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NEW-YORK, JUNE, 1835.
scenery, as wild and as rude now as when old Fort Putnam was formerly the principal fortress Hulson, “ in the first ship, broke the unknown or citadel of the works erected during the war of wave” of the stream destined to immortalize bis Independence, for the defence of the passes of the name: whilst to the north, it opens into a still Hudson and the Highlands, at West Point. It
broader expanse, covered with the white sails of commanded the river and the opposite shore, as sloops and with steam-boats, trailing their long dark well as the other works upon both banks. The clouds behind them, between cultivated but pictucommand of the Hudson and the mountainous pas- resque banks, interspersed with villages, villas, ses of the Highlands, was indispensable for the pro
and spires. tection of the greater part of the state of New York Immediately beneath is seen the plain of West against sudden incursions of the enemy from the Point, surrounded by the buildings of the national sea coast, as well as for keeping open a perfectly Military Academy, and gay with the tents of the secure communication between New England and encamped cadets, or glittering with their arms and the middle states, and had been accordingly regard- martial array. ed by Washington as all important to the success of
These ruins are rich with the most hallowed asthe American arms. West Point, on the western sociations; for they are fraught with recollections bank of the Hudson, where the river, deviating from of heroism, liberty and virtue. There Arnold plotthe usual majestic directness of its course, bends ted the subjugation of his country, and, surrounded suddenly around that bold and lofty promontory, as he was by an army and a militia, unpaid, unwas selected for this purpose, from the natural clothed, and suffering, he could find none among strength of its position; and, during the first years them base enough to receive his gold, and particiof the war, was fortified under the direction of the pate in his treason. As we muse over this magnimost skilful engineers of the American and French ficent scene of great events, the imagination insenarmies, with a degree of expense and labor which, sibly kindles, and the plain below, and the forts, and in the then enfeebled state of the nation, was truly rocks, become peopled again with the soldiers and astonishing: The preservation of this post was the the chiefs of the revolution. The majestic Washcardinal point in the plan of more than one event- ington, the young and gallant Hamilton, the vetful campaign, and its surrender to the enemy was eran disciplinarian Steuben, the fearless Putnam, the great object of Arnold's treason. It was the daring Willer, the cool and sagacious Clincalled at that time, and with justice, the Gibraltar ton, successively pass before us. In the hollow of North America.
recess of the bank beneath, the melancholy KosciSince the peace of 1783, Fort Putnam, together usko was wont to mourn alone and without hope with the other works of defence at that station, has over the woes and the wrongs of Poland Upon been gradually dismantled, and at last suffered to the cliffs on the right, the young and high-spirited fall to decay, so that it now appears a venerable La FAYETTE often sat, meditating lofty thoughts of ruin of massive military architecture, crowning good to America, to France, to mankind, whilst the woody and rugged steep of a mountain.
bright and gorgeous visions of glory and freedom As such, it is a feature almost unique in Ameri- floated before him. can scenery, reminding the traveller of the romantic
Amid the ruins of Fort Putnam, the patriot may ruined towers of defence in the gorges of the Py- find materials to animate him with fresh hopes for renees, or the feudal castles which still frown from his country's future welfare, as well as to recall the the rocky banks of the Rhine. From its dilapida- noblest recollections of her past history. On the ted bastions, the eye wanders over a wide sea of plain beneath his feet, are annually collected the mountain ridges, rising one above, or beyond ano- chosen youth of that country, to be instructed in the ther, in every direction, until they suddenly de highest attainments of science, and the best uses scend in steep, rocky, and stupendous banks, to of military skill. There, as they daily tread the the mighty stream which flows silently at their soil consecrated by the steps of heroes, sages, and base. Far away to the north you may trace the patriots, the Genius of the place fires their ingenious summits of other mountains of the same chain gra- breasts with a generous emulation of the illustrious dually receding from the river on each side, and dead. There, is an armory of mind, a living arseleaving at their feet the rich plains of Dutchess and nal, which, in the worst extremes reserved for Orange counties, filled with farms and villages, and our country, will prove its cheapest, its surest, its here and there bright with small lakes, and wind
proudest defence. ing streams glittering in the sun. In every part of this magnificent view, the broad Hudson appears in all its grandeur ; not, however, as it is usually Virtue has this happincss, that she can subsist of seen, pouring its steady and unbroken current di- herself, and knows how to exist without admirers, rectly to the ocean, “ forth and right on," but ap- partisans and protectors; want of assistance and parently divided into a series of lakes, which, to approbation does not only not affect her, but prcthe southward, are girt with the boldest mountain serves-purifies and renders her more perfect.
SORROWS OF THE DORMER FAMILY;
BY HENRY A. FAY.
The first part of this truly interesting and af-| poser of all events liad bound our spirits in, ere fecting narrative was crudely'sketched by Dormer they had been imparted to our bodies and minds, himself, the unhappy, yet just and upright, though to animate our mortal clay. Doubtlessly we were afflicted father of the little family, whose manifold made for each other; she to make my retreat from woes are the theme of the history. The manu- the cares of business and the world happy, and I, script was preserved by the person to whom Dor- to encounter the rough and stormy scenes of life, mer confided it, for many years. This person died, which are passed for gain, amid the collision of and through his heirs I obtained it, on proviso that contending interests, the perplexing cares of trade, the facts should be put into a proper style, and a the investing of capital, the competition for foreign printed copy should be presented to the lady in markets and quick voyages, the necessary vigiwhose possession it was, previous to mine, and lance to guard against the unballowed combinawho said she would not be without the story itself, tions of unprincipled villains, who throng the if it was possible for her to retain it. She frequently highways, the haunts and the circles of the spirits solaced the loneliness of a weary hour, by poring and enterprise of the mercantile mind. As to my and weeping over its details. But I will not keep subsequent occupations in life, they were not conthe reader longer from the history. The closing fined exclusively to commerce, as my hapless lot hiatus, left in it, of the writer's history, is supplied will show. by an accomplished pen, and in a finished style, Frequently, little Miss Walsingham, which was worthy of the exceedingly fascinating incidents the maiden name of my future bride, would look which are narrated in the whole story.
at me in the street, as I chanced to stare at her in London, March 4th, A. D. 1740. I was born in passing, without knowing why: I withdrew my this great British metropolis, a little upwards of ardent gaze in shamefacedness from her rosy forty years ago. My amiable wise, the partner of cheek, and ruby, pouting lips; and she dropped her my bosom, was ten years younger than myself. melting blue eye from the encounter with mine, Our mutual joys and woes exceed in their descrip- and blushed, and was so agitated in her step, that tion and variety, in the entrancing nature of the the Jeast obstacle at her feet would have endanhappy hours, and the overwhelming affliction of gered her progress. Such occasional meetings the sorrowful ones, almost any thing of sueh a na- were frequent, yet I never knew her name, nor she ture, which ever has befallen a single humble fa- mine, until years subsequently. mily, within the recollection of any one to whom My father died in the autumn of 1706. And I my story has been related.
was only six years of age. It was a dreadful blow My own parents, my wife's, and our ancestors, to the family. My eldest brother was but twentywere among the most respectable of the middle four years old, and was, by the will of our father, gentry of England. My father was engaged in appointed executor and guardian of the family the lucrative occupation of a merchant. His ves. estate of the children. There were six male memsels were abroad upon the ocean, bound to the re-bers of the family left, and two female. John was motest parts of the habitable globe. Some of them the eldest son, Hiram was the second, William were moored at the noble quays of London, others the third, Charles the fourth, Francis, (myself) the lay with their hardy crews beneath the rays of a fifth, and George the sixth, being yet an infant. In tropical sun, in those climates where grow the addition to this list of children is to be added the costly products of oriental and occidental plains, name of an only daughter, Jane, who, with her and warm, perennially-smiling, and ever-sunny mother, constituted the female portion of the beslopes, which knew no dreary winters, no driving reaved family. Jane was only three and a half snows, no pinching frosts, nor searching-wintry years old, at her father's much lamented decease. blasts.
Our mother was the second wife of my father, Mrs. Dormer and myself had been strangers and only the four youngest children were hier own. until about seven months previous to our union. The others were by the first wife. My mother Yet we had at one interval of time, lived within a bad married late in life, and was scarcely yet thirstone's throw of each other's residences, for the teen years possessed of the tranquil sweets of dospace of two years. We frequently saw each other mestic bliss, when Heaven deprived her of her then, and remained strangers, although years after- doating husband, and kind protector. The loss of wards, we sat at one festive board, day after day, my father depressed my mother's spirits. She reand shared the same pillow at night, in lawful and signed herself to all the luxury of woe; if giving heaven-hallowed union. At the time when we re- free vent to grief, if mourning in tears and sighs, sided so near together, we not only frequently met, from morn to niglit, may be called luxury. Not but actually appeared to be mutually attracted to even the necessity of attending to the welfare of wards each other, by some secret sympathy of her children, could attract her from the deeply souls, or impulse of feeling, unaccountable, myste- seated sorrow. She was a widow, desolate and rious, and indefinable. Perchance it was that disconsolate. She pined away like a withered heavenly tie, which the great Creator and Dis- nower, whose core and root, the frost bad touched
and cruelly blasted. She grew pale and passion- and full maturity, of the tender affections which less. Her full cheek shrunk into awful hollowness: sprung up in the garden of their bosoms, and bloomher bright eyes faded and fell back deep under her ed in the fairy bowers of their imaginations. Sufbrow: her noble forın becaine attenuated and tice it to say that he grew tall, inanly, and pleasing ghastly. Her lip lost its hue ; her look its lustre of to female eyes, and improved in personal and intellect, and lite seemed just to linger, as if re- mental charms, tirom year to year. His eye was luctant to quit its frail teneinent. Her step became large, hazel-colored, and piercing. Her's was blue the gliding of a shadowy spectre, and sheer weak- and expressive. His manners were lively and inness and imbecility of mind and body reduced her sinuating; he was the life of every company and so low, that she at last became unable, one morn- of every circle in which he moved. She was also ing, to rise from her couchi. She never did rise gay, witty, and shone in company with the same from it again. In the short space of half a year brilliancy of intellect that he did. There certainly after her husband's death, she yielded up her could not possibly be two of either sex, selected breath and life to the sad and stern decree, which from all the world, who combined within the little doomed her husband's death to be the signal for her world of their own seelings, actions, appearance own dissolution. I was but seven years old when and influence, more of the suuviter in modo, the thus deprived of both parents and kind protectors, agreeable and the entertaining. in this world of trouble and sorrow.
The stern and unyielding father of John and of The family was soon dispersed. Charles, Jane myself, and the brother-in-law of Laura, could not and I, were sent to different relatives, some hun- fully enter into John's feelings; he could not divest dred miles from Londou. John remained in the himself of his views of family aggrandizementcity, to dispose of the estate to the best advantage. he could not yield his consent to the wedding of Hiram was then at sea, as supercargo of one of the Laura and Jolin, nor even to the idea, though most vessels belonging to the estate, and William, being remote, of their continuing to love one another. about nineteen years old, visited an uncle in Scot. He went further than this negative state of things.
After he had extorted a solemn vow from bis son One remarkable episode to this preface of my that he would never marry Laura, he commenced story, is necessary for the reader's information. a train of negociations with John and a young lady John, the eldest son, was highly enamored of a of a very wealthy fainily, in order to bring about a younger sister of his father's second wife. This speedy marriage between them. young girl, Laura, reciprocated John's affections. The filial tenderness of John was such, that She did not conceal her ardent attachment from doubtless he would in time have sacrificed his love the world, and it was universally spoken of in the for Laura, his peace of inind, and future happiness, circles in which the lovers moved. But a dark and and no doubt, his life too, in that same sacrifice of threatening cloud came over the sky of their hopes. love, all to gratify the expressed wishes of his amJohn's father forbade the thought of such an union.bitious, yet well-meaning father. He would pro** What!” exclaimed he; “ my son marry my wife's bably have married his father's choice, and thus sister!” Our father was stern in his opinions and have immolated upon the shrine of avarice, himself decisions. He deemed it to be indelicate for the and his Laura. But bitterly that father would have father and son to marry sisters, and he also opposed repented. For his own cold calculations would it on the score of pecuniary policy. Laura had no bave been frustrated by the death of his son, a vicincome of her own, and my father considered it tim of disappointed love. Laura's feelings were absolutely essential, that every opportunity should also too much involved to allow her to survive the be seized, and every advantage made the most of, blasting of her affections. How mysterious are to increase the opulence and high rank of the Dor. heaven's ways. Who, amid all these distracting mer connection,
perplexities of love, and hopelessness of love, of Ah! the sly little deity who presides over the struggle between duty and inclination, in the breast bearts of the young of both sexes, often sets at of a young man-who, amid all these things could baught all the fine-spun webs of avarice, and eva- have supposed that the Gordian knot would have porates the air-built castles of grandeur, which been cut, by the untiinely and awful death of that ambitious and calculating parents are too apt to kind yet stern parent? It was an apoplectic stroke erect in the fairy regions of their imaginations. that in one unexpected blow, levelled all the pros
Our father extorted a promise from John that he pects of my father, and of the family, into the dust. would never marry Laura. John loved his father My father was seized in the midst of a company, 10 the very extreme of fondness. He really and upon the Exchange, with the fatal disorder. One truly doated upon his father, who was every way minute he was talking in a bargain of merchandize worthy of the most devoted filial affection. The and money, exerting all the skill of an experienced welfare and aggrandizement of his family absorb- merchant, the eloquence of a persuasive tongue, ed his whole capacious soul and intellect, energies, the influence of wealth, and respectable standing; time, and thoughts.
and his mind filled with schemes of future grandeur Laura and John had been acquainted from their of his family. The spectators beheld in him a early years. John was about ten years old when man, likely to live many years, and to bear much he first saw little Laura, his future wife. While sway in the mart of commerce, and in the pecuhis father was getting into a matrimonial engage- niary transactions of the great capital of England. ment with the eldest sister, who was afterwards The next fleeting moment he was stretched at full my mother, John was falling over head and ears in length, upon the sanded floor, amid the feet of the love with little Laura. In this part of my narrative, people upon 'Change, a cold, livid, corpse-a mere I cannotdilate upon the birth, growth, development mass of inert matter : the loud and authoritative
voice hushed into the stillness and quietude of lent captain of the vessel. Hiram detected the death; tho sparkling eye, dimmed and lustreless; captain's frauds, and declared his conviction to the the broad, polished, and frowning brow, gazed captain himself, who was so enraged that he upon by others as a thing which had lost its life swore at my brother, as an ignorant stripling; too and expression: the haughty curl of the proud lop young and 100 destitute of business knowledge, to was gone, and vacuity of thought was substituted be able to discriminate among the complicated in the seat of apparent self-dignity. The great calculations of gain and loss, the just result of the merchant, the stern and forbidding father, the once rise and fall of markets, and told my brother that insurinountable obstacle to the commingling of two he was unfit for his station. Hiram replied to the fond souls into one, was dead!
captain that he was a villain. This quarrel took In the first ebullitions of grief, the family sufier- place in the cabin. The captain, conscious of his ed mingled emotions. The sudden and entirely own villany, and danger of exposure, became exunexpected death of my father, created astonish- asperated to the highest degree. He was a man of ment and sorrow. A great estate and an extensive most violent and brutal passions. He snatched a business had suddenly lost its sole manager. Not pistol from the table and fired it at my brother's one of the family was fitted for supplying bis place, breast; the fatal bullet entered his heart. He fell, in taking proper care of the interests of a great and lay weltering in his blood on the cabin floor, establishment, and of a large number of persons. until the crew, hearing the report of the pistol, My mother was completely prostrated by despon- rushed below, and beheld the dreadful spectacle. dency. The eldest son was only twenty-four The ruthless monster who had murdered Hiram, years
and had been so excessively devoted stood over him, with the murderous weapon in his to his father-had been so yielding to his wishes, hand, calmly surveying his horrid work.
« Take and so completely dependant, in body and mind, that accursed mutineer's dead body," said the capthat he was not at all prepared to take the guar- tain to the crew, “and cast it to the waves, for dianship of the family and estate. Nevertheless, fishes' food. He levelled this pistol at my head, he was obliged to do so, and did so. He called to and would have killed ine in a fit of passion, behis aid some older men, and matters seemed to be cause I censured him for neglect of duty, if I had in a fair train for having the future interests of the not wrenched the instrument of death from him; family properly conducted and sustained. But, as and in our mutual struggle, the pistol was accihas been already mentioned, my mother pined dentally discharged, and the ball pierced his own away, and died of a broken heart, within six vitals," months after the decease of my father.
The crew believed this story at the time, and it John had really so much loved his father, that was not until many years subsequently, that the almost every other thought was absorbed in grief true circumstances transpired. Years after the for his loss. Even Laura was for months forgotten. murder, when this wretched and infamous man As time wore away, the heaviness of an afflicted was upon his death bed, he confessed the foul deed mind becaine diminished. John's new and en- and all its concomitant circumstances, and hoped grossing duties as guardian of a family—his occu- by repentance to escape that future and eternal pations as a man of business, to a considerable punishment which he knew awaited all who perish degree, wiled away the intense pressure of mental in a career of wickedness, and indifference to reliaffliction; and thoughts of Laura, and wedded bliss gious awakenings. with her, began to flit across the atmosphere of But as it was, the crew lifted the bloody corpse his feelings, amid the bustle of business, and in of the unfortunate young man from its ensanguined the solitary contemplations of midnight secrecy bed, and doing over his mortal remains, the last and loneliness.
sad ceremonies of a sea funeral, they consigned The Power that governs fate, now frequently the body to the deep. brought the two into more frequent contact, and The third brother, William, was soon after his they gazed upon each other, and talked together, father's death seized with a pulmonary complaint, and were mutually conscious that the death of which hurried him also into the tomb. both, or thcir union for life, would soon ensue. The I can remember well the desolateness of my fatal and insuperable vow of John to his parent, feelings, while brooding over these family aftlicintervened. He could not so insult his memory as tions. Often, while I yet remained in London, and to break the vow. What was to be done? How upon the coming of a Sabbath day, my youthful the two overcame their scruples cannot easily be steps would take me to the great public prometold in minute detail; but we can all imagine that nade, Hyde Park. There thronged the gay and a burning passion consumed the moral obstacles happy, rich and poor, the court and the soldiers, which half smothered its flame, for they were mar- the aged and young; were seen walking, riding, ried.
now gazing at the beautiful tame deer in the groves, This episode became essential to the full illus- anon looking with interest upon the groups of little tration of our narrative, and therefore we now water crafts, sailing up and down the Serpentine proceed to the main history of the Sorrows of the river, which meandered through the park. Her Dormer Family.
Majesty Queen Anne, in all the splendor of gorIt will be recollected that I mentioned the dis- geous attire, and accompanied by a train of supersion of our family after my father's death, and perbly dressed ladies and gentlemen, was occasionthat Hiram was then at sea. Being supercargo of ally to be seen upon the promenade. She could his father's ship in the West Indies, and particu- even be overheard to talk of her sorrows, of the larly attentive to his duties, he was too kcen an death of her sister and predecessor, Mary, and of observer of passing events, to please the fraudu- 'the unnatural cvents which drove her father James