In an unpretentious lodging-house in Pennsylvania avenue, near the Capitol, the man who as much, if not more than any other agitator, is said to have blazed the way to the Civil War, the writer who stirred this nation to its core by his anti-slavery philippics, and the promoter with the most gigantic railroad enterprise projected in the history of the world, was found gript in the icy hand of death.
"Then cried Torfrid, my forefather, 'What use in crying to St. Trophimus? He could not help himself, when the Paynim burnt him: and how can he help us? A tough arm is worth a score of martyrs here. "And he rode at that Emir, and gript him in his arms.
And I kist not Mine Own; but stood there, very shaken and desperate, and gript her fast unto me, scarce heeding the hardness of my gripe; and alway I lookt unto the way of the coming of the Sound. And presently did unbare my wrist where the Capsule did be.
Fate gratified his wish, for while he was on the rock in the year 1703 one of the most terrible tempests that ever have assailed the coasts of Britain gript the structure, tore it up by the roots, and hurled it into the Channel, where it was battered to pieces, its designer and five keepers going down with the wreck.
And I slept all but six hours, and did waken very sudden there in the utter dark; and I got me to mine elbow, and did listen very keen; for I had waked immediately, as that something had touched me or come nigh unto me; and I gript the Diskos, and listened; but there did not even a little sound come to me out of all that night.
He saw the laws that ruled the tournament Broken, but spake not; once, a knight cast down Before his throne of arbitration cursed The dead babe and the follies of the King; And once the laces of a helmet crack'd, And show'd him, like a vermin in its hole, Modred, a narrow face: anon he heard The voice that billow'd round the barriers roar An ocean-sounding welcome to one knight, But newly-enter'd, taller than the rest, And armour'd all in forest green, whereon There tript a hundred tiny silver deer, And wearing but a holly-spray for crest, With ever-scattering berries, and on shield A spear, a harp, a bugle Tristram late From overseas in Brittany return'd, And marriage with a princess of that realm, Isolt the White Sir Tristram of the Woods Whom Lancelot knew, had held sometime with pain His own against him, and now yearn'd to shake The burthen off his heart in one full shock With Tristram ev'n to death: his strong hands gript And dinted the gilt dragons right and left, Until he groan'd for wrath so many of those, That ware their ladies' colours on the casque, Drew from before Sir Tristram to the bounds, And there with gibes and flickering mockeries Stood, while he mutter'd, 'Craven crests!
"He leapt into the water, That rover young and bold; He gript Earl Haldan's daughter, He shore her locks of gold; 'Go weep, go weep, proud maiden, The tale is full to-day. Now hey bonny boat, and ho bonny boat! Sail Westward-ho, and away!" As she ceased, a measured voice, with a foreign accent, thrilled through her.
There is no echo in 'OEdipus' of the cry of revolt which rings thru 'Ghosts, and yet there was a strange similarity in the impression made on at least one spectator of the actual performances of these tragedies, the ancient and the modern, the one after the other, at a few days' interval here in New York, an impression of deepening horror that graspt the throat and gript the heart with fingers of ice.
My stick, or rather switch, was nae better than half a dozen o' rashes plaited together. 'Will ony o' ye lend me a stick, gentlemen? cried I to the bystanders, while I keepit guarding him off the best way I could. Aboon a dozen were offered in an instant. I gript at the nearest.
And in that moment, he made unto me with so mighty a leap as any tiger should give. And he came half over the edge, and gript the Diskos by the handle, in an instant. And surely I had lost that trusted weapon, or been pulled over and cast into the depth, but that the Diskos did spin, and the Earth-Current did make live the handle as was intended save where the "grip" was set.