Imatges de pÓgina
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fessed the whole of the charges contained in the indictment, and completely corroborated the evidence given by Cornelius Corn, the accomplice, who went with them to Linton, but who drew back, and returned home before any of the acts of robbery were committed. The pannels declared the fourth accomplice to be a Geoffrey Moore, and they were all natives of Ireland. O'Neil, in the concluding part of his last declaration, emitted before the Sheriff, admitted the enormity of the crimes he had thus committed; denied that he had ever been concerned in any thing of the kind before, and hoped he would be mercifully dealt with, as he had freely confessed the whole truth, and had a wife and five children, she being also at present pregnant.

This concluded the evidence on the part of the prosecution, and no evidence having been adduced for the pannels, the Solicitor-General charged the Jury for the Crown, and Messrs Gillies and Brodie for the pannels, when the evidence having been summed up by the Lord Justice Clerk, the Jury, without leaving the box, returned a viva voce verdict of Guilty, against both pannels.

After a suitable admonition from the Lord Justice Clerk, in the course of which his Lordship said, the Court were determined, by the most prompt and vigorous administration of justice, to punish enormous offences of this nature, and endeavour to correct the loose manners of the times, in which highway robberies had been committed of late to an extent altogether unknown formerly in this part of the united kingdom. His Lordship sentenced the pannels to be executed on Wednesday the 25th day of January, at, or as near as possible to the spot at Braid's burn where they committed the robbery upon David Loch, (being the third count in the indictment.) His Lordship, in pronouncing sentence, addressed the prisoners in the following terms:—

"It is now my painful duty to pronounce on both and each of you that sentence which the criminal law of Scotland, from the most early period of its existence, has affixed to the crimes of which you are guilty. The Jury, after a most candid and dispassionate examination of your conduct, have, by an unanimous verdict, found you guilty. That crime, for which your lives are forfeited to the injured law, is indubitably part of a systematic plan, and obviously very atrocious, as from its very nature, from the circumstances attending it, and the awful results to society, it is subversive of the essential principles of social union, good order, and harmony. Your conduct was attended with circumstances particularly odious. Independent of the evidence of one of your associates, who, happily for himself, repented in time, your own explicit declarations prove you to have gone with the utmost coolness and deliberation to that most nefarious transaction. This is known to be the case by all who heard the evidence against you. That crime, I am sorry to say, is now become too frequent in this country, where for ages it was unknown, and is attended with aggravations which make one blush for humanity. Your trial to day has developed a circumstance, which, I regret to say, militates strongly against you. It has shewn us, that men, even in this happy time, in the abundant enjoyment of work, and with fair wages, can disregard every consideration of safety, can sacrifice every feeling of affection to dear relations, and form purposes of cruelty, which, if allowed to pass with impunity, would lead to the dissolution of good order, and tend to the annihilation of society. The inevitable issue would be, that if persons cannot go in their lawful business to markets and fairs without being in danger of being beset, assaulted, and robbed, and their lives taken away; that they must go armed; and thus would our country be deluged

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with every species of vice and outrage. This must be obvious to all. The crime of which you stand convicted, while it is odious in every point of view, is in your case most heniously aggravated.

"One of your associates, not yet apprehended, but whom it is fondly hoped public justice will soon overtake, in forming his plan, went so sys. tematically about it as to consult an almanack, to know when, and where, and at what particular district, the fairs were to be held; a strong proof of your purposes of robbery being deliberately formed. I have enlarged on the atrocity of your crime, for the purpose of cautioning you not to believe for a moment that you will be the objects of royal mercy. I must tell you, that your days are few and numbered, that your fate is now decided, and that it well becomes you to reflect on your ill-spent lives. Let it be your first and only concern to humble yourselves before the Almighty Judge of the Universe; for, be assured, that in consequence of the verdict, in a few days you must appear at his tribunal, which will be arrayed with awe infinitely surpassing an earthly tribunal; and where not only your public crimes, but the whole transactions of your lives, and the secrets of your hearts, will be judged. Let me, therefore, implore you not to waste the few moments allowed you, in the delusive hope of any application you may make, being listened to. Prepare for the great change that awaits you, by praying to Almighty God to renovate your hearts, and grant you proper dispositions and a proper state of mind, for the unseen but eternal world. Whatever profession of religion you may be attached to, avail yourselves, I beseech you, of the aid of those ministers who will come forward to your assistance; and while you sincerely repent of your sins, let me exhort you to ask divine grace, in the name, and through the

merits of our blessed Saviour. Your temporal fate is decided-your crimes have been great, and therefore the means for repressing such crimes hereafter must be great also.

"You are to be executed, not at the ordinary place, but on the spot where you robbed and assaulted David Loch, or as near as possible to that spot. I trust and hope, the promptitude, celerity, and expedition with which you have been apprehended and brought to justice, will open your eyes, and the eyes of every one, and shew them, that though they plan in secret, not only the eye of God, but the eye of the country, and its police will be on them.,

"Lay these things seriously to heart, and be assured that it is only by fervent prayer, heartfelt sorrow, and contrition, that you can hope for access to the favour of God in that world to which you are now soon to go.'

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Pannels appeared to be about fifty years of age.

Counsel for the Crown-Mr Solicitor General, and H. Home Drummond, Esq. Agent, H. Warrender, Esq. W. S.

Counsel for the Prisoners-Andrew Gillies, George Brodie, Alexander Pringle, and Archibald Alison, Esqrs.-Agent, John Alison, Esq. W. S.

Much praise is due to the activity of the Sheriff, and the Edinburgh Police, in apprehending and bringing so speedily to justice these delinquents, it being only three weeks since they committed these robberies.

Eulogy of DELILLE, the Celebrated French Poet, pronounced by M. CAMPENON at a meeting of the National Institute, 16th November

1814.

GENTLEMEN,

N casting my eye over this imposing assembly, I find almost all those who

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who united with so much zeal, to pay the last duties to the great poet which France has lost. I see his friends, his pupils. The same regrets, the same sentiments of tenderness and respect, call them to-day to this place. It is no more a funeral pomp, but it is still an homage paid to genius by admiration and grief.

Deign not, I entreat, to call to mind by what title I pronounce, in the midst of you, the eulogium of your illustrious companion. Forget even your suffrages; my gratitude, lively as it is, must be mute at a time when the expression of it would be importunate. When every thing here speaks of your loss, can I entertain you with my good fortune? Ah! Gentlemen, I must associate my thoughts with your's: I must call to mind one of those frequent conversations in which the greatest justice was rendered to the talents of him whom I hardly dare name my predecessor. In fine, in my inability to console you for your great loss, I must try at least to measure its extent to your view.

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But the riches of my subject overpower me by their number, and dazzle me with their brightness. Where shall I find powers to run over the long list of enchanting poems, which have exhausted the transports of enthusiasm and the rigours of criticism? Where shall I find colours to paint this brilliant, poetic crown, -composed of so many fine works, one of which would have been suffcient for the glory of him who produced them all. My only hope, Gentlemen, is, that the strength of your feelings will make up the insufficiency of my expressions, and that the weakness of the orator will be less observed, covered by the interest which attaches itself to his subject.

M. Delille felt himself drawn towards the immortal beauties of Virgil, and loved as soon as he understood

them. Even while explaining them as a scholar, he became the poet who undertook to pass them into our language. A perilous enterprize, and for which the ardour of that age which knows no dangers, united to a talent which knew no obstacles, could scarcely suffice. It was not sufficient to translate, to transport faithfully into an elegant version, those thoughts, those noble images, the original expression of which have their equivalent in the idiom of all civilized nations. was necessary to force an indigent and proud language, to render without ostentation, as without meanness, the rustic details which alarmed at the same time its inexpe. rience and its delicacy.

The art of agriculture, noble amongst a people who in their greatest time of glory sought their consuls and dictators at the plough, had a mean rank in the opinions and in the literature of our nation. How could the French muse, which till then had inhabited Olympus, or palaces, or served as interpreter to the will of the gods, or to the passions of heroes:— how could she descend to the hut, to visit the fields, not to paint the woods, the turf, and the flowers,-but to describe the rough instruments which open the earth, and the vile manure that fertilizes it? The French muse submitted herself to the will of the poet. Employing, to vanquish her caprices, sometimes the efforts of a happy constraint, and sometimes the evasions of an adroit surprise, M. Delille taught his muse to express what she had never done before, and which, without him, perhaps, she would never have dared, or known how to utter. The vanquisher, at once, of literary and social prejudice, he taught our poetry to explain without blushing the most simple proceedings of agriculture; our nation learned from him to know and to appreciate better the benefits of this first of arts. In fine, by

ing forms of stile for ideas which were wanting (for we had not found out how to express them) he really enlarged amongst us the domains of thought, and the faithful translator became a true creator. A great monarch, who consoled himself for not reigning over the French, by meriting a place amongst their writers, (Frederick,) struck with the phenomenon of the Georgics, said what has been so often repeated, and which I should deserve blame if I did not again repeat: This translation is the most original work that has, appeared in France for a long time.

Another great man had previously made, if possible, a more flattering eulogium; when seated amongst you, Gentlemen, he predicted that France would never have a good translation of the Georgics. A young poet dared to attempt, and finished with success, what Voltaire had judged and declared impossible; and Voltaire applauded, with transport, a work which so nobly falsified his prophecy.

This chef d'œuvre came from the shades of a college. The university on which the glory of the poet reflected itself, hastened to adopt his Georgics. She wished the memories of her students to be enriched by this doubly classic work; which re-produced, in fine French yerse, the finest verses perhaps which ever the Latin muse inspired, and which seemed to consecrate the alliance of the two languages, and to represent two mounts of Parnassus.

A long time after, when M. Delille had elevated highly that poetic renown, to which he had given so durable a foundation, and when the university was re-modelled upon a more vast plan, we saw the eloquent M. le Comte de Fontaines, whom the voice of letters had called to the head of this great new-born institution, decorate with the name of M. Delille the list of masters of the establishment, and claiming this great name as the Jan. 1815.

most brilliant part of the heritage which the university of Paris bequeathed to the university of France.

The finest moment in the life of a man of letters, is that when the success of his first work assures him that his instinct has not deceived him, when the accents of admiration and the clamours of envy rise at the same time, revealing, it is true, the dangers of his career, but also the secret of his strength, and the power of his talent. Many of you, Gentlemen, still remember the first success of the Georgics, a success the prodigious splendour of which then caused fears for its durability;-a durability which is alone explained by the perfection of the work. The Georgics were soon in every hand; they obtained universal suffrages,those of the man of letters, and of the man of the world,of the learned, and of the women.Voltaire, who knew not to which party M. Delille might be drawn by his principles or by his affections, but who was always of the party of fine verse, hastened to propose him for the choice of the French academy, and this company welcomed with joy a vote which could not fail of being that of the whole body.

What would have been more extraordinary than the success of the Georgics, if envy had not been irritated, had she not attempted to revenge on the poet his genius and his good fortune. Her furies, which are also homages, were not wanting to the triumph of M. Delille. She was seen, masked under the appearance of zeal for antiquity, blaming the faithfulness of the translation as excessive, and his ornaments as sacrilege; reproaching M. Delile with altering Virgil even when embellished, and with the minutest scrutiny examining all, analysing all, calculating all-except the gemus of the poet.

Few writers know how to profit by the injustice of criticism The resentment which she excites becomes equally

ly blind and passionate as herself. Because she attacks all without selection, or defends all without distinction: -because she only wishes to hurt,— we imagine that she cannot be of service. M. Delille knew how to escape from this common rule :-in him the most happy temper was joined to the most happy talents. Those detractors who wished only to offend him, succeeded in enlightening him, and he appeared to disregard the outrage, that he might observe only the service rendered him, but the malignant intention of which relieved him from feeling grateful.

Some verses of Virgil gave birth to Les Jardins. Virgil, after having described the useful labours of agriculture, regrets that the limits of his poem do not permit him to describe the delightful recreation of gardening. O bliged to renounce this charming picture, he has only given us a light sketch, but this sketch is a chef d'au

vre.

M. Delille caught hold of the sketch of his master, and finished it. The plan of Virgil had all the simplicity of ancient genius and of primitive manners. M. Delille thought it right to introduce into his poem all the luxury of modern civilization. He conceived (I dare say it) a most useful project; he wished to add grandeur and opulence to the feeling for those simple pleasures which form the delights of a country retreat; he wished henceforth that a noble elegance should direct the employment of those treasures which a false magnificence had so often lavished in outraging nature and taste. Thus the poet, in charming us, favoured at once art and manners-happy power of talent! At the voice of the poet of Les Jardins, fatiguing symmetry was banished from the soil of France, and often without doubt his fine verses have been read in parks inspired and designed by his muse.

Les Jardins could not add to the renown of M. Delille, without in

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creasing the animosity of his detractors. Till then they had not ceased. to attack the Georgics, which the public still continued to admire and protect. But when the poem of Les Jardins appeared, they then elevated the translation, that they might depreciate the original work. If they acknowledge in the author the talent of imitation, they would at least profit by this avowal in contesting with him the more brilliant talents of creating. The Georgic, the first monument which he had elevated to his glory, was, if I may so express myself, an advantageous post in the hands of his enemies, in which they entrenched themselves the better to combat him. It became necessary for the poet, who was as ardent in seizing glory as his enemies were in depriving him of it, to give variety to his slanderers, by producing continually new works; it became necessary that he should give up to them, one after the other, each of his productions, and present to them as a kind of bait, or prey, the last effusion of his muse.

The activity of M. Delille was increased by obstacles. Several great undertakings offered themselves to his meditations; each demanded a long course of years; he followed them all, not one after the other, but at the same time. To obey an inspiration which never relaxed, he formed for himself a kind of repose in the variety of his subjects, or rather in the transports to which he abandoned himself. He refreshed his mind, where it was feared he would fatigue it.— What do I say! when he appeared in society, could it be supposed that he carried the burthen of so many bold and majestic works? Did he ever appear occupied ?-From the piquant gaiety of his wit, the dazzling splendour of his bon-mots, and the innocent vivacity of his sports, you would not believe yourself in the presence of the great poet, who, proud of a lute.

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