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inquiry was called ; and Mr. CHARLES King was appointed to act in behalf of the Americans. He was then a very young man, and from want of experience, could not reasonably be expected to be as competent as an older person for the investigation of so grave and important a transaction. It was easy to forsee the result, surrounded as he was by old and interested veterans in intrigue and diplomacy. Capt. Shortland was acquitted, on the ground, first, that he was justifiable, in consequence of an attempt on the part of the prisoners to break out; secondly, that he did not give the order to fire, and therefore was not guilty.
The idea that the prisoners wished to escape, was preposterous. They had no inducement to do so, as they well knew that they were merely waiting for arrangements to be completed to send them home. If it had been their wish, they had a fair opportunity about a fortnight before, when they seized upon the bread. If it had been their intention, at the present time, there would have been some mutual understanding, some preconcerted plan; instead of which, the breaking of the wall was known only to the few who were foolishly engaged in it; the great body of the prisoners being at the time within the prisons, with the exception of the few who were conversing and walking at the lower end of the yard, all of whom knew nothing of the affair; and beside all this, the whole difficulty originated in the yard enclosing Nos. 5, 6, and 7 prisons; the inmates of the other four knowing nothing of the transaction, until they were assailed by the soldiers, and made to suffer equally with the others. As to the supposition that the soldiers commenced firing without orders, who does not know that the strict discipline enforced in the military of Great-Britain, at all times, for. bade for an instant such an absurd idea ? Indeed, had the soldiers been possessed of the demoniac spirit of their leader, the havoc would have been threefold greater than it was; for it was evident that they must have generally fired very low, or over their heads, to have caused so many wounded and so few killed.
It would be difficult to account for the motive which actuated Capt. Shortland, in his conduct toward the prisoners, unless it was from his having been many years in the British navy, and having belonged to the class termed the old school ;' possessing all the coarse brutality of that early period of the English service; tyrannical and overbearing to those under his command, and servile to his superiors. There is but little doubt that the repeated reverses of his countrymen on their favorite element, the ocean, and the finale of the contest in the decisive victory at New Orleans, rankled in his bosom; and the affair of the bread, and the breach in the wall, served him as a pretext for his unnecessary and brutal act.
LINES WRITTEN UNDER A PORTRAIT.
What I was, is passed by ;
THE NORTH-AMERICAN REVIEW. Number CXXV. October, 1844. pp. 255. Boston: Otis, BROAD
ERS AND COMPANY. New York: C. S. FRANCIS AND COMPANY.
A various and interesting number of a publication whose out-goings we hope long to be able to greet. The oldest Review in the United States, and by general consent the best, it deserves, and we trust receives, a wide and cordial reception at the hands of American readers. There are nine articles in the present issue, the last including a cluster of brief literary notices. Of these we have as yet found leisure to peruse only five or six with such attention as to qualify us to speak of their merits. The first paper is upon the · American Loyalists,' a class of persons somewhat various in kind, and more numerous by far, we are inclined to think, than most readers are aware of. The opponents of the Revolution were powerful in all the thirteen colonies. They abounded in New-England; this State was their strong-hold; and in the Carolinas they were as numerous as here. The inhabitants of Charleston and its vicinity, as a body, ' preferred that both the American army and the city should fall into British hands.' They'flocked to the royal standard by hundreds, and bound their necks to the yoke of colonial vassalage.' An honorable loyalist, “a victim to conscience,' it would seem was not always the character sustained by this class :
"WHEREVER there was defection, conspiracy, or treason, there were to be seen the stealthy footsteps of the Loyalists. They were connected with the plot to seize, and, as we believed, to assassinate, WASHINGTON and some of his principal officers, and with the plan to destroy Albany. An adherent of the king, and a relative of Nathan Hale, recognized him while on his perilous service, and betrayed him to an ignominous death without a trial. A Tory, who had been in the employment of General Silliman, led the band that took him prisoner. In the capture of General Wadsworth, a Tory was the chief instrument. The loyalist colonel, Beverly Robinson, figures conspicuously in the real or supposed scheme of the Whig leaders of Vermont to resume their allegiance to the crown, and in the treason of Arnold. Arnold might not have fallen, possibly, had he never had Tory connections in his commercial adventures; had he not found so many associates among the Loyalists of Philadelphia ; and had he not married a lady whose sympathies were with the royal cause, and who had been flattered and admired by the officers of the British army. In the plot to attack Falmouth from Castine, the British troops were to do all the open fighting, the Tories all the mean and infamous work. Those who hovered in the vicinity of Washington's camp at Valley Forge, when bis soldiers had neither food nor clothing, to induce and aid desertions, were Americans. On the revolt of the troops of Pennsylvania, another opportunity occurred for tampering with Whig integrity; but the Tory emissaries were delivered up by the men whom they were sent to seduce, and were hung without ceremony or delay.
* Before the last named event, however, the Loyalists had played their last card; we allude to the failure of the British commissioners to effect a reconciliation, which was decisive of the final issue of the contest. While these commissioners were about their master's work, both parties seem to have felt that the important hour which was to determine their destiny had come, and both used their pens and tongues to the utmost of their ability. If the terms of accommodation were accepted, the Whigs would be, at best, only pardoned rebels; while their opponents, riding rough-shod over them, would enjoy all that a grateful sovereign could bestow. The attempt — through the wife of a Loyalist - to bribe a member of Congress, by the offer of a fortune in money, and the best colonial office which the king had at his disposal, to aid in uniting the colonies to the mother country again, proved of incalculable service in recalling the doubting and irresolute to a sense of duty. The noble answer of REED, “I am not worth purchasing; but, such as I am, the King of Great Britain is not rich enough to buy me,' was repeated from mouth to mouth; and from the hour he uttered it, the Whigs had won, and the Tories had lost, the control of a future empire. Henceforth, for ever, the annals of America
were to contain honorable mention of rebel' names, and the high office of ruling the western hemisphere was to devolve upon .new families.'
The entire article is replete with interest, and evinces elaborate historical research. ' Landscape Gardening' is the title of the second paper; and the subject, with its appropriate belongings, is treated in a pleasant and masterly style. The writer seems familiar with his theme; and there are evidences, we think, that it is to his pen that the public were indebted for the article upon 'Architecture in the United States,' in the number of the • North-American' for the July quarter. Handsome and well-deserved tributes are paid to Mr. Downing of Newburgh, whose writings on landscape-gardening have been productive of great, and will be productive of still greater good, in this great country. A new and improved edition of his work, it may not be amiss to add here, has recently been issued by his publishers, Messrs. WILEY AND PUTNAM. The paper on the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb' we have not found leisure to read. “WORDSWORTH's Poetical Works' are, in the succeeding article, reviewed by one who has a heart to feel and taste to discriminate the tenderness and simple beauties of the poet; while at the same time he points out with candor and condemns with justice those faults which have had no small influence, we can well believe, in deterring many readers from extending their acquaintance with some of the most delightful poetry in the English language. The perusal of the article on the · Life and Correspondence of Dr. ARNOLD' we have postponed to 'a more convenient season.' To a very interesting paper upon. The Founder of the Jesuits' we shall endeavor hereafter more particularly to refer; meantime, we commend it to the attention of our readers. Mrs. ( not the Miss ) SEDGWICK’s ‘Alida, or Town and Country,' forms the theme of the next article. The work is commended with a friendly warmth, and very long extracts are made from its pages. One of the very best papers in the number is that on SPARKS' • Life and Works of Dr. FRANKLIN.' It well deserves the liberal space which it occupies and illuminates in the Review; for it involves themes and narrates events of the deepest interest to every lover of his country, and the men who have conferred glory upon her annals. Among the Critical Notices' we find one of Mr. STREET's poetical volume, ‘Drawings and Tintings.' The reviewer agrees with us, we perceive, in considering the title an infelicitous one. It almost compelled him, he tells us, “to shut up the book, without reading a single page.' Mr. Willis,' he adds, “ began these finical titles in his · Pencillings by the Way;' and since that unfortunate titular whim made its appearance, every puny poetaster and proser has felt himself called upon to mimic the affected metamorphosis of present participles into common — - quite too common - nouns.' The notice of Mr. STREET commences with the declaration, ‘No doubt Mr. STREET is a poet; he has the imagination and the faculty divine;' and with this admission, the reviewer proceeds to criticise his author's performances; and in subsequent remarks and extracts, devotes himself entirely to the business of proving that the high praise he had bestowed was either insincere or undeserved. Much that he says of Mr. STREET's' high-pressure language and thoughts,' in certain of his performances, is undoubtedly true, and the poet may and probably will be improved by it; but amidst all his illustrations of Mr. STREET's defects of style, had the critic no room to cite examples of an opposite character? Those faithful transcripts of Nature, in which her minutest lineaments are copied, and for which Mr. STREET is preëminent, were they not worthy of mention, in connection with the unrelieved censure that is rained upon him? It requires a true poet, perhaps, to appreciate these things. Mr. Bryant, unquestionably the very first of American poets, has often copied Mr. Street's daguerreotype pictures of nature from these pages with high and unqualified commendation; and praise from so competent a source must outweigh with Mr. STREET a whole quarto of studied severity. No one who has ever lived in the country, and who has an eye to see and a heart to feel the beauties of Nature, can fail to perceive Mr. STREET's great merit as a limner of her charms. However, the public do appreciate it. “All readers — thank Heaven, and that best and rarest of all senses called common sense - all readers are not critical.' There are still some who are willing to be pleased and thankful for being pleased; and who do not think it necessary that they should be able to parse their pleasure, like a lesson, and give a rule or a reason why they are pleased, or why they ought not to be pleased. This is a consolation, of which no individual opinion, however adverse, no criticism, however savage, can deprive Mr. STREET; and it will have an influence also with his many admirers.
NEAL'S HISTORY OF THE PURITANS, OR PROTESTANT NONCONFORMISTS: from the Reformation in
1517 to the Revolution in 1688. Edited by John OVERTON CuowLES, M. A. In two volumes. pp. 1098. Now-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.
The capable and accomplished editor of these volumes remarks in his preface, that he has long desired to see Neal's admirable history of the Puritans in the hands not only of the ministry and students, but all private reading Christians, a growing class in this country; but its very expensive price has hitherto been an insuperable barrier to its general circulation. Consultation with many of our most influential clergy of all denominations, induced him to prepare the present edition, which is not only so cheap as to admit of general perusal, but imbodies the valuable information which has been garnered up by the wri. ters of the last century. Since Neal finished his work, we have had the writings of TowGood and TOULMIN, Wilson and Palmer, Brooks and Condor, FLETCHER and ORME, and the admirable contributions of Drs. VAUGHAN and Price. The works alluded to, and very many others, have been faithfully and laboriously consulted in order to enrich the volumes before us. The editor assures his readers that the present is the most perfect edition extant; he having made many corrections from the latest London edition. Not an iota has been altered in the original text of NEAL, and every edition of the work has been carefully collated and compared. To the Congregational, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist ministry, these volumes will be welcome; and if American pastors' are faithful to their high trusts, they will see that they are placed in the hands and houses of their people.' The present is from the text of Dr. Toulmin's edition, and contains his life of the author, an account of his writings, and nine exceedingly well-engraved portraits, on steel, of the Puritan worthies. We commend the work to a wide and general acceptance.
THE TRUE LIFE OF THE SCHOLAR. An Address delivered before the Literary Societies of Dart
mouth College, Hanover, (N. H.,) in July last. By Richard B. KIMBALL, Esq. Published at the request of the Societies. New-York: JOSEPH SNOWDEN.
A SOUND, able, and in parts very eloquent exposition of the true life of the scholar, his destiny, and the influences which determine that destiny. We regret that we have not space to show alike the justice of our praise, and the clear and cogent reasoning of the orator. As it is, we must content ourselves with one or two extracts, which will indicate rather the manner than the matter of the Address before us. After showing the necessity of a course of early intellectual training, the elements which should compose that course, and the evils attending a desire of superiority for the sake of superiority, Mr. Kimball observes :
Is this any
• The pride of intellect should ever yield to the noble influence of an expanded benevolence. The idol should be cast down, and the True Deity held up to the contemplation of man. self-sacrifice that is demanded at your hands? If it is, so much greater ihe necessity that you make it, and speedily, or it will be too late. The day has gone by (and I rejoice that it has) for the astonishing personal influence which individuals, as individuals, have exercised for good or for evil in the history of the past. It has become the habit of late to deplore the want of great men. 'Where,' it is asked, are the ADDISONS, the JOHNSONS, the BURKEs und the CHATHAMS of a former age? I reply, that our age produces men of as great mental capacity as those of any previous age; but they do not stand out to view with the same prominence as the distinguished men of former times. These latter shone with brilliancy in the midst of darkness; now the whole firmament is full of light; and although one star differeth from another star in glory,' yet all shine; so that individual superiority is lost in the superiority of the many. The same objects of pursuit and congeniality of feeling unite men now more than formerly. The doctrine of the 'primitive equality of souls,' for so many ages lost sight of, is once more in the ascendant. The aspect of the iutellectual horizon gives token of the elements which are to produce a new order of things; and it is a miserable selfishness, or a more miserable ambition, that would confine the avenue of knowledge to the few, in order that the iguorant should bow down and worship.'
The remarks of the orator upon earnestness, as an element of success in intellectual pursuits, and the cordial tribute which he pays to the lofty and sonorous Ciceronian Latin of the great Tully, from whom he quotes a noble passage, are worthy of especial heed by the student. The warning against the commission of errors during 'the forming-time of life' is admirably enforced by this apposite anecdote:
*It is related of the Duke of WELLINGTON, at the battle of Salamanca, that previous to the engagement he was constantly employed in viewing from his horse the movements of the enemy, as they marched and countermarched, now in solid column, now in open defile, while performing the customary manquvres, in order to gain the vantage-ground before the contest commenced. Their position was evidently in their favor. The eye of the Duke was scarcely taken from his glass, as he watched with breathless interest the different movements of the opposing troops ; taking in at a glance the meaning of every new evolution, and deciding at once upon its effect. Suddenly his countenance changed; the glass trembled as he held it; another long and earnest look, and he threw back his hands, exclaiming: “Thank God! they have made a mistake!' His orders were then given with rapidity; the two armies entered into conflict, and Salamanca was added to the list of victories which distinguished the future conqueror of NAPOLEON. May the thrilling words * They have made a mistake! never be said of you! A mistake!'.- it can never cease to affect you, so long as the past affects you, and you will never have dove with the past. Its influence will cling to you always; for the past is but the present a little removed from sight, and the present is what you will have to do with forever. The present, the everlasting now claims you, and ever will claim you. In the true life there is no future.' . • There is a species of' indolence which cannot be termed inactivity because the one under its influence seems to be always occupied, though accomplishing nothing; but which is a very canker-worm upon the scholar's time; it is the babit of frittering away seconds and minutes, and often hours, in petty nothings; and when at the end of an apparently busy day the scholar asks himself what he has done, he can fix upon little to satisfy him. It is astonishing what strong hoid this pernicious habit takes upon the student, and how impossible it is to shake it off'when once fixed. If you would wisely improve the present, forget not that it is but a second; another and another has flitted by - and where are you? Still lagging, still trilling, still delaying. Heed the warning of GOETHE:
"Lose this day loitering, 't will be the same story
To-morrow, and the rest more dilatory:
‘Nothing but ceaseless action, ceaseless action in the proper sphere, can enable the scholar to fill up the measure of his true life. 'Nulla dies sine linca,' should be his motto, and he should take heed lest at the close of what may seem to have been an eventful existence, it should be said of him, as it was said of the well-known CHARLES SELWYN: · He had nothing to do, and he did it.''
Our readers will perhaps need no other incentive to the perusal of this well-reasoned and well-written Address, than the foregoing random extracts; but we should fall short of our professional duty, did we not commend it, in explicit terms, to the beedful attention of all who are, or are becoming, scholars.
THE DRAMA OF EXILE: AND OTHER POEMS. By ELIZABETH BARRETT DARRETT, author of The
Seraphim, and other Poems. In two volumes. pp. 543. New-York: HENRY G. LANGLEY.
Mrs. BARRETT apprises us in her preface that the present edition 'precedes the English one by a step, a step eagerly taken, and with a spring in it of pleasure and pride.' She observes farther, that her love and admiration have belonged to the great American people as long as she has felt proud of being an Englishwoman, and almost as long as she has loved poetry itself.' Criticism is disarmed by words so kind and gracious, coming from a woman, in a distant land; and we are quite certain that under the circumstances her handsome volumes will be as cordially welcomed by American readers as if they exhibited an order of literary merit superior to that which marks the performances of our own female writers; such for example as those of Mrs. Sigourney, Miss H. F. GOULD, Mrs. NICHOLS, VOL. XXIV.