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mense length, where they had washed the precipices naked and white from the summit of the mountain to the base. Wide and deep chasms also met the eye, both on the summits and the sides, and strongly impressed the imagination with the thought that a hand of immeasurable power had rent asunder the solid rocks, and tumbled them into the subjacent valley. Over all, hoary cliffs, rising with proud supremacy, frowned awfully on the world below, and finished the landscape.
By our side the Saco was alternately visible and lost, and increased, almost at every step, by the junction of tributary streams. Its course was a perpetual cascade, and, with its sprightly murmurs, furnished the only contrast to the scenery around us.
Joel Barlow was born in Reading, Conn., in 1755. He entered Dartmouth College, but completed his education at Yale. During the vacations he served in the army, and was present at the battle of White Plains. Upon his graduation he studied theology, for the purpose of becoming a chaplain, and after six weeks' application (which seems to have been considered sufficient to equip a clergyman militant), he was licensed to preach, and served for the remainder of the war. His Vision of Columbus — afterwards expanded into the more pretentious and less pleasing Columbiad – was written in camp. He left the church and the army, and was admitted to the bar in 1785. He edited a newspaper at Hartford, and, at the request of the General Association of Congregational Ministers, revised and added to Dr. Watts's version of the Psalms. One of Barlow's versions, commencing,
“Along the banks where Babel's current flows," retains its place in the hymn books.
The practical poet next set up a bookstore to dispose of his own wares, which being done he returned to his profession. In 1788 he went to Europe, and remained (mostly in France) seventeen years. It is impossible, in our brief limits, to follow him in his adventures. He was in the midst of the French revolution, and was constantly active with his pen, not forgetting at any time the enterprise and thrift of the true Yankee in accumulating property. On his return to the United States, in 1805, he settled in Washington. He was the object of violent hatred on the part of the Federalists, and his name was linked with Jefferson's and Paine's in a savage attack in verse written by John Quincy Adams. The Columbiad appeared in 1807, a costly and elegant volume. The poem is vigorous and smoothly versified, after the style of Pope and Darwin, but has little of true poetry in all its sonorous lines. The Hasty Pudding, a far more genial composition, was written abroad in 1793, and was dedicated to Mrs. Washington. In 1809 he was about beginning a history of the United States, when his design was interrupted by his appointment as minister to France. In October, 1812, he was sent for by Napoleon, then on his Russian campaign, to meet him at Wilna. His ranid journey across the continent, in the severely cold weather, brought on an inflammation of the lungs, of which he died near Cracow, in Poland, December 22, 1812. From his dying bed he dictated a poem, entitled Advice to a Raven in Russia, a turribly bitter attack upon Napoleon.
[From The Hasty Pudding, written at Chambery, in Savoy, January, 1793.]
Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci.
O, COULD the smooth, the emblematic song
Thee the soft nations round the warm Levant
Thy name is Hasty Pudding, - thus my sire
Let the green succotash with thee contend,
Milk, then, with pudding I should always choose ;
Alexander Hamilton was born in the Island of Nevis, in the West Indies, January 11, 1757 His father was a merchant from Scotland; his mother was the daughter of a French Huguenot; and the son appears to have inherited, in equal measure, the vigor and endurance of the one race and the address and vivacity of the other. His education was not at all systematic; but his active mind instinctively found its proper stimulants, and he began to show his great natural powers at an early age. While attending to his studies at Columbia College, in New York city, the war broke out, and he entered the patriot army as a captain of artillery. In 1777 he was made aide-de-camp to General Washington, and distinguished himself by his ability in correspondence as well as by active personal service in the field. At the close of the war he commenced the practice of law in New York. His chief work, as an author, was the series of papers entitled The Federalist, of which he wrote the greater number - - an elaborate exposition of the Constitution of the United States. These papers, though necessarily abstruse in character, are perspicuous in style and powerful in reasoning. He was the first secretary of the treasury, and in that position he displayed unrivalled skill. The sentences of Daniel Webster upon Hamilton's financial abi:ity are worth quoting anew : “He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of the public credit, and it sprang upon its feet.”
After six years' service Hamilton retired from office, and resumed the practice of his profession. As he had opposed Aaron Burr, first in his endeavors to become president, and afterwards in his canvass for the office of governor of New York, that unscrupulous demagogue, maddened by defeat, challenged him to fight a duel. Hamilton fell at the first fire, and died the next day, July 12, 1804.
It may be doubted whether among the brilliant men of the last century there was any one who was distinguished by so many traits that win the admiration of the world as was Hamilton. Ability of the highest order in public affairs, literary skill, oratorical power, personal intrepidity, graceful manners, and a fine presence, have rarely been seen so exemplified in combination.
The extract here given is the concluding portion of a letter upon the treason of Arnold and the death of Andre, written to Colonel John Laurens, of South Carolina. · The writings of Hamilton have been published, in seven volumes, by his son.
[From a Letter to Colonel Laurens. ]
THE FATE OF ANDRE. NEVER, perhaps, did any man suffer death with more justice, or deserve it less. The first step he took after his capture was to write a letter to General Washington, conceived in terms of dignity without insolence, and apology without meanness. The scope of it was to vindicate himself from the imputation of having assumed a mean character for treacherous or interested purposes; asserting that he had been involuntarily an impostor ; that contrary to his intention, which was to meet a person for intelligence on neutral ground, he had been betrayed within our posts, and forced into the vile condition of an enemy in disguise ; soliciting only that to whatever rigor policy might devote him, a decency of treatment might be observed due to a person who, though unfortunate, had been guilty of notiing dishonorable.
His request was granted in its full extent; for in the whole progress of the affair he was treated with the most scrupulous delicacy. When brought before the board of officers, he met with every mark of indulgence, and was required to answer no interrogatory which would even embarrass his feelings. On his part, while he carefully concealed everything that might implicate others, he frankly confessed all the facts relating to himself; and upon his confession, without the trouble of examining a witness, the board made their report. The members were not more impressed with the candor and firmness, mixed with a becoming sensibility, which he displayed, than he was penetrated with their liberality and politeness. He acknowledged the generosity of their behavior towards him in every respect, but particularly in this, in the strongest terms of manly gratitude. In a conversation with a gentleman who visited him after his trial, he said he flattered himself he had never been illiberal, but if there were any remains of prejudice in his mind, his present experience must obliterate them.
In one of the visits I made to him (and I saw him several times during his confinement), he begged me to be the bearer of a request to the general for permission to send an opened letter to Sir Henry Clinton. “I foresee my fate,” said he, “and though I pretend not to play the hero, or to be indifferent about life, yet I am reconciled to whatever may happen, conscious that misfortune, not guilt, has brought it upon me. There is only one thing that disturbs my tranquillity. Sir Henry Clinton has been too good to me; he has been lavish of his kindness ; I am bound to him by too many obligations, and love him too well to bear the thought that he should reproach himself, or others should reproach him, on the supposition of my having conceived myself obliged, by his Instructions, to run the risk I did. I would not, for the world, leave a sting in his mind that should embitter his future days." He could scarce finish the sentence, bursting into tears in spite of his efforts to suppress them, and with difficulty collecting himself enough afterwards to add, “I wish to be permitted to assure him I did not act under this impression, but submitted to a necessity imposed upon me, as contrary to my own inclinations as to his orders.” His request was readily complied with, and he wrote the letter annexed, with which I dare say you will be as much pleased as I am, both for the sentiment and diction.