« PreviousContinue »
and to partake the reward of your patriotic toils; and he has allowed us, your sons and countrymen, to meet you here, and, in the name of the present generation', in the name of your country', in the name of liberty', to thank you`.
4. But, alas! you are not all here! Time and the sword have thinned your ranks. Prescott, Putnam, Stark, Brooks, Read, Pomeroy, Bridge! our eyes seek for you in vain amid this broken band. You are gathered to your fathers, and live only to your country in her grateful remembrance and your own bright example. But let us not too much grieve that you have met the common fate of men. You lived at least long enough to know that your work had been nobly and successfully accomplished. You lived to see your country's independence established, and to sheathe your swords from war. On the light of liberty you saw årise the light of peace, like
"another morn Risen on mid-noon;"
and the sky on which you closed your eyes was cloudless.
5. But the scene amidst which we stand does not permit us to confine our thoughts or our sympathies to those fearless spirits who hazarded or lost their lives on this consecrated spot. have the happiness to rejoice here in the presence of a most worthy representation of the survivors of the whole Revolutionary army.
6. Veterans! you are the remnant of many a well-fought field. You bring with you marks of honor from Trenton and Monmouth', from Yorktown', Camden, Bennington', and Saratoga. Veterans of half a century! when in your youthful days you put every thing at hazard in your country's cause, good as that cause was', and sanguine as youth is', still, your fondest hopes did not stretch onward to an hour like this! At a period to which you could not reasonably have expected to arrive', at a moment of national prosperity such as you could never have foreseen', you are now met here to enjoy the fellowship of old soldiers', and to receive the overflowings of a universal gratitude'.
7. But your agitated countenances and your heaving breasts inform me that even this is not an unmixed joy'. I perceive that a tumult of contending feelings rushes upon you. The images of the dead', as well as the persons of the living', throng to your embraces'. The scene overwhelms you, and I turn from it. May the Father of all mercies smile upon your declining years and bless them! And when you shall here have exchanged your embraces,-when you shall once more have pressed the hands which have been so often extended to give succor in
adversity, or grasped in the exultation of victory,-then look abroad into this lovely land which your young valor defended, and mark the happiness with which it is filled; yea, look abroad into the whole earth, and see what a name you have contributed to give to your country, and what a praise you have added to freedom, and then rejoice in the sympathy and gratitude which beam upon your last days from the improved condition of mankind.
BY PARK BENJAMIN.
1. THE departed! the departed!
And they glide above our memories'
But where the cheerful lights of home
The departed, the departed
2. The good', the brave', the beautiful',
In the cities of the dead!
3. I look around and feel the awe
Among the wrecks of former days
I start to hear the stirring sounds
4. That solemn voice'! it mingles with
The thrilling notes of birds',
As their remember'd words'.
5. I sometimes dream their pleasant smiles
THE NOTARY OF PERIGUEUX.
BY H. W. LONGFELLOW.
PERIGUEUX, (pa re gu',) a town in France.
CABRIOLET, (kab re o la',) a one-borse chaise.
1. THERE lived some years ago, in the city of Perigueux, an honest notary-public, the descendant of a very ancient and broken-down family, and the occupant of one of those old weather-beaten tenements which remind you of the times of your great-grandfather. He was a man of an unoffending, quiet disposition, but of intemperate habits. His course of life soon began to affect the sensitive organization of the notary, and finally put his nervous system completely out of tune. He lost his appetite, became gaunt and haggard, and could get no sleep.
2. Legions of blue-devils haunted him by day, and by night strange faces peeped through his bed-curtains and the nightmare snorted in his ear. The worse he grew', the more he smoked and tippled'; and the more he smoked and tippled', why, as a matter of course', the worse he grew. His wife alternately stormed', remonstrated', entreated'; but all in vain. She made
the house too hot for him,-he retreated to the tavern; she broke his long-stemmed pipes upon the andirons,-he substituted a short-stemmed one, which, for safe keeping, he carried in his waistcoat-pocket.
3. Thus the unhappy notary ran gradually down at the heel. What with his bad habits and domestic grievances, he became completely hipped. He imagined that he was going to die; and suffered in quick succession all the diseases that ever beset mortal man. Every shooting pain was an alarming symptom; every uneasy feeling after dinner a sure prognostic of some mortal disease. In vain did his friends endeavor to reason, and then to laugh him out of his strange whims; for when did ever jest or reason cure a sick imagination? His only answer was, "Do let me alone'; I know better than you what ails me'."
4. Things were in this state, when, one afternoon in December, as he sat moping in his office', wrapped in an overcoat, with a cap on his head; and his feet thrust into a pair of furred slippers, a cabriolet stopped at the door, and a loud knocking without aroused him from his gloomy revery. It was a message from one of his friends, a wine-dealer, who had been suddenly attacked with a violent fever, and, growing worse and worse, had now sent in the greatest haste for the notary to draw up his last will and testament. The case was urgent', and admitted neither excuse nor delay'; and the notary, tying a handkerchief round his face', and buttoning up to the chin', jumped into the cabriolet, and suffered himself, though not without some dismal presentiments and misgivings of heart', to be driven to the winedealer's house'.
5. When he arrived, he found every thing in the greatest confusion. On entering the house, he ran against the apothecary, who was coming down-stairs, with a face as long as your arm; and a few steps farther he met the housekeeper-for the winedealer was an old bachelor-running up and down and wringing her hands, for fear that the good man would die without making his will. He soon reached the chamber of his sick friend, and found him tossing about in a paroxysm of fever, and calling aloud for a draught of cold water.
6. When the sick man saw who stood by his bedside, he stretched out his hand and exclaimed, "Ah, my dear friend! have you come at last? You see it is all over with me. You have arrived just in time to draw up that-that passport of mine. Ah! how hot it is here! Water! water! water! Will nobody give me a drop of cold water?" As the case was an urgent one', the notary made no delay in getting his papers in readiness'; and in a short time the last will and testament of the wine-dealer was
drawn up in due form, the notary guiding the sick man's hand as he scrawled his signature at the bottom.
7. As the evening wore away, the wine-dealer grew worse and worse, and at length expired. Meanwhile the notary sat cowering over the fire, aghast at the fearful scene that was passing before him, and now and then striving to keep up his courage by a glass of cogniac. Already his fears were on the alert; and the idea of contagion flitted to and fro through his mind. In order to quiet these thoughts of evil import, he lighted his pipe, and began to prepare for returning home.
8. At that moment the apothecary turned round to him and said, “Dreadful sickly time, this! The disorder seems to be spreading." "What disorder?" exclaimed the notary, with a movement of surprise. "Two died yesterday', and three to-day',' continued the apothecary, without answering the question. "Very sickly time', sir',-very'." "But what disorder is it? What disease has carried off my friend here so suddenly?" "What disease? Why, scarlet fever, to-be-sure." "And is it contagious?" "Certainly."
9. "Then I am a dead man!" exclaimed the notary, putting his pipe into his waistcoat-pocket, and beginning to walk up and down the room in despair. "I am a dead man'! Now, don't deceive me, don't, will you? What-what are the symptoms?" "A sharp burning pain in the right side," said the apothecary. “Oh, what a fool I was to come here!" In vain did the housekeeper and the apothecary strive to pacify him: he was not a man to be reasoned with; he answered that he knew his own constitution better than they did, and insisted upon going home without delay.
10. Unfortunately, the vehicle he came in had returned to the city; and the whole neighborhood was abed and asleep. What was to be done? Nothing in the world but to take the apothecary's horse, which stood hitched at the door, patiently waiting his master's will. As there was no remedy', our notary mounted his raw-boned steed', and set forth upon his homeward journey'. The night was cold and gusty, and the wind right in his teeth. The trees by the roadside groaned with a sound of evil omen; and before him lay three mortal miles, beset with a thousand imaginary perils.
11. Obedient to the whip and spur, the steed leaped forward by fits and starts, now dashing away in a tremendous gallop, and now relaxing into a long, hard trot; while the rider, filled with symptoms of disease and dire presentiments of death, urged him on as if he were fleeing before the pestilence. In this way, by dint of whistling and shouting, and beating right and left, one