ALEXIS, a Shepherd of the first Rank upon the continent of Robustia, having with a sorrowful Heart long viewed the Degeneracy and Miseries of the lower Shepherds, at last formed noble ,and generous Designs of reforming their Manners, and gently leading them back to that happy Simplicity and Innocence, for which their hardy Ancestors are so famed in Story. His generous Views were not confined within the Limits of Robustia, but reached to the warmer Clime of Felicia, where those of the Pastoral Life were fatally drowned in Luxury and thoughtless Indolence. The Virtue, the Peace and Plenty of the Swains were his greatest Ambition. To make them happy was his only Aim. Never was there a Scheme of more Disinterestedness, an Enterprise of greater Danger. As soon as the glorious Design was whispered in the Villas, many of the Robustian Shepherds flocked to the brave Alexis, declared their Willingness to hazard their All in the pious Undertaking of Alexis and under his auspicious Conduct and prevailing Example they cheerfully undergo the greatest .hardships. They eat the brown Crust, and drink the cold Stream. The Grass and the Heath is their Bed, and the hard Stone their Pillow. In this hardy Way they advance in their laudable Enterprise, and their first Attempts were crowned with much unexpected Successes, that without Resistance they march into the Heart of Felicia, where, much to their Surprise, they found the Shepherds were quite numbed with Lethargy. And it is observable that those bore in their Foreheads the mark of the Kick of a Horse's Foot. Some few indeed there were that had preserved themselves from the Contagion, whose Breasts were fired with refined Sentiments of that Simplicity and Plainness of Manners they so ardently longed to see restored. These speedily join in the Enterprise of the graceful Alexis, with his Robustian Adventurers, and do all they can to awake their Fel1ow Swains out of their lethargic and groveling State; but all to no Purpose. They cannot (alas!) rouse them to one manly Thought, one generous Sentiment; their nobler Powers and Faculties being quite sunk in Luxury and voluptuous Ease and low Pursuits unbecoming human nature. They were quite degenerated from what their Forefather's had been, who were so noted for Virtue and Hospitality.
Such did Alexis find the Shepherds on the Plain of Felicia; and such was their Aversion to their own Happiness, that his generous Attempts amongst them proved unsuccessful, and he himself with his brave Followers were obliged to return to Robustia, commiserating their fatal Stupidity. Thither did Sa-gui---ius follow them, having first collected a numerous Pack of Blood-Hounds to execute the shocking Scheme that was formed against: the gentle Alexis and his Followers, and upon the unlucky Plain of Lachrymania was Alexis attacked by Sa -gui---ius and his Blood-Hounds, when he had scarce Half of his Followers with him, where they were almost as soon put to Flight, as they had formerly beat their Enemies, but with greater Resistance, notwithstanding they had scarce had Victuals or Rest for two Days before. Here Sa-gui---ius rides triumphant in Gore. The wounded are put to Death in cold Blood, or left on the Field to die in the greatest Agonies! The Huts of the Shepherds are set on Fire! Ravishing of Mothers and Daughters is there a common Practice! The harmless Shepherdesses, and yet more harmless Babes, are inhumanly butchered. The greatest and best Part of Alexis's Followers, who were on their Way to join him on the Field of Lachrymania, hearing the sad Disaster he had met with, endeavour to get to the Mountains, to wait Alexis's Orders, where they are mostly either put to Death or starved. The pregnant Shepherdesses are ripped up, and the Infants drop out with their Intrails! Shocking Barbarity! Amidst all this Scene of Barbarity and Devastation, the pious Alexis is the peculiar Care of Heaven. With Tityrus and Corydon he retires into the Island Longana, and from that to the Island of Meridiana, where he is hospitably entertained by the excellent Clarinda. There he remained for some Time with Safety, until Sa-gui--ius entertained a Jealousy of his being that Place, and sent a large Number of his Hounds in Quest of him, and promised a Reward to any One that should catch him. None but such as Clarinda can imagine the Distress she was in upon Account of the brave Alexis, whose generous Soul thought of nothing but his Deliverance from his base Blood-thirsty Enemies. Her Anxiety was inexpressible, but his Resolution and Presence of Mind had the Ascendant of her Fears. Wiping the Tears from her Eyes, she sends for her Confident Heroica, a young shepherdess about eighteen Years of Age, blessed with a Greatness of Soul and Happiness of Invention far Superior to most of her tender Years. The blooming nymph came, heard Clarinda's doleful narrative, her Breast glowed with Desire to preserve the gallant Alexis, and thus she spoke. 'My dear Clarinda, frequently have you showed your Griefs and doubled your Joys with me, but this is the strongest Instance you can afford me of that singular Confidence you honour me with: Bid your Eyes cease from Tears, and your Heart from Fear: You know Alexis is the peculiar Care of Heaven, and (under God) I will undertake for his Safety if he will submit to my Guardianship. My Salama lives in the Island Ætheria, thither will I immediately repair to tender her my Respects, and, take with me the brave Alexis, in a female Dress, as my Maid: The trusty stout Honorius will frankly give me a Passport, and Providence, I hope, will carry Us safely, and preserve Us from the Sea-Monsters which swim round this Island, and would be greedy of such a Prey as the great Alexis.
Oh happy Heroica, (cries Clarinda) happy in thy sprightly Soul, happy in a quick Invention! But, prithee, what Name shall be given to thy Supposed Maid? Not one of our Names, (says Heroica) for he cannot speak Yalk: And therefore I will call him B----y B---k, a Bullinian Name.
Quickly all Things are got ready, and away they haste to the Shore, taking along with them only two Rowers and Veracius, a Shepherd of the lowest Rank, as a Servant, but whose Honesty was above Corruption, the too prevailing Foible of these Times.
On the Way Alexis stopped short, and desires to return for his two steady Attendants Tityrus and Corydon, whom he could not think of leaving behind. “They are (says he) firm as a Rock in the sacred Ties of Friendship and Honour. No Gripe of Fortune could tear them from me. How then can I think of parting from them?” “Cease (says Heroica) from that Tenderness; in the present Exigence it would prove both your Ruin and theirs. A quick Dispatch is all we have for it at present. Besides I can more easily undertake for the Safety of one than three. If you insist on it, I will not go on Board.” “What (says Alexis) my Guardian leave me! Heavens forbid! But, oh! my Anxiety for the best of Friends is inexpressible! Leave them! I cannot bear the Thought! It is like tearing my Soul from my Body! Away, Veracius, away; get them here I had much rather be taken with them than without them.” “Stop, stop,” Veracius, cries “Heroica; the Danger thickens, there is no Time to be lost.” Then throwing herself at the Feet of Alexis, with a Flood of Tears begged him to confider, that the Safety of his own Person was the important Point. “Pray, Sir, (says she) you know when you undertook your glorious Enterprise; you must have laid your Account, not to have executed it without the Hazard of your own Life and many of your gallant Followers. Although Providence, for the farther Punishment of the infatuated Shepherds, has seen your Enemies defeat your generous Attempt, yet has it preserved your sacred Life, I hope to accomplish it. Besides, (continues she) think what you would have given for the Lives of so many of those your trusty Followers, when you left the Field of Lachrymania, crying, Oh! my brave Men! Oh! my brave Men! and who are yet alive in Spite of their Blood-thirsty Enemies. If I accomplish your Safety, (says the Nymph) I am happy; I have my Aim. I hope Heaven will take Care of the worthy Two, and preserve them for your Sake; but, if you still insist on it, I cannot, and will not go on Board. Forgive my Importunity, (cries she) forgive it; the pressing Occasion demands Dispatch!”Alexis, raising her up, says, “My faithful Guardian, to thy Importunity must I yield; kind Heaven bless all my Friends, save them from Harm, and once more grant us a happy Meeting!”
Reluctant, without his Friends, is Alexis forced for his own Safety to go on Board, and Heroica orders the Rowers to make directly to the nearest Point of Ætheria, where she promised to give them fresh Directions.
Upon their setting out a thick Mist descends, by which Means they get safely through the Sea-Monsters, who would have been ready to devour them. In the Passage, Alexis entertains his charming Guardian with a short narrative of some of his Adventures. “You know too well, (says he) the many Dangers I encountered upon the Ocean, when attended by seven only, to need any Repetition of them; you have heard likewise the several Accounts of Gladiana, Clenizia and Falcania. These I pass over. But, oh! what a Mixture of Grief and Joy possesses my soul? How am I divided betwixt these opposite Passions, when I think upon the Plain of Lachrymania? There my faithful Shepherds were dispersed and forced to roam through the bleak Hills, wild Deserts, dusky Hollows and gloomy Dens, exposed to all the nipping Torments of Hunger, Thirst and Cold - I share in their Sorrows. I feel their Pains, my Heart bleeds for them, but still there is something within me that tells that I shall one Day recompense them all, maugre all Opposition of my Enemies, and the Infatuation of the deluded Shepherds, for whom my Heart bleeds likewise, as it does for those of my Enemies who fell upon the Plain; for they, in Time, would have learned Virtue and become good Subjects. When I take a full View of the Whole, as permitted by the first of Causes, Joy takes P lace in my Breast.” “Joy take Place, (says Heroica) how is it possible, when one thinks on the fatal Scene! Fatal in some Shape it is (replies Alexis) but calmly hear the Whole, and the Cause of Joy will evidently appear.”
Heroica, astonished, begs to hear the surprising Story. “Upon the fatal Day when I engaged with Sa-gui---ius, though he had treble my Number, (says Alexis) I no doubt looked for Victory; and, notwithstanding the Inequality of Numbers, considering the natural Bravery of my Adventurers, I would have been successful, but for their long Want of Rest and Provisions, neither of which they had got for two Days before, and the very Morning of that Day had made a long March to attack the Enemy, but by some fatal neglect, or something worse, in some of my Officers, miscarried, and were obliged, without halting, to return to the fatal Plain, where my Friends were dispersed. My Defeat (says he) is the Cause of my Joy; for, know, my faithful Heroica, (continues Alexis) that, had I succeeded, my honest Followers would have been destroyed to a Man, by the baneful Yaums that were provided. Cruelty and Courage can never be together. The Cruelties committed on my Shepherds were unheard of, (continues Alexis) for the Sanguinarians butchered and cut to Pieces most of those they could catch, and even the poor harmless Shepherds they found travelling on the Highway, or exercised about their ordinary Business, if they had but the Pastoral Dress. Poor helpless Creatures, incapable of making any Resistance, and dreading no Harm! They who had taken no Side, what Offence could they give? Father and Son, grasped in one another's Arms, were found weltering in their Blood, and breathing their last in the utmost of Agonies.”
The tender-hearted Heroica had almost swooned away at the dismal Tale. Her Looks and Gestures expressed her Amaze at the prodigious Wickedness. Alexis bids her summon her Spirits, and confider, with him, what blind Judges poor Mortals are, even in their own nearest Affairs. “We wish for Misery, says he, in place of Happiness, for Poison instead of Health. How happy is it for us that a good and unerring Superintendency watches over and directs all Events to the final Perfection and Felicity of mankind? All is well, and will yet be better.”
Thus they spent the Time till night approached, when there fell a heavy Rain, which much distressed the lovely Heroica, who was all wet and weary, and inclined to slumber. Alexis, ever agreeable and engaging in all the Scenes of Life, endeavoured to make the Time pass as agreeably as possible; and, being quite Master of Music, sang several pretty Pastorals. The Point of Land to which they directed their Course began to appear nigh them; and Heroica directed the Rowers to pull along the Coast to a certain Rock. A Body of Erronei, who were guarding the Coast, hearing the Sound of Heroica’s Words, and Noise of the Oars, immediately appear on the Shore, and discharge their Arms. The undaunted Heroica bids the Rowers not be afraid, but pull briskly on to the Rock, and never mind these puffing Rogues. Away they pull through several Creeks, and arrive at the intended Rock, where she lands with her supposed Maid and Veracius. Here she leaves Alexis and Veracius, and hastes away about half a mile to Fallacia, one of the Houses of Deceptus, a Shepherd lost to Compassion, who, at that Time, was in the Retinue of Sa-gui--ius. To his Shepherdess Heroica applies in Behalf of Alexis, and lays the whole Matter before her. Mariana receives the Information with a Flood of tears, and cries out, “Alexis is undone! Alexis is undone! He is ruined forever! So many are the Sanguinarians that hunt for him here Day and Night, What can be done for him? Heaven only knows.”
The valuable Fidelius, a Shepherd of untainted Honour and Fidelity happening to be there, and intrusted in the important Affair, begged Mariana to compose herself and dry up her Tears. “He shall not (said he) come to this House. No Harm shall happen to you or your Family. I will do my best for the Preservation of Alexis. Give me some Bread and a Bottle of Hilaria, for his Refreshment, and then I shall be gone,” Scarce had he spoke these Words, when the Erronei, who molested them from the Shore, came to Fallacia in quest of Alexis. Their Leader entered the House and, finding Heroica, desired to know who came along with her. “My Maid, (replied she) and a Country-Fellow of a Servant: They are gone to see their Friends in this Island.”
The wife Fidelius takes the Opportunity of this Hurry, and steps away to find his important Charge, Heroica having particularly described the Place where she left him, and informed him that Alexis expected to be put into his Hands. For some Time Fidelius, wandering up and down to no Purpose, began to be afraid of the worst, till, at last, seeing a Flock of Sheep running from the Shore, thither he directs his Course, imagining them to have run away upon spying some Body thereabouts. His Conjecture proved to be right.
When he was within seventy or eighty Yards of his wished for Object, he gave a Cough that he might not come upon him in a Surprise. Immediately Alexis started to his Feet, and, coming briskly forward with a heavy Cudgel in his Hand, asked, “Sir, are you not Fidelius of Regicia?” Yes, replied he, I am, at your Service. “Then (said Alexis) all is well; come let us be jogging on.” Stop a little, (replied Fidelius) and take some Refreshment I have brought along with me. I am afraid you have need of it” “Most seasonably it comes, (says Alexis) for I have tasted neither Meat nor Drink for near fifty Hours past.”'
The Hilaria being soon dispatched, away they bend their Course to Regicia, seven or eight Miles from the Rock where Alexis landed. Notwithstanding of his unmanageable Dress, and a continued Series of Fatigue he had been undergoing for some Time, he marched with such a quick Pace, that Fidelius as frequently obliged to call him to stop, that he might rest and breathe a little. In the Way they had a River, through which Alexis wades, according to his ordinary Way, without pulling off Shoes or Stockings; but happening to lift the Petticoats too high, the honest Veracius could not help crying, “Alexis, you will certainly discover yourself; any Person might now discover that you are no Shepherdess.” He thanked Veracius for his great Concern, and said, with a smiling Countenance, “Not being accustomed to this Dress, I am apt to forget myself. It is well there are none here but Friends.” When they arrive at Regicia, the disguised Adventurer is most hospitably received by the Shepherdess of the Place, and Fidelius, after giving a hearty Welcome to his Guest kindly remarked to him the Inconvenience of his Dress. “All your Airs (said he) are so much upon the Masculine, that your Dress will only serve to discover you. When you should drop a Courtesy, you make a Bow. When your Garter is loose, you rudely pull up the Petticoats, and such is your Method too when you are to ----.”
Alexis was much pleased with the kind and merry Remarks of his Friend, and frankly owned he was a Stranger to the Dexterity of personating a Character. “I always had a Dislike (said he) to your Apes and Mimics; there is something in my Nature quite opposite to that Way of doing; no Wonder then that I cut such an awkward and comical Figure at present.” “I plainly see (replied Fidelius) that you would make but a very bad Pretender in any Shape of Life; and therefore it is necessary that you reassume the Dress of your Sex. I have a Suit at your Service. This will serve to be a real Disguise, because I am well assured that you are sought after, by your blood-thirsty Enemies, as in the Habit of a Shepherdess. But, Alexis, what is this I see? Your Buskins are so old and tattered, that your Toes have made their Way through them. Woe is me, that my dear Alexis should be reduced to Rags! Who should dare to complain of Hardships and Difficulties, when the great Alexis cheerfully undergoes the greatest? Please accept of a Pair I have never used.”
Then, taking off the old Ones, he carefully tied them together, and hung them upon a Piece of an old Crook in the Corner of his Hut, and spoke thus to his beloved Guest. “You see where I have placed them; I will sacredly preserve them as long as I live; for I hope they will stand me in good Stead yet.” “In good Stead (replies Alexis with a Smile) how is it possible?” “When my beloved Alexis (adds the happy Landlord) comes to his wished for Sanctimia, I will quickly visit him with Joy, and as my Introducers these I will take along with me, and shake them on him.” Alexis, much pleased with the Jest, bade him be mindful to do as he said. “May propitious Heaven smile upon my ardent Wishes, (says Fidelius) grant my Alexis a speedy and happy Arrival at his principal Hut Sanctimia. There may he long live in Peace and Plenty, and tend his Flocks with Care.”
Next Morning Fidelius waited on his Guest before he got out of Bed, and was glad to find he had rested well all Night. After the usual Compliments, Alexis asked Fidelius if he could tell him any News. “For (said he) I have been for a long Time out of the World, and know not what is passing. Pray, are not the Crissini landed yet?” “As little do I know (replies Fidelius) what is passing; and as for the Crissini, I humbly think, you need not expect them. They are the cunning Shepherds, that love to play the Game of fast and loose.”
Alexis raising himself up in his Bed, and fixing his Eyes upon his Friend, said, “I tell you, Fidelius, they must come, and they sha1l come.”
The faithful Guardian, having equipped his Guest: in the Habit of a Shepherd, begged Leave to represent to him what Course was properest for his future Safety; and happening to mention a Place not much to the Liking of Alexis, he then advised him to go to the Island of Ressia, where he would meet with his firm Friend Prudentius, who had attended him in his Adventures, and now deeply shared in his Sufferings, and would be ready to tender his best Advice.
Everything being got ready, they walk to the Shore, where the mournful Parting must ensue. Alexis, expressing his Fears lest he should not be so happy as to meet with another Fidelius in his Wanderings, threw his Arms about his Neck, and bade him a mournful Farewell; some friendly Tears falling from his Eyes, and a few Drops of Blood from his Nose.
He lands safely in Ressia, and makes his Abode two or three Days with Prudentius, who told him that he behoved to return to Ætheria, and do his best to find out the stout old Nestor. He assured him that the Sage had got safe Home after the fatal Affair of Lachrymania, and that he would probably find him in his own Hut bemoaning the Fate of his dear Alexis. “I need not tell you (said he) that one of his well-known Experience and tried Courage is the fittest Person in the World to admire within your present Situation. The Task is arduous, and far above my Reach.
Once more the brave Alexis, undaunted in all the Pressures of Life, must make his Way to Ætheria.
In passing over its heathy Mountains, with some Provisions on his Back, he meets with well-looked stately Shepherd in the Bloom of Life, whom he had never seen before this accidental happy meeting, but was much taken with his goodly Appearance. As they approached they kept their Eyes fixed on one another. When they met, the Shepherd makes Alexis a low Bow, and being struck with the graceful and uncommon Mien of the amiable Alexis, and willfully gazing upon him, cries out, You are certainly Alexis! my dear distressed Alexis! Alexis, both surprised and pleased, answered, from your Looks I can easily imagine you to be one of the honest Shepherds; but pray what are you? “I am Constantius, answered the Shepherd, and am ready to do you any Service; I will do anything, I will run every Risk for my dear Alexis”.”Well, then, says the magnanimous Wanderer, I am Alexis, and am exceedingly happy in this seasonable Interview; but pray to what Place will you direct me?” “To the hospitable Hut of honest old Nestor, (replies he) He is the trusty Friend whom I want to see (says Alexis) and let us lose no Time.” “Though the Journey be no less than twenty four Miles (replies Constantius) we must saunter in the Hills till Sunset, and then we can advance with greater Safety, as the several Parties that are in search of you, will be gone to Rest.” Alexis agreed to his Advice, and upon the Approach of Night they set out. They had not gone far, till Constantius found himself very much put to it to keep up with his hardy Companion, so quick was his Pace, though still carrying his Provisions on his Back; and he declared, that two or three Days of such Exercise would quite destroy him. Several Times he expressed his Surprise, that the brave Adventurer could support under such Fatigue. “Under auspicious Heaven (says Alexis) I hope to outlive all my Difficulties, and to enjoy all I wish, and all I want. Do you see this Doublet, Constantius? I hope this shall carry me to Sanctimia yet.” Next morning they arrive safe at Nestor's, who received them with all the Tenderness of a Father.
Alexis conceived such an Opinion of his Guardian Constantius, that he could not think of parting with him, but he urged it as necessary. “Before this Time, (says he) I will be a-missing; and a Jealousy will be entertained that nothing could keep me so long from those I have a Concern in, but the Chance of meeting with you. If you wish your own Safety we must bid adieu in Hopes to meet again. I must be gone, and will throw myself in the Way to be taken in order to preserve you. Old Nestor supported his Opinion, and applauded his generous Resolution. “Begone my Child, (said he) and bravely do as you propose. Heavens preserve you, and reward your heroic Spirit.”
“My dearest Alexis, farewell, never forget your own Constantius.” “Adieu, my faithful Constantius, be ever mindful of the wandering Alexis.”
Neflor prepares everything for the Departure of Alexis from Ætheria, where he could promise him no Safety. In a few Days they set out in a small Boat, and quickly land upon the Continent of Robustia, where Alexis is happy in finding some of his old Friends. This Meeting yields so much Joy on both Sides; that it is impossible to describe it.
Here we must leave Alexis for a While, and view the hard Fate of his former Guardians.
Nestor behoved to take Leave of the young Adventurer and his Attendants, and, in his Return to Ætheria, had the Misfortune to fall into the Hands of Crudelius. Along with him were taken a Brother of the faithful Achates and the three Rowers. One of the Rowers had the good Luck to escape, the second declared all he knew of the Matter; but the third, Cordius, stood brave to his Tackling, and refused to make a Declaration. Crudelius used Flattery and Threats by Turns, but all would not work upon the undaunted Spirits of the brave, though low, Cordius. The ungenerous Blood-thirsty Monster orders him to be tied up, and severely whipped with Cords, even in the Presence of the venerable and tender-hearted Nestor. Cordius endures the cruel Treatment with unshaken Courage, even when the Blood gushed from his Side. By chance Fidelius was present, very desirous to see the Cruelty at an End, and the bold Cordius come off with Honour; but perceiving that the horrid Barbarity was continued designedly to put an End to his Life, he stepped to him, and begged him in Yalk to save a Life so precious, by making a Declaration, for (says he) it can do no Harm? Amidst all the Pain and Torture he was suffering, he had the Presence of Mind to say, “Are you sure, Fidelius, my Declaration can do no Harm.” “I am very sure, (replied he) for the worthy Heroica is in Custody, and has boldly owned Facts, and your Fellow Rower, you know, has declared everything. Upon this Cordius was prevailed on to save a Life that he would otherwise have resolutely sacrificed, rather than in the least injured the heroic Alexis. A Pattern from a Clown to many in high and exalted Stations! Here we have a convincing Proof, that true Fortitude and Honour are to be found in low Life, when the smallest Tracks of these Virtues are not to be found in many of those in much higher Ranks But Cordius is immediately thrown in Goal.
Soon after this Fidelius is taken into Custody by Militarius, and Crudelius was ordered to examine his Shepherdess, who had the Courage to say, Crudelius, “if you are to be my Judge, Heavens have Mercy on me.”
Militarius showed much Civility to Fidelius, and told him, so long as he continued in his Hands, he would treat him with Respect; but that he behoved to send him to Sa-gui—iu., “And if (says he) you will give me your honest Word, that you will go alone, I will send no Men along with you, and will write in your Favours. This will at last entitle you to good Usage.” Fidelius had too much good Sense not to be sensible of this generous Offer, for which he humbly thanked Militarius, and frankly pawned his Word.
When Fidelius arrived at Voluptucia, he was brought before Trickelius, who sent Militarius's Letter to his Master; for to him it was addressed.
Upon Perusal of the Letter Sa-gui--ius acted the Fury to the Life, stamping up and down, and expressing himself to those about him in very rough and uncouth Words.
“This Fidelius, (said he) by - must be a Knave, a Villain. It was in his Power to have prevented much Trouble to my Follower. - He could have saved, by , a vast Expense, that must be thrown away in searching after that rascally Fellow who might now have been in our Hands, or dispatched, by ---. Ay, G – d--- him, he must be a silly Knave too, by G-- a Fool, a downright Idiot, by G--. He has stupidly neglected a very handsome Reward, a very pretty Sum, by G--. What a mighty great man might he have been, had he nicked his Opportunity? He would have laid infinite Obligations on the G-- t, by G--, and so have raised himself and his Family forever. The Fool's Doom is certain, by G--. Hanging is too good for him, by G--. He deserves Death upon Deaths, Thousands of them, by G--.” “Thus he expressed himself for some Time, and then gave Orders to throw Fidelius into a nasty Dungeon, and to load him with heavy Irons; from whence he was soon removed to Ruperia, a Place of great Strength, where he endured a very strict and close Confinement; but bore his Misfortunes with a becoming Greatness.
While Fidelius was under Examination, the Words of Trickelius were to the same Purpose as those of Sa-gui--ius, but expressed in a softer Style, and with an Air of Concern for the Misfortunes he had brought upon himself. Fidelius ' begged Leave to tell him, “That if he would bring all the Gold in the World before him and lay it Heap upon Heap, until it should swell to the Bulk of that Mountain in View, (pointing to it) I would not (continues Fidelius) take it in Exchange for that Peace of Mind I enjoy for what I have done.” A great Soul has no Price.
The youthful Constantius was likewise seized upon, and confined with the stout old Nestor, and several others.
Let us now return to Alexis. He desired his Partners in Distress to let him know what was passing in the World. They inform him, that the Trumpeters were the most dangerous of all Enemies, and that they had shut their Ears to the Cries and Groans of their native Robustia; that they had lately composed some new Tunes to delude the lower Shepherds, and prejudice them against the ancient Melody. The Trumpeters told, that Acts of Hospitality and Compassion to the honest Shepherds was the blackest of Crimes; and the seizing, nay, butchering of Alexis, was recommended as an indispensible Duty. “Where can we find Words (say his faithful Sufferers) for the horrid Description? And who can hear it without it a sorrowful Heart and gushing Eyes? Our Blood runs chill to think on the sad Reverse of all that is sacred!” Their constant Theme is, Fire and Sword, Plunder and Extirpation, Goals and Chains, Axes and Gibbets Blood, Blood, Blood!
To these Trumpeters, and the artful Lexelius, Strutterius and his Accomplices owe more than to all the World besides. None were ever more dextrous in forming a Scheme, or more successful in the Execution, for the Ruin of their poor Country.”
“Music of old, (replies Alexis) was the Vehicle of Knowledge, the Instructor of Virtue. It tended to soften the Manners of Mankind, to inspire them with Love and Benevolence, Acts of Generosity and Forgiveness. Hard it is, that the best of Sciences should be so misapplied.
The Picture, Alexis, comes far short of the Original. The World is turned upside down. In every Combustion, when the Humours begin to boil, the Scum always flows uppermost. Low servile Arts get the Ascendant of Merit, and Acts of Treachery and Cruelty are Steps to Preferment. Only view the Love-abandoned Mendacius, whose Name ever was a sufficient Indication of his Character. How cruelly does he exult on the Ruins of his weeping Country? What shall we say of Deceptus and Erroneus, who have been the Tools of Lexelius, seduced by artful Smiles and smooth Words? They now have the Mortification to see themselves involved in the general Wreck, and to brood over the melancholy Thought of surviving their Country. Had they acted their Parts with a becoming Fortitude we should have this Day been playing the favourite Song of the Plain, Peggy, now the King's come. But now we must lay aside - Cease to complain, (says Alexis) dwell not so much on the Instruments of the fatal Ruin, as quite to overlook the Hand that wisely directs all Things to their proper Ends. Invectives will embitter, but can never sweeten the Cup of Adversity. Deceptus and Erroneus have indeed baulked our Expectations, and acted Parts I choose not to insist on: But who knows what may happen to rouse them to a Sense of their Error? They may yet atone for what is past. Even Lexelius himself, upon a serious review of the Miseries that attend his distressed Country, may change his Sentiments, and have a Hand in applying the only Medicine that can revive it. Let us not despair. Our Business is to look forwards, and hope for the best. But, my Friends, I am afraid, we stay too long in one Place. What next is to be done for our common Safety? Let us lose no Time, for the Enemy is not far off.”
The Danger (say they) is exceeding great, and the Safety of our Person is our only Aim. If we accomplish that, we are indifferent what becomes of ourselves. We will cheerfully undergo any Hardships to preserve you. All the High-Roads and Byway are so strictly guarded by different Parties, that there is no passing them; and yet it is proper that you should make your Way down to the Continent. You arc sought after as being in the Habit of a Shepherdess; no other Method therefore is left us, but that one of our Number should be equipped in that Habit, and boldly resolve to fall a Sacrifice for your Preservation.”
Alexis, struck with this surprising Instance of Heroism, could not help being shocked at the Proposa1. He commanded them to give over the Thoughts, telling, “That rather than any of his brave Followers should fall to facilitate his Escape, he will skulk from Corner to Corner in the narrow Limits of his present Situation. I am not insensible of the present Danger, (continues he) but there is something that tells me the Sanguinarians shall not have Power to hurt me. I hope for better Things yet.” “So do we, replied they, but we must use the Means.” But your Proposal I will never agree to, (said Alexis) be the Consequence what it will.” To this Purpose they continued arguing for a considerable Time; and Celestius, finding that Alexis was determined against the Proposal, undiscovered, leaves them; gets himself dressed in a Shepherdess's Habit, and, the better to carryon his Design, takes along with him two Youths, to make a small Defence when he should be tracked. With these he sets out, and had not gone far, till a Body of Sanginarians appear. The nearer he approaches to them, the bolder he advances.
They cry to him, “Are you the -----? Are you the -----? I am Alexis, I am Alexis, replied he.”The two Companions interpose, but were soon disabled with several Wounds. The undaunted Celestius continues crying, “I am Alexis, I am Alexis.” Being all over Blood and Wounds, he falls to the Ground, and is left as dead. The two Youths are made Prisoners by the Sanguinarians, who make the Hills resound with their hollowing and roaring for Joy of having (as they supposed) made an End of Alexis. Celestius lay in the sad Condition he was left in by the Sanguinarians, till some of those who knew of his Resolution came to the Place, on Purpose to see what had become of him; and they finding that there was Breath in his Body, carried it off, and applied Medicines used by the Shepherds; upon which he began to grow better, and in some Weeks was quite recovered. Alexis sets out for the Continent, not knowing of Celestius's Enterprise, and, after wandering several Days through Hills and Deserts, unexpectedly meets with his long wished for Achates.
They were so overjoyed, that they were unable to speak. Alexis, at last, says, “My dear Achates, I cannot express my Satisfaction at this Meeting I am happily surprised with; I was afraid the Wounds you got at Lachrymania had robbed me of my Achates.”These wounds, Alexis, I received on the fatal Plain, are all little enough for the rightful Cause. Cheerfully cou1d I breathe every Vein in the glorious Strife, and purchase a happy Exit. When I hear of the many Profanations, that are too common, I am fired with Indignation. I am almost wearied of Life. Willingly would I vindicate the Cause of Heaven, if Heaven stood in need. But if Heaven can pour down Vengeance on the guilty Heads, and wisely adapt the Punishment to the Crime.” “Profanations! (cries Alexis) what do you mean, Achates? Yes, (replies he) Profanations, and such too as would make Savages blush. The Temples of the Shepherds are set on Fire, and the sacred Theleme and Eucharia have not escaped the Flames!” The Theleme and Eucharia, (says Alexis) certainly the confirming of them must have been by Accident.” “Not by Accident, (replied the Achates) the Sanguinarians, with loud Throats and Huzzas, throw them into the Flames and what is most surprising, these very Miscreants pretend a great Veneration for the Theleme and Eucharia, and give out that they look on them as the only Guides to ---.
Here the Manuscript ends abruptly.
ALEXIS - A brave Youth.
Robustia - Scotland.
Felicia - England.
Sanguinarius - Some butchering Fellow.
Sanguinarians - His Followers.
Blood-Hounds - The Army.
Lachrymania - Culloden.
Tityrus - Mr. Sullivan.
Corydon - - Mr. 0’Neil.
Longana - - An Island near
Meridiana – South Uist.
Ætheria - The Isle of Skye.
Clarinda - Lady Clanronald.
Heroica· - Miss MacDonald.
Sea-Monsters - Ships of War.
My Salama - My Mother.
Honorius - Mr. MacDonald Step-Father to Miss MacDonald.
Yalk - The Highland Language.
B---y B---k - Betty Bourk.
Bullinian – Irish.
Veracius - Neil MacKechan, properly MacLean.
Gladsmuir - or Preston-Pans.
Clenizia - Clifton.
Falcania - Falkirk.
Yawns - Provisions.
Trickelius - Sir E. Fawkner.
Erronei – MacLeods.
Fallacia – A House of
Deceptus – His Lady
Fidelius – Mr. MacDonald.
Regicia – Kingsburgh.
Hilaria – Wine.
Buskins – Highland Brogues.
Sanctimia – St. James’s
Crissini – French
Ressia – Raasay.
Prudentius – MacLeod of Raasay.
Nestor – Old MacKinnon.
Constantius – Captain John Ferguson.
Achates – Young Locheil.
Cordius – One of the Names of MacKinnon.
Militarius – General Campbell.
Voluptucia – Fort Augustus.
Ruperia – Castle of Edinburgh.
Trumpeters – Presbyterian Ministers.
New Airs – Sermons.
Music – Preaching.
Lexelius – Duncan Forbes.
Strutterius – A kicking Captain.
Mendacious – Donald Bruce
Erroneus - MacLeod.
Celestius - A Gentleman of the Name of MacKenzie.
Theleme, Eucharia – Two good books.