« PreviousContinue »
THE BRITISH BOMBS AT YORK.
The late Dr. Æneas Monson, of New Haven, a revolutionary patriot who was with our army at the siege of York, in 1781, used to tell a pleasant story about the British Bombs and the dodging of Hamilton and Knox, which is related by a correspondent in the Courier of that city as follows:
The blinds mentioned in the story were made of hogsheads and pipes filled with sand—they were placed there by the British, for they had occupied the redoubt, and had been driven from it by storm by the Americans. Dr. Monson was himself behind those blinds, and within two or three paces
of Hamilton and Knox. With Hamilton, Knox, and others, there were present in that redoubt about four hundred American troops—the French troops were in another redoubt. A general order had been given, that when a shell was seen, they might cry out a shell—but not to cry a shot, when a shot was seen. The reason of this distinction was, that a shell might be avoided, but to cry a shot would only make confusion, and do no good. This order was just then discussed, Col. Hamilton remarking that it seemed to him unsoldier-like to halloo a shell, while Knox contended the contrary, and that the order was wisely given by Gen. Washington, who cared for the life of the men.
The argument, thus stated, was progressed with a slight degree of warmth, when suddenly spat! spat! two shells fell and struck within the redoubt. Instantly the cry broke out on all sides, “a shell! a shell !" and such a scrambling and jumping to reach the blinds and get behind them for defence. Knox and Hamilton were united in action, however differing in word, for both got behind the blinds, and Hamilton to be yet more secure, held on behind Knox, (Knox being a very large man and Hamilton a small man.) Upon this Knox struggled to throw Hamilton off, and in the effort himself (Knox) rolled over and threw Hamilton off towards the shells. Hamilton however scrabbled back again behind the blinds. All this was done rapidly, for in two minutes the shells burst, and threw their deadly missiles in all directions. It was now safe and soldier-like to stand out. “Now," says Knox, “now what do you think, Mr. Hamilton, about crying shell—but let me tell you not to make a breastwork of me again." Doctor Monson add
ed that on looking around and finding not a man hurt out of the more than 400, Knox exclaimed, " it is a miracle !"
JANNEY'S LIFE OF WILLIAM PENN.
The Life of William Penn; with Selections from his Corres
pondence and Autobiography. By Samuel M. Janney, 1 vol. Hvo., pp. 560. Philadelphia : Hogan, Perkins & Co. 1852.
We have here a new life of William Penn, by a citizen of our own State, which we think the best account of the great Proprietor of Pennsylvania that we have yet seen, or, we suppose, that has yet been given to the public. It seems, indeed, that Mr. J. has had access to some materials for his work-preserved in the archives of the American Philosophical Society, and of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, which have escaped the knowledge or researches of former biographers. He has given us also, very properly, a larger selection from the letters of Penn, than any writer who has gone before him, and he has manifestly used them with good judgment and happy effect. He has furnished us, accordingly, with what appears to be a very honest and faithful view of the character and conduct of the eminent and excellent man whom he has undertaken to set before us, and has certainly given us a new impression of his superior merit. We cannot of course discuss particular points with our author in our brief notice; but we must say that his apology for Penn, in answer to the pungent strictures of Macaulay, (in which he mainly follows Forster,) strikes us as substantially fair, and worthy at least of candid consideration-though we cannot say that it has entirely satisfied us of the absolute propriety of his hero's course, especially in the case of the bishops. The truth is, we suppose, it was the misfortune of Penn, to have formed a close intimacy, with a most worthless man, James the II. before the latter had become a king, and showed himself to be what he was; and had received great obligations from him which he was naturally anxious to repay, and it would rather appear, from his own showing, that he carried his complaisance to the royal brute a little further, on some occasions, than was altogether proper or becoming. We are not disposed, however, to be very strict in our judgment of such a man; but rather willing to make all generous allowances for him that truth and fairness will permit; and we give hin full credit, of course, for the motives which he assigns for his conduct throughout.
We may add, that the style of the narrative is clear, neat, and altogether suited to the subject. And upon the whole, we warmly commend the work to all that favor of the public which we think it well deserves.
EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY.
Lectures on the Evidences of Christianity, delivered at the Uni
versity of Virginia, during the session of 1850-51. pp. 606. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers; 1852.
This is a valuable work, and, generally speaking, does great credit to its various authors who have manifestly vied with each other in giving us the best fruits of their minds on a subject eminently worthy of their highest powers. Some of the lectures, accordingly, we think, are fully equal, if not a little superior, to any thing that has heretofore appeared upon the same topics. Among these, we may specify the lecture on the “ General Internal Evidence of Christianity,” by the Rev. Dr. Robert J. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, which strikes us as a "strain of higher mood,” and certainly opens some reaches of thought and emotion which, both for depth and comprehension, seem to surpass any that we have ever surveyed. The lecture, too, which comes after it, on the “Difficulties of Infidelity," by the Rev. Mr. Stuart Robinson, now of Baltimore, is hardly less able, and carries the war into Africa with equal force and skill, and of course with signal success. After these, we have several secondary ones, of great and various merit-the Necessity of a Revelation, by the Rev. Mr. Vanzandt, of Petersburg; the Success of Christianity, by the Rev. Mr. Hoge, of our own city; the Unity of Our Race, by the Rev. Mr. Moore, also of our city; and, superior perhaps to any of them though in a different way, the eminently gracious and graceful discourse on the Character of Christ, by the Rev. Dr. James W. Alexander, of New York.
For the rest, we have looked over two of the lectures which we think might as well have been omitted, and there are still some others which we have not yet read, but which we dare say are good and able, and altogether worthy of their places in the work.
RUTH TO NAOMI.
RUTH 1:-16, 17.
Ask me not to leave thee now,
But, to share thy weal or woe,
And thy God, who is divine,
Where thou diest, I will die ;
Various Intelligence .
INDUSTRIAL RESOURCES OF VIRGINIA. The lead mines in Wythe county have never been worked up to their capacity, but merely to the extent of supplying a limited home demand; the weigbt of the article, and the distance to water communication, utterly excluding it from the great markets of the world. The lead region which commences at Aspinwall, extends through a considerable portion of Smyth county, and is rich in all the most valuable ores of this metal. Besides the sulphuret of lead, (galena) which is the ore chiefly depended on, oxide of lead (minium) and the carbonate (white lead ore) exist in large quantities, may be easily wrought, and are exceedingly rich; the latter yielding about 75 per cent. Minium is the red lead of commerce; and the carbonate, the white, so extensively used as a paint. There is also, in connection with these ores, a considerable per cent. of arsenic, which sublimes in the process of smelting, and collects in large quantities around the mouths of the furnaces, in the form of arsenious acid, (white arsenic.) This substance, of which no account is made at these mines, possesses considerable value in the arts, and could easily be purified aud fitted for market.
Here, too, in ipexhaustible profusion, we have the noblest of the metals—iron. Whatever may be said in justification of the metallurgic idolatry which is drawing so many thousands of our people to the El Dorado of the west, here in the bowels of our mountains in exuberant plenty, is a metal of far more intrinsic value than gold, and needing only the union of labor and capital to make it as prolific a source of wealth to Virginia, as the celebrated mines of Elba to France, or Dalecarlia to Sweden. The Iron Mountain, (to say nothing of the numerous other localities) which extends through the counties of Wythe, Smyth and Washington in Virginia, and Johnson and Carter in Tennessee, contains ore enough to supply the nation for a century. This ore, too, is of the richest quality, and precisely the same (the magnetic oxide) as that from which the best iron of Norway and Sweden is obtained. Other ores also here exist in abundance, as the brown hematite, the argillaceous carbonate specular, &c. In this mineral alone is wealth sufficient to enrich a nation, and the brow of enterprise may cheer up at the prospect of gainful employment for centuries to come.
In addition to these industrial resources which pertain to the mineralogy of the country, we might mention also the vast de