Imágenes de páginas

the market, it would find purchasers too. Theabolition of the Sabbath would, in truth, be equivalent to a sentence, adjudging to the rich the services of the poor for life.

Note 5. p. \6. 1. 110.

The Sabbath service of the shepherd boy..

"Say how, by early lessons taught,
(Truth's pleasing air is willing caught,)
Congenial to th' untainted thought,

The shepherd boy,
Who tends his flocks on lonely height.

Feels holy joy.

"Is aught on earth so lovely known ?—
On Sabbath morn, and far alone,
His guileless soul all naked shown

Before his God ;—
Such prayers must welcome reach the throne-
And blest abode."
fragments of a Poem, by Thomas Telford,
addressed to Robert Burns,published in
the Appendix to Burns1* Works.

Note 6v p. 17. 1. 13.5.

Their constancy in torture and in death.

The following passage from Bishop Burnet's History of his own time, will give some notion of the kind, though not of the extent, of that hideous persecution from which the people of Scotland were delivered by the revolution. "When any are to^be struck in the boots, it is done in the presence of the Council; and upon that occasion almost all offer to run away. The sight isso dreadful, that without an order restraining such a number to stay, the board would be forsaken. But the duke, while he had been in Scotland, was so far from withdrawing, that he looked on all the while with an unmoved indifference, and with an attention, as if he had been to look on some curious experiment. This gave a terrible idea of him to all that observed it, as of a man that had no bowels nor humanity in him. Lord Perth observing this, resolved to let him see how well qualified he was to be an inquisitor-general. The rule about the boots in Scotland was, that upon one witness and presumptions both together, the question might be given : But it was never known to be twice given, or that any other species of torture, besides the boots, might be used at pleasure. In the courts of inquisition, they do, upon suspicion, or if a man refuses to answer upon oath as he is required, give him the torture; and repeat it, or vary it, as often as they think fit; and do not give over, till they have got out of their mangled prisoners all that they have a mind to know from them.

"This Lord Perth resolved now to make his pattern; and was a little too early in letting the world see what a government we were to expect under the influence of a prince of that religion. So, upon his going to Scotland, one Spence, who was a servant of Lord Argyle's, and was taken up at London, only upon suspicion, and sent down to Scotland, was required to take an oath to answer all the questions that should be put to himThis was done in a direct contradiction to an express law against obliging men to swear, that they will answer super inquirendis. Spence likewise said, that he himself might be concerned in what he might know; and it was against a very universal law, that excused all men from- swearing against themselves, to force him to take such an oath. So he was struck in the bqots, and continued firm in his refusal. Then a new species of torture was invented: he was kept from sleep eight or nine nights. They grew wear}' of managing this; so a third species was invented: Little screws of steel were made use of, that screwed the thumbs with so exquisite a torment, that he sunk under this; for Lord Perth told him, they would screw every joint of his whole body, one after another, till he took the oath. Yet such was the firmness and fidelity of this poor man, that, even in that extremity, he capitulated, that no new questions should be put to him but those already agreed on; and that he should not be obliged to be a witness against any person, and that he himself should be pardoned: So all he could tell them was, who were Lord Argyle's correspondents. The chief of them was Holmes^ at London, to whom Lord Argyle writ in a cypher that had a particular curiosity in it. A double key was necessary: The one was, to shew the way of placing the words or cypher, in an order very different from that in which they lay in the paper; the other was the key of the cyphers themselves, which was found among Holmes's papers when he absconded. Spence knew only the first of these; but he putting all in its true order, then by the other key they were decyphered. In these it appeared, what Argyle had demanded, and what he undertook to do upon the granting his demands ; but none of his letters spoke any thing of any agreement then made.

"When the torture had this effect on Speriee, they offered the same oath to Carstairs: And, upon his refusing to take it, they put his thumbs

« AnteriorContinuar »