Obrazy na stronie

from aughtbut Heaven can neversure be brought
So high, so glorious, and so vastathought;
Nor would ill fate, that meant me to surprise,
Come cloth'd in so unlikely a disguise.
Yahost, which its proud fishes spreads so wide
O'er the whole land, like some swoln river's tide;
Which terrible and numberless appears,
As the thickwaves which their rough ocean bears;
Which lies so strongly encamped, that one would

The hill * be remov’d as soon as they ;
We two alone must fight with and defeat:
Thou ort strook, and startest at a sound so great!
Yet we must do ’t ; God our weak hands has
To ashame the boasted numbers of our foes;
Which to his strength no more proportion be,
Than millions are of hours to his etermity.
If, when their careless guards espy us here,
With sportful scorn they call to us to come near,
We’ll boldly climb the hill, and charge them all;
Not they, but Israel’s angel, gives the call.”
He spoke, and as he spoke, a light divine
Did from his eyes, and round his temples, shine;
Louder his voice, larger his limbs, appear'd;
Less scem'd the numerous army to be fear'd.
This saw, and heard with joy, the brave esquire,
As he with God’s, fill'd with his master's fire:
“Forbid it, Heaven,” said he, “I should decline,
Or wish, sir, not to make your danger mine;
The great example which I daily see
Of your high worth is not so lost on me;
If wonder-strook I at your words appear,
My wonder yet is innocent of fear :
Th” honour which does your princely breast in-
Warms mine too, and joins there with duty's
If in this act Ill fate our tempter be,
May all the ill it means be aim'd at me!
But sure, I think, God leads; nor could you
So high thoughts from a less-exalted spring.
Bright signs through all your words and looks are
A rising victory dawns around your head.”
With such discourse blowing their sacred flame,
Lo, to the fatal place, and work they came.
“Strongly encamp'd on a steep hill's large head,
Iike some vastwood the mighty host was spread;
Th' only access on neighbouring Gabaa's side,
An hard and narrow way, which did divide
Two cliffy rocks, Boses and Senes nam’d,
Much for themselves, and their big strange-
mess fam'd ;
More for their fortune and this stranger day.
On both their points Philistian-out guards lay,
From whence the two bold spies they first espy'd;
And, lo! the Hebrews' proud Elcanor cry’d,
From Semes top; lo! from their hungry caves,
A quicker fate here sends them to their graves.
• Come up' (aloud he cries to them below)
* Ye Egyptian slaves, and to our mercy owe
The rebel-lives long since to our justice due.”
Scarce from his lips the fatalomen flew,
when th’ inspir’d prince did nimbly understand
God, and his God-like virtues' high command.
It call’d him up, and up the steep ascent
With pain, and labour, haste and joy, they went.

Elcanor laugh'd to see them climb, and thought
His mighty words th’ affrighted suppliants
Did new affronts to the great HebrewName,
(The barbarous!) in his wanton fancy frame.
Short was his sport; for, swift as thunder's stroke
Rives the frail trunk of some heaven-threatening
oak, -
The prince's sword did his proud head divide;
The parted skull hung down on either side.
Just as he fell, his vengeful steel he drew
**, (no more the trembling joints could
Which Abdon snatch'd, and dy'd it in the blood
Of an amazed wretch that next him stood.
Some close to earth, shaking and groveling, lie,
Like larks when they the tyrant hobby spy;
Some, wonder-strook, stand fix’d; some fly; some
Wildly, at th' unintelligible alarm. [arm
Like the main channel of an high-swoln flood,
In vain by dikes and broken words withstood;
So Jonathan, once climb'd th' opposing hill,
Does all around with noise and ruin fill:
Like some large arm of which, another way
Abdom o'erflows; him too no bank can stay.
With cries th’ affrighted country flies before,
Behind the following waters loudly roar,
Twenty, at least, slain on this outguard lie,
Toth' adjoin'd camp, the rest distracted fly;
And ill-mix'd wonders tell, and into 't bear
Blind Terror, deaf Disorder, helpless Fear.
The conquerors too press boldly in behind,
Doubling the wild confusions which they find.
Hamgar at first, the prince of Ashdod town,
Chief’mongst the five in riches and renown,
And general then by course, oppos'd their way,
Till drown'd in death at Jonathan's feet he lay,
And curs'd the heavens for rage, and bit the
His life, for ever spilt, stain’d all the grass
His brother too, who virtuous haste did make
His fortune to revenge, or to partake,
Falls groveling o'er his trunk, on mother Earth;
Death mix'd no less their bloods than did their
Meanwhile the well-pleased Abdon's restless
Dispatch'd the following traint'attend their lord.
On still, o'er panting corpse, great Jonathan led;
Hundreds before him fell, and thousands fled.
Prodigious prince' which does most wondrous.
Thy attempt, or thy success? thy fate or thou?
Who durst alone that dreadful host assail,
With purpose not to die, but to prevail :
Infinite numbers thee no more affright,
Than God, whose unity is infinite. ,
If Heaven to men such mighty thoughts would
What breast but thine capacious to receive
The vast infusion ? or what soul but thine
Durst have believ'd that thought to be divine?
Thou follow'dst Heaven in the design, and we
Find in the act ’twas Heaven that follow'd thee.
Thou led'st on angels, and that sacred band
(The Deity's great lieutenant!) didst command,
'Tis true, sir, and no figure, when I say
Angels themselves fought under him that day,

Clouds, with ripe thunder charg'd, some thither drew,

And some the dire materials brought for new. Hot drops of southern showers (the sweats of death) [breath; The voice of storms, and winged whirlwinds' The flames shot forth from fighting dragons' eyes; The smokes that from scorch'd fevers' ovens rise; The reddest fires with which sad comets grow ; And Sodom's neighbouring lake, did spirits bestow Of finest sulphur; amongst which they put Wrath, fury, horrour, and all mingled shut Into a cold moist cloud, to inflame it more, And make the enraged prisoner louder roar. Th' assembled clouds burst o'er their army's head; [spread. Noise, darkness, dismal lightnings, round them Another spirit, with a more potent wand Than that which Nature fear'd in Moses' hand, And went the way that pleas'd, the mountain strook; The mountain felt it; the vast mountain shook. Through the wide air another angel flew About their host, and thick amongst them threw Discord, despair, confusion, fear, mistake, And all th’ ingredients that swift ruin make. The fertile glebe requires no time to breed; It quickens, and receives at once the seed. One would have thought, this dismal day to have seen, That Nature's self in her death-pangs had been. Such will the face of that great hour appear; Such the distracted sinner's conscious fear. in vain some few strive the wild flight to stay; In vain they threaten, and in vain they pray; Unheard, unheeded, trodden down, they lie, Beneath the wretched feet of crowds that fly. (*'er their own foot trampled the violent horse; The guideless chariots with impetuous course Cut wide through both ; and, all their bloody way, Horses and men, torn, bruis'd, and mangled, lay. Some from the rocks cast themselves down headlong ; The faint, weak passion grows so bold and strong! To almost certain present death they fly, From a remote and causeless fear to die. Much different errour did some troops possess; And madness, that look'd better, though no less : Their fellow-troops for th’ enter'd foe they take; And Israel's war with mutual slaughter make. Meanwhile the king from Gabaa's hill did view, And hear, the thickening tumult, as it grew Still great and loud; and, though he knows not why They fled, no more than they themselves that fly. Yet, by the storms and terrours of the air, ouesses some vengeful spirit's working there; Obeys the loud occasion's sacred call, And fiercely on the trembling host does fall. At the same time their slaves and prisoners rise; Nor does their much-wish’d liberty suffice Without revenge; the scatter'd arms they seize, And their proud vengeance with the memory please of who so lately bore them. All about, From rocks and caves, the Hebrews issue out

At the glad noise; joy'd that their foeshad shown A fear that drowns the scandal of their own. Still did the prince 'midst all this storm appear, Still scatter'd death and terrours every where; Still did he break, still blunt, his wearied swords; Still slaughter new supplies to his hand affords. Where troops yet stood, there still he hotly flew, And, till at last all fled, scorn'd to pursue. All fled at last, but many in vain; for still Th’ insatiate conqueror was more swift to kill Than they to save their lives. Till, lo 1 at last, Nature, whose power he had so long surpass'd, Would yield no more, but to him stronger foes, Drought, faintness, and fierce hunger, did oppose. Reeking all o'er in dust, and blood, and sweat, Burnt with the Sun's and violent action's heat, 'Gainst an old oak his trembling limbs he staid, For some short ease; Fate in the old oak had laid Provisions up for his relief; and lo! The hollow trunk did with bright honey flow. With timely food his decay’d spirits recruit, Strong he returns, and fresh, to the pursuit; His strength and spirits the honey did restore; But, oh! the bitter-sweet strange poison bore! Behold, sir, and mark well the treacherous fate, That does so close on human glories wait! Behold the strong, and yet fantastic net, To ensnare triumphant Virtue darkly set! Could it before (scarce can it since) be thought, The prince—who had alone that morning fought A duel with an host, had th’ host o'erthrown, And threescore thousand hands disarm'd with one; Wash'd-off his country's shame, and doubly dy'd In blood and blushes the Philistian pride; Had sav'd and fix’d his father’s tottering crown, And the bright gold new burnish'd with renown,” Should be ere night, by 's king and father's breath, Without a fault, vow’d and condemn'd to death? Destin'd the bloody sacrifice to be Of thanks, himself, for his own victory? Alone, with various fate, like to become, Fighting, an host; dying, an hecatomb? Yet such, sir, was his case; For Saul, who fear'd lest the full plenty might (In the abandon'd camp expos'd to fight) His hungry men from the pursuit dissuade, A rash, but solemn vow to Heaven had made— * Curs'd be the wretch, thrice cursed let him be, Who shall touch food this busy day,’said he, “Whilst the blest Sun does with his favouring light Assist our vengeful swords against their flight: Be he thrice curst! and, if his life we spare, On us those curses fall that he should bear!” Such was the king's rash vow; who little thought How near to him Fate th' application brought. The two-edged oath wounds deep, perform'd or broke; Ev’n perjury its least and bluntest stroke. 'Twas his ownson, whom God and mankind lov’d, His own victorious son, that he devov’d, On whose bright head the baleful curses light: But Providence, his helmet in the fight, Forbids their entrance or their settling there; They with brute sound dissolv’d into the air. Him what religion, or what vow, could bind, Unknown, unheard-of, till he his life did find

Entangled in to whilst wonders he did do,
Must he die now for not being prophet too
To all but him this oath was meant and said;
He, afar off, the ends for which 'twas made
Was acting then, till, faint and out of breath,
He grew half-dead with toil of giving death.
What could his crime in this condition be,
Excus’d by ignorance and necessity ?
Yet the remorseless king—who did disdain
Thatman should hear him swear or threatin vain,
Though 'gainst himself, or Fate a way should see
By which attack'd and conquer'd he might be ;
Who thought compassion female weakness here,
And equity injustice would appear
In his own cause; who falsely fear'd, beside,
The solemn curse on Jonathan did abide,
And, the infectedlimb not cutaway,
Would like a gangrene o'er all Israel stray—
Prepar'd this god-like sacrifice to kill,
And his rash vow more rashly to fulfil.
What tonguecan th’ horrour and amazement tell
Which on all Israel that sad moment fell !
Tamer had been their grief, fewer their tears,
Had the Philistian fate that day been theirs.
Not Saul's proud heart could master his swolm

eye; The price alone stood mild and patient by ;

So bright his sufferings, so triumphant show'd,
Less to the best than worst of fates he ow’d.
A victory now he o'er himself mightboast;
He conquer'd now that conqueror of an host.
It charm'd though tears the sad spectator's
Did reverence, love, and gratitude, excite,
And pious rage; with which inspir'd, they now
Oppose to Saul's a better public vow.
They all consent all lsrael ought to be
Accurs'd and kill'd themselves, rather than he.
Thus with kind force they the glad king with-
And sav'd their wondrous
blood 1’’
Thus David spoke; and much did yet remain
Behind, th’ attentive prince to entertain;
Edom and Zoba's war—for what befel
In that of Moab, was known there too well:
The boundless quarrel with curs’d Amalek's
Where Heaven itself did cruelty command,
And practis'd on Saul’s mercy, nor did ere
More punish innocent blood, than pity there.
But lo! they arriv'd now at th' appointed place;
Well-chosen and well-furnish'd for the chase.

saviour's sacred

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therefore by no means could be omitted here) the vast multitude of spectators made up, as it uses to do, no small part of the spectacle itself. But yet, I know not how, the whole was so managed, that, methought, it somewhat represented the life of him for whom it was made; much noise, much tumult, much expense, much magnificence, much vainglory; briefly, a great show, and yet, after all this, but an ill sight. At last(for it seemed long to me, and like his short reign too, very tedious) the whole scene passed by; and I retired back to my chamber, weary, and I think more melancholy than any of the mourners; where Ibegan to reflect on the whole life ofthis prodigious man:and sometimes I was filled with horrour and detestation of his actions, and sometimes I inclined a little to reverence and admiration of his courage, conduct, and success; till, by these different motions and agitations of mind, rocked as it were asleep, I fell

at lastinto this vision; or if you please to call it but’

a dream, I shall not take it ill, because the father of poets tells us, even dreams, too, are from God. But sure it was no dream; for I was suddenly transported afar off (whether in the body, or out of the body, like St. Paul, I know not) and found myself on the top of that famoushill in the island Mona, which has the prospect of three great, and not-long-since most happy, kingdoms. As soon as ever I looked on them, the “not-long-since” struck upon my memory, and called forth the sad representation of all the sins, and all the miseries, that had overwhelmed them these twenty years. And I wept bitterly for two or threehours; and, when my present stock of moisture was all wasted, I fell a sighing for an hour more; and, assoon as I recovered from my passion the use of speech and reason, I broke forth as I remember (looking upon England) into this complaint:

Ah, happy Isle, how art thou chang'd and curs'd,
Since I was born and knew thee first
WhenPeace,which had forsook the world around,
(Frighted with noise, and the shrill trumpet’s
Thee for a private place of rest,
And a secure retirement, chose
Wherein to build her halcyon nest;
No wind durst stir abroad, the air to discompose:

When all the riches of the globe beside
Flow'd in to thee with every tide;

When all, that Nature did thy soil deny,

The growth was of thy fruitful industry;
When all the proud and dreadful sea,
And all his tributary streams,
A constant tribute paid to thee;

When all the liquid world was one extended


When Plenty in each village did appear,
And Bounty was its steward there,

When Gold walk'd free aboutin open view,

Ere it one conquering party's prisoner grew;
When the Religion of our state
Had face and substance with her voice,
Ere she by her foolish loves of late,

Like Echo (once a nymph) turn'd only into


When men to men, respect and friendship bore,
And God with reverence did adore,

When upon Earth no kingdom could have shown
A happi amonarch to us, than our own:
And yet his subjects by him were
(Which is a truth will hardly be
Receiv'd by any vulgar ear,
A secret known to few) made happier ev'n than

Thou dosta chaos, and confusion, now,
A Babel, and a Bedlam, grow,
And like a frantic person, thou dost tear [wear,
The ornaments and clothes which thou should st
And cut thy limbs; and, if we
(Just as thy barbarous Britons did)
Thybody with hypocrisy
Painted all o'er, thou think'st thy naked shameis
hid. * -
* --
The nations, which envied thee erewhile,
Now laugh, (too little’tis to smile)
They laugh, and would have pitied thee, alas!
But that thy faults all pity do surpass.
Art thou the country, which didst hate
And mock the French inconstancy?
And have we, have we seen of late
Less change of habits there, than governmentsia
thee 2 -

Unhappy Isle no ship of thine at sea,
Was evertostand torn like thee.

Thy naked hulk loose on the waves does beat,

The rocks and banks around her ruin threat;
What did thy foolish pilots ail,
To lay the compass quite aside?
Without a law or rule to sail,

And rather take the winds, than heavens, to be

their guide

Yet, mighty God! yet, yet, we humbly crave, This floating isle from shipwreck save; And though, to wash that blood which does it stain, It well deserve to sink into the main; Yet, for the royal martyr's prayer (The royal martyr prays, v know) This guilty, perishing vessel spare; Hear but hissoul above, and not his blood below! I think I should have gone on,but that Iwasin. terrupted bya strange and terribleapparition; for there appeared to me (arising out of the earth, as I conceived) the figure of a man, taller than a giant; or indeed than the shadow of any giantin the evening. His body was naked; but that nakedness adorned, or rather deformed, all over, with several figures, after the manner of theancient Britons, painted upon it: and I perceived that most of them were the representation of the late battles in our civil wars, and (if I be not much mistaken) it was the battle of Naseby that was drawn upon his breast. His eyes were like burning brass; and there were three crowns of the same metal, (as I guessed) and that looked as red-hot too, upon his head. He held in his right-hand a sword that was yet bloody, and nevertheless the motto of it was, Pax quaritur bello; and in his left hand a thick book, upon the back of which was written in letters of gold, Acts, Ordinances, Protestations, Covenants, Engagements, Declarations, strances, &c,

Though this sudden, unusual, and dreadful object might have quelled a greater courage than mine; yet so it pleased God (for there is nothing bolder than a man in a vision) that I was not at all daunted, but asked him resolutely and briefly “what art thou?”. And he said, “ I am called the north-west principality, his highress, the protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the domimons belonging thereto; for I am that angel, to whom the Almighty has committed the government of those three kingdoms; which thou seest from this place.” And I answered and said, “If it be so, sir, it seems to me that for almost these twenty years past, your highness has been absent from your charge: for not only if any angel, but if any wise and homestman, had since that time been our governor, we should not have wandered thus long in these laborious and endless labyrinths of confusion, but either not have entered at all into them, or at least have returned back ere we had absolutely lost our way; but, instead of your highness, we have had since such a protector, as was his predecessor Richard the third to the king his nephew; for he presently slew the commonwealth, which he pretended to protect, and set up himself in the place of it: a little less guilty indeed in one respect, because the other slew an innocent, and this man did but murder a murderer. Such a protector we have had, as we would have been glad to have changed for an enemy, and rather have received a constant Turk, than this every month's apostate; such a protector, as man is to his flocks which he shears, and sells, ordevours himself, and I would fain know what the wolf, which he protects him from, could do more. Such a protector—” and as I was proceeding, methoughts his highness began to put on a displeased and threatening countenance, as men use to do when their dearest friends happen to be traduced in their company; which gave me the first rise of jealousy against him, for I did not believe that Cromwell among all his foreign correspondences had ever held any with angels. However I was not hardened enough yetto venture a quarrel with him then; and therefore (as if I had spoken to the protector himself in Whitehall) I desired him “that his highness would please to pardon me, if I had unwittingly spoken any thing to the disyaragement of a person, whose relations to his i. I had not the honour to know.” At which he told me “that he had no other concernment for his late highness, than as he took him to be the greatest man that ever was of the English nation, if not(said he) of the whole world; which gives me a just title to the defence of his reputation, since I now account myself, as it were, a naturalised English angel, by having had so long the management of the affairs of that country. And pray, countryman, (said he, very kindly and very flatteringly) for I would not have you fall into the general error of the world, that detests and decries so extraordinary a virtue, What can be more extraordinary than that a person of mean birth, no fortune, no emineut qualities of body, which have sometimes, or of mind, which have often, raised men to the

highest dignities, should have the courage to at

tempt, and the happiness to succeedin, so im-
probable a design, as the destruction of one of
the most ancient and most solidly-founded mo-
narchies upon the Earth? that he should have
the power or boldness to put his prince and
master to an open and infamous death; to ba-
mish that numerous and strongly-allied family;
to do all this under the name and wages of a
parliament; to trample upon them too as he
pleased, and to spurn them out of doors when he
grew weary of them; to raise up a new and un-
heard-of monster out of their ashes; to stifle
that in the very infancy, and set himself above
all things that ever were called sovereign in Eng-
land; to oppress all his enemies by arms, and
all his friends afterwards by artifice; to serve
all parties patiently for a while, and to command
them victoriously at last; to over-run each
corner of the three nations, and overcome with
equal facility both the riches of the south and
the poverty of the north; to be feared and
courted by all foreign princes, and adopted a
brother to the gods of the Earth; to call to-
gether parliaments with a word of his pen, and
scatter them again with the breath of his mouth:
to be humbly and daily petitioned that he would
please to be hired, at the rate of two millions a
year, to be the master of those who had hired
him before to be their servant; to have the es-
tates and lives of three kingdoms as much at his
disposal, as was the little inheritance of his fa-
ther, and to be as noble and liberal in the spend-
ing of them; and lastiy (for there is no end of
all the particulars of his glory) to bequeath all
this with one word to his posterity; to die with
peace at home, and triumph abroad; to be bu-
ried among kings, and with more than regal so-
lemnity; and to leave a name behind him, not
to be extinguished, but with the whole world;
which, as it is now too little for his praises, so
might have been too for his conquests, if the
short line of his human life could have been
stretched out to the extent of his immortal de-
signs • *
By this speech, I began to understand per-
fectly well what kind of angel his pretended
highness was; and having fortified myself pri-
vately with a short mental prayer, and with the
sign of the cross (not out of any superstition to
the sign, but as a recognition of my baptism in
Christ), I grew a littlebolder, and replied in this
manner: “I should not venture to oppose what
you are pleased to say in commendation of the
late great, and (I confess) extraordinary person,
but that I remember Christ forbids us to give
assent to any other doctrine but what himself
has taught us, even though it should be des
livered by an angel; and if such you be, sir, it
may be you have spoken all this rather to try
than to tempt my frailty: for sure I am, that
we must renounce or forget all the laws of the
New and Old Testament, and those which are the
foundation of both, even the laws of moral and
natural honesty, if we approve of the actions of

* Mr. Hume has inserted this character of Cromwell, but altored, as he says, in some par. ticulars from the origiual, in his History of Great Britain, Hval.

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