Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Company's uniform. His occupation was to take snuff and tobacco, and to seem intoxicated; and the object was to burlesque the English in the eyes of the spectators. After the Getiees, tigers and buffaloes were introduced in boxes. Near the top of a pole, about sixty feet high, a man stood with a rope which pulled open the door of the cage. The tiger was then started with rockets, and Scurry saw one who made two desperate attempts to reach the man on the pole, which to his great terror he very nearly accomplished !! Another tiger, though chained, defeated nine buffaloes, each of which would have been on over-match for the fiercest European bull. Some of the smaller tigers were let loose singly on the pikeman; one with more than twenty pikes in his body broke them and sprang over the heads of his opponents, killing one and wounding two others. In the end the elephants were ordered in to trample upon the dead and wounded tigers, a task which they performed with great reluctance; for the stoutest elephant always seemed uneasy at a tiger. These games, as they were called, were concluded each night with magnificent fireworks.

On the peace of 1784 numbers of prisoners were marched. out of Seringapatam for Madras, but Scurry and his comrades were unknown, forgotten, or undemanded. They were thrown into various prisons at Mysore, and lived in daily fear of poison. But the caprice of the tyrant changed their destiny, they were again attached to bis army and employed in a campaign against the Nizam. The escape of two of their party subjected them once more to his displeasure. They were heavily ironed and transferred to Chitteldroog where they remained nearly four years.

“We killed a snake at this place, not exceeding two feet in length; out of the middle of its belly grew an arm, similar to a

the formed with the most exquisite delicacy.' 'The joints, the nails, and every part belonging to it, equalled, if not exceeded, any thing I ever saw, in point of formation. I have often regretted I did not bring its skin home, as I had it in my possession; but at that time there was very little prospect of my bringing home

Numbers of the natives who saw this reptile, considered it as something ominous." P. 163.

At length war was renewed with England, and the battalion of prisoners was again employed on service; during this Scurry and foar more bound themselves to each other to attempt their escape: at first they gained a jungle, and here the night was so impenetrably dárk that they must have been lost without hope, if the wind, (which in this climate is in

my own.

variable) had not served them as a compass. By keeping it on their right cheeks they knew they were advancing in the direction which they wished, due north; and after a variety of hardships and hair-breadth escapes they reached the English camp, and were present at the time Seringapatam capitulated to Lord Cornwallis. In 1793 they returned to England.

We have omitted in our abstract of this volume every thing which does not appear to have been derived from Scurry's own personal observation; and we have inserted one or two things, in which (as our readers will probably agree with us) it is likely that his personal observation was not quite correct. On this same principle we shall not cite the histories of the unfortunate capture of Colonel Bailey and General Matthews, nor of the successful campaign of General Harris, and Tippoo's final overthrow and death. Scurry must have made rapid advances in education since his return to England, for in his character of the deceased Sultan he indulges in a splendid display of historical knowledge, and calls him a tyrant, "equal if not superior to a Domitian, a Caligula, a Nero, or even Nabis the tyrant of Sparta." This is a sounding catalogue, and the supplementary account of Scurry's pursuits after his escape leads us to believe that we are indebted for it less to himself than to the multifarious erudition of bis Publisher. In London the singularity of Scurry's dress, manner, and colour, drew the boys after him in troops. He proved bis identity at the Admiralty, obtained bis arrears of pay, and a pension. Upon the strength of this he determined to return to his native county Devonshire.

“From his long confinement in India, and his involuntary conformity to Asiatic manners, he had nearly forgotten the customs of his early years, and the delicate refinements of his native land. To the wearing of English clothes he felt the greatest aversion; por could he even sit, except according to the manner to which he had been so long accustomed. Of a knife and fork he had almost lost the use, nor could he eat any thing with comfort, only in the style to which stern necessity had compelled him to submit. His language was broken and confused,'having lost nearly all its vernacular idiom. His body was disfigured with scars; and his skin was likewise so deeply tinged with the heat of the climate in which he had so long resided, and by the rays of the sun to which he had been so much exposed, that it was only a few shades removed from black. It so nearly resembled the swarthy complexion of the negroes, that he might have passed through Africa without having been at all noticed for the singularity of his colour. . These combined peculiarities exposed him to several inconveniences, and

brought upon him many an eager gaze, and many a curious inquiry, and pointed observation." P. 252.

With the characteristic dash of a Sailor he drove up to his mother's door at Porlock, in a chaise and four. He was recognized with difficulty but with no little joy. He then successively engaged himself in the grocery business, as traveller to a house in the wine trade, and in a coal wharf; and latterly applied himself to the inspection of mines. He died at Exeter in 1822 in bis 57th year. His Editor would have done better if he had published his narrative exactly as he found it; but even as it is we are obliged to him for an interesting volume.

Art. X. A Vindication of the Religious and Civil Principles

of the Irish Catholics ; in a Letter addressed to His Excellency the Marquis Wellesley, K.G. Lord Lieutenant General, and General Governor of Ireland, 8c. . By J. K. L.

8vo. 72 pp. 2s. 6d. Coyne, Dublin. 1823. ART. XI. *The Case of the Church of Ireland stated, in a

Letter respectfully addressed to His Excellency the Marquis Wellesley; and in Reply to the Charges of I. K. L. By

Declan. 8vo. 92 pp. 28. 6d. Milliken, Dublin. 1823. Art. XII. Observations occasioned by the Letter of J. K. L.

to His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant. 8vo. 122 pp.3s.

Milliken, Dublin. 1823. It becomes our duty to bring under the notice of our readers, one of the most extraordinary productions that we ever had the fortune to peruse. We allude to a Letter written (as it has been declared in the Roman Catholic Association) by a Popish Bishop in Ireland, and addressed by him to the King's representative in that country--the Marquis Wellesley. This Letter now lies before us, and really it is quite unique. The singular nature of its contents, and their important bearing upon the great question of concession to the claims of Roman Catholics; the office which the author holds in the Romish Church, his influence with the members of his communion in Ireland, the high station and power of the distinguished personage to whom the Letter has been addressed ; and (though last not least) its having been lauded in the Roman Catholic Association in Dublin, and in fact adopted by them as trały expressive of their sentiments and views--all contribute to induce us to bring this remarkable publication under our readers' observation. But we have also another motive-because it has given rise to a pamphlet published in answer to it, under the signature of “ DECLAN," by whom written we know not, but certainly one of the best publications of the kind that we have ever seen.

We shall most earnestly recommend the admirable pamphlet of DECLAN to the public attention; and we wish that every Member of Parliament would carefully peruse it. Its matter is instructive and eminently important-its style perspicuous and elegant. We shall proceed to introduce to our readers' acquaintance the Popish Bishop's production which we have mentioned, and the able and important publication of DecLAN in reply: and we propose to make some remarks on another answer to it, the title of which is the third head of this article. But first, we submit to our readers a few observations relative to the present state of Roman Catholic affairs in these countries.

It would appear from the reports of a late debate in the House of Commons, that it is not intended to bring on the discussion of what has been called “ the Catholic Question,” in Parliament, during this session : and on the high authority of Mr. Canning, it has been stated, that there is not a prospect of doing so at present with success. True it is, the Roman Catholic cause has, of late, retro- . graded in public opinion in this country. The intemperance of certain Irish Popish Bishops, their inflammatory publications, their unjustifiable attacks upon an exalted and distinguished ornament of the Established Episcopacy, the re-publication and circulation amongst the Irish Roman Catholic populace, of the most exciting and mischievous extracts from the popish bigot Walmesley's absurd exposition of the Apocalypse, an exposition now pretty generally known by the name of “ Pastorini's prophecies;" the revival of the gross impositions respecting alleged Popish miracles ; the establishment of a Catholic Association in Dublin, purporting to be, in effect, the representatives of the whole Irish Roman Catholic population, holding debates of an inflammatory tendency, embarrassing the operations of a government whose great object has been to conciliate and tranquillize; all have naturally contributed to produce a retrogression of the Roman Catholic cause in the Protestant mind of the United Kingdom. The feelings of Parliament being understood to be now so adverse to the general measure of concession, that it would be vain to bring it forward'; 'a new system of tactics has been adopted

by some of its supporters in the House of Commons—that of charging the Government with delinquency in not extending to Roman Catholics the full benefit of those legal concessions which have already been made.

It is very remarkable that this surrender (for the present) of the Roman Catholic Question, this admission of its having lost ground in Parliament, (as it certainly has in the public mind outside the walls of Parliament,) this change of Roman Catholic tactics into charges of criminal partiality-of delinquency, against the Government, should all take place during the administration of the MARQUIS WELLESLEY in Ireland, and after two years of most laborious conciliation.” The first attempt made in Parliament, according to the new system of Roman Catholic tactics, has failed most completely. It called forth the opposition not only of Mr. Peel, Mr. Goulburn, and other distinguished supporters of the Protestant cause, but also of Mr. Canning, the powerful advocate of the Roman Catholic claims; and it must, if Mr. Plunkett himself had spoken on the occasion, have placed that able orator and ardent friend of the Roman Catholics, in the ranks of their opponents. And not only was this new mode of supporting the Popish cause in Parliament calculated to array the whole strength of administration against it, but it naturally tended to discover completely to the British public the relative insignificance, in property and information, of the Irish Romanists as a body, compared with their Protestant fellow-countrymen. (We make the observation with due allowance for several eminent, wealthy, and highly informed Roman Catholics of Ireland.) We do not believe that this injudicious—this blundering attempt to advance the Roman Catholic inte rests, originated with any of its Parliamentary supporters. We are convinced that it had its source in some of those heated and confused heads, from which so much popular excitement has lately proceeded in Ireland. From whomsoever the suggestion first came, the alleged principle on which it proceeded, is that which the Popish Bishop, whose Letter we mean to introduce to our readers' notice, has adopted for the motto of that extraordinary publication.

Another branch of the present system of Roman Catholic tactics, consists in direct, open, and avowed assaults against the Church Establishment in Ireland, as being an insufferable grievance, particularly on account of its property. Until very lately, their leaders and advocates have advanced, as one of the strongest arguments for concession to their claims, that they had no view of subyerting the

« AnteriorContinuar »