Abbildungen der Seite

icence. From that period the highest honors of the state have been freely bestowed upon me; and when, in the darkest hour of calumny and detraction, I seemed to be assailed by all the rest of the world, she interposed her broad and impenetrable shield, repelled the poisoned shafts that were aimed for my destruction, and vindicated my good name from every malignant and unfounded aspersion. I return with indescribable pleasure to linger a while longer, and mingle with the warm-hearted and whole-souled people of that state; and when the last scene shall forever close upon me, I hope that my earthly remains will be laid under her green sod with those of her gallant and patriotic sons.

I go from this place under the hope that we shall, mutually, consign to perpetual oblivion whatever personal collisions may at any time unfortunately have occurred between us, and that our recollections shall dwell in future only on those conflicts of mind with mind, those intellectual struggles, those noble exhibitions of the powers of logic, argument, and eloquence, honorable to the Senate and to the nation, in which each has sought and contended for what he deemed the best mode of accomplishing one common object — the interest and the happiness of our beloved country. To these thrilling and delightful scenes it will be my pleasure and my pride to look back in my retirement with unmeasured satisfaction.

In retiring, as I am about to do, forever, from the Senate, suffer me to express my heartfelt wishes that all the great and patriotic objects of the wise framers of our Constitution may be fulfilled; that the high destiny designed for it may be fully answered ; and that its deliberations, now and hereafter, may eventuate in securing the prosperity of our beloved country, in maintaining its rights and honor abroad, and upholding its interests at home. I retire, I know, at a period of infinite distress and embarrassment. I wish I could take my leave of you under more favorable auspices ; but without meaning at this time to say whether on any or on whom reproaches for the sad condition of the country should fall, I appeal to the Senate and to the world to bear testimony to my earnest and continued exertions to avert it, and to the truth that no blame can justly attach to me.

May the most precious blessings of heaven rest upon the whole Senate and each member of it, and may the labors of every one redound to the benefit of the nation and the advancement of his own fame and renown. And when you shall retire to the bosor of your constituents, may you receive that most cheering and gratifying of all human rewards — their cordial greeting of, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

And now, Mr. President and Senators, I bid you all a long, lasting, and a friendly farewell.



James Kirke Paulding was born in Pleasant Valley, Dutchess County, N. Y., August 22, 1779

With the exception of some assistance from the village school, he was selftaught. He went to the city of New York while still a youth, and obtained employment through the aid of William Irving, who had married his sister. Becoming intimate with Washington Irving, a younger brother of William, he turned his attention to literature, and in connection with his since illustrious friend he published Salmagundi, a series of satirical papers. We have space only to give the titles of his numerous works: The Diverting History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan, 1812 ; The Lay of the Scotch Fiddle, a parody upon Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel, 1813; The United States and England, a political pamphlet, 1814 ; Letters from the South by a Northern Man, 1817; The Backwoodsman, a poem, 1818; a new series of Salmagundi, 1819; a Sketch of Old England by a New England Man, 1822; John Bull in America, 1824. His first novel, Konigsmarke, was published in 1823; Merry Tales of the Three Wise Men of Gotham, in 1826; The Traveller's Guide, in 1828; Tales of the Good Woman, in 1829 ; The Book of St. Nicholas, in 1830. Then appeared, in 1831, his best work, and the one by which his name will be remembered, The Dutchman's Fireside. This is a genuine, life-like story, full of stirring incidents, of picturesque scenes and striking characters, for which the author's early experiences had furnished the abundant materials. The amiable and whimsical peculiarities of the Dutch settlers, the darker traits of Indian character, and the vicissitudes of frontier life have rarely been more powerfully sketched. In 1832 he published another successful novel, Westward Ho! In 1835 appeared his Life of Washington, for youth, a well-considered and valuable work. The next year he published Slavery in the United States, a treatise in which the institution is warmly defended. From 1837 to 1841 he held the post of secretary of the navy. Upon his retirement he wrote two more novels, The Old Continental, 1846, and The Puritan and his Daughter, 1849. He died April 6, 1860.

[From the Dutchman's Fireside.


EARLY next morning, ere the tints of the bright morning reddened the eastern sky or the birds had left their perches among the clustering foliage, all things being ready, Sybrandt launched his light canoe on the smooth mirror of the Hudson, and, assisted by the dusky Charon, old Tjerck, paddled away upward towards the sources of that majestic river. The first day they occasionally saw, along its low, luxuriant borders, some scattered indications of the footsteps of the white 'man, and heard, amid the high, towering forests at a distance in the uplands, the axe of the first settler, the crash of the falling tree, the barking of the deep-mouthed hound, and the report of a solitary, distant gun, repeated over and over by the echoes, never perhaps awakened thus before. A rude hut, the first essay towards improvement upon the Indian wigwam, appeared here and there at long intervals along the shores, the image of desertion and desolation, but teeming with life. As they passed along, the little, half-clothed, white-haired urchins poured forth, gazing and shouting at the passing strangers. Gradually these evidences of the progress of that roving, adventurous race, which is sending forth its travellers, its merchants, its scholars, its warriors, and its missionaries, armed with the sword and the Bible, into every region of the peopled earth, ceased altogether. Nature displayed herself naked before them, and the innocent earth exhibited her beauties in all the careless, unstudied simplicity of our first parents, ere the sense of guilt taught them to blush and be ashamed. There was silence on the earth, on the waters, and in the air, save when the Creator's voice spoke in the whirlwind, the thunder, the raging of the river when the full-charged clouds poured their deluge into its placid bosom.

Night, which in the crowded haunts of men is the season of silence and repose, was here far more noisy than the day. It was then that the prowling freebooters of the woods issued from their recesses to seek their prey and hymn their shrill or growling vespers to the changeful moon or the everlasting stars, those silent witnesses of what mortals wish to hide. As they toiled upward in the moonlight evenings against the current, which every day became more rapid in approaching towards the falls, they were hailed from the shore at intervals by the howl of the wolves, the growling of the bears, and the cold, cheerless quaverings of the solitary screech-owl. When, tired with the labors of the day, they drew their canoe to the shore and lay by for the night, their only safety was in lighting a fire and keeping it burning all the time. This simple expedient furnishes the sole security against the ferocious hunger of these midnight marauders, who stay their approach at a certain distance, where they stand and utter their cry, and glare with their eyes, a mark for the woodsman, who takes his aim directly between these two balls of living fire.


CATALINA, accompanied by her father, embarked on board of the good ship Watervliet, whereof was commander Captain Baltus Van Slingerland, a most experienced, deliberative, and circumspective skipper. This vessel was noted for making quick passages, wherein she excelled the much-vaunted Liverpool packets ; seldom being more than three weeks in going from Albany to New York, unless when she chanced to run on the flats, for which, like her worthy owners, she seemed to have an instinctive preference. Captain Baltus was a navigator of great sagacity and courage, having been the first man that ever undertook the dangerous voyage between the two cities without asking the prayers of the church and making his will. Moreover, he was so cautious in all his proceedings that he took nothing for granted, and would never be convinced that his vessel was near a shoal or a sand-bank until she was high and dry aground. When properly certified by ocular demonstration, he became perfectly satisfied, and set himself to smoking till it pleased the waters to rise and float him off again. His patience under an accident of this kind was exemplary ; his pipe was his consolation more effectual than all the precepts of philosophy.

It was a fine autumnal morning, calm, still, clear, and beautiful. The forests, as they nodded or slept quietly on the borders of the pure river, reflected upon its bosom a varied carpet, adorned with every shade of color. The bright yellow poplar, the still brighter scarlet maple, the dark-brown oak, and the yet more sombre evergreen pine and hemlock, together with a thousand various trees and shrubs, of a thousand varied tints, all mingled in one rich, inexpressibly rich garment, with which Nature seemed desirous of hiding her faded beauties and approaching decay. The vessel glided slowly with the current, now and then assisted by a little breeze, that for a moment rippled the surface and filled the sails, and then died away again. In this manner they approached the Overslaugh, a place infamous in all past time for its narrow, crooked channel, and the sand-banks with which it is infested. The vigilant Van Slingerland, in view of possible contingencies, replenished his pipe, and inserted it in the button-holes of his Dutch pea-jacket, to be ready on an emergency.

“Boss,” said the ebony Palinurus, who presided over the destinies of the good sloop Watervliet, “ boss, don't you tink I'd better put about? I tink we're close to the Overslaugh, now.”

Captain Baltus very leisurely walked to the bow of the vessel, and, after looking about a little, replied, “ Leetle furder, a leetle furder, Brom ; no occasion to pe in zuch a hurry pefore you are of a ting.”


Brom kept on his course, grumbling a little in an undertone, until the sloop came to a sudden stop. The captain then bestirred himself to let go the anchor.

“No fear, boss ; she won't run away.”

“Very well,” quoth Captain Baltus ; I am zatisfied now, berfectly zatisfied. We are certainly on de Overslaugh.”

“ As clear as mud," answered Brom. The captain then proceeded to light his pipe, and Brom followed his example. Every quarter of an hour a sloop would glide past in perfect safety, warned of the precise situation of the bar by the position of the Watervliet, and added to the vexation of our travellers at being thus left behind. But Captain Baltus smoked away, now and then ejaculating, “Ay, ay; de more hashte de lesch shpeed; we shall see py and py.”

As the tide ebbed, the vessel which had grounded on the extremity of the sand-bank gradually heeled on one side, until it was difficult to keep the deck, and Colonel Vancour suggested the propriety of going on shore until she righted again.

“Why, where's de uze, den,” replied Captain Baltus, “of daking all tis drouble, boss? We shall pe off in dwo or dree tays at most. It will pe vull moon tay after to-morrow.” “ Two or three days !” exclaimed the colonel.

“ If I thought so, I would go home and wait for you.”

"Why, where's de uze, den, of daking zo much drouble, golonel ? You'd only have to gome pack again.”

“ But why don't you lighter your vessel or carry out an anchor? She seems just on the edge of the bank, almost ready to slide into the deep water."

“Why, where's de uze, den, of daking zo much drouble, den ? She'll get off herzelf one of deze days, golonel. You are well off here ; notting to do, and de young woman dare can knid you a bair of stogings to bass de dime.”

“But she can't knit stockings,” said the colonel, smiling.

“Not knid stogings ! Py main zoul, den, what is zhe goot vor ? Den zhe must zmoke a bipe; dat is de next pest way of bassing de dime.”

“But she don't smoke, either, captain."

“Not zmoke, nor knid stogings ? Where was zhe prought ub, den? I wouldn't have her vor my wife iv zhe had a whole zloop vor her vortune. I don't know what zhe gan do to bass de dime dill next vull moon, put go to zleep ; dat is de next pest ding to knidding and zmoking."

« ZurückWeiter »