Images de page
PDF
ePub

loved," writes the apostle John, 1 Epistle iv. 7, 8. "Let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love."

66

that of William Penn. This served only to confirm their prejudices against the former, and to elevate the character of the latter. Nor could this view of the matter operate otherwise than as a painful reproach upon themselves; for, in a few months after Fletcher, a mere War, my dear children, is a stranger, had arrived, they granted work which wicked and fallen spihim a provision, and they made the rits may consistently practise, but it Crown a present; while for years, is an employment in which no Chriseven to this very time, they had not tian can satisfactorily engage. By furnished a table for William_this," said the blessed Jesus, “shall Penn." all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one towards another." O, then, guard your hearts against a spirit of contention! Be peaceable in your own minds;-avoid all occasions of quarrelling with your companions, and endeavour to nake others about you kind and peaceful. Blessed are the peacemakers,' said our Saviour, for they shall be called the children of God.'. The writer of these lines, many years ago, went on board the French frigate Pomona, which had been taken after a severe engagement; and he recollects, with horror, the traces of human blood and brains which were visible upon the deck and sides of the ship.

Extract from a little Work intended as a Sunday-school Reward-book, entitled, “Barnabas Hill, or the Cottage on the Shore." London, Westley, 1821.

And now, borne along by a fair wind, the English fleet advanced rapidly towards the enemy, as though in haste to engage in the dreadful work of human destruction. Perhaps there were many on board who secretly would have preferred some humane and peaceful occupation. But the captains and other officers, hoping to obtain either what is called glory or the more substantial rewards which Governments bestow upon those who fight their battles, were eager for an action, and caused every sail to be hoisted in order to overtake the foe. A few hours brought the hostile ships side by side, and a fierce engagement ensued. Terrible was the thunder of the cannon, and awful the fierce passions with which those, who ought to love as brethren, now sought each other's destruction. And is it possible that children of the same heavenly Father, that those for whom the Saviour wept and bled and died, should deal around them misery and death-cutting, stabbing, mangling and hurling each other to everlasting ruin? Oh! it is a sight over which angels weep, and which the hard and depraved heart of man can alone regard with indifference. "Be

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

To the Editor of the Herald.

SIR.-The following singular Document appeared in the Universal Museum for January 1792. As it is comparable to a bright star darting its rays through surrounding darkness, as it is a solitary instance of the light of truth having convinced a Hero of the mischiefs and spoliation which are produced by those acts which the blind infatuated multi

tude extol as brave and heroic and as covering the actor with glory; I wish to perpetuate in your Work a circumstance congenial with its object, and which also reflects true honour and glory on the Prince to whom it refers. The judicious introductory remarks of A. Z. supercede the necessity of any farther comment.

X.

To the Editor of the Universal Museum.

3

SIR-Among the number of ambitious Princes who have desolated

the world, I have found but one in the course of my reading who ever thought of making restitution to those unfortunate persons who, as they are the least interested in the disputes of crowned heads, are generally the greatest sufferers; and as this person was the Prince of Conti, brother to the great Condé, the account of his extraordinary repentance, together with his Will and paper of Instructions, as recorded by that best of men and ablest of historians, the Lord Clarendon, will, I hope, furnish an article in your next Museum. And perhaps at a time when the nation seems to be too much captivated with the exploits of the late King of Prussia, (a prince, who, regardless of justice, raised himself a name by involving myriads of his fellow-creatures in misery and ruin) it may not be amiss to recall the attention of mankind from the glare of conquest and the splendour of false glory, to the contemplation of real greatness.

A. Z.

THIS Prince, having great endowments of mind, but educated in all the licence of that nation, and corrupted with the greatest licence of it, some years before his death had the blessing to make severe reflections upon the past actions of his life; and thereupon imposed upon himself great strictness and rigour, in a notorious retirement from the court, in the conversation of the most pious and devout men, and in the exercise of all those actions of devotion which become a Christian resolution, in the faith of which he had been educated; and being in perfect health, but well knowing hy the ill structure of his body that he could not live, the crookedness and stooping of his head and shoulders making his aspiration very difficult, and increasing, suffocated him, he made his last Will, beginning in these words:

"This day, the 24th of May 1664, I Armand de Bourbon, Prince

VOL. I. NEW SERIES.

of Conti, being in my house in Paris, sound in body and mind, and not willing to be surprised by death without making my will, do make this my present testament." And then making that profession of his religion, and disposing his soul in that manner as becomes a pious man in that church whereof he was a very zealous member, he enters upon the disposal of his estate, and used these words:

"I am extremely sorry to have been so unhappy as to find myself in my younger age engaged in a war contrary to my duty; during which I permitted, ordered, and authorised, violences and disorders without number; and although the King had the goodness to forget this failing, I remain nevertheless justly accountable before God to those corporations and particular persons who then suffered, be it in Guienne, Xantoigne, Berry, la Marche, be it in Champaigne, and about Damvilliers; upon which account I have caused certain sums to be restored, of which the Sieur Jasse, my treasurer, hath particular knowledge; and I have passionately desired that it were in my power to sell all my estate, that I might give a more full satisfaction. But having on this occasion submitted myself to the judgment of many prelates and learned and pious persons, they have judged that I was not obliged to reduce myself altogether to the condition of a private man, but that I ought to serve God in my rank and quality; in which, nevertheless, I have withdrawn as much as was possible from my household expenses, to the end that, during my life, I may restore every year as much as I can save of my revenues. And I charge my heirs, who shall hereafter be named in this my will, to do the same thing, until the damages that I have caused be fully repaired, according to the instructions which shall be found in the hands of the Sieur Jasse, or in my papers. To this end, I desire the executors of

my will, and her who shall be catrusted with the education of my children, to reduce and moderate as much as may be their expenses, that the foresaid restitutions may be continued every year, according to my orders. And if it may happen that my heirs and their issue have, either from the bounty of the King, or by any other way, riches enough to maintain them handsomely, I will and order, that they sell all the estate which they enjoy as being my successors; and that they distribute the price of it among those provinces, and in those places, which have suffered on the account of the said wars, following the orders contained in the said instructions, if the said places or persons have not been already sufficiently repaid by me, or by some other. And if it fall out that my children die without issue, so that my line be extinct, I intend likewise that my estate be sold, for to be wholly employed in the said restitutions, my collateral friends having enough elsewhere.

I desire that these papers which shall be found, writ or signed with my hand, concerning affairs where I have doubted if in point of conscience I were obliged to a restitution or not, be very carefully and rigorously examined; the which I pray my executors moreover, if it be found by notes written or signed with my hand that I have verified or acknowledged myself to be obliged to any restitution or satisfaction whatever, I desire that they may be executed, as if every particular thing in them was expressly ordered by this present will." Then he commits the education of his children (whom he makes his heirs) to his wife, and desires the Parliament of Paris to confirm her in the tuition of his children; and then names his executors, who upon his decease are to become possessed of all his estate to the purposes aforesaid, and so signs the will with his hand the 4th of May 1664.

ARMANDE DE BOURBON.

His paper of Instructions was likewise published with his Will, that so the persons concerned might know to whom to repair. The words are these: "The order which I desire may be observed in the restitution which I am obliged to make in Guienne, Xantoigne, la Marche, Berry, Champaigne, and Damvilliers, &c. In the first place, those losses and damages which have been caused by my orders or my troops, ought to be repaired before all others, as being of my own doing. In the second place, I am responsible very justly for all the mischiefs which the general dis orders of the war have produced, although they have been done without my having any part in them; provided that I have satisfied for the first, I owe no reparation to those who have been of our party, except they can make it appear that I have sought and invited them to it; and in this case, it will be just to restore first of all to those innocent persons who have had no part in my failings, before that any thing can be given to those who have been our confederates. The better to observe this distributive justice, I desire that my restitutions may be made in such a manner, that they may be spread every where; to the end that it fall not out that amongst many that have suffered, some be satisfied, and others have nothing. But since I have not riches enough for to repay at one time all those corporations and particular persons who have suffered, I desire," &c. and so decreed the method and order the payments should be made in; the whole of which, by his computation, would be discharged in twenty years.

Considerations on Cruelty.

[To the Editor of the Herald of Peace.]

SIR.In the year 1758, was published a curious volume, entitled, "Considerations upon War, upon Cruelty in general, and religious Cruelty in particular;" in which,

though there are some fanciful opi nions, there is also much good matter well suited to the purpose of your judicious miscellany. In the first Essay, the anonymous author treats of the causes of cruelty, and then offers some suggestions for preventing those evils. Speaking of that cruelty which is exercised for sport and amusement, the author observes, "From what but a cruel temper can it principally proceed, that so great a part of our diversions are no better than so many acts of barbarity? Men, not contented with hunting the wild inhabitants of the forests, woods and fields (almost all of whom in our country are very harmless) and frequently putting them for many hours in the utmost terror, and causing them to strain every nerve to escape the savage fury of their pursuers, (who at last kill them, if they can)-Men of this savage temper, not satisfied with these cruelties exercised on the brute creation, take great pleasure in seeing their own species wounded, mangled, and murdered too, for their diversion. Were there not, till lately suppressed by a very necessary and wholesome law, places set apart on purpose for such cruel spectacles, which are frequented by the great vulgar, as well as the sinall? And where not only mere animals were made to fight with one another, but men hired to do the same; and when the spectators usually expressed great dissatisfaction when but little blood was shed? No doubt but it was a mortification to them that they might not frequently see men murdered as well as beasts killed; though it has sometimes happened, that at these drinking entertainments, equally humane and laudable, they have actually enjoyed this gratification.

"The extreme fondness of the ancient Romans for the barbarous spectacles of beasts fighting with beasts, men with beasts, and with

one another, and at a time too when they were esteemed the politest nation in the world, is really astonishing.-The account given by Livy of the beginning of this barbarous practice, and his censures of it, though he lived at a time when it was greatly in fashion, are in the following words :

"This same year (the building of Rome 488) the barbarous custom, afterwards excessively practised, of shedding human blood to gratify every trifling fellow of a spectator, became a public diversion. The authors of this inhuman cruelty were Marcus and Decimus Junius Brutus, who, from I know not what pious desire to do honour to their father's ashes, exhibited this combat of gladiators, which extremely pleased the people. But this injury done to humanity was revenged by a pestilence which raged violently during that and the following year."

Though these shows were at first only exhibited on mournful occasions, yet in the later corrupt times of the commonwealth, and under their emperors, such was the cruelty of this people, that these spectacles became part of their entertainments at festivals. It is, however, very much to the honour of the Greeks, that there never were any such spectacles as these among them till Greece was conquered by the Romans, after which, when it was proposed at Athens that the combats of gladiators should be there introduced, Demonax cried out in the assembly, "Let us first throw down the altars which our forefathers erected, above a thousand years ago, to COMPASSION, MERCY and HUMANITY."

So exceedingly fond were the people of Rome in general of these detestable spectacles, that it was with the utmost difficulty the emperors, when they became Christians, could put an end to them.

That cruelty which proceeds from

ambition is illustrated, among other to Lewis the Great but the deplor

instances, by a view of the character of Lewis the Fourteenth.

"For above fifty years this Prince was the grand disturber and incendiary of Europe. When about twentytwo years of age, he was left by his prime minister in peace with all the world, and soon became so potent and formidable, that he had nothing to fear from the nations round about him. Notwithstanding this, neither the luxurious pleasures of his court, though indulged to the greatest height, nor the charms of a young and beautiful wife, to whom he was just married, nor the more prevailing attractions of his mistresses, could withhold him from the most eager and extravagant pursuits of ambition.

Upon a frivolous pretence he first began a war against the Queen's brother, the King of Spain, whom he very unjustly deprived of part of his dominions. He then, without the least provocation, fell upon the Dutch, who were ancient and faithful allies of France, and had just mediated a peace between him and Spain. When these poor people, who were in no condition to resist his power, suspected that his vast preparations of war were designed against them, they made the most humble remon strances, submissions, and supplica-tions, to avert the danger; but to no purpose, for Lewis had determined their destruction, which he would undoubtedly have effected, if at one critical moment his officers had not failed in point of diligence; and at another the ice had not been melted by a sudden thaw. But if

he had succeeded in this ambitious and cruel project, what would have been the consequence? The pillage, depopulation, and utter ruin of a country remarkable for its liberty. The very land itself, as Voltaire observes, when abandoned by its inhabitants, would soon have been overwhelmed by the sea, leaving nothing

able glory of having destroyed the most singular monument of human art and industry. Though not successful to the extent which this insatiable monarch hoped for, his armies, before they quitted Holland, committed such terrible outrages and cruelties as will never be forgotten in that country.

But it was not there only that Lewis let loose the demon of destruction: for Alsace, Lorrain, and the Palatinate were visited in a similar manner with fire and sword. To such a degree was this fury carried in the latter country, that the Elector from his palace beheld two of his principal towns and twentyfive villages in flames at one time. But this was not all, for some years after, Lewis sent an order to his generals commanding them to make an entire desert of the Palatinate; and accordingly, though it was in the depth of winter, this inhuman mandate was carried into execution; the inhabitants of all the cities, towns and villages, as well as the owners of numerous estates, were driven out of their habitations, to which the soldiers set fire. Men, women and children were seen flying in all direc tions; and of course reduced to the greatest distress. Some wandered up and down the fields; others took refuge in the neighbouring countries, leaving their own to be sacked and burned by a rapacious army, who began with Manheim, the residence of the Elector, which they completely pillaged, and not only destroyed the palace, but a vast number of private houses, together with most of the churches. This, says Voltaire, was the second time that the Palatinate suffered from the vengeance of Lewis: but the calamities which Turenne inflicted upon this fine country were but sparks in comparison of the last conflagration, produced by the express orders of his most Christian Majesty, who, not

« PrécédentContinuer »