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WANDERER'S NIGHT-SONGS.

I.

Thou that from the heavens art,
Every pain and sorrow stillest,
And the doubly wretched heart
Doubly with refreshment fillest,
I am weary with contending !
Why this rapture and unrest ?
Peace descending
Come, ah, come into my breast !

II.

O'er all the hill-tops
Is quiet now,
In all the tree-tops
Hearest thou
Hardly a breath ;
The birds are asleep in the trees:
Wait; soon like these
Thou too shalt rest.

GOETHE,

A REMINISCENCE OF BENTON.

IN N the autumn of 1856, the writer, should have harmony and reconciliation

wishing to secure the success of a for its object. The subject is a large course of lyceum lectures by some cele- one, and, besides requiring care and brated names, it occurred to him, as one knowledge in the preparation of the of the managers of the course, to apply lecture, would require double the usual to Colonel Benton, who was personally time in delivery, — say two hours. If almost unknown in New England. He I go into it at all, it will be to produce replied as follows: “I have meditated effect, and therefore to be delivered in delivering a lecture this winter in differ- many places and to thinking audiences, ent places, intended for practical effect such as a literary institution and modin the present distracted state of the erate-priced tickets would collect. I Union. I believe there is danger of have never received anything for lecdisunion, and that the first step towards tures, leaving all the proceeds to the averting that danger is to face it and to institutions whose invitations I have fathom it. After the depth and nature accepted; but if I go into the business of the disease are known, the remedy for a winter's work, I should expect the can be considered, which must be con- interest to be mutual,” etc. Without ciliation, an application to all the feel- giving a definite answer, he invited furings of patriotism, national pride, and ther correspondence. mutual interest, which certainly ani- I replied to him that such a lecture mate the great majority in both sec- would be very acceptable to us, and, tions of the Union, and an attempt to coming from a statesman of his age unite them in a course of conduct which and long public services, must have a

marked effect. Mr. Everett had gone dential election between Buchanan and from city to city delivering his lecture Fremont, in which the two parties ocon Washington, but the Union was a cupied substantially the same position far nobler theme than even the “ Father as in 1860, and which, had it resulted of his Country.” After a little nego- in Fremont's election, would probably tiation Mr. Benton decided to come, have brought on the Rebellion four and the details as to terms and time years earlier, and under circumstances were arranged.

far less favorable to the North. He I met him at the Tremont House, in urged that the agitation of the slavery , Boston, as previously agreed upon. question should cease, both North and · Sending in my card, though early in Scuth. He blamed both sections for the morning, he requested me to come the alienation and bitterness that had to his room, where I found him not yet sprung up, and thought we should endressed, in a loose wrapper, with a cap deavor to cultivate the harmony and on his head, sitting at a table, writing. forbearance of former days. He deAnd this was my first interview with picted in forcible language the blessings “Old Bullion," the “Great Expunger," of the Union, and the evils of disunion, the friend of Jackson, the man for years to North and South; showed how closeso cordially hated and hating, almost the ly our interests were interwoven, how only survivor of that long list of able connected with our prosperity was the men clustering around Webster, Clay, Union, and how as two nations we could and Calhoun, who was better acquaint never live in peace. Slavery, revenue ed with our legislation, and had more laws, the navigation of the Mississippi, participated in it, than any other living and other elements of discord, would individual. He spoke with pleasure of continually excite ill will, if not war. the attention he was receiving in Bos- The address contained nothing origiton. Mr. Everett, Mr. Winthrop, and nal, but was carefully prepared and others had immediately called upon able, and evidently spoke the earnest him. He said he had agreed to favor a convictions of the author. His elocuphotograph artist, adding, “We must tion was not particularly attractive. gratify these people, you know.” And He used few gestures, and showed no after some general conversation, inform- animation, except occasionally a few ing him when I must call for him, I words or sentences would be marked took my leave.

by strong emphasis. At times his For several days after this I was voice would sink to a whisper, or rathmuch in his company, and was natural- er his words would be hissed out. He ly anxious to hear his views of men spoke for about two hours, and the and things, and to study a man who reputation of the man caused him to be had been so prominent. He was very listened to with attention, though not communicative and social, never hesi- with enthusiasm, for he had never been tating to speak with the utmost free- a favorite in Massachusetts. The fear dom of any individual, living or dead, of disunion did not generally prevail at or of any measure. He used strong

that time in New England, but was relanguage, not always refined, accom- garded as the dream of croakers and panied frequently with that emphasis timid women.

It had been so long of tone and manner for which he had threatened that our ears had become been noted in the Senate ; and he not familiar with it. Though the audience rarely, as is also well known of General respected the views of so aged and honJackson, introduced expletives not ap- ored a statesman, the fact that he should proved by our Pilgrim fathers.

be so disturbed by such forebodings The lecture which he came to de- seemed to them an indication of his liver, as above stated, was on the sub- mental decay, and they did not know, ject of the Union. It was in the No- they could not know, that he was devember following the exciting Presi- picting what was to be fulfilled in their

own time with horrors of which no im his full height, his eyes flashed fire, agination could then have conceived. and in a voice of thunder he cried out :

He was much pleased with his recep I care not whose relation he is, he is tion, and said to me afterwards : “They a TRAITOR who utters such sentiments.' sat like statues. I could have heard a Good God! it sunk him to the earth, pin drop. The sacredness of the place” sir; he was never heard from afterwards. (it was in a church)" did not restrain “ Mr. Cass is very timid, poor man ! their applause."

afraid to take a decided stand. Mr. The next day was Thanksgiving, Wright" (referring to Silas Wright) and he expressed much pleasure at the “truly said of him, 'He is an amiable opportunity to celebrate with us our man, but afraid of his own shadow.' time-honored festival. In the afternoon Though very peaceful in his private rehe rode with a party of gentlemen lations, never quarrelling with any one, to Plum Island, and from that fine in the Senate he is always for a war beach gazed long and much absorbed with England. He uttered so often in on the rolling waves, and the ships in his speeches, “War is inevitable,' that the distance. I understood him to say it became a by-word. I once turned it it was his first visit to the seaside. on him very much to the amusement

During the time that I spent with of the Senate. After one of his warhim I noted down many of his remarks, speeches I rose, and, speaking of the which have lost none of their interest, little danger of war, ended with his as the persons and events are still so words changed, “ Peace is inevitable.' fresh in our minds. They are given in “ Douglas was driven into the Kana disconnected manner, and many of sas-Nebraska Bill by Atchison and oththem were in reply to questions. ers, the fire-eaters of the South. They

“Tyler was a trifling man, and to this threatened to drop him if he would not characteristic he owed his preservation yield to all their demands. at the bursting of the big gun on board “To advocate disunion is to gain the the Princeton. Word had been given favor of this administration” (that of that a song was to be sung in the cabin, Pierce). “The last foreign appointment and he rushed down to hear it. I was was an editor from Mobile to Mexico, also saved by my characteristic habit whose last editorial was in favor of disof inquiry and investigation. I had

I had union. Those disunion dogs, vulgar been going round all day looking into fellows, get the appointments. One everything, and as a compliment to the wrote nasty, stinking letter from interest I took in the working of the Turin. As soon as it was known there ship I was invited to witness the firing, they dropped him, sir ; would not notice and had just before been requested to him as a man at all in that refined circhange my position that the smoke cle; paid him only the attention due a might not prevent my observation, by representative from the United States; which I was removed from the point made a distinction between the man of danger. Tyler was a man of great and the representative, you understand, good luck. It was a common saying sir." in Virginia, that whoever stood in I remarked to him that his vigor his way would die, and so they pre- surprised me, and his erect and youthdicted the early death of Harrison.” ful appearance, so different from what

Speaking of Mr. Clay, he said : “ He I had anticipated in one of his age. once retorted terribly on a South Caro He replied: " That reminds me of what lina man.

Mr. Clay had censured se occurred in Missouri last summer, when verely some disunionsentiments recently I was stumping the State. Two antiexpressed by a person from that State, Benton men wished to get a look at when this man rose and stated that the me for the first time, but would not author of the remarks was a relative of come into the room, and so peeped in at his. Mr. Clay straightened himself to the door. I was standing up, engaged

in an animated conversation with some convention. An outside pressure,” friends, and suppose I looked more he replied, with a manner indicating vigorous than usual, and one turned to that he referred to himself, “ decided the other and said, 'Good God! we the nomination." shall have to fight him these twenty In reply to a remark that Mr. Buyears !' I keep my health by horse- chanan did not seem to have much back riding

I might be taken by a decision, he observed: “It is too true, foreigner for General Pelissier, on my he is not a firm, decided man; he is black horse. But few ride so well as I too apt to be swayed by others.” I ride. I was once, when riding on my asked him if he had any idea who black horse, with my little grandson on would constitute his Cabinet.

- God his white pony, taken for a riding-mas- Almighty knows, I don't. I am not in ter. Few public men have kept horses his confidence." to ride. Mr. Randolph, who rode much Alluding to the statesmen then living, on horseback, was an exception. he said: “I am much younger than

Contrary to the general opinion, Cass, Van Buren, and the other statesMr. Randolph was a very industrious men of my own age, much more vigorman, and labored much in the commit- ous than Buchanan. Last summer, in tee-room. My seal" (exhibiting it)“was my electioneering campaign in Misgiven me by him, after his duel with souri, I made forty addresses of two or Clay. You will see all about it in my three hours each, to acres of people, “Thirty Years' View.' He ordered under a solstitial sun, successive days, it for me in London, searching out the and travelled twelve hundred miles over coat-of-arms of the Benton family. He rough roads, much unlike yours in New said the motto should be Factis et ver- England. I have ever been temperate, bis, instead of Factis non verbis." and careful of my health.”

In speaking of the industry of public I alluded to Silas Wright as an able men, he remarked : “ John Quincy debater, and asked how he compared Adams was the most industrious man with Mr. Webster. “ They were very I ever knew. I have been often com- unlike. Mr. Webster was more labored pared with him in this respect, though and rhetorical. The arguments of Mr. I cannot compliment myself so highly. Wright always seemed to be evolved I am now engaged on my · Abridg- naturally from the subject.

He was ment of the Debates of Congress,' in very simple in his manner and habits, about sixteen volumes, which will oc- and a most amiable man.” cupy me two years. I hope to live till In riding through Wenham, I point1860, and the remaining two years I ed out to him the old farm-house of intend to devote to a history of Pierce's Timothy Pickering, calling his attention administration.”

to the row of fine larch-trees planted by He evidently did not have a very ex- his hand. “I remember," he remarked, alted opinion of Mr. Pierce, though he “reading in a letter of Mr. Pickering's, said they were always very polite to where he spoke of his fondness for each other. “I have no favors, how- baked apples, — the apples taken from ever, to ask of this administration, none, trees planted by himself. I knew he sir. Mr. Pierce had the high honor to must be a man of simple tastes, for no come in almost unanimously, and he one who has pampered his stomach by will go out with as great unanimity. rich food could relish so plain a diet as At the Cincinnati Convention he did baked apples." not know that Douglas had withdrawn, A gentleman observed to him that and was presented in the pitiable con- many here were very much attached to dition of holding on to the last for a his son-in-law, Mr. Fremont. “I shall nomination, after his chances had be- not quarrel with them for that. I did come hopeless.” I asked him what not support him for President, because influences determined the result at that his party was a sectional party, and I

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could not then have delivered this ad- Presidency than ever. The South will dress. They told many lies about him. ruin him. The assertion that he was a Catholic “ The abolition of the Missouri Comwas designed to act against him doubly; promise killed poor old Cass. if believed, it would alienate the Prot- “ Mr. Clayton was

a very indolent estants, if denied, the Catholics."

He was accustomed to take off It was remarked to him, that he had his clothes and go to bed at two o'clock been very kindly received in New Eng. in the afternoon. His soft-looking flesh land, yet he had always shown himself indicated his habits.” hostile to us and our interests; while He asked me if Taunton, from which were one of us opposed to slavery to he had an invitation to lecture, wasi go South, we should be in danger of not the home of the man who, after personal violence. “It is true," he so many trials, was at last elected said, warmly; “ I wish I had spoken of Governor by one vote ; and he wished it in my address.”

to know where the man lived who I alluded to the squatter-sovereignty wheeled the barrel of apples so many views of Mr. Douglas, then much dis- miles to Boston, as the result of an cussed, when he dropped the pen he election bet. held in his hand, threw back his head, In compliance with my request to and extended both arms, to give em- write his name in my autograph-book, phasis to his words: “Squatter-sover- he wrote as follows : eignty! It is an insane, demagogical - Thomas H. Benton, of Missouri, idea, as unreasonable as for a child to Senator in the Congress of the Unitbe independent of its father. I am ut- ed States for thirty years, and all terly opposed to the further extension that time devoted to the harmony, the of slavery in any manner."

stability, and the perpetuity of the To the observation that he had often Union.” acted “solitary and alone,” he re- I introduced to him the captain of a marked: “If I had always consulted Newburyport privateersman during the others, I should never have done any- war of 1812, who by his bravery had thing. There are ever timid people to captured twenty-seven English vessels. hold one back.”

He appeared much gratified with this I again spoke of his hostility to New interview, expressing his warm approval England years ago, especially as mani- of the whole system of privateering. He fested in the great debate between requested me to write out and send him Webster and Hayne. “My feelings an account of the exploits of this capwere at that time all Southern, and I tain, which I did, and received the foldid not believe Southerners entertained lowing reply :disunion sentiments. I supposed they “I am much obliged to you for the merely meant nullification in the Vir- letter giving me an account of the vesginia sense, which was simply remon- sels which he captured during the war strance. I do not think Hayne was a of 1812. His name and exploits shall disunionist at that time, though he be- appear in the notes of the “ Abridgcame so a few years after ; but Calhoun ment of the Debates of Congress,'

Webster saw through their dis- which I am drawing up, and will conunion schemes before I did.

stitute a part of the answer to the sui“The thirty years I was in the Sen- cidal policy of the late administration ate will stand as the most momentous to give up privateering, which I conin our country's history.” (How differ- sider as cutting off our right arm in ently he would think now!)

naval warfare." “I have known intimately all the The lecture, which he came so far to Presidents since Jefferson, and him to give, he delivered in many different some extent.

places in New England, and every“ Douglas is now further from the where he was well received, as it was

was.

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