صور الصفحة
[ocr errors]


wholesome and invaluable lessons from such study of their character and principles. Our veneration of them has increased in exact proportion to the diligence with which we have lingered over the moral beauties of their lives; the attention with which we have contemplated the purity of their motives, and the wisdom of their precepts; the care with which we have marked all the excellences so pre-eminently and harmoniously blended together in them, and the patriotic emulation with which we have studied to be what we beheld; as Humboldt, from the time that he entered the Torrid Zone, was never wearied with admiring every night, the beauty of the Southern sky, which, as he advanced, continually opened new and brilliant constellations to his view. Neither has such been the effect of familiarity with them as they died; for the closing, final scene in their drama of life surpassed all others in grandeur and effect. “They all yielded to the summons of Omnipotence with the same cheerful submission with which they had ever obeyed the calls of duty here.” Some of them were cut off in the midst of their struggles, but they died the glorious death of the martyred patriot. Others of them died just at the hour of final victory, and in the prime of life; but not prematurely, for they cannot be said to have died too soon whose work was done, and they had lived long enough to secure to themselves a niche in that immortal gallery which belongs to our canonized dead. Again, others of them lived to attain a good old age; to reap a rich harvest of honour and reward, and finally died at the height of human fame. We watched their dissolution with feelings akin to those of the celebrated traveller already alluded to, when, on approaching the equator, and on passing from one hemisphere to the other, he saw those stars which he had contemplated from his infancy, progressively sink, and finally disappear. God grant that the sublime anthems of national woe which so often burst from the full hearts of this great people at the intelligence of their respective deaths, may never die away, but swell to the very heavens, and peal through after ages, perpetuating their memory and the free institutions which they founded, in all the vigour of eternal youth! The fame of the principal actors in the memorable events of the Revolution, it is true, is already secure. Genius has delighted to act as the handmaid of Patriotism in the grateful task of commemorating their services, and the literature of the age is full of the noblest tributes to the patriotism and wisdom of the peerless Washington and the more illustrious of his compatriots. May the rich heritage of blessed privileges which they have bequeathed to us, prove as enduring as their fame. But no one of our “heroic age,” however humble, who acted his part well, should be suffered to pass unnoticed from the theatre of his toils and sacrifices in the cause of our freedom. Common gratitude demands that the remembrance

of all our public benefactors be kept alive by acts commemorative of their names and services; but there are additional reasons, of a peculiar and important kind, why we should especially preserve the memory of the humbler participators in our war of independence. These are to be found in the principles and results of that war; in the new dignity which it gave to the mere individual; in the new importance which it attached to man as man; in the popular tendencies which it gave to the age; and in its sublime and universal vindication of humanity, in teaching that all mankind are partakers of a common nature, and that all have

“noble powers to cultivate, solemn duties to per

form, inalienable rights to assert, and a vast destiny to accomplish.” Influenced by these general considerations, and as a tribute of gratitude for the services, and respect for the memory of an humble, but faithful revolutionary veteran, “I cast this humble stone upon this cairn,” trusting that the similar contributions of other and abler hands, in like manner desirous of discharging some portion of the heavy debt of gratitude owing to the “soldiers of seventy-six,” will continue to pile it aloft, until it towers to the skies—until the good deeds of every “Honest Ned” are duly chronicled, that they may be cherished in the warm hearts of this and all succeeding generations of American freemen. EnwARD CAven Augh was born in the city of Dublin, in 1750. He was born in Ireland, “the natives of which were more instrumental in achieving the Revolution than any other people, save only the inhabitants of these United Colonies.” He came to this country at an early age. When our revolutionary struggle began, his heart glowed with the love of liberty, and he at once warmly espoused the cause of the colonists against the mother country. In the autumn of 1775, the Continental Congress having determined on making a descent upon Canada, three hundred men, under the command of Generals Schuyler and Montgomery, were sent into that country, and succeeded in taking St. John's and Montreal. In the meanwhile another detachment from the American grand army, then in the vicinity of Boston, was organized, to penetrate into Canada by the route of the Kennebec and Chaudière rivers, for the purpose of co-operating with the forces under Schuyler and Montgomery. The detachment consisted of eleven hundred men. Col. Benedict Arnold was appointed the commander in chief of the whole division. The corps was in part composed of riflemen, two companies of whom were from Pennsylvania, viz. Captain William Hendricks's from Cumberland county, and Captain Matthew Smith's from Lancaster county. The toils, privations and sufferings of this detachment seem almost incredible. “Truth is strange, stranger than fiction;” for surely “no pen of ancient chronicler” has ever told, no fancy of the poet ever framed, a tale of romance surpassing in interest the plain, unvarnished narrative of this

[ocr errors]


expedition through the wilderness of Maine, during the midst of winter, and under a climate of the greatest rigour. Its history was written by the late John Joseph Henry, who accompanied the expedition as a private in Smith's company, and who afterwards became President Judge of the second judicial district of Pennsylvania. The Judge compares it, in many respects, to the celebrated retreat of the Ten Thousand Greeks, and says that it would “demand and require the talents and genius of a Xenophon, to do it real justice.” Edward Cavenaugh enlisted in Smith's company of the 1st Regiment of Pa. Rifle, commanded by Col. Thompson of York, which company, as

was before observed, was drafted for the cam

paign. A braver or a better soldier did not accompany the expedition. Judge Henry, in his history of the campaign, makes frequent and most honourable mention of him. On one occasion he rescued the Judge and Lieutenant (afterwards General) Simpson from watery graves. The boat in which they were both seated, was capsized whilst crossing the Kennebec river; “and,” says the Judge, “we should have drowned but for the assistance of Edward Cavenaugh, an Irishman, and an excellent soldier, who was designated in the company by the appellation of “Honest Ned.’” In the daring attack on the city of Quebec, in which the noble Montgomery fell, and which terminated so disastrously to the American arms, he was taken prisoner, and forced by the authorities to join a regiment formed by the English for the defence of the city; being threatened, if he refused, that he would be sent to England in irons, to be executed as a rebel. He remained an enlisted prisoner for six months, when he effected his escape, according to Judge Henry, in the following daring manner. “Towards the end of January, Cavenaugh and Connor happened to compose a part of the same guard at Palace-gate, where the walls are from thirty to forty feet high, independently of the declivity of the hill. Cavenaugh was stationed as a sentry in conjunction with one of the British party. Connor had procured a bottle of rum; coming to the station, he drank himself, and presented the bottle to the British sentry. Whilst the latter was in the act of drinking, Cavenaugh gave him a push with the butt of his musket, which stunned and brought him to the ground. Taking his arms, they sprang over the walls into a deep bed of snow, into which they sank mid-deep. It was with difficulty they extricated themselves, and the relief guard came in time to give them a volley, as they were scampering

away. Thanks to God, my worthy Irishmen escaped unharmed, though as they passed through St. Roque, they were complimented by several discharges of canister and grape-shot.” “Cavenaugh,” the Judge adds, “is still (1812) living, is laborious, and has a large family of children, who are respectable in their way. You cannot conceive the joyousness of my heart, when hearing of him in my peregrinations a few years since, in the mountainous parts of York county. The Assembly of Pennsylvania have granted him . a pension, for which that honourable body has my most fervent blessings. The pittance I then spared him, it is to be hoped, will never make you (the Judge's daughters) the poorer. So much for my preserver, “Honest Ned,” which epithet he still bears among his neighbours, by whom he is much esteemed.” Cavenaugh, after his escape, rejoined the American army under the command of Arnold. He remained in the service four years, and was honourably discharged. "After thus finally leaving the service of his adopted country, in which he had displayed so much bravery and fortitude, he repaired to his old home in Dillsburg, York

county, Pennsylvania, the place which in 1812

contained but a few scattered dwellings, and was described as being situated in the “mountainous part” of the county, but which is now a compact, thriving and pleasant town, located near the base of one of the chain of the South mountains, and bordering upon a highly cultivated and fertile country. He continued to reside there until the period of his death, which took place on the 14th of January last, at the advanced age of 92. His remains were accompanied to the place of interment by a larger concourse of people than ever assembled on a similar occasion in that section of the country, and his corpse was consigned to the grave by the volunteers of the neighbourhood, with military honours. The close of his life was as serene and happy as its active portion had been useful and patriotic. Thus died the last survivor of the memorable campaign against Canada of 1775. At a spontaneous convocation of his neighbours and friends—of “those who knew him,” immediately after his funeral, it was fitly testified that he “never forfeited the title to the appellation of “Honest Ned,’’’ and as touchingly and beautifully regretted that they had lost “so worthy a member of that gallant band, spared to this day by Providence, to grace by their virtues as citizens, the land they had rendered free by their valour.” Peace to his ashes!

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

ELIzABETH OAKEs SMITH, as some of our readers may not be aware, is none other than our valued contributor, so often agreeably known to them as Mrs. Seba Smith; and those who have often traced her singular versatility of talent in the pages of THE LADy's Book, will sympathize with us in our emotions of pride and pleasure as we witnessed the almost enthusiastic admiration which the work now before us has universally elicited from the public press.

“Works of bad taste (says a capable critic) will often captivate the uncultivated many; works of mere taste as often delight the cultivated few; but works of genius appeal to the universal mind.” The rare simplicity of diction, and pervading beauty, and elevation of thought, which are the chief characteristics of “the Sinless Child,” would bring it undoubtedly within the last category, even if public opinion had not already stamped the popularity of the poem. And why do such writings seize at once on the feelings of every class? Wherein lies this mystic power of genius to wake a response in society at large? Is it the force of a high will fusing feeble natures, and stamping them for the moment with an impress of its own? Or is it rather that in every heart, unless thoroughly corrupted by the world, in every mind, unless completely encrusted by cant, there lurks an inward sense of the simple, the beautiful and the true, an instinctive perception of excellence which is both more unerring and more universal than that of mere intellect. Such is the cheering view of humanity enforced in “the Sinless Child,” and the reception of it is the best evidence of the truth of the doctrine it so exquisitely shadows forth. “It is a work (says a discriminating critic) which demands more in its composition than mere imagination or intellect could supply;” and we may add that the writer in unconsciously picturing the actual graces of her own mind, has made an irresistible appeal to the ideal of soul-loveliness in the minds of her readers. She comes before us like the florist in Arabian story, whose magic vase produced a plant of such simple, yet perfect beauty, that the multitude were in raptures from the familiar field associations of childhood which it called forth, while the skill of the learned alone detected the unique rarity of the enchanting flower. We could find no more agree

able task than tracing here a full analysis of this delightful production of our gifted countrywoman; but we have already indicated in these few sentences both its leading idea, and wherein lies the chief power of the author, in giving that idea its most successful expression; and we prefer devoting what space is left us, to some extracts, which may partially illustrate what we have said.

INFANT SLUMBER. A holy smile was on her lip, Whenever sleep was there, She slept, as sleeps the blossom, hushed Amid the silent air!


Each leaflet is a tiny scroll
Inscribed with holy truth,
A lesson that around the heart
should keep the dew of youth;
Bright missals from angelic throngs
In erery by-tray left,
How were the earth of glory shorn
Were it of flowers berest'

They tremble on the alpine heights,
The fissured rock they press,
The desert wild, with heat and sand,
Shares too their blessedness;
And wheresoe'er the weary heart
Turns in its dim despair,
The meek-eyed blossom upward looks,
Inviting it to prayer!


Dear mother! in ourselves is hid
The holy spirit-land,

Where thought, the flaming cherub stands
With its relentless brand;

We feel the pang, when that dread sword
Inscribes the hidden sin,

And turneth every where to guard
The paradise within

FIELD-ELVES. The tender violets bent in smiles To the Elves that sported nigh, Tossing the drops of fragrant dew To scent the evening sky.

They kissed the rose in love and mirth, And its petals fairer grew ;

A shower of pearly dust they brought And over the lily threw.

I saw one dainty creature crown The tulip's painted cup,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

No inward pang, no yearning love,
Is lost to human hearts,
No anguish that the spirit feels,
When bright-winged hope departs;
Though in the mystery of life
Discordant powers prevail;
That life itself be weariness,
And sympathy may fail:
Yet all becomes a discipline,
To lure us to the sky,
And angels bear the good it brings,
With fostering care on high;
Though others, weary at the watch,
May sink to toil-spent sleep,
And we are left in solitude
And agony to weep:
Yet they, with ministering zeal,
The cup of healing bring,
And bear our love and gratitude
Away, on heavenward wing;
And thus the inner life is wrought,
The blending earth and heaven,
The love more earnest in its glow,
When much has been forgiven.


Alas! I may not hope on earth
Companionship to find,
Alone must be the pure in heart,
Alone the high in mind."


And oft her mother sought the child
Amid the forest glade,
And marvelled that in darksome glen
So tranquilly she stayed,
For every jagged limb to her
A shadowy semblance hath,
Of spectres and distorted shapes
That frown upon her path,
And mock her with their hideous eyes;

For trnen the soul is blind To freedom, truth, and inward light, Vague fears debase the mind.


'Tis the summer prime, when the noiseless air
In perfumed chalice lies,
And the bee goes by with a lazy hum,
Beneath the sleeping skies.
When the brook is low and the ripples bright,
As down the stream they go,
The pebbles are dry on the upper side,
And dark and wet below.

The tree that stood when the soil's athirst,
And the mulleins first appear,
Hath a dry and rusty-coloured bark,
And its leaves are curled and sere;
But the dogwood and the hazel bush
Have clustered round the brook—
Their roots have stricken deep beneath,
And they have a verdant look.

To the juicy leaf the grasshopper clings,
And he gnaws it like a file,
The naked stalks are withering by,
Where he has been erewhile.
The cricket hops on the glistening rock,
Or pipes in the faded grass,
The beetle's wings are folded mute,
When the steps of the idler pass.

These passages are chosen merely because they will admit of being thus disconnected from the rest of the poem, on every page of which we find the same alternate features of force and beauty. Of the other pieces in the volume, “The Acorn,” though inferior in high inspiration to the Sinless Child, will by many be preferred for its happy play of fancy and proper finish. Upon the sonnets we shall not dwell, for the simple reason that they are worthy a critical paper by them. selves. We doubt much whether they will be popular, but they evidence concentrated poetical power of a very high, possibly of the very highest order. In conclusion we can only say, that the discrimination of Mr. Keese in bringing these admirable poems before the public in their present shape, adds much to his reputation as a judicious critic, acquired by his previous poetical collections, “Not for the summer hour alone,

[ocr errors]

When skies resplendent shine,

And youth and pleasure fill the throne,
Our hearts and hands we join ;

But for those stern and wintry days
Of peril, pain and fear,

When heaven's wise discipline doth make
This earthly journey drear.”

This is the month for summer excursions. How many in the pursuit of pleasure are leaving comfort behind them! But let them go, all who can, reasonably, from the close, dusty, sun-struck cities, even though they should suffer a hundred inconveniences. It is better to endure the crowded car and dull steamboat than never to look upon the free face of nature, and the beauty and blessings which this season is pouring over our land, as though every shower scattered flowers and every sunbeam kissed the fruits to a sweeter ripeness. Among the host of travellers will be seen many a youthful couple just entering on the path of married life, which at its opening seems—does it not? a very paradise of flowers. But remember, these flowers, to be kept in perennial bloom, must be transplanted, or rather transferred (for they are in the heart and not in the outward world of circumstance) to a happy home. So we trust our young friends are intending, when the bridal tour has been enjoyed, to take on themselves the cares, so that they may enjoy the pleasures, of housekeeping. It may be necessary that, for a season, the young married couple should take rooms—but never let them expect to enjoy the advantages and pleasures of domestic life in a boarding-house. A married man is never fully respected as such, till he is head of his own house; and a married lady can aspire to no kind of importance in her honourable station as wife, till she sits at the head of her own table. We could—and we will some day—write a chapter on the disadvantages of a boarding-house life, for young married ladies; but now for the benefit of the fair, sensible brides, who are intending to commence their happy wisehood in their own sweet homes, we will insert a letter from a mother to her newly-married daughter. “I find by your letters, my dear Caroline, that you are very anxious to hear from me. You fear I have forgotten you, and want my advice, as you say, on a thousand subjects. Your fears are groundless; a mother never forgets her child. I had my reasons for this delay. “In the first place, I knew your time would be very much engrossed by the arrangements necessary on beginning to keep house. It is an important era in the life of a woman, to be taken from the paternal roof where she was a dependent child, an indulged favourite perhaps, and placed at the head of an establishment which she is expected to guide and grace. I think there is often too much advice and interference from relations and friends at such a time. I believe young married women would oftener take a right course from principle, if left to their own reflections, than they do, when urged to adopt such and such arrangements, because they are fashionable and necessary for their station, &c.—considerations usually insisted on by workily people. “In the second place, it is no very slight affair for me to write a letter. I want every thing in a particular way; my table and chair must be arranged with due reference to the light; my pen must be made, my glasses, too, must


be worn. Ah! it is when I begin those employments which used to be so delightful in my youth, that I feel the infirmities of age creeping on me, feel the penalty which the immortal mind must pay for being permitted to remain long in this earthly tabernacle. And I have no Caroline at hand to watch my inclinations and prevent even my wishes. “But do not, my darling, think I regret your marriage; or indeed, regret that you have left me. I rejoice at both, because I believe your virtues will more fully unfold, and that your usefulness and happiness will be better promoted in the union you have formed than they would have been had you remained with me. I feel alone, to be sure: but then I am not lonely, for my heart is with you, and I am studying and thinking how I can assist or counsel you in the discharge of your arduous duties. “Experience cannot be transferred. We may give wise advice, but we cannot give the wisdom to follow it. Men and women must commune with their own hearts, and take counsel, each individual, with the whispers of the divine spirit in his or her own soul, if they would possess that strength of character which, depending on principle, is the only stable foundation of excellence. “You request me, my beloved child, to counsel you concerning your religious deportment, and in referring you to the word of God and the dictates of your own conscience, and entreating you never to adopt a principle of belief or a course of conduct which, in the secret recesses of your own bosom and in the silent and lonely hours of your life, you cannot reflect upon without self-reproach, I give you the best rule my experience suggests. You need have no fear that this rule, if followed, will restrict your enjoyments. ‘The innocent are gay"—and I do think that cheerfulness of spirit should be inculcated as a virtue. Christianity is not sadness, nor is religion gloom. “Never separate your duty to your Father in heaven entirely from your duties and feelings towards his children on earth. “Remember you are to ‘do his will,” before you can understand “his doctrines.” Let the warmth of piety in your heart be evidenced by the kindness and meekness of your spirit towards all around you. I wish you, my dear Caroline, to frame your whole conduct and conversation on the Christian model, and show in your daily life, the beauty, the excellence, ay, and the cheerfulness, the pleasure also, which blesses a truly religious woman. “You are surrounded with the means of worldly happiness, and I wish to see you partake of these enjoyments. But thoughtless gaiety is not happiness. Reflection is to the mind what exercise is to the body, a strengthener. You ought to be cheerful, you may be gay, innocently— but, my child, never be thoughtless. Of the many follies and vices committed in the world, far the greater part are owing to indiscretion, to a want of thought. I have seldom met with a person who did not praise virtue and admire goodness. I believe there are few people who would openly advocate doing wrong. Why then are so many wrongs done? Why do not people practise what they praise! “Because the majority lack strength of mind to resist temptation; which, in other words, is to lack judgment. If a true estimate were made, it would be found that, even for this world, a life of innocence would be the happiest as well as best for all mankind, and it is this right estimate of things I would now, particularly, urge on you,

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »