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Title: A gallop among American scenery: or, Sketches of American scenes and military adventure
Author: Silliman, Augustus E.
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A gallop among American scenery: or, Sketches of American scenes and military adventure" ***

                            AMERICAN SCENERY:

                          AUGUSTUS E. SILLIMAN.


                    D. APPLETON & CO., 200 BROADWAY.

                  GEO. S. APPLETON, 148 CHESNUT STREET.

                              M DCCC XLIII.

        Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843,
                         BY D. APPLETON AND CO.,
      In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court for the Southern
                          District of New-York.

                           H. LUDWIG, PRINTER,
                           72 Vesey-st., N. Y.

                          BENJAMIN D. SILLIMAN,
                              LITTLE VOLUME
                        AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED,
                              HIS BROTHER.

A number of the following Sketches have appeared at intervals in the
columns of the New-York American.


        I. BANKS OF THE POTOMAC                  1

       II. THE COUNTRY PASTOR                    8

      III. MOUNT VERNON                         13

       IV. MEDICAL STUDENT                      25

        V. THE RESURRECTIONISTS                 39

       VI. OLD KENNEDY, NO. I.                  44

      VII. OLD KENNEDY, NO. II.                 53

     VIII. OLD KENNEDY, NO. III.                59

       IX. OLD KENNEDY, NO. IV.                 68

        X. LEE’S PARTISAN LEGION                78

       XI. HUDSON RIVER                        107

      XII. NIGHT ATTACK ON FORT ERIE           113

     XIII. BATTLE OF LUNDY’S LANE              120


       XV. MONTREAL                            139

      XVI. THE NUN                             144

     XVII. CATARACTS OF NIAGARA                148

    XVIII. MOUNT HOLYOKE                       155

      XIX. WHITE MOUNTAINS                     160

       XX. BASS FISHING OFF NEWPORT            169

      XXI. BRENTON’S REEF                      176

     XXII. OLD TRINITY STEEPLE                 185

    XXIII. LONG ISLAND SOUND                   201

     XXIV. GREEN-WOOD CEMETERY                 220

           APPENDIX                            233


No.—State-street—(storm without)—apartment strewed with sundry bachelor
appurtenances, fronting on the Battery—a gentleman, in dressing-gown and
embroidered slippers, measuring the room with hasty strides—exclaimeth

North-east by the flags of the shipping in the bay! North-east by the
chill rain dashing on the window panes! North-east by the weather-cocks
on all the steeples, from St. Paul’s to the dog-vane on the stable end!
_North-east_ by the ache of every bone in my body! Eheu! What’s to be
done? No going abroad in this torrent. I’ve read all the landlady’s
little library. How shall I kill the enemy? I’ll whistle; vulgar. Sing;
I can’t. There are the foils and the gloves. Pshaw! I have no friend to
pommel or pink; besides, the old lady in the room below, has nerves.
Whew! how it pours. I’ll—I’ll—stand and look out into the street.
Jupiter! how near the bread-cart came to going over the chimney sweep.
Poor Sooty—how he grins! He owes the worm no silk—whatever obligations
his rags may be under to the sheep. Poor fellow! Holloa! ho! blackey;
catch this quarter, and get you a hot breakfast. There goes that
confounded battery gate again! bang—bang—night and day. There’s never a
loafer takes his morning promenade, or even siesta on the grass, but must
needs follow his dirty face through that particular gate.

Alas! me miserable. What shall I do? The spirit of ennui rides me as
thoroughly as did the “old man of the sea” Sinbad the sailor. Eh! they’re
the dumb bells. Diminish nervous excitability, by muscular exertion.
Good!—humph; and there’s the old lady’s nerves below. How the wind roars
and rumbles round the chimney tops. Rain—rain—rain. There! that tin spout
is choked, and the gutter is pouring over a young cataract. Oh! that I
were a newspaper carrier, or a whale—or the sea serpent, chasing the down
East fishermen—or—in short, any thing, so that I need not mind the wet.
Hum—hum—what shall I do? I have it. Eureka! I have it. I’ll sit down and
give my friend of the American an account of my last ramble.

(Rolleth his chair up to the table at the fire—crosseth his legs on the
fender—and proceedeth to nib his pen.) Now for it. (Writes.)

       *       *       *       *       *

You well recollect, my dear Mr. Editor, the arguments that I used, to
induce you to make a short journey to the South with me last summer;
and your answer, “I can’t leave the paper.” You well recollect that I
urged that we were not born to work alone; that life was short; that
sixteen or sixty, its term was but a flash; that we were rushing on
with increased velocity to that bourne, whose sands are marked, by
no returning foot-print—that bourne where the sceptre and diadem of
the monarch lie contemptuously hurled with the goad and chain of the
slave—where, their service ended, the broken wain of the yeoman, and the
grim cannon of the soldier, interlock their shattered wheels; the bayonet
and pruning-hook—the sword and the ploughshare rest without a name. You
well recollect that I reproached you, the rather, with too great love for
the green fields and giant elms around your cottage at Elizabethtown;
that I swore by my faith! and I believed in the doctrine of Pythagoras,
that I should look to see thy immortal part, transferred on its exit,
from its present habitation to one of those huge trees towering into the
blue ether; that there, in the sunny mornings of summer, for sonnets
which do enliven thy columns, I should hear the joyous call of the
robin—the shrill whistle of the scarlet oriole; for sparkling wit,—the
dew of night glittering on thy leaves in the early sunbeams; for wise
old saws, and dreamy legends, venerable moss gathering upon thy trunk
and branches, while, alike in the evening wind or howling blast, thou
shouldest stand firm against casuistry or dictation. “Wilt go? Wilt join
me?”—with soft persuasion murmured I. “The paper—the paper—the pa—per,”
quoth thou. “Presto,” quoth _I_—and without more ado started in my usual
heels-over-head fashion, alone on my journey.

I swept over the broad breast of the Delaware-dashed down the enemy
insulted Chesapeake—bounded through the city of riots and beauty, and
came down on my feet at the cottage of my whole-souled friend, Tom B——,
on the banks of the Potomac. The afternoon of my arrival was warm and
still, and every thing in nature, even the birds, seemed wrapped in
indolent repose. Slowly sauntering through the long vistas of sycamores
and elms, which adorned the grounds in picturesque avenues, the airy East
Indian cottage of my friend suddenly broke upon my sight, peering from
a whole load of flowering vines and sweet briars, tall white lilies,
and moss roses, from thick beds of myrtle at their feet, climbing into
the half open lattices, while two towering pines almost crossed their
extended branches above its lowly roof. I stole quietly through the
open door, examining the choice Italian landscapes hanging upon the
walls of the airy grass-matted hall,—slid through the drawing-rooms,
stopping for a moment to scan the crouching Venus and dying Gladiator
on their pedestals; to admire the exquisite Magdalen of Carlo Dolce—the
lovely Claude, the Cenci, and Flora beneath their silken tassels,—and
coming out upon the verandah overlooking the river, suspended in his
grass hammock, found master Tom, enjoying his luxurious siesta. His
double-barrelled gun and game-bag—his linen shooting jacket, huge
sombrero, and hunting-boots, were tumbled promiscuously in one corner
of the piazza,—while half a dozen fine plover, turning up their plump
breasts, a partridge, and some score of yellow-legged snipe, with the
powder-flask and shot-belt, were thrown across the back of the rustic
settee, trophies of his morning’s sport, beneath which, with their noses
extended between their legs in like luxurious repose, lay the huge old
Newfoundlander, “Bernard,” and his favourite pointer, “Soho.”

The mild breeze bore in the sweet perfume of the honey-suckle from a
neighbouring arbour, and the broad Potomac, stretched tranquilly onwards,
undisturbed save by the occasional jibe of the boom, or lazy creak of the
rudder of some craft, reflected with her white sails upon its surface.
The garden, with its white-gravelled walks, bordered with box, descended
in parterres to the river’s edge—an embroidered carpet of flowers;
and lemon and orange trees, released from their winter’s confinement,
displayed their golden fruit, hanging amid the green leaves in tempting
profusion. I bent over and looked into the hammock, and could not but
admire the serenity of the manly features, the measured heave of the
broad chest, and the masses of raven locks, playing around the white
forehead of the sleeper, as they were slowly lifted by the play of the
passing wind. I thought it were a sin to disturb him, so drawing out my
cigar case, I stretched myself on the settee at his side, complacently
reclining my head upon its arm. Whiles watching the blue smoke of my
“Regalia,” as it slowly wreathed and floated above my head—whiles
watching the still dreamy flow of the river—and whiles—if I must confess
it—cogitating which had been the wisest, myself the bachelor, or Tom the
married man,—Tom, myself, the dogs, forming a tolerably correct picture
of _still_ life,—a still life that remained unbroken for some half hour,
when through the glass door of the drawing-room a beautiful boy of three
or four years came galloping into the piazza, and bounding towards
the dogs, threw himself full length upon the shaggy Newfoundlander,
manfully striving to pull open his huge jaws with his little hands. The
Newfoundlander opening his eyes, saw me, and raising himself on his legs,
gave a low growl; while the child, relinquishing his hold upon the ears
to which he had clung, as the dog rose to his feet, came slowly up to
me, and placing his plump little hands upon my knee, looked curiously
and inquiringly into my face, his golden locks falling in a profusion
of ringlets down his superb sunburnt shoulders. I was charmed with the
confidence, and innocence, and sweetness beaming from his gaze, and
took him upon my knee, his hand playing with my watch guard, while his
beautiful blue eyes remained fixed in the same look of curious inquiry
on mine. I said it was a picture of _still_ life. Tom, aroused by the
dog, slowly lifted his head over the edge of the hammock, rubbed his
eyes as if uncertain whether he were in a dream, as I calmly and silently
returned his astonished gaze, and then, with a single swing, was at my
side, both of my hands clasped in his. The next moment, I fancy the
picture was other than _still_ life.

Why should I tell you of the tea-table, loaded with delicacies in the
matted hall, as the soft evening sun-set poured its last rays through
it? of the symmetrical figure clad in snowy whiteness—the Grecian
features, the dark Andalusian eyes, beaming with kindness from behind
the glittering silver at its head? Why, that the youngster tied by the
handkerchief in the high chair at his mother’s side, pertinaciously
kicked his tiny red shoes about him in frolic glee, while my little
knight of the golden locks, did the duty of the trencher at his father’s
elbow? Why, that as the shades of evening faded into twilight, that the
young gentry were snugly ensconced in their little bed, the mother’s
soft cheek pressed against the forehead of the eldest as he lisped his
evening prayer? and why, as soon “like twin roses on one stalk,” as they
were wrapped in innocent slumber, we sat in the fading twilight, talking
over old scenes and boyish recollections, retracing our steps back to
those days which, softened by the lapse of time, appear divested of every
thing save brightness and sunshine? why but to tell you that we were
aroused from those retrospections, by the sound of the church-going bell,
musically chiming in the distance.


The slow tolling—now almost dying away, and now striking more strongly
upon the ear—arose from the church in the neighbouring town, where my
friends were in the habit of worshipping, and where they were to have the
opportunity on that evening of hearing the voice of their time-honoured
pastor—an opportunity which his great age and increasing infirmities had
made equally rare and valuable. I gladly accepted the invitation to join
them, as, aside from a desire to see the aged man, of whom I had so often
heard, if there is a time for devotion more consonant to my feelings than
another, it is when the quietness and serenity of a summer’s evening
dispel all external impressions, and every thing appears in unison with
harmony and benevolence.

As we walked the short half mile between the cottage and the church,
the stars shone in beauty amid the still rosy tints of the west—the
night-hawk stooped towards us, as he wheeled in his airy circles—the
whip-poor-will in the adjoining meadows sounded his mournful note,
and the crickets, with the chirping frogs in the neighbouring ponds,
sustained a ceaseless chorus. Arrived at the church-yard, we picked our
way among the old brown tomb-stones, their quaint devices, contrasted
here and there with others of more modern pretensions in white marble,
and entering the church, took our seats in silence. We were early; but
as the church gradually filled, it was interesting to watch group after
group, as it noiselessly measured the aisles, and sunk quietly upon
the cushioned seats. Now and then a pair of bright eyes would glance
curiously around from beneath a gay bonnet, and a stray tress be thrown
hastily aside; but alas! those clad in the habiliments of wo, too, too
often moved, phantom-like, to their places; the lights, as they threw a
momentary glare on their pale and care-worn faces, making more dark the
badges which affection has assumed as a tame index of inward grief. The
slow toll of the bell ceased—the silence became more deep;—an occasional
cough—the rustling of a dress—the turn of a leaf alone breaking the
perfect stillness.

The low tones of the organ rose gently and sweetly, and the voluntary
floated softly and mist-like over the assembly; now rising, and falling,
and undulating, with like dreamy harmony, as if the Æolian harp were
answering, with the passing airs playing among its strings, the ocean
gently laving her pebbly shores; then gradually rising and increasing
in depth, it grandly and solemnly ascended upwards, till thrown back,
reverberated from the walls of the circular dome above us, it rolled away
in deep and distant thunders. All became again silent. The venerable
form of a man of four-score years, his hair bleached with the sorrows of
eighty winters, rose slowly in the pulpit, and as, with eyes closed, yet
lifted to Heaven, he feebly supported himself with outstretched arms upon
its cushion, we heard almost in a whisper, “Let us pray, my brethren,”
fall tremulously from his lips. Nought, but the perfect stillness,
enabled us at first to hear the sentences pronounced with evident and
painful effort; but as he advanced in prayer, that almost whisper, became
firm and distinct, and his pallid cheek lighted up with a hectic flush,
as he waxed eloquent in the presence of his Maker.

His venerable features appeared to glow almost with inspiration, as he
drew near the throne of the Holy One; and the hearts of the mourners beat
more calmly, as they felt themselves carried into the presence of Him
that suffered. More thoughtless than the swallow that skims the summer
skies, must he have been, who could have heard that prayer, and not have
joined with reverence in its solemnity. His closing words still ring upon
my ear, and long will remain stamped upon my memory.

“My children—your fathers, and your fathers’ fathers have listened to my
voice. Generations have passed by me to their long account, and still
I have been left, and still my voice hath arisen from this holy place.
Wo! wo is me, if my Master hath looked upon me as a slack and unworthy
servant to his people. My children—but a few short days, and this
trembling voice that still strives to teach his blessed will, shall be
hushed in that sleep which the Archangel’s trump alone shall break—this
tottering form be laid beneath the mould from whence it came, there to
remain till that trump shall demand its presence at the judgment seat.
But with the last tones of this quivering voice, with the last grasp of
these trembling hands, I extend to you the sacred volume, as your guide
to happiness in this, your only light into the world to come.

“The sneers of human reason and vain philosophy shall desert you
assuredly, my children, as you stand upon the edge of that awful
precipice, where each of you _alone_ must take the fated plunge into the
deep darkness of the future—but this, this shall make clear your passage
as brightest noon-day. My children—I look back upon you as I speak—my
hand is on the door-latch—my foot upon the threshold—oh! when your short
days like mine are numbered, may you with the same reliance in his mercy,
say, Lo, blessed Master, we stand without—receive us into thy kingdom.”

As the service ended, it was good to see the kind-hearted feeling, with
which the congregation gathered around the venerable man—for he was pure,
and sincere, and true; and of a verity, as he said, his voice had arisen
among them above the infant’s wail, at the baptismal font—had joined
them with cheerfulness at the marriage feast, and still been heard in
solemn sympathy at the side of the dark and silent grave. It was the last
time that he addressed them. Not many days, and another voice pronounced
the burial service of the dead in that green church-yard, and the form of
the good old man was covered from their sight beneath its sod.

As we returned to our cottage home, the crescent moon was streaming
in silvery brightness, the constellations and galaxy resplendent with
“living fires,” and the far, far worlds rolling in immeasurable distance,
as twinkling stars trembled upon our human vision. The dews of night were
moist upon the grass, as we re-measured the lawn that led to the cottage;
where, after planning our visit for the following morning to Mount
Vernon, we soon were wrapped in contented and grateful repose.


The sun raised himself in a huge globe of fire above the eastern horizon,
as my friend’s spirited bays stood saddled at the door of the cottage,
pawing, champing the bit, and playfully endeavouring to bite the black
boy who held them. Finishing an early breakfast, we were soon in our
saddles and full gallop on our journey; the dogs in an ecstacy of
delight, bounding along at our sides, overhauling and putting in bodily
terror every unfortunate cur that came in their way, as they sportively
tumbled him over and over in curious examination; old Bernard, with
glistening eyes and wagging tail, bestriding in grim fun the prostrate
form of the enemy. We passed rapidly through the rough paved streets of
Alexandria, watching eagerly for its famed beauties at their casements,
and clearing the town, were soon on the rustic road that leads to the
sacred place of America.

The meadows were glistening in the morning dew; the sweet perfume of the
clover filled the air; the white daisy and delicate cowslip danced over
their luxuriant grassy beds, as the fresh morning breeze fanned them
in its passage; and amid the sea of melody high above the merry gossip
of the bob-link, the chattering volubility of the mocking-bird, his
yellow spotted breast swelling with delight, his keen eye gazing into
the distance, the saucy “_you-can’t-see-me_” of the meadow lark sounded
in merry challenge, while the clear “whew-whew-it” of the quail from the
golden wheat-field, was echoed by his eager companion far down in the
green vales, as they stretched softly and gently into the distance, in
the long shadows of the early morning. Oh! let him that would scan the
benevolence of the Creator, leave his restless bed in the sweltering
city, and walk forth with the day in its youth,—for verily, like man, it
hath its youth, its manhood and its old age—and the sweetness of morning
is the youth of the day.

The hedges on the road side were covered with a tangled mass of verdure,
from which wild vines and green ivy crept to the surrounding trees,
wreathing gracefully their trunks and branches. The undergrowth was
loaded with wild roses and honeysuckles. The graceful fleur-de-lis,
curving its blue flowers, trembled upon the green banks, and the
pond-lily floating on its watery bed, threw forth its grateful fragrance,
as we occasionally passed through the swampy bottoms. Fat cattle grazed
indolently in the meadows; while now and then, as we cantered by their
pastures, the horses, with tails and manes erect, accompanied us on our
journey, till arriving at their confines, with eager neighing, they
would look after us, throw their heels high in the air, and gallop down
into the broad fields in the very jollity of freedom. Every thing seemed
contented and joyous. The hearty, happy-looking negroes, trudging along
to their agricultural labours, doffed their hats to us, with a cheerful
“good morning,” as we passed, or laughingly displayed their white teeth
and big eyes, as they led the dew-wet horse to the bars to mount and
drive to the milking the smooth, fat kine. A ride of an hour brought us
to the woods that adjoin Mount Vernon, which are cleared of undergrowth,
but in other respects as wild and untamed as if naught but the savage
had ever placed foot in them. Silence reigned through the deep glades,
unbroken, save by the hoofs of our horses as they resounded with hollow
echo; the sharp chirp of the squirrel, jumping among the dry leaves;
or the quick rap, rap, of the woodpecker, as his scarlet head and blue
back glanced momentarily from some dead trunk upon our eyesight. We
met with nothing to intercept our progress. Now and then, to be sure,
a drove of hogs, feeding upon the mast in the forest, would marshal
themselves in our path, stupidly staring at us with a sort of ludicrous,
half-drunken gravity, snuffing the air, as if determined to intercept our
progress; but as we came nearer, they would whirl short about, and with
a simultaneous grunt, their tails twisted in the air, gallop off with
desperate precipitation into the depths of the forest. Journeying a mile
or two further, we came upon the porter’s lodges, at the entrance of
the domain proper, which were old and ruinous. Proceeding still farther
over a very bad and rough carriage-road, we came suddenly in view of the
Potomac; and Mount Vernon, with its mansion-house and smooth, green lawn,
lay extended before us; Fort Washington’s battlements and cannon-filled
embrasures in stern silence guarding it from the opposite side of the

Fastening our horses, under the guidance of a grey-headed old negro,
born in the family of General Washington, we entered the lawn and came
upon the rear-front, if the term may be allowed, of an old-fashioned
mansion, surmounted by a cupola and weather-cock, semicircular piazzas
extending around from each end, connecting it with the kitchen and
servant’s apartments. Various buildings, all bearing the impress of time,
were scattered about, evidently in architectural order and plan, and
the two large gardens, rendered interesting by the flowers and plants,
still blooming in the beds where they had been placed by the hands of
the General, extended back to the forest from which we had just emerged.
As we stood for a moment looking at the old building, we almost expected
to see the yellow travelling-carriage of his Excellency, with its four
beautiful bays, and liveried out-riders, draw up at the great hall door
in its centre. Having sent in our address, we received permission from
the courteous branch of the family, who now hold the estate, to enter
and survey the interior. We were struck with its extreme simplicity,
the lowness of the walls and ceilings, and the bare floors, which were
waxed, not, as with us, carpeted. The sides of the rooms were composed
exclusively of wooden panels, upon which hung some old oil paintings of
merit,—engravings of naval actions between the English, the Dutch, and
the French; and a small enamel miniature, which is considered the best
likeness extant of Washington. Curiosities of various kinds covered the
shelves and the mantels, and the painted porcelains and china jars, stood
in stately display behind the glass doors of the old-fashioned beaufets
in the corners.

Our attention was arrested for a moment, as we passed through one of the
rooms, by a large rusty key of iron, enclosed in a glass case. It was
the key of the Bastile, that infernal prison, that monument of centuries
of grinding cruelty and oppression, where men vanished, and were seen
no more of their day and generation,—where, by the intrigues of the
courtier, the subtle blandishments of the minion of the palace, letters
de cachet plunged equally the innocent, the imprudent, and the generous,
into the jaws of living death,—that accursed congerie of dungeons where,
from mid fellowship of rats and spiders, such scrap of soiled paper,
written in the blood of the poor prisoner, fluttering from a loop-hole in
its lofty towers, arrests the footstep of the casual passenger upon the

“Mases de Latude, _thirty-two_ years prisoner in the Bastile, implores
good Christians to intercede for him, so that he may once more embrace
his poor old father and mother, if they yet live, and die in the open

Surely, nothing but the hallowed air of Mount Vernon could have prevented
the Prince of Darkness from bodily carrying off so precious a gem for
his cabinet. One side of the great drawing-room was ornamented with a
sculptured mantel in Italian marble, presented by Lafayette, the other
was covered with cases containing books of high toned selection, while,
from the third, its green silk curtain drawn aside, was suspended a
portrait of the present family, by Chapman. The figures of the portrait,
as large as life, presented a lady of middle age, clad in mourning,
surrounded by a group of children advancing into youth. It was well
executed, and in the dignified and saddened serenity, in the simple
and natural grouping, and the pure and unaffected expression of the
countenances, an American in any part of the world, would have at once
recognised a family group of the more intellectual and refined of his own
country. As we walked through the various rooms, from which the family
had withdrawn, we were so overcome with the illusion, the work-basket
with its scissors and thread—the half-opened book lying upon the table,
the large Bible prominently, not ostentatiously, in its place, the
portraits on the walls, the busts on their pedestals,—all causing such
a vivid impression of present life and being, that we almost expected to
see the towering form of the General entering the doorway, or passing
over the green lawn spread between us and that Potomac which we had so
often viewed from the same windows. We were at first disappointed at not
seeing in some conspicuous place, the sword, which had so often been
extended by the hand whose pulses quickened not in the hour of extremest
peril, as it marshalled the road of human liberty; but our disappointment
turned to admiration, and our hearts beat still higher, as we were
referred to, and read this clause in his last testament:

“To each of my four nephews, I bequeath one of the swords of which I
may die possessed. These swords are accompanied with the injunction not
to unsheath them for the purpose of shedding blood, except it be for
self-defence, or in defence of their country and its rights; and in the
latter case, to keep them unsheathed, and prefer falling with them in
their hands to the relinquishment thereof.”

Passing through the great hall, ornamented with pictures of English
hunting scenes, we ascended the oaken stair-case, with its carved and
antique balustrade;—we stood at the door—we pressed the handle—the
room and the bed where he died were before us. Nothing in the lofty
drama of his existence, surpassed the grandeur of that final scene;—the
cold which he had taken from exposure, in overseeing some part of his
grounds, and which resisted the earlier domestic remedies that were
applied, advanced in the course of two short days into that frightful
form of the disease of the throat, laryngitis.—It became necessary for
him to take to his bed. His valued friend, Dr. Craik, was instantly
summoned, and assisted by the best medical skill of the surrounding
country, exhausted all the means of his art, but without affording
him relief. He patiently submitted, though in great distress, to the
various remedies proposed, but it became evident from the deep gloom
settling upon the countenances of the medical gentlemen, that the case
was hopeless;—advancing insidiously, the disease had fastened itself
with deadly certainty. Looking with perfect calmness upon the sobbing
group around him, he said—“Grieve not my friends; it is as I anticipated
from the first;—the debt which we all owe, is now about to be paid—I am
resigned to the event.” Requesting Mrs. Washington to bring him two wills
from his escritoire, he directed one to be burnt, and placed the other in
her hands, as his last testament, and then gave some final instructions
to Mr. Lear, his secretary and relation, as to the adjustment his
business affairs. He soon after became greatly distressed, and as, in
the paroxysms which became more frequent and violent, Mr. Lear, who was
extended on the bed by his side, assisted him to turn, he, with kindness,
but with difficulty, articulated, “I fear I give you great trouble,
sir,—but—perhaps it is a duty that we all owe one to another—I trust that
you may receive the same attention, when you shall require it.”

As the night waned, the fatal symptoms became more imminent—his breath
more laboured and suffocating, and his voice soon after failed him.
Perceiving his end approaching, he straightened himself to his full
length, he folded his own hands in the necessary attitude upon his
chest—placing his finger upon the pulse of the left wrist, and thus
calmly prepared, and watching his own dissolution, he awaited the summons
of his Maker. The last faint hopes of his friends had disappeared;—Mrs.
Washington, stupified with grief, sat at the foot of the bed, her eyes
fixed steadfastly upon him; Dr. Craik, in deep gloom, stood with his face
buried in his hands at the fire,—his faithful black servant, Christopher,
the tears uncontrolled trickling down his face, on one side, took the
last look of his dying master; while Mr. Lear, in speechless grief, with
folded hands, bent over his pillow on the other.

Nought broke the stillness of his last moments, but the suppressed sobs
of the affectionate servants collected on the stair-case; the tick of the
large clock in the hall, as it measured off, with painful distinctness,
the last fleeting moments of his existence, and the low moan of the
winter wind, as it swept through the leafless snow-covered trees; the
labouring and wearied spirit drew nearer and nearer to its goal; the
blood languidly coursed slower and more slowly through its channels—the
noble heart stopped—struggled—stopt—fluttered—the right hand slowly slid
from the wrist, upon which its finger had been placed—it fell at the
side—and the manly effigy of Washington was all that remained, extended
upon the death couch.

We left that room, as those who leave a sick room: a suppressed whisper
alone escaped us, as, with a sort of instinctive silence and awe, we drew
the door slowly and firmly to its place behind us. We again descended the
antique stair-case, and emerged upon the lawn, in front of the mansion.
Passing through several coppices of trees, we approached the sepulchre,
where rest the remains of his earthly semblance. In the open arch of a
vault composed of brick, secured and firmly protected by gates of open
iron work, were two large sarcophagi of white marble, in one of which,
carved in high relief, with the arms of the republic, were deposited the
remains of him, “who was first in war, first in peace, and first in the
hearts of his countrymen.” A marble slab, set into the brick wall of the
exterior, bearing in black letters simply this inscription—

                             “The remains of
                        Gen’l George Washington.”

There rested all that was mortal of the man, whose justice—whose
virtue—whose patriotism—meet with no parallel in human history. There,
within the smoke of his own hearth-stone, mouldered the remains of
that towering form, whose spirit, whether in the battle, or in the
council-hall, in the fierce dissensions of public discord, or in the
quiet relations of social life, shone with the same stern and spotless

The Potomac glittered like silver, between the trees in the noon-day sun
at our feet; the soft mild breeze gently moved the leaves upon the tree
tops—the chirp of the wren—the drowsy hum of the locust—the quick note of
the thrush, as she hopped from twig to twig, were all that showed signs
of life,—and those huge sarcophagi lay still—motionless—far, far from
voiceless. Oh! my countrymen, never since he left us, hath it so behoved
us to listen,—“While our Father’s grave doth utter forth a voice.”

We were exceedingly struck and affected by the truthfulness of the “Sweet
Swan of Avon,” as we saw above the sarcophagi, (free passage to which
was open over the large iron gates,) the clayey nest of the martin, or
common house-swallow, built in the corner of the ceiling, where, in
perfect security and confidence she fed her chirping brood, directly over
the head of the departed hero. Pure, indeed, was the air, “nimbly and
sweetly” did it play upon our senses. Oh! bard of England, as standing
upon that hallowed spot, the spirit of the unfortunate Banquo whispered
again to our memories, his words to the murdered Duncan.

    “This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
    Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
    Unto our gentle senses.”

    _Banquo._——“This guest of summer,
    The temple haunting martlet, does approve,
    By his lov’d mansionry, that the heavens’ breath,
    Smells wooingly here: no jutty, frieze, buttress,
    Nor coigne of vantage, but this bird hath made
    His pendent bed, and procreant cradle: Where they
    Most breed and haunt, I have observed, the air
    Is delicate.”

We lingered long at the tomb, and with reluctance withdrew, as the
advancing day warned us of our homeward returning ride.

The setting sun, streaming in radiance through the trees, measured in
long shadows the persons of the two men dismounting at the cottage
door, from whence they had departed so buoyant and joyous in its
morning brightness. That setting sun, sinking beneath its gorgeous bed
of crimson, gold and purple, left those men more chastened, true, more
elevated, from their pilgrimage to the shrine of him whose name shall
forever be the watchword of human Liberty.


I remained several weeks on my friend Tom’s plantation, enjoying
the course of life that he pursued, which was entirely consonant to
my tastes. His plantation consisted of about three hundred acres,
principally laid down in wheat, indian corn and tobacco, though some
of it still remained in meadow and woodland;—this, with a handsome
productive property in the neighbouring towns of Alexandria and
Washington, afforded him an abundant income to indulge his liberal,
though not extravagant tastes. He usually arose at five in the morning,
mounted his horse, and rode over the plantation, overseeing and giving
instructions to the labourers; and returning, was met by his smiling
wife and beautiful children at the breakfast table; after which, he
again applied himself to business until eleven, when he threw all care
aside, and devoted himself to pleasure or study, for the remainder of
the day. He thus avoided the two extremes to which country gentlemen are
liable,—over work on the one hand, or ennui on the other. His library—the
windows commanding a view of twenty miles down the Potomac—was crowded
with a varied store of general literature; among which, I observed
shining conspicuously, the emblazoned backs of Shakspeare, and the
worthy old Knight of La Mancha. History, Travels, the Classics—English,
French, Spanish, and Italian—and works on Natural History and general
science, were marshalled on their respective shelves. There was also,
a small, but very select Medical Library, for my friend had taken his
degree in that profession, and although relieved from the necessity of
practising for support, he was in the habit of attending gratuitously on
the poor in the neighbouring country.—Marble busts of Shakspeare, Milton
and Columbus, stood on pedestals in the corners of the room, and fine
old portraits of Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Dante, and Ben Jonson, besides
an exquisite gem of Ruysdaels hanging over the fire-place, adorned the
walls. On one side of the room, fronting the entrance, an effigy in
complete polished armour of the fifteenth century, stood erect and grim,
the mailed gauntlet grasping the upright spear; while, on a withered
branch above it, was perched with extended wings, a superb American
Eagle, in full preservation, his keen eye appearing to flash upon the
intruders at the entrance. In the centre, on the soft thick carpet, which
returned no sound of footsteps, was a circular table surmounted with
an Argand lamp and writing apparatus; on one side of which, was one of
the exquisitely comfortable lounging chairs, that admit of almost every
position of ease, and on the other, a crimson fauteuil stuffed with
down, which Tom laughingly said, was for the peculiar benefit of his
wife, when she saw fit to honour his sanctum sanctorum with her presence.
He tasked his invention to the utmost to make my time agreeable;—horses,
dogs, guns, books, every thing was at my disposal. Among other
excursions, he proposed, a few days after my arrival, that we should take
a run down the Potomac in his boat. Now this boat was none other than
a beautiful clipper-built schooner-rigged yacht, of about twenty tons
burden, with a very ample cabin in her centre, and from the gilt eagle on
her stern, and the gaudy pennant streaming at her masthead, to the taught
stay running out to the end of her mimic jib-boom, the most complete
thing of the kind that I ever laid eyes on. In so expressing myself when
I first saw her, I received an approbatory and very gracious nod from
“Old Kennedy,” a regular old salt, with one arm, for whom Tom had built a
cottage on his estate, and to whom she was beauty personified;—a beauty
which he could the more readily appreciate, from the fact, that the far
greater part of his time was devoted to her decoration. “Many a time,”
says Tom, “have I found him lying by himself on the banks, looking at her
in admiration with half-open eyes; and I much doubt whether my Mary looks
more beautiful to me, than does her namesake, as she floats yonder, to
old Kennedy.”

But to come to our story. We appointed the following day for our
excursion, and, having first ascertained that Walter Lee, an old friend,
whose plantation was a couple of miles below would join us, we early the
next morning got up our anchor, and under the influence of a smacking
breeze, were soon cutting our way down the river, the white canvass
stretching clean and taught out to the stays; our long pennant streaming
proudly behind us, and our little jack shaking most saucily from its
slender staff at the bowsprit, as we merrily curveted and jumped over
the waves. Running down to a point on Lee’s plantation, we got him on
board, and were soon under way again, the water bubbling and gurgling
into our scuppers, as we lay down to it in the stiff breeze. Occasionally
she would sweep, gunwale under, when a flaw would strike her; but old
Kennedy, wide awake, would bring her up with a long curving sweep,
as gracefully as a young lady sliding out of the waltz in a crowded
ball-room, till, stretching out again, she would course along, dancing
over the mimic waves, with a coquetry equal to those same fair damsels,
when they find an unfortunate wight secure in their chains. We were all
in fine spirits; Tom’s negro boy, seated at the heel of the foremast,
showing his white teeth, in a delighted grin, as old Kennedy, with his
grave face, played off nautical wit at his peculiar expense. We saw a
number of ducks, but they were so shy that we could with difficulty get
a shot at them; but we now and then succeeded in picking half a dozen
snipe out of a flock, as it rose from the shore, and flew across our
bows. We continued running down the river in this way, for three or
four hours, passing now and then a fisherman, or other craft, slowly
beating up; but towards noon the breeze slackened,—we gradually lost
our way—merely undulating, as the wind fanned by us in light airs, till
finally it entirely subsided; our long pennant hanging supinely on the
shrouds, and the water slopping pettishly against our bows, as we rested
tranquilly upon its surface. The after part of the yacht was covered with
an awning, which, although sufficiently high to prevent its obstructing
the view of the helmsman, afforded us a cover from the rays of the sun,
so that we lay contentedly, reclining upon the cushions, smoking our
cigars, enjoying our refreshments, and reviving old recollections and
associations, for it must be confessed that we three, in our student
days, had “rung the chimes at midnight.” I had not seen Lee for several
years;—he was a descendant of the celebrated partizan officer, who
commanded the dashing corps in the Revolution known as Lee’s Legion, and
inherited, in a marked degree, all the lofty courtesy and real chivalry
that characterized that officer. He was exceedingly well read in the
military history of the country, and indeed so thoroughly imbued with
military spirit, that should the signal of war ring through the country,
I know of no man whose hand would so soon be on the sword hilt and
foot in the stirrup. My introduction to his acquaintance was marked by
an incident so peculiarly painful and exciting in its character, that I
cannot refrain from relating it. Having been let loose from the care of
my guardians at a very early age, I made the first use of my liberty in
travelling in a good-for-nothing sort of way over Europe, determined to
see for myself, the grandeur of Old England; to climb the Alps; to hear
the romantic legends of Germany, in her own dark forests; to study the
painters and sculptors of Italy, on her classic soil; to say nothing of
visions of dark-eyed girls of Seville, of sylphs and fairies, floating
through the ballets and operas of Paris, and midnight adventures in
the gondolas of Venice. Arriving at London, I fell in with, and gladly
availed myself of the opportunity to take apartments in the same house
with my friend Tom and his fellow-student Lee, both Americans, and both
completing a course of medical education by attending the lectures of the
celebrated John Hunter.

It so happened, that on the very first evening that we came together, in
conversation upon the peculiar features of their profession, I expressed
a desire to visit a dissecting-room, never having been in one in my own
country. Lee immediately invited me to accompany them to the lecture on
that evening, which was to be delivered in the rotunda of the College,
and where, by going at an early hour, my curiosity could be satisfied,
besides the opportunity that I should have of hearing that eminent
surgeon. So pulling on our hats and taking our umbrellas in our hands, we
plunged into the dense fog, and groped our way over the greasy pavements
to the college. It was a large building, in a dark and retired court,
with something in its very exterior sepulchral and gloomy. Entering the
hall door, we ascended one pair of stairs, stopping for a moment as we
passed the second story, to look into the large rotunda of the lecture
room. The vacant chair of the professor was standing near the wall in
the rear of a circular table of such peculiar construction, as to admit
of elevation and depression in every part. This table was the one upon
which the subjects were laid when under the hands of the demonstrator.
Two skeletons, suspended by wires from the ceiling, hung directly over
it; the room was as yet unoccupied and silent. Ascending another flight
of stairs, we came to a third, secured at its entrance by a strong
oaken door;-this appeared to put a stop to our further ascent, but upon
a small bell being pulled, a sort of wicket in the upper part of the
door was cautiously drawn aside, discovering the features of a stern,
solemn-looking man, who, apparently satisfied of the right of the parties
to enter, drew one or two heavy bolts, and dropping a chain admitted us.
A small table was placed at the foot of the stairs, at which, by the
light of a lamp, this gloomy porter was perusing a book of devotion.
Ascending the stairs, it was not until three several attempts, that I
was enabled to surmount the effects of the effluvia sufficiently to enter
the green baize door that opened into the dissecting-room. As it swung
noiselessly to behind me, the first sensation produced by the sight, was
that of faintness; but it almost immediately subsided. There appeared a
sort of profanity in speaking aloud, and I found myself unconsciously
asking questions of my friends in a low whisper.

On small narrow tables, in different parts of the large room, which,
though lighted by a dome in the centre, required, in the deep darkness
of a London fog, the additional aid of lamps, were extended some five
and twenty human corpses in different stages of dissection. Groups of
students were silently engaged with their scalpels in examining these
wonderful temples of the still more wonderful human soul. Here a solitary
individual, with his book open before him upon the corpse, followed the
text upon the human subject, while there, two or three together were
tracing with patient distinctness the course of the disease which had
driven the spirit of life from its frail habitation. I observed one
of the professors in his gold spectacles pointing out to a number of
the students, gathered around one of the subjects, the evidences of an
ossification of the great aorta, which had, after years of torture,
necessarily terminated the life of the sufferer.—There was almost as
much individuality in those corpses as if they had been living, and it
required the most determined effort on my part to divest myself of the
idea that they were sentient, and aware of all that was passing around
them. I recollect, particularly, one, which was lying nearest the door
as I entered;—it was the body of a man of about forty, with light hair,
and fair complexion, who had been cut down in the midst of health.
His face was as full, and his skin as white, as if he had been merely
sleeping; but the knife had passed around his throat, down his body, and
then in sections cross-ways; the internal muscles having been evidently
exposed, and the skin temporarily replaced, during the casual absence of
the dissector. There was something peculiarly horrid in the appearance
of that corpse, as, aside from a ruffianly and dissolute expression of
the features, the gash around his throat conveyed the impression that it
was a murdered man lying before me. A good-looking, middle-aged female
was extended just beyond, her long hair hanging down over the end of the
table, but not as yet touched by the hand of the surgeon; while, just
beyond her, the body of an old man, from which the upper part of the
skull had been sawn to take out the brain, appeared to be grinning at us
with a horrid sort of mirth. In another part of the room, directly over
which the blackening body of an infant was thrown across a beam, like a
piece of an old carpet, was extended the body of a gigantic negro; he
lay upon his back, his legs somewhat apart, one of his arms thrown up
so as to rest upon the top of his head, his eyes wide open, his nostrils
distended, and his teeth clenched in a hideous grin. There was such
evidence of strength, such giant development of muscle, such appearance
of chained energy and ferocity about him, that, upon my soul, it seemed
to me every moment as if he was about to spring up with a frantic yell,
and throw himself upon us; and wherever I went about the room, my eyes
still involuntarily turned, expecting to see that fierce negro drawing
up his legs ready to bound, like a malignant demon, over the intervening
space. He had been brought home for murder upon the high seas, but the
jail-fever had anticipated the hand of the executioner, and his body of
course was given over to the surgeons. A far different object lay on the
floor near him; it was the body of a young girl of about eleven or twelve
years old. The poor little creature had evidently died of neglect, and
her body drawn up by the action of the flexor muscles into the form of a
bow, stiffened in death, rocked forward and backward when touched by the
foot; the sunken blue eyes staring sorrowfully and reproachfully upon us
from the emaciated features. Beyond her, in most savage contrast, was
thrown the carcass of a Bengal tiger, which had died a day or two before
in the royal menagerie, his talons extending an inch beyond his paws, and
there was about his huge distended jaws and sickly eyes, as perfect a
portraiture of disease, and pain, and agony, as it has ever been my lot
to witness in suffering humanity. There was no levity about the students,
but, on the contrary, a sort of solemnity in their examinations; and
when they spoke, it was in a low tone, as if they were apprehensive of
disturbing the dead around them. I thought at the time that it would be
well if some of those who sneer at the profession, could look in upon one
of these even minor ordeals to which its followers are subjected in their
efforts to alleviate the sufferings of their fellow-men.

As the hour for the lecture approached, the students one by one, closed
their books, washed their hands, and descended to the lecture-room.
We descended with the rest, and as we passed the grim porter, at the
bottom of the stair-case, I observed in the corner behind him a number
of stout bludgeons, besides several cutlasses and muskets. A popular
commotion a short time previous, among some of the well-intentioned but
ignorant of the lower classes, had induced the necessity of caution,
and this preparation for resistance. Entering the lecture-room, we took
our places on the third or fourth row of seats from the demonstrator’s
table, upon which a subject was lying, covered with a white sheet, and
had time, as the room gradually filled, to look about us. Besides the
students, Lee pointed out to me several able professional gentlemen,
advanced in life, who were attracted by the celebrity of the lecturer;
among others, Abernethy and Sir Astley Cooper. Shortly after we had taken
our seats, a slender, melancholy-looking young man, dressed in deep
mourning, entered the circle in which we were seated, and took his place
on the vacant bench at my side. He bowed reservedly to my companions as
he passed them, but immediately on sitting down became absorbed in deep
sadness. My friends returned his salute, but did not appear inclined
to break into his abstraction. At the precise moment that the lecture
was announced to be delivered, the tall form of the eminent surgeon was
seen descending the alley of crowded seats to his chair. The lights in
the various parts of the room were raised suddenly, throwing a glare on
all around; and one of the skeletons, to which an accidental jar had
been given, vibrated slowly forward and backward, while the other hung
perfectly motionless from its cord. In his short and sententious manner,
he opened the subject of the lecture, which was the cause, effect, and
treatment of that scourge of our country—consumption. His remarks were
singularly lucid and clear, even to me, a layman. After having gone
rapidly through the pathology of the disease, consuming perhaps some
twenty minutes of time, he said,—“We will now, gentlemen, proceed to
demonstration upon the subject itself.” I shall not readily forget the
scene that followed. As he slowly turned up the wristbands of his shirt
sleeves, and bent over to select an instrument from the case at his
side, he motioned to an assistant to withdraw the sheet that covered the
corpse. Resuming his erect position, the long knife glittering in his
hand, the sheet was slowly drawn off, exhibiting the emaciated features
of an aged woman, her white hair parted smoothly in the middle of her
forehead, passing around to the back of the head, beneath the plain white
muslin cap. The silence which always arrests even the most frivolous in
the presence of the dead, momentarily checked the busy hum of whispers
around me, when I heard a gasp—a choking—a rattling in the throat, at
my side; and the next instant, the young man sitting next to me, rose
to his feet, threw his arms wildly upwards, and shrieking in a tone of
agony, that caused every man’s heart in that assembly, momentarily to
stop—“_My m-o-t-h-e-r!_”—plunged prostrate and stiff, head foremost upon
those in front of him. All was instant consternation and confusion;—there
was one present who knew him, but to the majority of the students, he
was as much a stranger as he was to my friends. He was from one of the
adjoining parishes of London, and two weeks before, had lost his mother,
to whom he was much attached, and by fatal mischance, that mother lay
extended before him, upon the demonstrator’s table. He was immediately
raised, but entirely stiff and insensible, and carried into an adjoining
room;—sufficient animation was at length restored to enable him to
stand, but he stared vacantly about him, the great beads of sweat
trickling down his forehead, without a particle of mind or memory. The
lecture was of course closed, and the lifeless corse again entrusted to
hands to replace it in its tomb. The young man, on the following day, was
brought sufficiently to himself to have memory present the scene again to
his mind, and fell almost immediately into a raging fever, accompanied
with fierce and violent delirium; his fever gradually abated, and his
delirium at intervals; but when I left London for the continent, three
months after, he was rapidly sinking under the disease which carried off
his mother—happily in a state of helpless and senseless idiocy; and in
a very short time after, death relieved him from his misery. The whole
scene was so thrilling and painful, that, connecting it in some measure
with my introduction to Lee, his presence always recalled it to my


As we returned to our lodgings, our conversation naturally turned upon
the agitating event that we had just witnessed, and the extreme caution
necessary in the procuring of subjects for anatomical examination. Lee
related an occurrence that had happened to Dr. ——, a gentleman of high
standing in South Carolina.

Shortly after the American revolution, he visited Europe for the purpose
of pursuing his medical studies, and was received into the family of
the same distinguished gentleman, whom we had just heard lecture,
then beginning to rise to eminence and notice; an advantage which was
necessarily confined to a very few. In one of the dark and stormy nights
of December, Mr. Hunter and his wife having been called to the bedside
of a dying relative in the country, as Dr. —— was quietly sitting at the
parlour fire, absorbed in his studies, he was aroused by a hurried ring
at the street door, and rising, went to answer it himself. Upon opening
the door, a hackney coach, with its half-drowned horses, presented itself
at the side of the walk, and two men, in slouched hats and heavy sailor
coals dripping with water, standing upon the steps, inquired in a low
tone if he wanted a subject. Being answered in the affirmative, they
opened the carriage door, lifted out the body, which was enveloped in a
sack, and having carried it up stairs to the dissecting-room, which was
in the garret, received the two guineas which they had demanded, and
withdrew. The affair was not unusual, and Dr. —— resuming his book, soon
forgot the transaction. About eleven o’clock, while still absorbed in
his studies, he heard a violent female shriek in the entry, and the next
instant the servant maid, dashing open the door, fell senseless upon the
carpet at his feet, the candlestick which she held, rolling some distance
as it fell.

Perceiving that the cause of alarm, whatever it might be, was without,
he caught up the candlestick, and, jumping over her prostrate form,
rushed into the hall where an object met his view which might well
have tried the nerves of the strongest man. Standing half-way down the
stair-case, was a fierce, grim-looking man, perfectly naked, his eyes
glaring wildly and fearfully from beneath a coarse shock of dark hair,
which, nearly concealing a narrow forehead, partially impeded a small
stream of blood trickling down the side of the face, from a deep scratch
in the temple. In one hand he grasped a sharp long belt-knife, such as
is used by riggers and sailors, the other holding on by the bannister,
as he somewhat bent over to meet the gaze of the Doctor rushing into the
entry. The truth flashed across the mind of Dr. —— in an instant, and
with admirable presence of mind, he made one spring, catching the man
by the wrist which held the knife, in a way that effectually prevented
his using it. “In the name of God! where am I?” demanded the man in a
horror-stricken voice, “am I to be murdered?” “Silence!—not a whisper,”
sternly answered Dr. ——, looking him steadily in the eyes—“Silence—and
your life is safe.”—Wrenching the knife from his hand, he pulled him by
the arm passively along into the yard, and hurrying through the gate,
first ran with him through one alley, then into another, and finally
rapidly through a third, till coming to an outlet upon one of the narrow
and unfrequented streets, he gave him a violent push,—retracing his steps
again on the wings of the wind, pulling too, and doubly locking the gate
behind him, leaving the object of his alarm perfectly bewildered and
perplexed, and entirely ignorant of the place from whence he had been so
summarily ejected. The precaution and presence of mind of Dr. ——, most
probably saved the house of Mr. Hunter from being torn down and sacked
by the mob, which would have been instantly collected around it, had the
aggrieved party known where to have led them to wreak his vengeance.

After a few days, inquiry was carefully and cautiously made through the
police, and it was ascertained that three men answering the description
of the resurrectionists and their victim had been drinking deeply
through the afternoon, in one of the low dens in the neighbourhood of
Wapping; that one had sunk into a stupid state of intoxication, and had,
in that situation, been stripped and placed in a sack by his companions,
a knife having been previously placed in his hand that he might relieve
himself from his confinement upon his return to sensibility; and that in
addition to the poor wretch’s clothes, they had realized the two guineas
for his body.

It is certainly painful, that the requirements of suffering humanity
should make the occasional violation of the grave indispensably
necessary. Whether the spirit, released from its confinement, lies in the
limbo of the fathers, the purgatory of the Catholics, awaiting the great
day of doom; whether called from a life of virtue, all time and distance
annihilated, it sweeps free and unconstrained in heavenly delight through
the myriads and myriads of worlds, rolling in the vast sublimity of
space; whether summoned from a course of evil, it shudders in regions of
darkness and desolation, or writhes in agony amid flaming atmospheres;
or whether its germ of life remains torpid, as in the wheat taken from
the Egyptian pyramids, thousands of years existent, but apparently not
sentient, must, of course, be to us but the wild theories of imagination,
and so remain until that judgment, predicted by the holy Revelation,
shall sweep away the darkness with which, in inscrutable and awful
wisdom, the Almighty has enveloped us.

But that the spirit can look with other than indifference, if not
loathing, on the perishing exuviæ of its chrysalis existence, which, to
its retrospective gaze, presents little other than a tasking house of
base necessities, a chained prison of cruel disappointments, even to our
human reason, clogged as it is with bars and contradictions, appears
hardly to admit the opportunity of question, and of consequence to that
spirit its disposition can but be a matter of indifference. Still, to
the surviving friends, whose affection cannot separate mind from matter,
those forms lying in the still and silent tomb, retain all their dear
associations, and surely it most gravely becomes the members of that
profession, which, next to the altar, stands foremost in benevolence,
that the deepest prudence should be exercised in this gloomy rite
required by the living from the dead.


(Constitution and Guerriere.)

No. I.

The sun became more and more powerful as it ascended towards the
meridian, and was reflected with effulgent intensity from the
mirror-surface of the river. As we bent over the side and looked far down
into the deep vault reflected from above, and saw our gallant little
yacht, with her white sails and dark hull, suspended with even minute
tracery over it, we could almost imagine ourselves with the Ancient
Mariner, “in a painted ship upon a painted ocean.”—The white sandbanks
quivered and palpitated in the sultry glare, and the atmosphere of the
adjoining swamps hung over them in a light blue vapour; the deadly
miasma, their usual covering, dissipated in the fervent heat; while
the silence was unbroken, save by the occasional scream of the gull,
as it wheeled about in pursuit of its prey, or the quick alarmed cry
of the kingfisher, hastily leaving some dead branch upon the shore to
wing its way farther from the object of its terror. The black boy, in
perfect negro elysium, lay stretched fast asleep, with his arm resting
upon one of the dogs, in the blazing sun on the forecastle, while we
ourselves, reclined upon the cushions, with our refreshments before us,
indolently puffed our cigars under the awning, Old Kennedy, perched upon
the taffrail, coxswain fashion, with the tiller between his legs. While
thus enjoying ourselves, like true disciples of Epicurus, the guitar was
taken from its case in the cabin, and accompanied by the rich tones of
Walter Lee: “Here’s a health to thee, Mary,” in compliment to our kind
hostess, swept over the still surface of the river, till, dissipated in
the distance, and anon the “Wild Huntsman,” and “Here’s a health to all
good lassies,” shouted at the pitch of three deep bass voices, bounded
over the banks, penetrating the deep forest, causing the wild game to
spring from their coverts in consternation at such unusual disturbance
of its noontide stillness. “We bade dull care be gone, and daft the
time away.” Old Kennedy, seated at the tiller, his grey hair smoothed
down on one side, and almost falling into his eyes, his cheek distended
with a huge quid of tobacco, which gave an habitual drag to a mouth
whose expression indicated surly honesty and resolution, was a perfect
portrait of many an old quartermaster, still in the service; while
his scrupulously clean shirt, with its blue collar open at the neck,
discovering a rugged throat, encircled by a ring of grey hairs, and his
white canvass trowsers, as tight at the hips as they were egregiously
large at the ancles, indicated the rig in which he had turned up, for the
last thirty years, to Sunday muster. The old seaman had seen a great deal
of service, having entered the navy at the opening of the difficulties
with the Barbary powers, and had been engaged in several of the signal
naval actions which followed in the subsequent war with Great Britain.
Previous to that time, he had been in the employ of Tom’s father, who was
an extensive shipping merchant at Alexandria, and now, in his old age,
influenced by an attachment for the son, who had built a snug cottage for
him on his estate, and, vested with the full control of the yacht, he had
been induced to come down to spend the remainder of his days on the banks
of the Potomac, enjoying the pension awarded by government for the loss
of his arm.

I had previously had the hint given me, that a little adroit management
would set him to spinning a yarn which would suit my fancy. So, watching
a good opportunity, knowing that the old man had been with Hull in his
fight with the Guerriere, I successfully gave a kick to the ball by
remarking, “You felt rather uncomfortable, Kennedy, did you not, as
you were bearing down on the Guerriere, taking broadside and broadside
from her, without returning a shot. You had time to think of your sins,
my good fellow, as conscience had you at the gangway?” “Well, sir,”
replied he, deliberately rolling his tobacco from one side of his mouth
to the other, squirting the juice through his front teeth with true
nautical grace—“Well, sir, that ere was the first frigate action as ever
I was engaged in, and I am free to confess, I overhauled the log of my
conscience to see how it stood, so it mought be I was called to muster
in the other world in a hurry; but I don’t think any of his shipmates
will say that Old Bill Kennedy did his duty any the worse that day,
because he thought of his God, as he has many a time since at quarters.
There’s them as says the chaplain is paid for the religion of the ship,
and it’s none of the sailor’s business; but I never seen no harm in
an honest seaman’s thinking for himself. Howsomever, I don’t know the
man who can stand by his gun at such time, tackle cast loose, decks
sanded, matches lighted, arm-chests thrown open, yards slung, marines
in the gangways, powder-boys passing ammunition buckets, ship as still
as death, officers in their iron-bound boarding caps, cutlashes hanging
by lanyards at their wrists, standing like statues at divisions, enemy
may-be bearing down on the weather-quarter—I say, I doesn’t know the man
at sich time, as won’t take a fresh bite of his quid, and give a hitch to
the waistbands of his trowsers, as he takes a squint at the enemy through
the port as he bears down. And as you say at that particular time, the
Guerriere (as is French for soger) was wearing and manœuvering, and
throwing her old iron into us, broadside and broadside, like as I have
seen them Italians in Naples throw sugar-plums at each other in Carnival
time.—Afore she was through, tho’, she found it was no sugar-plum work,
so far as Old Ironsides was consarned. You obsarve, when we first made
her out, we seen she was a large ship close hauled on the starboard
tack; so we gave chase, and when within three miles of her, took in all
our light sails, hauled courses up, beat to quarters and got ready for
action. She wore and manœuvered for some time, endeavouring to rake, but
not making it out, bore up under her jib, and topsails, and gallantly
waited for us. Well, sir—as we walked down to her, there stands the old
man, (Hull) his swabs on his shoulders, dressed as fine in his yellow
nankin vest and breeches, as if he was going ashore on leave—there he
stands, one leg inside the hammock nettings, taking snuff out of his
vest pocket, watching her manœuvres, as she blazed away like a house
a-fire, just as cool as if he was only receiving complimentary salutes.
She burnt her brimstone, and was noisy—but never a gun fires we. Old
Ironsides poked her nose steady right down for her, carrying a bank of
foam under her bows like a feather-bed cast loose. Well, as we neared
her, and she wears first a-star-board, and then a-larboard, giving us a
regular broadside at every tack, her shot first falls short, but as we
shortened the distance, some of them begins to come aboard—first among
the rigging, and cuts away some of the stuff aloft, for them Englishmen
didn’t larn to fire low till we larnt ’em. First they comes in aloft,
but by-and-by, in comes one—lower—crash—through the bulwarks, making the
splinters fly like carpenter’s chips,—then another, taking a gouge out
of the main-mast; and pretty soon agin—‘_chit_’—I recollects the sound
of that ere shot well—‘chit’—another dashed past my ear, and glancing on
a gun-carriage, trips up the heels of three as good men as ever walked
the decks of that ere ship; and all this while, never a gun fires we; but
continues steadily eating our way right down on to his quarter, the old
man standing in the hammock nettings, watching her movements as if she
was merely playing for his amusement. Well, as we came within carronade
distance, them shot was coming on board rather faster than mere fun,
and some of the young sailors begins to grumble, and by-and-by, the old
men-of-wars-men growled too, and worked rusty—cause why—they sees the
enemy’s mischief, and nothing done by us to aggravate them in return.
Says Bill Vinton, the vent-holder, to me, ‘I say, Kennedy,’ says he,
‘what’s the use—if this here’s the way they fights frigates, dam’me! but
I’d rather be at it with the Turks agin, on their own decks as we was
at Tripoli. It’s like a Dutch bargain—all on one side. I expects the
next thing, they’ll order pipe down, and man the side-ropes for that ere
Englishman to come aboard and call the muster-roll.’ ‘Avast a bit,’ says
I; ‘never you fear the old man. No English press-gang comes on board this
ship—old Blow-hard knows what he’s about.’

“Well, by-and-by Mr. Morris, our first lieutenant, who all the while had
been walking up and down the quarter-deck, his trumpet under his arm, and
his eyes glistening like a school-boy’s just let out to play; by-and-by
_he_ begins to look sour, ’ticularly when he sees his favourite coxswain
of the first cutter carried by a shot through the opposite port. So he
first looks hard at the Old Man, and then walks up to him, and says by
way of a hint, in a low tone, ‘The ship is ready for action, sir, and
the men are getting impatient;’—the Old Man never turns, but keeps his
eye steadily on the enemy, while he replies, ‘Are—you—all ready, Mr.
Morris?’—‘All ready, sir,’—says the lieutenant—‘Don’t fire a gun till
I give the orders, Mr. Morris,’—says the old man. Presently up comes
a midshipman from the main-deck, touches his hat—‘First division all
ready, sir,—the second lieutenant reports the enemy’s shot have hurt
his men, and he can with difficulty restrain them from returning their
fire;’—‘Tell him to wait for orders, Mr. Morris,’ says the old man
again—never turning his head. Well—just, you see, as the young gentleman
turned to go below, and another shot carries off Mr. Bush, lieutenant
of marines—just as we begins to run into their smoke, and even the old
gun-boat men, as had been with Decatur and Somers, begins to stare, up
jumps the old man in the air, slaps his hand on his thigh with a report
like a pistol, and roars out in a voice that reached the gunners in the
magazines—‘Now, Mr. Morris, give it to them,—now give it to them—fore
and aft—round and grape—give it to ’em, sir—give it to ’em,’ and the
words was scarce out of his mouth, before our whole broadside glanced
at half pistol shot—the old ship trembling from her keel to her trucks,
like an aspen, at the roar of her own batteries—instantly shooting ahead
and doubling across his bows, we gave him the other with three cheers,
and then at it we went—regular hammer and tongs. You would a thought
you were in a thunder storm in the tropics, from the continual roar
and flash of the batteries. In ten minutes, his mizen-mast went by the
board. ‘Hurrah!’ shouts the old man; ‘hurrah, boys, we’ve made a brig of
her.—Fire low, never mind their top hamper! hurrah! we’ll make a sloop
of her before we’ve done.’ In ten minutes more over went her main-mast,
carrying twenty men overboard as it went; and sure enough, sir, in thirty
minutes, that ere Englishman was a sheer hulk, smooth as a canoe, not a
spar standing but his bowsprit; and his decks so completely swept by our
grape and cannister, that there was barely hands enough left to haul down
the colours, as they had bravely nailed to the stump of their main-mast.
‘I say, Kennedy,’ says the vent-holder to me, lying across the gun after
she struck, looking out at the wrack through the port, and his nose was
as black as a nigger’s from the powder flashing under it—‘I say, I wonder
how that ere Englishman likes the smell of the old man’s snuff.’”


(Sailors Ashore.—Hornet and Peacock.)

No. II.

“Well—well—sailors, is queer animals any how—and always ready for a
fight or frolic—and, so far as I sees, it don’t much matter which. Now,
there was Captain ——, he was a Lieutenant then;—I was up in a draft of
men, with him to the lakes in the war, and as there was no canals nor
steamboats in them days, they marched us up sojer fashion. As we marched
along the road, there was nothing but skylarking and frolic the whole
time,—never a cow lying in the road but the lads must ride, nor a pig,
but they must have a pull at his tail. I recollects, once’t, as we was
passing a farm yard, Jim Albro, as was alongside of me—what does Jim do,
but jumps over the fence and catches a goose out of the pond, and was
clearing with it under his arm, but the farmer, too quick for him, grabs
his musket out of his door, and levelling at Jim, roars out to drop the
goose. Jim catches the goose’s neck tight in his hand, as it spraddles
under his arm, and then turning his head over his shoulder, cries out,
‘_You fire_,—I’ll wring his neck off.’ And so Jim would have got off with
the goose, but one of the officers seeing what was going on, orders Jim
to drop the goose, and have a care how he aggravates the honest farmers
in that ere sort of a way; for, ‘By the powers!’ said he, ‘Mister Jim
Albro—this isn’t the first time, and if I hear of the like agin from
you,—but your back and the boatswain’s mate shall scrape an acquaintance
the first moment we come within the smell of a tarred ratlin.’

“It was wrong, to be sure, for Bill to take the man’s goose, seeing as
how it was none of his; but there was one affair that same day, as the
lads turned up to, and though a steady man, I’m free to confess I had a
hand in’t. Why, what do you think sir, but as we what was bound for to
fight the battles of our country—what do you think, but as we comes to
one of them big gates they has on the roads, but the feller as keeps it,
damme, sir, what does he do? but makes all fast, and swear that we shan’t
go through without paying! I’m free to confess, sir, that that ere gate
went off its hinges a little quicker than the chain of our best bower
ever run through the hawse hole. A cummudgeonly son of a land lubber,—as
if, because we didn’t wear long-tail coats, and high-heel boots, we was
to pay like horses and oxen! If the miserable scamp hadn’t’ve vanished
like a streak into the woods, we’d have paid him out of his own tar
bucket, and rolled him over in the feathers of one of his wife’s own
beds. But, d’ye see, that wasn’t the end of it. Them ere lawyers gets
hold of it—and it was the first time any of them land-shirks ever came
athwart my hawse.

“When we gets to the next town, up comes a constable to the midshipman,
supposing as how he was in command of the draft—up comes the constable,
and says, says he, ‘Capting, I arrests you for a salt and battery, in
behalf of these here men, as has committed it,’ meaning, you understand,
the affair of the gate. Well, the midshipman, all ripe for frolic and fun
himself, pulls a long face, and says gruffly, that his men hadn’t been
engaged in no salt, or no battery; but that they was ready at all times
to fight for their country, and asks him whereaway that same English
battery lay, as he would answer for the lads’ salting it quick enough.
Then the lawyer as was standing with his hands behind him, up and tells
him that ‘it’s for a trespass in the case.’ ‘Oh! a trespass in the
gate—you mean,’ says the midshipman; but just then the lieutenant comes
up to see what’s the muss, and bids me put on my jacket, for d’ye see, I
had squared off to measure the constable for a pair of black eyes—hang me
if the feller didn’t turn as white as a sheet. ‘Put on your jacket, sir,’
says he, ‘and leave the man alone;’ and then turning to the midshipman,
‘Mr. ——, take the men down to the tavern and splice the main-brace, while
I walk up to the justice’s with the gentle man to settle this affair.
And, hark’ee, ye rascals,’ says he, ‘don’t disgrace the name of blue
jacket in this quiet village, but behave yourselves till I return.’ Well,
he and the lawyer walks up to the justice’s, and there they three takes a
glass of wine together, and that’s the last we hearn of that ere business.

“There agin, when we took the Peacock;—you all knows about that ere
action; it was what I calls short and sweet. Fifteen minutes from the
first gun, he was cut almost entirely to pieces, his main-mast gone by
the board, six feet of water in the hold, and his flag flying in the
fore-rigging, as a signal of distress. The sea was running so heavy, as
to wash the muzzles of our guns, as we run down. We exchanged broadsides
at half pistol shot, and then, as he wore to rake us, we received his
other broadside, running him close in upon the starboard quarter, and a
drunken sailor never hugged a post closer, nor we did that brig, till
we had hammered day-light out of her. A queer thing is war, though,
and I can’t say as I was ever satisfied as to its desarts, though I’ve
often turned the thing over in my mind in mid-watch since. There was we,
what was stowing our round shot into that ere brig, as if she had been
short of kenteledge, and doing all we could to sweep, with our grape and
cannister, every thing living, from her decks,—there was we, fifteen
minutes after, working as hard as we could pull to, to keep her above
water, while we saved her wounded, and the prisoners, like as she had
been an unfortunate wrack, foundering at sea. But all wouldn’t do—down
she went, carrying thirteen of her own wounded, besides some of our own
brave lads, as was exerting themselves to save them, and mighty near did
Bill Kennedy come to being one of the number, and having a big D marked
agin his name, on the purser’s book, at that same time. The moment she
showed signals of distress, all our boats was put in requisition to
transport the prisoners and wounded to the Hornet. I was in the second
cutter, with midshipman C——; he was a little fellow then, tho’ he’s a
captain now. Well, we stowed her as full as she could stow, and I was
holding on by the boat-hook in the bows, jist ready to push off, when
midshipman C——, jumps aboard agin, and runs back to call a couple of the
Englishmen, as was squared off at each other, at the foot of the main
hatch ladder, settling some old grudge—(for d’ye see, sir, all discypline
is over the moment a ship strikes)—he runs back to tell them to clear
themselves—for the ship was sinking,—but before he could reach it, she
rolls heavily, sways for an instant from side to side, gives a heavy
lurch, and then, down she goes head foremost, carrying them fellers as
was squared off agin each other, and her own wounded, besides four or
five of our own brave lads, right down in the vortex. Our boat spun
round and round like a top, for a moment, and then swept clear, but the
midshipman barely saved himself, by springing into an empty chest as
was floating by, and there he was dancing about in the heavy sea, like a
gull in the surf, and it was nigh on two hours afore we picked him up;
but the little fellow was jist as cool and unconsarned, as if he was in a
canoe on a fish-pond. The next day we opens a subscription, and furnishes
all the British seamen with two shirts, and a blue jacket and trowsers
each,—cause why—d’ye see, they’d lost all their traps in their ship when
she went down.”


(Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie.)

No. III.

“But,” says I, “Kennedy—I think you said your draft was bound for the
lakes—which did you go to, Ontario, or Erie?” “I was on both, sir,” says
he, “afore the war was over; and we got as much accustomed to poking our
flying jib-boom into the trees on them shores, as if the sticks was first
cousins—which, seeing as how the ships was built in the woods, wouldn’t
be much of a wonder. Part of that ere draft staid down on Ontario, with
the old commodore, as was watching Sir James, and part was sent up to
Erie. I went up to Erie and joined the Lawrence, Commodore Oliver H.
Perry—and I hopes that old Bill Kennedy needn’t be called a braggart, if
he says he did his part in showing off as handsome a fight on that same
fresh-water pond, as has ever been done by an equal force on blue water.
Our gallant young commodore, made as tight a fight of it as it has ever
been my luck to be engaged in; and seeing as how half of his men was
down with fever and ager, and not one in a dozen knew the difference
between the smell of gunpowder and oil of turpentine, blow me! but I
think it was about as well done.

“You see our squadron was lying in a bay, as they calls Put-in-Bay—and
when the enemy first hove in sight, it was in the morning, about seven
o’clock. I knows that that was the time, because I had just been made
Quarter-Master, by Captain Perry, and was the first as seen them through
my glass. They was in the nor’-west, bearing down: as soon as we made
them out to be the enemy’s fleet, up went the signal to get under way;
our ship, the Lawrence, in course taking the lead. Well, as we was
working slowly to windward to clear some small islands—one of ’em was
Snake Island—I hearn Captain Perry come up to the master, and ask him in
a low voice, whether he thought he should be able to work out to windward
in time to get the weather-gage of the enemy; but the master said as how
the wind was sou’-west, and light, and he didn’t think he could. ‘Then,’
said the commodore, aloud, ‘wear ship, sir, and go to leeward, for I am
determined to fight them to-day,’—but just then, the wind came round to
the south’ard and east’erd, and we retained the weather-gage, and slowly
bore down upon the enemy. They did all they could to get the wind, but
not succeeding, hove into line, heading westward, and gallantly waited
for us as we came down.

“There lay their squadron, all light sails taken in, just like a boxer,
with his sleeves rolled up, and handkercher tied about his loins, ready
to make a regular stand-up fight, and there wasn’t a braver man, nor
better sailor, in the British navy, nor that same Barclay, whose broad
pennant floated in the van of that squadron.

“Pretty soon, up runs our motto-flag, the dying words of our hero
Lawrence—‘_Don’t give up the ship_,’ and floats proudly from our main,
and then the general order was passed down the line by trumpet, ‘_Each
ship, lay your enemy alongside_’—and if you ever seen a flock of wild
geese flying south’erd in the fall of the year, you’ll have some idee
of us, as we went down into action. The men was full of spirit, and
panting for a fight, and even them as was so sick, as to be hardly able
to stand, insisted upon taking their places at the guns. I recollects one
in particular—he was a carpenter’s mate, a steady man, from Newport—he
crawls up when we beat to quarters, and seats himself upon the head of
one of the pumps, with the sounding-rod in his hand, looking as yellow
as if he had just been dragged out of a North Carolina cypress swamp:
but one of the officers comes up to him as he was sitting there, and
says—‘You are too sick to be here, my man,—there’s no use of your being
exposed for nothing—you had better go below.’ ‘If you please, sir,’ says
the poor fellow, ‘if I can do nothing else, I can save the time of a
better man, and sit here and sound the pump.’ Well, sir, as we bore
down, the English occasionally tried our distance by a shot, and when
we was within about a mile of ’em, one comes ricochetting across the
water, bounds over the bulwarks, and takes that man’s head as clean off
his shoulders, as if it had been done with his own broad-axe. I have
hearn say, that ‘every bullet has its billet,’ and that is sartin, that
it’s no use to dodge a shot, for if you are destined to fall by a shot,
you will sartin fall by that same shot; and I bears in mind, that an
English sailor, one of our prisoners, told me that in a ship of their’n a
feller, as skulked in the cable-tier, during an action with the French,
was found dead with a spent forty-two resting on his neck. The ball had
come in at the starn-port—struck one of the beams for’ard, and tumbled
right in upon him, breaking his neck, as he lay snugly coiled away in the
cable-tier. No, no—misfortins and cannon shot is very much alike—there’s
no dodging—every man must stand up to his work, and take his chance—if
they miss, he is ready when they pipes to grog—if they hit, the purser’s
book is squared, and no more charges is scored agin him.

“But as I was saying, it wasn’t long before we begun to make our
carronades tell, and then at it we went, hot and heavy, the Lawrence
taking the lead, engaging the Detroit, and every vessel as she came up,
obeying orders and laying her enemy alongside, in right good arnest,
except the Niagara. She hung back—damn her—with her jib brailed up, and
her main-topsail to the mast—consequence was, the Charlotte, as was her
opponent, avails herself of her distance—runs up close under the starn
of the Detroit, and both ships pours in their combined fire into our
ship the Lawrence. I hearn the master myself, and afterwards two or
three of the other officers, go up to the Commodore during the action,
and call his attention to the Niagara, and complain of her treacherous
or cowardly conduct. Well, them two ships gin it to us hot and heavy,
and in three minutes we was so enveloped in smoke, that we only aimed
at the flashes of their guns, for we might as well have tried to trace
a flock of ducks in the thickest fog on the coast of Labrador, as their
spars or hulls. I was working at one of the for’ard guns, and as after
she was loaded, the captain of the piece stood waiting with the trigger
lanyard in his finger, ready to pull, one of the officers calls out, ‘I
say, sir, why don’t you fire?’ ‘I want to make her tell, sir,’ says the
gunner,—‘I am waiting for their flash,—there it is’—and as he pulled
trigger, a cannon shot came through the port, and dashed him to pieces
between us, covering me and the officer all over with his brains. Their
fire was awful; the whole of the shot of the two heaviest ships in the
squadron pouring into us nigh on two hours without stopping. Our brig
became a complete slaughter-house—the guns dismounted—carriages knocked
to pieces—some of our ports knocked into one—hammock-netting shot clean
away—iron stancheons twisted like wire—and a devilish deal more day-light
than canvass in our bolt ropes—the wounded pouring down so fast into
the cockpit, that the surgeons didn’t pretend to do more than apply
tourniquets to stop the bleeding; and many of the men came back to the
guns in that condition; while others was killed in the hands of the
surgeons. One shot came through the cockpit, jist over the surgeon’s
head, and killed midshipman Laub, who was coming up on deck, with a
tourniquet at his shoulder, and another killed a seaman who had already
lost both arms. Our guns was nearly all dismounted; and finally, there
was but one that could be brought to bear; and so completely was the
crew disabled, that the commodore had to work at it with his own hands.
The men became almost furious with despair, as they found themselves
made the target for the whole squadron; and the wounded complained
bitterly of the conduct of the Niagara, as they lay dying on the decks,
and in the cockpit. Two shots passed through the magazine—one knocked
the lantern to pieces, and sent the lighted wick upon the floor; and if
the gunner hadn’t have jumped on it with his feet, before it caught the
loose powder—my eyes! but that ere ship and every thing on board would
have gone into the air like a sheaf of sky-rockets, and them as was on
board, never would have know’d which side whipped. Out of one hundred
men that went into action, eighty-three were either killed or wounded,
and every officer was killed or hurt except the Commodore. Our Lieutenant
of marines, lieutenant Brooks—him as was called the Boston Apollo—the
handsomest man in the sarvice, was cut nearly in two by a cannon shot,
and died before the close of the action.

“It was nigh on all up with us. The men was real grit though, and even
the wounded, cried, ‘Blow her up,’ rather than strike. Well, as things
stood, there was an end of the Lawrence, so far as fighting went,—and our
Commodore says, says he,—‘Lieutenant Yarnall, the American flag must not
be pulled down over my head this day, while life remains in my body: I
will go on board that ship and bring her myself into action—and I will
leave it to you to pull down the Lawrence’s flag, if there is no help for
it.’ So we got our barge alongside, by the blessing of Heaven, not so
much injured but what she’d float, and off we pushed for the Niagara—the
Commodore standing with his motto flag under his arm; but as soon as the
enemy caught sight of us, they delivered a whole broadside directly at
the boat—and then peppered away so briskly, that the water all around us
bubbled like a duck-pond in a thunder shower. There Perry stood, erect
and proud, in the starn sheets—his pistols strapped in his belt, and his
sword in his hand—his eyes bent upon the Niagara,—as if he’d jump the
distance,—never heeding the shot flying around him like hail. The men
begged him to sit down—they entreated him with tears in their eyes—but it
was not until I dragged him down by main force,—the men declaring that
they would lay upon their oars and be taken—that he consented.

“There’s them as says the Niagara _wouldn’t_ come down, and there’s them
as says she _couldn’t_—all _I_ knows is, that when our gallant young
Commodore took the quarter-deck, she walked down into the thickest of it
quick enough—my eyes! how we did give it to ’em, blazing away from both
sides at once. We ran in between the Detroit and Charlotte, our guns
crammed to the muzzle, and delivered both of our broadsides into them at
the same time—grape, cannister and all,—raking the others as we passed;
and the Niagara lads showed it wasn’t no fault of their’n, that they
hadn’t come earlier to their work. I never know’d guns sarved smarter,
than they sarved their’n, till the end of the action—nor with better
effect. We soon silenced the enemy, and run up the stars again on the
Lawrence as she lay a complete wrack, shattered and cut up among them,
for all the world like a dead whale surrounded by shirks. They struck one
after another, much like you may have seen the flags of a fleet run down
after the evening gun; and as the firing ceased, and the heavy smoke bank
rolled off to leeward, shiver my timbers! but it was a sight for a Yankee
tar to see the striped bunting slapping triumphantly in the breeze over
the British jacks at their gaffs.

“If there’s any man, tho’, as says that their Commodore wasn’t a man
every inch of him, aye! and as good a seaman, too, as ever walked a
caulked plank, there’s one here, and his name’s Bill Kennedy, as will
tell him, that he’s a know-nothing, and talks of a better man nor
himself. Aye—aye—scrape the crown off his buttons, and he might mess
with Decatur and Lawrence, and splice the main-brace with Stewart and
Hull, and they be proud of his company. He was badly cut up, tho’, and
I have hear’n tell, that when he got home to England, he wouldn’t go
for to see the lady what he’d engaged to marry, but sent her word by a
friend—I don’t know who that friend was—but suppose it was his first
lieutenant, in course,—he sends her word that he wouldn’t hold her to her
engagement—cause why, says he, ‘I’m all cut to pieces, and an’t the man I
was, when she engaged for to be my wife.’ Well, what d’ye think the noble
girl says, when she hearn this;—‘Tell him,’ says she, ‘as long as there’s
enough of him left to hold his soul, I will be his.’—I say, Master Tom,
that’s most up to the Virginny gals. Well—well—there never was but one,
as would have said as much for Bill Kennedy, and she, poor Sue—she
married curly-headed Bob, captain of the main-top in the Hornet,—in a
pet, and was sorry when it was too late. She was a good girl, though—and
I’ve lent her and her young ones a hand once’t or twice since in the


(Chesapeake and Shannon—Boat Fight on Lake Ontario.)

No. IV.

“Well, Mr. Kennedy,” says Lee, “you have told us of your victories,—have
you always been victorious—have you always had the luck on your
side,—where did you lose your arm?” The old man took a long and
deliberate survey of the horizon ahead of us, apparently not well
pleased with a dark cloud just beginning to lift itself above its edge;
but whatever inferences he drew from it he kept to himself, and having
relieved his mouth from the quid, and replenished the vacuum by a fresh
bite of the pig-tail, he leisurely turned to us again, and replied with
some emphasis—‘Them as fights the English, fights men—and though it’s
been my luck to be taken twice by them, once’t in the unlucky Chesapeake,
and once’t on the lakes, and though I owes the loss of my flipper to a
musket marked G.R., I hopes I bears them no more grudge than becomes a
true yankee sailor. Now, speaking of that, I’ve always obsarved, since
the war, when our ships is in the same port, that however much we
always fights, when we falls in with each other, that the moment the
English or Americans gets into a muss with the French, or the Dutch, or
the Spaniards, that we makes common cause, and tumbles in and helps one
another—but I’m blest! but that Chesapeake business was a bad affair.
They took the ship;—let them have the credit of it, say I;—but no great
credit neither; for half the men was foreigners in a state of mutiny,
and none of the men know’d their officers. I hearn Captain Lawrence say
himself, after he was carried below, that when he ordered the bugle-man
to sound, to repel boarders, the cursed Portuguese was so frightened, or
treacherous, that no sound came from the bugle, though his cheeks swelled
as if in the act; and I hearn a British officer say to one of our’n,
that Captain Lawrence owed his death to his wearing a white cravat into
action, and that a sharp-shooter in their tops picked him off, knowing as
how, that no common man would be so dressed. I don’t complain of their
getting the best of it, for that’s the fortune of war; but they behaved
badly after the colours was hauled down. They fired down the hatches,
and“—lifting his hat, and exhibiting a seam that measured his head from
the crown to the ear—”I received this here slash from the cutlash of a
drunken sailor, for my share, as I came up the main-hatch, after she
surrendered—My eyes! all the stars in heaven was dancing before me as
I tumbled back senseless on the gun-deck below; and when they brought
the ship into Halifax, she smelt more like a slaughter-house nor a
Christian man-of-war. Howsomever, they whipt us, and there’s an end of
the matter—only I wish’t our gallant Lawrence might have died before the
colours came down, and been spared the pain of seeing his ship in the
hands of the enemy. It was what we old sailors expected, though. She was
an unlucky ship, and that disgraceful affair between her and the Leopard,
was enough to take the luck out of any ship. Now if it had been “Old
Ironsides,”[1] or the “Old Wagon,”[2] I’m blessed! but the guns would
have gone off themselves, had the whole crew mutinied and refused to come
to quarters, when they heard the roar of the British cannon—aye, aye,
Old Ironsides’ bull-dogs have barked at John Bull often enough, aye, and
always held him by the nose, too, when they growled—but the Chesapeake’s
colours was hauled down, while the Shannon’s was flying.—That’s enough—we
had to knock under—let them have the credit of it, say I.—They’d little
cause, except in that ere fight, to crow over the Yankee blue jackets.
They whipt us, and there’s an end of the matter, and be damned to
’em.—But that ain’t answering your question, as how I lost my larboard
flipper. It wasn’t in that ere unfortunate ship, altho’ if it would have
saved the honour of the flag, Bill Kennedy would willingly have given
his head and his arms too—but it was under Old Chauncey on Lake Ontario.
It was in a boat expedition on that ’ere lake, that I first got a loose
sleeve to my jacket, besides being made a pris’ner into the bargain. You
see, Sir James was shut up in Kingston, and beyond the harbour there
was a long bay or inlet setting up some three or four miles. Now, the
Commodore thought it mought be, there was more of his ships in that
same bay; so he orders Lieutenant ——, him as the English called the
‘Dare-devil Yankee,’—the same as went in with a barge the year before
and burned a heavy armed schooner on the stocks, with all their stores,
and came away by the light of it—at—at—I misremember the place—he orders
him to proceed up the bay to reconniter—to see whether there was any of
the enemy’s ships at anchor there—to get all the information he could of
his movements, and to bring off a prisoner if he could catch one—that
the Commodore mought overhaul him at his leisure. So the lieutenant
takes a yawl as we had captured some days before, having Sir James’s
own flag painted upon her bows, with midshipman Hart, and eight of us
men, and pulls leisurely along shore, till we made the entrance of the
bay. It was a bright summer afternoon, and the water was as calm as
the Captain’s hand-basin—not a ripple to be seen. Well, the entrance
was narrow, and somewhat obstructed by small islands; but we soon got
through them, never seeing two heavy English men-of-war barges, as was
snugly stowed in the bushes; but about three miles up, we spies a raft of
timber, with two men on it. We gave way, and before long got up abreast
of it. When we got close aboard the raft, the lieutenant hailing one
of the men, calls him to the side nearest the boat, and says—‘My man,
what are you lying here for, doing nothing—the wind and tide are both in
your favour—don’t you know we are waiting down at Kingston for this here
timber for his Majesty’s sarvice—what are you idling away your time for
here?’ The feller first looks at Sir James’s flag painted upon the bows
of the yawl; and then at the lieutenant, and then again at the flag—and
then at the lieutenant—and then opens his eyes, and looks mighty scarey,
without saying anything, with his mouth wide open,—‘I say,’ says the
Lieutenant agin, ‘I say, you feller with the ragged breeches, do you mean
to swallow my boat—why don’t you answer—what the devil are you doing
here?’ The feller scratches his head, and then stammers, ‘I—I—_I_ know
_you_—you are him as burnt Mr. Peter’s schooner last year.’ ‘Well,’ says
the Lieutenant, ‘what are you going to do with this here timber.’ ‘I’m
carrying it down for a raising,’ says he. ‘What!’ says the Lieutenant,
‘do you use ship’s knees and transom beams for house raising in this part
of the country? It won’t do, my man. Bear a hand, my lads, and pile all
the boards and light stuff in the centre, and we’ll make a bonfire in
honour of his most sacred Majesty.’ So we set fire to it, and took the
spokesman on board the yawl,—towing the other man in their skiff astarn,
intending to release them both when we had got all the information that
we wanted out of them. We returned slowly down the bay again, the blazing
raft making a great smoke; but as we neared the outlet, what does we see,
but them two heavy barges pulling down to cut us off. We had to run some
distance nearly parallel with them, an island intervening—so we every
moment came nearer to them, and soon within speaking distance. The men
gave way hearty—in fear of an English prison, but as we came nearer each
other, some of the officers in the English boats recognises Lieutenant
——, cause why—they had been prisoners with us—and hails him—“G——,” says
they, ‘you must submit, it’s no use for you to resist, we are four to
your one. Come, old feller, don’t make any unnecessary trouble, but give
up—you’ve got to knock under.’ The Lieutenant said nothing,—but he was a
particular man, and had his own notions upon the subject, for, bidding
the men give way, he coolly draws sight upon the spokesman with his
rifle, and most sartin, as he was a dead shot, there would have been a
vacant commission in His Majesty’s Navy, hadn’t the raftsman, who was
frightened out of his wits, caught hold of him by the tails of his coat
and dragged him down into the bottom of the boat. The Lieutenant drops
his rifle, and catches the feller by his legs and shoulders and heaves
him clear of the boat towards the skiff—while we men, dropping our oars,
gave them a volley with our muskets, and then laid down to it again. We
had taken them by surprise, but as we dashed along ahead, they returned
our fire with interest, peppering some of our lads and killing Midshipman
Hart outright, who merely uttered an exclamation as his oar flew up above
his head, and he fell dead in the bottom of the boat. Well, we see’d
the headmost barge all ready, lying on her oars and waiting for us, and
as there was no running the gauntlet past her fire, we made for another
opening from the bay as didn’t appear to be obstructed, but as we nears
it, and just begins to breathe free, three boats full of lobsters, of
red-coats, shoots right across, and closes the entrance effectually on
that side. We was in a regular rat-trap. We had been seen and watched
from the moment we had got inside of the bay, burning the raft and all.
‘Well, my lads,’ says the Lieutenant, ‘this will never do—we must go
about—hug the shore close, and try to push by the barges.’ So about we
went, but as we neared the shore, there was a party of them ’ere riflemen
in their leggins and hunting-shirts, all ready for us, waiting just as
cool and unconsarned as if we was a parcel of Christmas turkies, put up
for them to shoot at. ‘Umph,’ says the Lieutenant again, ‘’twon’t do
for them fellers to be cracking their coach-whips at us neither—we’ve
nothing to do for it, my boys, but to try our luck, such as it is, with
the barges.’ So as we pulled dead for the entrance of the bay, they lay
on their oars, all ready for us, and as we came up, they poured such a
deadly fire into that ere yawl as I never seed before or since. There
was nineteen wounds among eight of us. The Lieutenant was the only one
unhurt, though his hat was riddled through and through, and his clothes
hung about him in tatters. How he was presarved, is a miracle, for he was
standing all the while in the starn-sheets, the most exposed of any on
board. They kept firing away, as if they intended to finish the business,
and gin no quarter, the men doing what little they could to pull at the
oars; but a boat of wounded and dying men couldn’t make much headway. Our
men was true Yankee lads, tho’—and no flinching.

“There was one man named Patterson, as pulled on the same thwart with
me, and of all the men I’ve ever sailed with, he showed most of what
I calls real grit. At their first volley, he gets a shot through his
thigh, shattering the bone so that it hung twisted over on one side, but
he pulls away at his oar as if nothing had happened. Presently another
passes through his lungs, and comes out at his back—still he pulls away,
and didn’t give in;—at last, a third takes him through the throat, and
passes out back of his neck;—then, and not till then, did he call out to
the lieutenant—‘Mr. G—, I’m killed, sir;—I’m dead;—I can’t do no more.’
So the lieutenant says—‘Throw your oar overboard, Patterson, and slide
down into the bottom of the boat, and make yourself as comfortable as you
can.’ Well—what does Patterson do, as he lays in the bottom of the boat
bleeding to death, what does he do but lifts his arm over the gunwale,
and shaking his fist, cry, ‘Come on, damn ye, one at a time, and I’m
enough for ye as I am.’ Aye, aye, Patterson was what I calls real grit.
He was a good, quiet, steady man, too, on board ship; always clean and
ac_tyv_e, and cheerful in obeying orders. Howsomever, his time had come,
and in course there was an end of his boat duty in this world.

“Well—they continued to fire into us as fast as they could load, cause
why, they was aggravated that so small a force should have fired into
them; but the lieutenant takes off his hat and makes a low bow, to let
them know as how he had surrendered, and then directs me to hold up an
oar’s blade; but they takes no notice of neither, and still peppered
away; but just as we concludes that they didn’t intend to give no
quarter, but meant to extarminate us outright, they slacks firing, and,
taking a long circuit, as if we’d have been a torpedo, or some other
dangerous combustible, pulled up aboard. There wasn’t much for them to
be afeard on though, for with the exception of the lieutenant, who was
untouched, there was nothing in the boat but dead and wounded men.
They took us in tow, and carried us down to Kingston, and mighty savage
was Sir James;—he said that it was unpardonable that so small a force
should have attempted resistance, and he and the lieutenant getting
high, and becoming aggravated by something as was said between them,
Sir James claps him in a state-room under arrest, and keeps him there
under a sentry, with a drawn baggonet, for nigh on two months. After
that he sends the lieutenant to Quebec, and then to England, where he
remained till the close of the war; but them of us men as didn’t die of
our wounds was kept down in Montreal, until——” Here the old man broke
off abruptly, and taking another long look at the horizon, said, “If I
a’nt much mistaken, Master Tom, there’s something a-brewing ahead there,
as will make this here craft wake up, as if she was at the little end
of a funnel, with a harricane pouring through the other—and if I knows
the smell of a Potomac thundergust, we’ll have it full blast here before
we’re many minutes older.”

[1] Frigate Constitution.

[2] Frigate United States.


Old Kennedy quietly proceeded to make the necessary preparations to
encounter the tempest. His peacoat was got out of the locker, and tightly
buttoned about him, and his tarpaulin well secured by its lanyard to
his button-hole. The mainsail and foresail were stowed and secured, and
nothing but the jib, the bonnet of which was reefed down, was allowed to
remain spread upon our dark and graceful schooner.

The cloud in the horizon began to extend itself, increasing and
gradually rising and covering the sky, and the old man’s prediction was
evidently about to be fulfilled. A dead calm lay upon the river, and a
preternatural stillness clothed in a sort of stupor the whole face of
nature around us; while low muttering rolls of thunder from the dark
cloud, and the frequent, sudden, crinkling lightning, glittering across
its surface, warned us that we were about to encounter one of those
violent and terrible thunder-storms which not unfrequently occur in this
part of the country.

The distant muttering in the horizon rapidly became louder, and the
perfect stillness of the forest was broken. The melancholy sighs of the
coming blast increased to wails,—the boughs of the trees rubbed against
each other with a slow, see-saw motion, and, as the storm increased,
grated with a harsh and continued groaning. The lightning became quick
and incessant, and blindingly vivid, and the dark gloom of the forest
was rendered still darker by its rapid glare. The river itself soon was
lashed into foam behind us, and in a few moments more, accompanied by
huge clouds of dust, the tempest came roaring upon us. The cultivated
fields and cheerful plantations which were but now smiling in quietness
and repose, on the other side of the river, were now instantly shut out
by the deep gloom. As the gust struck the schooner, she checked for a
moment as if in surprise, and then shot forward with the speed of an
arrow from the bow, swept on in the furious tempest as if she had been a
gossamer or feather, enveloped in dust and darkness, the rain and hail
hissing as it drove onwards, and the terrific thunder, now like whole
broadsides of artillery, now quick and incessant peals of musquetry,
roaring with frightful violence around her, while the deep black forest,
lit up by the blue lightning, bellowed incessantly with the hollow
echoes. As we swept forward with frantic swiftness, a quivering white
flash struck the top of an immense oak, and ere the crashing, deafening
roar of the thunder followed, it was torn and splintered, shivered and
burning, hurled on by the blast.

As soon as the squall struck us, we ensconced ourselves below, in full
confidence of our safety with Old Kennedy at the helm; and a fine subject
would the old seaman have been for a painter, as he sat amid the fury of
the storm, stern and erect, the tiller under the stump of his left arm,
and the jib-sheets with one turn around the cleet in his right hand—the
usual surly expression of his countenance increased into grim defiance,
as he steadily and unmovingly kept his eyes fixed into the gloom ahead.
At one time we darted by a sloop at anchor, which had let go every thing
by the run, her sails over her side in the water, on which, if the yacht
had struck, she would have been crumpled up like a broken egg-shell; but
thanks to our old Quartermaster’s care, we dashed by in the gloom, his
eyes never even for a moment turning on her as we passed.

The storm swept us on in its fury for some time, when it gradually abated
in violence, and began to subside. The heavy clouds, flying higher and
higher in detached masses in the heavens, by and bye lifted themselves in
the western sky, and through the ragged intervals the setting sun poured
his last rays over the dripping forest, bronzing the dark sides of our
little schooner as he sunk and disappeared beneath the horizon. As the
evening wore on, a star here and there discovered itself struggling amid
the scud flying over it, and presently the moon shone out with her broad
and silver light, and every vestige of the storm had disappeared.

As we glided gaily on, with a fresh, fine breeze, towards our cottage
home past the deep forest, the silence was broken by a long, melancholy
howl, which I supposed was that of a solitary wolf, but Lee said that
it was more probably from some one of the large breed of dogs which
are found on most of the plantations. Lee’s mind was of a sad and
pensive, although not at all of a gloomy cast; and like most men of
that character, he required strong excitement to arouse him; but when
aroused, of all delightful companions that I have ever met, he was the
man. The excitement of the storm had been sufficient stimulus, and giving
the reins to his wild spirits and excited feelings, he entertained us
with an incessant stream of anecdote and adventure. The howl of the
wolf had recalled to mind an incident in the life of his ancestor,
Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, and in connection, he related it with many other
adventures of the celebrated Partisan Legion. I will not attempt to use
his beautiful and spirit-stirring language, but will confine myself to
a few disjointed anecdotes, of the many which he related of the dashing
corps, as they happen to recur to my memory.

The Legion, intended to act independently or conjointly with the main
army, as circumstances might require, was composed of three companies
of infantry, and three troops of cavalry, amounting in all to three
hundred and fifty men, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Lee, who,
every inch a soldier, had won for himself in the Southern campaigns,
and particularly in the masterly retreat of Green, before Cornwallis,
the honourable distinction of being called “the eye of the Southern
army.” He was Green’s confidential adviser and constant friend:—a stern
disciplinarian, he was nevertheless beloved by his officers and men, and
so careful was he of the interests of the latter, that while the rest of
the army were suffering, the Legion by his exertions was always retained
in the highest state of personal appearance and discipline. The horses
were powerful and kept in high condition;—indeed Lee has been accused of
being more careful for their safety than for that of his men. The cavalry
in the British army mounted on inferior horses, could not stand a moment
before them; and armed with their long heavy sabres, Lee’s troopers were
considered full match for double the force of the enemy.

The Legion infantry were well equipped, and thoroughly disciplined men,
and acted in unison with the cavalry. They were commanded by Captain
Michael Rudolph, a man of small stature, but of the most determined
and daring courage, and of great physical strength. He always led in
person the “forlorn hope,” when the Legion’s services were required in
the storm of posts, and he was so completely the idol of his men, that
it was only necessary that he should be detailed on duty of the most
desperate character, that the infantry, to a man, were anxious to be
engaged in it. The leading captain of the cavalry, James Armstrong, was
almost precisely his counterpart in person, in strength, in undaunted
courage and heroic daring, beloved by his men, ahead of whom he was
always found in the charge. O’Neal, also of the cavalry, was a bold and
gallant man, who fought his way up from the ranks; for no carpet knight
had consideration in the corps. In an early part of his career, he came
near cutting off in the bud, Cornwallis’ favourite cavalry officer,
Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton; for this officer, whatever his merits or
demerits, endeavoured to enter a window at which O’Neal was posted, when
the latter, dropping his carabine, snapped it within an inch of his head,
but the piece missing fire, Tarleton very coolly looked up at him with a
smile, and said, “You have missed it for this time, my lad,” and wheeling
his horse, joined the rest of his troop, who were on the retreat.

It were perhaps difficult to select the brave from a body of men who
were all brave, but it is not invidious to say, that there was not a
man of more fearless courage in the corps than Lieutenant Manning of
the Legion infantry. At the battle of Eutaw, commanding his platoon to
charge, he rushed on in his usual reckless manner, without stopping or
looking behind him, until he was brought up by a large stone house, into
which the Royal York Volunteers under Lieutenant-Colonel Cruger, were
retiring. The British were on all sides, and no American soldier within
two hundred yards of him. Without a moment’s hesitation, he threw himself
upon a British officer, and seizing him by the collar, wrested his sword
from his grasp, exclaiming, in a harsh voice, “You are my prisoner, sir.”
Interposing him between the enemy and himself, as a shield from the heavy
fire pouring from the windows, he then very coolly and deliberately
backed out of danger: the prisoner, who was not deemed by his brother
officers a prodigy of valour, pompously enumerating his rank and titles,
which Manning occasionally interrupted with, “You are right—you are
right—you’re just the man, sir,—you shall preserve _me_ from danger, and
rest assured I’ll take good care of _you_.”

Manning had retreated some distance from the house, when he saw his
friend Captain Joyett, of the Virginia line, engaged in single combat
with a British officer. The American was armed with his sword, while the
Briton was defending himself with a bayonet. As the American approached,
the Englishman made a thrust with the bayonet, which Joyett successfully
parried with his sword, when both of them dropping the arms which they
could not wield in so close an encounter, simultaneously clinched, and
being men of great and nearly equal bodily strength, they were soon
engaged in a desperate and deadly struggle. While thus engaged, an
English grenadier seeing the danger of his officer, ran up and with his
bayonet made a lounge, which luckily missing Joyett’s body, passed only
through the skirts of his coat, but the bayonet becoming entangled in
the folds, upon its withdrawal dragged both of the combatants together
to the ground. The soldier having disengaged it, was about deliberately
to transfix Joyett by a second thrust, when Manning, seeing the danger
of his friend, without being sufficiently near in the crisis to assist
him, called out as he hurried up in an authoritative tone, “You would
not murder the gentleman, you brute!”—The grenadier supposing himself
addressed by one of his own officers, suspended the contemplated blow
and turned towards the speaker, but before he could recover from his
surprise, Manning cut him across the eyes with his sword, while Joyett
disengaging himself from his opponent, snatched up the musket, and
with one blow laid him dead with the butt;—the valiant prisoner whom
Manning had dragged along, and who invariably asserted that he had been
captured by “Joyett, a huge Virginian,”—instead of Manning, who was a
small man—standing a horror-struck spectator of the tragedy. An equally
brave man was Sergeant Ord, of Manning’s company;—in the surprise of
the British at Georgetown, when a company of the Legion infantry had
captured a house with its enclosures, the enemy made an attempt to
regain it; the commanding officer calling out to his men, “Rush on, my
brave fellows—they are only militia, and have no bayonets;”—Ord placing
himself in front of the gate as they attempted to enter, laid six of
them in succession, dead at his feet, accompanying each thrust with—“Oh!
no bayonets here—none to be sure!”—following up his strokes with such
rapidity that the party were obliged to give up the attempt and retire.

But perhaps there could have been no two characters in the corps more
the perfect antipodes of each other, than the two surgeons of the
cavalry, Irvine and Skinner, for while Irvine was entirely regardless
of his person, and frequently found engaged sword in hand, in the
thickest of the fight, where his duty by no means called him, Skinner
was as invariably found in the rear, cherishing his loved person from
the threatened danger. Indeed he was a complete counterpart of old
Falstaff;—the same fat and rotund person—the same lover of good cheer
and good wine—and entertaining the same aversion to exposing his dear
body to the danger of missiles or cuts;—not only was he a source of fun
in himself, “but he was the cause of it in others.” He asserted that his
business was in the rear—to cure men, not to kill them; and when Irvine
was wounded at the charge of Quinby’s bridge, he refused to touch him,
until he had dressed the hurts of the meanest of the soldiers, saying
that Matthew Irvine was served perfectly right, and had no business to be
engaged out of his vocation. At the night alarm at Ninety-six, Colonel
Lee, hastening forward to ascertain the cause, met the Doctor in full
retreat, and stopping him, addressed him, with—“Where so fast, Doctor—not
frightened I hope,”—“No, Colonel,” replied Skinner—“not frightened—but I
confess, most infernally alarmed.” His eccentricities extended not alone
to his acts, but to every thing about him. Among other peculiarities,
he wore his beard long, and unshorn, and upon being asked by a brother
officer why he did so, he replied, that “that was a secret between Heaven
and himself, which no human impertinence should ever penetrate.” Like
Falstaff, and with similar success, he considered himself the admired
of the fair sex,—“Ay!” said he, to Captain Carns, of the infantry, “Ay,
Carns, I have an _eye_!” Yet Skinner was by no means a man to be trifled
with, for he was not devoid of a certain sort of courage, as he had
proved in half a dozen duels, in one of which he had killed his man. When
asked how it was, that he was so careful of his person in action, when he
had shown so plainly that he was not deficient in courage,—he replied,
“That he considered it very arrogant in a surgeon, whose business it was
to cure, to be aping the demeanour and duty of a commissioned officer,
and that he was no more indisposed to die than other gentlemen, but
that he had an utter aversion to the noise and tumult of battle,—that
it stunned and stupified him.” On one occasion, when the Legion was
passing through a narrow defile, the centre was alarmed by the drums
of the infantry beating to arms in front,—Skinner, with the full sense
of what was due to himself, whirled about, and giving his horse a short
turn by the bridle, brought him down on his back in the middle of the
defile, completely blocking it up, and preventing either egress or
ingress—relief or retreat. The infantry and cavalry which had passed the
gorge, immediately deployed on the hill in front, while the remainder
of the Legion, galloping up, were completely severed by this singular
and unexpected obstruction, until Captain Egglestone dismounting some
of his strongest troopers, succeeded in dragging the horse out of the
defile by main force. It turned out that the alarm was false, otherwise
the doctor’s terror might have caused the destruction of one-half of the

But to recur to the incident brought to mind by the howling of the wolf.
When the Legion was on its march to form a junction with Marion, on the
little Pedee, it one night encamped in a large field on the southern
side of a stream, with the main road in front. The night passed on very
quietly, until about two or three in the morning, when the officer of
the day reported that a strange noise had been heard by the picquet in
front, on the great road, resembling the noise of men moving through
the adjoining swamp. While he was yet speaking, the sentinel in that
quarter fired his piece, which was immediately followed by the bugle
calling in the horse patroles, the invariable custom upon the approach
of an enemy. The drums instantly beat to arms, and the troops arranged
for defence. The sentries on being questioned, all concurred in the
same account, “and one patrol of horse asserted that they had heard
horsemen concealing with the greatest care their advance.” Lee was in
great perplexity, for he knew that he was not within striking distance
of any large body of the enemy, and that Marion was at least two days
distance in advance; but soon a sentinel in another direction fired, and
the same report was brought in from him; and it was apparent, however
unaccountable, that the enemy were present. A rapid change in the
formation of the troops was made to meet the attack in this quarter,
but it was hardly accomplished before the fire of a third sentinel in a
different direction, communicated the intelligence of danger from another
quarter. Feelings of intense anxiety were now aroused, and preparations
were made for a general assault, as soon as light should allow it to be
made. The picquets and sentinels held their stations, the horse patrols
were called in, and the corps changed its position in silence, and with
precision upon every new communication, with the combined object of
keeping the fires between them and the enemy, and the horse in the rear
of the infantry.

While thus engaged, another and rapid discharge by the sentinels, on the
line of the great road, plainly indicated that the enemy were in force,
and that with full understanding of their object, they had surrounded
them. It was also evident that there must be a large body of the enemy,
from their covering so large a segment of the circle around them. It was
equally apparent that they could expect no aid from any quarter, and
relying upon themselves, the corps awaited in extreme anxiety, the scene
which the day was to usher upon them.

Lee passed along the line of infantry and cavalry, in a low tone urging
upon them the necessity of profound silence, reminding them that in
the approaching contest they must sustain their high reputation, and
expressing his confidence, that with their accustomed bravery, they
would be able to cut their way through all opposing obstacles, and reach
the Pedee. His address was answered by whispers of applause, and having
formed the cavalry and infantry into two columns, he awaited anxiously
the break of day, to give the signal for action. It soon appeared, and
the columns advanced on the great road; infantry in front, baggage in
the centre, and cavalry in the rear. As soon as the head of the column
reached the road, the van officer proceeding a few hundred yards received
the same account that had been given from the sentinel that had fired

The enigma remained unexplained, and no enemy being in view, there could
be but little doubt that the attack was to be from ambushment, and the
column moved slowly on, expecting every moment to receive their fire.
But the van officer’s attention having been accidentally attracted, he
examined, and found along the road, the tracks of a large pack of wolves.
The mystery was now solved; it was evident that the supposed enemy was
no other than the pack of wild beasts, which, turned from their route
by the fire of the sentinels, had passed still from point to point in a
wide circuit, bent upon the attainment of their object. A quantity of
provisions had been stored some time previously on their line of march,
but having become spoiled, it was abandoned in the vicinity of the
night’s encampment, and the wolves had been disturbed by the videts, in
the nightly progress to their regale. The agitation instantly subsided,
and wit and merriment flashed on all sides, “every one appearing anxious
to shift the derision from himself upon his neighbour, the commandant
himself coming in for his share; and as it was the interest of the many
to fix the stigma on the few, the corps unanimously charged the officer
of the day, the guards, the patrols and picquets, with gross stupidity,
hard bordering upon cowardice:” nevertheless, they were none the less
relieved by the happy termination of an adventure attended by so many
circumstances naturally alarming, and it long passed as an excellent joke
in the Legion, under the title of the “Wolf reconnoitre.”

The music sounded merrily, and the column marched on, elate with the
fun and novelty of the adventure, and of the buglers none blew a more
cheery strain than little Jack Ellis the bugler of Armstrong’s troop.
He was a fine boy, small and intelligent, as well as young and handsome,
and a general favourite in the Legion. Poor little fellow! he met his
death under circumstances peculiarly tragic and cruel, not long after.
When the Southern army, under Green, was slowly making its masterly
retreat before Cornwallis, the Legion formed part of the rear-guard, and
was consequently almost continually in sight of the van of the enemy,
commanded by Brigadier-General O’Hara. The duty devolving upon it,
severe in the day, was extremely so in the night, for numerous patrols
and picquets were constantly required to be on the alert, to prevent
the enemy from taking advantage of the darkness to get near the main
army by circuitous routes, so that one half of the troops of the rear
guard were alternately put on duty day and night, and the men were not
able to get more than six hours sleep out of the forty-eight. But the
men were in fine spirits, notwithstanding the great fatigue to which
they were subjected. They usually, at the break of day, hurried on, to
gain as great a distance in advance as possible, that they might secure
their breakfast, the only meal during the rapid and hazardous retreat.
One drizzly and cold morning, the officers and dragoons, in pursuance of
this custom, had hurried on to the front, and just got their corn cakes
and meat on the coals, when a countryman, mounted on a small and meagre
pony, came galloping up, and hastily asking for the commanding officer,
he informed him that the British column, leaving the main line of march,
were moving obliquely in a different direction, and that, discovering the
manœuvre from a field where he was burning brush, he had run home, caught
the first horse he could lay his hands upon, and hurried along with the
information. Unwilling to believe the report of the countryman, although
he could not well doubt it, and reluctant to disturb so materially the
comfort of the men, as to deprive them of the breakfast for which they
were waiting with keen appetites, Lee ordered Captain Armstrong to take
one section of horse, accompanied by the countryman, to return on the
route, and having reconnoitred, to make his report.

Circumstances, however, strengthening him in the belief that the
information of the countryman was correct, he took a squadron of cavalry,
and followed on to the support of Armstrong, whom he overtook at no great
distance ahead. Perceiving no sign of the enemy, he again concluded that
the countryman was mistaken. He therefore directed Armstrong to take the
guide and three dragoons, and to advance still further on the road, while
he returned with the squadron to finish their breakfast. The countryman
mounted on his sorry nag, protested against being thus left to take care
of himself, asserting that though the dragoons on their spirited and
powerful horses were sure of safety, if pursued—he, on his jaded hack,
was equally sure of being taken. Lee acknowledged the danger of the
friendly guide, dismounted the little bugler, and giving the countryman
his horse, he placed Ellis upon the hack, sending him on in front to
report to the commanding officer. After having returned a short distance,
the squadron entered the woods, on the road side, and the dragoons
leisurely proceeded to finish their breakfast—but they had hardly got it
out of their haversacks, when a firing of musketry was heard, and almost
immediately after the clatter of horses’ hoofs coming on at full gallop.
The next moment, Armstrong, with his dragoons and the countryman came in
sight, pursued by a troop of Tarleton’s dragoons, at the top of their

Lee saw Armstrong with his small party well in front and hard in hand,
and felt no anxiety about them, as he knew that their horses were so
superior to those of the enemy that they were perfectly safe, but the
danger of the bugler, who could be but little ahead, immediately caused
him serious uneasiness. Wishing however, to let the British squadron
get as far from support as possible, he continued in the woods for a
few moments, intending to interpose in time to save the boy. Having
let them get a sufficient distance, and assuring himself that there
was nothing coming up to their support, he put the squadron in motion
and appeared on the road, but only in time to see the enraged dragoons
overtake and sabre the poor little suppliant, as he in vain implored
for quarter. Infuriated at the sight, he gave orders to charge, and the
English officer had barely time to form, when Lee’s squadron was upon
them like a whirlwind—killing, prostrating, and unhorsing almost the
whole of the force in an instant, while the captain, and the few left
unhurt endeavoured to escape. Ordering Lieutenant Lewis to follow on in
pursuit, with strict orders to give no quarter, an order dictated by the
sanguinary act that they had just witnessed, he placed the dying boy in
the arms of two of the dragoons, directing them to proceed onwards to the
camp, and immediately after pushed on to the support of Lewis, whom he
soon met returning with the English captain and several of his dragoons,
prisoners—the officer unhurt, but the men severely cut in the face, neck,
and shoulders. Reprimanding Lewis on the spot for disobedience of orders,
he peremptorily charged the British officer with the atrocity that they
had just witnessed, and ordered him to prepare for instant death. The
officer urged that he had in vain endeavoured to save the boy, that his
dragoons were intoxicated, and would not obey his orders, and he begged
that he might not be sacrificed, stating that in the slaughter of Lt.
Col. Buford’s command, he had used his greatest exertions, and succeeded
in saving the lives of many of the Americans. This, in some measure
mollified Lee, but just then overtaking the speechless and dying boy,
expiring in the arms of the soldiers, his bright and handsome face,
changed in the ghastly agony of death, he returned with unrelenting
sternness to his first decision and informed the Englishman that he
should execute him in the next vale through which they were to pass, and
furnishing him with a pencil and paper, desired him to make such note
as he wished to his friends, which he pledged him his word should be
sent to the British General. The ill-fated soldier proceeded to write,
when the British van approaching in sight, the prisoner was sent on
to Col. Williams in front, who, ignorant of the murder, and of Lee’s
determination to make an example of him, in his turn, forwarded him on
to head quarters—thus luckily saving his life. Eighteen of the British
dragoons fell in the charge, and were buried by Cornwallis as he came
up, but the American’s had time to do no more than lay the body of the
poor little bugler in the woods on the side of the road, trusting to
the charity of the country people to inter it, when they were obliged
to resume their retreat. It should be borne in mind that Lee’s humane
disposition could only be excited to such summary vengeance by the
cruel and unwarrantable murder that they had just witnessed, and by the
frequent acts of atrocity which had been repeatedly enacted by this same

Perhaps the fated destiny which frequently appears to await the
soldier, hanging over him like a shield while he passes through the
most desperate danger, until the appointed hour arrives, was never
more apparent than in the case of Lt. Col. Webster, of the British army
in this same retreat. When the rear of the American army, composed as
has been observed principally by the Legion, had passed the Reedy Fork,
the British van under the command of Webster, endeavoured to ford the
river and bring them into action, a point which Cornwallis was anxious
to attain, but which was entirely foreign to the plan of Greene, whose
object was to wear out his pursuers. Under the cover of a dense fog,
the British had attained a short distance of the Legion before they
were discovered. They made their appearance on the opposite bank of the
river, and after halting a few moments, descended the hill and approached
the water, but receiving a heavy fire of musketry and rifles, they fell
back and quickly reascending, were again rallied on the margin of the
bank. Col. Webster rode up, calling upon the soldiers in a loud voice
to follow, and rushing down the hill, at their head, amid a galling
fire poured from the Legion troops, he plunged into the water. In the
woods occupied by the riflemen, was an old log schoolhouse, a little
to the right of the ford. The mud stuffed between the logs had mostly
fallen out, and the apertures admitted the use of rifles with ease.
In this house Lee had posted five and twenty select marksmen from the
mountain militia, with orders to forego engaging in the general action,
and directions to hold themselves in reserve for any particular object
which might present. “The attention of this party being attracted by
Webster, as he plunged into the water, they singled him out as their
mark. The stream being deep, and the bottom rugged, he advanced slowly,
the soldiers, some of them, holding on by his stirrup-leathers,—and one
by one they discharged their rifles at him, each man sure of knocking
him over, and, having re-loaded, eight or nine of them, emptied their
guns at him a second time, yet strange to relate, neither horse nor rider
received a single ball. The twenty-five marksmen were celebrated for
their superior skill, and it was a common amusement for them to place an
apple on the end of a ramrod and hold it out at arm’s length, as a mark
for their comrades to fire at, when many balls would pass through the
apple, yet the British officer, mounted on a stout horse, slowly moving
through a deep water course, was singled out and fired at thirty-two or
three times successively, and yet remained untouched, and succeeded in
effecting a lodgment on the bank, where he formed his troops under a
heavy fire.” This gallant officer, and polished gentleman, the favourite
of Cornwallis, subsequently fell at the battle of Guilford Court-House,
not more regretted by his brother soldiers, than admired by those of the
American army.

There is nothing more true, than that in war as in love, much depends
upon accident, and an alarm is frequently conveyed and a victory won, by
circumstances entirely the act of chance. As a case in point. In the
retreat of the British after the battle of Monks’ Corner, Lt. Col. Stuart
ordered all the arms belonging to the dead and wounded to be collected,
and when the retreating enemy had marched on, they were set fire to
by the rear guard. As many of the muskets were loaded, an irregular
discharge followed, resembling the desultory fire which usually precedes
a battle. The retreating army immediately supposed, that Greene was up
and had commenced an attack on their rear—and the dismay and confusion
was so great, that the wagoners cut the traces of their horses and
galloped off, leaving the wagons on the route. The followers of the army
fled in like manner, and the terror was rapidly increasing, when the
cessation of the firing quelled the alarm.

But the most exciting incident that our fellow voyager related, and one
which would well merit the attention of the painter, was the spirited
affair at Quinby’s Bridge. When the British army in their turn were
retreating, Sumpter, Marion and Lee frequently were able to act in
concert. The 19th British Regiment, Lt. Col. Coates, having become
isolated at Monks’ Corner, Marion and Lee determined to fall upon it, and
cut it off by surprise before it could obtain relief. The British officer
having taken the precaution to secure the bridge across the Cooper river
by a strong detachment, it became necessary for them to make a long
circuit, through the deep sands in the hottest part of the summer, before
they could form a junction with Sumpter, whose aid was required in the
intended attack. The junction was not effected until evening, and the
attack was necessarily deferred until the following morning; but about
midnight the whole sky becoming illuminated by a great conflagration,
it was evident that the enemy had taken the alarm. They had set fire to
the church to destroy the stores, and had decamped in silence. By the
neglect of the militia, who had deserted a bridge at which they were
stationed, the enemy had been able to draw off, and obtain a considerable
distance in advance, before their retreat was discovered. Lee immediately
followed on with the cavalry in pursuit of the main body, but was
unable to come up with it, until he had arrived in the neighbourhood of
Quinby’s Bridge, about eighteen miles from Monks’ Corner. Upon his first
approach, he discovered the baggage of the regiment under a rear guard
of about one hundred men, advancing along a narrow road, the margin of
which was bordered by a deep swamp on both sides. As soon as the cavalry
came in view, the British officer formed his men across the road, which
they had hardly effected, when the charge was sounded, and the Legion
cavalry rushed upon them with drawn swords at full gallop. The voice of
the British officer was distinctly heard: “Front rank,—bayonets—second
rank,—fire!”—and as no discharge immediately followed, the cavalry
officers felt extreme solicitude, lest its reservation was meant to
make it the more fatal on their near approach, for on the narrow road,
and in the close column in which they were rushing on, a well-directed
fire would have emptied half of their saddles—but happily the soldiers,
alarmed by the formidable appearance of the cavalry, threw down their
arms and supplicated for quarter, which the cavalry were most happy to
grant them. The prisoners being secured, the main body of the cavalry
pushed on under Armstrong for the bridge, which was still about three
miles in front, in the hope of cutting off the enemy before they should
succeed in reaching it. As Armstrong came in sight, he found that Coates
had passed the bridge, and that he was indolently reposing on the
opposite side of the river, awaiting his rear guard and baggage. He had,
by way of precaution, taken up the planks from the bridge, letting them
lie loosely on the sleepers, intending as soon as the rear should have
crossed, to destroy it. Seeing the enemy with the bridge thus interposed,
which he knew was contrary to the commandant’s anticipations, Armstrong
drew up, and sent back word to Lee, who was still with the prisoners,
requesting orders, never communicating the fact that the bridge was
interposed. Lee’s adjutant soon came galloping back with the laconic
answer:—“The order of the day, sir, is to fall upon the enemy, without
regard to consequences.”

The gallant Armstrong for a moment leaned forward in his saddle,
towards the adjutant, as if thunder-struck, with this reflection on his
courage,—in the next his sword glanced like a streak of light around
his head, his noble horse leapt with a snort clear of the ground, as
the spur-rowels were buried to the gaffs in his sides, and in another
shouting in a voice of thunder—“Legion cavalry, charge!” at the head of
his section, he cleared the bridge, the horses throwing off the loose
planks in every direction, the next instant driving the soldiers headlong
from the howitzer which they had mounted at the other end to defend it,
he was cutting and slashing in the very centre of the British regiment,
which, taken completely by surprise, threw down their arms, retreating
in every direction. The horses of Armstrong’s section had thrown off the
planks as they cleared the bridge, leaving a yawning chasm, beneath which
the deep black stream was rushing turbidly onwards; but Lt. Carrington,
at the head of his section, took the leap and closed with Armstrong,
engaged in a desperate personal encounter with Lt. Col. Coates, who had
had barely time to throw himself with a few of his officers behind some
baggage-wagons, where they were parrying the sabre cuts made by the
dragoons at their heads. Most of the soldiers, alarmed at the sudden
attack, had abandoned their officers, and were running across the fields,
to shelter themselves in a neighbouring farm-house. Lee, by this time,
had himself got up to the bridge, where O’Neal, with the third section
had halted, the chasm having been so much enlarged by Carrington’s horses
throwing off additional planks, that his horses would not take the leap,
and seeing the howitzer abandoned, and the whole regiment dispersed,
except the few officers who were defending themselves with their swords,
while they called upon the flying soldiers for assistance, he proceeded
to recover and replace the planks. The river was deep in mud, and still
deeper in water, so that the dragoons could neither get a footing to
re-place the planks, nor a firm spot from which they might swim their
horses to the aid of their comrades. Seeing this posture of affairs,
some of the bravest of the British soldiers began to hurry back to the
assistance of their officers, and Armstrong and Carrington, being unable
to sustain with only one troop of dragoons, so unequal a combat, they
abandoned the contest, forcing their way down the great road, into the
woods on the margin of the stream, in the effort to rejoin the corps.
Relieved from the immediate danger, Coates hastened back to the bridge,
and opened a fire from the deserted howitzer upon Lee and the soldiers,
who were fruitlessly striving to repair the bridge, and being armed only
with their sabres, which the chasm made perfectly useless, as they could
not reach the enemy across it, they were also forced to give up the
attempt, and retire without the range of the fire from the gun.

Marion shortly after coming up, in conjunction with Lee marched some
distance down the banks, where they were enabled to ford the stream,
and effect a passage. In the edge of the evening, they reached the
farm-house, but found that Coates had fortified himself within it, with
his howitzer, and was thus impregnable to cavalry. “While halting in
front, Armstrong and Carrington came up with their shattered sections.
Neither of the officers were hurt, but many of the bravest dragoons were
killed, and still more wounded. Some of their finest fellows—men, who
had passed through the whole war esteemed and admired, had fallen in
this honourable but unsuccessful attempt.” Being without artillery, and
within striking distance of Charleston, they were obliged, fatigued as
they were, to commence their retreat. Placing the wounded in the easiest
posture for conveyance, and laying the dead on the pommels of their
saddles, the Legion counter-marched fifteen miles; at its close, burying
in sadness and grief in one common sepulchre the bodies of those that had

These anecdotes of the Legion are but a few of the many stirring and
spirited narrations with which Lee whiled away the time, as we glided
along on our return up the river. His own observations and adventures
in travelling over the world were not wanting for our amusement, for,
with a mind well prepared for its enjoyment, he had passed the years
that had intervened, since I last saw him, in travelling leisurely over
Europe and the East. With the true philosophy of life, calling all men
brothers, and restrained by no narrow prejudices of country or habit, he
had entered eagerly into the manners and participated in the amusements
of those around him. First after the hounds in England, he shouted “tally
ho!” with all the enthusiasm of the veriest sportsman in the hunt; while
his voice was heard equally loud and jovial in the wild and half frantic
chorus of the drinking and smoking students of Germany. He scrupled not
to wear his beard long, and partake of the hard black loaf in the cabin
of the Russian boor, while, with equal equanimity he wore his turban, and
smoked his chiboque cross-legged in the caffarets of Turkey. He climbed
the huge pyramids, and their dark and silent chambers echoed the sounds
of his voice, as he called on Cheops, Isis and Orus; and, kneeling in the
gorgeous mosque of Omar, he worshipped the true God, while the muzzeim
from its minarets was proclaiming, that Mahomet was his prophet. He had
luxuriated amid the never-dying works of the great masters at Florence,
and, lulled by the harmonious chaunt of the gondolier, had swept over
the moonlit lagoons of Venice. He had whirled in all the gaiety of
living Paris, and measured with careful steps the silent streets of dead
Herculaneum and Pompeii. He had stood amid the awful stillness on the
glittering ice-covered summits of Mont Blanc, and looked fearlessly
down into the great roaring caverns of fire boiling in the crater of
Vesuvius—but now there was a sadness about his heart which rarely lighted
up, and, as I have observed, it was only under momentary excitement that
he blazed into brilliant entertainment.

As the fresh breeze wafted us swiftly onwards, Venus, mid the stars
trembling in unnumbered myriads, rivalled with her silvery rays the great
round-orbed moon, sailing joyously in her career high in the heavens
above us,—and soon the bright beacon on the plantation shore, lighted for
our guidance, shone steadily over the dark water, and ere long we were
all quietly seated at the supper-table, with our beautiful hostess at its
head,—again in Tom’s cottage on the banks of the Potomac.

    NOTE.—The incidents related in the above article are derived
    from “Lee’s Southern Campaigns” and “Col. Gardner’s Military
    Anecdotes,” where, if he has not already perused them, the
    reader will find much to interest and amuse him.


Here we are met again, all booted and spurred, and ready for another
journey. Come, let us make the most of our time on this mundane sphere,
for verily we are but two of the automata of the great moving panorama
which is so rapidly hastening o’er its surface—two of the unnumbered
millions who, lifted from our cradles, are hurrying with like equal haste
towards the great dark curtain of the future, where, drawing its gloomy
folds aside, we shall pass behind and disappear for ever. Therefore
let us hasten; for though some of us complacently imagine that we are
bound on our own special road and chosen journey, yet, surely we are but
travelling the path which has been marked out for us by an all-seeing
Providence; and though, like soldiers, we may be marching, as we suppose,
to good billets and snug quarters, yet perhaps, before the day’s route
be closed, we shall be plunged into the centre of the battle-field, with
sad curtailment of our history. Tempus fugit! Therefore let us hasten,
for, in a few short years, some modern Hamlet o’er our tomb-stones thus
shall moralize: “Here be two fellows tucked up right cosily in their
last quarters, ‘at their heads a grass-green turf, and at their heels a
stone.’ Humph! for all their stillness, I warrant me, they’ve strutted
their mimic stage, and flaunted with the best; they’ve had their ups and
downs, their whims and fancies, their schemes and projects, their loves
and hates,—have been elated with vast imaginings, and depressed to the
very ocean’s depths; and now their little day and generation passed,
they’re settled to their rest. The school-boy astride on one’s memento,
with muddy heels kicks out his epitaph, while the other’s name is barely
visible among the thistle’s aspiring tops,—yet both alike have rendered,
with the whole human family, the same brief epitome of history. ‘They
laughed—they groaned—they wept—and here they are,’ for such are but the
features of bright, confiding youth, stern manhood’s trials, and imbecile
old age.” And this same sage Hamlet’s right; therefore, without more ado,
let us get us on our travels.

So, here we are in the Jerseys. Now _westward_ shall lie our
course. Here come the cars. Quick—jump in—here is a good seat,
close by the old gentleman in the India-rubber cape. Ding,
ding—ding, ding. There goes the bell. Shwist, shwist. We are off.
Clank—jirk—click—click—clickety—click—click. Here we go. We fly over the
bridges, and through the tunnels; the rail fences spin by us in ribands;
the mile-stones play leap-frog; the abutments dash by us. Screech! the
cattle jump like mad out of our way. Already at Jersey City? We paddle
across. Ay, here we are, just in time, on board the “Swallow.” What a
pandemonium of racket, and noise, and confusion! Steam yelling, bells
ringing, boys and negroes bawling, porters and hackmen hurrying.—“Get out
of my way, you dirty little baboon, with your papers.”—“Thank you, madam,
no oranges.”—“All aboard.”—Tinkle, tinkle.—The walking-beam rises, the
heavy wheels splash.—We shoot out into the stream.—We make a graceful
curve, and, simultaneously with five other steamers, stretch like
race-horses up the majestic Hudson.

How beautifully the Narrows and the Ocean open to our view, and the
noble bay, studded with its islands, and fortresses, and men-of-war,
“tall, high admirals,” with frowning batteries and chequered sides. In
what graceful amity float the nations’ emblems—the Tricolour, the Red
Cross, the Black Eagle, the Stars and Stripes. But we take the lead. Fire
up—fire up, engineer,—her namesake cuts the air not more swiftly than
our fleet boat her element. Still as a mirror lies the tranquil water.
The dark pallisades above us, with fringed and picturesque outline, are
reflected on its polished surface; and the lordly sloops, see how lazily
they roll and pitch on the long undulating swell made by our progress,
their scarlet pennons quivering on its surface as it regains its

How rich and verdant extend thy shores, delightful river! Oh! kindly
spirit—Crayon, Diedrick, Irving, whate’er we call thee,—with what
delightful Indian summer of rustic story, of dreamy legend, hast thou
invested them? Lo! as we slide along, what moving panorama presents
itself? Phlegmatic Mynheers, in sleepy Elysium, evolve huge smoke-wreaths
of the fragrant weed as they watch thy placid stream. Blooming Katrinas,
budding like roses out of their boddices, coquette with adoring
Ichabods,—sturdy, broad-breeched beaux, sound “boot and saddle.”
Roaring Broms dash along on old Gun-powders. Headless horsemen thunder
onwards through Haunted hollows—heads on saddle-bow. Dancing, laughing
negroes—irate, rubicund trumpeters—huge Dutch merry-makings—groaning
feasts, and loafing, hen-pecked Rips, pass in review before us. And now,
as we open the Tappan Zee, see! see Old Hendrick,—see the old fellow in
his scarlet cloak, his gallant hanger, cocked-hat, and many-buttoned
breeches—see how the huge clouds of smoke, encircling his nose, float
upwards, as, seated on his lofty poop, he sluggishly lays his course.
See the old Dutchman—no—stop! stop!—’tis but a creature of thy fantasy,
floating in the setting sunlight. Oh! historian of Columbus, with thy
fellow-spirit, him of the “North Star,” and the “Evening Wind,” gently,
yet sorrowfully you float above the miasma clouds of gain, that in their
poisonous wreaths envelope your countrymen. In the evening twilight thy
beacon, Stony Point, throws far its streaming rays o’er the darkening
scenery, different, I ween, when mid midnight mist and stillness, mid
cannon-blaze and roar, “Mad Anthony’s” attacking columns simultaneously
struck the flag-staff in thy centre. The sparks stream rocket-like from
our chimneys, as we enter your dark embrace, ye Highlands! Hark! the roll
of the drum, as we round the bend—thy beautiful plateau, West Point, with
its gallant spirits, is above us. Success to thee, school of the brave!
Engineers for her hours of peace, soldiers in war to lead her armies,
dost thou furnish to thy country—brave, enduring men. When fell thy sons
other than in the battle’s front? when in the fiercest danger were they
found recreant? Aye, well may Echo answer “When?”

The thunder of thy bowling balls, Old Hudson, we hear as we pass the
gorges of the Catskill. Hyde Park, thou glancest by us—the villas of the
Rensselaers and Livingstons flit ’mid their green trees,—thy cottages,
oh Kinderhook—the Overslaugh—rush by us, and now we are at Albany.
Albany, Rochester, Utica, by smoaking steam-car, we are delivered from
you. Auburn, we breathe among thy shady walks—and now, for a moment,
Buffalo, we rest with thee. All hail to thee, thou city of the Bison
Bull! Great caravansera and resting-place of coming nations! Byzantium
of the future—hail! As on a quay shall meet hereafter, through the
Lawrence and the Oregon, the hardy seamen of the Atlantic and Pacific,
the Otaheitean and the fair-haired Swede; while the bronzed trapper, the
savage Blackfoot, the greasy Esquimaux, and half-civilized voyageur,
shall mingle with astonishment and admiration on thy busy marts. Hail!
hail! to thee, thou city of the desert lord, all hail!


(August 14th, 1814.)

Hostler! bring up the horses, we will cross to the Canadian shore, and
ride leisurely o’er its battlegrounds. Tighten the girths, John. Take up
another hole. So—never mind the stirrup. Jump—I’m in my saddle. Are you
ready?—_Allons._ Well broken is that grey of yours, he has a good long
trot—how easy it makes your rise in the saddle, and how graceful is the
gait. But here we are at the Ferry. Now, we cross thy stream, Niagara!
Now, we stand on British ground! Generous and gallant blood has deeply
stained its soil! Observe these crumbling works—the old stone fort facing
the river—the remains of ramparts and trenches—here a bastion—further on,
a redoubt—there again lines and earthworks, forming a continuous circle
of defence, but all now fast sinking to their original level. These are,
or rather were, the fortress and defences of “Fort Erie.” When some
years since I rode over the ground with our kind and excellent friend,
the Major, I listened with great interest to his narration of the part
of the campaign acted upon this spot and the adjoining country. I will
repeat it to you as we ride over it. Jump your horse upon this decaying
mound—it was a bastion.

Standing on this bastion, “Here,” said the Major, “we had thrown up our
lines, making the defences as strong as practicable. The British had
also erected formidable works about half a mile in front, (the forest
intervening,) composed of a large stone battery on their left, and two
strong redoubts, from which they kept up an incessant discharge of shot
and shells for several successive days, which was returned by us with
equal vigour. At length a shell from their batteries having fallen upon
it, blew up one of our small magazines, but with trifling injury to the
rest of the defences. They greatly miscalculated the damage, and were
elated with their success, and General Gaines received secret information
that they intended to carry the works by storm on the following night.
That night, said the Major, I shall not soon forget. It set in intensely
dark and cloudy, extremely favourable to the design of the enemy. Every
thing was put in the fullest state of preparation to receive them. The
men enthusiastically awaiting the attack, were ordered to lie on their
arms. Extended along the lines, and manning the fort and bastion, our
little army, in perfect silence, awaited their coming.

The forest had been cleared about three hundred yards in front of
our works—beyond that were, as you see, the woods. As the night
wore on, we listened with earnestness to every sound. A little
after midnight, we heard on the dry leaves the stealthy sound of
footsteps—pat—patter—patter. We listened—they came nearer. A short,
sharp challenge: “Who goes there?” issued from that farther redoubt. The
footsteps ceased, as if irresolute to advance or recede, and all was
still. Another quick challenge—a rattle of the musket, as it fell into
the hollow of the hand,—followed the reply:—“Picquet guard, forced in
by the enemy’s advance”—“Back, guard! back to your posts instantly, or
we will fire upon you,” rung the stern voice of our commanding officer.
The footsteps of the stragglers slowly receded, and entire stillness
again obtained. It was as profound as the darkness, not even the hum
of an insect rose upon the ear. We laid our heads upon the ramparts,
and listened with all our faculties. We listened. Perhaps half an hour
elapsed, when we imagined we heard the dead, heavy sound of a large
body of men—tramp—tramp—tramp—advancing through the pitchy darkness. A
few moments passed—a brisk scattering fire, and the picquets came in
in beautiful order, under the brave subaltern in command. The measured
tread of disciplined troops became apparent. Every sense was stretched
to the utmost in expectancy—every eye endeavoured to fathom the darkness
in front, when, from Towson’s battery, that towards the river, glanced
a volley of musquetry, and in another instant, the whole line of the
works, bastion, redoubt, and rampart, streamed forth one living sheet
of flame. Two eighteens, mounted where we stand, were filled to the
muzzle with grape, cannister, and bags of musket-bullets—imagine their
havoc. The enemy came on with loud shouts and undaunted bravery. By the
continued glare of our discharges, we could see dense dark masses of men,
moving in columns to three separate points of attack upon our works.
Our artillery and musketry poured on them as they advanced a continual
stream of fire, rolling and glancing from angles, bastions, and redoubts.
Repulsed—they were re-formed by their officers, and brought again to the
charge, to be again repulsed. At such times, hours fly like minutes. A
life appears concentrated to a moment. We had been engaged perhaps an
hour—perhaps three, when I heard in that bastion of the Fort, a hundred
feet from me, above the uproar, a quick, furious struggle, as if of men
engaged in fierce death-fight; a clashing of bayonets, and sharp pistol
shots, mixed with heavy blows, and short quick breathing, such as you may
have heard men make in violent exertion—in cutting wood with axes, or
other severe manual labour. The conflict, though fierce, was short—the
assailants were repelled. Those that gained a footing were bayonetted, or
thrown back over the parapet. In a few moments, I heard again the same
fierce struggle, and again followed the like result and stillness—if
stillness could be said to exist under continual roar of musketry and
artillery. A third time it rose, sudden and desperate; it ceased, and
presently a clear loud voice rose high above the battle from the bastion:
“Stop firing in front there, you are firing on your friends.” An instant
cessation followed. We were deceived. In another moment, the voice of
an officer with startling energy replied: “Aye, aye, we’ll stop: give
it them, men, give it them!”—and the firing, renewed, was continued
with redoubled fury. The head of the centre column, composed of eight
hundred picked men, the veterans of Egypt, led by Lieut. Col. Drummond
in person, after three several assaults, had gained possession of the
bastion, and by that ruse, endeavoured to cause a cessation of the fire—a
result that might have been fatal to us, had not the deception been so
soon discerned. But the prize was of little value, as the bastion was
commanded by the interior of the works, and the men, under cover of the
walls of an adjoining barrack, poured into the gorge that led from it,
a continued storm of musketry. The firing continued with unabated fury.
The enemy, repulsed with great loss in every attack, was unsuccessful
on every point save that bastion, the possession of which they still
retained—when I heard a groaning roll and shake of the earth, and
instantly the bastion, bodies of men, timber, guns, earth and stones,
were blown up in the air like a volcano, making every thing in the glare
as clear as noon-day. A descending timber dashed one of my artillerymen
to pieces within a foot of my shoulder. Profound darkness and silence
followed. Naught but the groans of the wounded and dying were heard.
As if by mutual consent, the fighting ceased, and the enemy withdrew,
repulsed on every side, save from the parapet which they purchased for
their grave. A large quantity of fixed ammunition had been placed in
the lower part, and a stray wad falling upon it, had blown them all up
together. My duty required that I should immediately repair the bastion,
and most horrible was the sight—bodies burnt and mutilated—some of them
still pulsating with life, among them Lieut. Colonel Drummond, the leader
of the attack. There he lay in the morning light, stark and stiff,
extended on the rampart, a ball having passed through his breast. History
mourns, that his courage assumed the character of ferocity. His war-cry
of “No quarter to the damned Yankees,” his own death-warrant, was long
remembered against his countrymen. The enemy did not resume the attack,
but retiring to their entrenched camp, strengthened their works, and
prepared to make their approach by regular advances.

But come, spur on, we have far to ride—spur on. Here we are upon their
works. Here is the stone water-battery, and there the two strong
redoubts, and back of them the remains of their lines, and deep
entrenchments. These are the works which were carried in the memorable
and desperate sortie of Fort Erie. The right by Davis and Miller; the
left by Porter and his volunteers. Here, on the left, quoth the Major,
fell my gallant, my accomplished friend, Lieut. Col. Wood, at the head of
his column. He was one of the most brilliant officers in the service, and
as beautiful as a girl. I often gazed with astonishment at the desperate
daring that characterised him in action; here he fell; he was bayonetted
to death on the ground, on this spot“—and the Major’s voice quivered,
and he turned his face from me, for the cruel death of his dear friend
was too much for his manhood. His ashes sleep amid the Highlands of the
Hudson, beneath their monument, near the flag-staff at West Point. Peace
to his gallant spirit! The stars of his country can wave over no braver
of her sons.


We cross thy tranquil plains, Oh! Chippewa.
Scott—Ripley—Towson—Hindman—brave soldiers; long will this battle-ground
your names remember. And thou too, Riall! brave Englishman, foeman wert
thou worthy of warriors’ steel. But far different music has resounded
through these continuous woods than the wild bird’s carol, the hum of
insects, and the waving of the breeze that now so gently greets our
ear. Ay! yonder it is—yonder is the white house. There, said the Major,
as General Scott, making a forward movement with his brigade in the
afternoon of the 25th of July, 1814, came in view of it, we saw the
court-yard filled with British officers, their horses held by orderlies
and servants in attendance. As soon as we became visible to them,
their bugles sounded to saddle, and in a few moments they were mounted
and soon disappeared through the woods at full gallop, twenty bugles
ringing the alarm from different parts of the forest. All vanished as
if swallowed by the earth, save an elegant veteran officer, who reined
up just out of musket shot, and took a leisurely survey of our numbers.
Having apparently satisfied himself of our force, he raised the plumed
hat from his head, and bowing gracefully to our cortege, put spurs to
his horse and disappeared with the rest. From the occupant of the house
we gathered that we were about a mile distant from a strong body of the
enemy, posted in the rising ground just beyond the woods in our front.
General Scott, turning to one of his escort, said, “Be kind enough, sir,
to return to Major General Brown; inform him that I have fallen in with
the enemy’s advance, posted in force at ‘_Lundy’s Lane_,’ and that in one
half hour, I shall have joined battle.” “Order up Ripley with the second
brigade,—direct Porter to get his volunteers immediately under arms,”
was the brief reply of Major General Brown to my message, and the aids
were instantly in their saddles, conveying the orders. As I galloped back
through the woods, continued the Major, the cannon shot screaming by me,
tearing the trees and sending the rail fences in the air in their course,
warned me that the contest had begun.—But we are on the battle-ground.
There, said the Major, upon the verge of that sloping hill, parallel with
the road, and through the grave-yard towards the Niagara, was drawn up
the British line under General Riall, in force three times greater than
our brigade—his right covered with a powerful battery of nine pieces of
artillery, two of them brass twenty-fours.

The _Eleventh_ and _Twenty-second_ regiments first leaving the wood,
deployed upon the open ground with the coolness and regularity of a
review,—and were soon engaged furiously in action; the fire from the
enemy’s line and from the batteries, which completely commanded the
position, opening upon them with tremendous effect. Towson, having
hurried up with his guns on the left, in vain endeavoured to attain
sufficient elevation to return the fire of their battery. The destruction
on our side was very great;—the two regiments fought with consummate
bravery. They were severely cut up, their ammunition became exhausted,
and their officers nearly all of them having been killed and wounded,
they were withdrawn from action,—the few officers remaining unhurt
throwing themselves into the _Ninth_, which now came into action, led by
the gallant Colonel Leavenworth.

The brunt of the battle now came upon them, and they alone sustained it
for some time, fighting with unflinching bravery, until their numbers
were reduced to one-half by the fire of the enemy. At this juncture,
General Scott galloped up with the intention of charging up the hill;
but finding them so much weakened, altered his intention, entreating
them to hold their ground until the reinforcements, which were hastening
up, should come to their assistance. A momentary cessation of the
action ensued, while additional forces hurried up to the aid of each
army—Ripley’s brigade, Hindman’s artillery, and Porter’s volunteers,
on the part of the Americans, and a strong reinforcement under General
Drummond on that of the British. Hindman’s artillery were attached
to that of Towson, and soon made themselves heard. Porter’s brigade
displayed on the left, while Ripley formed on the skirts of the wood
to the right of Scott’s brigade. The engagement was soon renewed, with
augmented vigour; General Drummond taking command in person, with his
fresh troops in the front line of the enemy. Colonel Jesup, who had at
the commencement of the action been posted on the right, succeeded, after
a gallant contest, in turning the left flank of the enemy, and came in
upon his reserve, “burdened with prisoners, making himself visible to his
own army, amid the darkness, in a blaze of fire,” completely destroying
all before him. The fight raged for some time with great fury, but it
became apparent, uselessly to the Americans, if the enemy retained
possession of the battery, manifestly the key of the position.

I was standing at the side of Colonel Miller, said the Major, when
General Brown rode up and inquired, whether he could storm the battery
with his regiment, while General Ripley supported him with the younger
regiment, the _Twenty-third_. Miller, amid the uproar and confusion,
deliberately surveyed the position, then quietly turning with infinite
coolness replied, “_I’ll try, sir._” I think I see him now, said the
Major, as drawing up his gigantic figure to its full height, he turned to
his regiment, drilled to the precision of a piece of mechanism, I hear
his deep lion tones—“_Twenty-first_—attention!—form into column. You
will advance up the hill to the storm of the battery—at the word ‘halt,’
you will deliver your fire at the port-lights of the artillerymen,
and immediately carry the guns at the point of the bayonet.—Support
arms—double quick—march!” Machinery could not have moved with more
compactness than that gallant regiment followed the fearless stride
of its leader. Supported by the _Twenty-third_, the dark mass moved
up the hill like one body,—the lurid light glittering and flickering
on their bayonets, as the combined fire of the enemy’s artillery and
infantry opened murderously upon them. They flinched not—they faltered
not—the stern deep voices of the officers, as the deadly cannon-shot
cut yawning chasms through them, alone was heard. “Close up—steady,
men—steady.” Within a hundred yards of the summit, the loud “Halt”
was followed by a volley—sharp, instantaneous, as a clap of thunder.
Another moment, rushing under the white smoke, a short furious struggle
with the bayonet, and the artillerymen were swept like chaff from their
guns. Another fierce struggle—the enemy’s line was forced down the side
of the hill, and the victory was ours—the position entirely in our
hands—their own pieces turned and playing upon them in their retreat.
It was bought at cruel price—most of the officers being either killed
or wounded. The whole tide of the battle now turned to this point.
The result of the conflict depended entirely upon the ability of the
victorious party to retain it. Major Hindman was ordered up, and posted
his forces at the side of the captured cannon, while the American line
correspondingly advanced. Stung with mortification, the brave General
Drummond concentrated his forces, to retake by a desperate charge the
position. The interval amid the darkness was alone filled by the roar of
the cataracts, and the groans of the wounded. He advanced with strong
reinforcements, outflanking each side of the American line. We were
only able, in the murky darkness, to ascertain their approach by their
heavy tread. “They halted within twenty paces—poured in a rapid fire and
prepared for the rush.” Directed by the blaze, our men returned it with
deadly effect, and after a desperate struggle, the dense column recoiled.
Another interval of darkness and silence, and again a most furious and
desperate charge was made by the British, throwing the whole weight of
their attack upon the American centre. The gallant _Twenty-first_, which
composed it, receiving them with undaunted firmness—while the fire from
our lines was “dreadfully effective,” Hindman’s artillery served with
the most perfect coolness and effect. Staggering, they again recoiled.
During this second attack, General Scott in person, his shattered brigade
now consolidated into a single battalion, made two determined charges
upon the right and left flank of the enemy, and in these he received the
scars which his countrymen now see upon his manly front. Our men were
now almost worn down with fatigue, dying with thirst, for which they
could gain no relief. The British, with fresh reinforcements—their men
recruited and rested—after the interval of another hour, made their third
and final effort to regain the position. They advanced—delivered their
fire as before—and although it was returned with the same deadly effect,
they steadily pressed forward. The _Twenty-first_ again sustained the
shock, and both lines were soon engaged in a “conflict, obstinate and
dreadful beyond description.” The right and left of the American line
fell back for a moment, but were immediately rallied by their officers.
“So desperate did the battle now become, that many battalions on both
sides were forced back,” the men engaged in indiscriminate melée, fought
hand to hand, and with muskets clubbed; and “so terrific was the conflict
where the cannon were stationed, that Major Hindman had to engage them
over his guns and gun-carriages, and finally to spike two of his pieces,
under the apprehension that they would fall into the hands of the enemy.”
General Ripley at length made a most desperate and determined charge upon
both of the enemy’s flanks—they wavered—recoiled—gave way—and the centre
soon following, they relinquished the fight and made a final retreat.
The annals of warfare on this continent have never shown more desperate
fighting. Bayonets were repeatedly crossed, and after the action, many
of the men were found mutually transfixed. The British force engaged
was about five thousand men;—the American thirty-five hundred: the
combined loss in killed and wounded, seventeen hundred and twenty-two,
officers and men. The battle commenced at half-past four o’clock in the
afternoon, and did not terminate till midnight. We were so mingled, said
the Major, and so great the confusion in the darkness, that as I was
sitting with a group of officers in the earlier part of the night, on
horseback, a British soldier came up to us, and recovering his musket,
under the supposition that he was addressing one of his own officers,
said, “Colonel Gordon will be much obliged, sir, if you will march up
the three hundred men in the road to his assistance immediately, as he
is very hard pressed.” I called him nearer, and pressing his musket down
over my holsters, made him prisoner. “What have I done, sir,” said the
astonished man, “what have I done?” and to convince British officers, as
he supposed, of his loyalty, exclaimed, “Hurrah for the King, and damn
the Yankees.” As he was marched to the rear, the poor fellow was cut down
by a grape shot. In another part of the field, an American aid pulled
up suddenly on a body of men under full march. In reply to his demand,
“What regiment is that?” he was answered, “The Royal Scots.” With great
presence of mind, he replied, “Halt! Royal Scots’, till further orders,”
and then turning his horse’s head, galloped from their dangerous
proximity. It was a horrid conflict. Humanity sighs over the slaughter of
the brave men that fell in it.

But here we are, at the grave-yard, with its drooping willows and
flowering locusts. Still—still—and quiet now. No armed men disturb
its calmness and repose—no ponderous artillery wheels rudely cut
its consecrated mounds—no ruffian jest—no savage execration—no moan
of anguish, break now upon its hallowed silence. The long grass and
blossoming heather waive green alike over the graves of friend and enemy.
The marble tells the story of the few—the many, their very parents know
not their resting place. See this broken wooden slab—it has rotted off
even with the ground, and lies face downwards, the earthworm burrowing
under it, in this neglected corner. Pull the grass aside; turn it over
with your foot. What, the nearly effaced inscription?

                             TO THE MEMORY OF
                             CAPT’N —— BROWN,
                                  OF THE
                              21st Regiment
                          WITH THE ENEMY, ON THE
                           25TH OF JULY, 1814.”

And this is honour! This is fame! Why, brave man! e’en now, I read
the tribute to thy bravery in the bulletin of the action. Thou had’st
comrades—father, mother, sisters—to mourn thy loss—and _now_, the
stranger’s foot carelessly spurns thy frail memento; nor father, mother,
sisters, nor human hand can point to the spot where rest thy ashes. Peace
to thy manes! brave countrymen, where’er they sleep.

See from this point how gently and gracefully undulates the battle-field;
the woods bowing to the evening breeze, as the soft sunlight pours
through their branches show not the gashes of rude cannon shot—the
plain, loaded and bending with the yellow harvest, betrays no human
gore—yon hill scathed, scorched and blackened with cannon flame, the very
resting place of the deadly battery, shows no relic of the fierce death
struggle, as covered with the fragrant clover and wild blue-bell, the bee
in monotonous hum banquets o’er it. Nought mars the serenity of nature
as she smiles upon us. Yet, burnt in common funeral pyre, the ashes of
those brave men, of friend and foe, there mingle in the bosom whence they
issued. The frenzied passion passed, the furious conflict o’er, they
have lain down in quiet, and like young children, sleep gently, sweetly,
in the lap of that common mother who shelters with like protection the
little field mouse from its gambols, and the turbaned Sultan sinking amid
his prostrate millions. Shades of my gallant countrymen! Shades of their
daring foes—farewell. Ne’er had warriors more glorious death-couch,—the
eternal Cataracts roar your requiem.

    The reader’s attention is requested to the more detailed
    account of this action in the Appendix. The inscription on the
    tablet is given from recollection, and it is possible that the
    number of the Regiment may not be the one to which this officer


The Sun of Morning hurls himself in blazing splendour o’er thy crystal
waters, beautiful Horicon, as we float upon thy placid bosom, not
as of yore, in feathery canoe, but in gaily-coloured bark, drawn by
Steam Spirit, as he vainly strives to break his fiery prison. See, how
he puffs and pants in the fierce embrace of the glowing element; in
furious efforts dragging us onward with frantic swiftness, e’en as the
frightened steed, the vehicle wildly bounding after him. As the valve
of safety opens, hear the shriek of mad delight, with which exultingly
he proclaims his freedom;—now, the iron portal closed, how like Sampson
in the Prison Mill, struggling, giant-like, he again applies him to his
toil. Imprisoned Spirit! there is no help for thee. Sweat thou must, and
pant, and groan, till, like thy fellow-labourer, man, released from fire
fetter, as he of earth, resolved to pure ether, thou shalt float again
free and delighted in the clear elements above!

Ho! brother spirit, tarry, tarry—wait thou a little ’till I join
thee,—then, how gallantly we’ll ride! Couched on summer clouds, lazily
we’ll float: or, glancing on sun rays, shoot swift as thought, ’mid the
bright worlds rolling in sublimity above us. We’ll bathe in the Moon’s
cold splendour, fan in the sultry heat of crimson Mars, slide upon
Saturn’s eternal snows, or joyously gambolling along the Milky Way, we’ll
chase the starry Serpent to his den. Ho! brother spirit;—but, we must
bide our time—madly now in wild career, thou sweep’st the placid lake
from under us.

But whom have we here? A sturdy hunter in homespun clad, with his long
rifle—his broad-chested hounds in quiet, sleeping at his feet; our
fellow-passenger, ’till landed on some mountain side, he follows his
sylvan war. Clear animal health and vigour shine from each lineament—with
what open, unsuspicious manhood—what boundless freedom he comports
himself. Ha! what is it, hound? What is it? Why dost shake thy pendant
ears and gaze so keenly in the distance—and why that plaintive howl? Ay,
ay, hunter, thy practised eye hath caught it. On yon wooded island to the
windward—a noble buck with graceful form and branching antlers. He sees
us not, but the dog’s quick senses have caught his scent upon the passing
wind. Still, boy, still! Pilot, put her a little more under the island.
Hunter, lend me thy rifle—launch the canoe. Come, hunter—peace—peace—keep
the dogs on board; paddle for yonder point—now we shoot upon the pebbly
beach—now make her fast to this dead log. We’ll steal gently through
the woods and come upon him unawares. Softly—press those vines away;
whist—avoid the rustling of the branches; here, creep through these
bushes—tread lightly on the fallen leaves—you’ll mire upon that swampy
bottom. Hush—hush—tread softly—that crackling branch! He lifts his
head—he looks uneasily about him—stand quiet. Now he browses again; get
a little nearer—we are within distance. I’ll try him—click. Back go the
antlers—the cocking of the rifle has alarmed him—he’s off! Here goes, hit
or miss—crack—he jumps ten feet in the air. I’ve missed him—he bounds
onward—no—yes—by Jove! he’s down—he’s up again—he plunges forward—he
falls again—he rises—falls—he struggles to his knees—he——falls. Hurrah!
he’s ours—quick—quick—thy _couteau de chasse_, we’ll make sure of him.
Stop—stop. Poor deer! and _I_ have murdered thee, for my _sport_ have
murdered thee—have taken from thee the precious boon of life—with cruelty
have broken the silver chord, which the beggar’s blunt knife can sever,
but not the jewelled fingers of the monarch again rejoin. There—there,
thou liest, true to the Great Master’s picture—

    “The big round tears course down thy innocent nose in piteous chase,
    And thy smooth leathern sides pant almost to bursting.”

Thy life blood flows apace—e’en now thy large soft eye dims in the sleep
of death—and _I_ have slain thee. Thou had’st nought other enemy than the
gaunt coward wolf, or fanged serpent; him, with light leaping bounds,
thou laugh’st to scorn, as his long howl struck on thy quick ear; and the
sullen rattler, with many blows of thy tiny polished hoof thou dash’st
to pieces, ere from his deadly coil, his flattened head, with glistening
tongue and protruded fangs, could reach thee. Oh! I shame me of my
miscreant fellowship. E’en the poisonous serpent, with quick vibrating
tail, did give thee warning—_I_ stole upon thee unawares. Hunter! take
again thy weapon; for thee—’tis thy vocation—perhaps ’tis well—the game
is thine. I entreat of thee, let not my innocent victim again reproach
my eyesight. So! here is the canoe—we again embark—we rock against the
steamer’s side—and now again rush onward in our swift career. Islands
glide by us in countless numbers. The frightened trout scales in quick
alarm from the splashing waterwheels, while echo, mocking their watery
clamour, wakes the old mountains from their sleepy stillness, who again,
like drowsy giants, relapse into repose as we leave them far behind us.

_Ticonderoga_, we approach thy shore. Ay—true to appointment—here are
the horses. Mount—on we go, over hillock and valley, through brake,
through brier, through mud, through water, through swamp, through mire;
we gallop over the broad green peninsula—leap the entrenchments—thread
the lines. Here is the citadel—descend the moat; the wild dank weeds
and furze o’ertop our heads. Ay—here’s a chasm—a breach in the ancient
walls; spur up—spur up; now we draw rein within the very centre of
the blackened ruins. How lovely the view, from the soft undulating
promontory—the lake bathing its sides; Horicon’s mountains o’erlooking
it on this—the stalwart yeomen of the verdant State, free as the winds,
on that! Oh! Ticonderoga, midst these uncultivated wilds—these silent
mountains—various and eventful hath been thy history.

Ho! Old Time—how calmly strok’st thou thy long greybeard, as seated on
the broken ruins, thou ponderest their past! Come! come, old father!
ascend this crumbling battlement—lean on my shoulder—I, _as yet_, am
straightest—I will hold thy scythe. Now point to me the drama which past
generations have acted upon this green peninsula.

What do I see? I see the savage life—the light canoe floating on the blue
lake—painted warriors spearing the salmon, chasing the deer upon the
plain, dragging the surly bear in triumph,—I see the swift paddle chase—I
hear the laugh of children—the voice of patient squaws—the distant
yell as rounding the point, the returning braves bemoan the dead left
on the war-path, and as the shades of evening close, the sun in golden
radiance retiring o’er the mountains, I see them congregate in wigwams
in the cove.—The blue smoke rises gently o’er the tree tops, and all is
still—quiet and serenity obtain—the whip-poor-will, and cricket, amid the
drowsy hum of insect life, keep melancholy cadence.

“Stranger! venture not near them—the peace is treacherous. No civilized
challenge shall give thee warning, but the cruel war-shriek wildly ring
o’er the insensate brain as the light tomahawk trembles in thy cloven

Wild mist rolls onward—I hear sounds of distant music—the mellow horn—the
clashing cymbals break from its midst. Ah! it rises. A gallant army, in
proud array, with flags and banners—bright glittering arms, and ponderous
artillery. With alacrity they effect their landing. They fraternise with
the red-skinned warriors. Their military lines run round like magic. I
feel, e’en where we stand, huge walls, grim towers rise, and bastions
springing up around us—the spotless drapeau blanc, high o’er our heads,
floats in the breeze—wild chansons of love, of war, of la belle France,
mix with mirth and revelry.

“Stranger, ’tis the quick ‘_Qui Vive_’ that doth arrest thy footstep.”

Ay—now, Old Time, the mystic curtain again rolls upwards. What do I
see?—Red-coated soldiers advancing in proud battalia through the forest
glades, the sunbeams dancing on their bayonets. I hear the sound of
bugles—the clamorous roll of drums, the groaning jar and creak of
heavy-wheeled artillery. Spread along the lines, covered with sharp
abattis and water moat, I see the impatient Gaul, with savage ally in
ambushment, await their coming—they advance with desperate valour,—they
ford the ditch, they hew the sharpened trees with axes. In vain—the
balls like hail, from unseen foes murderously destroy them—their leader
falls—hark! the bugle with melancholy wail sounds their retreat.

Again, Old Time, an interval—again red-coated soldiers! again groaning
artillery! Look up!—the drapeau blanc has vanished—the meteor flag
streams proudly from the flag-staff.

“Stranger, ’tis the Anglo-Saxon’s rough challenge that gruffly breaks
upon thy ear.”

Long peace and silence—Old Father, now obtain—the sentry sleeps upon his
post—women and children play upon the ramparts—but, hark! what is it
far in the distance that I hear! the sound of battle! the fusilade of
musketry—the roar of cannon! I see Bunker’s Hill from light barricade
sweep down her thousands—I see hurrying forward the hardy husbandman with
hastily caught musket—the robed divine—the youth—the old man—cheered on
by mothers—sisters—tender wives,—to strike

    “For their altars and their fires,
    God, and their native homes.”

I see new Nation’s symbol—Stars and Stripes—and watch, now in the
midnight darkness through the fortress moat—how advance that fearless
band of men—Lo! in silence they penetrate the fortress’ centre. Hark!
what voice rouses the astonished officer, as starting from his slumbers,
he meets, close at his throat, the bayonet’s threatening point.
“Surrender!” “To whom?” “The Great Jehovah, and the Continental Congress!”

Now floats the spangled banner proudly o’er the citadel—patriotic men
assemble—armies make temporary resting place—invalid soldiers breathe the
health-restoring air, and age wears on. Ha!—was that a meteor flashing
from Defiance Mountain summit? And there, another?—Plunge! plunge! Cannon
shot! screaming, yelling, bounding i’ th’ very centre of the fortress.

“’Tis the Englishman with his artillery.”

Quick, quick!—St. Clair, withdraw the army—the position is no longer
tenable. Strike not that flag!—palsied be the hand that so degrades
the flag of Freedom—let it shake defiance to the last! Quick, the
magazine—the train—Ha, hah! Ætna, Vesuvius like, the explosion.

Hallo! Old Time!—Ho! thou of the scythe!—What! hast gone? Am I!—ay, I am
alone! Nought but the blackened ruins, and the crumbling ramparts, in
silence surrounding me.


Now, in steam palace, we shoot in swift career o’er thy tranquil surface,
Lake Champlain—thy rolling mountains, in wavy outline, accompanying us in
our rapid progress. Vast primeval forests sleep in stillness along thy
borders—their sylvan patriarchs, reigning for centuries, untouched by
woodman’s axe, stretch proudly their far-reaching branches, ’till ancient
Time, pointing with extended finger the wild spirit of the winds breathes
on them as he passes, and they succumb with sullen uproar, long with mock
semblance retaining form and length, as if deriding the puny offspring
shooting up around them; bestowing sore fall, I ween, and tumble on
adventurous hunter, as stumbling through the undergrowth he plunges
prostrate o’er them.

Forests immense cover the mountains, the gorges, valleys, reigning in
stern solitude and silence, save where the fierce fire-god, serpent-like,
pursues his flaming journey. There, followed by wreathing smoke columns,
forward he leaps, with fiery tongue licking up acres—while the waterpools
hissing in mist, join in his escort, and the wild game, with frantic
swiftness, strive to escape the hot destruction of his embraces. With
steady, noiseless progress, the white villages appear and disappear
beside us. Rouse’s skeleton Tower looms largely in the distance;—now ’tis

Thy military works, and crimson flag, Isle Aux Noix,—town of St. Johns,
Richelieu, La Prairie,—we pass ye all; and advancing in soft summer
atmosphere, Chambly, we behold thy mountain ramparts filling the
far distance. St. Lawrence, majestic river, stretched like sheet of
polished steel, as far as eye can reach, we stand upon thy level shores.
Rapid—wide, rushing expanse of waters, with what glorious brightness
thou look’st upon thy verdant shores, covered with continuous lines of
snow-white cottages, and listenest to the soft music of the religious
bells of the kind-hearted, cheerful habitans—as, with rude painted
cross upon their door posts, they scare away the fiend, and joyously
intercommune, in honest simple neighbourhood. La Chine—we speed o’er thy
surface, with race-horse swiftness, and now _Montreal_,—beautiful—most
beautiful,—couched at the foot of emerald mountain, liest thou upon the
river’s margin, thy spires, roofs, cupolas, glittering in the sunbeams
with silver radiance, and thy grand cathedral chimes floating onwards
till lost in dreamy distance. We land upon thy granite quay—measure
the extended esplanade—now climb thy narrow streets and alleys. Almost
we think we tread one of thy antique cities, ancient France,—alleys
narrow, dark and gloomy courts, grim inhospitable walls,—in place
of airy casement, gratings and chained iron portals,—military
barracks,—nunneries,—prisons,—fantastic churches, and Notre Dame’s
cloud-piercing towers, in huge architectural pile, looming high above
all. Noisy, chattering habitans, in variegated waist-belts, and
clattering sabots, rotund dark-robed priests, lank voyageurs—red-coated
soldiers, and haughty officers,—jostle each other on the narrow
trottoir—but, mark! the sullen, down-cast Indian, in blanket robed, with
gaudy feathers and shining ornaments, his patient squaw, straight as an
arrow, her piercing-eyed papoose clinging to her shoulders, silently
following him, in noiseless moccasins, moves along the _kennel_. Verily,
poor forest child, it hath been written, and Moslem-like, thou to thy
destiny must bow—the fire-water and the Christian will it—fold thee
closer in thy blanket robe, and—die. See yon Indian girl, standing at
the corner—with what classic grace the blue fold drapery thrown o’er her
head, descends her shoulders, as, fawn-like, she stands, avoiding the
rude passer’s stare.

Hardy ponies, in light calash, dash through the narrow streets, of
passengers’ safety regardless; or, tugging at great trucks, strive,
in renewed exertion, to vociferous cries and exclamations of the
volatile Canadian. How well these Englishmen sit their horses. See that
gentleman—with what delicate hand he reins the fiery blood that treads
as if on feathers beneath him—and how picturesque appear, amid the motley
throng, these red-coated soldiers.

Picturesque! I like them not—they indicate a subjugated people.
Come! here stands one at the Champ de Mars—how martially he deports
himself—his exactly poised musket, and his brazen ornaments—how bright!
Inscribed upon his gorget are the actions which have signalized
his regiment,—“Badajos”—“Salamanca”—“Vittoria”—“Waterloo.” We will
address him. Soldier, your regiment was at Salamanca,—“_S-i-r_.” By
the inscription on your gorget, your regiment distinguished itself at
Salamanca—“scaled the imminent deadly breach” at “Badajos”—stood the
Cuirassiers wild charge amid the sulphurous smoke at Waterloo?—“Don’t
know, indeed, s-i-r.” And is this the gallant soldier! Why, for years,
under the menace of thy sergeant, thou hast scoured that gorget to
regulation brightness—for years hast marched under thy regimental colours
emblazoned with those characters, and still in ignorance, need’st a
Champoillion to decipher them. ’Tis well. Thou art the machine, indeed,
that they require.—Verily, thy daily wage of sixpence, and thy ration,
are full compensation for thy service.

Listen! The masses hurrying forward in the western hemisphere—whether
to happiness and equality,—or furious license and bloody anarchy—with
joyous shouts, and cries of freedom, arouse the echo. Dost hear above
hoarse cries of “bread,” and mob hurrah’s—confused sounds—low muttering
thunder—the rend and clank of chains that o’er the broad Atlantic roll
from old Europe? ’Tis the chariot wheels of Liberty, as charging onwards
she sweeps away rust-covered chains, and feudal bands, like maze of
cobwebs, from her path. Hear! The Nations cry for Constitutions—the
monarchs hurrying with ghastly smiles _grant_ their request—the people
would _take_ them else. Therefore prepare thee, for wilt thou or thy
rulers—the time surely approaches. Expand thy mind—cultivate thy
intelligence—study thy God—so that when the hour arrives, in the first
wild bounds of freedom, as the desert steed thou dash not thyself to
pieces; nor, like the frantic Gaul, bursting from imprisonment of ages,
gore thyself with thine own broken fetters, rushing on to deeds of blood
and frenzy that cause humanity to shudder. Ponder it, soldier! fare thee


Now as we pass, look up! How minute appears the colossal statue of
Our Lady in its niche on the vast front of the cathedral. And the
nunneries—self-constituted prisons for those whom God hath born to
freedom—how like birds of evil omen they do congregate. Here is that
of the Grey Order. Ring at the gateway—we will enter. Here we pass the
court-yard; how still, how gloomy, and how prison-like! This is their
hospital. Piteous collection! The blind, the halt, the maimed, the
hideously deformed—consumption—palsy—the wrecks of fevers! See! with what
continued torture that wretched being writhes in her fixed position. Oh!
this is the small spark of good amid the black brands of evil. These
orphan children are kindly cared for, but where the child-like joy and
mirthful freedom! With what stealthy step the officials move about their
duties along the silent corridors! and,—aye! here is the chapel, with
its gilded altars, its ornaments, its embroideries, its bleeding hearts,
its sacred symbols. See with what gentleness the “_Lady_” performs the
servile duties of the sanctuary! with what humility she bends before
the altar. Oh! how beautiful that cheek of tint of Indian shell; those
dark romantic eyes, with their long pensile lashes; that nose of Grecian
outline; the small vermilion mouth; the throat and neck of snow, and the
glossy raven tresses escaping in rich luxuriance from the plaited coif
as they fall upon her sloping shoulders. Mournful seems her devotion—now
rising she stands before the Mater Dolorosa; now wistfully gazes down
the dark long corridor, in sorrowful meditation. Hush! be silent. I will
steal gently near her. Lady! Turn not—’tis thy kind spirit whispers—art
thou content? Does thy young active soul find employ congenial in these
gloomy mysteries? Does thy springing, youthful heart, sympathize in these
cold formalities—this company of grim-visaged saints and bearded martyrs
with joy enchain thee? Does the passionate imagination and deep feeling
flashing in those dark eyes—the already hectic kindling of that cheek,
look with pleasure to long years—a life of cold monotonous routine—of
nightly vigils—fastings—of painful mortifications? Lady! listen. They
chain thy soul. Break thou away. Quick in thy youth, fly from them,
fly. One moment. Speak not. See’st thou yon cottage peering from its
green shades and gravelled walks—its parterres of the myrtle and the
lily, its diamond lattice enwreathed and almost hidden in the embrace of
sweet-smelling honeysuckles and clustering roses—and its interior with
its simple yet delicate refinements? See’st thou in snowy dishabille
the lovely woman? with what heart-felt glee the frolicking, half-naked
child, with chubby arms, almost suffocates in its little embrace her
neck, its golden ringlets mingling like streams of light ’mid her dark
tresses,—with what ecstasy she enfolds him in her embraces, with maternal
lips pressing in exquisite delight the plump alabaster shoulders? Lady,
such scenes, not gloomy walls, invite thee—nay ’tis not the voice of
the Tempter—’tis not, as they will tell thee, the poisonous breath of
the many-coloured serpent stealing o’er thy senses. Let bearded men,
wrecked on their own fierce lawless passions, seek these dark cells,
these painful vigils, these unmeaning mortifications. They are not for
thee. The world awaits thy coming. The pawing steed, throwing the white
froth flakes o’er his broad chest, impatiently awaits thee. Fly, dear
lady, fly—the joyous, carrolling birds, the dew-spangled meadows, cry,
Come. The green, green trees—the bubbling water-falls—the soft summer
breezes—the rosy tinted East—the gorgeous drapery of the West—cry to
thee, Come. The voice of thy lover, frantic at thy self-sacrifice—the
voice of him who in the fragrant orange bower encircled thy slender
waist, whilst, with heightened colour and down-cast eyes, thou listen’d
to his rapid vows—the voice of him, who with thy glossy raven tresses
floating on his shoulder, and thy warm, sweet breath, mingling with his,
lavished soul, existence, all, on thee,—in agony cries, Dearest, dearest,
come. Nay, nay, ’tis but for _thy_ happiness,—I leave thee—exclaim not—I
am gone.


Now—on, on—over the Chute, and down the Rapid—leaping the Saults—through
the rivers, over the islands—we glide—we glide—we rush—we fly. Ho! Ariel,
beautiful spirit, riding on thy rainbow—shoot not thy silver arrows at
us as we pass. Tricksy spirit—fare thee well—now far in the distance,
fare—thee—well! Ha! ha!—Old frolic Puck—sweating, panting, holding thy
lubbard sides—we race—we race—we pass thee too—in vain thou strugglest
to o’ertake us. Farewell—farewell. Go pinch the housemaids—tickle with
straws the snoring herdsmen—tumble about the dusty mows—sprinkle sweet
hay before the ruminating cattle—clutch by the tail the cunning fox,
as stealthily he crawls within the hen-roost—and anon rub thy hands in
glee o’er the embers on the capacious kitchen hearth, and on all-fours
cut antics with the glowering cat, as with bowed back and shining eyes
she watches thee i’ th’ corner—peer into the kettles and into the
jars—see whether the barm rises—whether the yeast doth work; till with
clash—clatter—the metal lid slips from thy fingers on the hearth-stone,
and villain-like, thou shoot’st up the chimney, with “Ho! ho! ho!”
laughing at the sleepy yeoman, as half covered, with oaken cudgel
grasped, shivering, he peers through the door-crack the cause o’ th’
uproar. Farewell, farewell, mirthful goblin—farewell, farewell. Ontario,
we waft across thy surface. Queenstown, thy sanguinary heights, crowned
with brave Briton’s monument, we pass, and now the rising mist-wreaths
warn us of thy approach, Niagara. Huzza! huzza! now for a bath under the
roaring Cataract. In what wild chaos of waters the clam’rous rapids, as
if from the horizon, rush down upon us—jumping, leaping, boiling, in
fierce confusion; and this frail bridge, how it groans and shakes in
the torrent’s sweep! A slip from Mahomet’s sword edge o’er the awful
Hades, would not consign us to more inevitable destruction, than would
a treacherous plank or rotten beam from this shaking platform. We tread
the deep green woods of Goat Island, their mossy trunks covered with
love-marks of Orlandos and Rosalinds; and, amid the roar, descend the
great Ferry stair-case—stop a moment at this landing—step out. How the
solid earth shakes—jars and vibrates! How the wild winds rush by us, as
the huge fluid arch stretches over with continuous plunge—and see that
group of wild-flowers—scarlet, green, and purple—smiling in beauty beyond
the reach of human hand, glistening in moisture midst the very spray in
the rock cleft. But—haste—haste! Here is the boatman. Leap in—leap in!
Now how, in our little cockle-shell bark, we whirl and sport in the
eddies, o’er the fathomless depths below, like wing-borne insects playing
over the abyss.

We land—ascend the heights—we pass the sentry. At the tiring-house.
We robe ourselves for the enterprise—tarpaulin coats—hats bound with
old rope—trowsers of tow cloth—shoes of cowhide—ha! ha! But quick,
descend the long spiral stair-case. Now, Guide—we follow. Beware you
fall not on these sharp, slippery rocks. We approach. The Table Rock
hangs over us. In grandeur the solid fluid mass falls precipitate.
Prepare. Turn as you enter—hold down your head—repress your breath:
are you ready? Rush! We are beneath the yawning chasm—soaked in an
instant. Like furious rainstorm, and wind, and tempest all combined,
this wild, frightful roar. What? Scream louder, louder. Hold firm by
the guide—a slip from this narrow ledge—and—whew—splash—dead in our
faces—almost suffocated. Turn to the dripping rock wall, and catch your
breath till the wind rush again lifts the watery curtain. Slimy eels
glide by—darkness deep above—dim light strives to reach us through the
cataract sheets. We are at the extreme verge. Guide—guide—ha?—what
indicates that motion of thy lips—closer—close in my ear. “Termination
rock.” Turn—turn—splash—swash—drenched—suffocated—return, return. We see
again the light. Rush! We stand once more in the clear open sunlight.
Whew!—puff—dripping—dripping—a shower-bath worthy of old Neptune. How
delightfully our nerves spring under its exhilarating influence. Take
care—again these slippery stones. Beware! beware! Here we ascend again
the stair-case. In the attiring-room. Towels—brushes—Christians once more.

Come—come! Now to the Table Rock. See with what treacherous glitter
the wide Niagara stretches in perfect smoothness far towards Chippewa,
till, descending upon us, it shoots the rapids o’er their rocky beds
like things of life, and with wild rush around the island, sweeps
resistless o’er the awful cataracts, a roaring hurricane of waters. Give
me your hand—lean forward—look into the abyss—careful. Evil spirits
take us at advantage at such times, and whisper us to leap forward. How
lashed in milky whiteness the huge gulf boils and foams as the waters
plunge fractured, disjointed, tumbling in masses—and the wild birds,
how fearlessly they skim amid the white mist rising from its surface.
How the earth shudders and trembles around us. You are already dizzy.
Come back from the edge. How awful—how terribly sublime! How tame—how
useless, helpless description! Would that I, with voice of inspiration,
could command language adequate to pourtray the grandeur of the scene
under stern Winter’s reign! Transcendantly beautiful once I saw it! A
thaw and rain, followed by sudden chill and cold, had clothed all the
forest—every hedge and shrub, with transparent coat of ice. Gnarled
oaks, from massive trunk to their extremest twigs, became huge crystal
chandeliers. The ever-green pines and hemlocks, with long lancing
branches,—great emeralds; lithe willows, sweeping, glassy cascades; the
wild vines, stiff in silvery trellices between them; the undergrowth,
with scarlet, blue and purple berries, candied fruits. The pools of
frozen water at their feet, dark sheets of adamant; and ever and anon,
as the north wind passed o’er them, the forest was Golconda, Araby—one
Ind of radiant gems, quivering with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, in
glittering splendour; pearls, emeralds, hyacinths, chrysolites, falling
in showers, as fractured from their crackling branches, they strewed the
snowy bed stretched smooth around them. That wide, smooth river, far
above the Rapids, ice-chained, a solid snow-white bed, gleaming in the
midday sun. Yon tower, misshapen giant phantom, ice god, in frozen shroud
and winding-sheet, firmly fixed ’mid the swift running waters:—huge
stalactite icicles, Winter’s hoary beard, hanging in fantastic curtains
from each rock ledge—pinnacle—projection; while on the black rapids, the
vast ice-fields breaking in masses, piled in wild confusion, grinding
and swaying on their treacherous holds, till gathering momentum, with
slide and plunge—submerged, they swept onward ’mid the wild roar of the
cataracts, which, with stern, resistless power, held their terrific
course. Those huge sheets, those watery arches, those green beryl masses,
plunging in resistless fury, unabated vastness, with desperate leaps into
the foaming abyss below, the spray falling in silver showers, pierced
by the sun’s rays dancing around them in countless rainbows; while the
ice avalanches, breaking from their grasps on the surrounding rocks and
precipices, with booming plunge and uproar, fell crashing,—buried in
the dark whirlpools, boiling in the fathomless depths below. The dark
river, in torrents of copperas-hue, whirling in eddies, rushing o’er
its deep rocky bed—in savage contrast with the snow-covered precipices
that chained it to its course. Deep, resistless sweep of waters! black
as despair—Sadoc here were to thee the waters of Oblivion—here that
Lethe, which, till other worlds received thee, should blot existence from
keenest memory.

The voice of the Unseen addressed the afflicted Patriarch from the
whirlwind’s midst—us does it warn from this chained whirlwind of the
waters. Sublime, terrible, indescribable, as is this scene by human
tongue, how tamely all its grandeur sinks beneath the catastrophe, which
the being of future ages shall survey,—or would, if with eagle’s wings
he could soar high in the clouds above it,—when the narrow rock-belt
which Niagara for by-gone centuries has been slowly wearing, severed, the
light tract alluvial crumbling—the whole chain of inland oceans—Huron,
Erie, Michigan, with awful wildness and destruction, sweep in second
deluge o’er this outlet—the adamantine rocks sinking like snow-wreaths
from their beds—all principalities, kingdoms, states—whate’er they
shall be—between the Atlantic and the Alleghanies, the Labrador and
Mexico—swept from existence, and in their place a heaving surge—wild
waste of waters. Fool! revolve this scene terrific in thy heart—ponder it
well—then, if thou canst, say, indeed, there is no God! Thy life, at best
a flickering taper, shall soon meet extinguishment. Then shall there be
an eternity to convince thee.


Here we are in the middle of the month of August. The “world” have long
since fled the hot walls and blazing pavements of old Gotham, and even
the very school-boys are let loose from their pale-faced pedagogues, to
frolic like young colts in the country. Come, let us not alone remain in
the sweltering city. Throw a few things in your carpet-bag—ay, that is
sufficient. Make me the guide. We will leave Saratoga and Rockaway to
their flirtations—another field is before us. Now, Eastward ho! shall lie
our course. Distance and time are left behind us—already we are ensconced
at the Mansion House in this most lovely of villages, “Northampton the

Well does it deserve the name. Come one moment to the corner of this
piazza. Look down the long avenues. See the symmetrical verdant arches,
formed by the boughs of the antique elms, bending toward each other in
loving fraternity; and see the snow-white houses at their feet, their
court-yards smiling with flowers; and see the still more smiling faces
that glance behind their transparent windows. That will do—you have
stared long enough at the demure beauty behind the green blinds. Look
this way, and witness the refined taste exhibited in the graceful
cottages, as they stand in relief against the dark back-ground of the
forest,—the Grecian column, the Gothic arch, the Italian verandah,
cottage and temple, all spread around you like the city of your dreams.
Truly it seems, as it mostly is, the abode of retired gentlemen—a very
Decameron sort of a place in this working-day world of ours. But, allons!
Are we not Americans? _Why_ should we rest? To breakfast—behold a regular
Yankee feast. Snow-white bread, and golden butter,—chickens that one
short hour since dreamed of bins of corn and acres of oats on their
roosts in the lofty barn,—steaks, pies, tea, preserves, the well-browned
cakes, and last, not least, the sparkling amber cider. Blessings on the
heart of the nice looking damsel at the coffee urn, with her red cheeks
and neat check apron. But, egad! my dear friend—prudence! hold up—we have
to ascend the mountain, and you will not find the feast that you are
stowing away with such Dalgetty industry, likely to improve your wind.
That last hot roll lengthens our ascent just one quarter of an hour.
There! the horses are neighing, and impatiently champing the bit at the
door. Are you ready? Come then. Look out, lest that fiery devil throw
you on the bosom of our common mother, earth!—your bones would find her
a step-dame—those flaming nostrils are sworn enemies to your long spur
gaffs. But here we go! How balmy and delightful the cool air of the
morning!—the verdant grass rises gracefully—the wild flower shakes its
tiny bells, and drinks the dewy diamond glittering on its lips, as it
waves gently o’er them. The rich yellow sun mocks the trees, as it rolls
out their broad shadows on the velvet turf beneath—while from knoll and
waving mullen stalk, the meadow-lark, with outstretched neck and piercing
eye, utters his sweet notes in almost delirious rapture. We clear the
broad meadows. Our very horses, with ears erect, gather speed with every
bound, and seem ready to cry ha! ha! We are the fabled centaurs of old.

See! see!—the heavy morning mist, rising in huge volumes, reluctantly
bares the forest on the mountain side,—it curls and breaks in vast
masses,—it slowly rolls off to the eastward. Aye! there he stands—there
stands old _Holyoke_, with his cragged coronal of rocks, a gigantic
Titan, bidding defiance to time and tempest. Gallop—gallop! we are within
two hundred feet of the summit. This precipice, its dark sides frowning
and grim, the velvet moss, and little clustres of scarlet and yellow
flowers peeping from its crevices, where the ripling brooklet scatters
its mimic showers over them, wreathed fantastically with vines and
gnarled branches from its clefts,—we must climb on foot. Rest a moment.
How perfectly still the dense forest extends around us. Nought breaks the
silence, save the querulous cry of the cat-bird, as it hops from branch
to branch,—the mimic bark of the squirrel, or the distant hollow tap of
the woodpecker. Now, a little more climbing—take care of those loose
stones—a few steps additional ascent—give me your hand—spring!—here we
are on the rocky platform of its summit. Is not the scene magnificent?
We stand in the centre of an amphitheatre two hundred miles in diameter.
See! at the base of the mountain curls, like a huge serpent, the
Connecticut, its sinuosities cutting the smooth plains with all sorts
of grotesque figures,—now making a circuit around a peninsula of miles,
across whose neck a child might throw a stone,—here stretching straight
as an arrow for a like distance,—and there again returning like a hare
upon its course. See the verdant valleys extending around us, rich with
the labour of good old New England’s sons, and far in the distance—the
blue smoky distance—rising in majesty, God’s land-marks, the mountains.
See the beautiful plains, the prairies beneath us, one great carpet of
cultivation,—the fields of grain, the yellow wheat, the verdant maize,
the flocks, the herds, the meadow, the woodland, forming beautiful
and defined figures in its texture, while the villages in glistening
whiteness, are scattered, like patches of snow, in every part of the
landscape; and hark! in that indistinct and mellow music we hear the
bell slowly tolling from yonder slender spire. Oh! for a Ruysdael, or a
Rubens, to do justice to the picture.

Surely God did not intend that we should sweat and pant in cities when
he places such scenes before us. How like the fierce giants of old
the lofty mountains encircle it, as a land of enchantment. See! see!
the clouds, as they scud along in the heavens, how they throw their
broad shadows, chasing each other on the plains below. Imagine them
squadrons, charging in desperate and bloody battle. But no—widows and
orphans’ tears follow not _their_ encounters—rather the smiles of the
honest, hard-handed yeoman, as he foresees his wains groaning with the
anticipated harvests—his swelling stacks—his crowded granaries. Here, for
the present, let us recline on the broad and moss-covered rocks, while
with the untutored Indian, its rightful owner, in silent admiration, we
worship the Great Spirit, whose finger moves not, save in beauty, in
harmony and majesty.


“Knock! knock! knock!” W-e-l-l. “Thump! thump! thump!” Who’s there?
What do you want? “Passengers for the White Mountains, Sir, time to get
up,—stage ready.” Is it possible? three o’clock already? W-e-l-l, I’ll
get up. Call the gentleman in the next room. Well, my friend, how are
you, after your trip of yesterday to Mount Holyoke?—a little stiff in
the knees and ancles, eh!—but come, the stage is at the door. Waiter,
hold the light. How forlorn look the heavy muddy vehicle, and half-waked
horses by the dim light of the stage lamps. That’s right, my good fellow;
throw those carpet-bags in the inside. Shut the door. All ready. Driver,
go ahead! “Aye, aye, sir.” Hey!—Tchk! tchk!—Crack! crack! crack! off we
go. The steady clatter of the horses’ hoofs, the jingling of the harness,
the occasional roll, as we pass over the boards of some bridge, and
the intejectional whistle of the driver as he encourages them, are the
only things that break the silence for the next hour. The morning light
begins to dawn. Whom have we here? Only two fellow travellers. An honest,
clean-looking countryman, snugly fixed in one corner, with his night-cap
pulled over his eyes, and his mouth wide open, as if admiring the melody
that his nose in bugle strain is enacting just above it; and opposite to
him a gross fat man, of rubicund visage, his eyes ensconced in goggles.
See! he nods—and nods—and nods, and now his head bobs forward into his
neighbour’s lap. How foolishly he looks, as he awakes to consciousness.
It is broad day-light. Let us get up with the driver on the outside, and
enjoy our cigars and the scenery together.

Here we go, through the Connecticut River Valley, famous for its scenery
and its legends—the region of bright eyes and strong arms—the land of
quiltings and huskings—of house-raisings and militia trainings, and the
home of savory roast pigs and stuffed turkeys, of fat geese, of apple
sauce, and pumpkin pies; the Ultima Thule to the Yankee’s imagination.
Now we are at Deerfield. While they are about our breakfast, we will run
across the road, and see the old Williams Mansion. A hundred years since,
it was surrounded by Indians, and its occupant, the clergyman, with his
family, carried off captives to Canada. Here is the very hole cut in
the front door by their tomahawks, and here the hacks of the hatchets.
Through this hole they ran their rifles, and fired into the house,
killing a man confined to his bed by sickness, and here is the ball
lodging to this day in the side of the wall—and this occurred one hundred
years ago! Say you, that the people that treasure up these legends, and
retain these memorials untouched, have no poetry in their souls? But
there goes the stageman’s horn! Our breakfast finished, we resume our
places at the side of the good-natured driver, and on we roll. We pass
Brattleboro’, snugly ensconced in its mountain eyrie, and Hanover, with
its broad parade, its flourishing colleges, and its inhabitants that
never die,—save from old age.

With teams of six and eight horses, we speed over hill, over dale, over
mountain, over valley, ascending and descending the mountains in full
run; our gallant horses almost with human instinct, guiding themselves.
Snorting leaders, swerve not aside in your career—linch-pins, do your
duty—traces and breeching, hold on toughly, or “happy men be our dole.”
Hah! Wild Amonoosac, we greet thy indeed wild roar.—How it sweeps
the fallen timber in its boiling eddies! The huge logs slide dancing
onwards with the velocity of the canoes of the Indian; or caught by
envious projection, or uplifting rock, form dams and cascades, till the
increasing and cumbrous masses, gathering momentum, plunge forward,
sweeping all before them,—and—but whist! Step into the shade of this
tree—look into the dark pool beneath those gnarled roots—how beautifully
the gold and purple colours glitter—how motionlessly still is the
head—how slight and tremulous the movement of that fin—the wavy motion
of the tail. A two pounder, as I am a Christian! Whist! whist! See that
dragon-fly, gently sailing o’er the surface—he rests a moment on it.
Watch! the head slowly turns—the fins move decidedly—ay—now—one rapid
whirl of the tail—an electric leap to the surface—Poor fly, thy history
is written; and well for thee, thou greedy trout, that no barbed hook
suspends thee in mid air—struggling in beauty, though in death, the prize
of exulting angler. And thou, too, art there, savage _Mount Franconia_,
with thy fantastic and human outline! Old Man of the Mountain!—with what
grim stoicism thou lookest down upon the busy miners, as with picks and
powder-blast they rive the sullen mineral from thy vitals. Ay! watch
thou by the lurid glare the sweating, half-naked forgemen, as they feed
with thy forests the roaring furnaces. Watch the molten ore, slowly
running in glittering streams, with fiery showers of scintillations into
the dark earth-troughs below; while with ceaseless din, the ponderous
trip-hammers, and clanking machinery, break the till now Sabbath
stillness of thy dwelling place. But fare thee well, thou imperturbable
old man; fare thee well, for now, we enter the dense continuous forest,
through which the busy hand of man has with unwearied industry cut the
avenue. How deliciously the aroma of the gigantic pines, mingles with
the pure elastic air of the mountains. See the thick undergrowth; the
dogwood with its snowy blossoms—the scarlet sumac—the waving green
briar, profuse with delicate roses,—the crimson raspberry, loaded with
its fruit—the yellow sensitive plant—the dancing blue-bell; and, rising
through the entangled mass of verdure and beauty, see the luxuriant wild
grape, and clinging ivy, joyously climbing the patriarchs of the forest,
encircling their trunks, and hanging their branches in graceful festoons
and umbrageous bowers.—No human foot, save with the aid of pioneer, can
penetrate its matted wildness—nought save those huge patriarchs rising
above it as they grow old and die, and fall with crashing uproar, as into
flowery sepulchre, intrude upon its solitude. Then, indeed, in heavy
booming plunge and rush, they seem to wildly sing, like their painted
children, their death song. But hark!—whence that wild and dissonant
shriek, that rings upon the ear? Ah—yonder, erect and motionless, he sits
upon the towering oak with haughty eye and talons of iron, screaming his
call of warning to his partner, slowly circling in graceful curves high,
high in the blue ether above him. Ay! proud bird, our nation’s emblem,
would that thy wild scream could warn from us, the accursed spirit of
Mammon, which, spreading like an incubus, blights and destroys with its
mildew the virtues and energies of her sons.

But see, where, as the dense forest stretches onward, the casual spark
dropped by the hand of the woodman, spreading into flame, and gathering
in mighty volumes of fire, has swept onwards in its roaring, crackling,
destroying progress, leaving nought behind it, save these grim and
blackened skeletons, and dead plains of ashes. See what darkness and
desolation, and apparent annihilation, extend around you—but yet,
silently and quietly, ere long, shall the germ of life which can never
die, rise from these ashes, and verdure and beauty reign again, as was
their wont. Even so the solitary mourner, when death strikes down at
his side his dearest ones, stands helplessly encircled by solitude and
desolation; but soon all-pervading benevolence causes the green germ
of the soul to rise from the ashes, and his heart again expands with
tenderness and sympathy.

The scene of desolation is passed! and now, lest the Lord of fire should
reign uncontrolled, lo! where the spirit of the whirlwind has swept in
his wild tornado. Lo! far as your vision can command the circle—where,
rushing from the mountain gorges his chariots have whirled along in their
fierce career of destruction. In mid height, the lofty trees are snapped
like pipe-stems, and prone like the field of grain laid by the hand of
the reaper, huge trunks with the moss of centuries,—not here and there
one solitary,—but for miles, the whole vast forest—prostrate, never again
to rise.

But speed! speed! the mountain passes are before us! See—see their
huge walls tower in chaotic wildness above us. Rocks on rocks—ledge on
ledge—cliff on cliff—plunged upon each other in frantic disorder. See—

    “See the giant snouted crags, ho! ho!
    How they snort, how they blow.”

See the huge rock ramparts shooting their wild peaks and jagged pinnacles
upwards, piercing the very sky above us! their frowning and gashed sides
trickling and discoloured with the corroding minerals in their bowels;
the stunted pines and evergreens clinging like dwarf shrubs in their
crevices. Take heed! beware you fall not. See the huge slides—they have
swept whole torrents of rocks, of earth, in promiscuous destruction, from
their summits, upon the valley below—the rivers filled, and turned from
their courses, in their path,—the very forest itself—the loftiest trees
torn up, their branches, their trunks, their upturned roots ground and
intermixed with rock and earth, and splintered timber, swept on in wild,
inextricable confusion—and here! where starting from their slumbers, the
devoted family rushed naked and horror-stricken to meet it in mid career.
Ay! hold on by the sides of the steep precipice—cling to the ledge as
the wild wind rushes by in furious gust—a slip were your passport to
eternity. Look down! How awful the precipice, thousands of feet below
you—how the blood curdles and rushes back upon the heart, as you imagine
the fatal plunge. Well might the Puritans of old, deem these ghastly
deserts the abode and haunts of the evil one.

But, on—on—how toilsome the ascent.—That was a fearful blast; hold
tightly the wild roots in thy grasp as it passes. Long since have we
passed the region of vegetation: the dry and arid moss clinging to rock
and stone, is alone around us. Ay! drink of that spring—but beware its
icy coldness—nor winter, nor summer, alters its temperature. Behold, in
the clefts and gorges below, the never-melting snow-wreaths. The flaming
suns of summer pass over, and leave them undiminished. Courage! we climb,
we climb. The witches of the Brocken ne’er had such wild chaos for their
orgies. Courage, my friend! We ascend—we ascend—we reach the top—now
panting—breathless—exhausted, we throw ourselves upon the extreme summit.

Gather your faculties—press hard your throbbing heart. Catch a view of
the scene of grandeur around you, before the wild clouds, like dense
volumes of steam, enclose us in their embrace, shutting it from our
vision;—mountains—mountains—rolling off as far as eye can reach in
untiring vastness—a huge sea of mountains held motionless in mid career.
How sublime! how grand! what awful solitude! what chilling, stern,
inexorable silence! It seems as if an expectant world were awaiting in
palpitating stillness the visible advent of the Almighty—mountain and
valley in expectant awe. Oh! man—strutting in thy little sphere, thinkest
thou that adoration is confined alone to thy cushioned seats—thy aisles
of marble; that for devotion, the Almighty looks to nought but thee?
Why, look thou there!—beneath—around—millions—millions—millions of
acres teeming with life, yet hushed in silence to thy ear—each grain
the integer and composite of a world—the minutest portion, a study—a
wonder in itself—lie before thee in awful adoration of their Almighty
Founder. Well did the Seers of old go into the mountains to worship.
Oh! my brother-man—thou that dost toil, and groan, and labour, in
continual conflict with what appears to thee unrelenting fate—thou to
whom the brow-sweat appears to bring nought but the bitter bread, and
contumely, and shame;—thou on whom the Sysiphean rock of misfortune seems
remorselessly to recoil—ascend thou hither. Here, on this mountain-peak,
nor King, nor Emperor are thy superior. Here, thou _art_ a man. Stand
thou here; and while with thy faculties thou canst command, in instant
comprehension, the scene sublime before thee, elevate thee in thy
self-respect, and calmly, bravely throw thyself into the all-sheltering
arms of Him, who watches with like benevolence and protection, the young
bird in its grassy nest, and the majestic spheres, chiming eternal music
in their circling courses!


Here we are at Newport—what a little gem of an island—rising like emerald
on sapphire, from the surrounding ocean. Neither at Potter’s nor at
Whitfield’s, will we take our abode. We will walk up to the Mall. Ay,
here, with its green blinds and scrupulously clean piazza, is old Mrs.
E——’s, and they are at tea already. Come, take your seat at table.

With what serene dignity and kindness the old lady, in her nice plaited
cap, her spotless kerchief, and russet poplin dress, her pin ball, with
its silver chain, hanging at her waist—presides at the board—crowded
with every imaginable homely delicacy—from the preserved peach and
crullers made by herself, to the green candied limes brought home by her
grandson from his last West India voyage. See the antique furniture,
with its elaborate carving, the mahogany-framed looking-glasses; and,
in the corner, on the round stand, the large Bible, carefully covered
with baize, surmounted with the silver spectacles. No place this for
swearing, duel-fighting, be-whiskered heroes; but just the thing for
quiet, sober folk, like you and me. What sayest thou, Scipio, thou ebon
angel,—that the ebb sets at five i’ the morning, and that old Davy Swan,
the fisherman, will be ready for us at the Long Wharf at that hour? Well,
get yourself ready and go along with us. Call us in season. Ay, that
will do—the roll of those eyes—the display of that ivory, to say nothing
of the scratch of that head, and the sudden displacement of that leg,
sufficiently evince thy delight.

So, so,—here we are, punctual to the hour. Ay, yonder he is in his broad
strong fishing-boat; yonder is old Davy Swan, as he was twenty years
ago; the same tall, gaunt figure, the same stoop in the shoulders,
bronzed visage, and twinkling grey eyes; the same wrinkles at the side
of his mouth, though deeper; the same long, lank hair, but now the sable
silvered; the same—the same that he was in the days of my boyhood. He
sees us. Now he stretches up to the wharf. Jump in—jump in. Be careful,
thou son of Ethiopia, or thy basket will be overboard—sad disappointment
to our sea-whet appetites some few brief hours hence. All in. We slide
gently from the wharf. The light air in the inner harbour here barely
gives us headway. Look down into the deep, still water—clear as crystal;
see the long sea-weed wave below; see the lithe eels, coursing and
whipping their paths through its entangled beds; and see our boat, with
its green and yellow sides—its long flaunting pennant—its symmetrical
white sails, suspended, as if in mid-air, on its transparent surface.

How still and tranquil lies the quiet town, as the sun gilds its white
steeples; and how comfortable look the old family mansions rising from
the green trees. How beautifully the yellow sun casts his shadows on the
undulating surface of the island, green and verdant—the flocks of sheep,
and browsing cattle, grouped here and there upon its smooth pastures. And
see, how yonder alike he gilds the land of the brave, the chivalrous,
the unfortunate Miantonimoh. We float past Fort Wolcott. Its grass-grown
ramparts, surmounted with dark ordnance, and its fields cheerful with
white-washed cottages and magazines.

Ay! now it breezes a little—now we gather headway—and now we pass the
cutter. See her long, taper, raking masts, her taut stays and shrouds;
and hear, as the stripes and stars are run up to her gaff, the short
roll of the drum, the “beat to quarters.” Hah! Davy,—old fellow, dost
remember that note last war? How many times, at midnight, we’ve sprang
from our beds as that short, quick “rub-a-dub” warned us of the approach
of the blockading frigates, as they neared the town. But, no, no,—forgive
me, old tar,—I recollect, indeed, thou then wast captain of thy gun,
on board the dashing _Essex_. Ay! well now do I remember, brave old
sailor, thy conduct in her last desperate battle. Eighteen men hadst thou
killed at thy single gun. I think I see thee now, as grimed with powder,
spattered with blood, thou didst advance, through fire and smoke, and
approach thy saturnine commander on the quarter-deck. I hear thy brief,
business-like request, “A fresh crew for Number Three, Second Division.
All my men are killed!” And the short, stern response, “Where is your
officer?” “_Dead_,—swept overboard by cannon shot.” And well can I see
the momentary play of anguish round his mouth, as, resuming his hurried
walk, he gloomily replies, “I have no more men—you must fight your gun
yourself!” Ay—and as thy proud ship a helpless target lay, for twice
superior force, I hear poor Ripley, thy brave comrade, severed almost in
twain by cannon shot, crying, with short farewell—“Messmates, I am no
longer of use to myself or country,” as he throws himself, his life-blood
gushing, overboard.

But now the wind freshens—the smooth surface darkens—the sails belly out
in tension, and the white ripples gather under our bows. We round the
point: Fort Adams, we pass thy massive walls, thy grim “forty-two’s”
glaring like wild beasts, chained, ready to leap upon us from their
casements. Ay—now we run outside—now it freshens—now it breezes—she
begins to dance like a feather. There it comes stronger! see the white
caps! There she goes—scuppers under—swash—swash—swash—we jump from wave
to wave, as we run parallel with the shore, our pennant streaming proudly
behind us. Here it comes, strong and steady—there she takes it—gunwale
under—luff, old fellow! luff up, Davy! or you’ll give us all wet jackets.
Ay! that will do—she’s in the wind’s eye. How the waves tumble in upon
the land—see the Spouting Rock—see the column of white foam thrown up,
as repulsed, the waves roll out again from the rocky cavern. We near
the Dumplings—and, round to! round to! here are the lobster-pots—haul
in—tumble them in the bottom of the boat—ay—there’s bait enough. Now we
lay our course across to Beaver Light—we slide, we dash along—springing
from wave to wave—dash—dash—no barnacles on her bottom at this rate,
Davy. Ay, here we are—a quick run—a good quick run. Anchor her just
outside the surf—ay, that will do—give her a good swing—let her ride
free—she rolls like a barrel on these long waves. Look to your footing,
boys—steady—steady. Now, then, for it. Davy, you and Scip will have as
much as you can do to bait for us—all ready. Here goes then—a good long
throw—that’s it—my sinker is just inside the surf. What!—already! I’ve
got him—pull in, pull in—see, my line vibrates like a fiddle-string!—pull
away—here he is—_Tautaug_—three-pounder. Lie you there—ay, slap away,
beauty, you have done for ever with your native element. There, again—off
with him. Again—again—again. This is fun to us, but death to you,
ye disciples of St. Anthony! Give me a good large bait this time,
Scipio—that will do—now, whis-whis-whis-te—that’s a clean, long throw.
By Jupiter! you have got a bite with a vengeance. Careful—give him more
line—let it run—play him—ease—ease the line around the thole-pin; he’ll
take all the skin of your fingers else. Pull away gently—there he runs.
Careful, or you lose him—play him a little—he begins to tire—steady,
steady—draw away—now he shoots wildly this way—look out! there he goes
under the boat; here he is again. Steady—quick, Davy, the net;—I’ve got
it under him—now then, in with him. Bass! twenty pounds, by all the
steel-yards in the old Brick Market! Ay, there they have got hold of
me; a pull like a young shark; let it run—the whole line is out—quick,
quick—take a turn round the thole-pin—snap! There, Davy! there goes
your best line, sinker, hooks and all. Give me the other line. Ah,
ha!—again—again—again. This is sport. One—two—three——nine Bass, and
thirty Tautaug. So—the tide won’t serve here any longer; we will stretch
across to Brenton’s Reef, on the other side. Up anchor, hoist away the
jib. Here we go, again coursing o’er the blue water. How the wind lulls.
Whew—whew—whew—blow wind, blow! Put her a little more before it; that
will do. Hallo, you, Scipio! wake up—wake up. Here we are, close on the
reef—give her plenty of cable. Let her just swing clear, to lay our
sinkers on the rocks. That will do. How the surges swell, and roar, and,
recoiling, rush again boiling on the rocks. So—so, they don’t bite well
here to-day. The tide comes in too strong flood; well, we can’t complain,
we have had good sport even as it is. Come, Africa, bear a hand; let’s
see what you have got in that big basket. Come, turn out, turn out. Ham,
chicken, smoked salmon, bread and butter; and in that black bottle?—ay,
good old brown stout? Pass them along—pass them along, and wo be unto
thee, old fellow, if thy commissariat falls short.


With what sullen and continuous roar the ocean waves heave in upon this
inhospitable reef. See, as they recede, how the long slimy rock-weed
hangs dripping, and how deeply the returning surge buries it again. Oh,
never shall I forget the scene upon this horrid reef, witnessed in my
boyhood. A dark portentous day in autumn, was followed in the evening
by a terrific storm. Low, muttering thunder, which had been growling
in the distant horizon, as the night set in, grew louder. The perfect
stillness which had obtained, as if in preparation, was broken by long
moaning sighs; the lightning became quick and incessant, and ere long,
the tempest, like an unchained demon, came bounding in from Ocean. The
lightning intensely vivid, accompanied by crashing and terrific thunder,
illuminated the surrounding coast with glittering splendour; the islands,
the rocks, and yon beacon tower, now exposed to brightness, surpassing
noon-day, and now plunged into blackest darkness. The ocean appeared a
sea of molten fire. Rain—hail—dashed hissing by, and mid the screaming
of the blast, and the torrents rushing from the skies, the huge waves
plunged, and roared, and lashed in milky whiteness, broke mast high
upon these horrid rocks. While the fishermen in their cottages were
thanking their stars that they were snug and safe on shore, we heard in
the temporary lulls of the howling storm, signal guns of distress. The
neighbouring inhabitants, myself among the number, were soon upon that
point, and by the glittering flashes within musket shot of the shore,
discerned a Spanish ship on the very ridge of the frightful reef—the
stumps of her masts alone remaining—the surf running and breaking in a
continual deluge over her, while in her fore shrouds were congregated
the unhappy crew. She was so near to us, that we could almost see the
expression of agony in their countenances, as, with extended hands they
piteously shrieked for help. Their situation was hopeless. We could do
nothing for them. No whale-boat could have lived for a moment, the surf
rolled in with such resistless violence. We could only listen in silent
horror. We heard the very grinding of her timbers, as shock on shock
hastened her dissolution; and amid the fury of the storm, and their
frantic cries for aid, never shall I forget, in the momentary lulls, the
sickening continuous wail of a young boy lashed in the mid-rigging,—his
supplicating exclamation, “Ai Jesus!—Ai Jesus!” Often, years after, in
my dreams, did I hear those plaintive cries, and see that young boy’s
face turned imploringly to Heaven, while that “Ai Jesus!—Ai Jesus!”
rang wildly in my ears. But a short time could human fabric sustain the
ceaseless plunge of the foaming elements. By the lightning flashes, we
could see the number of the sufferers lessen, as relaxing their hold,
they dropped off exhausted one by one—swept into the rocky caverns
below; until, a longer interval of darkness—a more intense flash of
lightning—and all had disappeared. Nought was left but the white foam as
it rushed tumultuously boiling and coursing over the long reef before
us. It was so brief—so hurried—the appearance of our fellow-creatures in
their agony, and their disappearance so sudden, that it seemed a feverish
dream. But the dead, mutilated bodies—ceroons of indigo and tobacco—and
broken planks, swept along the shore on the following morning, convinced
us of its sad reality.

The corse of the young boy, ungashed by the ragged rocks, I found, and
caused it to be buried apart from the rest in the church-yard, for it
appeared, as if there was in his childish helplessness, a claim upon
me for protection. That expression of agony I ne’er heard since—save
once: and that—but Davy, we have had all the sport we are like to have
to-day—get up the anchor, and we will fan along up to the harbour. So—let
her jibe—now put her before it—ay—that will do.—As I was saying. Shortly
after the close of the last war, buoyant with youth and hope, I made,
what was then not so common as now, the tour of Europe—lingering long in
Old Spain, fascinated with the romantic character of the countrymen of
Cervantes—of the gallant Moors—of the Alhambra and the Cid. It chanced
one evening, strolling about the streets of Madrid in pursuance of
adventure, that, passing through one of the most unfrequented squares,
I was attracted by lights shining through the long Gothic windows of a
large chapel or cathedral. I approached, and entering with some curiosity
found it entirely silent. No living soul was present within its walls.
The lofty chancel and altars were shrouded in mourning. By the wax
candles on the altars, I could see the fretted arches—the shrines and
monuments along the walls—and the family banners wreathed in gloomy
festoons above them. I wandered about, alone and uninterrupted. Nought
moved, save the old blood-stained flags, as they fitfully waived to and
fro in the wind. I gazed around me in admiration on the rich shrines
and their appropriate pictures. Here, with her offerings of flowers,
the wax candles, burning bright and clear, was the Madonna, her lovely
countenance beaming with celestial sweetness, as she looked down upon the
infant Saviour nestling in her arms—the Baptist standing at her knee,
pressing the plump little foot to his lips—and there, John in the island
of Patmos—his emaciated limbs staring from their scanty covering of
sackcloth—and his gaunt features glowing with inspiration, as from among
the cloud of scattered grey hair, and venerable beard, with upturned
face, he received from the flame-encircled trumpet above him, the Holy

Here, armed cap-à-pied, the chivalrous Knights of the Temple consigned
their slain brother to his rocky sepulchre, as with grim, stern, averted
countenances they watched the fierce conflict and assault of the daring
Infidel upon their Holy City—and there, the cross of Constantine richly
emblazoned on its altar, was the _Crucifixion_, the Saviour extended
on the cross—the thieves on each side of him—the head just bowed—and
the awful “_It is finished!_” announced to the nations in frightful
phenomena. The sun turned to blood, throwing a lurid and unnatural
glare on the assembled multitude—the war-horses, riderless, rearing
and plunging with distended nostrils—rolling in convulsions the solid
mountains;—the affrighted soldiery, horror-stricken, wildly lifting their
hands to ward off the toppling crag, which, torn from its foundation by
the earthquake, was in another instant to grind them to powder—while
the Roman centurion, with curling lip, holding tighter in his grasp the
crimson flag, the “_S. P. Q. R._” shaking fiercely in the wild wind,
seemed to deride the coward Jew, even in that dread moment, with his
abject slavery—and here was San Sebastian, his eyes streaming with martyr
tears—and the tinkling of a small bell struck upon my ear:—boys clad in
scarlet, swung their censers to and fro, and the incense floated high
above them to the vaulted arches.

A train of monks, in purple robes embroidered with white crosses,
appeared in procession, slowly advancing on the tesselated pavement,
bearing on tressels, covered with dark pall, a corse, by the muffled
outline, of manly stature. Two female figures; grave servitors, with deep
reverence supporting them, followed close the dead. The deep thunder
tones of the huge organ, swept upward as they entered, wild, grand,
and terrible, as if touched by no earthly hand: scarce audible sounds
floating from the smallest pipes would catch the ear—then bursts, like
the roaring whirlwind, pouring in the whole mass of trumpets, rolling,
and rising, and falling,—the most exquisite symphonies floating in the
intervals, until fainter, fainter, the heart sickened in efforts to
catch its tones. Dead silence followed:—the corse was deposited in the
chancel—the dark black pall was slowly withdrawn, and the noble figure of
a cavalier in the bloom of manhood, pallid in death, lay exposed before
us. Clad in sable velvet, his rapier rested on his extended body, the
jewelled cross-hilt reverently enclosed in his clasped hands, as they
met upon his broad chest, while the luxuriant raven hair, parted on the
high forehead, the dark arched eye-brow, and the glossy moustache curling
on the lip, added deeper pallor, to what appeared deep, deep sleep. The
servitors withdrew, and the mother and the daughter advanced to the last
sight of him that was so generous, so kind, so beautiful—their all. The
thick veil, thrown hastily aside, discovered the furrowed, time-worn,
grief-worn features of the mother, convulsively writhe and work, as,
sinking at its head, her lips pressed in uncontrollable agony the damp
cold white forehead. The sister, clad in robes of purest whiteness, her
golden ringlets dishevelled and floating around her, and in their rich
luxuriance, almost hiding her graceful form, bent o’er him; and as her
gaze met not the answering smile of kindness and protection, to which
from infancy it was wont, but the stern, calm, sharpened features,
in their icy stillness; then, as with frantic sobs, her exquisitely
feminine, almost childish countenance, streaming with tears, was lifted
upwards, and her hands wringing with anguish,—then uttered in deep
convulsive bitterness, that “_Ai Jesus!_” in smothered tones, again
struck upon my startled ear. Long silence followed, unbroken save by
sobs, as, sunk by its side, they embraced the still, unconscious ashes.
Slowly the deep grave voices of the monks rose in solemn tones, and as
their mournful chant sank into deep bass, at intervals was it taken
up by a single female voice in the choir, which, high above the organ
tones, with surpassing sweetness, ascended higher, higher, until every
nook in the lofty arches above, appeared filled and overflowing with the
rich melody: then, descending lower—lower—lower—the imagination wildly
sought it in the passing wind. The monks drew near with uplifted and
extended hands, muttering in low tones their benediction; then crossing
themselves, encircling the corse on bended knees, with eyes lifted up to
heaven, uttered, in loud voices—

    “Ora pro illo—mater miserecordiæ,”
    “Salvator Hominum—Ora pro illo”——

“_Ora pro illo_,” again rose like a startled spirit from the choir, in
that single female voice, rising with an intensity that made the old
walls re-echo the petition—and then, descending like the fluttering of a
wounded bird, it became less—less—and all was still.

After a brief interval, leaning in apparent stupor upon the arms of the
affectionate retainers, the ladies slowly withdrawing, passed again the
chancel’s entrance, and the sacred procession raising the body with
melancholy chant, bore it to the lower part of the chapel. I heard the
clank of iron, as the rusty portal of the family sepulchre reluctant
turned upon its hinges;—and then rested from its human journey, that
corse forever. I made inquiries, but could learn nought about the actors
in the scene, other than that they were strangers,—a noble family from
the Havana;—that the father—invalid—had died in crossing the sea—and the
usual story of Spanish love, and jealousy, and revenge, had consigned
the son and brother, in the bloom of his days, by duel, to his grave;
and subsequently, that the mother and sister had closed the history of
the family, dying, broken-hearted, in the convent to which they had
retired. But, here we are, at the wharf. Our rapid journey approaches
now its termination. A few short hours, and we shall again be merged
in the ceaseless din of the city; the fair and tranquil face of nature
change for the anxious countenances of our fellow-men; the joyous carol
of the birds, the soft forest breeze, and the sea-beach ripple, for paved
streets and our daily round of duty and of labour. We have found “a
world beyond Verona’s walls.” Perhaps at future time we may again travel
it together. Till then, thanking you for your “right good and jollie”
company. Farewell!



(Ground covered with ice—Furious storm of snow and sleet. Two gentlemen
becloaked and bemuffled, hurrying in different directions, come in full
contact, and mutually recoiling hasten to make apology.)

“My dear Sir—a thousand pardons.”—“No, indeed Sir, ’twas I—I was the
offending party.”—“No, I assure you—I”—eh!—is it?—it is!—my old friend
the reader.—Why, my dear friend—you came upon me as if you had been
discharged from a Catapult—a Paixhan shot was nothing to you? But where
so fast in the fury of the storm—Not to Union Square! Heavens! Man, you
will never reach there living—Why in this horrid cold the spirits of
Nova-Zembla and Mont-Blanc are dancing in ecstacy about the fountains
in the Park, and the very cabs are frozen on their axles! Never think
of it. Come—come with me to my rooms hard by in State-street, and
on the word of a bachelor and a gentleman, I’ll promise to make you
comfortable. Come, take my arm—Whew! how this North-Wester sweeps around
the Battery. Here we are—This is the house—A real aristocratic old
mansion; is it not?—Enter, my dear friend—Run up the stairs—Holloa!
ho! Scip!—Scipio—Africanus—Angel of Darkness—come forth—come forth—Ay!
here you are. And you, too, shaggy old Neptune, your eyes sparkling with
delight, and your long tongue hanging out over your white teeth—down—you
old rascal—down sir—down. Now, is not this snug and comfortable—a good
roaring fire of hickory—none of your sullen red-hot anthracite for me.
How the cold wind howls through the leafless trees upon the Battery,—Draw
the curtains—Scip!—Come, bear a hand, take the reader’s hat and coat.
Invest him with the wadded damask dressing gown that Tom sent home
from Cairo—and the Turkish slippers—So—so—Now bring me mine; place the
well-stuffed easy chairs; roll the round table up between us—bring in
the lights. Now, reader, at your elbow, lo! provision for your wants,
material and mental—genuine old Farquhar and amber Golden Sherry—the
Chateaux I got years since from Lynch; and just opened is that box of
genuine Regalias, only smell! “Fabrica de Tabacos—Calle-a-Leon—En la
Habana, No. 14.” Is it not Arabia’s perfume! Ha! give me your smoking
Spaniard in his sombrero—e’er any a half-naked Bedouin of them all;—or
if indeed you do prefer it, there stands the Chiboque coiled up in
the corner, and the metaphysical German’s meer-schaum on the shelf.
There are biscuit and anchovies, and olives, “old Cheshire,” and other
inviting things for your wants physical, and for your mental, lo! uncut
and damp from the publishers with the regular new book smell—the North
American—Old Blackwood—the Quarterly—the Edinburgh Review—Diedrich in
his high back chair, the Sporting and other Maga’s, and by a slight
curve of thy vertebræ cervical, behold shining through yon glazed
doors—glowing in gold, dross to the gold within; the great master Bard of
England—Cervantes—the chosen spirits of Italia and Gaul—Irving—worthy to
be called Washington—Bryant—sweet poet—and Halleck, genuine son of the
voyagers in the Mayflower—and of literature much other goodly store.

Now, Scip! Lord of the Gold Coast—throw more wood upon the fire—Ay! that
will do—my good old faithful servant—that will do—now take that pepper
and salt head of thine down to the kitchen hearth, there to retail thy
legend and goblin story, or ensconce thee in the corner at thy will—Ah!
hah, old Neptune—snug in thy place upon the hearth rug—thy nose lying
between thy outstretched paws as thou lookest intently in the fire—Bless
thine honest heart!—thinking, I warrant me, of the beautiful child whom
thou didst leap the Battery bridge to save. How bravely thou didst bear
the little sufferer up on the fast rushing tide. The grateful father
would have bought thee for thy weight in gold, as thou didst lie panting
and half exhausted—but look not so wistfully my dog—a sack of diamonds
could not purchase thee—no—never do we part till death steps in between
us—and, by my faith, an’ thou goest first, thou shalt have Christian

Now, dear reader, as thou reclinest comfortably in that big arm chair,
thy feet in Ottoman slippers resting on the fender, the blue smoke of
thy cigar wreathing and curling around thy nose, as it ascends in placid
clouds, and floats in misty wreaths above thy forehead—the glass of
Chateaux, like a ruby resting upon its slender stem, light, quivering at
thy elbow, and that open Blackwood upon thy knee—dost not—confess it—dost
not feel more kind and charitable, than if, with benumbed fingers, thou
wert following a frozen visage to thy distant mansion, in the great
city’s far purlieus—

But, heaven guard us! how savagely the tempest roars and howls around
the chimney tops—Good angels preserve the poor mariner as he ascends
the ice-clad rigging—lays out upon the slippery yard—and handles with
frost-benumbed fingers the rigid canvass folds. Ah! I recollect it was
in just such a night as this, a few years since—years that have rolled
past into retrograde eternity, that I was seated in that same arm chair,
in the same bachelor independence, the fire burning just as brightly—the
curtains as snugly drawn—my beautiful Flora looking down with the same
sweetness from her frame above the mantel—my snow white Venus between the
piers—the Gladiator stretching forth his arm in just such proud defiance
from his pedestal—my Rembrandt—Claude—and Rubens flickering in softness
in the firelight—the Fornarina and St. Cecilia with vase of incense
clasped, and upturned eyes of deep devotion, hanging in the same placid
stillness between their silken tassels, and that Æolian harp chiming just
such wild and fitful strains—’twas in just such a cold and inhospitable
night, that, sitting with my legs extended upon the fender, I fell into a
train of rather melancholy musings.

The clock of St. Paul’s slowly doled out the hour of midnight, and
it seemed as if in the responsive, al-l’-s-w-e-l-l of the watchman,
rendered indistinct by the distance, the spirit of the hour was
bewailing in plaintive tones the annihilation of its being. Time’s
brazen voice announced to unheeding thousands—“Ye are rushing on
eternity.” I thought of my friends who had dropped off one by one,
from around me,—youth and old age had alike sunk into the abyss of
death—consumption—fever—palsy—had done their work; the slight ripple of
their exit had subsided, and all was still—as quiet and as beautiful as
if they had never been. Among others, was poor Louisa S——, in the prime
of her youth, and the bloom of her beauty. But one short week—she was
the pride of her friends, the idol of her husband;—in another, the slow
toll of the village bell announced her funeral. I shall never forget
the scene. The soft yellow light of the declining sun was streaming
through the lofty elms which bordered the rustic grave-yard, painting
their broad shadows on the velvet turf, as the procession of mourners
slowly wended their way among the mounds which covered the decaying
remnants of mortality. Leaning upon a tomb-stone near the fresh dug
grave, I had awaited its arrival. The bier was placed upon the ground—the
coffin-lid was thrown open, and friends looked for the last time upon
the beautiful face, pallid and sharp in death. Her dark hair was parted
upon her forehead,—but the dampness of death had deprived it of its
lustre, and her soft eyes were closed in the slumber from whence they
were never again to wake. I gazed long and painfully upon that face
which appeared to repose only in serene and tranquil sleep, while the
sobbing group reached forward to catch a last and parting glimpse of it
in its loveliness. Oh! I could not realize that the lovely form was still
forever—that those lips were to remain closed, till the day, when amid
whirlwinds and fire, they were to plead her cause before the Almighty.
The coffin-lid was replaced in silence—a suppressed whisper from the
sexton—a harsh grating of the cords, and the gaping pit received its
prey. While the clergyman in his deep and gloomy voice, was pronouncing
the burial service of the dead, I looked around upon the uncovered
group,—the mother and sister in unrestrained sobs, gave vent to their
anguish, but the husband stood, his eyes fixed upon the grave in deep and
silent agony. He moved not, but when the dead heavy clamp of earth and
stones fell upon the coffin, which contained the remains of all that was
dear to him, he gave a gasp, as if he had received a death wound—but that
was all;—the thick, convulsive breathing, and the swollen arteries upon
his temples, showed that his was the bitterness of despair. Ere long, his
wasted form beneath its own green hillock, rested at her side.

I had sat some time, thinking “of all the miseries that this world is
heir to,” when gradually, my room became mazy, the tongs and fender were
blended into one—the fire slowly disappeared, and, to my utter horror and
astonishment, I found myself swinging upon the weather-cock of Trinity
Church steeple.—How I came there, I could not tell, but there I was. Far,
far below me, I saw the long rows of lamps in Broadway and the adjoining
streets, shining in lines of fire; while here and there the glimmer of
those upon the carriages, as they rolled along, resembled the ignis fatui
in their ghostly revels upon the morass. The bay lay in the distance,
glittering in the moonlight, a sea of silver, the islands and fortresses
like huge monsters resting upon its bosom. All nature appeared at rest.
An instant, and but an instant, I gazed in wild delight upon the scene;
but as the novelty vanished, the dreadful reality of my situation became
apparent. I looked above me—the stars were trembling in the realms of
space. I looked below, and shuddered at the distance—I tried to believe
that I was in a dream—but that relief was denied me. I grew wild with
fear—I madly called for help—I screamed—I yelled in desperation. Alas!
my voice could not be heard one half the distance to earth. I called
on angels—Heaven, to assist me,—but the cold wind alone answered, as
it rushed around the steeple in its whistle of contempt. As my animal
spirits were exhausted, I became more calm. I perceived that the slender
iron upon which the weather-cock was fixed was slowly bending with the
weight of my body, already benumbed with cold. Although it was madness,
I ventured a descent. Moving with extreme caution, I clasped the spire
in my arms—I slid down inch by inch. The cold sweat poured off my brow,
and the blood curdling in my veins, rushed back in thick and suffocating
throbs upon my heart. I grasped the steeple tighter in my agony—my nails
were clenched in the wood—but in vain; slip—slip—the steeple enlarged
as I descended—my hold relaxed—the flat palms of my hands pressed the
sides, as I slid down with frightful rapidity. Could I but catch the
ledge below! I succeeded—I clutched it in my bleeding fingers—for a
moment I thought that I was safe, but I swung over the immense height
in an instant; the wind dashed me from side to side like a feather. I
strove to touch the sides of the steeple with my knees—I could not reach
it—my strength began to fail—I felt the muscles of my fingers growing
weaker. The blackness of despair came over me. My fingers slid from the
ledge—down—down I plunged—one dash upon the roof, and I was stretched
motionless upon the pavement.

A crowd collected around me. I heard them commiserating my fate. They
looked at me, and then at the steeple, as if measuring the distance from
whence I had fallen; but they offered me no assistance. They dispersed—I
slowly raised myself on my feet—all was cold and still as the grave.
Regions of ice—an immense transparent mirror, extended on every side
around me. The cold, smooth plain, was only measured by the horizon.
I found myself on skates;—I rushed along, outstripping the winds,—I
ascended mountains of ice,—I descended like a meteor—Russia, with her
frozen torrents,—Siberia with its eternal snows, were behind me,—miles
and degrees were nothing—on I rushed,—Iceland vanished,—with the speed of
a thunderbolt I passed Spitzbergen,—days, weeks expired, but still I sped
forward, without fatigue, without exhaustion. How delightfully I glided
along—no effort—no exertion—all was still, cold, and brilliant. I neared
the pole,—the explorers were slowly wending their tedious way,—they
hailed me, but I could not stop,—I was out of sight in an instant. I saw
an immense object swinging to and fro in the distance—it was the great
and mighty pendulum. As I neared it, a confused noise of voices broke
upon my ear,—mathematical terms echoed and re-echoed each other, like the
hum of a bee-hive. I was surrounded with winged chronometers, barometers
and magnets—plus, (+) minus (-) and the roots (√ √) were flying around me
in every direction, jostling each other without mercy. Great long-legged
compasses with knowing look were gravely listening to the measured tick
of prim chronometers, and groups of angles and parallelograms watched
the variations of the needle. Every instrument of science appeared
collected in solemn conclave, for great and mighty purpose,—but soon all
was hubbub and confusion. The compasses and Gunther’s scale had come to
blows. Angles and triangles, oblongs and cones, formed a ring around
them. Little cylinders and circles came rolling in from every quarter
to see the fun, and bottle-holding squares and cubes stood stoutly at
their champions’ sides, while electric jars mounted on a neighbouring
dial, in highest glee, spirited forth whole streams of snapping sparks
to incite them in the contest. The scale was down, and the compass
bestrode him in proud defiance; but the bottle-holders interfering, all
was instant uproar and confusion, and the fight soon became one common
melée. Pins flew about, and springs and wheels went whizzing through the
throng, but amid the tumult, suddenly appeared a huge electrical machine,
grinding wrathfully along, and soon the field was cleared, and nought was
seen save here and there some limping figure hobbling off in desperate
precipitation. But amid the uproar, the giant pendulum still swung
forward and backward with the noiseless motion of the incubus;—I neared
it and saw that the top of the huge rod was riveted by the pole star,
which shone with the intensity of the diamond. But—but—

I saw the ship approaching among the distant icebergs—the great lordly
icebergs,—how they rolled and roared and ground against each other in
the heavy surge!—their huge sides now shining great sheets of silver—now
glancing with the deep blue of the precious sapphire, now quivering
in the sun’s rays, with all the hues of the grass-green emerald and
blazing ruby,—ha! I saw her—I saw the gallant ship threading her way
among them, as their castellated sides towered mountain-like above her.
I made one spring—one gallant spring—and catching by her top-mast, slid
down in safety to her decks. Her sails were spread widely to the winds
and recklessly we ploughed our course onward through the icy flood;—but
now her speed diminished—now we scarcely moved. The rudder creaked
lazily from side to side, and the long pennant supinely resting on the
shrouds, languidly lifted itself as if to peer into the dark flood,
and then serpent-like, settled itself again to its repose. A sullen
distant roar began to break upon my ear,—it increased,—our before quiet
bark, hastening, rushed onwards as if ashamed of her dull reverie; but
still there was no wind—the sea was smooth and placid, but the swelling
surge was thrown forward from her bows, by the increasing velocity
with which we dashed along. The rushing noise of waters increased, and
sounded like distant thunder; the white surges showed themselves in the
distance, leaping and jumping with frightful violence. I approached
the captain;—his gloomy brow—the ghastly paleness of the crew, as with
folded arms they stood looking in the distance, alarmed me. I eagerly
asked the cause of the appearances before me,—he answered not,—he stood
immoveable as a statue:—but, in a cold unearthly voice, a scar-marked
sailor groaned, “We are food for the Maelstroom!”—Can we not, I
franticly exclaimed—oh! can we not escape? Bend every sail—ply every
oar,—“Too late—too late,” echoed again the gloomy voice—“our doom is
sealed;”—and the finger of the speaker pointed to a dark fiendish figure
at the helm, who, with a low hellish laugh, was steering for the midst.
The raging waves boiled and roared around us,—our fated ship plunged
forward—a steady resistless power sucked us in,—on we were hurried to
our frightful goal. The whale—the leviathan, swept by us—their immense
bodies were thrown almost entirely in the air,—their blood stained the
foaming brine—they roared like mad bulls. The zigzag lightning in the
black canopy above us, was reflected in fiery showers from the spray—the
crashing thunder mingled with the yells of the struggling monsters—their
efforts were vain—more power had infants in giants’ hands,—the devouring
whirlpool claimed us for its own. On we were borne in unresisting
weakness—faster and faster,—circle after circle disappeared,—we were on
the edge of the furious watery tunnel,—we were buried in its depths,—the
long arms of the loathsome polypi stretched forward to seize us in their
foul embrace—but an unseen hand raised me.

Green woods—gardens, fountains, and grottoes were around me. Beautiful
flowers—roses—hyacinths, and lilies clustering in immense beds, covered
the ground with one great gem’d and emerald carpet. The gorgeous tulip,
the amaranthus and moss rose vied with each other in fragrant rivalry,
and the modest little violet, claimed protection in the embraces of the
myrtle. Fountains poured mimic cataracts into their marble basins, or,
spouting from the mouths of sphinxes and lions, ascended in crystal
streams, irrigating with copious showers the party-coloured beds beneath.
The long vistas were shaded with the magnolia and flowering almond, while
snow-white statues watched the beautiful picture of happiness around.
Birds of variegated colour and splendid plumage were flying from tree to
tree, and it appeared as if in their sweet notes, and the fragrance of
the flowers, nature was offering up her incense to the Creator.

I was invigorated with new life—I ran from alley to alley—delicious
fruits tempted my taste—the perfumes of Arabia floated in the earthly
paradise,—music floated around,—trains of beautiful girls moved in
graceful ballets before me,—their slender forms were clad in snow-white
robes,—their girdles gemmed with diamonds—their alabaster necks twined
with wreaths of roses.—A joyous laugh burst from them, as they danced—now
in circles—now advancing—now retreating. The circle opened,—a veiled
figure was in the midst,—I approached—the fairies disappeared,—the veil
was slowly lifted,—one moment—my Cora!—we were alone,—we wandered from
bower to bower—her small white hand with electric touch, was within my
delighted grasp,—her golden ringlets mingled with my raven locks—her
dark eyes melted into mine. I fell upon my knee—a cold and grizzly
skeleton met my embrace—the groups of houris were changed into bands of
shrivelled hags;—in place of wreaths of roses, their shrivelled necks
were covered with the deadly nightshade and dark mandragora—forked adders
and serpents twined upon their long and bony arms,—I shuddered,—I was
chained in horror to the spot,—they seized me—they dragged me downward
to the dank and noisome vault.—’Twas light as day—but ’twas a strange
light—a greenish haze—sickly and poisonous as if the deadly miasma of the
fens had turned to flame. The dead men with burning lamps were sitting
on their coffins,—their chins resting upon their drawn up knees, and as
I passed along the extended rows, their eyes all turned and followed me,
as the eyes of portraits from the canvass. Ha! what cadaverous unearthly
stare met me at every turn;—I looked on all sides to avoid them, but
still, where’er I turned, the ghastly muffled faces with their blanched
lips, and deep sunken eyes livid in their sockets, surveyed me with
frightful interest,—and that fierce old hag—how she preceded me—step
by step—her finger pointing forward, while her Medusa head was turned
triumphantly over her shoulder, with its infernal leer upon my cowering
form.—Worlds would I have given to have been out from among the ghastly
crew—but a spell was on me—and I hurriedly made the circuit of the
vault, like a wild beast in his cage. But the old knight, sitting grim
and ghastly as if by constraint, in the lone corner, his long grizzly
beard flowing o’er his winding-sheet,—O! how his cold grey eye glanced
at his long two handed sword before him, as I passed, as if to clutch
it,—I plucked the old greybeard for very ire—ha! what a malignant and
discordant yell did then salute my horror-struck senses,—I gave one bound
of terror—and burst the prison door—and—and—

My noble white charger leaped clear of the earth, as he felt my
weight in the saddle,—I was at the head of an immense army—my bold
cuirassiers formed a moving mass of iron around me. The bugle sounded
the signal for engagement;—peal after peal of musketry flashed from
the dark masses,—the rattling reverberating roar rolled from right to
left,—the gaping throats of the cannon, announced in broad flashes,
the departure of their messengers upon the journey of death. On we
rushed—battalion on battalion,—we stormed the redoubt,—“Charge,” I
shouted,—“Charge the villains—men of the fifth legion—follow your
leader—hurrah—they bear back.”—I seized the standard from a fallen
soldier,—I planted it upon the blood-stained parapet—horrible
confusion!—the trenches were choked with dead—Hah! brave comrade
beware!—his bayonet is at thy shoulder—’tis buried in thy heart.—I will
revenge thee!—I dashed upon him,—we fought like tigers,—we rolled upon
the ground,—I seized my dagger—the bright steel glittered—thousands of
deep hoarse voices wildly roared—“The mine—the mine—beware—beware!”
Flash—roar—bodies—earth—rocks—horses—tumbrils,—all descending, covered

I awoke—the fender and fire-irons upset with horrid din and clatter—the
table, its lights and tea-set hurled around—and myself with might and
main striving with mighty effort to get from beneath the prostrate wreck
which in my terror I had dragged above me.—Old Neptune, aghast, howling
in consternation, from the corner, while a group of fellow-boarders, half
dead with laughter and amazement, were staring through the open door in
wonder at such unusual uproar from the lodger in quiet “No. VI.”


But hark! Old Scipio is fast asleep and snoring like Falstaff behind
the arras. Now that old negro is as assuredly dreaming of witches, or
wrecks, or pirates, or ghosts, that have been seen flitting about the
burying-grounds and country church-yards at midnight, as he sits there.
He is somewhere between eighty and one hundred, he does not exactly know
which; but as your negro keeps no family record, it is safe to allow a
lee-way of some ten years in the calculation of his nativity. Of his
genealogy though, he is quite sure, for he proves beyond a doubt, that
he is the son of Job, who was the son of Pomp, who was the son of Caleb,
who was the son of Cæsar, who was the son of Cudjoe, who was caught in
Africa. His whole life has been passed in and about the shores of Long
Island Sound, and he is not only a veritable chronicle of the military
adventures that have been enacted upon its borders in the American wars,
but his head is a complete storehouse, stuffed to overflowing with all
sorts of legendary lore, of wrecks, of pirates, of murders and fights,
and deeds unholy—of massacres, bombardments and burnings, all jumbled
up in such inexplicable confusion, history and legend, truth and
fiction, that it is almost impossible to divide the one from the other.
Sometimes in the cold winter nights, when the storm is howling, as it
does now, I put him upon the track, and upon my word, the influence of
his gossip told in drowsy under tone is such, that I find it a matter of
serious question, whether the most monstrous things in the way of the
supernatural, are by any means matter of wonderment; and fully concede,
that men may have been seen walking about with their heads under their
arms, vanishing in smoke upon being addressed—that old fishermen have
sculled about the creeks and bays in their coffins, after they were dead
and buried—that gibbets are of necessity surrounded by ghosts, and that
prophecies and predictions, and witchcraft are, and must be true as holy

Indeed, with all the sad realities of life about me, I find it refreshing
to have my soul let loose occasionally, to wander forth, to frolic and
gambol, and stare, without any conventional rule, or let, or hindrance
to restrain it. In how many adventures has that good old negro, quietly
sleeping in the corner, been my guide and pilot. In our shooting, and
fishing and sailing excursions, the shores of the Sound became as
familiar to us as our own firesides, and the dark black rocks, with their
round and kelp covered sides as the faces of old friends and acquaintance.

At a little village upon its western borders I passed my school-boy
days, and there it was that the old negro, formerly a slave, but long
liberated and in part supported by my family, had his hut. There it was
that under his influence I thoroughly contracted the love of adventure
which, in the retrospect still throws a sort of world of my own around
me. All sport, whether in winter or summer, night or day, rain or shine,
was alike to me the same, and sooth to say, if sundry floorings, for
truant days had been administered to Old Scip instead of me, the scale
of justice had not unduly preponderated; for his boats, and rods, and
nets, to say nothing of his musket which had belonged to a Hessian, and
the long bell-mouthed French fusee were always sedulously and invitingly
placed at my control. The old negro was sure to meet me as I bounded
from the school-room with advice of how the tides would serve, and how
the game would lie, and his words winding up his information in a low
confidential under-tone still ring upon my ear, “P’rhaps young massa like
to go wid old nigger.”

His snug little hut down at the Creek side was covered and patched and
thatched with all the experiments of years to add to its warmth and
comfort. Its gables and chimney surmounted with little weather-cocks
and windmills spinning most furiously at every whiff of wind, its sides
covered with muskrat and loon skins nailed up to dry, and fishing rods
and spears of all sizes and dimensions piled against them, the ducks
and geese paddling about the threshold and his great fat hog grunting in
loving proximity to the door way, while its interior was garnished with
pots and kettles, and other culinary utensils; the trusty old musket
hanging on its hooks above the chimney place; the fish nets and bird
decoys lying in the corners, and the white-washed walls garnished and
covered with pictures, and coloured prints of the most negro taste indigo
and scarlet,—naval fights—men hanging on gibbets,—monstrous apparitions
which had been seen—lamentable ballads, and old Satan himself in
veritable semblance, tail, horns and claws, precisely as he had appeared
in the year Anno Domini, 1763; and under the little square mahogany
framed fly specked looking-glass, his Satanic Majesty again in full
scarlet uniform as British Colonel with a party of ladies and gentlemen
playing cards, his tail quietly curled around one of the legs of his arm
chair, and the horse hoof ill disguised by the great rose upon his shoe.
But Scip’ was safe against all such diabolic influence, for he had the
charmed horse shoe firmly nailed over the entrance of his door.

Oh! how often have I silently climbed out of my window and stealthily
crept down the ladder which passed it, long and long before the dawn,
with my fowling piece upon my shoulder, and by the fitful moonlight
wended, half scared, my way through the rustic roads and lanes, leaping
the fences, saturated to the middle with the night-dew from the long
wet grass, the stars twinkling in the heavens, as the wild scudding
clouds passed o’er them, and nothing to break the perfect stillness. How
often at such times have I stopped and stared at some suspicious object
looming up before me, till, mustering courage, I have cocked my piece and
advancing at a trail, discovered in the object of my terror, a dozing
horse, or patient ox, or cow quietly ruminating at the road side.

How often have I sprung suddenly aside, my hair standing on end, as a
stealthy fox or prowling dog rushed by me into the bushes, and felt
my blood tingle to my very fingers’ ends, as some bird of prey raised
himself with an uneasy scream and settled again upon the tree tops, as I
passed beneath. How I used to screw my courage up, as with long strides
and studiously averted eyes, I hurried past the dreaded grave yard; and
as I came upon the borders of the winding creek, and walked splashing
through its ponds and shallows, how would I crouch and scan through the
dim light to catch a glimpse of some stray flock of ducks or teal, that
might be feeding upon its sedges. How would I bend and stoop as I saw
them delightfully huddled in a cluster, till getting near I would find an
envious bend of long distance to be measured before I could get a shot.
How patiently would I creep along—and stop—and crouch—and stop, till
getting near, and nearer—a sudden slump into some unseen bog or ditch
would be followed by a quick “quack”—“quack”—and off they’d go—far out
of reach of shot or call. But all would be forgotten when I reached the
old Negro’s hut. There a hot corn cake and broiled fish or bird, was
always on the coals to stay my appetite—and then off we’d sally to the
Bar to lie in wait for the wild fowl as they came over it at day break.
The snipe in little clouds would start up with their sharp “pewhit”
before us, as we measured the broad hard flats left damp and smooth
by the receding tide; the Kildare with querulous cry would wing away
his flight, and the great gaunt cranes, looming, spectre-like, in the
moonlight, sluggishly stalking onwards, would clumsily lift their long
legs in silence as we advanced, and fan themselves a little farther from
our proximity.

Arriving, we would lay ourselves down, and on the stones await the
breaking of the dawn, when the wild-fowl feeding within the bay arise
and fly to the south-ward over it. Dark objects, one after another,
would glide by us, and in silence take their places along the bar, bent
on the same sport that we were awaiting, and nothing would break the
stillness save the gentle wash and ripple of the waves upon the sands,
or the uneasy and discordant cry of the oldwives, feeding on the long
sedge within the wide-extended bay. The stars would ere long begin to
fade, the east grow grey, then streaked with light, and every sportsman’s
piece be cocked with eager expectation. A flash—a puff of smoke at the
extreme end, showed that a flock had risen, and simultaneously birds
would be seen tumbling headlong. As the astonished flock glanced along
the bar—flash—flash—puff—bang, would meet them, their numbers thinning
at each discharge, till passing along the whole line of sportsmen,
they would be almost annihilated; or wildly dashing through some wider
interval in the chain of gunners, they would cross the bar and escape
in safety. Then as the light increased followed the excitement; the
birds getting up in dense flocks, all bent in one direction, a complete
feu-de-joie saluted them—flash—flash—flash—the reports creeping slowly
after, the wild-fowl tumbling headlong, some into the water, and some
upon the sportsmen; while here a gunner, dropping his piece, might be
seen rushing in up to his neck recklessly after his victim, and there
some staunch dog’s nose just above the surface, unweariedly pursuing the
wing-broken sufferer, which still fluttered forward at his near approach.
Ah, ha! that—that was sport. Hundreds of wild-fowl, from the little
graceful teal to the great fishy loon and red-head brant, were the fruits
of the morning’s adventure. And what a contrast the sparkling eyes and
glowing faces of the elated sportsmen to the city’s pale and care-worn
countenances. They were a true democracy, white man, and black, and
half-breed, the squire and the ploughman, all met in like equality.

Among the sportsmen on the bar at the season that I have just described,
there was always found a tall, gaunt, and extremely taciturn old Indian,
who passed among the people by the name of “Pequot.” His hut was about a
mile beyond Scipio’s, on the same creek, and like him, he obtained his
support mainly by the fruits of his hunting and fishing. Now and then, in
the harvest, or when the game was scarce, he would assist the farmers in
their lighter work, receiving, with neither thanks nor stipulation, such
recompense as they saw fit to make; and sometimes, in the cold depths
of winter, he would appear, and silently sitting at their firesides,
receive, as a sort of right, his trencher at their tables. He was so kind
in his assistance, and so inoffensive to all around him, that he was
always sure of welcome. But there was a marked feature in his character,
and one most unusual to the Indian’s nature, which was his dislike,
almost to loathing, of ardent spirits. He was a great deal at Scipio’s
hut, and I was strongly struck (boy as I was) with the harmony which
subsisted between two characters so apparently dissimilar—the sullen,
almost haughty Indian, and the light-hearted, laughter-loving negro; but
there was a sort of common sympathy—of oppression, I suppose—between
them, for they always assisted one another; and sometimes I have known
them gone for days together in their fishing expeditions on the Sound.
All the information that Scipio could give me about him, was that he had
been the same ever since he had known him, that he was supposed to have
come in from some of the Western tribes, and that from his haunting a
great deal about a neighbouring swamp, where the gallant tribe of Pequots
had, long years before, been massacred by fire and sword, the people
had given him the name of Pequot. Whatever he was, he was a noble old
Indian; the poetry of the character was left, while contact with the
whites, and the kind teachings of the Moravians had hewn away the sterner
features of the savage. I remember that I used to look at him, with all a
boy’s enthusiasm, admiring him with a mingled sense of sympathy and awe.
Even old Scip showed him habitual deference, for there was a melancholy
dignity about him; and his words, short and sententious, were delivered
with scrupulous exactness. I recollect once being completely taken aback
by the display of a sudden burst of feeling, which completely let me into
his ideal claims and imaginary pretensions.

There was a good-natured old Indian, by the name of Pamanack, belonging
to one of the tribes which still clung to Long Island, in the vicinity of
Montaukett, who occasionally made his appearance off old Scip’s hut, in
the Sound, in his periogue, accompanied by some half dozen long-legged,
straight-haired, copper-coloured youths, his descendants. They every now
and then came cruising along the various fishing-grounds, and always,
when in the vicinity of Scip, the old Indian would pay him a visit,
and receive a return for the hospitality paid to the black man, when,
in his similar excursions, he got as far eastward as Montaukett. On the
particular occasion to which I have alluded, old Pamanack had drank more
than was good for him, when the Pequot presented himself silently at the
door of Scipio’s hut, and leaning upon his long ducking-gun, looked in
upon the group. After a few words of recognition passed between them,
Pamanack held out his black bottle, and invited the visiter to drink.
Pequot drew himself up to his extreme height, and for a moment there was
a mingled expression of loathing, abhorrence, and ferocity, flashing
from his countenance that showed that his whole Indian’s nature was
in a blaze; but it was only momentary, for in another, the expression
vanished from his countenance, the habitual melancholy resumed its place
upon his features, and the words fell slowly, almost musically, from his
lips:—“The fire water—the fire water—ay, the same—the Indian and his
deadly enemy.” Then looking steadily at Pamanack, as he held the bottle
still towards him:—“Pequot will not drink. Why should Pamanack swallow
the white man’s poison, and with his own hands dig his grave?

“Pamanack is not alone! His squaw watches at the door of his wigwam,
as she looks out upon the long waves of the ocean tumbling in upon the
shores of Montaukett. His young men gather about him and catch the
tautug from its huge beetling rocks, and tread out the quahog from
its muddy bed. His old men still linger on the sandy beach, and their
scalp-locks float wildly in the fresh sea-breeze. Pamanack has yet a
home:—but Pequot—he is the last of his race. He stands on the high hills
of Tashaway, and he sees no smoke but that from the wigwams of the Long
Knives. He moves in silence along the plains of Pequonnuck,—but the
fences of the pale faces obstruct his progress. His canoe dances at the
side of the dripping rocks,—but the cheating white men paddle up to his
side. His feet sink in the ploughed field,—but it is not the corn of the
red man. His squaw has rolled her last log, and lies cold in her blanket.
His young men,—the fire water and fire dust have consumed them. Pequot
looks around for his people—where are they? The black snake and muskrat
shoot through the water as his moccasin treads the swamp, where their
bones lie, deep covered from the hate of their enemies. Pequot is the
last of his race! Pamanack is good, but the heart of Pequot is heavy.
He cannot drink the fire water, for his young men have sunk from its
deadly poison, as the mist-wreath in the midday sun. The good Moravians
have told him that it is bad—and Pequot will drink no more—for his race
is nearly run. Pequot will sit on the high rocks of Sasco, and his robe
shall fall from his shoulders as his broad chest waits the death-arrow
of the Great Spirit. There will he sit and smoke in silence as he looks
down upon the deserted hunting-grounds of his fathers. Pequot’s heart is
heavy,—Pequot will not drink.” As he finished the last words, he abruptly
turned, and was soon far distant on the sands, moving towards the high
hill of which he had spoken. The Great Spirit was kind to him, for a few
years after he was found stark and stiff, frozen to death on the very
rocks to which he had alluded. As for old Pamanack, he did not appear to
hold the fire water in such utter abhorrence; for, taking a long swig at
the bottle, his eye following the retiring form of the Pequot, he slowly
muttered, “Nigger drink—white man drink—why no Indian drink too?”

But the Sound! the Sound! Oh! how many delightful reminiscences does the
name bring to my recollection. The Sound! with its white sand banks,
and its wooded shores—its far broad bosom, covered with fleets of sails
scudding along in the swift breeze in the open day, and its dark waves
rolling and sweeping in whole streams of phosphorescent fire from their
plunging bows as they dash through it in the darkness of midnight.
The Sound! redolent with military story. The Sound! overflowing with
supernatural legend and antiquated history. Oh! reader, if you had been
cruising along its shores from infancy, as I have, if you had grown up
among its legends, and luxuriated in its wild associations,—if you had
spent whole days on its broad sand beaches, watching the gulls as they
sailed above you, or the snipe as they ran along on the smooth hard
flats,—if you had lain on the white frozen snows on its shore in the
still nights of mid-winter, your gun by your side, gazing till your soul
was lost in the blue spangled vault, as it hung in serene and tranquil
grandeur above you, your mind, in unconscious adoration, breathing whole
volumes of gratitude and admiration to the great God that gave you
faculties to enjoy its sublimity; and in the stillness, unbroken save by
the cry of the loon as he raised himself from the smooth water, seen in
every sail moving in silence between you and the horizon the “Phantom
Ship,” or some daring bucaneer, and in every distant splash heard a deed
of darkness and mystery, then could you enter into my feelings.

Oh! to me its black rocks and promontories, and islands, are as familiar
as the faces of a family. Are there not the “Brothers,” unnatural that
they are, who, living centuries together, never to one another have
as yet spoken a kindly word,—and the great savage “Executioners,” and
“Throgs,” and “Sands,” and “Etons,” all throwing hospitable lights from
their high beacon towers, far forward, to guide the wandering mariner;
and the “Devil’s Stepping-stones,” o’er which he bounded when driven
from Connecticut; and the great rocks too, inside of Flushing bay on
which he descended, shivering them from top to bottom as he fell. And
are there not the “Norwalk Islands,” with their pines—“Old Sasco,”
with her rocks,—“Fairweather,” with the wild bird’s eggs deep buried
in her sands,—and the far-famed fishing-banks off the “Middle ground.”
Ay! and is it not from the fierce boiling whirlpools of the “Gate” “to
Gardiners,” and the lone beacon tower of “Old Montaukett,” one continuous
ground of thrilling lore and bold adventure. In her waters the “Fire
ship” glared amid the darkness, her phantom crew, like red hot statues,
standing at their quarters, as rushing onwards, in the furious storm,
she passed the shuddering mariner, leaving, comet like, long streams of
flame behind. Beneath her sands the red-shirted bucaneers did hide their
ill-gotten, blood-bespotted treasure. Ay! and ’twas on her broad bosom
that, with iron-seared conscience sailed that pirate, fierce and bold,
old Robert Kidd; and to this very day his golden hoards, with magic mark
and sign, still crowd her wooded shores.

Hah! ha! how, were he waking, old Scipio’s eyes would upward roll
their whites, if he did but hear that name so dread and grim. If, from
very eagerness, he could utter forth his words, he would give whole
chapters—ay—one from his own family history—for Kidd’s men caught old
Cudjoe, his great ancestor, clamming on the beach off Sasco, and without
more ado carried him aboard. As the old negro was sulky, they tumbled
his well-filled basket into the galley’s tank, and incontinently were
about to run him up to dangle at their long yard-arm, when Kidd, who
was taking his morning “drink of tobacco” on his poop, roared out,
in voice of thunder, “Ho! Scroggs—boatswain—dost hang a black-a-moor
at my yard-arm, where so many gentlemen have danced on nothing?—In
the foul devil’s name, scuttle the goggled-eyed fiend to the sharks
overboard,”—and overboard he went, but diving like a duck, he escaped
their firelocks’ quick discharge, and reached the shore in safety.

Ay! and his deep buried treasures! Where went the gold dust from the
coast of Guinea?—the gems from Madagascar?—where the dollars and
doubloons pirated from the Spanish galleons?—the broken plate and
crucifixes from the shores of Panama?—and where the good yellow gold,
stamped with the visage of his most gracious majesty?—where! where, but
on the haunted borders of this very Sound. Why, the very school-boys,
playing in the woods upon its shores, know when the earth doth hollow
sound beneath their feet, that Kidd’s treasure’s buried there. Do they
disturb it? No—not they—they know too well the fierce and restless spirit
that guards the iron pot. Didst ever hear the brave old ballad—“_As
he sail’d, as he sail’d?_” It’s a glorious old ballad—it’s a true old
ballad—and a time-honoured old ballad—it gives his veritable history. It
has been printed in black letter, and sung time out of mind. It has been
chanted by the old tars in sultry calms of the tropics, and the greasy
whalers have kept time to it over their trying kettles on the smooth
Pacific. It has been sung amid the icebergs of Greenland, and heard on
the coast of New Holland; the spicy breezes of Ceylon have borne it among
the sleeping tigers in their jungles, and the Hottentots have pulled
tighter their breech-cloths as they have listened to its tones. The
Chinese, and the Turks, and the Dutchmen, and the Danes, and every thing
human within the smell of salt water, have heard it,—ay! and that too in
the rich manly tones of the English and American sailors. Ho! Scip!—wake
from out thy corner, and give us the old ballad. Shades of red-capped
bucaneers!—fierce negro slavers!—spirits of the gallant men who fought
the British on her shores!—desperate old Kidd in person!—we conjure
you—we conjure you—arise and hover around us, whilst we chaunt the lay.
Ho! Scipio!—the old ballad, as it stood smoke-blacked, and grimed upon
thy cabin’s walls—ay! that is it—and in tones which chimed well in unison
with the dreary storm and howling blast without.


[Sidenote: He calleth upon the captains:]

    You captains bold and brave, hear our cries, hear our cries,
      You captains bold and brave, hear our cries,
    You captains brave and bold, tho’ you seem uncontroll’d,
      Don’t for the sake of gold lose your souls, lose your souls,
              Don’t for the sake of gold lose your souls.

[Sidenote: He stateth his name and acknowledgeth his wickedness:]

    My name was Robert Kidd, when I sail’d, when I sail’d,
      My name was Robert Kidd, when I sail’d,
    My name was Robert Kidd, God’s laws I did forbid,
      And so wickedly I did, when I sail’d.

[Sidenote: He beareth witness to the good counsel of his parents:]

    My parents taught me well, when I sail’d, when I sail’d,
      My parents taught me well, when I sail’d,
    My parents taught me well to shun the gates of hell,
      But against them I rebell’d when I sail’d.

[Sidenote: He curseth his father and his mother dear:]

    I cursed my father dear, when I sail’d, when I sail’d,
      I cursed my father dear, when I sail’d,
    I cursed my father dear and her that did me bear,
      And so wickedly did swear, when I sail’d.

[Sidenote: And blasphemeth against God:]

    I made a solemn vow when I sail’d, when I sail’d,
      I made a solemn vow when I sail’d,
    I made a solemn vow, to God I would not bow,
      Nor myself one prayer allow, as I sail’d.

[Sidenote: He burieth the Good Book in sand:]

    I’d a Bible in my hand when I sail’d, when I sail’d,
      I’d a Bible in my hand when I sail’d,
    I’d a Bible in my hand by my father’s great command,
      And I sunk it in the sand, when I sail’d.

[Sidenote: And murdereth William Moore:]

    I murdered William Moore, as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      I murdered William Moore, as I sail’d,
    I murdered William Moore, and left him in his gore,
      Not many leagues from shore as I sail’d.

[Sidenote: And also cruelly killeth the gunner.]

    And being cruel still, as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      And being cruel still, as I sail’d,
    And being cruel still, my gunner I did kill,
      And his precious blood did spill, as I sail’d.

[Sidenote: His mate, being about to die, repenteth and warneth him in his

    My mate was sick and died as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      My mate was sick and died as I sail’d,
    My mate was sick and died, which me much terrified,
      When he called me to his bedside as I sail’d.

    And unto me he did say, see me die, see me die,
      And unto me did say see me die,
    And unto me did say, take warning now by me,
      There comes a reckoning day, you must die.

    You cannot then withstand, when you die, when you die,
      You cannot then withstand when you die,
    You cannot then withstand the judgments of God’s hand,
      But bound then in iron bands, you must die.

[Sidenote: He falleth sick, and promiseth repentance, but forgetteth his

    I was sick and nigh to death, as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      I was sick and nigh to death as I sail’d,
    And I was sick and nigh to death, and I vowed at every breath
      To walk in wisdom’s ways as I sail’d.

    I thought I was undone as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      I thought I was undone as I sail’d,
    I thought I was undone and my wicked glass had run,
      But health did soon return as I sail’d.

    My repentance lasted not, as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      My repentance lasted not, as I sail’d,
    My repentance lasted not, my vows I soon forgot,
      Damnation’s my just lot, as I sail’d.

[Sidenote: He steereth thro’ _Long Island_ and other Sounds.]

    I steer’d from Sound to Sound, as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      I steer’d from Sound to Sound, as I sail’d,
    I steer’d from Sound to Sound, and many ships I found
      And most of them I burn’d as I sail’d.

[Sidenote: He chaseth three ships of France.]

    I spy’d three ships from France, as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      I spy’d three ships from France, as I sail’d,
    I spy’d three ships from France, to them I did advance,
      And took them all by chance, as I sail’d.

[Sidenote: And also three ships of Spain.]

    I spy’d three ships of Spain, as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      I spy’d three ships of Spain as I sail’d,
    I spy’d three ships of Spain, I fired on them amain,
      Till most of them were slain, as I sail’d.

[Sidenote: He boasteth of his treasure.]

    I’d ninety bars of gold, as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      I’d ninety bars of gold, as I sail’d,
    I’d ninety bars of gold, and dollars manifold,
      With riches uncontroll’d, as I sail’d.

[Sidenote: He spyeth fourteen ships in pursuit, and surrendereth.]

    Then fourteen ships I saw, as I sail’d, as I sail’d,
      Then fourteen ships I saw as I sail’d,
    Then fourteen ships I saw and brave men they are,
      Ah! they were too much for me as I sail’d.

    Thus being o’ertaken at last, I must die, I must die,
      Thus being o’ertaken at last, I must die,
    Thus being o’ertaken at last, and into prison cast,
      And sentence being pass’d, I must die.

[Sidenote: He biddeth farewell to the seas, and the raging main.]

    Farewell the raging sea, I must die, I must die,
      Farewell the raging main, I must die,
    Farewell the raging main, to Turkey, France, and Spain,
      I ne’er shall see you again, I must die.

[Sidenote: He exhorteth the young and old to take counsel from his fate:]

    To Newgate now I’m cast, and must die, and must die,
      To Newgate now I’m cast, and must die,
    To Newgate I am cast, with a sad and heavy heart,
      To receive my just desert, I must die.

    To Execution Dock I must go, I must go,
      To Execution Dock I must go,
    To Execution Dock will many thousands flock,
      But I must bear the shock, I must die.

    Come all you young and old, see me die, see me die,
      Come all young and old, see me die,
    Come all you young and old, you’re welcome to my gold,
      For by it I’ve lost my soul, and must die.

[Sidenote: And declareth that he must go to hell, and be punished for his

    Take warning now by me, for I must die, for I must die,
      Take warning now by me, for I must die,
    Take warning now by me, and shun bad company,
      Lest you come to hell with me, for I must die,
      Lest you come to hell with me, for I must die.


    [To the untiring exertions of Major D. B. Douglass, Messrs.
    Joseph A. Perry, Henry E. Pierrepont, Gerrit G. Van Wagenen,
    and a few other liberal minded gentlemen, the public are
    indebted for the design and completion of this beautiful place
    of repose for the dead. It is anticipated that ten miles of
    avenue will be completed during the coming summer, and when the
    whole is laid out, according to the proposed plan, that there
    will be fifteen miles of picturesque road within its precincts.
    Part of the battle of Long Island in the Revolution was fought
    upon its grounds, and it is intended at no distant day, to
    remove the remains of those that perished in the Prison Ships
    to the Cemetery, where they will sleep undisturbed beneath an
    appropriate monument. The views from Mount Washington, and
    other eminences, within its precincts, embrace the entire
    bay and harbour of New-York, with their islands and forts:
    the cities of New-York and Brooklyn; the shores of the North
    and East Rivers; New-Jersey, Staten Island, the Quarantine;
    unnumbered towns and villages sprinkled over the wide expanse
    of the surrounding country, and the margin of the broad
    Atlantic, from Sandy Hook, to a distance far beyond the
    Rockaway Pavilion. The fine old forest which covers the greater
    part of the grounds, shrouding and almost concealing from
    sight, several beautiful lakes and sheets of water suggested
    the name, with which it has been consecrated, the Green-Wood

WHERE, THEN, IS DEATH!—and my own voice startled me from my reverie
as, leaning on my saddle-bow on the summit of Mount Washington in the
Greenwood Cemetery, I asked—_Where, then, is death!_ The golden sun of a
delicious summer’s afternoon was streaming o’er the undulating hills of
Staten Island lighting more brilliantly the snow-white villas and emerald
lawns:—the Lazaretto—its fleet gay with the flags of all the nations, was
nestling like a fairy city at its feet:—the noble bay before me was one
great polished mirror—motionless vessels with white sails and drooping
pennants, resting on its surface, like souls upon the ocean of Eternity,
and every thing around was bright and still and beautiful as I asked
myself the question—_Where, then, is death!_

The islands with their military works lay calm and motionless upon
the waters—the grim artillery, like sleeping tigers crouched upon the
ramparts and the castle’s walls—but the glistening of the sentry’s
polished musket, and the sudden clamorous roll of drums showed me,
that—_not there was death_.

I turned.—The great fierce city extending as far as eye could reach—the
sky fretted with her turrets and her spires—her thousand smokes rising
and mingling with the o’erhanging-clouds;—as she rose above her bed of
waters, with hoarse continuous roar, cried to me—“_Look not here, not
here—for death!_” Her sister city, with her towers and cupolas—her grassy
esplanades surmounted with verdant trees and far extending colonnades
embowered in shrubbery,—from her high terraced walls, re-echoed the
hollow roar—“_Not here for death!_”

The island lay extended far before me—its farms and towns—its modest
spires—its granaries—its verdant meadows—its rich cultivated fields—its
woods—its lawns—all wrapped in silence, but still its whisper softly
reached me—“_Not here—not here—is death!_”—E’en the great distant
ocean, closed only from my view by the far-reaching horizon, in sullen
continuous murmurs moaned—“_Not here is death!_”

Where, then, I cried—_where, then, is death?_ I looked above me, and the
blue vault hung pure and motionless—light fleecy clouds like angels on
their journeys, alone resting on its cerulean tint,—around, the evening
breeze played calm and gently,—and beneath the flowers and leaves were
quivering with delight, while the incessant hum of insect life, arising
from the earth with ceaseless voice, still cried—“_No—no—not here is

Ah! said I, this beautiful world shall be forever, and there is—there
is no death—but even as I spoke, a warning voice struck with deep
solemnity upon my startled ear,—“Man that is born of woman, hath but a
short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down
like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in
one stay.”—And as I turned, the funeral procession—its minister and its
mourners passed onward in their journey with the silent dead.

I looked after the retiring group, and again from beyond the coppice
which intervened, heard rising in the same deep solemn tones,—“Write,
from henceforth, blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; even so saith
the spirit, for they rest from their labours,”—and my soul cowered within
itself like a guilty thing, as it said—Amen.

I looked again upon the scene before me and sighed,—e’en such is human
reason. That gorgeous sun shall set—the gay villas and verdant lawns,—the
crowded shipping,—the beautiful bay with all that rest upon its bosom,
shall soon be wrapt in darkness,—the gleaming watch-light disappear from
yon tall battlement, as the bugle sounds its warning note,—the great
fierce city be stilled in silence, while the beating hearts within her
midnight shroud, like seconds, answer her tolling bells upon the dial of
eternity,—and the insect myriads—the flowers and leaves—ay!—the great
heavens themselves, shall from the darkness cry—“_This is the portraiture
of death!_”—for the darkness and the silence are all that man can realize
of death.

The hardy Northman with trembling finger points to the mouldering frame
work of humanity, and shudders as he cries—“_Lo! there is death!_”—and
the polished Greek smiles delightedly on the faultless statue of
the lovely woman with the infant sleeping on her breast, as he also
cries—“_Lo! there is death!_”—yet both alike with reverence do lay their
final offering before his gloomy shrine.—The squalid Esquimaux scoops
out the cavern in the never melting snows, for the frozen form whose
conflicts with the grizzly bear and shuddering cold are done—and the
mild Hindoo, with affection, feeds the funeral pyre, and as the fragrant
column does arise, cries—“Soul of my brother—immortal soul, ascend!”—The
red man, in the far distant prairie’s lonely wilds, pillows the head of
the warrior-chief upon his slain desert steed within its mound, while the
bronzed pioneer, throwing aside his axe and rifle, hastily dashes away
the tear as he inhumes beneath its flowery bed his scar-marked comrade’s

The secluded village hamlet, with pious care, within the quiet grove,
encloses a resting-place for its silent few, disappearing at long
intervals;—and here those great living cities have chosen this silent
city for their dead, falling like the forest leaves in autumn.

For the great army, who must ere long, march forth to ground their arms
before the grim and ghastly Conqueror, ’twere difficult to find more
beautiful and lovely resting place. E’en the sad mourner lingers as
he beholds its broad and lovely lawns, stretched out in calm serenity
before him;—its sylvan waters in their glassy stillness; its antique
elms, arching with extended branches the long secluded lanes; its deep
romantic glens; its rolling mounds, and all its varied scenery, ere with
a softened sadness he turns him to his desolate and melancholy home. Oh!
spirits of our departed ones! We know that you have gone forth from your
human habitations, and that we shall behold your loved forms no more
forever. Oh! therefore will we lay your deserted temples within this
consecrated ground, and, in imagination, fondly see you sleeping still in
tranquillity beneath its green and silent sward.

But lo! where upon the broad and verdant lawn, the loose clods and dark
black mould heaped carelessly aside, the narrow pit awaits, ere it
close again from light, its tenant in his dark and narrow house. The
sorrowing group collect around, and the pall slowly drawn aside, one
moment more exhibits to the loved ones, the pallid countenance of him
about to be hidden from their sight forever. The weeping widow, in her
dark habiliments, leans upon the arm of the stern, sad brother, her
little ones clinging to her raiment in mingled awe and admiration of
the scene before them. “Ashes to ashes”—how she writhes in anguish, as
the heavy clods fall with hollow unpitying jar upon the coffin lid—how
like a lifeless thing she hangs upon the supporting arm in which her
countenance is buried in agony unutterable; and see the little ones,
their faces streaming with wondering tears, clasping her hands; how in
happy ignorance, they innocently, with fond endearing names, still call
upon him to arise.

But the narrow grave is filled—the mourning group have gone—the
evening shadows fall—the declining sun sinks beneath his gorgeous
bed in the horizon, and in the thickening twilight, the dead lies in
his mound—alone. The night advances—the stars arise, and the joyous
constellations roll high onward in their majestic journeys in the
o’erhanging heavens—but beneath—the tenant of the fresh filled grave,
lies motionless and still. The morning sun appears, the dew, like
diamonds, glitters on every leaf and blade of grass—the birds joyously
carol, and the merry lark, upon the very mound itself, sends forth his
cheerful note—but all is hushed, in silence, to the tenant who in his
unbroken slumber sleeps within. The Autumn comes, and the falling leaves
whirl withered from the tree tops, and rustle in the wind—the Winter,
and the smooth broad plain lies covered with its pure and spotless cloak
of driven snow, and the lowly mound is hid from sight, and shows not, in
the broad midday sun, nor e’en at midnight, when the silver moon sailing
onwards in her chaste journey turns the icicles into glittering gems,
on the o’erhanging branches as they bend protectingly towards it. The
Spring breathes warmly, and the little mound lies green again—and now
the mother bending o’er it, lifts the rose and twines the myrtle, while
the little ones in joyous glee from the surrounding meadows, bring the
wild flowers and scatter them in unison upon its borders. Oh! then!—were
consciousness within—then would the glad tenant smile.

But let him, whose tears as yet fall not for any dear one beneath its
sod, ascend again with me the Mount, and with retrospective gaze behold
the living drama, which has passed before it. The great world around—the
stage—lies still the same; but the actors, all—all have passed onwards to
their final rest. Into the still gleaming past bend your attentive gaze.
Lo, the features of the scenery are still the same—the bay’s unruffled
bosom, and the islands; but no sail now floats upon its surface, no
gilded spires in the distance loom, nor does the busy hum of man reach
us, as listening we stand—nought we see but the far forest covering
the main and islands, even to the waters. The coward wolf howls in yon
distant glen—the partridge drums upon the tree tops—and the graceful deer
e’en at our sides browses in conscious safety. Yon light dot moving upon
the water?—’tis the painted Indian paddling his canoe. Yon smoke curling
on the shore beneath us?—it is the Indian’s wigwam—The joyous laugh
arising among the trees? It is his squaw and black-eyed children—the
Indian reigns the lord—reigns free and uncontrolled.

But look again upon the waters floats a huge and clumsy galliot—its
gay and gaudy streamers flaunting in the breeze; how the poor savages
congregated on yonder point, gaze in wonder as it passes—’tis the Great
Spirit, and the quaint figure with the plumed hat, and scarlet hose
glistening with countless buttons, on its poop—some demi-god!—and as she
onward moves, behold the weather-worn seamen’s faces in her rigging, how
anxiously they return the gaze.—The forest children muster courage—they
follow in their light canoes.—The galliot nears the Manahattoes—they
ascend her sides—hawks, bells and rings, and beads, and the hot strong
drink are theirs;—their land—it is the white man’s.—See with what
confidence he ensconces himself upon the island’s borders—in his grasp,
he has the fish—the furs—the game—the poor confiding Indian gives him
all—and—behold the embryo city’s fixed!

But see!—Is that the Dutch boor’s cabin at our feet?—Is that the
Indian seated on the threshold, while the Dutchman lolls lazily
within!—Where—where then is the Indian’s wigwam?—gone!

Look up again—a stately fleet moves o’er the bay, in line of battle
drawn; the military music loudly sounds—dark cannon frown from within
the gaping ports, and crews with lighted matches stand prepared—they
near the Manahattoes, and—and—the Orange flag descends—the Dragon and
St. George floats from the flag-staff o’er the little town. Who is the
fair-haired man that drinks with the Dutchman at his cottage door, while
the poor Indian stands submissively aside?—“It is the Briton.”—I hear
the laugh of youth—sure ’tis the Indian’s black eyed brood?—“’Tis the
Englishman’s yellow haired, blue eyed children.”—Alas! alas! poor forest
wanderer—nor squaw—nor child—nor wigwam, shall here be more for thee.

The little town swells to a goodly city—the forests fall around—the
farms stretch out their borders—wains creak and groan with harvest
wealth—lordly shipping floats on the rivers—the fair haired race
increase—roads mark the country—and the deer and game, scared, fly the
haunts of men.—Hah!—the same flag floats not at the Manahattoes!—now,
’tis Stars and Stripes—See!—crowding across the river men in dark
masses—cannon—muniments of war—in boats—on rafts—in desperate haste.
Trenches and ramparts creep like serpents on the earth—horsemen scour the
country—divisions—regiments—take position, and stalwart yeomen hurrying
forward, join in the ranks of Liberty!—Hear! hear the wild confusion—the
jar of wheels—the harsh shrill shriek of trumpets and the incessant roll
of drums—the rattling musketry—the sudden blaze and boom of cannon—it
is the roar of battle—it is the battle field!—Hear! hear the distant
cry—“St. George and merry England.”—“Our Country and Liberty.”—Ah! o’er
this very ground, the conflict passes—See! the vengeful Briton prostrate
falls beneath the deadly rifle—while the yeomen masses fade beneath the
howling cannon shot—and hark! how from amid the sulphurous cloud the
wild “hurrah” drowns e’en the dread artillery.

The smoke clouds lazily creep from off the surface—the battle’s o’er and
the red-cross banner floats again upon the island of Manahattoes.—And now
again—the Stripes and Stars stream gently in the breeze.

The past is gone—the future stands before us. Ay! here upon this very
spot, once rife with death, yonder cities shall lay their slain for
centuries to come—their slain, falling in the awful contest with the
stern warrior, against whom human strength is nought, and human conflict
vain. Years shall sweep on in steady tide, and these broad fields be
whitened with countless sepulchres—the mounds, covered with graves where
affection still shall plant the flower and trail the vine—in the deep
valleys, and romantic glens to receive their ne’er returning tenants; the
sculptured vaults still shall roll ope their marble fronts—beneath the
massive pyramid’s firm-fixed base, the Martyrs of the Prisons find their
final resting-place—and on this spot the stately column shooting high in
air, to future generations tell, the bloody story of yon battle-field.

All here shall rest;—the old man—his silver hairs in quiet, and the
wailing babe in sweet repose—the strong from fierce conflict with fiery
disease, and bowing submissively, the poor pallid invalid—the old—the
young—the strong—the beautiful—all—here shall rest in deep and motionless

Oh! Being!—Infinite and Glorious—UNSEEN—shrouded from our vision in
the vast and awful mists of immeasurable Eternity—CREATOR—throned in
splendour inconceivable, mid millions and countless myriads of worlds,
which still rushing into being at thy thought, course their majestic
circles, chiming in obedient grandeur glorious hymns of praise—God
of Wisdom,—thou that hast caused the ethereal spark to momentarily
light frail tenements of clay,—grant, that in the terrors of the awful
Judgment, they may meet the splendours of the opening heavens with
steadfast gaze, and relying on the Redeemer’s mediation, in boundless
ecstacy, still cry—WHERE—WHERE THEN IS DEATH!




    Note to the RESURRECTIONISTS.—Ghost in the Grave Yard.

     ”   ”  OLD KENNEDY, No. I.—Lieutenant Somers.

     ”   ”  OLD KENNEDY, No. III.—“The Parting Blessing.”

     ”   ”  OLD KENNEDY, No. IV.—Explosion at Craney Island.

     ”   ”  HUDSON RIVER.—Military Academy at West-Point.

     ”   ”  NIGHT ATTACK ON FORT ERIE.—⎧ The Dying Soldier.
                                       ⎩ The Officer’s Sabre.

                          ⎧ Detailed Statement of the Battle.
                          ⎪ Rainbow of the Cataract.
                          ⎪ The Day after the Battle.
     ”   ”  LUNDY’S LANE.—⎨ The two Sergeants.
                          ⎪ Death of Captain Hull.
                          ⎪ Scott’s Brigade.
                          ⎩ Death of Captain Spencer.

     ”   ”  MONTREAL.—Military Insignia.

     ”   ”  LAKE GEORGE.—Attack on Fort Ticonderoga.

     ”   ”  BASS FISHING.—⎧ Crew of the Essex frigate.
                          ⎩ Mutiny on board the Essex.

     ”   ”  LONG ISLAND SOUND.—New-England Traditions.


_Note to the Resurrectionists._—GHOST IN THE GRAVE YARD.—In New-England,
most of the burying-grounds as they are called, are at some distance
from the villages, and generally neglected and rude in their appearance,
frequently overgrown with wild, dank weeds, and surrounded by rough
stone walls.—Dr. W., a physician, whose extensive practice gave him a
large circuit of country to ride over, relates that returning late one
night from visiting a patient who was dangerously ill, his attention was
attracted by a human figure clad in white, perched upon the top of the
stone wall of one of these rustic cemeteries.—The moon was shining cold
and clear, and he drew up his horse for a moment, and gazed steadily at
the object, supposing that he was labouring under an optical illusion,
but it remained immoveable and he was convinced, however singular the
position and the hour, that his eyesight had not deceived him. Being
a man of strong nerves, he determined to examine it, whether human or
supernatural, more closely, and leaping his horse up the bank of the road
he proceeded along the side of the fence towards the object. It remained
perfectly motionless until he came opposite and within a few feet, when
it vanished from the fence, and in another instant, with a piercing
shriek, was clinging round his neck upon the horse.—This was too much,
for even the Doctor’s philosophy, and relieving himself with a violent
exertion from the grasp, he flung the figure from him, and putting
spurs to his horse galloped into the village at full speed, a torrent
of ghostly lore and diablerie pouring through his mind as he dashed
along. Arousing the occupants of the nearest house, they returned to the
scene of the adventure, where they found the object of his terror,—a
poor female maniac who had escaped from confinement in a neighbouring
alms-house, wandering among the tombs.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Old Kennedy, No. I._—CAPT. SOMERS.[3]—The name of Somers, the
twin brother in arms of Decatur, shines brightly on the History of
American Naval Warfare; and the last desperate action which terminated
his short and brilliant career with his life, is stamped in colours so
indelible, that nothing but the destroying finger of Time can efface it
from its pages. After severe and continued fighting before Tripoli, the
Turkish flotilla withdrew within the mole, and could not be induced to
venture themselves beyond the guns of the Tripolitan Battery. The ketch
Intrepid was fitted out as a fire-ship, filled to the decks with barrels
of gunpowder, shells, pitch, and other combustible materials; and Capt.
Somers, with a volunteer crew, undertook the hazardous, almost desperate,
task, of navigating her, in the darkness of night, into the middle of the
Turkish flotilla, when the train was to be fired, and they were to make
their escape, as they best could in her boats.

Lieutenants Wadsworth and Israel were the only officers allowed to join
expedition, which was comprised of a small crew of picked men. The
Intrepid was escorted as far as was prudent by three vessels of the
squadron, who hove to, to avoid suspicion, and to be ready to pick up the
boats upon their return: the Constitution, under easy sail in the offing.

Many a brave heart could almost hear its own pulsations in those vessels,
as she became more and more indistinct, and gradually disappeared in the
distance. They watched for some time with intense anxiety, when a heavy
cannonade was opened from the Turkish batteries, which, by its flashes,
discovered the ketch determinedly progressing on her deadly errand. She
was slowly and surely making for the entrance of the mole, when the whole
atmosphere suddenly blazed as if into open day; the mast with all its
sails shot high up in the air; shells whizzed, rocket like, exploding in
every direction; a deafening roar followed and all sunk again into the
deepest pitchy darkness. The Americans waited—waited—in anxious—at last
sickening suspense. Their companions came not—the hours rolled on—no boat
hailed—no oar splashed in the surrounding darkness. The East grew grey
with the dawn—the sun shone brightly above the horizon, nought but a few
shattered vessels lying near the shore—the flotilla—the batteries—and
the minarets of Tripoli, gilded by the morning sunbeams, met their gaze.
Those noble spirits had written their history. Whether consigned to
eternity by a shot of the enemy, prematurely exploding the magazine,
or from the firing of the train by their own hands, must always remain
untold and unknown.

[3] The U. S. Brig Somers, in which the late daring mutiny was suppressed
by the prompt and decided measures of Lt. Alexander Slidell McKenzie, was
named after this hero of the Tripolitan war.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Old Kennedy. No. III._—“THE PARTING BLESSING.”—An officer of
the Lawrence engaged in this desperate action informed the writer, that
he observed, in the latter part of the battle, the captain of one of the
guns, who was a perfect sailor, and remarkable for his neatness and fine
personal appearance, ineffectually endeavouring to work his gun himself,
after all its crew had fallen. He was badly wounded by a grape shot in
the leg; and although in that situation, he was supporting himself on
the other, while he struggled at the tackle to bring the piece to bear.
The officer told him that he had better leave the gun, and join one of
the others, or, as he was badly wounded, go below. “No—no, sir,”—said
the brave tar,—“I’ve loaded her, and if I’ve got to go below, it shan’t
be before _I give ’em a parting blessing_!” The officer then himself
assisted him in running the gun out of the port. The sailor, taking a
good and deliberate aim, discharged her into the British ship, and then
dragged himself down to the cockpit, fully satisfied with the parting
compliment that he had paid the enemy. General Jackson, during his
administration, granted the man a pension.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Old Kennedy. No. IV._—EXPLOSION AT CRANEY ISLAND.—One of the
oldest of the surgeons now in the navy, who was present when the British
were defeated in their attempt to cut out the Constellation at Craney’s
Island, in Hampton Roads, in the last war, relates the following anecdote.

The fire of the Americans was so heavy, that the British flotilla was
soon obliged to retire, a number of their boats having been disabled
by the cannon shot—one, in particular, having been cut in two, sunk,
leaving the men struggling in the water for their lives. It was thought
that it contained an officer of rank, as the other boats hurried to her
assistance, and evinced much agitation until the individual alluded to
was saved. But to let the doctor tell his own story:—

“Well, they retreated, and we made prisoners of those whose boats having
been cut up, were struggling in the water. Among others, there was a fine
looking fellow, a petty officer, who had been wounded by the same shot
that had sunk the boat; so I got him up to the hospital-tent, and cut off
his leg above the knee, and having made him comfortable, (!) walked out
upon the beach, with my assistant for a stroll. We had not gone far, when
we were both thrown upon our backs by a violent shock which momentarily
stunned us. On recovering ourselves, we observed the air filled with
cotton descending like feathers. We did not know how to account for the
phenomenon, till, advancing some distance farther, we found a soldier
lying apparently dead, with his musket by his side. I stooped down, and
found that the man was wounded in the head, a splinter having lodged
just over the temple. As I drew out the splinter, he raised himself, and
stared stupidly about him. I asked him what he was doing there?—“I’m
standing ground over the tent, sir,” he replied. What tent?—“Why sir,
the tent that had the gunpowder in it.” How came it to blow up—what set
it on fire?—“I don’t know, sir.” Did nobody come along this way?—“Yes,
sir; a man came along with a cigar in his mouth, and asked if he might
go in out of the sun; I told him, yes!—and he went in, and sat himself
down—and that is the last that I recollect, until I found you standing
over me here.” Upon going a few hundred feet farther, we found a part,
and still farther on, the remainder of the body of the unfortunate man,
who ignorantly had been the cause of the explosion, as well as his own
death. He was so completely blackened and burnt that it would have been
impossible, from his colour, to have distinguished him from a negro.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Hudson River._—MILITARY ACADEMY AT WEST-POINT.—West-Point,
with her majestic scenery—her savage mountains—the river winding at
their feet—her military ruins rising among the forest-trees—her fine
architectural edifices—her flag proudly floating from its staff against
the back-ground of pure blue ether—her bright and elastic youth, in all
“the pomp and circumstance of war”—now marching on the broad and verdant
plain, in glittering battalion—now as cavalry, spurring their snorting
horses in close squadron—now with light artillery hidden in the smoke
of their rapid evolutions—now calculating amid the bray of mortars, the
curving course of bombs—measuring the ricochetting shot bounding from
the howitzers—amid the roar of heavy cannon, watching the balls as they
shiver the distant targets.—West-Point, enveloped in its spicy mountain
breezes—West-Point—its romantic walks—its melodious birds, warbling in
ecstacy among its trees—its heroic monuments—its revolutionary relics—its
associations, past and present—is, to the tourist, poetry—but to the
cadet—sober, sober prose. Incessant study—severe drilling—arduous
examinations—alike amid the sultry heats of summer, and intense cold of
winter, mark the four years of his stay, with a continual round of labour
and application:—application so severe that health frequently gives way
under the trial. None but the most robust and hardy in constitution, can
sustain the fatigue and labour. But few, nursed in the lap of wealth, are
willing to undergo its hardships; yet, though the far greater part of
the number are from what are called the hardy, certainly not the opulent
part of the community; under the cry of aristocracy, the Academy is made
a standing mark for the attacks of the radicals in the Federal and State
legislatures. Of all the places of public instruction in the country—in a
national point of view—it is the most important; for while it furnishes
to the army a corps of officers acknowledgedly unsurpassed in military
and scientific attainments by that of any service in Europe—officers,
whose names are synonymous with modesty and honour, it is of incalculable
importance in furnishing to the country, commanders and instructors
for the militia in time of war, and engineers for the constant plans
of public improvement in peace. West-Point proudly boasts that not one
of her sons has ever disgraced himself, or his country, in the face of
the enemy. She can, with equal pride, point to almost every work of
importance in the country, and say, “There too, is their handywork.”
While the noble works of defence on the frontiers and sea-board bear
testimony to the talent and science of Totten, Thayer, and other
gentlemen of the corps of engineers, the railroads, aqueducts and canals
of the States bear equal witness to the energies of Douglass, McNeill,
Whistler, and other officers, who have entered the walks of private life.

Well would it be in this disorganizing age, if, instead of prostrating
this, every State had within her borders a similar institution as a
nucleus of order, discipline, and obedience. The following extract of
a letter from an officer who stands high in the service, may not be
uninteresting to the reader.

                                                  February 16, 1843.

    “I send you herewith a part of the information which you
    required in your last letter. The Military Academy is a great
    honour to the country, and is so understood abroad. I have
    frequently heard foreign officers express their opinion,
    that it was equal to any institution in Europe, and I was
    particularly gratified when I was abroad, to find the English
    officers so jealous of it. They seemed to understand very
    distinctly, that, although the policy of the country prevented
    our sustaining a standing army, that we had yet kept up with
    the age in military science; and stood ready prepared with a
    body of officers, well educated in scientific knowledge, to
    supply a large army for efficient and vigorous operations.

    “The whole number of graduates at the Academy since its
    foundation, is 1167. Of this number there have died in service,
    168. There have been killed in battle, 24. Of those wounded in
    service, there is no record. The number of those who have died
    since 1837, is 1 major, 17 captains, 21 first lieutenants, and
    9 second lieutenants.

    “The rank of those killed since 1837, was 1 lieutenant-colonel,
    2 captains, 3 first lieutenants, and 2 second lieutenants.
    The rank of those killed previous to that time can only be
    ascertained by great care in revising the Registers. The
    enemies of the Academy have charged, that men have been
    educated and resigned without performing service in the army.
    This is not so. Besides, the term of service in the Academy,
    where they are liable at any time to be called upon and sent to
    the extremes of the Union, they are obliged by law, to serve
    four years after they have graduated, and in fact, they seldom
    do resign, unless they are treated unfairly by government, and
    the proportion of resignations of officers appointed from
    civil life, is much greater than from those that have graduated
    at the Academy. A large number of resignations took place in
    1836, which was attributable to high salaries offered for civil
    engineers, and to the general disgust which pervaded the army,
    upon the constitution of two regiments of dragoons, when the
    appointments were made almost exclusively from civilians, and
    officers of long-standing and arduous service in the army found
    themselves outranked by men of no experience, and who had done
    no service. You can have no idea of the injustice which was
    done on that occasion. The ambition of many of the officers was
    broken down, and they retired in disgust.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Fort Erie._—THE DYING SOLDIER.—“On the day preceding the
night attack,” said the Major, “while the enemy were throwing an
incessant discharge of shot and shells into our works, I observed at a
little distance beyond me a group of people collected on the banquette
of the rampart; I approached and found that one of the militia had
been mortally wounded by a cannot shot, and that, supported by his
comrades, he was dictating with his dying breath his last words to his
family. “Tell them,” said he, “that—that—I d-i-e-d l-i-k-e a b-r-a-v-e
m-a-n—fig-h—fig-h-t—” and here his breath failed him, and he sunk nearly
away—but rousing himself again with a desperate exertion—”b-r-a-v-e
m-a-n—fight-in-g for—for—my c-o-u-n-try,”—and he expired with the words
upon his lips.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Night Attack on Fort Erie._—THE OFFICER’S SABRE.—The writer saw in the
possession of Major ——, a beautiful scimitar-shaped sabre, with polished
steel scabbard; the number of the regiment, (119th, he thinks,) embossed
on its blade, which one of the soldiers picked up and brought in from
among the scattered arms and dead bodies in front of the works on the
following morning. The white leathern belt was cut in two, probably
by a grape shot or musket ball, and saturated with blood. Whether its
unfortunate owner was killed, or wounded only, of course could not be
known. It was a mute and interesting witness of that night’s carnage—and
had undoubtedly belonged to some officer who had been in Egypt, and had
relinquished the straight European sabre, for this favourite weapon of
the Mameluke.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Attack on Fort Erie, and Battle of Lundy’s Lane._—These two
articles elicited the following reply from the pen of an officer of the
U. S. army, who has, alas! since it was written, fallen before the hand
of the grim tyrant, whose blow never falls but in death. The authenticity
of the statement can be relied upon, as the documents from whence it
was derived, were the papers of Major-General Brown, and other high
officers engaged in the campaign. It is proper to observe, that in the
rambling sketch of a tourist, where a mere cursory description was all
that was aimed at, the apparent injustice done to that gallant officer
and eminently skilful soldier, Major-General Brown, (who certainly ought
to have been placed more prominently in the foreground,) was entirely
unintentional. The officer alluded to was under the impression that
Colonel Wood’s remains were never recovered, and that consequently the
monument erected to his memory at West-Point does not rest upon them.
Much of the material of the two articles (eliciting these comments) was
derived from conversations with another highly accomplished and now
retired officer of the U. S. army; and as they were published without his
knowledge, the writer inserts the following reply made to the strictures
at the time:

    ... “Deeming that ‘a local habitation and a name’ may be
    affixed to my friend the ‘Major,’ and that he may be considered
    responsible for inaccuracies for which others alone are
    accountable, I hasten to say, that in the description of the
    battle at Lundy’s Lane, (with the exception of some of the
    personal anecdotes,) the title is retained merely as a _nom de
    guerre_ to carry the reader through the different phases of
    the action. The description of the night attack on Fort Erie,
    as well as that of the character and personal appearance of
    Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, is, however, almost literally that
    given at the fireside of my friend. The information received
    from the British camp on the following morning, through a
    flag, was, as near as could be ascertained, that Colonel
    Wood had been bayonetted to death on the ground; and my
    impression was that his body had been subsequently identified
    and returned. But as your correspondent, apparently a brother
    officer, speaks so decidedly, I presume he is correct. Far
    more agreeable to me would it have been to have remained under
    the delusion, that the bones of that gallant and accomplished
    soldier slept under the green plateau of West Point, than the
    supposition that even now they may be restlessly whirling in
    some dark cavern of the cataracts. The account of the battle at
    Lundy’s Lane was compiled from one of the earlier editions of
    Brackenridge’s History of the Late War, (I think the third,)
    the only written authority that I had upon the subject, and
    from conclusions drawn from rambles and casual conversations
    on the battle-ground. In how far a rough sketch, which was all
    that was aimed at, has been conveyed from that authority, the
    reader, as well as your correspondent, can best determine by
    referring to the history alluded to.” The desperate bayonet
    charge is thus described in that work, fourth edition, p.

    ... “The enemy’s artillery occupied a hill which was the key
    to the whole position, and it would be in vain to hope for
    victory while they were permitted to retain it. Addressing
    himself to Colonel Miller, he inquired whether he could
    storm the batteries at the head of the twenty-first, while
    he would himself support him with the younger regiment, the
    twenty-third? To this the wary, but intrepid veteran replied,
    in an unaffected phrase, ‘I’ll try, sir;’[4] words which were
    afterwards given as the motto of his regiment.

    ... “The twenty-third was formed in close column under its
    commander, Major McFarland, and the first regiment, under
    Colonel Nicholas, was left to keep the infantry in check. The
    two regiments moved on to one of the most perilous charges
    ever attempted; the whole of the artillery opened upon them as
    they advanced, supported by a powerful line of infantry. The
    twenty-first advanced steadily to its purpose; the twenty-third
    faltered on receiving the deadly fire of the enemy, but was
    soon rallied by the personal exertions of General Ripley. When
    within a hundred yards of the summit, they received another
    dreadful discharge, by which Major McFarland was killed, and
    the command devolved on Major Brooks. To the amazement of the
    British, the intrepid Miller firmly advanced, until within a
    few paces of their line, when he impetuously charged upon the
    artillery, which, after a short but desperate resistance,
    yielded their whole battery, and the American line was in a
    moment formed in the rear upon the ground previously occupied
    by the British infantry. In carrying the larger pieces, the
    twenty-first suffered severely; Lieutenant Cilley, after an
    unexampled effort, fell wounded by the side of the piece which
    he took: there were but few of the officers of this regiment
    who were not either killed or wounded.

    “So far as I can recollect, the personal narrative of my friend
    was as follows: Miller, quietly surveying the battery, coolly
    replied—‘I’ll try, sir;’ then turning to his regiment, drilled
    to beautiful precision, said, ‘Attention, twenty-first.’ He
    directed them as they rushed up the hill, to deliver their fire
    at the port-lights of the artillerymen, and to immediately
    carry the guns at the point of the bayonet. In a very short
    time they moved on to the charge, delivered their fire as
    directed, and after a furious struggle of a few moments over
    the cannon, the battery was in their possession. The words of
    caution of the officers, ‘Close up—steady, men—steady,’ I have
    heard indifferently ascribed to them at this charge, and at
    the desperate sortie from Fort Erie. I am thus particular with
    regard to the detail of this transaction, not that I think your
    correspondent, any more than myself, regards it as of much
    moment, but lest my friend should be considered responsible for
    words which he did not utter.

    ... “To show with what secresy the arrangements were made
    for the sortie, it is believed that the enemy was in utter
    ignorance of the movement. To confirm him in error, a
    succession of trusty spies were sent to him in the character
    of deserters up to the close of day of the 16th; and so little
    did the army know of what were General Brown’s plans for that
    day, that even if an officer had gone over to the enemy, the
    information he could have given must have been favourable to
    the meditated enterprise, as no one had been consulted but
    General Porter, and the engineers Colonels McRae and Wood.

    “At nine o’clock in the evening of the 16th, the
    general-in-chief called his assistant adjutant-general, Major
    Jones, and after explaining concisely his object, ordered
    him to see the officers whom the General named and direct
    them to his tent. The officers General Brown had selected
    to have the honour of leading commands on the 17th came; he
    explained to them his views and determinations, and enjoyed
    much satisfaction at seeing that his confidence had not been
    misplaced. They left him to prepare for the duty assigned to
    them on the succeeding day. At twelve o’clock the last agent
    was sent to the enemy in the character of a deserter, and
    aided, by disclosing all he knew, to confirm him in security.

    “The letter, of which the following is an extract, was written
    by General Brown to the Department of War early in the morning
    of the 25th July, 1814:

    “‘As General Gaines informed me that the Commodore was in
    port, and as he did not know when the fleet would sail, or
    when the guns and troops that I had been expecting would even
    leave Sackett’s Harbour, I have thought it proper to change my
    position with a view to other objects.’

    “General Scott, with the first brigade, Towson’s artillery,
    all the dragoons and mounted men, was accordingly put in
    march towards Queenston. He was particularly instructed to
    report if the enemy appeared, and to call for assistance if
    that was necessary. Having command of the dragoons, he would
    have, it was supposed, the means of intelligence. On General
    Scott’s arrival near the Falls, he learned that the enemy was
    in force directly in his front, a narrow piece of woods alone
    intercepting his view of them. Waiting only to despatch this
    information, but not to receive any in return, the General
    advanced upon him.

    “Hearing the report of cannon and small arms, General Brown
    at once concluded that a battle had commenced between the
    advance of his army and the enemy, and without waiting for
    information from General Scott, ordered the second brigade
    and all the artillery to march as rapidly as possible to his
    support, and directed Colonel Gardner to remain and see this
    order executed. He then rode with his aids-de-camp, and Major
    McRee, with all speed towards the scene of action. As he
    approached the Falls, about a mile from Chippeway, he met Major
    Jones, who had accompanied General Scott, bearing a message
    from him, advising General Brown that he had met the enemy.
    From the information given by Major Jones, it was concluded to
    order up General Porter’s command, and Major Jones was sent
    with this order. Advancing a little further, General Brown
    met Major Wood, of the engineers, who also had accompanied
    General Scott. He reported that the conflict between General
    Scott and the enemy was close and desperate, and urged that
    reinforcements should be hurried forward. The reinforcements
    were now marching with all possible rapidity. The Major-General
    was accompanied by Major Wood to the field of battle. Upon
    his arrival, he found that General Scott had passed the wood,
    and engaged the enemy upon the Queenston road and the ground
    to the left of it, with the 9th, 11th, and 22d regiments, and
    Towson’s artillery. The 25th had been detached to the right
    to be governed by circumstances. Apprehending these troops to
    be much exhausted, notwithstanding the good front they showed,
    and knowing that they had suffered severely in the contest,
    General Brown determined to form and interpose a new line
    with the advancing troops, and thus disengage General Scott,
    and hold his brigade in reserve. By this time Captains Biddle
    and Ritchie’s companies of artillery had come into action.
    The head of General Ripley’s column was nearly up with the
    right of General Scott’s line. At this moment the enemy fell
    back, in consequence, it was believed, of the arrival of fresh
    troops, which they could see and begin to feel. At the moment
    the enemy broke, General Scott’s brigade gave a general huzza,
    that cheered the whole line. General Ripley was ordered to
    pass his line and display his column in front. The movement
    was commenced in obedience to the order. Majors McRee and Wood
    had rapidly reconnoitered the enemy and his position. McRee
    reported that he appeared to have taken up a new position with
    his line, and with his artillery, to have occupied a height
    which gave him great advantages it being the key of the whole
    position. To secure the victory, it was necessary to carry
    this height, and seize his artillery. McRee was ordered by the
    Major-General to conduct Ripley’s command on the Queenstown
    road, with a view to that object, and prepare the 21st regiment
    under Colonel Miller for the duty.

    “The second brigade immediately advanced on the Queenston
    road. Gen. Brown, with his aids-de-camp and Major Wood passing
    to the left of the second brigade in front of the first,
    approached the enemy’s artillery, and observed an extended
    line of infantry formed for its support. A detachment of the
    first regiment of infantry, under command of Col. Nicolas,
    which arrived that day, and was attached to neither of the
    brigades, but had marched to the field of battle in the rear
    of the second, was ordered promptly to break off to the
    left, and form a line facing the enemy on the height, with a
    view of drawing his fire and attracting his attention, while
    Col. Miller advanced with the bayonet upon his left flank to
    carry his artillery. As the first regiment, led by Major Wood
    and commanded by Col. Nicolas, approached its position, the
    commanding General rode to Col. Miller, and ordered him to
    charge and carry the enemy’s artillery with the bayonet. He
    replied in a tone of great promptness and good humour—‘It shall
    be done, Sir.’

    “At this moment the first regiment gave way under the fire
    of the enemy; but Col. Miller, without regard to this
    circumstance, advanced steadily to his object, and carried
    the height and the cannon in a style rarely equalled—never
    excelled. At this point of time when Col. Miller moved, the 23d
    regiment was on his right, a little in the rear. Gen. Ripley
    led this regiment: it had some severe fighting, and in a degree
    gave way, but was promptly re-formed, and brought upon the
    right of the 21st, with which were connected a detachment of
    the 17th and 19th.

    “Gen. Ripley being now with his brigade, formed a line, (the
    enemy having been driven from his commanding ground) with the
    captured cannon, nine pieces in the rear. The first regiment
    having been rallied, was brought into line by Lt. Col. Nicolas
    on the left of the second brigade; and Gen. Porter coming up
    at this time, occupied with his command the extreme left. Our
    artillery formed the right between the 21st and 23d regiments.
    Having given to Col. Miller orders to storm the heights and
    carry the cannon as he advanced, Gen. Brown moved from his
    right flank to the rear of his left. Maj. Wood and Capt.
    Spencer met him on the Queenston road; turning down that road,
    he passed directly in the rear of the 23rd, as they advanced
    to the support of Col. Miller. The shouts of the American
    soldiers on the heights at this moment, assured him of Col.
    Miller’s success, and he hastened toward the place, designing
    to turn from the Queenston road towards the heights up Lundy’s
    Lane. In the act of doing so, Maj. Wood and Capt. Spencer, who
    were about a horse’s length before him, were near riding upon
    a body of the enemy; and nothing prevented them from doing it
    but an officer exclaiming before them, “They are the Yankees.”
    The exclamation halted the three American officers, and upon
    looking down the road they saw a line of British infantry drawn
    up in front of the western fence of the road with its right
    resting upon Lundy’s Lane.

    “The British officer had, at the moment he gave this alarm,
    discovered Maj. Jesup. The Major had, as before observed, at
    the commencement of the action, been ordered by Gen. Scott to
    take ground to his right.

    “He had succeeded in turning the enemy’s left, had captured
    Gen. Riall and several other officers, and sent them to camp,
    and then, feeling and searching his way silently towards where
    the battle was raging, had brought his regiment, the 25th,
    after a little comparative loss, up to the eastern fence at
    the Queenston road, a little to the north of Lundy’s Lane.
    The moment the British gave Jesup notice of having discovered
    him, Jesup ordered his command to fire upon the enemy’s line.
    The lines could not have been more then four rods apart—Jesup
    behind the south fence, the British in front of the north.
    The slaughter was dreadful; the enemy fled down the Queenston
    road at the third or fourth fire. As the firing ceased,
    the Major-General approached Major Jesup, advised him that
    Col. Miller had carried the enemy’s artillery, and received
    information of the capture of Gen. Riall.

    “The enemy having rallied his broken forces and received
    reinforcements, was now discovered in good order and in great
    force. The commanding General, doubting the correctness of the
    information, and to ascertain the truth, passed in person with
    his suite in front of our line. He could no longer doubt, as a
    more extended line than he had yet seen during the engagement
    was near, and advancing upon us. Capt. Spencer, without saying
    a word, put spurs to his horse, and rode directly up to the
    advancing line, then, turning towards the enemy’s right,
    inquired in a strong and firm voice, ‘What regiment is that?’
    and was as promptly answered, ‘The Royal Scots, Sir.’

    “General Brown and suite then threw themselves behind our
    troops without loss of time, and waited the attack. The enemy
    advanced slowly and firmly upon us: perfect silence was
    observed throughout both armies until the lines approached to
    within four to six rods. Our troops had levelled their pieces
    and the artillery was prepared,—the order to fire was given.
    Most awful was its effect. The lines closed in part before the
    enemy was broken. He then retired precipitately, the American
    army following him. The field was covered with the slain, but
    not an enemy capable of marching was to be seen. We dressed our
    men upon the ground we occupied. Gen. Brown was not disposed
    to leave it in the dark, knowing it was the best in the
    neigbourhood. His intention, then, was to maintain it until
    day should dawn, and to be governed by circumstances.

    “Our gallant and accomplished foe did not give us much time
    for deliberation. He showed himself within twenty minutes,
    apparently undismayed and in good order.”

[4] The twenty-first carried the celebrated ‘_I’ll try, Sir_,’ inscribed
upon their buttons during the remainder of the war.

Extract of a private letter from the writer of the above article, dated
January 15, 1841.

    ... “As to the fate of the gallant and accomplished Wood.—You
    supposed a flag from the enemy reported he had been bayoneted
    to death on the ground—like enough, but how did the enemy
    recognise his body. Gen. Porter thinks he fell at the close of
    the action at battery No. 1, but I never heard that any one saw
    him fall.—His body never was recovered. Those of Gibson and
    Davis, the leaders of the two other columns in Gen. Porter’s
    command, were.

    “Soon after the war, McRee, one of the best military engineers
    this country ever produced, threw up his commission in disgust
    and died of the cholera at St. Louis.

    “From the time I lost sight of Gen. Scott in my narrative until
    after the change referred to at the end of the narrative, Gen.
    Scott with three of his battalions had been held in reserve.
    The commander-in-chief now rode in person to Gen. Scott, and
    ordered him to advance. That officer was prepared and expected
    the call.—As Scott advanced toward Ripley’s left, Gen. Brown
    passed to the left to speak with Gen. Porter and see the
    condition and countenance of his militia, who, at that moment,
    were thrown into some confusion under a most galling and deadly
    fire from the enemy: they were, however, kept to their duty by
    the exertions of their gallant chiefs, and most nobly sustained
    the conflict. The enemy was repulsed and again driven out of
    sight. But a short time, however, had elapsed, when he was
    once more distinctly seen, in great force, advancing upon our
    main line under the command of Ripley and Porter. The direction
    that Scott had given his column would have enabled him in five
    minutes, to have formed a line in the rear of the enemy’s
    right, and thus have brought him between two fires. But in a
    moment most unexpected, a flank fire from a party of the enemy,
    concealed upon our left, falling upon the centre of Scott’s
    command, when in open column, blasted our proud expectations.
    His column was severed in two; one part passing to the rear,
    the other by the right flank of platoons towards the main line.
    About this period Gen. Brown received his first wound, a musket
    ball passing through his right thigh and _carrying away his
    watch seal_, a few minutes after Capt. Spencer received his
    mortal wound....

    “This was the last desperate effort made by the enemy to regain
    his position and artillery....

    “Porter’s volunteers were not excelled by the regulars
    during this charge. They were soon precipitated by their
    heroic commander upon the enemy’s line, which they broke and
    dispersed, making many prisoners. The enemy now seemed to be
    effectually routed; they disappeared....

    “At the commencement of the action, Col. Jesup was detached
    to the left of the enemy, with the discretionary order, to be
    governed by circumstances.—The commander of the British forces
    had committed a fault by leaving a road unguarded on his left.
    Col. Jesup, taking advantage of this, threw himself promptly
    into the rear of the enemy, where he was enabled to operate
    with brilliant enterprise and the happiest effect. The capture
    of Gen. Riall, with a large escort of officers of rank, was
    part of the trophies of his intrepidity and skill. It is not,
    we venture to assert, bestowing on him too much praise to say,
    that to his achievements, more than to those of any other
    individual, is to be attributed the preservation of the first
    brigade from utter annihilation.

    “Among the officers captured by Col. Jesup, was Capt. Loring,
    one of General Drummond’s aid-de-camps, who had been despatched
    from the front line to order up the reserve, with a view to
    fall on Scott with the concentrated force of the whole army
    and overwhelm him at a single effort. Nor would it have been
    possible to prevent this catastrophe, had the reserve arrived
    in time; the force with which General Scott would have been
    obliged to contend being nearly quadruple that of his own. By
    the fortunate capture, however, of the British aid-de-camp,
    before the completion of the service on which he had been
    ordered, the enemy’s reserve was not brought into action until
    the arrival of Gen. Ripley’s brigade, which prevented the
    disaster that must otherwise have ensued, and achieved, in the
    end, one of the most honourable victories that ever shed lustre
    upon the arms of a nation....”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Lundy’s Lane._—RAINBOW OF THE CATARACT.—The afternoon of the
action presented one of those delicious summer scenes in which all
nature appears to be breathing in harmony and beauty.—As General Scott’s
brigade came in view, and halted in the vicinity of the cataracts, the
mist rising from the falls, was thrown in upon the land, arching the
American force with a vivid and gorgeous rainbow, the left resting on the
cataract, and the right lost in the forest. Its brilliance and beauty was
such, that it excited not only the enthusiasm of the officers, but even
the camp followers were filled with admiration.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Lundy’s Lane._—THE DAY AFTER THE BATTLE.—“I rode to the
battle-ground about day-light on the following morning, without
witnessing the presence of a single British officer or soldier. The
dead had not been removed through the night, and such a scene of
carnage I never before beheld.—Red coats, blue, and grey, promiscuously
intermingled, _in many places three deep_, and around the hill where the
enemy’s artillery was carried by Colonel Miller, the carcasses of sixty
or seventy horses added to the horror of the scene.”—_Private Letter of
an Officer._

The dead were collected and burnt in funeral piles, made of rails, on the
field where they had fallen.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Lundy’s Lane._—THE TWO SERGEANTS.—For several days after the
action, the country people found the bodies of soldiers who had straggled
off into the woods, and died of their wounds.—At some distance from
the field of battle, and entirely alone, were found the bodies of two
sergeants, American and English, transfixed by each other’s bayonets,
lying across each other, where they had fallen in deadly duel. It is
rare that individual combat takes place under such circumstances in the
absence of spectators to cheer on the combatants by their approval, and
this incident conveys some idea of the desperation which characterised
the general contest on that night. Yet in this lonely and brief tragedy,
these two men were enacting parts, which to them were as momentous as the
furious conflict of the masses in the distance.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Lundy’s Lane._—DEATH OF CAPTAIN HULL.—Captain Hull, a son of
General Hull, whose unfortunate surrender at Detroit created so much
odium, fell in this battle. He led his men into the midst of the heaviest
fire of the enemy, and after they were almost if not all destroyed,
plunged sword in hand into the centre of the British column, fighting
with the utmost desperation until he was literally impaled upon their

In the pocket of this gallant and generous young officer, was found a
letter, avowing his determination to signalize the name or to fall in the

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Lundy’s Lane._—SCOTT’S BRIGADE.—Part of Gen. Scott’s command
were dressed in grey—(probably the fatigue dress)—at the battle of
Chippewa. An English company officer relates, that—“Advancing at the head
of my men, I saw a body of Americans drawn up, dressed in grey uniform.
Supposing them to be militia, I directed my men to fire, and immediately
charge bayonet.—What was my surprise, to find as the smoke of our fire
lifted from the ground, that instead of flying in consternation from our
destructive discharge, the supposed militia were coming down upon us at
‘double quick’—at the charge. In two minutes I stood alone, my men having
given way, without waiting to meet the shock.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Lundy’s Lane._—DEATH OF CAPT. SPENCER.—Capt. Spencer,
aid-de-camp to Maj. Gen. Brown, a son of the Hon. Ambrose Spencer, was
only eighteen years of age at the time that he closed his brief career.
He was directed by Gen. Brown to carry an order to another part of the
field, and to avoid a more circuitous route, he chivalrously galloped
down, exposed to the heavy fire in the front of the line, eliciting
the admiration of both armies, but before he reached the point of his
destination, two balls passed through his body, and he rolled from his

The following letter to Gen. Armstrong, Secretary of War, will show in
what estimation he was held by Gen. Brown:—

    Copy of a letter from Major Gen. Brown, to Gen. Armstrong,
    Secretary of War.

                    “HEAD QUARTERS, FORT ERIE, 20th September, 1814.

    “SIR—Among the officers lost to this army, in the battle of
    Niagara Falls, was my aid-de-camp, Captain Ambrose Spencer, who
    being mortally wounded, was obliged to be left in the hands
    of the enemy. By flags from the British army, I was shortly
    afterwards assured of his convalescence, and an offer was made
    me by Lieutenant General Drummond, to exchange him for his own
    aid, Captain Loring, then a prisoner of war with us. However
    singular this proposition appeared, as Captain Loring was not
    wounded, nor had received the slightest injury, I was willing
    to comply with it on Captain Spencer’s account. But as I knew
    his wounds were severe, I first sent to ascertain the fact of
    his being then living. My messenger, with a flag, was detained,
    nor even once permitted to see Captain Spencer, though in his
    immediate vicinity.

    “The evidence I wished to acquire failed; but my regard for
    Captain Spencer, would not permit me longer to delay, and I
    informed General Drummond, that his aid should be exchanged,
    even for the _body_ of mine. This offer was, no doubt, gladly
    accepted, and the _corpse_ of Captain Spencer sent to the
    American shore.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to MONTREAL._—The custom of emblazoning on the flags, and other
military insignia of the regiments, the actions in which they have
signalized themselves, obtaining in the British and other European
services, is not now allowed in that of the United States, on the score
of its aristocratic tendency! Although, perhaps, in the instance alluded
to, the stupidity of the individual prevented him from understanding
their meaning; still, to the more intelligent of the soldiers, they are
no doubt a great incentive to uphold the honour of the regiment.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to LAKE GEORGE AND TICONDEROGA._—This important position, situated
on Lake Champlain near the foot of the Horicon, (called by the English,
Lake George, and by the French, St. Sacrament,) was first fortified by
the French, and was the point from which they made so many incursions,
in conjunction with the Indians, upon the English settlements. Lord
Abercrombie led an army of nearly 16,000 men against it in the year
1658; but was defeated with a loss of 2000 men, and one of his most
distinguished officers, Lord Howe, who fell at the head of one of the
advance columns. In the following year it surrendered to General Amherst,
who led a force of nearly equal number against it. Its surprise and
capture by Ethan Allen at the commencement of our revolution, is, we
presume, familiar to every American, as also the fact of Burgoyne’s
getting heavy cannon upon the neighbouring mountain which had heretofore
been considered impracticable, and from which the works were entirely
commanded. The necessary withdrawal of the army by St. Clair, after
blowing up the works, is as related in the text.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Bass Fishing._—CREW OF THE ESSEX FRIGATE.—In the bloody and
heroic defence of the Essex, in which, out of a crew of two hundred and
fifty-five men, one hundred and fifty-three were killed and wounded! a
number of instances of individual daring and devotion are recorded of
the common sailors. Besides the act of Ripley, which is mentioned in the
text, one man received a cannon ball through his body, and exclaimed in
the agonies of death—“Never mind, shipmates, I die for free trade and
sailor’s rights.” Another expired inciting his shipmates to “fight for
liberty!”—and another, Benjamin Hazen, having dressed himself in a clean
shirt and jacket, threw himself overboard, declaring, that “he would
never be incarcerated in an English prison.” An old man-of-war’s-man
who was in her, informed the writer, that her sides were so decayed by
exposure to the climate in which she had been cruizing, that the dust
flew like smoke from every shot that came through the bulwarks, and that
at the close of the action, when the Essex was lying perfectly helpless,
a target for the two heavy British ships, riddled by every ball from
their long guns, without the ability to return a single shot—he was
near the quarter-deck and heard Commodore Porter walking up and down
with hurried steps, repeatedly strike his breast and exclaim, in great
apparent agony—“My Heaven!—is there no shot for me!”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Note to Bass Fishing._—MUTINY ON BOARD THE ESSEX FRIGATE.—While the
Essex was lying at the Marquesas Islands, recruiting and refreshing her
crew from one of the long and arduous cruises in the Pacific, Commodore
Porter was informed through a servant of one of the officers, that
a mutiny had been planned, and was on the eve of consummation. That
it was the intention of the mutineers to rise upon the officers—take
possession of the ship—and, after having remained as long as they found
agreeable at the island, to hoist the black flag and “cruize on their
own account.”—Having satisfied himself of the truth of the information,
Commodore Porter ascended to the quarter-deck, and ordered all the crew
to be summoned aft. Waiting till the last man had come from below, he
informed them that he understood that a mutiny was on foot, and that he
had summoned them for the purpose of inquiring into its truth.—“Those
men who are in favour of standing by the ship and her officers,” said
the commodore, “will go over to the starboard side—those who are against
them will remain where they are.” The crew, to a man, moved over to the
starboard side. The ship was still as the grave. Fixing his eyes on
them steadily and sternly for a few moments—the commodore said—“Robert
White—step out.” The man obeyed, standing pale and agitated—guilt stamped
on every lineament of his countenance—in front of his comrades. The
commodore looked at him a moment—then seizing a cutlass from the nearest
rack, said, in a suppressed voice, but in tones so deep that they rung
like a knell upon the ears of the guilty among the crew—“Villain!—you
are the ringleader of this mutiny—jump overboard!” The man dropt on his
knees, imploring for mercy—saying that he could not swim. “Then drown,
you scoundrel!” said the commodore, springing towards him to cut him
down—“overboard instantly!”—and the man jumped over the side of the
ship. He then turned to the trembling crew, and addressed them with much
feeling—the tears standing upon his bronzed cheek as he spoke. He asked
them what he had done, that his ship should be disgraced by a mutiny.
He asked whether he had ever dishonoured the flag—whether he had ever
treated them with other than kindness—whether they had ever been wanting
for any thing to their comfort, that discipline and the rules of the
service would allow—and which it was in his power to give. At the close
of his address, he said—“Men!—before I came on deck, I laid a train to
the magazine!—and I would have blown all on board into eternity, before
my ship should have been disgraced by a successful mutiny—I never would
have survived the dishonour of my ship!—go to your duty.” The men were
much affected by the commodore’s address, and immediately returned to
their duty, showing every sign of contrition. They were a good crew, but
had been seduced by the allurements of the islands, and the plausible
representations of a villain. That they did their duty to their flag, it
is only necessary to say—that the same crew fought the ship afterwards
against the Phebe, and Cherub, in the harbour of Valparaiso, where,
though the American flag descended—it descended in a blaze of glory which
will long shine on the pages of history. But mark the sequel of this
mutiny—and let those who, _in the calm security of their firesides_,
are so severe upon the course of conduct pursued by officers in such
critical situations, see how much innocent blood would have been saved,
if White had been cut down instantly, or hung at the yard arm. As he
went overboard, he succeeded in reaching a canoe floating at a little
distance and paddled ashore. Some few months afterwards, when Lieutenant
Gamble of the Marines was at the islands, in charge of one of the large
prizes, short handed and in distress, this same White, at the head of
a party of natives, attacked the ship, killed two of the officers and
a number of the men, and it was with great difficulty that she was
prevented from falling into their hands. The blood of those innocent men,
and the lives of two meritorious officers would have been spared, if the
wretch had been put to instant death—as was the commodore’s intention.
It will be recollected, that the Essex, in getting under way, out of the
harbour of Valparaiso, carried away her foretop-mast in a squall, and
being thus unmanageable, came to anchor in the supposed protection of a
neutral port—nevertheless the Phebe, frigate, and Cherub, sloop-of-war,
attacked her in this position—the former with her long guns, selecting
her distance—cutting her up at her leisure—while the Essex, armed only
with carronades, lay perfectly helpless—her shot falling short of the
Phebe, although they reached the Cherub, which was forced to get out
of their range. “I was standing,” said my informant, then a midshipman
only fourteen years old, “I was standing at the side of one of our bow
chasers, (the only long guns we had,) which we had run aft out of the
stern port—when the Phebe bore up, and ran under our stern to rake us.
As she came within half-pistol shot (!) she gave us her whole broadside
at the same instant.—I recollect it well!” said the officer—“for as I
saw the flash, I involuntarily closed my eyes—expecting that she would
have blown us out of the water—and she certainly would have sunk us on
the spot, but firing too high, her shot cut our masts and rigging all to
pieces, doing little injury to the hull. Singular as it may seem, the
discharge of our one gun caused more slaughter than the whole of their
broadside, for while we had but one man wounded, the shot from our gun
killed two of the men at the wheel of the Phebe, and glancing with a
deep gouge on the main-mast, mortally wounded her first Lieutenant, who
died on the following day.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Long Island Sound._—NEW ENGLAND TRADITIONS.—There are few countries
where traditions and legends are handed down from generation to
generation with more fidelity than in New England, more particularly
along the sea-coast and the shores of the Sound. The “fire ship” is
supposed even now by the old fishermen to be seen cruising occasionally
in the vicinity of Block Island in the furious storms of thunder and
lightning. The tradition is, that she was taken by pirates—all hands
murdered, and abandoned after being set on fire by the bucaneers. Some
accounts state that a large white horse which was on board, was left
near the foremast to perish in the flames—and in storms of peculiarly
terrific violence that she may be seen, rushing along enveloped in fire,
the horse stamping and pawing at the heel of the foremast, her phantom
crew assembled at quarters. In the early part of the last century, a ship
came ashore a few miles beyond Newport, on one of the beaches—all sails
set—the table prepared for dinner, but the food untouched, and no living
thing on board of her. It was never ascertained what had become of her
crew—but it was supposed that she had been abandoned in some moment of
alarm, and that they all perished, although the vessel arrived in safety.

The phantom horse will recall to mind a real incident, which occurred
not long since in the conflagration of one of the large steamboats on
Lake Erie. A fine race horse was on board, and secured, as is usual,
forward. Of course his safety was not looked to, while all were making
vain efforts to save themselves from their horrible fate. As the flames
came near him he succeeded in tearing himself loose from his fastenings,
rushing franticly through the fire and smoke fore and aft, trampling down
the unfortunate victims that were in his way, adding still more horror
to a scene which imagination can hardly realize, until frenzied with the
pain and agony of the fire, he plunged overboard and perished.

But the favourite and most cherished traditions are those relating to
hidden treasure. The writer well recollects one to which his attention
was attracted in his childhood. Mr. ——, inhabiting one of those fine
old mansions in Newport, which had been built fifty years before, by
an English gentleman of fortune, where taste and caprice had been
indulged to the extreme, and where closets, and beaufets, and cellars,
and pantries, appeared to meet one at every turn, was engaged late one
winter’s night writing in his study, when he found it necessary to
replenish his fire with fuel. The servants having retired, he took a
candle and went himself to the cellar to procure it, and as he passed
the vault called the “wine cellar,” his attention was attracted by a
light streaming through the key-hole of the door. He stopped a moment and
called out supposing that some of the family were in the apartment—but
instantly the light vanished. He stepped up to the door and endeavoured
to open it, but found to his surprise that it was fastened,—a thing
that was unusual as the door constantly stood ajar. Calling out again,
“who’s there?” without receiving any answer, he placed his foot against
the door, and forced it open, when a sight met his eyes, which for a
moment chained him to the spot. In the centre of the cellar in a deep
grave which had been already dug, and leaning upon his spade, was a
brawny negro, his shirt sleeves rolled up to his shoulders, and the
sweat trickling down his glistening black visage, while on the pile of
earth made from the excavation, stood another negro, a drawn sword in
one hand, a lantern with the light just extinguished in the other, and
an open bible with two hazle rods across it, lying at his feet—these
swart labourers the moment that the door was thrown open, making the most
earnest signs for silence. As soon as Mr. —— could command his voice, he
demanded the meaning of what he saw and what they were about. They both
simultaneously then declared that the charm was broken by his voice. One
of the worthies, who was the groom of the family, had dreamed five nights
in succession, that old Mr. E—— the builder of the house, had buried
a bootful (!) of gold in that cellar—and on comparing notes with his
brother dreamer, he found that his visions also pointed to treasure in
the old house, and they had proceeded secundem artem to its attainment,
both vehemently declaring that they intended to give part of the treasure
to Mr. ——. Of course, the door being opened, the strange negro was
required to add the darkness of his visage to that of night, while the
groom was on pain of instant dismission, together with the threat of the
ridicule of the whole town, directed to fill up the grave, and thereafter
to let the buried treasure sleep where its owner had seen fit to deposit



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misery. For this purpose the author has separately examined the principal
elements by which society, under all its aspects, is held together, and
traced each to its source in human nature. He has then directed attention
to the development of these principles, and pointed out the circumstances
by which they were perfected on the one hand, or corrupted on the other.”

“We perceive by the preface that the work has had throughout, the
superintendence of the very learned Archbishop Whately.”—_New-York



Six Lectures, reported with, emendations and additions.

By THOMAS CARLYLE, author of the “French Revolution,” “Sartor Resartus,”

Contents—The Hero as Divinity, Odin, Paganism, Scandinavian Mythology,
The Hero as Prophet, Mahomet, Islam; The Hero as Poet, Dante, Shakspeare;
The Hero as Priest, Luther, Reformation, Knox, Puritanism; The Hero as
Man of Letters, Johnson, Rousseau, Burns; The Hero as King, Cromwell,
Napoleon, Modern Revolutionism.

1 vol. 12mo., beautifully printed on fine white paper.


A beautiful collection of Poetry, chiefly Devotional. By the Author of
the Cathedral. 1 vol. royal 16mo. elegantly printed.


Godly Meditations upon the most Holy Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. By
CHRISTOPHER SUTTON, DD., late Prebend of Westminster. 1 vol. royal 16mo.,
elegantly ornamented.


Disce Mori, Learn to Die, a Religious Discourse, moving every Christian
man to enter into a serious remembrance of his end. By CHRISTOPHER
SUTTON, DD., sometime Prebend of Westminster. 1 vol. 16mo, elegantly

SACRA PRIVATA: THE Private Meditations, Devotions and Prayers

Of the Right Rev. T. Wilson, D.D., Lord Bishop of Soder and Man. First
complete edition. 1 vol. royal 16mo., elegantly ornamented. First
complete edition.

A Discourse Concerning Prayer

And the Frequenting Daily Public Prayers. By SIMON PATRICK, D.D.,
sometime Lord Bishop of Ely. Edited by FRANCIS E. PAGET, M.A., Chaplain
to the Lord Bishop of Oxford. 1 vol. royal 16mo., elegantly ornamented.

HEART’S EASE: Or a Remedy against all Troubles; WITH A Consolatory

Particularly addressed to those who have lost their friends and dear
relations. By SIMON PATRICK, DD., sometime Lord Bishop of Ely. 1 vol.
royal 16mo., elegantly ornamented.


On the Relation between the Holy Scriptures and some parts of Geological
Science. By JOHN PYE SMITH, DD., author of the Scripture Testimony of the
Messiah, &c. &c. 1 vol. 12mo.


Narrative of a Tour through Armenia, Kurdistan, Persia, and Mesopotamia,
with an Introduction and Occasional Observations upon the Condition of
Mohammedanism and Christianity in those countries. By the REV. HORATIO
SOUTHGATE, Missionary of the American Episcopal Church. 2 vols. 12mo.

Magee on Atonement and Sacrifice.

Discourses and Dissertations on the Scriptural Doctrines of Atonement
and Sacrifice, and on the Principal Arguments advanced, and the Mode
of Reasoning employed, by the Opponents of those Doctrines, as held by
the Established Church. By the late Most Rev. WILLIAM MAGEE, D. D.,
Archbishop of Dublin. 2 vols, royal 8vo., beautifully printed.


The complete collected edition of the Poetical Works of ROBERT SOUTHEY,
Esq., LL.D. edited by himself. Printed verbatim from the ten volume
London edition. Illustrated with a fine portrait and vignette. 1 vol.
royal 8vo.

“The beauties of Mr. Southey’s Poetry are such that this collected
edition can hardly fail to find a place in the Library of every person
fond of elegant literature.”—_Eclectic Review._

“Southey’s principal Poems have been long before the world, extensively
read, and highly appreciated. Their appearing in a uniform edition, with
the author’s final corrections, will afford unfeigned pleasure to those
who are married to immortal verse.”—_Literary Gazette._

“This edition of the works of Southey is a credit to the press of our
country.”—_N. A. Review._


General History of Civilization in Europe, from the Fall of the Roman
Empire to the French Revolution. Translated from the French of M. GUIZOT,
Professor of History to la Faculté des Lettres of Paris, and Minister of
Public Instruction. 2d American, from the last London edition. 1 vol.


The Works of the REV. EDWARD BICKERSTETH, Rector of Manton,
Hertfordshire, containing Scripture, Help, Treatise on Prayer, the
Christian Hearer, the Chief concerns of Man for Time and Eternity,
Treatise on the Lord’s Supper, and the Christian Student. 1 vol. 8vo.


Edited by his son, JOHN C. HAMILTON. 2 vols. royal 8vo.

“We cordially recommend the perusal and diligent study of these volumes,
exhibiting, as they do, much valuable matter relative to the Revolution,
the establishment of the Federal Constitution, and other important events
in the annals of our country.”—_New York Review._


By CATHERINE SINCLAIR, author of Modern Accomplishments, Modern Society,
&c. &c. 1 vol. 12mo.


By CATHERINE SINCLAIR, author of Scotland and the Scotch, Holiday House,
&c. &c. 1 vol. 12mo.


Or Sketches of the most Popular Preachers in London. By the author of
Random Recollections, The Great Metropolis, &c. &c. 1 vol. 12mo.


Sermons to a Country Congregation. By AUGUSTUS WILLIAM HARE, A.M., late
Fellow of New College and Rector of Alton Barnes. 1 vol. royal 8vo.

“Any one who can be pleased with delicacy of thought expressed in the
most simple language—any one who can feel the charm of finding practical
duties elucidated and enforced by apt and varied illustrations—will be
delighted with this volume, which presents us with the workings of a
pious and highly gifted mind.”—_Quarterly Review._

Williams’s Missionary Enterprises.

A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises and Triumphs in the South Seas,
with Remarks upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Language,
Tradition and Usages of the Inhabitants. By the REV. JOHN WILLIAMS, of
the London Missionary Society. Numerous plates. 1 vol. large 12mo.

THE FLAG SHIP: Or, a Voyage Round the World,

In the United States Frigate Columbia attended by her consort, the Sloop
of War John Adams, and bearing the broad pennant of Commodore George C.
Read. By Fitch W. Taylor, Chaplain to the Squadron. 2 vols. 12mo. plates.

ELLA V ——: Or the July Tour. By one of the Party. 1 vol. 12mo.

“He can form a moral on a glass of champagne.”—Le Roy.

Missionary’s Farewell.

By the REV. JOHN WILLIAMS, author of Missionary Enterprises, &c. 1 vol.


A Collection of Church Music. Edited by GEORGE KINGSLEY, author of Social
Choir, &c.

“This collection is pronounced by the most eminent professors to be
superior to any published in the country.”

Physical Theory of Another Life.

By ISAAC TAYLOR, author of Natural History of Enthusiasm. Third edition.
1 vol. 12mo.


By ISAAC TAYLOR, author of Natural History of Enthusiasm, &c. &c. Second
Edition. 1 vol. 12mo.

Limitations of Human Responsibility.

By FRANCIS WAYLAND, D.D. Second edition. 1 vol. 18mo.

The Principles of Diagnosis.

By MARSHALL HALL, M.D. F.R.S., &c. Second edition, with many
improvements, by DR. JOHN A. SWETT. 1 vol. 8vo.



Illustrated by Biographical Annals of Asiatic Missions from Primitive to
Protestant Times, intended as a Guide to Missionary Spirit. By ROBERT
PHILIP. 1 vol. 12mo.


Author of the Pilgrim’s Progress. By ROBERT PHILIP. With a fine portrait.
1 vol. 12mo.



Or Beauty of Female Holiness. By ROBERT PHILIP. 1 vol. 18mo.


Or Varieties of Female Piety. By ROBERT PHILIP. 1 vol. 18mo.


Or Development of Female Character. By ROBERT PHILIP. 1 vol. 18mo.


By ROBERT PHILIP. With an Introductory Essay by REV. ALBERT BARNES. 2
vols. 12mo. Containing

    Guide to the Perplexed.
       Do     do Devotional.
       Do     do Thoughtful.
       Do     do Doubting.
       Do     do Conscientious.
       Do     do Redemption.


By ROBERT PHILIP With an Introductory Essay by REV. ALBERT BARNES. 1 vol.


Traced in his Work: a Companion to the Experimental Guides. By ROBERT
PHILIP. 1 vol. 18mo.

_Shortly will be Published_,


Being a continuation of the Lady’s Closet Library, forming the Maternal
portion of the series.


Pastoral Addresses:

By REV. JOHN ANGELL JAMES. With an Introduction by the REV. WM. ADAMS. 1
vol. 18mo.

Contents.—The increased Holiness of the Church. Spirituality of Mind.
Heavenly Mindedness. Assurance of Hope. Practical Religion wisest in
every thing. How to spend a Profitable Sabbath. Christian Obligations.
Life of Faith. Influence of Older Christians. The Spirit of Prayer.
Private Prayer. Self-Examination.


In a series of Letters, especially directed for the Moral Advancement of
Youth. By the REV. JOHN ANGELL JAMES. Fifth edition. 1 vol. 18mo.

The Anxious Enquirer after Salvation

Directed and Encouraged. By REV. JOHN ANGELL JAMES. 1 vol. 18mo.

The Christian Professor.

Addressed in a series of Counsels and Cautions to the Members of
Christian Churches. By REV. JOHN ANGELL JAMES. 1 vol. 18mo.

Happiness, its Nature and Sources.



To the Widow’s God. By REV. JOHN ANGELL JAMES.


Select Discourses on the Functions of the Nervous System, in opposition
to Phrenology, Materialism and Atheism; to which is prefixed a Lecture
on the Diversities of the Human Character, arising from Physiological
Peculiarities. By JOHN AUGUSTINE SMITH, M.D. 1 vol. 12mo.

Thoughts in Affliction.

By the REV. A. S. THELWALL A.M. To which is added _Bereaved Parents
Consoled_, by JOHN THORNTON, with _Sacred Poetry_. 1 vol. 32mo.


True and False Religion.

Lectures illustrating the Contrast between True Christianity and various
other systems. By WILLIAM B. SPRAGUE, D.D. 1 vol. 12mo.

Lectures on Revivals

In Religion. By W. B. SPRAGUE, D.D. With an Introductory Essay by LEONARD
WOODS, D.D. 1 vol. 12mo.

Letters to a Daughter,

On Practical Subjects. By W. B. SPRAGUE, D.D. Fourth edition, revised and
enlarged. 1 vol. 12mo.

Lectures to Young People.

By W. B. SPRAGUE, D.D. With an Introductory Address by SAMUEL MILLER,
D.D. Fourth edition. 1 vol. 12mo.


Comprising a Summary View of the Studies, Accomplishments, and Principles
of Conduct, best suited for Promoting Respectability and Success in Life.
Elegantly engraved frontispiece. 1 vol. 18mo.


Comprising a Summary View of Female Studies, Accomplishments and
Principles of Conduct. Beautiful frontispiece. 1 vol. 18mo.


Remains of the Rev. Edmund D. Griffin. Compiled by FRANCIS GRIFFIN. With
a Memoir by REV. DR. MCVICAR. 2 vols, 8vo.


The Steam Engine, its Origin and Gradual Improvement from the time of
Hero to the present day, as adapted to Manufactures, Locomotion and
Navigation. Illustrated with forty-eight plates in full detail, numerous
wood cuts, &c. By PAUL R. HODGE, C. E. 1 vol. folio of plates and
letter-press in 8vo.

“In this work the best Western and Eastern machinery, as applied to
navigation, together with the most approved locomotive engines in this
country and Europe, are given in detail, forming the most valuable work
for the practical man ever published.”


=And their Children.=

The greatest care is taken in selecting the works of which the collection
is composed, so that nothing either mediocre in talent, or immoral in
tendency, is admitted. Each volume is printed in the finest paper, is
illustrated with an elegant frontispiece, and is bound in a superior
manner, tastefully ornamented.

The following have already appeared uniform in size and style:

=WHO SHALL BE GREATEST?= A Tale: by MARY HOWITT. 1 vol. 18mo., plates.

“The great moral lesson inculcated by this book is indicated by its
title; and while it is prominent enough through the whole volume, it
comes out at the close with most impressive effect. We need not say it
is a lesson which every human being is the wiser and the better for
learning. We cordially recommend the work to all who would desire to form
a sober and rational estimate of the world’s enjoyments.”—_Albany Evening

=SOWING AND REAPING=: or What will Come of It? by MARY HOWITT. 1 vol.
18mo., plates.

“We commenced it with the intention of just looking it over for the
purpose of writing a cursory notice; but we began to read, and so we
went on to the finis. It is very interesting: the characters are full of
individuality.”—_New-Bedford Mercury._

=STRIVE AND THRIVE=: a Tale by MARY HOWITT. 1 vol. 18mo., plates.

“The mere announcement of the name of the authoress, will doubtless
bring any of her productions to the immediate notice of the public; but
Strive and Thrive is not a book for children only, but can be read with
pleasure and advantage by those of a more mature age. It fully sustains
the reputation of its predecessors. The style is easy and flowing, the
language chaste and beautiful, and the incidents of the tale calculated
to keep up the interest to the end.”—_New-York Courier & Enquirer._

=HOPE ON, HOPE EVER=: or the Boyhood of Felix Law: by MARY HOWITT. 1 vol.

“A very neat volume with the above title, and the farther annunciation
that it may be called Tales for the People and their Children, has been
written by Mary Howitt, whose name is so favourably known to the reading

“This volume like all others that emanate from the pen of this lady,
is extremely interesting; the characters are naturally drawn, while
the feeling and passion displayed, give the work a higher rank than is
usually allotted to Nursery Tales.”—_Commercial Advertiser._

=THE LOOKING GLASS FOR THE MIND=: or Intellectual Mirror, being an
elegant collection of the most delightful little stories and interesting
tales: chiefly translated from that much admired work L’ami des Enfans;
with numerous wood cuts—the twentieth edition. 1 vol. 18mo.

The stories here collected are of a most interesting character, since
virtue is constantly represented as the fountain of happiness, and vice
as the source of every evil—as a useful and instructive Looking Glass, we
recommend it for the instruction of every youth, whether Miss or Master;
it is a _mirror_ that will not flatter them or lead them into error; it
displays the follies and improper pursuits of youthful hearts, points
out the dangerous paths they sometimes tread, and clears the way to the
_temple of honour and fame_.


“The circumstances under which this little volume, for the amusement
of children, has been produced, give an additional charm to its truth,
simplicity, and feeling. The tale, though in one passage sorrowful enough
to moisten many a pair of eyes, is full of interest and character. The
latter, we may add, is as much appreciated by children as the former; and
they will take as lively an interest in Ailwin’s ignorant and unselfish
fidelity and her stalwart arms, and in Roger Redfurn the gipsy boy’s
gleams of better nature, as in the developement of the main incident of
the book, a disastrous flood which spread devastation over the Isle of
Axholme two hundred years ago.”—_Athenæum._

“The early tales of Miss Martineau, written to inculcate and illustrate,
by practical examples, the truths of political economy, will survive
her later and more controversial works. So in this little story of
the History and ill-treatment of some Dutch settlers, in the fens
of Lincolnshire—during the wars of the Parliament because they were
strangers, and because, moreover, they interfered with the wild and
ague-shaken gunners and fishermen of the fens,—we see again the same
shrewdness of observation—the same real interest in the welfare of the
humble classes—the same sagacity, and occasional natural pathos, which
rendered the politico-economical tracts so attractive, in despite of
their name and subject.”—_New-York American._

=EARLY FRIENDSHIP=: a Tale by MRS. COPLEY. 1 vol. 18mo., plates.

In introducing the name of a new writer to this series of popular
works, the publishers cannot but express their desire that all who have
purchased previous volumes, will buy this, being assured it will commend
itself to the reader so that the name of Mrs. Copley will soon, like the
name of _Howitt_, be a passport to the notice and favour of the whole
reading community.

=FAMILY SECRETS=: or Hints to those who would make Home Happy, by Mrs.
ELLIS, author of “The Women of England,” “Poetry of Life,” etc.

“The tendency of this book is one of the best and noblest. The scenes
and characters are, it is believed, portraits. Aiming as it does at the
correction of a too prevalent vice—it is expected that the Family Secrets
will command amongst the serious and thinking part of the community as
extensive a popularity as Nicholas Nickleby does in its peculiar circle.”

=PAST DAYS=; a Story for Children. By ESTHER WHITLOCK. Square 18mo.

“It is a delightful, instructive little book; and if the child, when
she closes the volume, find her ‘eyes red with weeping,’ let her not be
ashamed; one old enough to be her grandfather, caught the same disease
from the same source.”—_Philadelphia United States Gazette._


The Symbolical Spelling Book, in two parts. By EDWARD HAZEN. Containing
288 engravings, printed on good paper.

“This work is already introduced into upwards of one thousand different
schools, and pronounced to be one of the best works published.”

Lafever’s Modern Architecture.

Beauties of Modern Architecture; consisting of Forty-eight Plates of
Original Designs, with Plans, Elevations and Sections, also a Dictionary
of Technical Terms, the whole forming a complete Manual for the Practical
Business Man. By M. LAFEVER, Architect. 1 vol. large 8vo. half bound.

Lafever’s Stair-Case and Hand-Rail Construction.

The Modern Practice of Stair-Case and Hand-Rail Construction, practically
explained in a series of Designs. By M. LAFEVER, Architect. With Plans
and Elevations for Ornamental Villas. Fifteen plates. 1 vol. large 8vo.

Keightly’s Mythology for Schools.

The Mythology of Ancient Greece and Italy, designed for the use of
Schools. By THOMAS KEIGHTLY. Numerous wood cut illustrations. 1 vol.
18mo. half bound.


Numerous References, Maps, &c. 1 vol. 18mo.


By J. K. PAULDING, Esq. Illustrated with one hundred unique original
plates by Chapman. Elegantly bound. 1 vol. 12mo.

☞ _Preparing for Publication._


Disce Vivere, Learn to Live; wherein is shown that the Life of Christ
is, and ought to be, an express Pattern for imitation unto the life of a
Christian. By CHRISTOPHER SUTTON, DD., sometime Prebend of Westminster. 1
vol. 16mo. elegantly printed.

The Early English Church;

By the Rev. EDWARD CHURTON, A.M. 1 vol. 16mo. With a Preface by the Right
Rev. Bishop IVES.



Designed chiefly for the use of Students in Theology. By the REV. WILLIAM
PALMER, M.A., of Worcester College, Oxford. Edited, with Notes, by the
Right REV. W. R. WHITTINGHAM, D.D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal
Church in the diocese of Maryland. 2 vols. 8vo. Handsomely printed on
fine paper.

The Beauties of the Country;

By THOMAS MILLER; author of “Rural Sketches,” “Day in the Woods,” &c.


From the French of M. LAURENT DE L’ARDECHE. With Five Hundred
Illustrations, after Designs by HORACE VERNET. 2 vols. 8vo.

The Selected Beauties of British Poetry,

With Biographical and Critical Notices, and an Essay on English Poetry.
By THOMAS CAMPBELL. One handsome volume, royal 8vo.


From the last London edition. 1 vol. 16mo. elegantly printed.

Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

By DANIEL DEFOE. With Three Hundred Illustrations; after Designs by
GRANDVILLE. 1 vol. 8vo.


From the German of HERDER.


The History of the Reformation in Germany. By LEOPOLD VON RANKE, author
of the History of the Popes. Translated by SARAH AUSTEN.

_Recently Published._

The Sacred Choir:


Consisting of Selections from the most distinguished authors, among whom
are the names of HAYDN, MOZART, BEETHOVEN, PERGOLESSI, &c. &c.; with
several pieces of Music by the author; also a Progressive Elementary
System of Instruction for Pupils. By GEORGE KINGSLEY, author of the
Social Choir, &c. &c. Fourth edition.

☞ The following are among the many favourable opinions expressed of this

          _From L. Meignen, Professor of Music, Philadelphia._

    “G. Kingsley,

    “Sir,—I have carefully perused the copy of your new work, and
    it is with the greatest pleasure that I now tell you that I
    have been highly gratified with the reading of many of its
    pieces. The harmony throughout is full, effective and correct;
    the melodies are well selected and well adapted; and I have no
    doubt, that when known and appreciated, this work will be found
    in the library of every choir whose director feels, as many do,
    the want of a complete reformation in that department of music.
    Believe me, dear sir,

                          “Yours respectfully,

                                                       “L. Meignen.”

         _From Mr. B. Denman, President of the David Sacred
          Music Society, Philadelphia, to George Kingsley._

    “Dear sir,—Having examined your ‘Sacred Choir,’ I feel much
    pleasure in recommending it as the very best collection of
    Church Music I have ever seen. It combines the beauties of
    other books of the kind, with some decided improvements in
    selection, arrangement and composition, and commends itself
    to the choir, the parlour and social circle. Wishing you the
    success your valuable and well-arranged work merits, I am, sir,

                         “Yours respectfully.”

           _From the Committee of the Choir of Yale College._

    “Sir,—We have been using for some time past your new
    publication in the choir with which we are connected. We take
    pleasure in stating to you our entire satisfaction with the
    manner in which it has been compiled and harmonized, and would
    willingly recommend it to any of the associations desiring a
    collection of Sacred Music of a sterling character and original
    matter. The melodies are quite varied and of an unusually
    pleasing character; and uniting, as they do, the devotional
    with the pleasing, we have no hesitation in giving them our
    preference to any other collection of a similar character at
    present in use among the churches.”

                    _From Three Leaders of Choirs._

    “Mr. George Kingsley.

    “Sir—We have examined the ‘Sacred Choir’ enough to lead us to
    appreciate the work as the best publication of Sacred Music
    extant. It is beautifully printed and substantially bound,
    conferring credit on the publishers. We bespeak for the ‘Sacred
    Music Choir’ an extensive circulation.

                            Sincerely yours,

                                                     “O. S. Bowdoin.
                                                     “E. O. Goodwin.
                                                     “D. Ingraham.”


English and American.


Beg leave to invite the attention of their Friends and the Public
generally, to their Choice and Unique Assortment of the most important
Works that emanate from the English and American Press.

Their Establishment is distinguished by its large collection of Standard
Works in the several departments of THEOLOGY, CIVIL AND ECCLESIASTICAL

Among their recent importations will be found new and beautiful editions
of the Works of Bacon, Clarendon, Burnet, Jeremy Taylor, Milton,
Barrow, Hooker, Ben Jonson, Mussinger and Ford, Beaumont and Fletcher,
Shakspeare, Froissart, Monstrelet, Doddridge, Baxter, Owen, Strype,
Bloomfield, Cranmer, Butler, Cave, Berkeley, Adams, Greenhill, Donne
South, Hume and Smollett, Gibbon, Robertson, Locke, Lardner, Leslie,
Hurd, Porteus, John Scott, Skelton, Sherlocke, Warburton, Chillingworth,
Leighton, Simeon, Tillotson, Hall, Shirley, Davy, Henry, Clarke,
Wraxhall, Alison, Mitford, Byron, Stackhouse, Bentley, Shaaron, Turner,
Spencer, Warton, Fuller, Lamb, Hazlitt, Coleridge, Shelley, Bingham,
Graves, Beveridge, Wycherley, Congreve, Vanbrugh, Farquhar, and others,
too numerous to mention, always for sale on favourable terms.


Their Assortment of “Modern American Publications” is now very complete,
comprising the most Valuable and Approved



School Books in every variety.

Country Merchants supplied on the most favourable terms.



Beg to inform Literary and Scientific Gentlemen, and the Public
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firm, (now resident in England,) connected with the establishment of a
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They are induced to take this step from a conviction of its important
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It will be their aim to merit the patronage of the public by furnishing
books at the lowest possible price, and the constant attention of a
member of their Firm, personally acquainted with the British and Foreign
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their care.

TERMS.—Colleges, Theological Seminaries, and Incorporated Institutions
generally, may have their orders executed, to any amount, free of duty,
on a charge of Ten per cent. Commission—the Goods to be paid for on their
arrival at New-York—without any advance of cash required.

From Gentlemen, and Private Individuals, (when they are not known to D.
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