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recommended; and Stewart of creditable parents in the Orkneys, at which place, on the return of the Resolution from the South Seas in 1780, we receiver! so many civilities, that in consideration of these alone I should gladly have taken him with me. But be had always borne a good character.
When I had time to reflect, an inward satisfaction prevented the depression of my spirits. Yet, a few hours before, my situation had been peculiarly flatiering; I had a ship in the most perfect order, stored with every necessary, both for health and service; the object of the voyage was attained, and two-thirds of it now completed. The remaining part had every prospect of success.
It will naturally be asked, what could be the cause of such a revolt? In answer, I can only conjecture that the mutineers had flattered themselves with the hope of a happier life among the Otabeitans than they could possibly enjoy in England; which, joined to sojne female connections, most probably occasioned the whole transaction.
The women of Otaheite are handsome, mild, and cheerful in manners and conversation: possessed of great sensibility; and have sufficient delicacy to make them be admired and beloved. The chiefs were so much attached to onr people, that they rather encouraged their stay among them than otherwise, and even made them promises of large possessions. Under these, and many other concomitant circumstances, it ought hardly to be the subject of surprise that a set of sailors, most of them void of connections, should be led away, where they had the power of fixing themselves in the midst of plenty, in one of the finest islands in the world, where there was no necessity to labour, and where the allurements of dissipation are beyond any conception that can be formed of it. The utmost, however, that a Commander could have expecteu, was desertions, such as have already happened more or less in the South Seas, and not an act of open mutiny.
But the secrecy of this mutiny surpasses belief. Thirteen of the party who were now with me had always lived forward among the seamen; yet, neither they, nor the messmates of Christian, Stewart, Haywood, and Young, had ever observed any circumstance to excite suspicion of what was plotting; and it is not wonderful if I fell a sacrifice to it, my mind being entirely free from suspicion. Perhaps, had marines been on boan, a sentinel at my cabin-door might have prevented it; for I constantly slept with the door open, that the officer of the watch might have access to me on all occasions. If the mutiny had been occasioned by any grievances, either real or imaginary, I must have discovered symptoms of discontent, which would have put me on my guard; but it was far otherwise. With Christian, in particular, I was on the most friendly terms; that very day he was engaged to have dined with me; and the preceding night he excused himself from supping with me on pretence of indisposition, for which I felt concerned, having no suspicions of his honour or integrity.
LAMENT OF TASSO.
At Ferrara (in the library) are preserved the original MSS. of
Tasso's Gierusalemme and of Guarini's Pastor Fido, with letters of Tasso, one from Titian to Ariosto; and the inkstand and chair, the tomb and the house of the latter. But as misfortune has a greater interest for posterity, and little or none for the cotemporary, the cell where Tasso was confined in the hospital of St. Anna attracts a more fixed attention than the residence or the monument of Ariosto- at least it had this effect on me. There are two inscriptions, one on the outer gate, the second over the cell itself, inviting, unnecessarily, the wonder and the indignation of the spectator. Ferrara is much decayed, and depopulated; the castle still exists entire; and I saw the court where Parisini and Hugo were beheaded, according to the annal of Gibbon.
LAMENT OF TASSO.
I. LONG years!—It tries the thrilling frame to bear, And eagle-spirit of a Child of SongLong years of outrage, calumny, and wrong; Imputed madness, prison'd solitude, And the mind's canker in its savage mood, Whep the impatient thirst of light and air Parches the heart; and the abborred grate, Marring the sunbeams with its hideous shade, Works through the throbbing eyeball to the brain With a hot sense of heaviness and pain; And bare, at once, Captivity display'd Stands scoffing through the never-open'd gate, Which nothing through its bars admits, save day And tasteless food, which I have eat alone Till its upsocial bitterness is gone; And I can banquet like a beast of prey, Sullen and lonely, couching in the cave Wbich is my lair, and it may be my grave. All this hath somewhat worn me, and may wear, But must be borne. I stoop not to despair; For I have battled with mine agony, And made me wings wherewith to overfly The narrow circus of my dungeon wall, And freed the holy Sepulchre from thrall;
And revell’d among men and things divine,
II. But this is o'er--my pleasant task is done.Mỹ long-sustaining friend of many years! If I do blot thy final page with tears, Know, that my sorrows bave wrung from me none, But thou, my young creation! my soul's child! Which ever playing round me came and smiled, And woo'd me from myself with thy sweet sight, Thou too art gone and so is my delight: And therefore do I weep and inly bleed With this last bruise upon a broken reed. Thou too art ended-wbat is left me now? For I have anguish yet to bear-and bow? I know not that but in the innate force Of my own spirit shall be found resource. I have not sunk, for I had no remorse, Nor cause for such: they call’d me mad-and why? Oh Leonora! wilt not thou reply? I was indeed delirious in my heart To lift my love so lofty as thou art; But still my frenzy was not of the mind; I knew my fault, and feel my punishment Not less because I suffer it unbent; That thou wert beautiful, and I not blind, Hath been the sin which shuts me from mankind;