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Now well-a-day, said the Heir of Linne,
Now well-a-day, and wo is me;
On me they liv'd right merrilie.
“ to beg my
The Heir of Linne stood and mused a little now on his ruined fortunes. “ It were a burning shame,” thought he,
bread like a common mendicant; to rob or steal would be sinful, and my limbs are unused to work; besides labour is unbecoming in a gentle. man; let me go therefore to that little lonesome lodge of which my father spoke, and see what it will do for me, since there is no help elsewhere :”
Away then hied the Heir of Linne,
O’er hill and holt, and moor and fen;
That stood so low in a lonely glen.
In hope some comfort for to win ;
Here's sorry cheer, quo' the Heir of Linne.
Was hung with ivy, brier, and yew;
No halesome breeze here ever blew.
No cheerful hearth, no welcome bed;
Which dangling huug above his head.
Ah! this is the friend my father meant,” said he, regarding the vacant noose with an eye which seemed to say welcome; while, as if the hint of the rope was not sufficient for a desperate man, a few plain broad letters told him, since he had brought himself to poverty and ruin, to try the trusty cord, and so end all his sorrows :
Sorely shent with this sharp rebuke,
Sorely shent was the Heir of Linne:
With guilt and sorrow, shame and sin.
Never a word spake the Heir of Linne,
Never a word he spake but three;
And is right welcome unto me. He said no more, but, putting the cord round his neck, gave a spring into the air; but, instead of the death which he expected, the ceiling to which the rope was fixed gave way: he fell to the floor, and on recovering was surprised to see a key attached to the cord, with an inscription which told him where to find two chests full of gold and a chest full of silver, containing a sum more than sufficient to set him free and redeem his lands; with an admonition to amend his life, lest the rope should be his end. I here vow to God,” exclaimed the Heir of Linne, “ that my father's words shall be my guide and rule in future, else may the cord finish all !” He secured the money, turned his thoughts on his estates, and hastened to the house of Linne, resolved to be wily as well as prudent, for he knew the character of the new proprietor. With John of the Scales it happened to be a day of feasting and mirth : at one end of a table covered with dainties, amid which the wine was not forgotten, sat John, at the other his wife, swollen with newly acquired importance; while neighbouring lairds all in a row made up the gladsome company:
There John himself sat at the board head,
Because now Lord of Linne was he;
One forty pence for to lend me.
Away, away, this may not be;
If ever I trust thee one penny. This was probably what the Heir of Linne wished, as well as expected. Woman in the hour of need or of misery is said to be merciful and compassionate : so he turned to the new Lady of Linne, saying, Madam, bestow alms on me for the sake of sweet Saint Charity.” Begone!” exclaimed this imperious madam;
I swear thou shalt have no alms from my hand—were it to hang spendthrifts and fools, we would certainly begin with thee:"
Then up bespoke a good fellow,
Who sat at John o'the Scales's board ;
Some time thou wast a well good lord.
“ A good bargain!” exclaimed John of the Scales, in wrath ; " you know little about bargains, else you would not talk so: curses on my head, say I, if I was not a loser by the bargain."
And here I proffer thee, Heir of Linne,
Before these lords so fair and free,
By a hundred marks than I had it of thee.
I take you all witnesses, gentlemen,” said the Heir of Linne, casting him, as he spoke, a god's penny for earnest-money ;
" and here, good John o'the Scales, is the gold. All present stared, for no one expected such an event. He proceeded to act upon the purchase,
And he pull'd forth three bags of gold,
And laid them down upon the board ;
So shent he could say never a word.
He told it forth wi' mickle din;
And now I 'm again the Lord of Linne.
Now well-a-day and woe's my life,
Now I 'm but John o'the Scales's wife.
John himself, it would seem, remained silent: the fine edifice which he had reared was pulled about his ears, and he was buried in the rubbish. The Heir of Linne, addressing the guest who offered him the forty pence, made him the keeper of the “wild deer and the tame" throughout all his forests, and, turning to John o' the Scales, as that worthy rose to be gone, said, Farewell, now and for ever; and may my father's curse fall on me if I bring my inheritance into jeopardy again!” The wisest of men may be confirmed in their own resolutions, and the most thriftless may be mended by the precept and example exhibited in this fine old ballad.
241.—THE TAKING OF THE BASTILLE.
BARRY St. LEGER. [The following narrative of a great historical event occurs in a volume entitled · Mr. Blount's MSS.' That volume was written by a young man of great ability, who died in 1828. The description of the taking of the Bastille is of the same character as Defoe's · Account of the Plague.' It is assumed to be written by an eyewitness, to make the relation more graphic. At the same time this narrative, also like Defoe's, is strictly correct as regards the principal facts.]
Truly, these are awful times we live in. A time incredibly short suffices to work the most stupendous changes. A very few hours have annihilated that which had stood for ages. That fearful prison-house, whose " secrets were known to few, and revealed by none, is thrown open to the gaze of all;—the Bastille is no more ! A person leaving Paris, last week, would, as he passed out southward, have gone close under the walls of this fortress, which could never be contemplated without a feeling allied both to disgust and awe ;-returning now, he would find it empty, dismantled, and with workmen actively employed in totally razing it to the ground. To what a train of moral feelings does it not give rise, thus to have free access and regress to and from a place hitherto so closely secured and so vigilantly guarded ;-to walk familiarly and without impediment among those walls, which have for ages formed the very bugbear of arbitrary and secret imprisonment; into which so many, like the beasts in the fable the Sick Lion's Cave, entered, but never returned again! But I have taken up my pen to record facts while they are fresh in instant memory-I shall have plenty of time for moralizing whenever I may choose to occupy myself so vainly.
I was an eyewitness of a great part of the engagement (if so it can be called) on the 14th. For about eight-and-forty hours previous to that memorable day, there had been indications of some great movement on the part of the people. Men left their ordinary business, and were to be seen moving about with faces of importance and excitement, or standing in groups engaged in eager and animated conversation. Towards the evening of the 12th, many of these appeared in arms; and by nightfall an astonishing number of armed citizens were assembled in their different districts. No one knew where this thunder-cloud would discharge itself. Every now and then, however, a gloomy murmur of the word Bastille tended to indicate where it would break. There had, some short time previously, been a tumult in the Fauxbourg Saint Antoine, which had induced the governor M. de Launay, to put the Bastille into some state of defence; and his preparations had, it is said, increased in proportion with the augmentation of the ferment in Paris. There were altogether upon the towers about fifteen pieces of cannon, eight and four-pounders; but, as it would seem, they were almost totally useless for any purpose beyond that of firing a salute--either from decay, or from the manner in which they were mounted completely exposing those who served the guns, in the act of reloading them.
There were, however, some small pieces, between cannon and small-arms, called amusettes du Comte de Saxe, placed at different loopholes, besides a piece of ordnance charged with grape, which was placed in one of the courts. The garrison consisted of eighty-two Invalids, and of thirty-two men of a Swiss regiment, under the command of a lieutenant.
In the present state of the public mind, these preparations for defence appeared to be for offence; and violent murmurs were excited by the appearance of the ordnance on the towers. Early on the 14th, a deputation from the Hotel de Ville waited on the governor, to state the agitation which these guns caused, and to request that they might be removed. M. de Launay answered, that he could not dismount the guns without an order from the king; but that, having already received some intimation of the feelings of the people with regard to them, he had had them run back as far from the embrasures as it was possible. Some members of this deputation were even permitted to go all over the fortifications, that they might judge with their own eyes of how every thing stood; and the garrison swore to them that they would not