Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

so; and the rest remained on shore, sachusetts. Here he learned to hand, subject, now they were inferior in mar: reef, and steer, and in a short time betial strength, to the cruelty and ca came an active and perfect seaman. price of the bafiled and exasperated Arriving at Salem, in December 1809, despot. Leitensdorfer was one of the he soon went on a visit to his old friend persons who went on board, and wit- and fellow warrior at Brimfield, by nessed the mortification of the ex whom he was hospitably entertained bashaw, and the ravings of his lieuten- and sent to Washington, furnished with ant-general, at this unexpected order, ample testimonials of his bravery and so subversive of their plans, and so ru- services, for the inspection of the Presiinous to their hopes. In this vessel he dent and Secretary of State. Py these acted as a colonel, and proceeded with officers he was referred to the Secretahier by way of Malta to Syracuse. ry at War, and enjoyed, for a time, the

From Syracuse he went to Albania, paradise of suspense into which every taking the route of Corfu to Salona, state expectant is sure to be initiated. with the design of enquiring by letter By continued references, however, from what had become of a son by his first one person to another, his skill in surmarriage, whom he had left behind in veying, drawing, and engineering, hapthe Tyrol. Immediately, however, pened to become known to the surveyupon his landing among the Turks, or of the public buildings, and he he was seized as an apostate Mahome- thereby acquired some of the patrotan and reduced to slavery. The mis- nage of Mr. Latrobe. There he now eries of his situation were in some de- lives, occupying one of the vacant gree relieved, from the circumstance chambers in the northern pile of the of his having fortunately recovered capitol, as a watch or office keeper; several sick sailors during the voyage. providing and cooking for himself, and In addition to this, he pleaded the ne- employing his hands in almost every cessity which he felt, when in the kind of occupation, from the making of American army of Africa, of conform- shoes to the ensnaring of birds and the ing to the dress and manners of that delineation of maps. strange and peculiar people of the west, This extraordinary man is about five under a belief that necessity justified feet ten inches in height, with dark his deceit, and that to act as an Ameri- eyes, black hair, and a brown comcan, was not to feel as a Christian. plexion. His looks are lively, his gesBy degrees, the rigours of his servitude tures animated, and his limbs remarkawere alleviated, and he was at length bly flexible and vigorous. His forerestored to the entire freedom of a head is ample, his features expressive, faithful Mussulman. He next visited and his figure rather spare and lean. Palermo, and there formed a tempora- With such natural marks and powers, ry marriage with a fair Sicilian, who he has been enabled to assume the re“ laughed at all ties but those which spective characters of Jew, Christian, love had made."

and Mahometan; and of soldier, linAbout this time, the new king of guist, engineer, farmer, juggler, tradesNaples threatened to conquer Sicily, in man, and dervise, with apparent facilspite of all the resistance that Ferdi- ity. In short, he has shown himself nand IV. and the English could make. to be one of the most versatile of huOn this, Lietensdorfer became alarm- man beings, having acted, during his ed for his personal safety, knowing multifarious life, in about thirty differwell that he neither deserved nor could ent characters! In the course of his expect mercy from the Frenchmen. adventures he has received several He then determined to embark as a wounds, and his eccentric life has passenger for the United States, but no afforded incidents for a theatrical exmaster of a vessel could be found to hibition on the stage of Vienna. He receive him in that capacity; and be can utter the Hebrew words of worship ing obliged to offer himself as a sailor, almost exactly like a Rabbi in the synhe was entered as such on board a ship agogue; he can recite the Christian bound for Salem, in the State of Mas. Catholic ritual, after the manner of the

Capuchins; and he pronounces the the same period in 1805, being the religious sentences of the Mussulmen time that he served as adjutant and inin Arabic, with the earnestness and spector of the army of the United emphasis of a Mufti. To complete States in Egypt, and on the coast of this «

strange, eventful history," the Africa. Leitensdorfer is at present Congress of America have, at the in- but forty-eight years of age, strong, stance of Mr. Bradley, who detailed and healthy, and if his rambling disthe leading incidents of his life on the position should continue, likely to add floor of the senate, passed a bill, be- many more pages to a biography, stowing on him a half section of land, which, perhaps, has few parallels, (320 acres) and the pay of a captain, except in the adventures and vicissifrom the 15th of December, 1804, to tudes of Baron Trenck.

TO A DYING INFANT.

Thou weepest, childless Mother!

Aye, weep-'twill ease thine heart
He was thy first-born Son,
Thy first, thine only one,

'Tis hard with him to part !
'Tis hard to lay thy darling

Deep in the damp cold earth-
His empty crib to see,
His silent nursery,

Once gladsome with his mirth.
To meet again in slumber

His small mouth's rosy kiss ;
Then, waken'd with a start
By thine own throbbing heart,

His twining arms to miss!
To feel (half conscious why)

A dull, heart-sinking weight,
Till mem'ry on thy soul
Flashes the painful whole,

That thou art desolate !

SLEEP, little baby! sleep!

Not in thy cradle bed,
Not on thy mother's breast
Henceforth shall be thy rest,

But with the quiet dead,
Yes—with the quiet dead,

Baby, thy rest shall be, Oh! many a weary wight, Weary of life and light,

Would fain lie down with thee.
Flee, little tender nursling !

Flee to thy grassy nest ;
There the first flowers shall blow,
The first pure flake of snow

Shall fall upon thy breast.
Peace! peace! the little bosom

Labours with short'ning breath Peace! peace! that tremulous sigh Speaks his departure nigh

Those are the damps of death.
I've seen thee in thy beauty,

A thing all health and glee ;
But never then wert thou
So beautiful, as now,

Baby! thou seem'st to me.
Thine up-turn'd eyes glazed over,

Like hare-bells wet with dew;
Already veil'd and hid
By the convalsed lid,

Their pupils darkly blue.
Thy little mouth half open-

The soft lip quivering,
As if (like summer air
Ruffling the rose leaves) there

Thy soul were fluttering.
Mount up, immortal essence !

Young spirit! haste, departAnd is this death!-Dread Thing ! If such thy visiting,

Ilow beautiful thou art! Oh! I could gaze for ever

Upon that waxen face : So passionless ! so pure! The little shrine was sure

An Angel's.dwelling place."

And then to lie and weep,

And think the live-long night (Feeding thine own distress With accurate greediness)

Of every past delight ;-
of all his winning ways,

His pretty, playful smiles,
His joy at sight of thee,
His tricks, his mimickry,

And all his little wiles !

Oh! these are recollections

Round mothers' hearts that cling-
That mingle with the tears
And smiles of after years,

With oft awakening.
But thou wilt then, fond mother!

In after years look back,
(Time brings such wondrous easing)
With sadness not unpleasing,

E'en on this gloomy track.
Thou'lt say~" My first-born blessing!

It almost broke my heart
When thou wert forced to go,
And yet, for thee, I know,

'Twas better to depart.

[blocks in formation]

ence.

NAPOLEON has at length termi- deatı: is not quite in the spirit of Chris

nated his Prometheus like exist- tianity which puts on the armour of

The vulture that preyed upon faith; it is not in the meekness of rehis vitals has done its work, and noth- signation, but reminds us rather of the ing remains of him but an empty sound Roman part, and is, upon the whole, in the mouths of men. We are told in unison with the life and character of that he died in his military garb, his this extraordinary individual. Knowfield marshal's uniform, and his boots, ing the importance that is attached to which he had ordered to be put on a this-last hour of existence, the fondness short time previous to his dissolution. with which we dwell upon all the There is something melancholy in minutiæ connected with this event, it these details, which, even when con- is not to be wondered at that men who sidered apart from so great a man, ir- have lived for fame should study so to resistibly attracts our sympathy. We comport themselves at this crisis as to dwell with intense curiosity on all that ensure the plaudits of posterity. relates to our passage from this state of Augustus Cæsar chose to die in a being to that “ bourn from whence no standing position, and was careful in traveller returns ;" it is a subject that arranging his person and dress for that intimately and awfully concerns each occasion ; and Seward Earl of Norone of us, and therefore every circum- thumberland, when on the point of stance that can indicate the state of death, quitted his bed and put on his feeling at the terrible parting is care- armour, saying, “ that it became not a fully noted and preserved, and becomes man to die like a beast.” A more reperhaps the most interesting portion of markable instance is that of Maria Louthe history of man.

isa of Austria, who, a short time before In the present instance, the interest she breathed her last, having fallen inis increased tenfold, on beholding a to a sort of insensibility, and her eyes man, who had been so uplifted above being closed, one of the ladies in attendhis fellows, that we might almost have ance remarked that her majesty seemimagined him beyond the shafts of fate, ed to be asleep. “ No," said she, “ I bowed down to that humiliating condi- could sleep, if I would indulge repose, tion to which human nature is subject- but I am sensible of the near approach ed in its process of re union with moth- of death, and I will not allow myself to er earth. With what painful delight be surprised by him in my sleep: I we contemplate the last flutterings of wish to meet my dissolution awake." such a spirit, and watch the expiring The extinguishment of that spirit, efforts of poor mortality, still clinging whose “ sound went forth into all to earth, still labouring for the breath lands," must, no doubt, be considered of posterity, and exhausting itself in ef- as one of the most important and interforts to fall with “ gracefulness at last.” esting events of the day. But it is morThis attempt to brave the horrors of tifying to human vanity to reflect with

what indifference this intelligence has the benefactors of their country, and been received. The truth is, the few the name of Nelson is already strange last years have teemed with events of in our ears. It is not, as some of our appalling magnitude-with giant births old writers apprehended, that we have -unheard-of monsters and prodigies. fallen upon the latter days of the world, Revolutions, with all their sanguinary and that there is not as yet time for train of consequences, have succeeded the enjoyment of fame, or that we are each other with fearful rapidity; and

not still alive to the tale of conquests the caprices of jugglery, which fortune (though the effect of this, as of every delights to play in private life, have other iwice-told tale, must lose somebeen exhibited on the grand theatre of what of its charm as the world advanEurope. We have been glutting our ces in years, but really because nothing eyes with the bloody business of the has been done that contributes in any Circus, and the tale of individual mise- shape to the present happiness or wellry can no longer work upon our sensi- being of mankind. We are about as bilities.

sensibile of the beneficial effects produWe are, perhaps, less impressed ced by the victories of a llowe, as of with the importance of this event, be. the defeat of the Spanish Armada. — cause Napoleon may be said to have And, in general, our knowledge of terminated his political existence when these things is as circumscribed as that he abdicated the throne; but he was of Mr. Southey's narrator of the battle still the lion in the toils, whose destruc- of Blenheim, who could only say that tion is only completed when the death “ 'twas a glorious victory.” blast has sounded. It will be more

We are told that the dissolution of over contended by his admirers, that this great man is an instructive lesson the years of his imprisonnent, though to the world, as affording a striking inreplete with suffering, and though flow- stance of the punishment that awaits ing in darkness and sorrow, will be upon perverted talents, and ill directed more honourable to him when history ambition. But, after all, the world is shall have taken her pen, and meted little benefited by such lessons, and out his measure of praise, than his days grows nothing wiser from the experiof sunshine, when he trod, like a winged ence of the past. Whatever may be Mercury, and waved the rod of the en said of the progressive improvement of chanter. To suffer well is the highest which the nature of man is capable, praise that man can carn; to accom- that glorious prerogative which is said modate the fiery and restles3 spirit to to distinguish him from the brute crcathe uncontrollable changes of fate, not tion, society seems to be marked every potching his days of misery in passive where wiíh the same follies, and the helplessness, but wearing his manhood same vices. The sume passions lead undauntedly about him, is the true test

to the commission of the same crimes. of greatness of soul, which shows most Revolution and bloodshed, havoc and brilliant in surrounding darkness. It ruin, have been ever abroad, and war is said that

has never furled its flag. For when

did example, or the cold maxims of ex* The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their boues,”

perience, ever repressihe wing of yourg

ambition, or queuch the ardours of a It is well if it be so: the good has car- restless spirit: The disasters and unried with it its reward ; and the evil happiness consequent upon the intemmay perchance remain a useful warn- perance of youli, seem to be useful ing to mankind. But, in truth, neither monitors, only when indulgence hias are remembered when their immediate blunted the rige of passion, or satiety effects cease to be felt. Military re- has incapacitated us for enjoyment. So nown is of all others, and very desery- true it is (as Lord Lacon has remarkedly so, the most brilliant and the mosted) that "ature is often hidden, somefading ; it is a splendid meteor, which times overcome. seldom extinguished.” blazes and expires. Wolfe and Aber- Tot, in point of fact, the fixte of Napocrombie are no longer remembered as leon scems no very salutary warning to

those whose talents, combined with fit- found many features of the memorable ting time and opportunity, may induce campaigns of 1814 and 1815, that, in them to tread in his footsteps.

their display of military genius, would Like the end of every other great not have disgraced the brightest days in man, it will serve to point a moral and the annals of Napoleon. adorn a tale ;" but it is nothing more

We have a lively and ingenious porthan the old lesson that has been read trait of this great man from the hand of to us from King Solomon downwards. Madame de Stael, who knew him in We shall find, upon investigation, that the full lustre of his power, which, he was a more fortunate usurper than though probably somewhat distorted in Cromwell. His triumphs were as bril. the outline, and heightened in the colliant, and his reign of longer duration ouring, carries with it, upon the whole, than Julius Cæsar's; his country was that genuine air of truth that makes us not ungrateful to him as Scipio's; his pronounce it to be a likeness, without a seclusion and banishment were as sa- personal knowledge of the original. cred and dignified as Dioclesian's; he “I could not find words to reply to encountered the approaches of dissolu- him," she observes, in relating her first tion with the calmness and philosophic interview, “ when he came to me to resolution, if not with the Christian say that he had sought my father at spirit of Charles the Fifth ; and if he Coppet, and that he regretted having did not, like Samson, crush his enemies passed into Switzerland without having in his fall, he died, at least, in the full seen him. But when I was a little restrength and vigour of a spirit that still covered from the confusion of admiraawed the world. Probably no triumph tion, a strongly-marked sentiment of was more complete, or more calculated fear succeeded. Bonaparte at that time to swell the heart of man, than the re- had no power; he was even believed turn of Napoleon from Elba. He came to be not a little threatened by the capalone, unarmed, a wanderer. The very tious suspicions of the Directory: so elements seemed to aid him at his ap- that the fear which he caused was inproach; armies rose up and flocked spired only by the singular effect of his round him, like the bones before the person on all who approached him. I prophet; and his entry into the capital had seen men highly worthy of esteem; was not in the car of triumph, and with I had likewise seen monsters of ferocithe sound of trumpets, but in the hearts ty; there was nothing in the effect of a mighty people, and borne upon the which Bonaparte produced on me, that universal shout of France. If Turenne could bring back to my recollection was right, that the only pleasures of an either the one or the other. I soon ambitious man are the gaining a prize perceived in the different opportunities at school, and the winning a battle, I had of meeting him during his stay at surely years were too little to purchase Paris, that his character could not be such a moment of exultation, and life defined by the words which we comtoo short to efface its intoxicating monly use: he was neither good, nor sweets. The “ Veni, vidi, vicibe- violent, nor gentle, nor cruel, after the longs more properly to him than to manner of individuals of whom we have Cæsar.

any knowledge. Such a being had no of the events which immediately fellow, and, therefore, could neither preceded his downfall, and which are feel nor excite sympathy; he was more supposed to have tarnished his military or less than a man. His cast of characreputation, it is hardly possible to speak ter, his understanding, his language, with precision or justice. It is a sub- were stamped with the impress of an ject upon which it is safer “ to say unknown nature. I examined the nothing that is false, than all that is figure of Bonaparte (she goes on to obtrue, as we tread upon fires that are not serve) with attention ; but whenever extinguished.” And yet we may ven- he discovered that my looks were fixed ture to affirm, that when party and fac- upon him, he had the art of taking tion shall die away, and the impartial away all expression from his eyes, as voice of truth be heard, there will be if they had been turned into marble.

« ZurückWeiter »