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the general who commanded the foreign detachments which had landed during the past summer, thrown the nation into confusion, and caused a great loss of life and property.
H- at whose trial I was present, was brought before the Martial Court, then sitting, found guilty of course, and ordered for immediate execution. He defended himself with energy, and spoke with the eloquence, like which there is no eloquence, of a man in earnest, and with a choice of expression which implied that he was not quite uneducated. His defence was unavailing ; and his death was directed to take place on what was then called the Green at Galway, on the ensuing forenoon. At the proper time the garrison was under arms, the different regiments being drawn up round the gallows, under which, on a sort of platform, the prisoner was standing, as I passed by. The brigade major, who was my acquaintance, was on horseback near the scaffold, when I joined and spoke to him, not thinking it impossible that he might have it in his power to delay the execution for some hours, and so afford the unhappy man a chance,-it was but a chance,-of being respited, if not altogether saved by the interference of persons in authority. But no proposal of the kind could be listened to, and the signal was made to complete the dreadful sentence.
I could not then break through the ranks of the soldiers, preserving a solemn silence, and steadfast as a marble barrier ; but was compelled to view the horrid exhibition, and to hear the poor wretch's parting words. His eyes were bright with the last glimmering of life, and his colour high: and he called loudly to the commanding officer, as he rode by, “Must I suffer?—is there no reprieve?" On being told that he must inevitably and instantly die, he turned and looked at me with a glare which I cannot forget ; and, as if addressing me particularly, said, with great emphasis and distinctness, “ This is a hard lot! ah! if I had only been half as true to God -as I was to the King, it is not here he'd have let me stand to-day!” He, doubtless, had never heard of Shakspeare or Wolsey; and assuredly was not then thinking of the drama, or of history.
It would seem that the true character of a Stoic has been greatly misconceived by many, who are, nevertheless, familiar with the name of that sect of philosophers.
A man remarkable among his intimates for tranquillity under those accidents and afflictions to which human life is obnoxious; who should retain his good humour on discovering that his worldly circumstances were in ruins, and that, from the possession of opulence, he was suddenly converted into a pauper; or, if possible, more trying still, should one, steeped to the lips in indigence, all at once become the proprietor of immense wealth ; and at the moment of this reverse, and for years
afterwards, exhibit perfect equanimity, and in no one instance speak or act more foolishly than before the change, such persons would undoubtedly get the credit of being Stoics.
The title might, notwithstanding, be most unjustly bestowed; because the question should be, not what vicissitude has been experienced, but what is the physical constitution of the person concerned, and whether he feels acutely or not. Should his sensibility be extreme, and his sang froid be complete—the result of a triumph gained by mind over matter, that man, and that man only, is the true Stoic.
But the glorious epithet ought not to be thrown away on those animated clods so often encountered in society, and by courtesy styled men and women, through the want of any other phrase by which to define them. One of these shall feel no more for the fractured limb of a neighbour, than he would for a scratch on his own hand; would tell the afflicted not to be cast down, affliction being the lot of humanity; would as soon, and with equal satisfaction, read .. i's poems as Moore's, listen as greedily to Jim Crow as to the “Last Rose of Summer,” &c.
There are persons of whom all this is fact; but such are not chartered to walk the Portico, and do not belong to the school of him of Citium. His genuine follower is formed of very different clay, and should possess the nicest power of discriminating between
good and evil, the keenest sense of pleasure and pain, and such self-command as to keep in subjection the expression of his feelings, through veneration for the beauty of virtue, and a consciousness of the debt he owes to proper pride.
The gentle reader is humbly requested to consider the above effusion of what malignity might call common-place and mundungus writing, not as designed for him, but to meet some other reader's possible taste, and also to herald a story I once heard on the subject of stoicism, from a member of the gentleman's family, to whom the narrative refers.
It is now nearly a hundred years since Captain D. lived in Dublin ; I believe in the respectable rank of an army-agent. His station, character, and polished manners entitled him to admission into the highest class of society. But his worldly circumstances were not good; and this he felt deeply ; remembering, besides, that he was lineally descended from a long line of most noble ancestry, he thought himself lower in the social scale than he ought to be: he had also encountered severe reverses of fortune, and had more than the ordinary share of the ills of life. Meditation upon all this gave a strange turn to his very sensitive mind : he resolved to study and practise the precepts of the Stoics, and, in future, not to allow any external accident to affect his deportment, or excite his naturally lively and impetuous temper.
His son, whom he loved to excess, was a young man of great merit: he was serving as a subaltern with his regiment in Flanders, when he fell in a bloody action; and, as the Gazette account, and private letters, stated, covered with wounds; but his body was in vain sought for among the slain. The intelligence of this new calamity, though not his father's first trial, was his greatest, and put his stoicism sorely to the test. He, however, stood the test, calmly pursued his usual avocations; and did not permit his nearest friend to witness, on his part, a tear, a sigh, or even a momentary depression of spirits. What he inwardly endured, can only be conjectured!
About two years after these woful tidings had reached him, and while he was engaged at chess in a coffee-room, a man wrapped in a military cloak walked towards him, and faced him in silence. The old man looked up, and saw—his beloved and lost son! He had been discovered on the field by the enemy, made prisoner of war, and skilfully cured of his hurts. But, knowing that the report of his death had been received and credited by his family, he determined on giving them a joyful surprise; and commenced by presenting himself thus suddenly to his father.
The Stoic was not to be overcome: he instantly recognized the young soldier, eyed him steadily, and calling him by his Christian name, added—“Go home; and as soon as I have finished my game, I