صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

on all these subjects, but, above all thing3, mast only to a general of the first order; it is by no thoroughly and instinctively understand individual ineans contended that a good general of division men. It was Montecuculi, I believe, who discor-like Ney, or a dashing cavalry officer like Murat ered the death of his opponent Torenne, by the must necessarily be an able politician or negotiamorements of his army after his fall, so complete lor. ly had observation made him acquainted with thal The moral objection to military men is far hero's style of manneuvring. While a consum- stronger and better grounded than the intellectual. mate general may sometimes be able to do this, ii Their faulls stand side by side with their excellenis essential that he should know how to choose his cies. Military experience, while it gives decision, own subordinates and agents with the unerring sa is almost certain to impart an arbitrary tone to the gacity of a Washington or Bonaparte. He must character. Military statesmen will not only re know what chord to touch in the bosom of his sol. fused 10 be shackled by forms in cases of real diers, whether it be his object to excite or sustain emergency, but will often unnece

cessarily violate enthusiasm, or to rebuke insubordination or miscon- principles essential to true liberty. Delays are duct. No army can be made thoroughly efficient sometimes dangerous; but they are often, as has without addressing to it other motives beside fear of been truly said, the necessary price of freedom. punishment. These motives may be very different, One accustomed to the secura jurisdictio of a or greatly modified in the Russian serf, ihe Prus- camp will strike a great blow for natural safety or sian automaton, the impulsive Frenchman or the reform more promptly and effectually, than a mere free American.

civilian; but on the other hand a wrong and danThese considerations show the great mistake of gerous blow is more to be dreaded from him. those who suppose that a commander has none but

The man who has been accustomed to justify physical obstacles to overcome, none but physical summary measures on the plea of salus exercitus, force to resist. Moral influence must often be ap- will too often allege that of salus populi, when his plied, and applied with a master hand to sway the miods of his own soldiers and citizens, as well as stake. He will also be prone to exaction, unrea

own passions are excited, or his interests are at of his enemies. He may not be able to theorize about human nature ; but what is far more impor- and complete, as military.

sonably expecting civil subordination to be as strict tant for all practical purposes, he will know how to $way and bend it to his will.

Familiarity with war has certainly a tendency to He will be a ty rant, but a tyrant like Queen harden the heart; yet soldiers are not only brave Elizabeth, who knows how and when to yield, and and generous, but often distinguished for kindness when to be inflexible. In his character must be and humanity: and even if it were otherwise, uncombined dignity, suavity, familiarity, and energy, ties to be dreaded in a statesman of this age and

relenting harshness and severity are not the qualisecuring at once the respect and affection of his soldiers. He will usually possess that plain and

country. manly eloquence, which disdaining rounded periods

Paradoxical as it may appear, it is nevertheless and rhetorical ornaments, carries away the judg. certain, that a military President will be less apt to ment and feelings by its soul-stirring power.

involve os in war, than one who has been always With all these qualities and attainments, he can devoted to civil affairs. A great change must take not fail to be an able negotiator. In modern times place in our customs, before the President can be the diplomatic talents of Marlborough were no less expected to lead our armies in person. He must celebrated than his military; and there can be lit- now consider an election to that office an end of tle doubt that the blunt energy and far-reaching active military service, and must in case of war, sagacity of Napoleon, had his mind been never in be contented with directing its operations. This toxicated by success, would have been an overmatch will scarcely be an object of ambition to one who for the finesse and insinuation of Talleyrand.

has shone on the battle-field, unless we can conceive But high military genius may often be combined Bonaparte satisfied with the station of Carnot, or with all the patience and art of Talleyrand, as in General Jackson with the War Department. the case of Philip of Macedon, who might well Our national experience seems to coincide with have afforded to despise the philippics of Demos. this reasoning. Our only two wars, since our inthenes, while ondermining the Athenian power not dependence, have been commenced under the aumore by arms, ihan negotiation. Who can suppose spices of Presidents by no means distinguished for that Cicero, with his high genius, and great know. military prowess. Civilians, who have never willedge and experience, was a match in negotiation for nessed the havoc and sufferings of war, will be far the unhesitating energy of the usurper Cæsar? In more apt to vapor above national honor and invin. deed the empire of Rome could never reached 80 cibility, and swallowing whole continents without vast an extent, had not its conquering generals indigestion, than the tried warrior who is reposing been also skillful diplomatists.

on his laurels. Such expedients are not unfre. It will be perceived that these remarks apply 'quently resorted to for the purpose of flattering



national vanity, and sustaining a sinking popu

What simple youth enjoys thy charms larity.

And clasps thee willing in his armsBut there is another aspect in which the election

Who, ignorant of the changeful wind of a military President is exceedingly objectiona- Thal lashes the inconstant sea, ble. It encourages the belief that military distinc- With fond reliance hopes to find lion is the surest passport to popular favor, and

A heart forever true in thee? thereby stimulates the aspiring 10 promote war, as

Unhappy he whose eyes behold a means of winning those verdant laurels which so

Thy charming face, thy locks of gold. much delight the verdant Inuliitude. This is a Behold upon the sacred wall great, and we fear a pressing evil. The Anglo- My garments dripping from the wave, Saxon love of land, stimulated into intensity, in

A votive gift they speak to all,

Or safety from a watery grave, the case of the officers, by the hope of fame and

Yet more than from the cruel sea office on the return of peace, may convert us from They tell of my escape from thee! a peace-loving nation, such as Washington desired us to be, into a horde of modern Romans. We may

Fon, Nov. 12, 1847. forget our wrong.doing in the idea that our sway is always beneficent and salutary ; but when put in words, it is in the form of the old Jesuvical maxim, “the end justifies the means." Every thing which encourages this disgraceful, and we fear, fatal tendency is to be resisted as in the last degree


There may indeed be exigencies in wkich the selection of a military chjeftian is an alternative to

PAR SOUTHWEST. be preferred to soinething worse. We have freely conceded that military genius of the highest order

Who does not love to hear the Hunter's tale implies civilialens of no mean stamp, and that the

or marvellous adventure ? Iho' oft repeated;

Yet with wonders new, and pleasing lantasy, practical sagacity and unhesitating energy of a

It strikes upon the ear, when idly stated 'roundsoldier,

ofien cut the Gordian knot at which

The camp fire's mellow light.- Anon. the trembling fingers of a politi ian hare long been in vain fumbling. But a second or third rate gen In travelling over those lonely wilds.denomieral will have all the faults without the recommen- nated prairies, which constirole a peculiar feature dations of a great commander, while both may of the Western country, the tourist after many usually be expected to be arbitrary and overbear. hours of weariness, where nought but sky and ing; and what is far worse, the glitter of a gener- plain has greeted the vision, will find himself at al's uniform will acquire additional brilliancy in the last entering a huwery grove, which elothes the eyes of those who see that it is often converted sommit of an elevated mound, where the jessainto the robe of civil power.

mine, the orange, and the myrile pour forth the The entire exclusion of military chieftians from incense of nature. This oasis of the prairie, rehigh political office would be a narrow and illiberal ceives the name of Island, from the vast expanse principle. Yet it cannot be denied that their fre- of water which covers the low grounds in the rainy quent or incautious elevation must prove highly season, and adjacent thereto is usually to be found, dangerous.

A CiviliAN. some great sink or natural depression, forming a

grand reservoir during the dry months, where the finny tribe sport in antic gambols, and the water fowl glide in great numbers,

It is to one of these spots, situated in the LacaTO PYRRHA.

sine prairie of Louisiana, that we would direct the

attention of the reader. This spot, from its preHor. 1. 5.

dominant natural growth, has been termed by the

Creole population, Isle Orange, and surely if there 0. Pyrrha, say, what slender boy

is a place on earth entitled to the name, it is the Or those whose locks sweet odours lave,

verdant elevation to which we refer, covered with Embraces thee so fair and coy, Amid the roses of a cave?

an immense grove of orange trees, intermiagled For whom bind'st thou thy yellow hair

with the wild grape. The sun was declining in Flowing and free from jewels rare !

the Western horizon, as our paroy, quitting the Alas! how often will he weep

monotonous prairie roote, began the ascent of that T'hy faithless love, thy broken gage

natural mound, so gradually tapering io iis summit, And trembling gaze upon the deep

as scarcely to be realized, antil having altained its Where waves roll high and tempests rage! utmost height, a boundless view over that rasi ex

panse presented the day-god sinking to his noctur- ( isolated spot had been the resort of one, whose adDal couch. At the base, on the Western side, lay venturous career upon the Ocean struck terror lo a silvery sheet of water of considerable extent, so the mariner's heart, and sealed the fate of richly calm in its mirrored tranquillity, that not a ripple freighted argosies, and whose deeds of savage darseemed to mar its surface, and in the crystal ing have formed the burden of sea romance. Here, in depths, myriads of fish could plainly be discerned years gone by, the buld buccaneer, Lafille, found a in calm repose, may hap, like some stealthy reptile temporary respite from the bustling scenes of maof an every day world, quietly waiting beneath that ritime life, when throwing off the duties of comcovert of inaction to dart upon their unsuspecting mand over a dissolute crew, to whom his word was prey. The gigantic magnolia, then in full bloom law, who with its large lily white flowers, the knarled live oak,

No flag acknowledged, when unfurled his own; from which sprung pendant, the silvery moss, in

The sea his empire, and the deck his throne,termingled with the green misletoe, and the fragrant orange tree, with its yellow blossom, and he sought amidst this quiet seclusion relief from greea and golden fruit in continuous bearing, form- worldly cares, and resigned himself to the arbied a vast canopy over head. As the evening dew trary abandon of Love. Strange phase of husettled upon the flower, the perfume was oppres- manity, where the extremes of passion reign sively sickening to the senses, compelling both predominant! At one moment, warring with his man and beast, to seek the open space on a rocky fellow man, thirsting after blood and treasure, upon headland, rising perpendicular from the lake, in the boundless deep; the next, we find him wrapt which were reflected the glittering stars of the fir- in the bond of servitude, where the kindliest feelmament. There is a simplicity and beauty in the ings of human nature are developed, and amidst development of nature's works, which the artistic this elysium, paying adoration to woman; like power of man can never imitate, and we gaze upon Byron's Corsair ; the placid lake, surrounded by a luxuriant growth of vegetation, or the purling rivolet as it courses

Linked with one virtue, and a thousand crimes. through some pleasani valley, with a feeling akin The cottage which he had erected was still to reverence. Who can wonder at the wild vaga- standing at the period of our visit, although in a ries of the superstitious Grecian, investing the very dilapidated stale, beautifully situated in a glen and the grotto, the fountain and streamulet grove of myrtle trees, around whose trunks the ivy with fancied divinilies, lo whom in his simple reli- and the sweet brier had clung in rich profusion. gion of nature, adoration was paid ; that the moun- Some lofty sycumores, in leafless form, rose up 10lain nymph, the naiad, and the faun, found each an wards the sky, like grim skeletons of the past, appropriate niche, in the mystical temple of his mourning over the scene of departed pleasure. heathen mythology? The peculiar circumstances The only occupant of the Island was a Spaniard connected with our past condition as contrasted by the name of Cosito, who, with his Indian wife, with the present, the legend associated with the had resided unmolested in that quiet seclusion for spot, the automnal season, and the grey-lit hour, twenty years, coltivating a small patch of corn, the all tended to induce a meditative spirii, bringing produce of which, together with the chase, supplied with it a train of fanciful creation. We had but all their wants : presenting one of the most marked recently escaped from imminent danger opon the cases of life in a state of nature, that has ever falprairie, owing to an influx of the waters from the len under the writer's notice. In the life of the Gulf of Mexico, -as described in a previous num- savage, we frequently meet with a similar condiber, *—which threatened destruction by the career- dition, but their association in clans from a coming element, and now, after passing through a ste-munity of interest, frequently leads 10 pelly jealou. rile wasle devoid of vegetation, we found ourselves sies that mar domestic happiness. A constitutional transferred to a paradise of sweets, where the graz- desire for warlike sports, induces foray on neighing don deer invited the sportsman's rifle, and the boring tribes, and continual feuds with each other, placid lake abounding in fish of every variety, the while ambition in the chief, to rise superior to skillful display of the angler's rod. Thus is human his fellow brave, naturally brings on disquietude of life! Ai one moment tossed upon the sea of ad- mind. versity, where the tempest of passion, or the storm From early boyhood, Cosito had led an adven

penury throws its mad waves over its victim, turous life upon the stormy main. Forced into and anon, the genius of fortune rescues the sink- servitude, he had remained under the Pirate Lafitte, ing wretch, with hopes confirmed, of brighter pros- until the closing scene of his operations in the Gulf pects in the future.

of Mexico, when he rendered essential service with Following this train of reflection, fancy led the his leader to the American arms at the battle of mind back to a not far distant period, when this New Orleans, for which they, ingether with other

of their comrades, received from the President of the United States a full pardon for past offences.


• July, 1841.


From Cosito's statement, it would appear that aty strange inconsistency, Lafitte always carried in his an early age he had been entrusted by his father, vessel-that the latter offered to land her at one of in his dying inomenis, 10 a messmate, who for some his numerous depots on the Gulf, and to ensure her crime committed against the laws of his country, a safe transport to her friends, at any point she fled to the rendezvous at Berwick’s bay, and joined might designate, with a sufficient amount of money the band of Lafille, taking the boy Cosilo with to render her comfortable. But from one of those bim. Here Cosito gradually rose from the capa. strange and mysterious incidents, connected with city of a cabin servant to the post of clerk on the bye plots of human existence, the proposition, board the vessel the piratical chief jan commanded. greatly to the surprise of Laflle, for reasons heroOnce in that employ, his services could not be dis. after apparent, was instantly rejected. pensed with, nor would it have been prudent for It would seem that some months previous to the their own personal safely to permit his discharge, date of our story, Lafue, in the disguise of a French however willing he might have been to relinquish nobleman, had visited Vera Cruz, for the purpose * his position. Many were his attempts to escape of ascertaining the period of departure from that 4 from bondage, but without success. From long port of homeward bound vessels, and the galore of and intimale association with Lafitte, he had form their cargoes, as was his usual custom before an at ed a much higher estimate of bis character than lempt at capture. While at a public ball in that has been generally received. Many instances of city, his affable manners and pleasing exterior, a ta chivalrous daring and high toned humanity were won the regard of Senorita - This regard related by Cosito to the writer, which, if correctly soon ripened into love, and the ardor of Castilian's staled, would materially change the prevailing opin- affection, when once developed, need not be deion with regard to that desperate adventurer. I scribed ; it is the soul of her existence. would appear that in the onset of his career, re. His sudden departure presented a second meet. venge for a personal injury to one whom he deeply ing, but the acquaintance of that night was not loved, hy a fiend in human form, was the cause of his soon to be forgotten, and passion onrequited prered breaking the bonds of society, and prosecution by so strongly on her mind, that a severe illness ea. the government for the death of one high in power, sued, which hastened the departure of her father induced him to organize a band for greater aggres- 10 a more genial climate, for the restoration of her sion. Once commined to that association, it seemed health. Her emaciated form at the time of the almost impossible for him to break the vie, although capture was not recognised by Lafitte, but with many efforts had been made on his pari so to do, her that noble mien, and the sparkling fire of the one of which, as given by Cosito, and treasured up eye, could not be mistaken. Unconscious of the in memory, we deem worthy of narration. character of him who had preserved her from bra.

It was a dark fuggy night, when, in the latitude tal outrage, and perhaps death, with that intensity of Cape St. Antonio, a distant cannonade was heard of passion which had haunted her day dreams and by the crew of the vessel which Lafille command night visions, through many a weary hour, she ed, and the bold Buccaneer, believing it to be in part vos never to leave bim. On the arrival of from one of his own squadron, then on the track of Lafille at Baralaria, his principal recdezvogs, with a homeward bound merchantman, ordered all sail his vessel, it is said he was united to her in the to be immediately set to join the rencounter. On bonds of wedlock by his chaplain, in the presence approaching the combatants, he found his anticipa. of a number of his principal officers. Be this as it Lions fully realized, and the deck of the merchant- may, they immediaiely proceeded in a well manned man filled with the men of the piratical cruiser. barge op one of those numerous bayons which is Lafitte soon stood amidst the scene of carnage dent the coast, and through the outlet of the lake His presence caused a cessation of hostilities, and we have described, entered its placid waters. Os by the light of a batile lantern, the delicate form of this Island a comfortable dwelling had been erected a female was seen extended over the body of an aged some years previons by the orders of Lafitte, where man. The lady was soon transferred to the cabin he had sought frequent relaxation from the hustle of his own vessel, and by the application of proper and turmoil of his arduous command, and here it restoratives, aroused from the swoon into which it was his intention to have spent the years of life's appeared she had fallen, on the death of her father. decline. But fate had willed it otherwise. He was When consciousness was entirely restored, and as- destined for nobler deeds of action, in sustaining surances from Lafitte in regard to her personal the cause of Liberty and a nation's rights. safety were confirmed, her history was soon relat- Having resigned the command of his vessel, with ed. She was the only child of a Spanish merchant, the intention of making that resignation permanent, who had accumulated a large fortune in Mexico, amid the peaceful shades of this rural retreat

, and they were returning to their native land, when months of unalloyed happiness went by, in the by the capture of the vessel she lost at once her society of his fascinating Leonora. All com. venerable parent and all worldly possessions. Il munication with his vessel had been cat of was stated to Cosito hy the priest—whum, with except through the agency of Cosito, in corres.

ponding with his principal officer, to whom alone , wave, to the seclusion of his rustic home, one day the secret of his retreat was known. But mur-succeeded another in wearisome monotouy, until life murs and discontent arose among his crew at the had become a routine of never changing incidents. protracted absence of their commander, and al. | The event of our visit, however, formed a new though repeated urged to return, the Rover showed era in his existence, and many were the sales of no disposition 10 abandon the quietude of his Para wild adventure which he narrated to us and in most dise, for the society of his companions. A melan- of which he was the hero. Our lent had been excholy circumstance alone determined his future tended upon the promontory overlooking the lake, course, in the loss of his beloved, after a brief pe. the camp fires burned with glowing light, and the riod of their unior-she dying of some grievous silent hour of midnight had long passed, before we malady—and in her death all hopes of reformation could resign ourselves to rest, being quenched by that bilier anguish which he We had journeyed far from the bounds of civilithought could only be allayed amidst exciting zation, over a vast extent of prairie country, enscenes. Again we find him treading the deck of countering innumerable dangers, and now having his vessel in quest of adventure, unul the closing attained a resting place on that spot, which had scenes of the last war with Great Britain preseni- been the object of our desire, our thoughts were ed the opportunity of serving the cause of the still bent on further adventure. Expectation stood United States in preserving the Crescent City on the mount of promise for brighter prospects, and from ravage. Whether he again revisited that we longed tw hail the coming morn, when the loud pleasant retreat, associated with so many fond re halloo would bound across the lake, and the woods collections, is not positively known.

resound to the echo of merry voices, rousing the The rustic cottage was sinking beneath decay at deer from his velvet couch upon the green sward. the time Cosito revisited it, but with some lille re- An incident, that occurred after retiring to rest on pair it was made habitable until another residence the night in question, is fraught with such fearful more simple and onadorned by art could be con- remembrance, and conveys so practical a lesson, structed as his fature abode, for here, like his that it is thought worthy of narration. We had bolder comrade, he determined to seek that repose been advised by Cosito to keep our horses closely which an association with the world, having the tethered, and to set a relief-guard over them, as brand of Cain upon his forehead, could never fur- straggling Indians were lurking around, watching nish. At the period of his return, a small band of an opportunity to comınit some depredation; which the Lepun tribe of Indians had formed a settlement precautions had been duly observed. Scarcely had on the opposite side of the lake, which was entire we composed ourselves to sleep, when the sound of ly a prairie country, for the purpose of hunting trainping horses, caused me to spring from the hamand fishing. With these people he soon became mock, and, with rifle in hand, to sally forth that I intimate, and from them he selected a beautiful might ascertain the cause of disturbance, at this young girl for his wife, who ever remained faithful unusual hour. ' lo him. Shortly after that event, the small pox On proceeding through the grove of orange-trees, appeared among the Lepuns, producing much mor- in the direction where our horses had been fastentality, and causing a dispersion of the tribe, al- ed, with the lariat to graze, a shrill whistle was though every year some portion of them revisit heard, and in the faint light afforded by the rising the lake, and at the period of our sojourn, were moon, I saw the dim form of a man approaching then on their annual camp fishery, to lay op stock towards me. Barely aroused from slumber, with for the coming winter. During our stay we were the senses not entirely composed to rational refrequently visited by them. We were informed by flection, and not supposing that one of our own Cosito, that they had become very dissolute since company was on the same scoot with myself, the his first acquaintance with them, and it is probable thought immediately arose, that the advancing fig. that the extension of civilization in its westward ure was a horse thief. Demanding his name, and taarch, engrafted all our vices upon them, without receiving no answer, the gun was instantly raised kay of our virtues.

10 my shoulder, and with finger on the trigger, one Within the entire range of rural scenery, either moment more, would have found me the inconsolain Europe or our own country, a more lovely spot ble homicide, but at that instant the peculiar laugh cannot be found that this residence of Cosito; but of P., my bosom friend, made him known to me, his previous wanderings having been confined to when only at the distance of ten feet. the vast expanse of ocean, without any association Although years have rolled round since that with his fellow-beings, either in the narrow streets event, yei thai langh still rings upon my ear and of cities, or amidst the noisy din of manufactories, bids me remember how uncertain are the issues of and with bot a limited education, it was uiter im-oor earthly existence, how slight the link between possible for him to appreciate its beautjes. Like pleasure and sorrow, how narrow the gulf which the forest inmate, he knew no other mode of exis- divides life and death. tence, and when transferred from the bounding But to return from this digression. The servi.

« السابقةمتابعة »