« ElőzőTovább »
AFFECTIONATE SAGACITY IN A DOG.
The hospitality of the convent of St. Bernard, and the unwearied humanity of the monks, on every occasion that can possibly call for its exercise, have long been proverbial, and numerous instances occur every season, of persons saved by their interference, or relieved by their bounty. In the year 1818 alone, the meals furnished to travellers by this convent amounted to no fewer than 31,078.
An enterprising English party, consisting of men and women, took shelter in the convent of St. Bernard during a fall of snow. The monks fed them and their horses as long as they could, giving up their bread to the beasts, when they had no more crude grain to bestow on them. The guests had then no other alternative but that of departing, but how were they to get their horses over the snow, which was yet too soft to support them? The ingenuity and activity of the monks found an expedient. l'hey turned out with their servants, and placing blankets before the animals, which were carried forward and extended afresh, as soon as passed over, conducted men, women, and beasts in safety over their mountain.
The breed of dogs kept by the monks to assist them in their labours of love, has been long celebrated for its fidelity and sagacity. All the oldest and most tried of them were lately buried, along with some unfortunate travellers, under an avalanche; but three or four hopeful puppies were left at home in the convent, and still survive. The most celebrated of those who are no more, was a dog called Barry. This animal served the hospital for the space of twelve years, during which time he saved the lives of forty individuals. His zeal was indefatigable. Whenever the mountain was enveloped in fogs and snow, he set out in search of lost travellers. He was accustomed to run barking until he lost breath, and would frequently venture on the most perilous places. When he found his strength was insufficient to draw from the snow a traveller benumbed with cold, he would run back to the hospitalin search of the monks. VOL. I.
One day, this interesting animal found a child in a frozen state, between the bridge of Dronaz and the ice-house of Balsora : be immediately began to lick him; and having succeeded in restoring animation, by means of his caresses, he induced the child to tie himself round his body. In this way he carried the poor little creature, as if in triumph, to the hospital. When old age deprived him of strength, the prior of the convent pensioned him at Berney, by way of reward. After his death, his hide was stuffed and deposited in the museum of that town. The little phial, in which he carried a reviving liquor for the distressed travellers whom he found among the mountains, is still suspended from his neck.
BRUTAL TREATMENT OF AGED AND INFIRM SOLDIERS. As we had been blest, says an English captive of the ferocious Muley Abdallah, with a considerable respite from the severity of labour, we began to imagine that this was a designed indulgence, arising from some extraordinary circumstance which had particularly operated in our favour with the emperor. This circumstance, we fattered ourselves, could be nothing less than his majesty's having authentic intelligence of the British Ambassador's arrival at Gibraltar ; which would soon be followed by his appearance at Mequinez, and our happy deliverance from bondage.
Proportioned to our elevation of spirit in the pleasing contemplation of these ideas, was the dejection we felt at the discovery that it was but a fiction of our fancies, which our wishes rather than a sober judgment had led us to entertain as matter of fact.
In the midst of this reverie, we were hastily summoned to appear before the emperor. The most languishing eye in our company sparkled with pleasure at the citation, and we hastened with all possible speed to receive a promise, if not the actual gift of freedom.
Conceive then, if possible, our mortification on receiving orders from the emperor to lose no time in removing an enormous pile of wood that stood in his
way to a more commodious situation at a quarter of a mile's distance.
In this business we were labouriously engaged two days; at the expiration of which the emperor expressed great displeasure, as a considerable share of the work remained to be done. Near a hundred of his foot-guards were next morning ordered to assist us; and here we had a new instance of the impatience of his temper, and of the arbitrary and despotic dominion which he possessed over the lives of his subjects.
When he had determined on the speedy completion of this job, he would attend for hours together, to mark its progress, and compel our overseers to keep every labourer strictly to it. In the number of our assistants were two superannuated soldiers, so weakened by the infirmities of old age, that their tottering limbs could scarce carry the load with which nature herself had burdened them. After two or three turns, their little abilities were exhausted, and they determined to apply to the emperor himself, trusting they should find a relief from their task through his clemency and a consideration of their infirmities.
Accordingly, having declined their work, the emperor noticed it with resentment; whereupon they addressed him in the most humble and submissive manner, assuring him of their willingness to obey all his commands, and that nothing but downright incapacity had occasioned their cessation from labour. They likewise represented, that they had faithfully served in the army eighteen years during the lifetime of the blessed Muley Ishmael, his father ; and had continued in his own service from his accession. On these considerations, they entreated his majesty to pity their infirmities, and hoped he would charitably afford them some support during the short remainder of a life hitherto devoted to the service of his good father and himself.
To this just and pathetic remonstrance he replied, that he plainly perceived they were unable to labour any longer; and, such being the case, he thought it his duty to relinquish all expectation of future service from them, and to take immediate care that they should be secured as much as possible from the evils of old age and poverty. Having delivered this answer with a diabolic sneer, he turned to two of his guards, and gave them orders to ease the old men of all their cares by shooting them through the head instantly.
His commands were executed in a moment. Now," said he, “ in return for your services, I have taken effectual care that you should not languish in poverty and disease. Your sorrows in this life are at an end; and I shall shew you a farther mark of my care, by ordering your bodies a decent interment.
DEATH OF BLOODY JUDGE JEFFREYS. The Prince of Orange approaching, King James II. thought fit to withdraw himself, upon notice of which, the Lord Chancellor (Jeffreys) betook himself to Wapping, disguised like a seaman, in order to escape to Hamburgh, in a collier; but being discovered, he was brought before Sir J. Chapman, Lord Mayor of the city of London, in this strange disguise, very different from the habit in which he formerly appeared : and by reason of the Lord Mayor's indisposition, he not being able to commit him, he offered to go to the Tower, to be out of the hands of the rabble, who were there in great numbers with clubs and staves and threatened him with present destruction : but having a guard of the trained-bands to conduct him, he got thither safe, and soon after was charged in custody by a warrant of commitment from the Lords at Whitehall, where he continued under much affliction and indisposition; having since moved for his Habeas Corpus to be bailed, but was not able to obtain it. Thus he continued for some months in the Tower, his chronical indispositions, the stone, &c. increasing very fast upon him.
The ingenious Dr. Lower was his physician: but nature being now tired out by a tedious combat with his disease, and the guilt of his former bloody life, probably touched his conscience. He having besides, by his intemperate life, notoriously known, contracted an ill habit of body, he at last, very happily for himself
, if not his relations too, died in the Tower, about nine of the clock in the morning, A. D. 1689.
THE FURIES OF THE GUILLOTINE. The French patriots and reformers of 1789 began their regeneration by forcing open all the prisons and houses of correction, by releasing all the criminals, and incorporating them with their own revolutionary gangs.
Whenever any grand blow was to be struck, any great crime to be perpe trated, or any outrageous violence to be committed, women, the dregs of brothels and of jails, were the forlorn hope of rebels, the advanced guards ofconspirators, and dangerous instruments in the guilty hands of incendiaries.
They headed processions where the bleeding heads of butchered innocence were carried in triumph; they assisted at the savage feasts where the hearts of victims of loyalty and honour were served up roasted, and were devoured as the most delicious morsels ; they set fire to palaces, after having partaken of the plunder and witnessed the murder of their proprietors, which they had often encouraged.
They were employed as the most useful and active propagators of a revolutionary doctrine in camps, in garrisons, in barracks, and in watch-houses. They sung ballads, distributed and posted up libels, treasonable, anti-social, and blasphemous. The temples of their Saviour and the habitations of their sovereign were alike invaded, violated, degraded, and polluted, by them. They debauched or perverted youth, corrupted the unsuspicious, caressed the profligate, and forced even depravity itself to blush for their excesses.
Their prostitution seduced the troops of the king's household from their allegiance, from their obligation. Their impure embraces enticed soldiers to desert the colours of royalty, officers to join the standard of revolt, the priest to forsake his altar, and the noble to forget his honour. They took advantage of the regard usually shewn to their sex ; of the prevailing opinion of its weakness, and its former nullity in political troubles in France ; of the belief of its insufficiency, if wicked, of being long dangerous ; and if deluded, of its general want of energy and constancy to continue for any length of time the tool of the factious, vicious, or infamous.
The success, impunity, and applause, which accompanied them and their atrocious achievements at Versailles, in October 1789, called uninvited to Paris all the most wicked females and the most abandoned prostitutes of the provinces. It has been calculated, that during 1790, 1791, and 1792, not less than one hundred and twenty thousand female forgers, thieves, coiners, and harlots, augmented the mass of corruption and infamy of the capital. When, therefore, after the martyrdom of Louis XVI. on the 21st of January, 1793, nothing sacred was respected, when all the ties of morality and of religion, of consanguinity and of duty, of tenderness and of generosity, of liberality and humanity, were dissolved and burst asunder; when injustice and ferocity were erected into a system, and terror silenced or crushed the voice of truth as well as the clamours of conscience ; Robespierre and his regicide accomplices found it an easy matter to organize a corps, unique in its species and composition, totally unknown in modern as well as in ancient history, called and execrated by the name of THE FURIES OF THE Guil
In their first organization they consisted of two thousand at Paris alone, who were daily mustered and paid, regularly renewed, distributed in posts, doing duty as sentries, or collected in watch-houses in companies. When shortly afterwards discontent and sufferings occasioned insurrections and civil wars in the provinces, the guillotine and other instruments of death were decreed the order of the day everywhere, then their number was increased to ten thousand, disseminated all over wretched France,
Their functions were to act as spies on all suspected persons, to denounce all disaffected, to pry into the fortunes of the rich, into the opinions of the nobles, and into the secrets of all. When they had discovered or fixed on any individuals for their prey, they were never to lose sight of them before their destruction was effected. They were shut up with them in prison, appeared as witnesses against them before the revolutionary tribunal, and augmented the escort when they were ascending the scaffold. On the way
from prison to the place of execution they were always on permanent duty, and acted according to orders transmitted to them from the Committee of Public Safety or from the Public Accuser, according to the character or situation of the condemned victims, or according to the passions of malice or vengeance of their enemies and assassins. Those who shewed firmness they were to depress by recalling to their remembrance what they had been, what they were, and what they might have been, the most fortunate periods of their lives, and every thing that could embitter recollection or excite regret. Those who were calm they were to agitate by alarms and threats for the fate of their relatives and friends. To those who were resigned they spoke of the prosperity of guilt and the sufferings of virtue; and the last moments of those who struggled or trembled at the approach of death they tormented by holding them up to contempt and ridicule. The religious they accompanied with blasphemies, the tender with mockery, and the humane with extolling barbarities. To dying parents they predicted the ruin, the prostitution of their offspring, and to expiring children the impending disgrace, misery, and destruction, of their parents. Lovers were tortured with accounts of the faithlessness of their mistresses, husbands of the adultery of their wives, and females of the infidelity of their lovers. They attacked and insulted all by gestures as well as by words, in hopes of prolonging their agonies and making them more painful.
When death had made those they so inhumanly had pursued and persecuted no longer sensible to their cruel assaults, their business was not yet ended. After having stripped the corpses of the beheaded persons, they shaved their head or cut off their hair, which, with some blood-stained remnants of their dress, they carried and presented by a deputation to individuals nearest and dearest to them, announcing to them at the same time that a similar destiny awaited them.
The execution, or rather judicial murder, sometimes of fifty, sixty, and even a hundred persons, being over, the Furies of the Guillotine finished the labour of the day by forming a ring round the scaffold, dancing in the blood, and forcing every woman who happened to pass to join in the dance for half an hour or longer, to the tune of the “ Carmagnole,” of “ Ca Ira,” of the “ Marseillois Hymn,” or other cannibal and revolutionary airs. This dance being concluded, they returned to the court-yards of the revolutionary tribunals and of the prisons, or to the antichambers of the Committee of Public Safety, to give an account of their past exploits, and to obtain orders or instructions for new operations. The day ended in drunkenness and debauchery with the spies, gens-d'armes, and other banditti of the revolutionary army, who collected together every night in the dens of crime and filth in and near the Palais Royal.
At these periods, when any great objects of consequence and contest between inimical or rival factions were to be discussed in the National Convention, at the clubs of the Jacobins or Cordeliers, or at the municipality, they were put in requisition en masse to do duty in the galleries, to prevent them from being occupied by the friends of justice, morality and impartiality. There they were to applaud, murmur, or to hoot, to laugh or to cry, to hold out threats, to call for mercy, revenge, or destruction, according to the given signals of their revolutionary employers. Their pay was forty sous, or twenty-pence, a-day, which was always paid them beforehand.
The uncontradicted and well-known existence of the corps of the Furies of the Guillotine is one of the many other proofs of the almost incredible