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God of eternal justice the false monarch Has broke his plighted vow !
Enter Piers wounded.
Fly, fly, my father—the perjured King—fly! fly!
Nay, nay, my child—I dare abide my fate,
T is useless succour:
They seek thy life; fly, fly, my honour'd father.
This is that old seditious heretic.
(Seizes John Ball.)
Come you old stirrer up of insurrection,
(They lead off John Ball—the tumult increases —Mob fly across the stage—the Troops pursue them—loud cries and shouts.)
Scene—Westminster Hall. King, WAlwoath, Philpot, Sia John TREsilian, etc.
Walworth. My liege, 't was wisely order'd to destroy The dunghill rabble, but take prisoner That old seditious priest: his strange wild notions Of this equality, when well exposed, Will create ridicule, and shame the people, Of their late tumults. sift John triest LIAN. Aye, there's nothing like A fair free open trial, where the King Canchuse his jury and appoint his judges. rol nG. Walworth, I must thank you for my deliverance: 'T was a bold deed to stab him in the parley ! Kneel down, and rise a knight, Sir William Walworth.
MESSENGEa. I left them hotly at it. Smithfield smoked With the rebels' blood: your troops fought loyally, There's not a man of them will lend an ear To pity.
sitt will.i.am walworth. Is John Ball secured? messenger. They've seized him.
Enter Guards with John Ball.
GuArt D. We've brought the old villain. second GUARd. An old mischief-maker— Why there's fifteen hundred of the mob are kill'd, All through his preaching ! si R. John ratsi Li AN. Prisoner! are you the arch-rebel, John Ball: John Ball. I am John Ball; but I am not a rebel. Take ye the name, who, arrogant in strength, Rebel against the people's sovereignty. Sir John Tries. Li AN. John Ball, you are accused of stirring up The poor deluded people to rebellion; Not having the fear of God and of the King Before your eyes; of preaching up strange notions, Heretical and treasonous; such as saying That kings have not a right from heaven to govern; That all mankind are equal; and that ranks, And the distinctions of society, Ay, and the sacred rights of property, Are evil and oppressive:-plead you guilty To this most heavy charge? Jo H M BA LL. If it be guilt— | To preach what you are pleased to call strange notions:– That all mankind as brethren must be equal; That privileged orders of society Are evil and oppressive; that the right Of property is a juggle to deceive The poor whom you oppress—I plead me guilty. SiR John thesili.An. It is against the custom of this court That the prisoner should plead guilty. JoBIN BALL. Why then put you The needless question 1—Sir Judge, let me save The vain and empty insult of a trial. What I have done, that I dare justify. sia. John tresilian. Did you not tell the mob they were oppress'd, And preach upon the equality of man; With evil intent thereby to stir them up To tumult and rebellion ? John B.All. That I told them That all mankind are equal, is most true: Ye came as helpless infants to the world; Ye feel alike the infirmities of nature; And at last moulder into common clay. Why then these vain distinctions?–Bears not the earth Food in abundance?—must your granaries O'erflow with plenty, while the poor man starves? Sir Judge, why sit you there clad in your furs? Why are your cellars stored with choicest wines? Your larders hung with dainties; while your vassal, As virtuous, and as able too by nature, Though by your selfish tyranny deprived Of mind's improvement, shivers in his rags, And starves amid the plenty he creates. I have said this is wrong, and I repeat it— And there will be a time when this great truth Shall be confess'd—be felt by all mankind.
The electric truth shall run from man to man,
sitt John triest it A N.
Audacious rebel !
The patience of the court has been insulted—
slip John thesi Lian.
And whereas your behaviour to the court
Drag him hence—
Thy hope in Heaven and in thine own right hand.
iii. Dread was the strife, for mighty was the foe who sought with his whole strength thy overthrow. The Nations bow'd before him; some in war Subdued, some yielding to superior art; Submiss, they follow'd his victorious car. their Kings, like Satraps, waited round his throne; For Britain's ruin and their own, By force or fraud in monstrous league combined. Aloue in that disastrous hour Britain stood firm and braved his power! Alone she fought the battles of mankind. IV. O virtue which above all former fame, Exalts her venerable name
Ojoy of joys for every British breast! That with that mighty peril full in view, The Queen of Ocean to herself was true! That no weak heart, no abject mind possess'd Her counsels," to abase her lofty crest,(Then had she sunk in everlasting shame.) But ready still to succour the oppress'd, Her Red-Cross floated on the waves unfurl’d, Offering Redemption to the groaning world.
V. First from his trance the heroic Spaniard woke; His chains he broke, And casting off his neck the treacherous yoke, He call'd on England, on his generous foe: For well he knew that wheresoe'er Wise policy prevailed, or brave despair, Thither would Britain's liberal succours flow, Her arm be present there. Then, too, regenerate Portugal display'd Her ancient virtue, dormant all too long. Rising against intolerable wrong, On England, on her old ally for aid The faithful nation call'd in her distress: And well that old ally the call obey'd, Well was that faithful friendship then repaid.
Wi. Say from thy trophied field how well, Vimeiro ! rocky Douro tell! And thou, Busaco, on whose sacred height The astonish’d Carmelite, While those unwonted thunders shook his cell, Join'd with his prayers the fervour of the fight!” Bear witness those Old Towers,” where many a day Waiting with foresight calm the fitting hour, The Wellesley, gathering strength in wise delay, Defied the Tyrant's undivided power. Swore not the boastful Frenchman in his might, Into the sea to drive his Island–foe 2 Tagus and Zezere, in the secret night, Ye saw that host of ruffians take their flight!4 And in the Sun's broad light Onoro's Springs” beheld their overthrow !
Wii. Patient of loss, profuse of life, Meantime had Spain endured the strife; And tho' she saw her cities yield, Her armies scatter'd in the field, Her strongest bulwarks fall, The danger undismay’d she view'd, Knowing that nought could eer appal The Spaniards fortitude.6 What though the Tyrant, drunk with power, Might vaunt himself, in impious hour, Lord and Disposer of this earthly ball 17 Her cause is just, and Heaven is over all.
Wils. Therefore no thought of fear debased Her judgment, nor her acts disgraced. To every ill, but not to shame resign'd, All sufferings, all calamities she bore. She bade the people call to mind Their heroes of the days of yore,
Pelayo and the Campeador.” With all who, once in battle strong, Lived still in story and in song. Against the Moor, age after age, Their stubborn warfare did they wage; Age after age, from sire to son, | The hallowed sword was handed down; Nor did they from that warfare cease, And sheathe that hallowed sword in peace, Until the work was done.
IX. Thus in the famous days of yore, Their fathers triumph'd o'er the Moor, They gloried in his overthrow, But touch'd not with reproach his gallant name; For fairly, and with hostile aim profest, The Moor had rear'd his haughty crest; An open, honourable foe; But as a friend the treacherous Frenchman came, And Spain receiv'd him as a guest. Think what your fathers were ! she cried! Think what ye are, in sufferings tried, And think of what your sons must be— Even as ye make them—slaves or free!
X. Strains such as these from Spain's three seas, And from the farthest Pyrenees, Rung through the region. Wengeance was the word; One impulse to all hearts at once was given; From every voice the sacred cry was heard, And borne abroad by all the Winds of Ileaven. Heaven too, to whom the Spaniards look d for aid, A spirit equal to the hour bestow'd; And gloriously the debt they paid, Which to their valiant ancestors they ow'd, And bloriously against the power of France, Maintain'd their children's proud inheritance. Their steady purpose no defeat could move, No horrors could abate their constant mind; Hope had its source and resting-place above, And they, to loss of all on earth resign'd, Suffered, to save their country, and mankind. What strain heroic might suffice to tell, How Zaragoza stood, and how she fell ? Ne'er since yon sun began his daily round, Was higher virtue, holier valour found, Than on that consecrated ground.
XII. That line, whose fostering and paternal sway Lord of Conquest, heir of Fame, So many an age thy grateful children blest. From rescued Portugal he came. The yoke is broken uow!—A mightier hand Rodrigo's walls in vain oppose; Hath dash'd, in pieces dash'd, the iron rod. In vain thy bulwarks, Badajoz; To meet her Princes, the delivered land And Salamanca's heights proclaim Pours her rejoicing multitudes abroad; The Conqueror's praise, the Wellesley's name. The happy bells from every town and tower, Oh, had the sun stood still that hour, Roll their glad peals upon the joyful wind; When Marmont and his broken power And from all hearts and tongues, with one consent, Fled from their field of shame! The high thanksgiving strain to Heaven is sent, Spain felt through all her realms the electric blow;
Glory to God! Deliverance for Mankind!
Egmont and Horn, heard ye that holy cry, Into her joyful bosom unconfin'd,
Martyrs of Freedom, from your seats in Heaven? Receives once more the treasures of the main. And William the Deliverer, doth thine eye Regard from yon empyreal realm the land XIII. For which thy blood was given! What now shall check the Wellesley, when at length
What ills hath that poor Country suffered long! Onward he goes, rejoicing in his strength Deceived, despised, and plunder'd, and oppress'd, From Douro, from Castille's extended plain, Mockery and insult aggravating wrong! The foe, a numerous band, Severely she her errors hath atoned, Retire; amid the heights which overhang And long in anguish groan'd, Dark Ebro's bed, they think to make their stand. Wearing the patient semblance of despair, He reads their purpose, and prevents their speed;
While fervent curses rose with every prayer! And still as they recede, In mercy Heaven at length its ear inclined; Impetuously he presses on their way; The avenging armies of the North draw nigh, Till by Vittoria's walls they stood at bay,
Joy for the injured Hollander, the cry
Of Orange rends the sky!
All hearts are now in one good cause combined,— XIV. Once inore that flag triumphant floats on high, Vain their array, their valour vain: Glory to God! Deliverance for Mankind! There did the practised Frenchman find A master arm, a master mind' XVIII. Behold the veteran army driven When shall the Dove go forth: Oh when Like dust before the breath of Heaven, Shall Peace return among the Sons of Men? Like leaves before the autumnal wind! Hasten, benignant Heaven, the blessed day ! Now, Britain, now thy brow with laurels bind; Justice must go before, Raise now the song of joy for rescued Spain! And Retribution must make plain the way; And Europe, take thou up the awakening strain–
Force must be crushed by Force,
Or Peace return again. From Spain the living spark went forth :
Hold then right on in your auspicious course, The flame hath caught, the flame is spread! Ye Princes, and ye People, lold right on! It warms, it fires the farthest North. Your task not vet is done: Behold ! the awaken'd Moscovite Pursue the blow-ye know your foe, Meets the Tyrant in his might; to Complete the happy work so well begun: The Brandenburg, at Freedom's call, Hold on and be your aim with all your strength Rises more glorious from his fall; Loudly proclaim d and steadily pursued! And Frederic, best and greatest of the name, So shall this fatal Tyranny at length Treads in the path of duty and of fame. Before the arms of Freedom fall subdued. See Austria from her painful trance awake! Then when the waters of the flood abate, The breath of God goes forth, the dry bones shake! The Dove her resting-place secure may find : Up Germany'—with all thy nations rise! And France restored, and shaking off her chain, Land of the virtuous and the wise,
No longer let that free, that mighty mind,
Endure its shame! She rose as from the dead,
She broke her chains upon the oppressor's head—"
Shall join the Avengers in the joyful strain,
Note 1, page 408, col. 1.
« Can any man of sense,” said the Edinburgh Review
«does any plain, unaffected man, above the level of a drivelling courtier or a feeble fanatic, dare to say he can look at this impending contest, without trembling every inch of him, for the result?»—No. XXIV, p. 441.
With all proper deference to so eminent a critic, I would venture to observe, that trembling has been usually supposed to be a symptom offeebleness, and that the case in point has certainly not belied the received opinion.
Note 2, page 498, col. 1.
And thou, Busaco, on whose sacred height The astonish'd Carmelite, While those un wonted thunders shook his cell, Join'd with hisprayers the fervour of the fight.
Of Busaco, which is now as memorable in the military, as it has long been in the monastic history of Portugal, I have given an account in the second volume of Omniana. Dona Bernarda Ferreiras poem upon this venerable place, contains much interesting and some beautiful description. The first intelligence of the battle which reached England was in a letter written from this Convent by a Portuguese Commissary. «I have the happiness to acquaint you,» said the writer, « that this night the French lost nine thousand men near the Convent of Busaco.—I beg you not to consider this news as a fiction,—for I, from where l am, saw them fall. This place appears like the ante-chamber of Hell.»——What a contrast to the images which the following extracts present!
Es pequeña aquella Iglesia, Mas para pobres bastante; Pobre de todo aderezo Con que el rico suele ornarse. No ay alli plata, ni oro, Telas y sedas no valen Donde reyna la pobreza, Que no para en bienes tales, Asperando a los del Cielo Los demas tiene por males, Yrica de altos deseos Menosprecia vanidades. En el retablo se mira El soberano estandarte, Lecho donde con la Iglesia Quiso Cristo desposarse; La tabla donde se salva El misero naufragante Del piélago de la culpa, Y a puerto glorioso sale. Con perfecion y concierto Se aderezan los altares (por manos de aquellos santos) De bellas flores suaves. En toscos vasos de corcho Lustran texidos con arte Los variados ramilletes Mas que en el oro el esmalte, La florida rama verde Que en aquellos bosques nace, Da colgaduras al templo, Y los brocados abate. En dia» de mayor fiesta Esto con excessos hacen, Y al suelo por alcatifas Diversas flores reparten. lluele el divino aposento Hurtando sutil el ayre A las rosas y boninas Mil olores que derrame. Humildes estan las celdas De aquellos humildes padre», Cercando al sacro edificio loo tienen su caro amante,
Cada celda muy pequeña Encierra probreza frande, Que en competencia sus dueño, Gustan de mortificarse. Despues que alli entro el silencio No quiso que mas sonase Ruido que aquel que forma Entre los ramos el ayre; El de las fuentes y arroyos, Y de las parleras aves, Porque si ellos por Dios lloran, Ellas sus lágrimas canten. De corcho tosco las puertas, Tambien de pobreza imagen, Son mas bellas en sus ojos Que los Toscanos portales. Es su cama estrecha tabla Do apenas tendidos caben, Porque hasta en ella durmiendo. Crucificados descansen. Una Cruz, y calavera Que tienen siempre delante, ásperas disciplinas de propria sangre, Son alhajas de su casa. Y en aquellas soledades Hablando con sabios mudos Suelen tal vez aliviarse; Que a los hijos de Theresa Tanto los libros aplacen, Que en los yermos mas remotos Les dan del dia una parte. Tiene cada qual en huerto (porque en él pueda ocuparse) De arboles de espino, y flores Siempre de olor liberales. Libres ansi del tumulto Que embaraza los mortales, Ferverosas oraciones Mandan a Dios cada instante. Sus devotos exercicios No se lo» perturba nadie, Ni sus penitencias hallan Testigos que las estraien. Qual con cadenas de pnas Tan duras como diamantes, Agudas y rigurosa» Ciñe su afligida carne; Qual con cilicios y sogas Aspérrimas, intractables, De que jamas se les quitan Las cavernosas senales.
• • • • • •
Aquel divino desierto Que Busaco denomina, Y es tambien denominado Del arbol de nuestra vida, Se muestra sembrado a trechos De solitarias Ermitas, Que en espacios desiguales Unas de las otras distan. Parece tocan las nubes Para servirles de sillas, Las que coronando peñas Apenas toca la vista. Yacen otra» por los valles En las entrañas beniguas De nuestra madre comun Que humilde se les inclina. Qual en las concavidades De las rocas escondida, Que labró naturaleza Con perfecion infinita. Qual entre las arboledas De verde rama vestida, Informandoles de gracias Sus formas vegetativas. Qual del cristalino arroyo Las bellas margenes pisa, Por lavar los pies descalaos Entre sus candidas guijas.