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Their conduct and their lives depend.
JONATHAN MITCHEL SEWALL
Was born at Salem, Massachusetts, in 1748. He lost his parents at an early age, and was adopted by his uncle, Stephen Sewall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. He studied at Harvard College, and afterwards entered into mercantile business, which he finally abandoned for the profession of the law, and settled in Portsmouth New Hampshire, where he passed the remainder of his life, with a high character for integrity and disinterestedness. He died March 29th, 1808, in his sixtieth year.
Mr Sewall applied himself to poetry in his youth, and many of his pieces were made public previous to the revolution. Ossian charmed his juvenile fancy to such a degree, that he versified nearly the whole work. Specimens of this performance, with other miscellaneous pieces, were published in a volume in 1801. It was his custom, when confined to his bed by long indisposition, to beguile the wearisomeness of his sleepless nights, by the composition of verses, which, when he had sufficiently recovered to handle a pen, he committed to writing.
The piece best entitled to our regard among his productions, is the ode of War and Washington, a patriotic Tyrtæan strain, which was sung throughout the country during the revolutionary war, and served to inspire zeal and courage in the cause of independence. No national lyric ever aroused more enthusiasm, or was chanted with better effect than this war song of the American revolution. It was the favorite strain throughout the ranks of the army in every part of the country, and kindled the martial ardor and patriotic feelings of all. Such relics are the most precious and interesting which can be gathered from the literature of the times.
WAR AND WASHINGTON.
VAIN Britons, boast no longer with proud indignity,
sea, Since we, your braver sons, incensed, our swords have girded
on, Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza, for war and Washington!
Urged on by North and vengeance, those valiant champions
came, Loud bellowing Tea and Treason, and George was all on
flame, Yet sacrilegious as it seems, we rebels still live on, And laugh at all their empty puffs,-huzza for Washington!
Still deaf to mild entreaties, still blind to England's good,
Mysterious ! unexampled ! incomprehensible!
shown, And ye shall share an ass's fate, and drudge for Washington!
Your dark, unfathom'd counsels our weakest heads defeat, Our children rout your armies, our boats destroy your fleet, And to complete the dire disgrace, coop'd up within a town, You live, the scorn of all our host, the slaves of Washington !
Great heaven! is this the nation whose thundering arms were
hurld, Through Europe, Afric, India ? whose navy ruled a world? The lustre of your former deeds, whole ages of renown, Lost in a moment, or transferred to us and Washington!
Yet think not thirst of glory unsheaths our vengeful swords, To rend your bands asunder, and cast away your cords. 'T is heaven-born freedom fires us all, and strengthens each
brave son, From him who humbly guides the plough, to godlike Wash
For this, Oh could our wishes your ancient rage inspire,
Should George, too choice of Britons, to foreign realms
apply, And madly arm half Europe, yet still we would defy Turk, Hessian, Jew, and Infidel, or all those powers in one, While Adams guides our senate, our camp great Washington! Should warlike weapons fail us, disdaining slavish fears, To swords we'll beat our ploughshares, our pruninghooks to
spears, And rush, all desperate! on our foe, nor breathe till battle
won ; Then shout, and shout America! and conquering Washing
Proud France should view with terror, and haughty Spain
revere, While every warlike nation would court alliance here. And George, his minions trembling round, dismounting from
his throne, Pay homage to America, and glorious Washington!
JUDGE HOPKINSON, was born in Philadelphia, in 1737. He was the son of Thomas Hopkinson, an English gentleman who filled a considerable office in the government of Pennsylvania. Thomas Hopkinson was a man of respectable attainments in science, and was associated with Franklin in his experiments upon electricity. He died early in life, and left his son at the age of fourteen to the direction of a very affectionate and attentive mother, who spared no exertion in the care of his morals and education. He was sent to the college of Philadelphia, after which he devoted himself to the study and practice of law. He visited England in 1765, where he remained above two years. At the commencement of the revolution he represented the state of New Jersey in Congress, a post which gave him the distinction of affixing his signature to the Declaration of Independence. He distinguished himself very early in the contest, by his writings against the designs of the British government, and possessing great powers of humor and command of language, his pieces were extensively circulated, and contributed not a little to the support of the cause which he had embraced. His judicious selection of topics, and his skill in handling them, procured his writings a ready acceptance with all classes of people. The versatility of his powers may be attested by the readiness with which he wielded the weapons of satire, wit, or argumentation, and drew upon every department of the human faculties for materials in the warfare ; now declaiming against the encroachments of Britain with the skill and eloquence of a statesman, and now framing a satirical ballad, or quaint allegory, seasoned with the accompaniment of humor and sarcasm to the popular relish. The elegance and politeness which marked his writings had a considerable effect in improving the manner of most of the publications of the day. His satire was pointed at the follies and impertinences current among those with which he was familiar, as well as against the political enormities of his country's enemies, and contributed equally to help the cause of public morals, promote good breeding in polite society, and soften the asperity of party rage.
Although drawn within the circle of politics at a period of great events, the course of his life is not marked with any remarkable vicissitude or striking incident. He held an appointment in the loan office for some years, and was afterwards made Judge of the Admiralty for the state of Pennsylvania. In 1790, he was appointed Judge of the District Court in Pennsylvania. He died on the 8th of May, 1791.
Hopkinson applied himself to the law with assiduity, and his acquirements in that branch of learning were such as to gain him a high reputation among his contemporaries. With general science too, he was well acquainted. His powers of wit satire shine in various parts of his lighter performances, and notwithstanding the zest has in many instances evaporated by time, there are some in which the humor preserves all its original freshness. The Essay on Whitewashing is deservedly celebrated as a morceau of spirited pleasantry. His manners were the counterpart of his writings; polished, lively, and engaging, and without any stiffness or rigor, under the guidance of the strictest decorum.
His works embrace quite a miscellaneous collection, mostly of prose. They were published shortly after his death, ia three volumes.
THE BATTLE OF THE KEGS.*
GALLANTS attend, and hear a friend,
Trill forth harmonious ditty,
In Philadelphia city.
* This ballad was occasioned by a real incident. Certain machines, in the form of kegs, charged with gunpowder, were sent down the river to annoy the British shipping then at Philadelphia. The danger of these machines being dig. covered, the British manned the wharves and shipping, and discharged their small arms and cannons at everything they saw floating in the river, during the ebb tíde.