« ForrigeFortsæt »
domination, whose only law was to say, 'Sic volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas! A council of war was immediately called, and very speedily was it determined in what manner to punish the wretch who had dared to complain against any of their-august body. The luckless tradesman was in the habit of fishing in the river ..... One afternoon repaired to the accustomed spot twelve of the stoutest lads, and found the unhappy angler, whom they deridingly asked, if he was fond of cold bathing, which was particularly beneficial for a man so robust and strong as he was ? and, without more ado, they proceeded to beat and to duck, to duck and to beat their miserable victim, till they had effectually crippled him for life. Before they began to handle him, he measured more than six feet in height; when they had ceased, he reached not the length of three feet; he was no longer able to support bis back erect; and, literally, his head was no higher than his posteriors. In this state I saw the man myself, many years afterwards, when I was at ...............; and in this state must he continue to his dying
day. I have been told, that in his bed, when stretched at his full length, he measures more than six feet now: whether this is possible or no, I know not; all I know is, I have seldom seen a stouter, better built, broader shouldered man than he is, notwithstanding the bending forward of his body. The lads were never called to account for this outrage. So much for this exhibi-: tion. One more and I have done. A labouring man in the city, I know not for what offence, had incurred the grievous displeasure of these scholastic gownsmen ; whereupon they seized him, and conveyed him to a well behind the college stables; into this well they thrust him, put down the cover, and secured it with a large stone: this done, they departed. Soon after came the under master to mount his horse at his own stable door: his ears were assailed by: a most piteous groar; he asked his servant what it was; the answer was, he did not know. (Now the servant had been an eye-witness of the whole transaction, but durst not own it, lest he, also, though far advanced in life, might be compelled to make use of the
cold bath:) The groan was repeated; the pedagogue again questioned, and again received the same answer from his servant. The groans now became more frequent, but fainter; and the master, directed by the sound, went to the well, removed the stone, lifted the cover, and beheld a fellow-creature apparently in the convulsive agonies of death. He ordered the servant to lift him out, and, forth with, himself, made his way to the school-room, where he found the actors in this tragedy, all in a body, reciting and exulting in the glorious exploit which they had just performed, to the great edification and delight of a numerous assembly of the young college-fry, which had collected round them on the occasion, and stood with open mouths, and with ears erect, greedily to catch each precious syllable of this delectable discourse; which, while it filled their hearts with envy that they were -not yet adequate to execute so arduous and so bonourable a deed, served to rouse them to.einulate, at a future period, the glory of their thrice worthy præfects. The precious pedagogue made a flourishing harangue, consisting of two periods and a half, delivered in the space of ten minutes.
6 Gentlemen, really I believe the man is dead. Really, gentlemen, you should not be so rash. Really, gentlemen - Here ended the speech : however, that the farce might be carried on, an amazing bustle was made about punishing these atrocious murderers; (for murderers they were in intent, because they had declared, both before the execution of their vengeance and after the pedagogue's conference with them, that they meant to murder him, and were sorry that he was not dead.) And what was the punishment inflicted on these offenders ? Truly, I fear that I shall be thought to be jesting, when I say, that all the punishment inflicted was the insertion of their names in a bit of paper called the ........... black book, to denote that they had been guilty of a misdemeanor, and, mark this, gentle reader! for the next offence were to be expelled. What a mockery? what an insult on the understanding and the justice of every rational being! And the writing down some dozen or more rascally names on a foolish slip of paper was a
compensation to the wife and the little ones of a poor man, who, although he did not die, lingered many months on the bed of șickness, in consequence of the barbarous treatment he had experienced from these lawless banditti! and yet, so wonderful was the efficacy of the, especial ............'s black
book, many of these lads are now' high’in , the church, in the law, and in the army ; many whom I could mention by name; but let the consciousness of their guilt. be their punishment. I shall not, point them gut nominally; if they choose to discover then
selves, well, it is their own business. I am 1. no man's personal enemy; I wish not to attack individuals; my desire is to call the attention of the public to a system most iniquitously warped and perverted from the original institution ; a system of wrong, of - violence, of plunder, of extortion, of rapinę, of cruelty, of despotism, of desolation, and of blood-guiltiness.
Why, who cries out on pride,
Till that the very very means do ebb?