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end; he had existed only a few months after the death of his son. His life had been prolonged till he beheld his son persecuted to death for an infamous crime; but not till he should see this foul stain washed from his family, and the innocence of his beloved son made manifest to the world.
21. The ways of Heaven never appeared more dark and intricate than in the incidents and ca-tas'tro-phe of this mournful story. To reconcile the permission of such events to our ideas of infinite power and goodness, however difficult, is a natural attempt in the human mind, and has exercised the ingenuity of philosophers in all ages; while, in the eye of Christians, those seeming perplexities afford an additional proof that there will be a future state, in which the ways of God to man will oe fully justified.
PART OF CICERO'S ORATION AGAINST VER'res.
I ASK now, Verres, what you have to advance against this charge? Will you pretend to deny it? Will you pretend that any thing false, that even any thing aggravated, is alleged against you?
2. Had any prince, or any state, committed the same outrage against the privilege of Roman citizens, should we not think we had sufficient reason for declaring immediate war against them?
3. What punishment, then, ought to be inflicted upon a tyrannical and wicked pretor, who dared, at no greater distance than Sicily, within sight of the Italian coast, to put to the infamous death of crucifixion that unfortunate and innocent citizen, Publius Gavius Cofanus, only for his having asserted his privilege of citizenship, and declared his intention of appealing to the justice of his country against a cruel oppressor, who had unjustly confined him in prison at Syracuse, whence he had just made his escape?
4. The unhappy man, arrested as he was going to embark for his native country, is brought before the wicked pretor. With eyes darting fury, and a countenance distorted with cruelty, he orders the helpless victim of his rage to be stripped, and rods to be brought; accusing him, but
without the least shadow of evidence, or even of suspicion, of having come to Sicily as a spy.
5. It was in vain that the unhappy man cried out, "I am a Roman citizen; I have served under Lucius Pretius, who is now at Panormus, and will attest my innocence." The blood-thirsty pretor, deaf to all he could urge in his own defence, ordered the infamous punishment to be inflicted.
6. Thus, fathers, was an innocent Roman citizen publickly mangled with scourging; whilst the only words he uttered amidst his cruel sufferings were, "I am a Roman citizen!" With these he hoped to defend himself from violence and infamy. But of so little service was this privilege to him, that, while he was asserting his citizenship, the order was given for his execution; for his execution upon the cross!
7. O liberty! O sound once delightful to every Roman ear; O sacred privilege of Roman citizenship! once sacred! now trampled upon! But what then? Is it come to this? Shall an inferiour magistrate, a governour, who holds his power of the Roman people, in a Roman province within sight of Italy, bind, scourge, torture with fire and red hot plates of iron, and at last put to the infamous death of the cross, a Roman citizen!
8. Shall neither the cries of innocence expiring in agony, nor the tears of pitying spectators, nor the majesty of the Roman commonwealth, nor the fear of the justice of his country, restrain the licentious and wanton cruelty of a monster, who, in confidence of his own riches, strikes at the root of liberty, and sets mankind at defiance?
9. I conclude with expressing my hopes, that your wisdom and justice, fathers, will not, by suffering the atrocious and unexampled insolence of Caius Verres to escape. the due punishment, leave room to apprehend the danger of a total subversion of authority, and introduction of general anarchy and confusion.
HISTORY OF WILLIAM TELL.
BEFORE Switzerland was delivered from the dominion of Austria, a governour of that nation resided in the city of
Altorff named Gesler; who, by abusing the power intrusted to him, iniquitously exercised the most cruel tyranny. Interest or caprice alone directed his decisions; justice and reason were banished; judgment was sold; the innocent were punished arbitrarily; and the ministers of the tyrant committed the most enormous crimes with impunity.
2. He at last added extravagance to cruelty, and, having caused a pole to be erected in a public square, and placed a hat upon it, he ordered, under pain of death, that all who passed that way should bow down before it, and reverence it as they did his own person.
3. In the same canton there lived a man of rough but frank manners, named WILLIAM TELL, who, having come on business to Altorff, passed through the publick square, and, beholding the pole with the hat upon it, hesitated a moment between wonder and laughter; but, not knowing its object, and but little curious to inquire, he negligently passed this emblem of power.
4. The irreverence paid to the pole, and the infraction of the severe edict, were speedily reported to the governour, who, being filled with rage, ordered the criminal to be instantly arrested, and brought before him. He received the offender with the savage look of cruelty peculiar to a base mind, jealous of its authority, and ferocious when it is made the subject of derision.
5. " Villain," said he, "is this your respect for my power and decrees? But you shall feel their full weight, and afford a wretched proof that my dignity is not to be affronted with impunity." Astonished, but not intimidated at this invective, Tell freely inquired of what he was accused, as he was unconscious of any crime.
6. "Contempt and derision of my power," said the tyrant. "I had no notice," replied Tell," of your edict; and, without being instructed, I should never have dreamt of saluting a pole, or that irreverence to a hat was high treason against the state."
7. Enraged at the tone and air of derision with which this was pronounced, and the reasonableness of the still more humiliating reply, he commanded the unfortunate man to be dragged away to the lowest dungeon of the castle, and there, loaded with chains, await his vengeance
8. While the tyrant was revolving the subject in his own mind, and endeavouring to invent some unheard-of punishment, which should strike terrour into the Swiss, the only and beloved son of Tell was brought into his presence by the soldiers.
9. His ingenious cruelty immediately conceived the barbarous design of compelling the virtuous Tell to become the murderer of his son. For this purpose, he ordered the child to be placed at a considerable distance, and then, placing an apple upon his head, he offered a full pardon to the wretched parent, if he should strike it off with an arrow.
10. Horrour-struck at the proposal, he fell at the feet of the tyrant, and besought him to take his life, and not insist upon the fatal experiment. But the anguish of the parent only strengthened the determination of Gesler, and the bow and a quiver of arrows were brought forth.
11. The governour, attended by his satellites, nów proceeded to the square to witness the scene. The unhappy boy was conducted into the centre, bound to the pole, and the fatal apple was placed upon his head. Gesler thrilled with joy at the preparations, but a groan of horrour arose on all sides from the populace who had assembled.
12. Although Tell was accounted the most skilful archer in the canton, it was some time before he could obtain his usual self-possession. At last, with a firm hand, he placed the arrow, and, when he drew the fatal string, the spectators, who had for some time remained in breathless silence, burst forth into a convulsive groan.
13. At that instant the arrow sped with the velocity of lightning, and, piercing the apple, bore it to some distance without injuring the child. A shout of applause testified the joy of the spectators. The governour alone appeared dissatisfied with the result, and turned his eye upon the successful archer with the aspect of disappointed revenge.
14. At that instant, another arrow, which Tell had concealed under his cloak, fell upon the ground. "Unequalled archer," said the tyrant, "since you were only to shoot once, for what purpose was this second arrow concealed?" "To have pierced you to the heart," replied the magnanimous Tell, "if I had been so unfortunate as to kill my son."
15. The infuriate Gesler immediately ordered his sol
diers to seize him, but the populace interfered, and a tumult ensued, during which a well-directed arrow from the bow of Tell struck the tyrant to the heart, and obtained for the patriotick hero the honourable appellation of Deliverer of his Country.
THE FIELD of Battle.
2. The grass is wet, but not with wholesome dew;
3. How few, of all who met with deadly zeal,
5. No one so mean of all the brave who die,
6. Few see the father bending o'er the son,
7. O, could the wail of orphans reach his ear, Or could he feel a parent's agony,
And see the widowed mother's hopeless tear,
8. O, could the ambitious once approach, and view
The desolation his ambition made,
Methinks some milder method he'd pursue,
And quit for ever war's unhallowed trade.