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It is rather an unusual combination of disasters for a ship to be so totally wrecked, as to be actually obliterated from the face of the waters, in the course of a quarter of an hour, in fine weather, in the day-time, on well-known rocks, and close to a light-house ; but without the loss of a single man, or the smallest accident to any person on board.
In the next place, it is highly important to observe, that the lives of the crew, in all probability, would not, and perhaps could not, have been saved, had the discipline been, in the smallest degree, less exactly maintained. Had any impatience been manifested by the people to rush into the boats, or had the captain not possessed sufficient authority to reduce the numbers whicho had crowded into the pinnace, when she was still resting on the booms, at least half of the crew must have lost their lives. 3
It was chiefly, therefore, if not entirely, to the personal influence which Captain Hickey possessed over the minds of all on board, that their safety was owing. Their habitual confidence in his fortitude, talents, and professional knowledge, had, from long experience, become so great, that every man in the ship, in this extremity of danger, instinctively turned to him for assistance; and seeing him so cheerfully and so completely master of himself, they relinquished to his well-known and often-tried sagacity the formidable task of extricating them from the impending peril. It is at such moments as these, indeed, that the grand distinction between man and man is developed, and the full ascendancy of a powerful and well-regulated mind makes itself felt. The slightest hesitation on the captain's part, the smallest want of decision, or any uncertainty as to what was the very best thing to be done, if betrayed by a word or look of his, would have shot, like an electric spark, through the whole ship's company-a tumultuous rush would have been made to the boats-and two out of the three, if not all, must have been swamped, and every man in them drowned.
2 the number of those who.'
1 Turn, 'for any of those who are on board.'
3 eût péri.
Captain Hickey and his crew had been serving together in the same ship for many years before, in the course of which period they had acquired so thorough an acquaintance with one another, that this great trial, instead of loosening the discipline, only augmented its compactness, and thus enabled the commander to bring all his knowledge, and all the resources of his vigorous understanding, to bear at once, with such admirable effect, uponthe difficulties by which he was surrounded.
There are some men who actually derive more credit from their deportment under the severest losses, than others can manage to earn by brilliant success; and it may certainly be said that Captain Hickey is one of these; for, although he had the great misfortune to lose his ship, he must ever enjoy the noble satisfaction of knowing, that his skill and firmness, rendered effective by the discipline he had been so many years in perfecting, enabled him to save the lives of more than a hundred persons, who, but for 3 him, in all human probability, must have perished with their hapless chief.-(Capt. Basil Hall, Fragments of Travels and Voyages.)
A HIGHLAND REVENGE.4
MESSENGERS were despatched in great haste, to concentrate the MacGregor's forces, with a view to the proposed attack on the Lowlanders; and the dejection and despair, at first visible on each countenance, gave6 place to the hope of rescuing their leader, and to the thirst of vengeance. It was under the burning influence of the latter passion that the wife of MacGregor commanded that the hostage exchanged for his safety should be brought into
1 ne fit que (page 184, note 7) 3 'but for,' sans. resserrer les liens de la discipline 4 Une vengeance dans les hautes au lieu de les relâcher.
terres (or, les Highlands) de l'Écosse. 2 et le commandant, obéi au pre- 5 les forces des Mac-Gregors. mier signal, eut toutes ses ressources
6 Use faire. naturelles à sa disposition pour
7 the.' lutter contre.
her presence. I believe her sons had kept this unfortunate wretch out of her sight," for fear of the consequences;2 but if it was so, their humanes precaution only postponed 4 his fate. They dragged forward at her summons a wretch already half dead with terror, in whose agonized 5 features I recognised, to my horror and 6 astonishment, my old acquaintance Morris.
He fell prostrate before the female Chief with an effort to clasp her knees, from which she drew back, as if his touch had been pollution, so that all he could do in token of the extremity of his humiliation, was to kiss the hem of her plaid.8 I never heard entreaties for life poured forth with such agony of spirit.9 The ecstasy of fear was such 10 that instead of paralysing his tongue, as ll on ordinary occasions, it even rendered him eloquent; and, with cheeks pale as ashes,12 hands compressed 13 in agony, eyes that seemed to be taking their last look of all mortal objects, he protested, with the deepest 14 oaths, his total ignorance of any design on the person of Rob Roy, whom he swore he loved and honoured as his own soul.15 In the inconsistency of his terror, 16 he said he was but the agent of others, and he muttered the name of Rashleigh. He prayed but for life—for life he would give all he had in the 17 world : it was but life he asked—life, if it were to be 18 prolonged under tortures and privations: he asked only breath, though it should be drawn in 19 the damps of the lowest caverns of their hills.
1 éloigné de ses yeux.
12 covered with (de) a deadly par humanité.
paleness.' quoi qu'il en soit, cette.
se tordant les mains. 4 See page 184, note 7.
14 "the most solemn’ (page 69, pales et défigurés ; and see note 4). page 134, note 13.
15 with (de) all his soul.' The with as much ... as.' idiomatic expression, aimer quel7 “He threw himself at the feet qu’un comme ses yeux (or, comme la of the chief's wife ;' see page 145, prunelle de ses yeux) would be too note 8
familiar for elevated style, like 8 les pans (lit., 'the skirts') de this. son plaid (manteau écossais). 16 Par une inconséquence, suite
avec autant de désespoir. du désordre de son esprit. 10 Fear acted on his mind with 18 See page 79, note , and page such strength ; see page 25, 123, note 5. note 16.
comme cela arrive. 19 ‘he asked,' &c. ; simply trans
It is impossible to describe the scorn, the loathing, and contempt, with which the wife of MacGregor regarded this wretched petitioner for the poor boon of existence.
“I could have bid ye live,” 2 she said, “ had life been to you the same weary and wasting burden that it is to me —that it is to every noble and generous mind. But you -wretch! you could creep through the world unaffected by its various disgraces, its ineffable miseries, its constantly accumulating masses of crime and sorrow: you could live and enjoy yourself, while the noble-minded are betrayed - while nameless and birthless villains tread on the neck of the brave and the long-descended : 4 you could enjoy yourself, like a butcher's dog in the shambles, battening on garbage, while the slaughter of the oldest and best went on around you !5 This enjoyment you shall not live to partake of !-you shall die, base dog !6 and that before yon? cloud has passed over the sun."
She gave a brief command in Gaelic to her attendants, two of whom seized upon the prostrate suppliant, and hurried him to the brink of a cliff which overhung the flood. He set up the most piercing and dreadful cries that fear ever uttered—I may well term them' dreadful, for they haunted my sleep for years afterwards.10 As late, 'were he to breathe no longer je peupe, (plus) any (de) other air than Turn, 'for during some (quelthat of.
often started up out 1 the scorn,' &c. ; simply, l'air of my sleep (je m'éveillai souvent de mépris et de dégoût.
en sursaut), thinking still I heard 2 Je t'accorderais la vie.
them (page 7, note ?). We had 3'to enjoy oneself,' here, se better use here the preterite (je trouver heureux.
m'éveillai) than the imperfect (page 4 tandis que des gens sans nais- 1, note 3, and page 55, note :), sance et sans courage foulent aux although the action was repeated, pieds des hommes illustrés par leur ---and this is often done when it is bravoure et par une longue suite intended to point to each time the d'aïeux. Put a full stop here. action took place, as separate and
5 you could,' &c. ; Au milieu distinct from the others. By thus du carnage général, tu serais aussi striking the mind with the idea of heureux que le chien du boucher, a fact which happened at oncequi lèche le sang des bestiaux qu'on though repeatedly so—instead of égorge.
letting it dwell on that secondary 6 lâche, chien!
consideration, namely, that of a qui surplombait le lac. repetition of the fact mentioned, 9 Simply, I may say,'— 'I may,' we give to our narration both more je puis, which is more quaint than vivacity and more rapidity.
the murderers, or executioners, call them as you will, dragged him along, he recognised me in that moment of horror, and exclaimed, in the last articulate words I ever heard him utter, “O Mr. Osbaldistone, save me !--save me !"
I was so much moved by this horrid spectacle, that, although in momentary expectation of sharing 2 his fate, I did attempt to speak in his behalf, but, as might have been expected, my interference was sternly disregarded. The victim was held fast by some, while others, binding a large heavy stone, in a plaid, tied it round his neck, and others again eagerly stript him of some part of his dress. Half-naked, and thus manacled, they hurled him into the lake, there about twelve feet deep, with a loud halloo of vindictive triumph,—above which, however, his last deathshriek, the yell of mortal agony, was distinctly heard. The heavy burden splashed in the dark-blue waters, and the Highlanders, with their pole-axes and swords, watched an instant, to guard, lest, extricating himself from the load to which he was attached, the victim might have struggled to regain the shore. But the knot had been securely bound-the wretched man sunk without effort ; 6 the waters, which his fall had disturbed, settled calmly over him, and the unit of that life for which he had pleaded so strongly, was for ever withdrawn from the sum of human existence.7—(SIR Walter Scott, Rob Roy.)
1 Use the future of vouloir. gnit d jamais (see page 194, note
2 (although I expected at every 18) dans cet abîme.- for ever,' is, instant to share.'
in French, à jamais, and pour ja3 Simply, une grosse pierre. mais ; the former expression is
se partageaient ses vêtements. stronger than the latter : "un 5
pour voir si; and make the homme est perdu à jamais” (says rest of the sentence fit, according very appositely Dr. Dubuc, in his to this alteration here.
valuable notes to Picciola), "when 6 without resistance.'
it is absolutely impossible for him 7 settled,' &c. ; se refermèrent to rise from his abjectness; il est sur lui en reprenant leur calme perdu pour jamais, if it is only be. accoutumé, et la vie qu'il avait de- lieved that he will not rise again." mandée avec tant d'instance, s'étei- -Picciola, page 8, note 6.