« ПредишнаНапред »
deigned to smile, it was at the yet unbroken strength of his heavy arm, or the excellent temper of his good Damascus blade. To slice off a superfluous ear or head, would perhaps melt his obdurate lip; and he never smiled more facetiously than in the scene of the preceding night, I really think he felt grateful to us unworthy Christians that we were — for affording him such excellent sport. Hadji was corpulent, for as officer of police, often at the same time judge and executioner, his profession was congenial; and though he was ever riding about, setting right the times,' that in this multo-headed city are always out of joint,' the agreeable sport he often found, tempered the exercise, keeping him in the best possible spirits, and, with a mind at ease and a good digestion, always in good case.
With elephantine steps, he now moved toward the divan, and performing a grotesque evolution before his highness, in endeavoring to make a lower salaam than his form-constructed more for feats of strength than those of grace-would altogether tolerate, a brief conversation ensued between them. Suddenly turning about, he began, in a short, quick tone, to question us, the Jew interpreting.
Meadows' throat had become so inflamed, that he could not articulate, and I had to be the respondent. In reply to his brief queries, I told him who we were, and the duty we were upon, when we became engaged in the scuffle with the Greeks. He then asked what had become of the traitor, as he was pleased to call him, who deserted from the ship. When I explained that it was the man he had found in the alley outside the house, he sent one of the soldiers to bring him up. The old Bey then turned to the Pacha, and conversed with him in a low tone.
Our slippery friend, Jack Straw, sidled up to us, and with a favorcourting smile, said we had nothing to fear, for the Pacha called the Americans good friends, but was very angry with the Greeks, who would not get off so easily. As I turned my back upon our perfidious man of straw, Cudgel entered, between two soldiers. He was ghastly pale, covered with blood and dirt, and trembled so, either from fright or exhaustion, that the soldiers had to support him, to keep him from falling.
After I had replied affirmatively to the prisoner's identity, we were again left standing unnoticed; and their conversation having evidently taken another turn, in my anxiety to get on board ship, for the sake of poor Meadows, who I observed was suffering intensely, I ventured to say to his highness that we were both severely wounded, and would be very grateful to be suffered to retire.
The court circle stared at the audacity, I suppose, of the request; but the Pacha good humoredly smiled, and said we should be free presently. Just then our American consul, the excellent Mr. O— who had been sent for without our knowledge, entered. After bowing respectfully to the Pacha, he came to us, and shaking us warmly by the hand, said, 'My God! what is all this?' I briefly related the whole story, which he repeated to the Pacha, who listened very attentively until he had finished. Then turning to some of his guard, he ordered them to seize Cudgel, and bear him off safely to the ship.
The poor wretch could not have made greater outcry, had the
Pacha ordered him to be beheaded. 'Oh!' he cried, 'don't take me on board; they will hang me like a dog! I tried to kill an officer! Oh save me!' said he, sinking down upon his knees before the Pacha; I will serve you faithfully; I will turn Turk! D—n the Christians! I am a Christian no longer. See here!' he shrieked, baring his arm, upon which was the figure of a cross, in blue ink, as is common among sailors, and frantically spitting upon this symbol of Christianity, I forswear it; I am a Turk, and will live and die a Turk. I will be your sailor, soldier - any thing! You are bound to save me from being hanged by those infernal Christians.'
The Pacha seemed anxious to know what all this outery, so different from Mussulman sang froid, was about; and when the Jew explained that the man wished to turn Mahommetan, to avoid being hanged, he laughed heartily. Hadji, too, grinned a sardonic smile, that seemed to say, 'We want no such proselytes;' while a scornful sneer curled the lips of the others. Finding even apostacy would not save him, as he was hurried away by the unsympathizing guard, he tried the effect of an appeal to us.
'Oh! don't speak against me, gentlemen! I was drunk, and did not know what I was about;' (an excuse, by the way, that sailors always think unanswerable.) Mr. Meadows, you know I might have killed you, but I did not attempt it. I only wished to escape, and not hurt any one, Save me, gentlemen, and I will live and die for you!' The miserable deserter doubted not he would be hanged, and though I felt some compunctious visitings for the dangerous wound I had given him, and pity for his unmanly terrors, as he just before had sworn he would live and die a Turk, I turned my back upon his distracted supplications.
Jack Straw accompanied us, and edging toward me, said, 'You will remember, if you please, that it was I who saved your lives.'
'Well,' I replied, this is the height of assurance! I remember you betrayed us, you villain! - and if I catch you on board the ship, I will have you flogged for your perfidy.'
Jack looked hurt. No, Sir, I saved you; if I had not alarmed the guard, you would have had your -. Here he drew his hand across his gullet, with a significance that made me shudder, when I recollected how near my own throat had been to the unpleasant operation.
'I saw how 't would be,' said Jack; 'I could not assist you, and so, to prevent murder, I called in the Turkish guard. I warned you, for I knew those men; but you Americans are not afraid of the devil.'
Jack's compliment could not be lost on a young middie; it made us friends at once; and probably increased, by at least a piastre, the reward I put in his in no wise reluctant hand. Jack told us that two of the ruffians were already dead, and several others badly wounded; adding: 'It would be well for them to die, too, for they will be bastinadoed until their feet are of but little farther use to them.' The house had also been razed to the ground, but the keeper of it had escaped; though he must soon be found, for Hadji was after him,' and as Jack said, it was not so easy to elude old Hadji Bey.'
WE found the whole ship in excitement, anxious to know what had occurred. The consul accompanied us into the cabin, and the officers, rather forgetful of etiquette, crowded in after us, to hear the news. A word, however, from our scandalized little captain, sent them to the right about, tolerably crest-fallen with their merited rebuke.
After the usual compliments between the consul and the captain, the latter turned to his unfortunate middies, and exclaimed, in his usual cutting tones: This is a pretty business! What does all this mean?' I told him the story, and concluded by saying, that Mr. Meadows was very severely wounded by the Greeks, and that I also had been stabbed in the arm by Cudgel.
'It served you right,' was the consoling reply. Lose my men! go ashore and kill people!-kept in a Turkish guard-house all night! tried before the Pacha the next morning! - American officers! A pretty disgrace to my ship to the service, Sir-to the service! The commodore shall know of it! You shall be tried and broken! The Pacha would have been justified in hanging
I saw poor Meadow's eyes flash with indignation, and he made a fruitless attempt to reply to this cruel speech. I touched him, and whispered him not to mind what the barbarian said.
He now turned fiercely toward the trembling deserter:
'You, wretch!-miscreant! Raise a knife against an officer! He was a fool, not to have killed you on the spot. Mutiny!-desertion! mutiny! - attempt at murder! Hanging will be too good for you! You shall be whipped to death at the gang-way!'
The miserable man, at last worn out, either from loss of blood, or the climax of terrors that his dreaded tyrant held up to his bewildered fancy, sunk down in a swoon, and was carried below to the surgeon. Our worthy consul witnessed the whole scene with disgust and amazement; and when the captain turned round, apparently to give us another blast of that dread horn,' took his hat, and coolly bidding him good morning, left the cabin.
After another series of violent denunciations from the captain, we were also suffered to depart, but with repeated assurances that he should take measures to have us brought before a court martial.
Little farther need be said. Meadows was a long time an invalid, but finally recovered. My wound soon healed, and my boyish temperament triumphed over the chimeras dire that our spiteful little commander had raised.
As we sailed soon after from Smyrna, I never learned the fate of our dangerous shore acquaintances. But as Turkish law inclines. more to justice than mercy, I presume they got their deserts. Cudgel languished a long time in a doubtful state. We fell in with the commodore at Malta, and a representation of the affair being made to him, the poor wretch was turned ashore, to linger a short time, and then to die peaceably in his native land. And we escaped a court martial.
Who, after years of wandering, balk, and bale,
I AM that lorn returner, gentle stream!
SHAKSPEARE'S SEVEN AGES.
"Then the soldier ;
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like a pard,
WHEN a man is impelled to do a thing, whether to invent a machine, feed the poor, make a speech, or write a play- when the wants of his nature drive him to action of some kind for activity is as much a want as rest—he will most likely do it well; i. e., he will follow some rule, some plan, some pattern, he has in his mind, and which, perhaps, he has acquired unconsciously, and only knows himself to be possessed of, by the demand it makes to be applied. As birds delight in flying, as horses love the chase, and as all the brute creation rejoice in the exercise of their powers, so eloquence, ingenuity, and all the higher powers of man, are ever seeking to give themselves a visible form in action. When men act on purpose, they are stiff and artificial; when they act from principle, they are good; but when they act from an irrepressible desire to do, they are true, or in the path of truth.
W. P. P.
Men often do and say their best things unconsciously. And thus were the finest passages of Shakspeare written. The story about the Vicar of Wakefield does not contradict this; neither does Campbell's opinion of his Hohenlinden,' himself calling it humdrum stuff' an opinion not far out of the way, though the world has reversed it. For as the young, at other times awkward, move gracefully to the sound of music, not aware that they are describing lines of beauty in every motion, so when men act from strong impulse, they must be working under some powerful natural plan, which will lead them, in consistency and good proportions, to the conclusion of their subject. Are those lines which are considered the choice passages of Goldsmith and Shakspeare, underscored in the original? Does the bee guard more fiercely the wax or the honey of her labor? We select the parts that suit our taste, and are applicable to our wants and situation, and some passages please all the world, and are appli cable to all the world, because all men have something in common; but the whole was framed from a nearly perfect plan, where the parts are so rich, and shining, and true. The elegant extracts, the newspaper selections, from a popular writer, are perhaps often the offspring of the least study, but the most feeling; those passages which have flowed from his mind by natural association; not a labored imitation, a half-formed conception, or phrases of ambitious phraseology.' The heavens are not astonished at the lightnings they engender, nor does the atmosphere start when it conducts the sound of the thunder, more than when it brings to our ears the murmuring of the rivulet. Both are the result of a general law, which is always going on; sometimes in productions of beauty, then of comfort, and again of terror and pain; as the divine gift of poetry, in its natural developments, instructs, reproves, delights, and elevates. But this was not written to instruct, nor that to reprove; neither this to delight, nor that to elevate. The poet was only following out a plan in his mind, and the variety of his moods is the variety of nature.
Mrs. Siddons and the Indian orator were found to use the same tones of voice to express similar passions and emotions. Neither had rules of voice. They gave themselves up to the teaching of the occasion, and became famous. The player wi feels his part, as well as the orator who speaks from his heart, in his physical nature undergoes the changes which answer to the sentiments of the character he represents, and thus produces effects only equalled by reality. For instance; real suffering closes the box or larynx in the throat, and causes that smothered sound we hear from sorrowing persons. No art or study can compensate for want of feeling; and the labor of the actor should not be a practise in tones and gestures, but a working up of himself to a just appreciation of, and sympathy with, the character he is to personate. All rules of rhetoric, of poetry, of arithmetic, are but descriptions of what people do, most obviously, to produce a certain effect; they are framed for the assistance of those who will not think, cannot feel, and do not understand. Every
* Let our correspondent match us this line:
Far flashed the red artillery!'