for the only son of a poor widowy. While I was meditating on the distinctions of worldly rank, which extend thus down into the very dust, the toll of the bell announced the approach of the funeral. They were the obsequies of poverty, with which pride had nothing to do. A coffin of the plainest materials, without pall or other covering, was borne by some of the villagers. The sexton walked before with an air of cold indifference. There were no mock mourners in the trappings of affected wo, but there wiis one real mourner, who feebly tottered after the corpse. It was the aged mother of the deceased the poor old woman
tuhom I had seen seated on the steps of the altar. She was supported by an humble friend, who was endeavor. ing 10 comfort her. A few of the neighboring poor had joined the train, and some children of the village were running hand in hand, now shouting with unthinking mirth, and sometimes pansing to gaze with childish curiosity on the grief of the mourner. 4. As the funeral train approached the grave, the parson issued out of the church porch, arrayed in the surplice, with prayer book in hand, and attended by the clerk. The service, however, was a mere act of charity. The deceased had been destitute, and the survivor was pennyless. It was shuffled through, iherefore, in form, but coldly and unseelingly. The well fed priest scarcely moved ten steps from the church door; his voice could scarcely be heard at the grave; and never did I hear the funeral service, that sublime and touching ceremony, turned into such a frigid mummery of words.
I approached the grave. The coffin was placed on the ground. On it were inscribed the name and age of the deceased—“George Sorners, aged 26 years." The poor mother had been assisted to kneel down at the head of it. Her withered hands were clasped as if in piayer; but I could perceire, by a feeble rocking of the 'body and a convulsive motion of the lips, that she was gazing on the last reliques of her son with the yearnings of a mother's heart.
The service being ended, preparations were made to deposit the coffin in the earth. There was lhal bustling stir that breaks so harshly on the feelings of grief and affection : directions given in the cold tones of business ; the striking of spades into sand and gravel, which at the grave of those we love is of all sounds the most withering. The bustle around seemed to awaken the tnother from a wretched reverie. She raised her glazed cyes, and looked about with a faini wildness. As the men approached with cords to lower the coffin into the grave, she wrung her hands and broke into an agony of grief. The poor woman who allended her look her by the arın, endeavored to raise her from the earth, and io