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but even cheerfully, with Mr. Chateris and others. After dinner he retired, as was his custom, to his bed chamber, where, it is recorded, he slept quietly for about a quarter of an hour. While he was in bed, one of the members of the council, came, and intimated to the attendants, a desire to speak with him upon being told that the Earl was asleep, and had left orders not to be disturbed, the manager disbelieved the account, which he considered as a device to avoid further questionings. To satisfy him, the door of the bed chamber was half opened, and then he beheld, enjoying a sweet and tranquil slumber, the man who by the doom of him and his fellows, was to die within the short space of two hours! Struck with the sight, he hurried out of the room, quitted the castle
with the utmost precipitation, and hid himself in thé lodgings of an acquaintance who lived near, where he threw himself upon the first bed that presented itself, and had every appearance of a man, suffering the most excruciating torture. His friend, who was apprised of the state he was in, and who naturally concluded he was ill, offered him some wine. He refused, saying, “no, no, that will not help me; I have been to Argyle, and saw him sleeping as pleasantly as ever man did, within one hour of Eternity, but as for me
The name of the person whom this anecdote relates is not mentioned, and the truth of it may therefore be fairly considered as liable to that degree of doubt, with which men of judgment receive every species of traditional history. Woodrow, however, whose veracity is above suspicion, says, he had it from the most unquestionable authority. It is not in itself unlikely, and who is there, that would not wish it true? What a satisfactory spectacle to a philosophical mind, to see the oppressor in the zenith of his power, envying his victim! What an acknowledgment of the superiority of virtue! What an affecting and forcible testimony of the value of that peace of mind, which Innocence alone can confer! We know not who this man was, but when we reflect that the guilt which agonized him, was probably incurred for some vain title, or at
least for some increase of wealth which he did not want, and possibly knew not how to enjoy, our disgust is turned into something like compassion, for that very foolish class of men, whom the world calls wise in their generation.
Soon after this short repose, Argyle was brought according to order, to the Laigh Council House, from which place is dated the letter to his wife, and from thence to the place of execution. On the scaffold he had some discourse, as well with Mr. Annand, a minister appointed by government to attend him, as with Mr. Chateris. He desired both of them to pray for him, and prayed himself with much fervour and devotion. The speech which he made to the people, was such as might be expected from the passages already related. The same mixture of firmness and mildness is conspicuous in every part of it. ought not,” said he, “to despise our afflictions, nor to faint under them. We should not suffer ourselves to be exasperated against the instruments of our troubles, nor by fraudulent or pusillanimous compliance, bring guilt upon ourselves—faint hearts are usually false hearts, choosing sin, rather than suffering." He offers his prayers for the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, and that an end may be put to their present trials. Having then asked pardon for his own faults, both of God and man, he would have concluded, but being reminded that he had said nothing of the Royal Family, he adds, that he refers, in this matter to what he had said at his trial concerning the test; that he prayed there never might be wanting one of the Royal Family to support the Protestant Religion; and if any of them had swerved from the true faith, he prayed God to turn their hearts; but at any rate to save his people from their machinations. When he had ended, he turned to the south side of the scaffold and said, “gentlemen, I pray you, do not misconstruct my behaviour this day—I freely forgive all men, their wrongs and injuries done against me, as I desire to be forgiven of God. He then embraced his friends, gave some tokens of his remembrance to his son in law, Lord Maitland, for his daughter and Grandchildren, stript himself of part of his apparel, of which he likewise made presents, and laid his head upon the block. Having uttered a short prayer, he gave the signal to the executioner, which was instantly obeyed, and his head severed from his body.
Such were the last hours, and such the final close of this great man's life. May the like happy serenity, in such dreadful circumstances, and a death equally glorious, be the lot of all, whom tyranny of whatever description or denomination, shall, in any age, or in any country, call to expiate their virtues on the scaffold!
BATTLE OF WARSAW.
When leagu'd Oppression pour'd to northern wars
Warsaw's last champion, from her height survey'd,
He said, and on the rampart-heights array'd
In vain, alas! in vain, ye gallant few! From rank to rank your volley'd thunder flew:Oh! bloodiest picture in the book of Time, Sarmatia fell, unwept, without a crime; Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe, Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her wo! Dropp'd from her nerveless grasp the shatter'd spear, Clos’d her bright eye, and curb'd her high career;Hope for a season, bade the world farewell, And Freedom shriek'd as Kosciusko fell!
The sun went down, nor ceas'd the carnage there, Tumultuous murder shook the midnight airOn Prague's proud arch the fires of ruin glow, His blood-dy'd waters murmuring far below; The storm prevails, the rampart yields away, Bursts the wild cry of horror and dismay! Hark! as the smouldering piles with thunder fall, A thousand shrieks for hopeless mercy call! Earth shook-red meteors flash'd along the sky, And conscious Nature shudder'd at the cry!
Departed spirits of the mighty dead! Ye that at Marathon and Leuctra bled! Friends of the world! restore your swords to man, Fight in his sacred cause, and lead the van! Yet for Sarmatia's tears of blood atone, And make her arm puissant as your own! Oh! once again to Freedom's cause return Thou patriot Tell—thou Bruce of Bannockburn.
WIZARD. Lochiel! Lochiel, beware of the day When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array! For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight, And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight: They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown; Wo, wo to the riders that trample them down!
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
Go, preach to the coward, thou doath-telling seer!
Ha! laugh'st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn?
* The Gaelic appellation of Scotland, more particularly the Highlands.