Page images
PDF
EPUB

Original Correspondence.

TO TAE EDITOR OF TAE CEYLON MAGAZINE.

[ocr errors]

war is

815,-The recent trial of a Peer of England bas brought the question of " Duelling" once more before the public: there is scarcely a periodical either at home or in the Fast, but has taken up the subject and argued the pros and cons with much acuteness. There is no doubt but that the oppostents of duelling are on the encrease, just as are the opponents of war, and the folly of supposing a man to he redressed for an insult by standing up to either be shot by, or shont, his insulter is daily becoming inore apparent This is å natural consequence of the spread of education and of the enlargemedt of people's thinking faculties, and the same progress of the mind has convinced us, of the present day, of the advantage of preserving peace. Yet, few will I think, allow that a nation is to be insulted and aggrieved with inipunity simply because

a bad thing! So it is eith individuals. Duelling is no doubt a bad thing, and the innocent party sometimes falls, nevertheless, if a man submit to an insult one day, he may be knocked down the next, he wust therefore have some protection, of society iould speedily bo rent to its foundation. What that protection should be, in lieu of a diel, it is no easy matter to decide ; many a suggestion has been brought forward but none of a feasahle nature. The last nverland papers, told us that a prize of £190 had been awarded to a Mr. Macnamara for his “ Essay on the best means of preventing war amongst nationg," How much better it would have høen had the Essay treated on the « Prevention of duelling. For thnt a remedy may be found, but I am confident that none erer will for war, and therein lays the great difference heiween them. In other pects the same arguments apply to both. Tbey are both evils, and in both cases the injured party may fall. * Until some remedy be actually fouud I would suggest, that as we must have duelling, swords should be used instead of pistols. A flesh wonnd, a mere drawing of blood, would be quite sufficient and would prevent those sad deaths so often the result of pistol duelling. Al who have trives or children depending on them, are bound in duty to avoid the possibility of making them orphans and widows : such should positively refuse to go out with pistols and amongst the sensible portion of mankind such firmness would be respected rather than laoghed at.

P. B. P.

reg.

True. But cases of national jujustice invariably create sympathy in other pations an oppress'd people nearly always finds assistance in it's neighbours and then the chances are that the oppressor is defeated. This cannot be the case in private affairs of honor where it

must be man to man, and wbere the adept is but too often matched with the uuskilful.Ed: C. Mayazine.

PHILIP.-A TRAGEDY,

(Continued from page 443.)

ACT THIRD.

SCENE FIRST.

Charles and Isabella.

Char.- Excuse, I beseech thee, my mad boldness. If I bave caused thy Elvira to solicit from thee a briel andiepce at a late and unusual hour, an important occasion has urged me to do so,

Is. What wonld'st thon !-- wherefore dost thou not leave me to myself! Wherelore deprive me further of that peace which I do not possess

-- why do I meet you ! Char.---Alas! Be not offended! dow, now I leave thee! O eruel fate, I leave thee and return to my wonted tears. Hear me, thon huśt even now dared to speak in my favor to my father Thou bast committed

a great crime, I come to warn thee; and may it please Heaven that I alone bear the penalty-He assumes the semblance of an austere companion, and he has given me pardon-ever the earnest in him of darker resentment- A heart prone to compassion is a deep offence to

a tyrant.

Thou most excellent didst not think of this-I come to remind thee and at the same time to admonish thee, that in him Pity is but the forerunner of every misery, a terror with which I was never before acquainted possess'd my heart from that instant- Heaven 1 krow not. His language was new to me! He showed unvon. ted tenderness! Oh! neyer, never again speak to him of me! :

İs. He first mentioned thee to me and forced me, as it were, to reply, but at my words his anger seemed completely to subside, and even before he had spoken with thee he complained tenderly with paternal affection, and praised thee in my presence-He is thy father, he is thy father in a word! and may it never happen that I shall be able to believe that an only' son is not beloved by a father! Resentment blinds thee, you imagine a hatred in him which cannot have an existence-I am the occasion, wretched 1, the occasion that thou loyest him not !

Char.-O Madam ! thou art but ill-acquainted with ng both! It is indeed not untrue that I am indignaut ! still I do not hate bim! I am envious of a good which he has snatched from me, and does not discern its rare value! Ah, wer't thou but happy, \ should be less miserable,

1s.-See ! thon turnest to thy wonted complaints despite of thee ! Prince I leave thee; live perfectly assured that I shall well weigh all my words and signs, before Philip hears me mention thee Still am I fearful! but of the son much more than of the father hay

SCENE THE SECONDO

Char-noble heart, ill-conversant vith distrust! whither bast tou cast thyself! -bul,-- who comes berem -!

[blocks in formation]

Char.-- What dost thou' want ?

Gomes.-I await the king who is coming bere momentarily. Ah Prince! Içi me enter meantime into a paruicij:oriou of that just joy with which the al length recovered favor of a father covers thee, Assure thyself (so much infnence as I have with him) I always spoke in lby behalf. I am still ready

SCENE THE FOURTH.

Gones.-Vastly insolent, but still more imprudent!

SCENE THE FIFTH.

[ocr errors]

Philip, Leonardo, Peres, Gomes, Councillors & Guards, Phil.-Ho there! let none dare intrude--a few, but just and faithful, are here ihis day for unusual consultation ! l.el every one hearken to me! bụi whüt horror possesses ine even before I begin to speak! What a chill passes through my veins ; leurs stand you my brow, and my leeble 'voice wavering tremulons, recluses us in were, to give utterauce 10. the feelings of my heart.-Ain bow. ever obliged ? yes! I am obliged. The country cluimus it, Dot 1 Who would believe it? I seat myself this day among you 4s ay accuser, not a judye which I could noi by any means be Aud

were not 1 to be the accuser in a case of such guill, which of you would venture to do it! I see you shudder already! already eace que burritied, what will it be then when you shall have beard me pronounce the name of Charles !

Leo. Is it thine only son ?
Per. And of what çrime is be guilty?

Phil.-By an ungrateful son my peace has been robb'd. That blessing wbich each of you in the busom of his family enjoys, much more happy than ine! In yuin I tried clemeucy with him in vain mild firmness and by juros 'affectionate incentives to virtue-Insensible to example and intrenties und still more regardJess' of menaces, he added one crime 10 anether--and 10 wicked guilt, frantic audacily !" Yes this day he reached the climax of every fierce excess ? To-day when I bad given bim fresh unquestionable proofs of my excessive indulgence he gave me, 10 day, ibe last proof of unheard of impiety. Scarce had ibe laminary that brings us day, the bright witness of all my labours, departed w light up my other kingdoms, till with the shades of night, friendly to ibe traitor; auoilier borrible conceptiou sprung up iu tlie

me.

mand of Charles-To be avenged for his pardoned crimes, he moved towards my apartment ;- with a parricidal sword he dared' 19 arm bis hand;- He already approached me from behind-- he alrea? dy raised the sword, he already ained it at the unprotected side of his father when bebold av texpected scream came upon me from a different direction. Beware! Pbilip, Beware! It was Rodrigo who was coming to I' rele'at ile

very moment as it were a' blow glancing by me, I looked belird, at ny leet I beheld a naked sword,--and iv ibe shadowy uncertain light I saw my son making off in rapid fliglit. I have told every thing. It there be among you one who can accuse him of alio her crime + or if there be any who 'cau chear loin of this - Ab speak truly and fearlessly! May beayen inspire you 10 that degree! This is a tremendous business! Weigh is well ( judges. I look to you for the sentance of my spil, and at the same time of myselt.

Gomes.--.What dost thon require or us king, can we betray Pbilip? betray ourselves. Bulacan jve plunge a sword into the heart of a tạiber!' alus, pirge 48 hoi wo a steru

LeQ.-The day may perhaps arise, 0 King, in which the trụıb heard will be displeasing to thee; and us, who shall have told įi thee, tbull shall even wisb to wake sorry for doing so!

Per.--Truth cannot hurt— Truth is sought after, let it be told. Phil.- The father does not heal you bere, it is the Kipg who

nieasure.

hears you.

Gomes- I shall speak then first. I first will brave the anger of a faller!--Thou 'arı sull a father and by a purposely seycre, a distnrbed rather than a threatening countenance, it may be easily pero crived; that it thou accusest Charles, thou acquillesi thy soil-. and art not willing to enumerate for perhaps know est all the crimes of thy son. To propound a con,pact with the rebellious Batavians, appears in Charles a lighil 'error : 110w behold a letter taken from biin, a wicked letter in which he contracts for our ruin, und at the same time his infamy. He dares to ireat with ilie French ; yes, with the ablorred Frençli -Here, liere you may read that a traffic is jufamously made of 'Nayarre, Cataluuia, and other richa provinces annexed w' the Spanish crown by the valour of our ancestors, subsequently preserved by us with our blood and sweal. Tbe execrable bire of execrable assistance attorded to 'the son against his father, so greni a pari ol such a kingdom to go as a prey to the French - and the remaining part would be oppressed with impunity by the deceitlul son of a king, who "in judgement and valor could rule sivyly not only a part of the worlä, but the whole-Behold what a tate impended user us-Oh! dear and necessary, and cred are thy days to us, o king ; but w less necessary and sycred is ihe glory of ile Spanish empire-Horrible desire 1p allenpt the life of a King and of a Faber-bni 10 betray as one and ibe sanie ujme his own bonor, and to sell his country is (suller me to say ii) perhaps equally hurrible-- The first thou cansı forgive; it relate; to thyself! but canst thou the other? Thou canst pardon the other also--but when I see it superadded to such unheard of excess, what else can I pronounce than death.

Per.-Death! what do I hear?
Phil.-0 Heaven!

Leo.-Yet, who would believe that I should be able to the execrable names of parricide, traitor and rebel, 10 add others ? There remains one however much more execrable, such as a man cannot, as it were, venture to prouounce.

Phil.- And is there!

Leo.-A sacrilegious lying despiser of just Heaven-Oh Omnipotent wod! do ihou now expressly loose the veracious tongue of me thy unworthy yet faithful servant. The day is arrived, the bour-ine moment is arrived, in which thou overthrotest with one Hashing tremendons loof of ihine, him who has been long insolene Thon makest me rise--nie the champion of Thy sublime insulted Majesty- Thon breathest a preternatural boldness in my glowing hosom, a boldness equal to the occasion. O earthly sovereign! hearken thon 10 that which the King of kings, speaks to thee by my lips! - The prince, whom I consider so impious that I will not dare to call him the son of my king, the prince does not cease to pour from his impure mouth words of horrid contempt with which he insulis Heaven itself, not less than the minister of Heaven -the wicked profane scoff daringly is raised up against the Tein. ple; he reviles the worship of our ancestors -- he applands the new, and if he should reign one day we should behold the sacred allars upon the ground and in the mire, trampled upon by sacrilegious feet; as much as now we do bonor to ihem with prayers and in. cense! we should see - what do I say? however if the thundering sword of God should delay so long I shall see noibing of it-He shall see it who will not rather dare to die. I shall not see turo'd aside the sacred veil which shndes from the vulgar ibe truth which they do not understand but believe, nor that tribunal which replesents upon earth the justice of Heaven (and renders it more mild to us) 'shall I behold overthrown as he has sworn! That tiibunal whicle preserves to us onburt and pure the faith to the shame of others; may Heaven blast bis impious vow ! may the horrid fiend hope for it in vain! ( Philip, cho thou raise thy look to the Sovereign King. Thou hast honor, empire, lise, everything from Him-he can withdraw all-in Heaven is offended and is the offender thy son --In him, tu him is written the falal sentence, read it and never hinder it-Heaven uhros's back ils vengeance upon him who disturbs it.

Per. It is not a small matter to find free sentiments in the mind under a hard despotisin-Thonght freely expressed is not always free, and sometimes even vileness clothes itself with pre tended frankness! hear me, () King, thou shalt see what it is to speak with freecom, hear me and ihou shalt see another kind of

« PreviousContinue »