Imágenes de páginas

The vast territories peopled with every nation, kindred, and tongue, were mapped out upon the mind of the weary traveller, who was glad the time had come, when the spear should be beat into the pruning-hook, and the sword into the ploughshare, and that the husbandman would not again be called to leave his husbandry to fight the battles of his country. He thought to himself, “The God of nations has watched over us and given us victories unparalleled in the annals of history; and a halo of glory encircles the names of those who have led forth our armies from conquering to conquest. The banner of liberty is still unfurled, and we are free from the oppressions of those who would force upon us the galling yoke of despotism.” At this period

much time was spent in conversing upon the past. Anecdotes were related and listened


to with increased interest, by aged veterans imbued with the spirit of seventy-six; among whom, was Mr. Graham, the favorite of the neighborhood. Young men and boys were alike entertained, as he related to them the incident of Lord Howe writing to General Washington, and directing his letter to “Mr. Washington," which the General returned unopened, saying, that “ he was not addressed in his public capacity, and as an individual he would hold no intercourse with the enemies of his country.Theodore Williams said, “ If General Arnold had possessed such high-toned principles, he would not have proved traitor to his country, and the life of Andrè would have been saved." "General Washington, my boy, did all in his power to save his life. André was one of the finest officers that I ever saw. At that

time I was · Aide' of the General, and accompanied him when he visited the unfortunate prisoner.

Letters were written him from the American officers expressing their deep sympathy in his behalf

. Every means was taken which the usages of war would admit of, to induce the British to exchange the heartless traitor that they had in their possession for Major Andrè.”

Several times the old gentleman, as he related the above, wiped the unbidden tear from his furrowed cheek.

Theodore asked his aged informant if Arnold was a temperate man?

“ In the early part of his military career he was, but afterwards he became reckless and dissipated; this was the cause of his final ruin. If he had been temperate, as his commanderin-chief was, his name might have been inscribed with honor upon his

nation's history.

I tell you, Theo dore, men of usefulness have been slain by thousands, men of strong, gigantic intellect, have recklessly torn from their own brows laurels that they have won, plunging themselves and their families into irretrievable infamy; and before the fires of yonder distillery are extinguished, hundreds of this little village, that numbers only two thousand, will fill a drunkard's grave. Twenty years ago there was not an inebriate that walked our streets, but how different now; this engine of destruction is daily increasing the number of widows and orphans."

The interview between Mr. Graham and his young friend was interrupted by the entrance of Colonel Bertram. He inquired after the health of Lieutenant Morse. Being informed that he was not as well as usual, he expressed his regrets that the accident

« AnteriorContinuar »