« ZurückWeiter »
man! A hundred ideas rushed upon my accuracy. We hurry over the heart
Donald clasped piercing narrative, only quoting the mind, and overcame me.
me to his breast; our tears flowed uninterfollowing striking picture of misery and fortitude.
1. We anchored the same day at Ply“ The road was one line of bloody foot. mouth, but were not allowed to land ; our marks, from the sore feet of the men ; and Colonel kept us on board until we got new on its sides lay the dead and the dying clothing. Upon our landing, the people Human nature could do no more. Donald came round us, showing all manner of M'Donald, the hardy Highlander, began kindness, carrving the lame and leading to fail. He, as well as myself, had long the blind. We were received into every been barefooted and lame; he, that had house as if we had been their own relations. encouraged me to proceed, now himself How proud did I feel to belong to such a lay down to die. For two days he had people !" been almost blind, and unable, from a se. vere cold, to hold up his head. We sat
Donald, however, recovered his down together—not a word escaped our sight, and embarked with others for lips. We looked around-then at each the Walcheren expedition, a period of other, and closed our eyes. We felt there our history never to be recollected was no hope. We would have given in without sorrow and shame. Thomas charge a farewell to our friends ; but who gives a concise and distinct account was to carry it? There were, not far from of the transactions there, nothing exus, here and there, above thirty in the tenuating, and setting down nought same situation with ourselves. There was
in malice. Here he was eight weeks nothing but groans, iningled with execra
tions, to be heard, between the pauses of contined in the hospital with the faw the wind. I attempted to pray, and re
tal fever of the country. One day he commended myself to God; but my mind felt with unspeakable delight that he was so confused, I could not arrange my
was able to move about, holding by ideas. I almost think I was deranged. the wall; he anticipated the feeling of We had not sat half an hour ; sleep was fresh air, and the reviving force stealing upon me; when I perceived a of nature with new pleasure. He bustle around me. It was an advanced opened the door, and the first object party of the French : unconscious of the that met him on the threshhold was action, I started upon my feet, levelled my his friend Donald on the dead barrow,
musket, which I had still reta ined, fired, newly carried out from the hospital. ** and formed with the other stragglers. The He retired in horror, and was so im
Prepch faced about and left us. There were more of them than of us.
prest by the circumstance, that for tion, and the approach of danger in a shape some time after, when a dcor suddenwhich we had it in our power to repel, rous. ly opened, he started back with in
ed our dormant feelings, and we joined at voluntary horror as at some appariTo Castro."
Again he embarked with his regiThe sequel of this disastrous march is too well known. We shall, how. ment for Lisbon; they were command
ed by the brave Colonel Cadogan. ever, extract an affecting account of His first speech to them on meeting poor Donald's blindness, which he lamented in the idiom of his native lan- and simplicity. “My lads, this is the
an enemy we quote for its conciseness guage, and of the reception of the first affair I have ever been in with shaitered remains of our army in
you. Shew me what you can do. England.
Now or never !” Many instances oc" On the morning of the tenth day af- cur of the humanity and good nature ter our embarkation, I was condoling with of this excellent officer, told without Donald, who was now quite blind. 'I eulogium, in the simplest manner : will never be a soldier again, 0 Thomas ! such as his riding away a mile or two I will be nothing but Donald the blind and bringing each of his men half a
Had I been killed, —if you had left pound of tobacco, when they were me to die in Spain,-it wouid have been dying with fatigue and hunger. Infar better to have lain still in a wreath of deed, our friend Thomas deals neither snow, than be, all my life, a blind begear; in praise nor censure, and never ex, a burden on my friends. it would
tends his details beyond his personal please God to take my life from me !'
Land a-head! Old England once again”! observation. No man avowedly telling was called from mouth to mouth. Donald what he himself saw and felt, could he burst into tears : · I shall never see Scot- less an egotist ; at the same time, he land again; it is me that is the poor dark gives, in the language of a man of culti.
vated intellect, such pictures of the fa- ble writer is always clear and ramine, fatigue, and extremity of suffere pid, and often animated and glowing to which a soldier's life is exposed, ing. It is not interrupted by wise (more particularly during the Peain- reflections, nor encumbered with sular warfare,) as yet none but a pri- mawkish sentiment. Confined to the vate centinel could proluce. These ranks and the limited range of his gloomy scenes of suffering are at own duties, he does not atteinpt actimes relieved by gleams of calın counts of battles, or characters of enjoyment, when our people were leaders. It is merely the actions in quartered among the Spaniards, who which the 71st bore a part, and the were uniformly kind to them. Our individual feelings of Thomas the solcountryman félt a glow of Scottish dier, who, far from paradling either recollections warm his heart when he sensibility or superiority of intellect, found the Spanish peasantry every honestly shews in the course of his night surrounded by their children, narrative how much his mind was subrepeating the Lord's prayer and the dued to his condition, and his feelings twenty-third Psalm. The soldiers be- blunted by the constant recurrence of came at length so accustomed to the sights and sounds of horror. Even vicissitudes that awaited them, that his courage seems at last to have sunk the moment a full meal or a little into a mere mechanical indifference wine was procured, they danced, sung, to outward circumstances. This
graand burst into the most extravagant dual dereliction of the nobler feelings fits of merriment, though the enemy seems ever growing upon bim, so that, in superior force were in sight. Every in the hour of victory itself, ludicrous incident had this effect,
“ The pride, pomp, and circumstance of even when in the midst of fatigue and
glorious war danger. One instance of this nature That make anbition virtue," occurred when the 71st were ordered
seem to have lost their power, even, to ford a river viuring a period of very hot service. There was a mill near
over his young and ardent mind. the ford ; many of the men went in Such is the crushing influence of those when passing and helped themselves perpetual hardships and privations to quantities of flour; the Colonel relief in apathy. All this will be best came, and, incensed at this breach of discipline, threw a handful of Hour on
explained by his account of the bateach of the culprits, that he might parts his own regiment had in it, for
tle of Waterloo, or rather of the mark the millers as he called them, he pretends to nothing more. for after punishment. Meanwhile, a hen put her head out of his own " The artillery had been tearing away, pocket while he was riding along the since day-break, in different parts of the line to distinguish those whom he had line. About twelve o'clock, we received marked. The creature looked to one
orders to fall in, for attack. We then side and then to the other; the men marched up to our position, where we lay began to laugh. He looked astonished
on the face of a brae, covering a brigade of and furions at them, when the Major igue of the two days' march, that, scarce
We were so overcome by the fa calmly advised him to kill the hen, had we lain down, until many of us fell and there was no more said of the asleep. I slept sound for some time, while millers. The account of the attack the cannon-balls, plunging in amongst us, of Fuentes de llonore is absolutely killed a great many. I was suddenly adramatic; we can only afford room wakened. A ball struck the ground a for the onset.
little below me, turned me hcels-over-head, 66 The Colonel told us off in three divis
broke my musket in pieces, and killed a sions, and gave us orders to charge up thrce lad at my side. I was stunned and condifierent streets of the town, and force our
fused, and knew not whether I was woundway, without halting to the other side. The ed or not. I felt a numbness in my arm General taking off his hat, said, God be
for sometime. We lay thus about an hour
and a half under a dreadful fire, which cost with you,--quick march. We shouldered On reaching the gates we gave
us about 60 men, while we had never fired three cheers, and in we went. The inha.
" The noise and smoke were dreadful. bitants crying, Live the English, and the piper playing Johnny Cope," &c.
At this time, I could see but a very little
way from me ; but, all around, the wound. Indeed, the narrative of this hum- ed and slain lay very thick. We dien
upon our line.
moved on, in column, for a considerable
We cannot resist inserting a little way, and formed line; gave three cheers, pleasing rencountre which our Scotch fired a few volleys, charged the enemy, and soldier met with at Paris, when he drove them back.
At this moment, a was there with ihe army, after this, squadron of cavalry rode furiously down Scarce had we time to
great victory. form. The square was only complete in “ When we were in camp before the front, when they were upon the points of Thuilleries, the first day, two girls were our bayonets. Many of our men were looking very eagerly up and down the reout of place. There was a good deal of giment, when we were on parade : Do jostling for a minute or two, and a good you wish a careless husband, my dear ?? deal of laughing.
said one of our lads.--- May be ; will you “ Lord Wellington came riding up. be't?' said a Glasgow voice. 6 Where the We fermed square, with himn in our cen devil do you come from?' said the rough tre, to receive cavalry. Shortly the whole fellow. · We're Paisley lasses; this is army received orders to advance. We
our regiment: we want to see if there's moved forwards in two columns, four deep, ony body here we ken.' The soldier, who the Frcuch retiring at the same time. We was a Glasgow lad, could not speak. There were charged several times, in our advance. is a music in our native tongue, in a foThis was our last effort ; nothing could reign land, where it is not to be looked impede us; the whole of the eneiny retir- for, that often melts the heart when we ed, leaving their guns and ammunition, hear it unexpectedly. These two girls had and every other thing behind. We moved found their way from Paisley to Paris, on towards a village, and charged right and were working at tambouring, and did through, killing great numbers, the vil- very well.” lage was so crowded. We then formed on the other side of it, and lay down under We must give likewise the affectthe canopy of heaven, hungry and wearied ing account of his return home. to death.
" le had been oppressed, all day, by “ Hope and joy were my companions, the wcight of our blankets and great coats, until I entered the Firth. I was on deck : which were drenched with rain, and lay the morning began to dawn ; the shores of upon our shoulders like logs of wood. Lothian began to rise out of the mist. Searce was my body stretched upon the " There is the land of cakes,' said the capground, when sleep closed my eyes. Next tain. A sigh escaped me, recollections morning, when I awoke, I was quite stu- crowded upon me-painful recollections. pid. The whole night my mind had been I went below to conceal my feelings, and harassed by dreams : I was fighting and never came up until the vessel was in the charging, re-acting the scenes of the day, harbour. I ran from her, and hid myself which were strangely jumbled with the in a public-house. All the time I had scenes I had been in before. I rose up been away was forgot. I was so foolish and looked around, and began to recollect. as to think I would be known, and laughed The events of the 18th came before me In about half an hour, I reasoneel one by one ; still they were confused, the myself out of my foolish notions, but could whole appearing as an unpleasant dream. not bring myself to go up the Walk to E. My comrades began to awake and talk of dinburgh. I went by the Easter Road. it; then the events were embodied as reali. Every thing was strange to me, so many ties. Many an action had I been in, where alterations had taken place; yet I was in the individual exertions of our regi- afraid to look any person in the face, lest ment had been much greater, and our he should recognise me. I was suífering fighting more severe ; but never had I as keenly, at this moment, as when I went been where the firing was so dreadful, and away: I felt my face burning with shame. the noise so great. When I looked over At length, I reached the door of the last the field of battle, it was covered and heap- house I had been in, before leaving Edin. ed in many places ; figures moving up and burgi. I had not power to knock : hapdown upon it, the wounded crawling along py was it for me that did not. A young the rows of the dead, was a horrible spec- girl came into the stair. I asked her if tacle: yet I looked on with less concern, Mrs
lived there. No,' she said, I must say, at the moment than I have felt - she has flitted long ago.' • Where does at an accident when in quarters. I have she live ?'. I do not know.'-- Where to go been sad at the burial of a comrade wlio I knew not. I came down stairs, and redied of sickness in the hospital, and fol. cognized a sign which had been in the lowed him almost in tears, yet have I seen, same place betore I went away. In I went, after a battle, fifty men put into the same and inquired. The landlord knew me. trench, and comrades amongst them, al « Tom,' said he, ó are you come back safe? most with indifference. I looked over Poor fellow ! give me your hand.' • Does the field of Waterloo as a matter of course my mother live?'— Yes, yes ; come in, -a matter of small concern."
and I will send for her,-- not to let the
ERS WHO PRECEDED SHAKESPEARE.
surprise be too great.' Away he went-I count for the numerous pieces assigncould not remain, but followed him; and, ed in the printed copies to Shakethe next minute, I was in the arms of my speare, which he had no concern in mother."
claiming to himself, and some of Here we could have wished the book which have since been ascertained to had closeil, and that our gallant sols have proceeded from the pens of dier wire still living under the roof other dramatists. One of these I noof his parent, and within the reach of ticed in my last article, in reference his country's love. But we stated at to the play of Sir John Oidcastie, pubthe outset, the melancholy conclu- lished in 1600, and regarding which sion,-that his mother died, and that a remarkable circunstance (that we had the discomfort to see him once would, no doubt, have afforded Messrs more thrown loose as a wanderer over Steevens or Malone an opportunity of the wide world ! How earnestly must filling several pages with notes and every person, capable of appreciating comments) has come to my knowthe mind displayed in this narrative, ledge, viz. that an edition of this wish that the desolate heart of the History" has lately come into the writer may be cheered, by knowing, in possession of a gentleman, equally disthe place of his voluntary exile, that tinguished by his zeal and taste in his countrymen share in his feelings, these pursuits, bearing the date of the and lament his fate !
year 1600, and without the name of Shakespeare upon the title-page. The
fact probably was, that the bookON THE ENGLISH DRAMATIC WRIT- seller, finding that the piece did
not sell while it was anonymous, addNo. III.
ed to it the name of the dramatic If any of your
that writer who was at that time most pomy purpose is to detect what some pular. It is fit, however, to observe, may call the plagiarisms of Shake- that there are some important variaa speare, they will find themselves much tions between the two copies, some of mistaken : 'I have no such object. which I will notice in a subsequent Coincidences in particular passages number, when I have been favoured between him and, others may, and with a sight of this valuable curiosity. have been long ago pointed out ; but This is a wholesale kind of embezI do not recollect a single instance in zlement, with which very few were which it has been fairly proved, that ever so ignorant as to suppose Shakethis most original of all writers has speare had any connection. There is, been guilty of a plagiarism properly however, another species of appropriaso called,-a literary theft, the unac- tion, of which no man at all acquaintknowledged appropriation of thated with the subject would deny, or which was the production of some wish to deny, that he was guilty, if, other man. In order to set this mat- indeed, it be not a total misapplicater in a clear point of view, it may be tion of the word. I mean, that, as necessary to observe, that at the time his cbject was, and the object of every Shakespeare flourished, the laws of writer for the public stage must be, literary property were ill vlefined and to gratity the prevailing taste, he took little understood ; in our own day no up popular stories, and put them into author's name appears upon the title- a diamatic form, or even revived expage of a book without his express isting plays, which had once been faknowledge and consent, but it is most vourites, but had fallen into disuse ; probable that our great dramatist bad by remodelling and adding to them, nothing to do with the printing and he rendered them once more the subpublication of any one of his plays; jects of theatrical applause. But, in truth, they became the property of does he deserve any censure for this the theatre, not of the author, and proceeding? Was there any thing when they devolved into the hands of clandestine in it, or any thing like a bookseller, he not unfrequently af- “ fathering upon himself the labours fixed what name he thought was most of his predecessors ?” Does any body likely to secure him a rapid sale. This think of charging plagiarism upon the fact has been sufficiently illustrated writers of those popular dramas that by the industrious historians of our go under the names of
Guy Manstage, and I only allude to it to ac- nering” or “ Rob Roy?" Certainly
not; yet, so far as appropriation is length may not be unacceptable ; it concerned, that is exactly a case in is, “A pleasant conceited Historie, point. Does any body dream of blam- called the Taming of a Shrew. As it ing the compounder of “ The Mer- was sundry times acted by the Right chant of Bruges,” because he inserted Honorable the Earle of Peinbrooke the greater part of Beaumont and his seruaunts. Printed at London by Fletcher's Beggar's Bush? Yet wri- Peter Short, and are to be sold by ters have been found with so much of Cuthbert Burbie at his shop at the that worst kind of ignorance, which, Royall Exchange, 1594.” I will folbecause it knows little, will be taught low it by a short extract, copied from nothing, as to call in question the the original with great exactness, in fairness of the mode in which Shake- order to show the nature of the prospeare acquired his reputation. The duction, and to prove that the edition stories and the plays he adopted and of 1607 was not merely the same imadapted were well known to every one pression with a new title-page. It is of his audiences, and he no more im- from the opening of the piece. posed upon them than such obstiDately ignorant critics impose upon Enter a Tapster, beating out of his doores the general good sense and under
Slie droonken. standing of mankind. I cannot il ́ustrate this better than Tapster. You whorson, droonken slaue, you
had best be gone by a short reference to Shakespeare's And empty your droonken panch someTaming of the Shrew, respecting where else, which an important discovery has for in this house thou shalt not rest tobeen made since the publication of the night.
(Exit Tapster. last edition of the works of our great Slie. Tilly vally, by crisee, Tapster, Ile est dramatist. The first printed copy fese you anon. of this comedy is contained in the fo- Fil's the tother pot, and all's paid for, lio of 1623, though it has been conjectured that it came much earlier I doo drinke it of mine owne instigation,
Omne bene. from the press, and was acted in 1598, or at all events in 1606. It is known Here Ile lie a while. Why, Tapster, I also, that, in 1607, Nicholas Ling Fil's a fresh cushen heere.
say, published “A pleasaunt conceited
Heigh ho, heers good warme lying. Historie called the Taming of a
[He fals asleepe. Shrew,” which is not Shakespeare's, though very like it in many respects, Enter a Nobleman and his Men from huntand which had been entered on the
ing. Stationers' books as early as 1594. It Now that the gloomie shaddow of the night, is obvious, therefore, that the piece Longing to view Orion's drisling lookes, was very popular, and yet it has been Leapes from th' antarticke world vnto the stated, with every degree of probabi skie, lity, that Shakespeare employed the And dims the welkin with her pitchie materials of it as the foundation of his
breath, more finished and more highly orna
And darkesome night orcshades the chris
tall heavens, mented superstructure. This fact, Heere breake we off our hunting for to however, could not be fully establish
night. ed, as the date when Shakespeare's Cupple vppe the hounds, and let vs hie vs play was acted was prior to any known
home; edition of “ the pleasaunt conceit. And bid the buntsman see them meater! ed Historie ;” and it might be said well, that the latter was founded upon the For they haue all deseru'd it well to daie. former, and not the former upon the But soft
, what sleepie tellow is this lies latter. This point is, however, now
heere? put beyond doubt by the existence of Or is he dead ? See one what he dooth
lacke. a copy of the old comedy, dated as ear
Seruingman. My lord, tis nothing but a ly as 1594, four years before even Mr
drunken sleepe. Chalmers contends that Shakespeare's His head is too heauie for his bodie; production was performed, and twelve And he hath drunke so much that he can years before the date assigned to that event by Malone. As this is a very Lord. Fie, how the slauish villaine singular relic, perhaps the title at stinkes of drinke.
go no furder.