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have declared, that they will not lay them down until they shall have sufficient security, from the Roman Catholicks, of living unmolested in the exercise of their religion. In the mean time, the deputies of Bern and Tockenburg have frequent conferences at Zurich with the regency of that Canton, to find out methods for quieting these disorders.
Letters from the Hague, of the third of May, advise, that the President Rouille, after his last conference with the deputies of the States, had retired to Bodegrave, five miles distant from Worden, and expected the return of a courier from France on the fourth, with new instructions. It is said, if his answer from the French Court shall not prove satisfactory, he will be desired to withdraw out of these parts. In the mean time it is also reported, that his equipage, as an ambassador on this great occasion, is actually on the march towards him. They write from Flanders, that the great convoy of provisions which set out from Ghent is safely arrived at Lisle. Those advices add, that the enemy had assembled near Tournay a considerable body of troops, drawn out of the neighbouring garrisons. Their High Mightinesses having sent orders to their Ministers at Hamburgh and Dantzic to engage the magistrates of those cities to forbid the sale of corn to the French, and to signify to them, that the Dutch merchants will buy up as much of that commodity as they can spare ; the Hamburghers have accordingly contracted with the Dutch, and refused any commerce with the French on that occasion,
From my own Apartment. After the lassitude of a day, spent in the strolling manner which is usual with men of pleasure in this town, and with a head full of a million of impertinencies, which had danced round it for. ten hours together, I came to my lodging, and hastened to bed. My valet de chambre knows my university trick of reading there; and he, being a good scholar for a gentleman, ran over the names of Horace, Tibullus, Ovid, and others, to know which I would have.“ Bring Virgil," said I; “ and if I fall asleep, take care of the candle.” I read the sixth book over with the most exquisite delight, and had gone half through it a second time, when the pleasivg ideas of Elysian fields, deceased worthies walking in them, sincere lovers enjoying their languishment without pain, compassion for the unhappy spirits who had mis-spent their short daylight, and were exiled from the seats of bliss for ever; I say, I was deep again in my reading, when this mixture of images had taken place of all others in my imagination before, and sulled me into a dream, from which I am just awake, to my great disadvantage. The happy mansions of Elysium, by degrees, seemed to be wasted from me, and the very traces of my late waking thoughts began to fade away, when I was cast by a sudden whirlwind upon an island, encompassed with a roaring and troubled sea, which shaked its very centre, and rocked its inhabitants as in a cradle. The islanders lay on their faces, without offering to look up, or hope for preservation ; all her harbours were crowded with mariners, and tall vessels of war lay in danger of being driven to pieces on her shores. “ Bless me!" said I, “ why have I lived in such a manner, that the convulsion of nature should be so terrible to me, when I feel in myself that the better part of me is to survive it? Oh! may that be in happiness !” A sudden shriek, in which the whole people on their faces joined, interrupted my soliloquy, and turned my eyes and attention to the object that had given us that sudden start, in the midst of an inconsolable and speechless affliction. Immediately the winds grew calm, the waves subsided, and the people stood up, turning their faces upon a magnificent pile in the midst of the island. There we beheld an hero of a comely and erect aspect, but pale and languid, sitting under a canopy of state. By the faces and dumb sorrow of those who attended, we thought him in the article of death. At a distance sat a lady, whose life seemed to hang upon the same thread with his. She kept her eyes fixed upon him, and seemed to smother ten thousand thousand nameless things, which urged her tenderness to clasp him in her arms; but her greatness of spirit overcame those sentiments, and gave her power to forbear disturbing his last moment; which immediately approached *. The hero looked up with an air of negligence, and satiety of being, rather than of pain to leave it; and, leaning back his head, expired.
When the heroine, who sat at a distance, saw his last instant come, she threw herself at his feet, and, kneeling, pressed his hand to her lips; in which posture she continued under the agony of an unutterable sorrow, until conducted from our sight by her attendants. That commanding awe, which accompanies the grief of great minds, restrained the multitude while in her presence; but as soon as she retired they gave way to their distraction, and all the islanders called upon their deceased hero. To him, methought, they cried out as to a guardian being ; and I gathered from their broken accents, that it was he who had the empire over the ocean and its powers, by which he had long protected the island from shipwreck and invasion. They now give a loose to their moan, and think themselves exposed without hopes of human or divine assistance. While the people ran wild, and expressed all the different forms of lamentation, methought a sable cloud overshadowed the whole land, and covered its inhabitants with darko ness; no glimpse of light appeared, except one ray from Heaven upon the place in which the heroine now secluded herself from the world, with her eyes fixed on those abodes to which her consort was ascended. Methought a long period of time had passed away in mourning and in darkness, when a twilight began by degrees to enlighten the hemisphere; and, looking round me, I saw a boat rowed towards the shore, in which sat a personage adorned with warlike trophies, bearing on his lett arm a shield, on which was engraven the image of Victory, and in his right hand a branch of olive. His visage was at once so winning and so awful, that the shield and the olive seemed equally suitable to his genius.
* George Prince of Denmark.
When this illustrious person * touched on the shore, he was received by the acclamations of the people, and followed to the palace of the heroine. No pleasure in the glory of her arms, or the acclamations of her applauding subjects, were ever capable to suspend her sorrow for one moment, till she saw the olive-branch in the hand of that auspicious messenger. At that sight, as Heaven bestows its blessings on the wants and importunities of mortals, out of its native bounty, and not to increase its own power or honour, in compassion to the world, the celestial mourner was then first
* About this time the Duke of Marlborough returned from Holland, with the Preliminaries of a Peace.
seen to turn her regard to things below ; and, taking the branch out of the warrior's hand, looked at it with much satisfaction, and spoke of the blessings of peace with a voice and accent, such as that in which guardian spirits whisper to dying penitents assurances of happiness. The air was hushed, the multitude attentive, and all nature in a pause while she was speaking. But as soon as the messenger of peace had made some low reply, in which, methought, I heard the word Iberia, the heroine, assuming a more severe air, but such as spoke resolution without rage, returned him the olive, and again veiled her face. Loud cries and clashing of arms immediately followed, which forced me from my charming vision, and drove me back to these mansions of care and sorrow.
*** Mr. Bickerstaff thanks Mr. Quarterstaff for his kind and instructive letter dated the 26th inst.
N° 9. SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 1709,
Quicquid agunt bomines
nostri est farrago libelli.
JUV. Sat. I. 85, 86.
Will's Coffee-house, April 28. This evening we were entertained with The Old Bachelor, a comedy of deserved reputation. in the character which gives name to the play, there is excellently represented tho reluctance of a bar.