Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

opinion of my own considerableness. I could not be more trampled upon were I a fallen minister of state. The people have found out that I am in disgrace; my few well-wishers are afraid to speak to me: some have turned out of the way to avoid me; others have desired that I would not take it ill if they seemed not to know me when we should meet. The servant that used to wash my linen sent it back unwashed. It was great cause of triumph that I was forbidden the use of Mr. Oglethorpe's things, which in effect debarred me of most of the conveniences, if not the necessaries of life. I sometimes pitied them, and sometimes diverted myself with the odd expressions of their contempt; but I found the benefit of having undergone a much lower degree of obloquy at Oxford.”

Hitherto he had lain on the ground in the corner of a hut: some boards were now to be dis. tributed from the public stores, and he applied for some to use as a bedstead, but they were given to every person except himself. Outward hardships and inward conflicts, above all, the bitterness of reproach from Mr. Oglethorpe, who was the only man he wished to please, wore him out at last, and he was forced to lie down by what he called a friendly fever. My sickness," he says, “I knew could not be of long continuance, as I was in want of every help and convenience: it must either soon leave me, or release me froin further sufferings. Some charitable persons brought him gruel, which produced a salutary perspiration, and being a little velieved, the next day he was able to bury a poor

[ocr errors]

man, who had been killed by the bursting of a cannon, but in a state of such weakness, that he was led out to perform the funeral service, and envied the man his quiet grave. On the first day of his illness he got the old bedstead to lie upon, on which the wounded man had expired; he possessed it only one night ; Oglethorpe was brutal enough to give it away from under him, and refused to spare one of the carpenters to mend him up another.

John, meantime, being relieved by Ingham, at Savannah, embarked in a sort of flat-bottomed barge called a pettiagaw for Frederica. At night he wrapt himself from head to foot in a large cloak to keep off the sand flies, (for they were anchored near an island,) and lay down on the quarter-deck. About midnight he was greatly astonished by finding himself under water, he had rolled overboard, and in so sound a sleep that he did not wake while falling; his presence of mind which never forsook him, served him here in good stead, and swimming round to the other side of the vessel where there was a boat tied, he climbed up by the rope. Contrary winds delayed him six days on the passage. Charles began to recover from the moment of his brother's arrival. In his natural indignation at the treatment which he received, he had resolved rather to perish for want of necessaries, than submit to ask for them; by John's advice, however, he departed from this resolution, and the way to reconciliation was thus opened. Wesley remained about a week at Frederica. A few days after his departure, Mr. Ogle. thorpe sent for Charles, and a remarkable scene ensued. The governor began by saying he had taken some pains to satisfy his brother, but in vain. s. It matters not,” said he. “ I am now going to death : you will see me no more. Take this ring, and carry it to Mr. V.: if there be a friend to be depended on, he is one. His interest is next to Sir Robert's: whatever you ask within his power, he will do for you, your brother and family. I have expected death for some days. These letters show that the Spaniards have long been seducing our allies, and intend to cut us off at a blow. I fall by my friends on whom I depended to send their promised succours. But death is nothing to me: he will pursue all my designs, and to him I recommend them and you.” He then gave him a diamond ring. Charles Wesley, who had little expected such an address, took it, and replied, -66 If I am speaking to you for the last time, hear what you will quickly know to be a truth, as soon as you are entered on a separate state. This ring I shall never make use of for myself. I have no worldly hopes: I have renounced the world : life is bitterness to me: I came hither to lay it down. You have been deceived as well as I. I protest my innocence of the crimes I am charged with, and think myself now at liberty to tell you what I thought never to have uttered.” The explanation into which he then entered, so satisfied Oglethorpe, that his feelings were entirely changed : all his old love and confidence returned ; and he embraced Charles and kissed him with the most cordial affection. They went together to the boat, where he waited some minutes for his sword: a mourning sword was twice brought him, which he twice refused to take; at last they brought his own: it had been his father's. “ With this sword,” said he, I was never yet unsuccessful.” When the boat pushed off, Charles Wesley ran along the shore to see his last of him. Oglethorpe seeing him and two other persons run after him, stopt the boat, and asked if they wanted any thing. One of them, the officer, whom he had left with the command, desired his last orders: Charles then said, “God is with you : go forth Christo duce et auspice Christo.Oglethorpe replied, 6 You have some verses of mine: you there see my thoughts of success." The boat then moved off, and Charles remained praying that God would save him from death, and wash away all his sins.

On the fifth day, Oglethorpe returned in safety: An enemy's squadron of three large ships, and four smaller, had been for three weeks endeavour: ing to make a descent, but the wind continued against them, till they could wait no longer. Charles returned him the ring.

“ When I gave it you,” said the said the governor,

I never expected to see you again, but I thought it would be of service to your brother and

you. I had many omens of my death, but God has been pleased to preserve a life which was never valuable to me, and yet in the continuance of it, I thank God, I can rejoice." He then talked of the strangeness of his deliverance, when betrayed, as it appeared, on all sides, and without human support; and he condemned himself for his late conduct, imputing it, however, to want of time for consideration, and the state of his mind. “ I longed, Sir,” said Charles, “ to see you once more, that I might tell you some things before we finally parted : but then I considered that if you died, you would know them all in a moment." Oglethorpe replied, “ I know not whether separate spirits regard our little concerns ; if they do, it is as men regard the follies of their childhood, or I my late passionateness." About three months afterwards, Mr. Oglethorpe sent him to England with dispatches, and followed him thither in the autumn of the same year.

At the beginning of the ensuing year, it was determined that Ingham should go to England also, and endeavour to bring over some of their friends to assist them. When Wesley had been twelve months in Georgia, he sent to the trustees an account of the expenses for that time, for him. self and Delamotte, which, deducting building and journeys, amounted only to 441. 45. 4d. A salary of 501. was allowed for his maintenance, which he had resolved not to accept, thinking his fellowship sufficient for him ; but his brother Samuel expostulated with him upon the injustice of such conduct, both to himself and to those who should come after him. These arguments were too reasonable to be resisted, especially when Wesley was looking to an event which would have deprived him of his income from college.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »