So unusual a catastrophe called out the energies of both parties.
Towards the close of this gay repast, and when the party were about to yield their places to the attendants, who were ready to re-ship the utensils, John Effingham observed-- "I trust, Mrs. Hawker, you have been-duly warned of the catastrophe- character of this point, on which woman is said never to have been wooed in vain.
In at the play-house just at six he pops, And never quits it till the curtain drops, Is never absent on the author's night, Knows actresses and actors too--by sight; So humble, that with Suett he'll confer, Or take a pipe with plain Jack Bannister; Nay, with an author has been known so free, He once suggested a catastrophe-- In short, John dabbled till his head was turn'd: His wife remonstrated, his neighbours mourn'd, His customers were dropping off apace, And Jack's affairs began to wear a piteous face.
To him he wrote after the catastrophe:--"Come to me, Scrope; I am almost desolate--left alone in the world.
For all mans life me seemes a tragedy, Full of sad sights and sore catastrophees; First comming to the world with weeping eye, Where all his dayes, like dolorous trophees, 160 Are heapt with spoyles of fortune and of feare, And he at last laid forth on balefull beare.
Then--terrible catastrophe!--he fell into his old habit, and sank into an after dinner doze, as he had so often done in the days of the marquise.
It was some days before this mystery was cleared up, as it was not until the seals were broken, that they found the following written paper in his desk, dated eight days before the fatal catastrophe:--"I adore Mademoiselle de N----, and shall do so all my life.
It gave a public character and aspect of hopelessness to our cause; it invited coldness of treatment towards us; it seemed to warn off all nations from giving us aid or comfort; and it virtually affirmed that any outlay of means or life by us in a cause seen to be impracticable would be reckless, sanguinary, cruel, and inhuman.--And, once more, to those among ourselves who are influenced by evil prognostications, it was most dispiriting to be told, as if by cool, unprejudiced observers from outside, that no uprising of patriotism, no heroism of sacrifice, no combination of wisdom and power would be of any avail to resist a foreordained catastrophe.--In these three harmful ways of influence, the ill-omened opinion reiterated from abroad had a tendency to fulfil itself.
The crimes and the catastrophes, in each locality, have seemed almost repetitions of the same things on either continent.
It is the duty of every true friend of humanity and order, to protest against perverted sensibilities or sophistical refinements, which find warrant or apology for depraved appetites,--for the worst distemperature of the mind, and the most fatal catastrophes,--in natural propension, and unrestrained feeling.
Its "boughs," with their buddings and disleafings?--events, things suffered, things done, catastrophes,--stretch through all lands and times.