Billeder på siden
[ocr errors]



God! my

sence of her Creator--I shudder at the recollection-Let me draw a veil acrofs it and proceed.

' In the pensive pofture, just described, did I fit for some minutes, watching the gently swelling tide, and blaming its tardy approach. When it pleased “the unseen power (to express mytelf in the words 6 of Thomson) that rules the illimitable world, that guides its motions, from the brightest star, to the least dust of this fin-tainted mold,' to interfere and snatch ine froin destruction,

' I was suddenly roused from my awful reverie, by the voice of a woman at some little distance, addreiling her child; as appeared from what followed, for they were neither of them visible. In a soft plaintive tone she said, “How, my dear, can you cry to me for bread, when you

know I have not even a morsel to carry your dying " father?' She then exclaimed, in all the bitterness of woe,

God! what wretcheuness can compare to mine! Byt thy Almigbry will be done.?

• The concluding words of the woman's pathetic exclamation communicated instantaneously, like the electric spark, to my defponding heart. I felt the full force of the divine admonition. And struck with horror at the crime I had intentionally committed, I burst into tears ; repeating in a fincere ejaculation, the pious sentence she had uttered, Tby Almighty will be done!'

As I put my hand into my pocket to take out my handkerchief in order to dry my tears, I felt some halfpence there which I did not know I was possessed of. And now my native humanity, which had been depressed, as well as every other good propensity, by despair, found means to resume its power in my mind. Impelled by its pleafing influence, I hastily run up the steps, and having discovered my hitherto invisible monitress, gave them to her. I received in return a thousand blessings ; to which I rather thought she had a right from me, for having been the means of obstructing my dire intents.

I now returned to the place where the impious scene was to have been acted, and humbly adored that Being who had by such an eventual circumstance counteracted it. And for the first and last time in my life felt a fensation of happiness from finding there were per: fons in the world more wretched than myself. I dare say my much respected Thomson's description of the miseries of human life will here occur to your recollection as they do to mine on a review of the incident.

• Ah little do the gay, licentious, proud,
" Whom pleasure, power, and affluence surround;
? They who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,

And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;
• Ah little think they, while they dance along,

How many feel, this very moment, death,
• And all the sad variety of pain :

How many sink in the devouring flood,
• Or more devouring flame : how inany bleed

By shameful variance betwixt man and man;
• How many pine in want, and dungeon glooms;
• Shut from the common air, and common use,
( Of their own limbs : how many drink the cup
• Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread of misery..?


[ocr errors]

I am

[ocr errors]

I am apprehensive I shall tire you with this melancholy account of the extreme of despair into which your poor fallen friend was thus plunged. And yet, 1 Aatter myself, that an event fo interesting to me, will not be considered as uninteresting to you. I will, however, think about bringing it to a conclusion; and with it conclude this proportionable long letter.

"Whilst I compared my own situation with that of the poor 'woman, whose starving child and dying husband occafioned her to vent To pungently her grief, I received great satisfaction from considering that all thote who were dear to me, as well from affection as the ties of blood, were in prosperous circumstances. I had no one to care for, but the poor girl whose affection kept her with me, and whom I regårdad as my child. Having therefore adored the great Source of Good, for my recent'deliverance from the fatal effects of my despondency, I prayed that he would pardon the atrocious attempt; and concluded my petition with begging that he would grant me power to aslist her, and make her future days more comfortable.

Having done this, I remounted the steps, and found my mind inexpressibly relieved. The gloom which had to lately overwhelmed it, was in an instant cleared away, and a tranquillity, I had long been a stranger to, succeeded it." Such a sudden transition from the blackest despair to peace and hope, I was well assured could only have been effected by some invisible agent for I never felt such a ray of comfort diffuse itself through my heart, since those blessed days of 'innocence I spent in my much regretted convent. “It came o'er my

mind, (as the immortal bard describes the power of mulic) like the sweet South that breathes upon a bank of violets, stealing and giving odour.

These short but interesting extracts may afford to our readers a specimen upon which they may judge for themselves of the ability and talents of Mrs.' Bellainy. In our opinion her capacity is very confiderable ; and we are disposed to acknowledge that her composition is generally natural and easy; and on particular occasions solemn and forcible.

What we least approve of is her Letter to Mr. Calcraft. For though this gentleman might have been as unworthy as he is represented, it was not right to address him in a style so full of bitterness and asperity.

In the course of her Narrative there are recorded many theatrical anecdotes with great liveliness of description. Her work also contains many curious notices of persons not more illustrious by their rank than their consequence : And, upon the whole the checkered tenor of her life exhibits many an useful lesson of virtue. Her character like that of every other mortal is mixed; and the calamities she suffered often sprung from the amiable source of her benevolence. If the has lost herself on the stream of unlawful pleasure, she was able to preserve uniformly the happy qualities of fincerity and gratitude. If the has felt the pangs of neglect and want, The can recollect the season when her heart melted with miseries


pot her own, and her hand supplied with liberality the wretchedness, which in the sun'de of her fortune the never dreained that she was to know. Under the recollection of happior hours, and with a mind formed for elegant desires, the is at this moment an object for lamentation, and while in our literary capacity we are called upon to characterise her writings, we cannot refiit the opportunity of pointing out her cale to the rich and fortunate. While they recollect her distress they may indulge in the luxury of reljeving it.

[ocr errors]

ART. II. The History of Greece. By William Mitford, Esq. The first Volume, London. 4to. 16s. Boards. Murray.

[Concluded from our las,] TN his fifth chapter Mr. Mitford exhibits a very curious

and interesting account of the legislation of Lycurgus. The establiment of a fenate by this fingular statesman, his division of property, his prohibition of the use of gold and filver, his ordination that the Spartans fhould eat at public tables only, and his other extraordinary regulations attract the particular attention of our author, and are investigated with a lugh historical accuracy. We concejve, however, that his opinion of Lycurgus is by far too favourable ; and we must think that no politician, from the mere ascendancy of his gerius, cuid produce such a form of government as prevailed at Sparta. The situation of his country directed Lycurgus, and pointed out more than speculation and theory the objects he pursued. The condition of land in fimple nations before the establishment of property, has an affinity to that state of equality which Lycurgus was so industrious to establish, and while the manners of an early fociety suggefted his plan, they facilitated its execution. The love of liberty, which is also so strongly characteristic of such tiines, taught him to fofter the spirit of independence; and by the turbulence of the people to check the prerogatives of the crown. He led his fellow citizens by their opinions; and did not mould them to his preconceived views. He acted from circumstances which he observed ; and did not by the mere force of genius bend a nation to his wishes.

Upon the subject of the Lacedæmonian army, Mr. Mitford is ingenious and intelligent,

• There remain to us two accounts of the composition of the Lacedæmonian Army, from authors both living when Sparta was in its highest glory, both military men, both of great abilities, and both possessing means of information such as few, not themselves Lacedæmonians, could obtain. In general they agree; but on some eflential points they differ, in a manner not to be accounted for but by the fupposition of fome error in the transcription of their works. Ac


cording to Xenophon, the legislator distributed the Lacedæmonian forces into fix divisions of tooe and as many of horle; each of thele divisions in either service having the title of Mora. The officers of each Mora of Infantry, he says, were one Polemarch, four Lochages, eight Pentecosters, and fixteen Enomotarchs ; but the number of foldiers he leaves unmentioned. Thucydides, without noticing the Mora, describes the Lacedæmonian infantry thus: Each Lochuş • consisted of four Pentecostyes, and each pentecostys of four Enomo

ties: four men fought in the front of each enomoty: the depth of

the files was varied according to circumstances at the discretion of • the lochage ; but the ordinary depth was eight men.' Thus the enomoty would confift of thirty-two men, the pentecoftys of a hun dred and twenty-eight, the lochus of five hundred and twelve, and a mora composed of four lochi would be two thousand and fortyeight. But, according to Xenophon, if the enomoty was of thirty-. two men, and it appears nearly certain that it was not of more, the pentecostys would be but fixty-four, the lochus a hundred' and twenty-eight, the mora only five hundred and twelve, and the whole Lacedæmonian infantry three thousand and seventy-two. We are, however, informed by Plutarch, that by the division of lands in Laconia only, before the acquisition of Meslenia, thirty-nine thousand families were provided for. The Lacedæmonians were not generally admitted to the honour of going upon service beyond the bounds of Laconia till after the age of thirty yet, as the proportion of cavalry was very small, and every Lacedæmonian was a loidier, we cannot reckon the infantry much fewer than forty thousand. In the Persian war we shall find ten thousand employed in one army beyond Peloponnesus, when a considerable force besides was on diftant service with the fleet, and while an enemy within Peloponnesus would make a powerful defence neceffary at home. Thus it appears scarcely dubious but there mutt be some mistake in the copies of Xenophon. I have thought it nevertheless proper to be so particular in a detail which cannot completely satisfy, not only because of the well-earned fame of the Spartan military, but also because of the high character of the authors of these differing accounts, and farther because the impof, fibility to reconcile them will at least apologize for deficiencies which may appear hereafter in relating operations of the Lacedæmonian forces. For the military reader will have observed, that the difference is not merely in names and numbers, but materially regards the composition of the Lacedæinonian armies. This, according to Thucydides, was formed with the utmost fimplicity, from the file of eight men, by an arithmetical progression of fours ; and probably for some purposes the file itself was divided into four quarter-files, But the half-file was of four men, which, doubled, became a file. Four files then made the enomoty, four enomoties the pentecostys, four pentecostyes the lochus, and, according to Xenophon, four lochi the mora, which was thus analogous to the modern brigade of four battalions. Xenophon farther informs us, that the mora was the proper command of the polemarch. From both writers it appears

that the-polemarchs were general officers, subordinate only to the kings ; and this seems tarther proof thạt Thucydides's account of the conpofition of the lochus, and the calculation founded upon it of the Itrength of the mora, are just,

“ Subordination

Subordination, in the Lacedaemonian discipline, as Thucydides in pointed terms remarks, was simple in principle but multiplied in degrees, so that reipontibility for due execution of orders was widely extended; the proportion of those who had no command being comparatively very small. Upon the whole, indeed, there appears great analogy between the composition of the Lacedæmonian army and that of the modern European, particularly the English, whether we take the lochus of Thucydides, or the mora of Xenophon, as a battalion. '· The reíemblance in the formation was closer till of very, late

years, when the deep files of the old discipline have been totally rejected. Like the company, or tubdivision of our battalions, the enomoty appears also to have been the Principle of Motion in the Lacedæmonian forces. Whatever change was to be made in the extent of the line, in the depth of the files, or in the pofition' of the fiont," the evolution seems to have been perforined within each encinoty by itself; the just reference of thele primary constituent bodies to one another, and to the whole, being a fecond busineis. Farther than this, for want of accurate knowledge of the technical phralės, it is hazardous to attempt explanation of those evolutions of the Lacedæmonian troops which Xenophon has even minutely described, and concerning which his applauie highly excites curiosity. Some ' other circumstances, however, he has related in terins sufficiently clear. Lycurgus, he says, on account of the weakness of angles, directed the circular form for incampment; unless where a mountain, a river, or fone other accident of the ground afforded fecurity. A camp-guard was mounted daily; precisely, it fhould seem, analogous to the modern quarter-guard and rear-guard, to keep order within the camp.

A different guard for the same purpose was mounted by night. For fecurity againt the enemy out-sentries and vedettes were posted. An advanced guard of horfe always preceded the march of the army. Xenophon has thought it worth while par-? ticularly to mention that the Lacedæmonians wore a scarlet uniform, and the origin of this he refers to Lycurgus. The Lacedæmonian troops were always fingularly well provided with all kinds of useful baggage and camp-neceffaries, and a large proportion of Helot fervants, laborers, and artisans attended, with waggons and beasts of burthen: Įt appears, indeed, to have been a principle of the. Lace-dæmonian service, that the foldier should be as much as possible at ease when off duty, and should have no business but that of arms.'

In his fixth chapter our author holds out to his reader a fummary view of a state of the northern provinces of Greece, and of the establishment of the early Grecian colonies; with the history of Athens from the Trojan war to the first public transactions with Perfia. Here our author discovers his usual judgment and learning; and it is observable that he has applied them with the happiest success in explaining the forms of the Athenian commonwealth.

His seventh chapter is employed in detailing a view of the nations politically connected with Greece ; and it will be al lowed, that he has drawn very masterly descriptions of the Lydians, Scythians, Assyrians, and Perfians. Concerning


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »