صور الصفحة
PDF
[merged small][ocr errors]

Sehuyler, aeeompanied by her daughters, arrived at Washington's head-quarters at Morristown. Here Miss Sehuyler again saw Captain Hamilton, reeently appointed first aid to General Washington, whe renewed his attentions to her, whieh ere long terminated in marriage. This period, fraught with the most exeiting events, made a lasting impression on the mind of this daughter of the Revolution; the welfare of her eountry was near her heart, she felt deeply for the misguided Andre, and sympathized in the afflietions whieh had befallen the lovely wife of the traitor Arnold. In her eorrespondenee with Captain Hamilton, she often made anxious inquiries as to the supposed result of this unhappy affair, whieh drew from him the following letter, illustrative of the earnest of his affeetionato and generous nature; in whieh he says:—

u Arnold, hearing of the plot being deteeted, immediately fled to the enemy. I went in pursuit of him, but was mueh too late, and eould hardly regret the disappointment, when on my return I saw an amiable woman, frantie with distress for the loss of a hushand she tenderly loved—a traitor to his eountry and to his fame—a disgraee to his eonneetions; it was the most affeeting seeno I was | ever witness to. She, for a eonsiderable time,! entirely lost herself. The general went up to see: her, and she upbraided him with being in a plot j to murder her ehild. One moment she raved; an-: other she molted into tears. Sometimes she pressed j her infant to her bosom, and lamented its fate, oeeasioned by the imprudenee of its father, in a manner that would have piereed insensihility itself. All the sweetness of beauty, all the loveliness of innoeenee, all the tenderness of a wife, and all the fondness of a mother, shewed themselves in her appearanee and eonduet.

"We have every reason to believe that she was entirely unaequainted with the plan, and that the first intimation of it was when Arnold went to tell her he must hanish himself from his eountry, and from her forever.

"This morning she is more eomposed. I paid her a visit, and endeavored to soothe her by every methed in my power; theugh you may readily imagine she is not easily to bo eonsoled.

"Added to her other distresses, she is very apprehensive the resentment of her eountry will fall upon her (whe is only unfortunate) for the guilt of her hushand. I have tried to persuade her that her fears are ill-founded, but she will not be eonvineed. She reeeived us in bed, with every eireumstanee that would interest our sympathy; and her sufferings were so eloquent, that I wished myself her brother to have a right to beeome her defender. As it is, I have entreated her to enable me to give her proofs of my friendship. Could I for- \ give Arnold for saerifieing his henor, reputation,! and duty, I eould not forgive him for aeting a part! that must have forfeited the esteem of so fine a i

woman. At present, she almots forgota his erime in his misfortunes; and her herror at the guilt of the traitor is lost in her love of the man. But a virtuous mind eannot long esteem a base one; and time will make her despise, if it eannot make her hate."

This letter was reeoived by Miss Sehuyler about two months previous to her marriage, whieh took plaee at the residenee of her father, in Alhany, on the 14th of Deeember, 1780. After the eapture of Yorktown, in whioh Colonel Hamilton was signalized, he returned to Alhany, but did not remain there long before he was eleeted to Congress, and after the evaeuation of the oity of New York by the British troops, he took up his residenee thero. In a peaeeful simplieity, Mrs. Hamilton performed the duties ef her station with exemplary eare, manifesting great interest for her beloved and struggling oountry, at the same time eherishing that publie spirit whieh so mueh distinguished the women of the Revolution.

She remained in New York until 1790, when Colonel Hamilton, having been appointed Seoretary of the Treasury, removed his family to Philadelphia, where his station brought around him the exalted eharaeters eomposing the early government . His heuse was the hespitable resort of all persons entitled to his regard. This was heightened by the kindness and eordial benevolenee of his amiable lady— traits whieh time has not erased, but remain as a memento of that virtue whieh was the faseination of her visitors. On the retirement of General Hamilton from the Treasury Department, after a shert visit to Alhany, he again took up his residenee in New York, where he passed the residue of a life too shert for the welfare of his eountry. In July, 1804, General Hamilton fell by the hand of Aaron Burr, leaving a widow and seven ehildren, the youngest about four years old. The eares of so young a family, whieh, upon the deeease of her hushand, devolved upon her, instead of oppressing, seemed to bring into fuller action the remarkable energies of her eharaeter. For, soon after that event, with the aid of some other ladies, she founded the orphan asylum of that eity, and, until her removal from it, eontinued to be t he " first direetress" of that institution. Nothing was ever permitted by her to interrupt her eares of this interesting eharity. Its appeals for aid were never made in vain; and she has lived to see it plaeed, through the munifieenee of a few benevolent benefaetors, above merely easual resourees. Until three years past, Mrs. Hamilton eontinued to reside in New York, when she removed to Washington, where she now lives. Her very advaneed age, and her familiarity with the historieal events and persons of this eountry, reaehing haek to its eolonial eondition, have rendered her the objeet of mueh publio euriosity and interest, heightened by the eharaeter of her domestie relations and affinities. The'portrait of any human being whese life embraees almost a eentury' is an objeet of strong emotions; of one who has lived through sueh a eentury fixes the mind and the heart. It tells a tale of many joys and many sorrows, of a noble spirit equal to them all, and, as we pass from it, 'tis with a solemn regret that it tells also of one who, ere long, will only live the objeet of respeetful and lasting remembranees.

MRS. ABIGAIL ADAMS.

Im illustration of the eharaeter of this estimable woman, we must be permitted to transeribe a fow remarks on her aneestry, written by her son, the Hon. John Quiney Adams.

"Ahigail Adams was the daughter of William Smith, a minister of a Congregational ehureh at Weymouth, in the eolony of Massaehusetts Bay; and of Elizabeth Quiney, a daughter of Col. John Quiney, the proprietor of Mount Wollaston. This beautiful spot, about seven miles from Boston, was settled by Thomas Wollaston and thirty of his assoeiates in 1625, five years before that of the Massaehusetts Colony. This settlement was broken up by Governor Winthrop, in the summer of 1630, shortly after his landing; and in 1634 was made part of Boston, and the land granted to William Coddington. This ettate deseended in a direet line till it beeame the property of William Smith, the father of Ahigail Adams, and has been tho resideneo and hirthplaee of the Adams family to the present day. Ahigail Adams, the seeond daughter of William and Elizabeth Smith, was born on the 11th day of November, 1744. Her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had all reeeived their edueation at Harvard College. From this line of aneestry, it may justly be inferred that the family assoeiations of Ahigail Smith were from her infaney among those whose hahits, feelings, and tastes are marked by the love and eultivation of literature and learning. The only learned profession in the first eentury of the settlement of Now England was that of the elergy. At that time, lawyers were but little esteemed. Seienee was seareely better eultivated by the praetitioners of the medieal art; but religion was esteemed among tho most important of worldly eoneerns, and the eontroversial spirit with whioh it was taught, and whieh was at onee the eause and effeet of the Protestant Reformation, stimulated the thirst for learning, and sharpened tho appetite for study and researeh.

"Tho founders of Now England, and the settlers of Massaehusetts Colony Ro well understood the dependenee of praetieal morals upon religions prineiple, that, no sooner had they raised their sheds and piled their log-houses, before their thoughts turned to the ereetion of the edifiee whieh should serve them and their ehildron for the hahitation of the mind. In 1638, John Harvard, himself one of the

most distinguished of their ministers, bequeathed a sum of money for the establishment of a eollege for the edueation of ministers of the Gospel. This institution was soon raised and made, by the eonstitution of the eommonwealth of Massaehusetts, a university, bearing the name of its founder in glory fror n age to age, down to the extinetion of time." At this time the Puritan fathers of Now England eonsidered female edueation to eonsist in the happy arrangement of their domestie eoneerns. The three daughters of Mr. Smith were therefore edueated under his own roof, partly by his own instruetion, with the oeeasional assistanee of a teaeher residing in the same eolony. It has often been remarked that Mr. Smith and his family would have furnished ample materials for another Viear of Wakefield. Mr. John Adams, an attorney-at-law residing in Brain tree, beeame the admirer of Ahigail Smith; but it was some time before the eonsent of her father eould be obtained, he, as a striet Puritan, having eonseientious seruples as to the honesty of the profession. At last, however, he eonsented, and they were married on the 25th of Oetober, 1764, Miss Smith being in her twentieth year. Mr. Adams had been in the praetiee of the law about seven years before his marriage, and had made great advaneement in his profession both as an orator and by his judieial talonts.

The first year after his marriage he gave a fortunate stamp to his brilliant talents as eounsel for an Ameriean seaman, who, in solf-defenee against a pressgang from his Majesty's ship in Boston Harbor, had killed the lieutenant of their party with the stroke of a harpoon. Mr. Adams proved that the usage of impressment had never extended to the eolonies; and that the attempt to impress was unlawful; that tho aet of killing was justifiable homieide; the seaman was aequitted and diseharged. This thrilling ond talented address to the eourt, whieh lasted four hours, was eonsidered of sueh importanee that it was eopied into the London nowspapers, and reeeived an extended eireulation in the mother eountry; and, by the exertions of the young lawyer of Braintree, that brand of harsh servitude, stamped on the forehead of the British seaman, was hanished from the eode of eolonial law.

The year 1765 will ever be remembered as the period when the most violent fermentation eommeneed, oeeasioned by the resistanee of the people to the Stamp Aet. Mr. Adams was the first who showed a determination of resistanee, and often did he endeavor to prepare his young bride for the trials and saerifiees whieh he foresaw must oeeur, before his beloved eountry eould be free from the monarehieal shaekles by whieh she was bound. For nearly ten years, Mr. Adams eontinued his praetiee of the law, with inereasing reputation, till 1774, when he was ealled to the first Congress at Philadelphia. Mrs. Adams remained at Braintree with her ehildren. In 1775, was the first deadly eonfliet. This 505

THE LAND OF BEAUTY.

took plaee at Lexington. Mr. Adams had left his bome some days before, and his partner and ber j ehildren were left exposed to eontinual dangers, and, as orders had been given to seize and imprison I the members of the Continental Congress, Mrs. Adams expeeted heurly that ber dwelling would be visited in seareh for her hushand, and that she might be exposed to insult. She immediately paeked the library of her hushand, and the most valuable part of her furniture, and had it removed to a plaee of safety.

In the autumn of 1775, and during the absenee of her hushand, Mrs. Adams was ealled to pass through a severe aflliotion. An epidemio dysentery was raging; every member of ber family was afflieted by it; and her mother, a brother of ber hushand, and a domestie in her family, were among its vietims. In 1778, Mr. Adams was appointed a joint eommissioner with Dr. Franklin at the eourt of Franee, and required to prepare for a hasty departure; but Mrs. Adams, having at this time four ehildren, eoneluded to remain at Braintreo with the then youngest— Mr. Adams taking with him his eldest son John Quiney, then about eleven years of age. Mr. Adams remained in Franee but one year, when he returned to the bosom of his family; but this happiness was to be but of shert duration, for he bad no sooner returned than he was eommissioned to negotiate a peaee with Great Britain.

Mrs. Adams again remained at heme, and Mr. Adams took with him to England his two eldest sons John Quiney and Charles. In May, 1784, Mrs. Adams left Boston with her only daughter to join her hushand, whe on their arrival repaired with them to Franee, and took up their residenee at the beautiful village of Auteuil. Here they resided rather more than a year, when Mr. Adams was eommissioned os minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain. Mrs. Adams aeeompanied her hushand and family to London, where they resided three j years; and in 1778 she hid adieu to the turmoil of; foreign eourts to return to that eountry whieh was! the joy of her heart. j

During the four years Mrs. Adams spent in England and Franee, she was a minute observer of persons and things, and seldom allowed any event, j hewever trifling, to eseape her notes. Her letters to her friends, giving deseriptions of passing seenes, were very interesting, and would even at this distant period be read with interest.

Many of them whieh appeared at that time wero oopiod into the London and Paris journals, and eommented on with general admiration.

In 1789, the government of the United States was organized, and Mr. Adams was eleeted the first VieePresident. The first Congress met in New York, whero Mrs. Adams removed her family; but, after remaining there one year, it was removed to Phila- j delphia, whero Mrs. Adams resided for nearly ten years. In 1797, Mr. Adams was eleeted President j

of the United States, the Congress still meeting in Philadelphia; but, during the first two years of his administration, it was removed to Washington, and Mrs. Adams with her family took up their residenee there for the remainder of the term.

During all the ehanges and vieissitudes of her hushand's politieal life, Mrs. Adams exereised all the virtues that adorn and dignify the Christian eharaeter. The freedom, ingenuousness, and pleasantry of her temper were known and admired by all whe eonversed with her. She was a lady of uneommon parts, ready theught, quiek apprehension, and proper expression. In her letters, she used a great aptness and felieity of language, and, having a fine understanding, aeeompanied with a faithful and retentive memory, she soon aeeomplished whatever she was desirous to attain. She lived in the hahitual praetiee of benevolenee, and of sineere, unaffeeted piety. Mrs. Adams died of typbus fever on the 28th of Oetober, 1818, at the age of seventy-four, leaving to her eountrywomen the example of an obedient and devoted wife, a eareful and tender mother, a gentle and benefieent mistress, a good neighbor, and a true and eonstant friend.

THE LAND OF BEAUTY.

BT K. C. CtA.zz,

These is a Und wbose glories lie
Beyond the reaeh of mortal sight,

Save when strong faith's prevailing eye
Can pieree through earth's Cimmerlan night,

And feel upon its visions lone

Tbe shadows of the great white throne.

The founts of musie gushing there
Flow not to this beelouded sphere,

Save when sweet bope in midnight prayer
May eateh upon her listening ear,

Quiekened by inspiration's Are,

The eeboes from the seraph's lyre.

Untasted are tbo fruits that spring
'Neath summer skies and quenebless beams,

Save when deep love, on tireless wing,
May soar to drink from living streams,

And taste the fruits from trees that rise

To shade tbose streams of Paradise.

That land nor sin nor death ean tread,

No orphan wanders there forlorn,
Or shivering brother begs for bread

To meet a gilded brother's seoru;
Too pure the living waters flow
To mirror aught of eartbly woo

Tbou land afar, my weary soul

Would quiekly tread thy plains above. Where sorrow's elouds ean neTer roll,

And faith and bope are lost in love. And this my tuneless harp shall bo Made perfeet through Eternity.

THE THREE

BY

"Ann Ro, Julia, you aro willing to leave your old father, and be the sunshine of another's home; is it so, darling?" said a gentleman to his daughter, in one of the pleasant homes of England.

"Ob no!" she replied; "I am not going yet, nor shall I ever leave you, father."

"But, my ehild, have you eonsidered?—no, I need not ask; ehildren do not eonsider—but you may refleet, at some future day, that your imprudenee has brought you to poverty; poverty at least eompared to the affluenee whieh you might eommand. The fortune whieh I shall leave you is small; that of whieh Stanley has just eome in possession is still smaller. True, he has a noble name; but that is of less eonsequenee, when one is the younger son of a younger son. Why, my dear, if I must part with you, eould you not faney the noble Count Rothwell, who so reeently asked me for you? Ho is eertainly Stanley's equal in every respeet, with a fortune suffieiently ample to satisfy even my wishes for your happiness."

"I am sure I don't know, father, why it is so," said Julia, with ehildish naivett; "and I am sorry that for onee our viows do not agree."

"Well, my dear, do as you please; but I eannot eonsent to an uneonditional engagement on your part. If, at the termination of a year, you are still of the same mind, you may then"—and the father, too mueh exeited by his subjeet to finish the sentenee, left the daughter to her refleetions.

Julia was sad. She saw that she had east a shadow over the fond heart of her parent. Well might it grieve her spirit to give pain to one whose earnest eare from her infaney had been that sho should know no sorrow, nor ever feel the ills ineident to her situation as a motherless ehild. Well had the aged oak shielded the tender plant that every day was twisting some now fibre around it, until they were so linked together that no shoek of eireumstanees, and no storm of adversity, eould rend them asunder. Bnt the young eannot see with the eye of experienee, and age ean ill direet the young heart's first dream of love. Jnlia was brotherless and sisterless, as well as motherless. Stanley had been her playmate in ehildhood, and as a brother to her in her riper 'years. Their attaehment had grown so impereeptibly that Julia did not attempt to oheek it, aa she might have done, had she been eonseious of the strength it was attaining, and the grief whieh it would eause her beloved parent. The time to erush the germ was passed, yet the plant eould still be uprooted; but Julia feared that her happiness

CONQUESTS.

ItBA,

J would be destroyed with it, and know that her \ father would sooner givo her to his enemy even, j than see her unhappy. Besides, he had no serious j objeetion to Stanley. He would hardly have thought j any one deserving sueh a treasure, or been willing, 'but that he know that he must pass away, to transj fer to another the rieh jowel in the erown of his old age.

Julia's brow, a brow hitherto plaeid as the bosom ; of a lake uuruffled by a breexe, now wore the shade of troubled thought; but, on seeing her father resume his wonted eheerful aspeet, the eloud whieh had hovered for a moment over her young heart passed quiekly away, and, with spirits buoyant as the mountain air, she returned to her aeeustomed pleasures and duties; her duties to promote the happiness of all around her, from her doting father and devoted lover to her old nurse; and even Kitty and Rover had their share in her attentions: her pleasures to see every eountenanee beam upon her with gladness, and even the poor animals manifest their dumb joy in her presenee. Rapidly, oh how rapidly on the wings of love and hope passed the gay hours of her bright, joyous existenee; and lightly she heeded their flight, little reeking that the arrow waj even now pointed whieh was so soon to be sheathed in her bosom. Stanley loved her truly, if the degree of love of whieh a selfish nature is eapable may be ealled true affeetion. She did not dream that he was selfish and sordid, until she saw that ho was dazzled by the wealth of one who possessed fow attraetions save those of rank and fortune. The thought, from the moment that it entered her mind, was a dagger to her peaee, and she resolved at one* that the moment her suspieions were eonfirmed, he should be free. She soon beeame eonvineed that, though ho really preferred herself, yet were he released from his engagement ho would seek the hand and the fortune of her rival. She did not parley with her affeetion, but wrote him immediately that, as the time had nearly arrived when their engagement was, on her part, to be either eonfirmed or dissolved, she hastened to inform him of a ehange whieh had taken plaee in her feelings; a ehange so great that she oould oonsent no longer to remain under even a eonditional engagement to him. She reeeived a polite aeknowledgment of her eommunieation, eontaining some expressions of regret that the relation whieh had existed between them should be so suddenly terminated, and that he was no longer deemed worthy of her regard. He eould say all this in the sineerity of his heart, for, but for the 507

THE THREE CONQUESTS.

desire of riehes, he greatly preferred the beloved eompanion of his ehildheod.

And now, having aeeomplished her purpose, and severed the tie whieh had so long bound them, Julia's feelings relaxed from the high tension to whieh they had boen wrought, to the deep, deathlike ealm of despair. How gladly would she havo relinquished the life whieh, but now, was all joyous, but whieh had beeome blaek as the pall spread over it by the memory of departed joys! But she theught of her father, and nerved her woman's heart to the stern eonfliet of life, when love, the life of life, was departed. This affeetionate parent saw that it was only by a painful effort that she maintained a ebeerful deportment in his presenee; and, with the delieate pereeption of her feelings whieh a long and elose study of her happiness had rendered more aeute, left her to reeover from the first pressure of the sheek whieh she had sustained, free from the restraint of his presenee. It was well that she was thus alone, for "there ean be no eompanionship for loneliness of heart." When her spirit was thus overwhelmed within her, she turned to a preeious relie of her departed mother, as the only expression of a mother's sympathy whieh she eould now obtain. It was a Bible, whieh she had been aeeustomed to venerate and to read with her father daily. She now opened it with a vague feeling that she might find in it some relief to her overeharged spirit, and was surprised to find it replete with meaning whieh she had never before diseovered. Its language of deep pathes so fully expressed her own heart-broken state, and its promises spoke so soothingly to her wounded spirit, that she found it indeed a support in the heur of her ealamity. She then resolved that it sheuld heneeforth be, in a manner in whieh it had nover yet been to her, the eompanion and guido of her youth. Youth—ah, that spring-time of the spirit was past forever!

The gay, light-hearted girl was gone, and in her plaee appeared the ealm, theughtful, subdued, yet dignified woman. It may be that the tender plant eould no longer bear the full blaze of prosperity, and was now to be rendered healthful and vigorous by the pruning-knife of adversity.

Her father had studied her eharaeter elosely, had marked her in every phase of her ehangeful mood, had analyzed every new development of mind or heart, and knew her better, at least in some respeets, than she knew herself. He was therefore less surprised than she had been to find, on his return, her ealm, serene bearing under this first visitation of sorrow. It is thus that one whe has studied the meehanism of some noble hark sees but his antiei-: pations realized when she rides majestieally through the whirlwind and the storm.

Yet, in her solitude, Julia still felt the keenness of the pang they only know whe have lavished upon an unworthy objeet the untold wealth of their affee- j tions. Sueh were the emotions of her soul, poured \

forth in a strain "To a Nightingale leaning on a Thern"—

"For sympathy from human hearts my breast doth vainly yearn,

And now to thee, tbou mourning one, my aehing heart 1 turn.

A keener pang my bosom fills, a deeper fount is stirred; Yet seorn I not thy lowly griefo, tbou sweetly plaintive hird.

Like thine, my early joys with summer flowers are gone,
Like thine, my bosom leans on memory's piereing tborn;
But not, like thee, my soul with grief ha-th vainly striven,
Till, bowed to earth, I foei its ehain ean ne'er be riven.
In death thy bleeding heart shall soon forgetful be;
Mine feels a deeper wound from eaeh struggle to be free.
But tbough the gift of peaee shall sooner erown thy lot,
Sinee that alone is thine, the boon I envy not.
A deeper grief I bear, yet strength to me is given;
Not rest alone I seek, but perfeet bliss in Heaven."

Julia beeame not misanthropie, hat the power to diseern eharaeter seemed to open upon her at oneo, so little had she before been aeeustomed to exereise it . Her father sought to divert her mind by journeying, the soeiety of a few ehesen friends, and the eultivation of her literary taste.

We will leave the aged parent, whe sheuld have leaned upon his ehild for eomfort, endeavoring by every means in his power to restore to her the happiness so mueh dearer to him than his own, and turn our attention to the unhappy eause of all this suffering. Stanley had been eneouraged by the wealthy belle, whe was a heartless eoquotto, until one possessing, in her estimation, more desirable qualities presented himself. Stanley's attentions were then eoldly rejeeted. He felt that this was but the just reward of the mereenary harter of his affeetions, and would gladly have returned to her whe had ever been the objeet of his esteem and love. He finally so far overeame his mortifieation as to write her a frank eonfession of his error, and to beg her forgiveness and a restoration to her favor. But Julia, ere this, had eompleted the eonquest of her affeetion for him, not merely by her earnest desire and eontinual struggle to do so, but in a manner in whieh she looked not for it . She had uneonseiously beeome ineapaeitated for sueh an attaehment as she had onee eherished for Stanley. Her intelleetual and spiritual growth had been so rapid, that he eould no longer fill the plaeo whieh he had onee oeeupied in her heart . Yet she wrote him kindly, but firmly, that a ehange had passed over her whieh might never be reversed; that she felt no longer towanls him as she onee had done; nor eould she ever feel for him more than the love whieh she was bound to extend to all her fellow-ereatures. How beautifully has Mrs. Hemans expressed this state of the heart in her song!—

"If tbou hast erushed a flower,
The root may not be blighted;
If tbou but quenehed a lamp,
Ouee more it may be lighted;

« السابقةمتابعة »