« ElőzőTovább »
False fugitive! and to thy speed add wings,
So spake the grisly terror, and in shape,
PSALM CXXXIX. O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my down sitting and mine up rising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path, and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven,
thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea: Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me: even the night shall be light about me.
Yea the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
HYDER ALI. Extracted from Mr. Burke's Speech on the Nabob of
Arcot's Debis. Among the victims to this magnificent plan of universal plunder, worthy of the heroic avarice of the projectors, you have all heard (and he has made-himself to be well remembered) of an Indian Chief called Hyder Ali Khan. This man possessed the western, as the company under the Nabob of Arcot does thé eastern division of the Carnatick. It was among the leading measures in the design of this cabal (according to their own emphatic language) to extirpate this Hyder Ali. They declared the Nabob of Arcot to be his sovereign, and himself to be a rebel, and publicly invested their instrument with the sovereignty of the kingdom of Mysore. - But their victim was not of the passive kind. They were soon obliged to conclude a treaty of peace and close alliance with this rebel, at the gates of Madras. Both before and since that treaty, every principle of policy pointed out this power as a natural alliance; and on his part, it was courted by every sort of amicable office. But the cabinet council of English creditors would not suffer their Nabob of Arcot to sign the treaty, nor even to give to a prince, at least his equal, the ordinary titles of respect and courtesy. From that time forward, a continued plot was carried on within the divan, black and white, of the Nabob of Arcot, for the destruction of Hyder Ali. As to the outward members of the double, or rather treble government
of Madras, which had signed the treaty, they were always prevented by some over-ruling influence (which they do not describe, but which cannot be misunderstood) from pertorming what justice and interest combined so evidently to enforce.
When at length Hyder Ali found that he had to do with men who either would sign no convention, or whom no treaty, and no signature could bind, and who were the determined enemies of human intercourse itself, he decreed to make the country possessed by these incorrigible and predestinated criminals a memorable example to mankind. He resolved, in the gloomy recesses of a mind capacious of such things, to leave the whole Carnatick an everlasting monument of vengeance, and to put perpetual desolation as a barrier between him and those, against whom the faith which holds the moral elements of the world together, was no protection. He became, at length, so confident of his force, and so collected in his might, that he made no secret whatever of his dreadful resolution. Having terminated his disputes with every enemy, and every rival, who buried their mutual animosities in their common interest against the creditors of the Nabob of Arcot, he drew from every quarter whatever a savage ferocity could add to his new rudiments in the arts of destruction; and compounding all the materials of fury, havoc and desolation, into one black cloud, he hung for a while on the declivities of the mountains. Whilst the authors of all these evils were idly and stupidly gazing on this menacing meteor, which blackened all the horizon, it suddenly burst and poured down the whole of its contents upon the plains of the Carnatick. Then ensued a scene of woe, the like of which no eye had seen, no heart conceived, and which no tongue can adequately tell. All the horrors of war before known or heard of, were mercy to that new havoc. A storm of universal fire blasted every field, consumed every house, and destroyed every temple. The miserable inhabitants, flying from their flaming villages, in part were slaughtered; others, without regard to sex to
age, to rank, or sacredness of function, fathers torn from children, husbands from wives, enveloped in a whirlwind of cavalry, and amidst the goading spears of drivers, and the trampling of pursuing horses, were swept into captivity, in an unknown and hostile land. Those who were able to evade this tempest, fled, to the walled cities. But escaping from fire, sword and exile, they fell into the jaws of famine.
The alms of the settlement, in this dreadful exigency, were certainly liberal; and all was done by charity that private charity could do: but it was a people in beggary; it was a nation which stretched out its hands for food. For months together, these creatures of sufferance, whose very excess and luxury in their most plenteous days, had fallen short of the allowance of our austerest fasts, silent, patient, resigned, without sedition or disturbance, almost without complaint, perished by a hundred a day in the streets of Madras; every day seventy at least laid their bodies in the streets, or in the glacis of Tanjore, and expired of famine in the granary of India.
For eighteen months, without intermission, this destruction raged from the gates of Madras to the gates of Tanjore; and so completely did these masters in their art, Hyder Ali, and his more ferocious son, absolve themselves of their impious vow, that when the British armies traversed, as they did, the Carnatick for hundreds of miles in all directions, through the whole line of their march they did not see one man, not one woman, not one child, not one four footed beast of any description whatever. One dead uniform silence reigned over the whole region.
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears,
ON THE REGULATION OF THE THOUGHTS.
PALEY. Perhaps almost every man living has a particular train of thought, into which his mind falls, when at leisure from the impressions and ideas that occasionally excite it: perhaps also, the train of thought here spoken of, more than any other thing, determines the character. It is of the utmost consequence, therefore, that this property of our constitution be well regulated.