Page images

ety, the beautiful and accomplished Honora Sneyd.

On the Death of Major Andre. Owing to some unpropitious circumstances, this “Oh, Washington ! I thought thee great and good, engagement was dissolved by parental authority, Severe to use the power that fortune gave,

Nor knew thy Nero-thirst for guiltless blood; and André, to soothe the pangs of disappointed Thou cool, determined murderer of the brave; affection, took a commission in the army. This Lost to each fairer virtue, that inspires

The genuine fervor of the patriot fires; was in 1771. Miss Sneyd, two years afterwards, And you, the base abettors of the doom 1773, became the second wife of Richard Lovell That sunk his blooming honors to the tomb, Edgeworth, who was the father of Maria Edge. While all he asked was as the brave to bleed;

The opprobrious tomb your hardened hearis decreed, worth, justly celebrated as an authoress. Both No other boon the glorious youth implored Andre and Miss Sneyd possessed an ardent and

Save the cold mercy of the warrior sword;

O, dark, and pitiless ! your mission's hate gifted friend in the person of Miss Seward, who

()'erwhelmed the hero in the rufhan's fate; at that time was in the height of youth, beauty, Drapt with the felon-cord the rosy breath, and fame as a votary of the muses.

And venom’d with disgrace the darts of death.

Remorseless Washington! the day shall come In 1778 André was in Philadelphia, with Sir

with Sir Of deep repentance for the barb'rous doom, William Howe. The American Army lay at Val

When injured André's memory shall inspire

A kindling army with resistless fire; ley Forge. During the stay of the British Army Each (aichion sharpen that the Britons wield, in Philadelphia, the subordinate officers gave an

And lead the fiercest lion to the field; entertainment to Sir William. It was called the

Then when each hope of thine shall set in night,

When dubious dread and unavailing flight
Mischianza, and consisted of regatta, fete-cham-Impel thy host, thy guilt-upbraided soul
Petre, with tilts and tournaments, and a procession Shall wish untouched the sacred life thou stole;

And when thy heart appalled and vanquished pride
through two triumphal arches, and ending with Shall vainly ask the mercy thou denied,
fireworks and a ball.

With horror shalt thou meet the fate thou gave, The day following this affair, General Gray, or

Nor pity gild the darkness of thy grave;

For insamy, with livid hand, shall shed "No Flint Gray," with five thousand select troops, Eternal mildew on thy ruthless head; undertook to surprise Lafayette, then posted at

Less cruel far than thou on Ilium's plain

Achilles, raging for Patroclus slain; Barren Hill He was defeated in the plan. Closely when hapless Priam bends the aged knee following this came Washington from Valley Forge, To deprecate the victor's dire decree, forcing the British from Philadelphia, and to battle The generous Greek in melting pity spares

The lifeless Hector to his father's prayers, at Monmouth.

Fierce as he was—'tis cowards only know At the entertainment above mentioned, André Persisting vengeance o'er a fallen soe.

But no entreaty wakes the soft remorse, met persons who introduced him to Arnold. He Oh, murdered André, for thy sacred corse ; was well informed of Arnold's character, his pecu- Vain were an army, vain its leader's sighs. niary embarrassments, and his temporary disgrace Damp in the earth on Hudson's shore it lies

Unshrouded, welters in the wintry storm, with the American army and Congress. He found And gluts the riot of the Tappan worm; in him a fit subject for treason, and then and there But oh! its dust like Abel's blood shall rise, laid the foundation of the plot, and afterwards What though the tyrants, with malignant pride,

And call for Justice from the angry skies. nurtured it by clandestine correspondence. This To thy pale corse each decent rite denied; fact alone convinces that it was a cool, deliberate Thy graceful limbs in no kind covert laid,

Nor with the Christian requiem soothed thy shade;
plan, and not the hasty impulse which may some- Yet on thy grass-green bier soft April showers
times lead honorable men into dishonorable prac-

Shall earliest wake the sweet spontaneous flowers;
Did the blue hare-bell and the snow-drop there

Hang their cold cup, and drop the pearly tear; The complete frustration of these plans, the And oft at pensive eve's ambiguous gloom, fight of Arnold, the irresolute conduct of André, With solemn strains shall lull thy deep repose,

Imperial Honor bending o'er thy tomb, his arrest and execution, in 1780, are too well And with his deathless laurels shade thy brow. known to require enlargement here. A short time prior to the news of André's disgrace reaching The British legions pour the indignant tear,

Lamented youth! while with inverted spear England, Miss Sneyd, then Mrs. Edgeworth, died Round the dropt arm the funeral-scarf entwine, of consumption. Upon her death, it seems that

And in their hearts' deep core thy worth enshrine, Miss Seward transferred her enthusiastic affection

While my weak muse, in fond attempt and vain

But feebly pours a perishable strain. for Miss Sneyd, in part, to André, and in this Oh! se distinguished few, whose glowing lays spirit and feeling, ignorant of the true state of the

Bright Phoebus kindles with his purest rays,

Snatch from its radiant source the living fire, case, wrote and published the following monody: | And light with vestal flame your André's hallowed pyre."


This envenomed philippic, in which Washington was signed between this country and America and his compatriots were traduced, flowing from an officer introduced himself, commissioned to the pen of an enamored and enraged woman, was General Washington to call upon me, and to asili published in 1789, and at that time so agreeably me, from the General, that no circumstancesc coincided with English prejudices and feelings his life had been so mortifying as to be censure? that it spread its shafts for nearly thirty years. in the Monody on André as the pitiless author o: At that time the literary works of Miss Seward his ignominious death; that he had labored 29 were republished, and we find the following note save him; that he requested my attention in appended, which is a contradiction of the spirit papers on the subject, which he had sent by the of the monody:

officer for my perusal. On examining them, I " The concurrent testimony even of the British found they entirely acquitted General Washing:rn. officers, during the years which have elapsed since This filled me with contrition for the rash inject! the poem was first published, acquits General of my course. With a copy of the proceedings ci Washington of that imputed cruelty which had so the court-martial that determined André's coforcibly impressed the grieved heart of the author. demnation, there was a copy of a letter iror They acknowledge that there was but one way to Washington to Clinton, offering to give up Ande have saved the gallant sufferer, viz., by Arnold's for Arnold, observing that there was reason t2 having been given up in exchange, who had fed believe that the apostate Arnold had exposed the to the English army. It was believed by the gallant André to unnecessary danger to facilitate American officers, that Arnold had taken his mea- bis own escape. Also copy of another letter from sures, that if the projected interview with André Washington to André, adjuring him to state to had been discovered while they were together, it him (Clinton) his unavoidable conviction of te might have been in his power to have sacrificed selfish perfidy of Arnold in suggesting that plan c André to his own safety. This report was urged disguise which exposed André, if taken, to certai? to the prisoner by an American officer, commis condemnation as a spy, when if he had come sioned by General Washington, who wished his openly, in his regimentals, and under a bag of preservation, to incluce him (André) to write to truce, to the then unsuspected American Generai, General Clinton, requesting the exchange; but he would have been perfectly safe. Again, a cons Major André would not listen a moment to the of André's high-souled answer, thanking Generai suggestion.

Washington for the interest he took in his destine, However, though it is urged that General Wash- but observing that even under conviction oí Ar. ington could not safely set aside the decision of nold's inattention to his safety, he could not sus. the court-martial, surely it was in his power to get to Clinton anything which might in fluerce have rendered the manner in which Major André him to save his less important life by such an exwas to suffer, less wounding to the sensibility of an change. These, madam, are the circumstances, as

. intrepid spirit.

ANNA SEWARD.” faithfully as I recall them at such a distance of This note, though in a part an apology for her time, of the interview of Washington's friend. errors, still conveys a partial censure of Washing

ANNA SEWARD." ton, and it remained for her to make a full and Some have supposed that many of the circumcomplete recantation in her letters. When Sir stances related in these letters were only imagina: Walter Scott edited her poetical works he omitted tion, and that Washington would not deign to be any mention whatever of these letters. It was re- reached by the idle slander of a poetic female, served for Edmund Wigley, Esq., to place these and aver further, that had it been true, Sir Walter letters before the public. In the following letter Scott would not have omitted them. Miss Seward clearly denounces ihe spirit of the minute relation of all the events, with Miss Sewmonody:

ard's celebrity and reputation, certainly give the To Viss Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler, of weight of truth to these publications; and they Langallen Vale.

show the sensibility of the illustrious Washington, Buxtoy, Aug. 9, 1793. in performing this act, to shield the excellence of A letter from General Washington, expressly his character, and to preserve his reputation unaddressed to myself, but a few years after peace stained.

But the


The following authentic defence of Major An- sciousness of having intended to discharge my dré, copied from the “ Journal of the Court duty in an honorable manner. Martial,” is especially interesting in connection “ Plans, it is said, were found with me. This with the foregoing :

is true ; but they were not mine. Yet I must tell "I came," said Major André, " to hold a com- you honestly that they would have been communimunication with a general officer of the American cated if I had not been taken. They were sent by Army, by the order of my own commander. I General Arnold to the British commander, and I entered the American lines by an unquestionable should have delivered them. From the bottom of authority-when I passed from them it was by the my heart, I spurn the thought of attempting to same authority. I used no deception. I had screen myself by criminating another; but so far heard that a Provincial officer had repented of the as I am concerned, the truth shall be told whoever course he had taken, and

suffers. It was the allegithat he avowed that he

ance of General Arnold I never meant to go so far as

came out to secure.

It was he had gone, in resisting

fair to presume that many a the authority of his King.

brave officer would be glad The British commander was

at this time to have been willing to extend to him the

able to retrace his steps : at King's clemency-yea, his

least, we have been so inbounty, in hopes to allure

formed. Shall I, who came others to do the same. I

out to negotiate this allegimade no plans. I examined

ance only, be treated as one no works. I only received

who came to spy out the his communications, and

weakness of a camp? If was on my way to return to

these actions are alike, I the army, and to make

have to learn my moral code known all that I had learned

anew. from a general officer in

Gentlemen, officers, be your camp. Is this the

it understood that I am no office of a spy? I never


supplicant for mercy: that should have acted in that

I ask only from Omnipolight, and what I have done is not in the nature | tence—not from human beings. Justice is all I of a spy. I have noted neither your strength nor claim that justice which is neither swayed by weakness. If there be wrong in this transaction, prejudice, nor distorted by passion, but that which is it mine? The office of a spy a soldier has a flows from honorable minds directed by virtuous right to refuse ; but, to carry and fetch communi- determinations. I hear, gentlemen, that my case cations, with another army, I never heard was is likened to that of Captain Hale, in 1775. I criminal. The circumstances which followed, after have heard of him and his misfortunes. I wish my interview with General Arnold, were not in that in all that dignifies man—that adorns and my power to control. He alone had the manage- elevates human nature, I could be named with that ment of them.

accomplished but unfortunate officer His fate was “It is said that I rode in disguise. I rode for wayward, and untimely was he cut off, yet younger security incog-, as far as I was able; but other than than I now am. He went out knowing that he criminal deods induces one to do this. I was not was assuming the character of a spy. He took all bound to wear my uniform any longer than it was its liabilities into his hand, at the request of his expedient or politic. I scorn the name of a spy: great commander. He was ready to meet what brand my offence with some other title, if it he assumed, and all its consequences. His death change not my punishment, I beseech you. It is the law of nations sanctioned. It may be comnot death I fear. I am buoyed above it by a con- plimentary to compare me with him: still it would


be unjust. He took his life in his hand when he “« The sentence you this day pronounce will go assumed the character and the disguise. I as down to posterity with exceeding great distinctsumed no disguise, nor took upon myself any other ness on the page of history; and if humanity and character than that of a British officer who had honor mark this day's decision, your names, each business to transact with an American officer. and all of you, will be remembered by both nations

“In fine, I ask not even for justice, if you want when they have grown greater and more powerful a victim to the manes of those fallen untimely, I than they now are. But, if misfortune befalls me, may as well be that victim as another. I have in I shall in time have all due honors paid to my the most undisguised manner given you every fact memory. The martyr is kept in remembrance in the case. I only reply on the proper construc- when the tribunal that condemned him is fortion of these facts. Let me be called any thing gotten. I trust this honorable Court will believe but a spy. I am not a

me when I say, that what

Ι spy. I have examined

I have spoken was not nothing, learned nothing,

from any idle fears of a communicated nothing,

coward. I have done." but my detention to Ar

REMARKS. — Probably, nold, that he might es

Mr. Carlisle is somewhat cape if he thought proper

mistaken when he says: so to do. This was, as I

"comparatively few genconceived, my duty. I

eral readers know any. hope the gallant officer

thing of the man [Major who was then unsuspici

André] beyond the fact ous of his General, will

of his arrest as a spy, his not be condemned for the

trial and execution." military error he com

Few individuals have been mitted.

more written about than “I further state that

André, and few have exSmith, who was the me

cited more interest than dium of communication,

he among "general readdid not know any part of

Still, the “Monoour conference, except

dy" and the “Defence," that there was some ne

have been seldom in print cessity for secrecy. He

in this country, and will was counsel in various

prove interesting to many matters for General Ar


of our readers. nold, and from all the

We insert here a porinterviews I had with him, and it was Smith who trait c. John Paulding, one of the three captors lent me this dress-coat of crimson, on being told of André, and shall be obliged to any of our that I did not wish to be known by English or readers who will furnish authentic portraits of Van Americans, I do not believe that he had even a Wart (Van Wert, or Van Vert) and Williams, the supposition of my errand. On me your wrath companions of Paulding in that capture. We should fall, if on any one. I know your affairs shall also be thankful for a brief sketch of the life look gloomy; but that is no reason why I should of each of the three. Our readers are generally be sacrificed. My death can do your cause no aware of the fact that the character of these men good. Millions of friends to your struggle in was seriously assailed nearly sixty years ago, ColEngland you will lose if you condemn me. I say onel Tallmadge being the most conspicuous of not this by way of threat; for I know brave men their detractors, but though he was sincere beyond are not awed by threats-nor will brave men be question, he was just as certainly mistaken. Judge vindictive because they are desponding. I should Benson’s “ Vindication” is rare and accessible to not have said a word had it not been for the “general readers" only in the libraries of the Hisopinion of others, which I am bound to respect. torical Societies.




[ocr errors]



[merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Dr. Lossing, in his paper on “The Curtis | Earl of Gloucester and some others grew jealous House, Jamaica Plain," in the March MONTHLY, of De Montfort's power and influence, assisted speaks briefly of Waltham Abbey, and alludes to Edward to escape and to organize an army for the the fact that the corpse of Edward I. was borne rescue of his father ; how, on the bloody field of thither in 1307. By a singular coincidence, in Evesham, Edward overcame and murdered the the same number, Mr. Morden in his paper on great De Montfort and his noble followers, permit"Engla-land," tells us of the famous “Stone of ting no stay to the slaughter until the very noblest Destiny," that it was taken from Scone to Westmin- and best of the English nation were all slain-an ster by the same Edward. These two allusions to English writer weil says: “A more savage, inhuEdward I. call to my mind his remarkable character man carnage never disgraced England.” Drayton, and career, and possibly a short paper upon the the Warwickshire poet, tells us that the great same may prove of some interest to the readers of battle and slaughter of Evesham were preceded by the MONTHLY.

dire portents: History tells us how the unwise and unjust Henry “ In that black night before this sad and dismal day III., by his repeated disregard of the “ Magna Two apparitions strange, as dread heav'n would bewray Charta," brought on “the Barons' War;" how The horrors to ensue; Oh, most amazing sight! on the field of Lewes the great Simon de Montfort

Two armies were in the air discerned to fight,

Which came so near to earth, that in the morn they found (Earl of Leicester) and his righteous cause tri

The prints of horses' feet remaining on the ground; umphed; how Henry and his son Edward became

Which came but as a show, the time to entertain prisoners to their justly incensed barons; how the Till the angry armies joined to act the bloody scene.”

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »