Imatges de pàgina
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where he should drive him to, deceased gave a loud laugh, and told him to him to drive to h-1). Witness took the answer as a joke, and asked deceased to point out to him the road, upon which deceased said, “You are pretty fellow for a London cabman, not to know the way to h-11; there are five thousand ways in London-take the first; go through Wych Street, and up Drury Lane.” Witness drove on : at this time tbere was heavy rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning: deceased cried out at several times, that it was a glorious night!" and told witness to drive like the d-). On reaching Drury Lane, he called to witness to pull up at a public house; deceased entered, and called for a stiff glass of brandy, which he drank; he made witness drink also, and treated several persons who were standing at the bar; he laid down a sovereign, and told the bar-maid to keep the change, saying, that he was going to a place where he would not want money ; he again entered the cab, and told witness to drive on towards Holborn; it poured rain; the windows of the cab were all up; when witness arrived at Holborn, he called out to deceased to know which way he was to drive; he called twice, but received no answer; he (witness) thought deceased had fallen asleep, and drove near to a lamp, in order that he might see better. Witness looked through the front window of the cab, and perceived that deceased had taken off his coat, and was as if reclining across the cab; the window of the cab was dimmed with the rain, and the witness could not see distinctly. He called again, but received no answer; upon which he got down, opened the door of the cab, and found, to his horror, that the deceased had cut his throat with a razor, which lay clasped in his hand. Deceased had his shirt sleeves turned up, and both arms were cut across in several places. Witness immediately called to a policeman who happened to be near the spot. The policeman and witness carried deceased to the Boar's Head Tavern, which was the nearest public house.'

"The bar-maid of the Feather's Public House, Drury-lane, corroborated that part of the cabman's evidence which related to the deceased going into the house and drinking the brandy.

“The policeman stated that he was on bis beat at Holborn, saw a cab stop, and heard the driver call out to know where to drive to; the cab was driven up to a lamp-post near witness; saw the cabman open the door of the cab, and start back. Witness here corroborated the cabman's evidence.

“The coroner addressed the jury, and a verdict was returned of * Temporary insanity.'

"Dreadful indeed,” said I, when Ned had finished reading.

“He was a fine man,” said Ned,-“ No doubt it was love, or some such foolish thing. I hope I'll never have such another fare ;-it wouldn't agree with my perves. Ned's last adventure certainly did not agree with my nerves. I began to reflect on the dreadful consequences of such a crime; this led me to inquire into the causes, and my mind began to conjure up such dreadful pictures of misery occaSioned by sin in this world, that I started up, took a hasty leave of my friend Black Ned, and bent my way homewards with a heavy heart.

THE CONQUEST OF MONA.*

As the assembly paused,
Deliberating on the counsel given,
A warrior entered, whose appearance spoke
Anxiety of soul. His face proclaimed
That sorry tidings tarried in his charge,
So loath was he to yield them utterance.
His long hair hung, confused and rough, in knots;
And great fatigue unstrung his hardy nerves,
As, with bent body, leaning on his spear,
He stood before the Queen. In hurried words
Asked Boadicea of the news he bore.
" Say what events of fearful consequence
Add fresh misfortunes to our former woes?"
“Oh, sovereign lady !-(thus the chief began)-
Within this breast the saddest knowledge lies
Of great defeat and further injuries
Borne by poor Britain at the hands of Rome.
I come from Mona, sacred Isle of Groves,
Whose shades were wont to form a canopy
For pious rites and blessed retirement:
They now, alas ! hide nought but dark despair !
They echo now alone the sounds of grief,
Or the rude riot of the victors' joy,
Whose blasphemies profane the holy ground."

“ Heaven, I fear all !” the chief Druid cried ;
“ Speak quickly, warrior, that thou hast to tell."
And he resumed.—"All know that, recently,
Had Suetonius, general of the foe,
Turned his main force towards that luxuriant isle
We hold in such accustomed reverence.
Long had we heard, from flying Rumour's tongue,
The Romans were approaching. But we heard,
Without attention, of the threatening storm.
We thought that they would never dare to step,
With hostile foot, upon that hallowed ground;
Nor would the mighty Gods remit their care
Over their own great Temple, nor endure
Pagan pollution of their holy fane.
Oft I have watched the howling tempest rage
Above the fairest spots of our fair land,
(Where the celestial presence seemed to smile
Peculiar favour in the charms around,)
Scattering desolation o'er the scene.
So in that sacred isle, where piety
Was ever off'ring sacrifice to Heaven,

• From

a MS. Poem, in twelve books, entitled “ Boadicea, or, The

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And youth was taught devotion to the Gods,
Have I beheld the Pagans triumphing
Over our Deities' appointed priests,
Who were neglected in their time of need."

" Pause, Briton, in that speech!” a Druid cried,
With hair of silvery white : " Thy tongue is bold,
And treats, without respect or reverence,
The ordinations of high Heaven's will.
Though dark the present aspect may appear,
The light of favour will soon beam again,
And, by its brightness, show our doubting minds
Most gracious mercy in the seeming woe.
Proceed, now, warrior! with your narrative.”

The chief resumed" Father! I own the fault You have most justly censured ; and I pray Pardon for words dictated by my warmth. 'Twas early in the morn of four suns since, We soldiers (who were stationed near the shore, And slumbered through the stilly hours of night Beneath the lofty trees, whose foliage masks The island's face turning towards Britain's hills,) Were roused by messengers, with looks of fear, Who cried, in terror, that the Roman force Was landing on the isle. With haste we armed, And hurried towards the spot the guides had named. The reverend priests we found assembled there, Within the holy temple, offering Their sacrifices, with their pray’rs to Heaven, Beseeching aid in this extremity. Gathered around the sacred circle, stood The affrighted women, with dishevelled hair ; And children sobbed within their mothers' arms, Unconscious of the dangers that drew nighHanging, with threat'ning aspect, o'er their heads. Leaving them in the worship of the gods, Whose favour fall upon our groaning land We bent our rapid course to reach the strait Before the Romans could advance, and gain A footing firm upon the wooded shore, That banks the waters with an emerald wall. Fear had proclaimed the foe already crossed The stream that flowed and glistened 'neath the sun; But we belield them ranged upon the beach That lies opposed to Man's oak-shaded isle. While we thus viewed the enemy's array, Whose armour cast the early sun-beams back, Whose standards proudly pointed to the skies, And banners gaily waved upon the wind, The venerable Druid priests approached In slow procession, sacredly adorned, While solemn awe stole o'er the multitude.

In strangest contrast then the women came,
Weeping from fear, and supplicating aid,
And safety, with wild fraught extravagance.
When thus collected, (for we numbered few,
Compared with those who flanked the other side,)
The Druid chief addressed the varied throng,
Beckoned to silence, with these anxious words :
He spoke of rights in jeopardy, and foes,
Who, once triumphant, would with tyrant hands
From freedom's tree pluck the sweet blossoms off,
The sacred isle had cherished hitherto,
And on whose soil it had with vigour bloomed.
We heard; but, wandering oft, our eager eyes
Gazed on the Pagan force's dreaded power.
We, of a sudden, saw activity;
And soon the water's breast was studded o'er
With boats, the Romans carried in their train.
No more we listened to the counsel given :
On what occurred among the hostile band,
Our minds, intent, were fixed. They then embarked ;
Wbile in the stream dashed all the cavalry.
In martial form we soon arranged our force,
And sent our feathered messengers of death
Down on th' approaching foe; but they, with shields,
Presented such impervious iron roof
Above their heads, that every dart we cast,
Fell harmless on the surface of the flood,
And sank-as did our fortunes on that day.
But these will rise again, for British hearts
Will ne'er brook thraldom, while the power exists
With which to snap the chains that bind them slaves.
When thus proved impotent all efforts made
To stay the progress of the Roman force,
The Druids rushed along our warrior lines-
They called on every soldier to display
His bravest energy to crush the foe,
And to preserve, inviolate, his home;
To save his country from a foreign yoke,
And his religion from the Heathen's power.
The women, held aloft, fired torches bore,
And, wild with terror, ran among our troops,
Sending their loud and piercing cries to heaven.
The Romans reached the shore; and, when we stood,
With little space between our hostile bands,
They showed reluctance further to proceed :
But soon, with clash of arms, they forward came
With power resistless. In despair we fought
Bravely and long; but-ahl what woe is mine,
To be the bearer of such clouded news!
Dread consternation spread among our ranks,
And they gave way! At once confusion reigned

Pre-eminent : our soldiers turned in Alight,
And, mingling with the women and the priests,
Fell victims on the altar of their fear.
As the fierce dwellers of the forest caves
Pursue their prey, filling the air with roars
And dreadful riot-so our cruel foes,
With shouts that sounded death upon our ears,
Followed us to the neighbouring woods and groves,
Strewing their course with our poor countrymen,
(Who fell like leaves before the raging winds,)
And trampling upon their bodies, stained with gore.
The horrors of that scene I will not tell-
The shrieking mothers and their children slain;
The sacred priests, whose souls flew up from earth,
Escaping from the wounds, by heathen swords
That shone with British blood, imprinted there.
I gained the darkest grove, and, 'neath its shade,
Passed the long day in deepest gloom of grief.
When night assumed, at length, her sable reign,
And the victorious foe had found in sleep
Would it had been their last !-a brief repose,
To gain strength after their day's cursed labour,
Beneath the clouds that overhung the sky,
I fled the isle. If ever heavy heart
Could sink a man, I ne'er had reached the shore
That looks on Mona's once free, happy soil !
With haste I spread the direful news abroad
Among the people, through whose lands I passed,
To rouse to indignation every soul
That breathes in Britain, and is called her son.
Now have I told, great Queen! the tearful tale,
With whose narrative I had charged myself.”
The warrior ceased —

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PROGRESS OF DRAMATIC REFORM. Our readers are well acquainted with our notions on dramatic representation, theatrical managements, the influence of performers, and what rights ought to belong to the dramatic poet, who is the origin, the life and soul, and only permanent supporter of the Drama. To carry out these ideas it has been long felt by those interested in the question that some practical steps should be taken. For this purpose a Council of Dramatic Authors was constituted, to avail itself of whatever means might be presented. It would have been highly desirable for them to have made Drury Lane Theatre the arena of their exertions; but since that was impossible, they determined to do the next best thing on the first opportunity. They lost no time, therefore, in engaging the English Opera House for such period as the

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