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upon his like again?
I am not of those who fancy that any eulogy can be misused upon his memory; nor do I think that terms and tributes, though often repeated, can ever grow familiar or aged, when applied to his name. Therefore I offer, as the best synopsis of his merits, a stanza which may be familiar to many, and yet new to the majority of those who now follow my words:
* His was Octavian's prosperous star-
At Battle's call;
Of Hannibal :
And generous will :
And stern command ;
His native land.'
The sun had gone to bed in a pile of fleecy and feathery clouds, flushed like the heart of a summer rose, long before we had reached the Great Capital. A storm came on; the rain pattered heavily against our carriage-window; and when we first caught the reflection of lights against them from the lamps in the vicinity of the capitol, it seemed as if we had embarked in a vehicle, chartered by Phaeton, to be conveyed whithersoever his eccentric whipship would.
A PRESENTATION at the American court, at a private audience, and with a foreign functionary, is not an ordinary matter of your working-day world. With anticipations of this sort, so it was that I was awakened by our attendant in a crowded sky-parlor at GADSBY's, through whose uppermost casement 1 looked, and saw the splendors of an autumnal morning sun streaming over the capitol, at the distant end of Pennsylvania Avenue. But, what a strange mélange of town and country between! Fields near at hand; rural waters twinkling nigh; and at long intervals, the indications of a city. One finds no direct chance of deciding upon his whereabout. At first, he fancies it may be rus in urbe ; at the next moment, he concludes himself surrounded cum urbs in rure. Thenceforth, those abstruse mysteries, the points of a compass - properly belonging to the shipman's card, and not manipulated by lubbers o'the land become to him inexplicable enigmas. He knows the contradistinction of head and heels, barely: all facts beyond outventure his philosophy.
There is a halo of glorification,' after all, about a functionary, high in office and place, which makes the heart of your humble denizen beat quicker, as he approaches the imperial den. Thus it was with me, as our coach wheeled up to the mansion where le Compte was to find himself accredited. The ceremonies on such occasions are VOL. Ix.
pleasant to the spectator, and though simple, are imposing. A group of gray-heads and time-worn forms; expressions of polite regards, in different accents and various language; bows and kind assurances, are the staple scenes and sounds on such occasions.
At the same time, it is right republican to see the President, with a free-and-easy air, ask his Secretary of State to light a paper that he may convey the blaze thereof to a pipe, the stem of which would not measure in length more than three inches, and the smoke from the bowl thereof would coil up within a hair's breadth of the presidential nose.
It reminds one of those calm and luxurious times, signalized in the reign of Wouter Van Twiller, in the days when the KNICKERBOCKERS — pryamids of their day and generation towered aloft in Dutch and daring dignity.
Among the fair women of that day and hour, was the gifted and accomplished
- Song, it was said, had breathed around her footsteps from lyres of fame; and one devoted bard — (so Rumor breathes) – poured after her, when abroad, the song that ensueth. He had heard, erroneously, that she was dead :
Nothing can well be prettier, or more pathetic, than this effusion : yet the catastrophe part, as my friend of the Albany Argus would say, was ' gratuitous. The parties afterward, mayhap, read it together, and pointed out the chronological inaccuracies : which reminds me, or might remind me, of a circumstance lately related in one of the western papers, where a gentleman who had been advertised as deceased, wrote a polite note to the editor of the journal,
Premature Obituary — Strict Construction.'
(who had thus among his personal ship-news recorded a false clearance for eternity,) somewhat as follows :
'My Dear Sir: Will you allow me to correct a slight statement in your last, with reference to my death? I am grateful for the compliments to my character in your obituary notice, and I believe them deserved. That I tried to do ihe handsome thing while I lived, is most true; true, too, is it, that I never backed out of a fight, and never saw the man that could whip me, when alive ; and I say the same yet, being dead,' according to your story. But when you state, that I left my affairs unsettled, and my widow and those eleven children unprovided for, I have only to state, that you lie in your throat! I mean no offence in what I say; I speak in the aggregate sense of the term. Being a dead man, and printed down as such in your columns, I am incapable of mortal reseniments; but I leave as my avengers, Cain, ABEL, and SIMPKINS, printers and publishers of the Occidental Trumpet und Mississippi Battle-Are. To the editor of that paper, I cubmit my fame. To his indomitable coolness, never yet ruffled by repeated contumely, and invulnerable to contempi, I confide my reputation : feeling certain that one who has never found satisfaction for any insult, (nor sought it indeed,) can fail to be a champion in my cause. That he may be in peril in my advocacy, is possible; but he knows how to shun it. He is independent, for he is unknown; he is fearless, for no man will touch a hair of his head. To that immortal Gulliver, in whatsoever cave or fastness he may dwell, I surrender my fame. Yours, 'ull death,
Roswell ADAMS GREENE.
But I wander — and I recall my rambling spirit back to the American capital.
ATTENDED church. 'T is a dull business in Washington. One's devotional feelings, that in ordinary cities kindle and rise heavenward, at the anthems of the choir, or the pealing of the organ, come down, in the metropolis of the republic, to the shallow and factitious distinctions of this common sphere of earth. The preachers at Washington have been variously described. Just before the session of the National Legislature, as at the period of which I speak, crowds of the reverend cloth convene, for the chaplaincy of Congress, and other purposes. Of course, as many of these as can, accomplish the entré to the metropolitan desk, to display their powers. The divine I had the happiness to hear, in some respects resembled the man whom my dear lamented Sands described in his "Scenes at Washington. Argument was his hobby; and he would curtail a sentence of its dimensions, and subvert all gleanings, scriptural, historical, or political, to fortify the same. He reminded me of that queer and rural divine, of whom I have heard in Massachusetts, who found his congregation indulging in all the extravagances of provincial fashion, and rebuked them en masse, (especially the fairer part, who indulged in flaunting top-knots, and dresses of the head,) by choosing for one of his sermons the following text: Top-knot come down ! From this text he deduced a world of sacred ratiocination; He expatiated upon the uselessness of top-knots, and enlarged upon the scriptural injunction that they should come down. Toward the close of his sermon, he confessed that he had merely adopted a clause ; but he said that any detached sentence, even, from Holy Writ, was profitable for reproof and for instruction. • The context of the clause,' he added, “I will now join with the text. It is thus written : ‘Let him that is on the house-top not come down,' Com. ment is unnecessary!'
There is a story of this same man of God, now gathered to his fathers, (or named at least of him,) for which I have great respect. It seems that he encountered a confirmed infidel one evening at a donation-party — a man who respected the pastor of the town, though he did not credit his doctrines. By accident, they engaged in a controversy, and the infidel endeavored to prove, by Holy Writ, in the same text-choosing method for which his opponent was proverbial, that the priests of old were drunkards, and that they imbibed potations pottle deep,' in public.
*How do you prove that ? Give me an instance,' said the clerical gladiator
• Well,' was the reply, “look at the coronation of Solomon, where it is expressly stated that Zadok, the priest who anointed him, 'took
Yes, said he of the cloth, but you do n't give the whole passage, which is this : 'And Zadok the priest took a horn of oil, and anointed Solomon.'
* I did not say what he did with his horn,' rejoined the infidel; I only contended that he took it.'
Good – very good!' responded the divine, warming at the quiz which he saw was directed toward himself: “You are ingenious in your argument : but I can prove by the Scriptures, in the same way, that instead of being here, resolving doubts and disputing with me, you should be swinging on a gallows at this moment, by your own consent and deed.' "No, no — that's beyond your skill; and if you
will establish what you propose, by any kind of ratiocination, I will confess my deserts, as soon as they are shown.'
• Agreed. Now do we not read in the Bible, that'Judas went and hanged himself?''
• Yes, we do.'
Do we not find, in an another part of the Sacred Word, 'Go thou and do likewise?'
'Yes; you have proved that, as far as you go. What next ?' Only one clause more,' replied the divine. The Bible also says,
, • What thou doest, do quickly. Now, my friend, go and hang yourself at once!'
*Not till I show you the text to your charity sermon, preached for the Widow's Society in Boston, last spring.' Here it is; and there is a word there, which you either have not properly written or properly read
Saying this, he drew a pamphlet from his pocket, and pointed to the opening passage. It ran thus : Then he rebuked the winds, and the sea, and lo! there was a great clam ! Why do you bring your texts to such an amphibious and testaceous termination ?
The good man was thunder-struck. He acknowledged that there was an error; but he contended that shell-fish might have existed at that ancient period :
'E'en though vanquished, he could argue still.'
UNFORTUNATELY, typical mutations in published mss. have come down to the present day. Not many moons since, I was called upon by a small and humble-looking person, in green spectacles, behind which there rolled two enormous gray eyes. He said he was a man of many occupations, and sometimes dabbled in literature. He had thoughts of buying some western lands, if any one would credit him for six years, and in that way make his fortune. A friend in Texas had also assured him that he could get some lots there on the same terms. In these enterprises he wished me to join him. But first, and before showing me some poetry which had been spoilt in the publication, he wished me to loan him a shilling, and accept his note to that amount, ‘ with sixty days to run.' A humorous thought struck me, and I chose the latter, with the direction that he should try it for discount at the United States' Bank. The next day I received a carefully written business letter from him, which (after promising to call on me in an hour after I received it,) contained the ensuing :
* December 17. My Dear Sir: I have had an interview with Mr. Biddle, and truly lament my inability to communicate satisfactory results. I fear that until the resolution of the Sena. tor from Ohio, in regard to the repeal of the Treasury order, is finally disposed of, the trading interests will materially suffer.
"The Board of Directors, however, have some reason to indulge in the pleasing hope, that a small keg of ten-cent-pieces will arrive from Tinicum, sone time during the ensuing week; in which cast, the president bas promised to exert his influence in my behalf on the next discount-day.
If we should be successful in ultimately elevating the breeze (raising the wind) on my promissory note, we can proceed without delay to our contemplated acquisitions in Michilimackinac lands, and Texas scrip. Your obedient friend,
He was with me, almost before I had read his letter. "Ah!' said he, reading my scroll, I see. Funny circumstance. But never mind. You make pieces sometimes for the Knickerbocker, don't
? - apt kind o' pieces, that come out of your head ? I borrow that there periodical, sometimes, of a friend, and I seen a piece-t there about a man who was the · Victim of a Proof. Reader.' I am one of that class. Two years ago
I was in love. I was jilted. Hang details ; the upshot is the main thing. Well, I had tried the young lady, and found her wanting; and I thought I would quote a line of Scripture onto her, as a motto for some bitter and reproachful verses.'
So, holding a manuscript in one hand high up, and placing the other arm a-kimbo, he read as follows: