Page images

present number.

[ocr errors]

What has become of the authors of Childhood,' and 'Limnings in the Thoroughfares?' Both have been frequently inquired after. Notices of the following publications, although in type, are necessarily omitted: Guizot's Washington; Bliss's Collegiate Address; the Reviews for the July quarter; Brother Jonathan' literary journal, etc. An Irish Catholic,' whose good feeling and courtesy we cordially reciprocate, informs us — what we certainly did not know before that the Dublin University Magazine' is not a national journal, but the organ of a faction known as the Orange-Tory Party;' that the story of the numerous daily masses, mentioned in our last, is absurd; since no priest can or does read more than one mass on any one day in the year, except on Christmas Day, when he reads three, by a special dispensation of the Church ;' and that since its establishment, the periodical in question has labored assiduously to heap slander and ridicule upon the national faith.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


'THE DIAL: a Magazine for Literature, Philosophy, and Religion,' is the title of a quarterly publication, the first number of which has reached us from Boston. It is to be devoted to that refinement upon common-sense literature, just now so much in vogue at the East; which, like the memorable science of SIR PIERCIE SHAFTON, Shall indoctrinate the dull in intellectuality, the vulgar in nobility, and give that 'unutterable perfection of human utterance;' that eloquence which no other eloquence is sufficient to praise; that art which, in fine, when we call it Literary Euphuism, we bestow upon it its richest panegyric. The editors declare in their address to their readers, which would seem to have been penned by the luminous author of the preface to the American edition of Phantasmion,' that they cannot foretell, in orderly propositions, what the work shall attempt;' yet it will aim to give expression to that spirit which lifts men to a higher platform,' (a species of 'drop,' most likely,) and scope to those spirits which are withdrawing from all old forms, and seeking in all that is new, somewhat to meet their inappeasable longings.' We may infer, from the editors' clear and comprehensive definition of true criticism, that in that departinent the work will be characterized by a oneness, a universal dovetailed ness, a light and a shade,' that cannet fail to be sufficiently marked. All criticism,' say the editors, should be poetic; unpredictable; superseding all foregone thoughts; and making a new light on the whole world: its brow is not wrinkled with circumspection,' etc., etc. In consonance, we may presume, with these principles' we have, in Notes from the Journal of a Scholar,' among other critical remarks upon SHAKSPEARE, the following, which certainly supersede all foregone thoughts' on the same general theme: 'His genius was omnific and all-sympathising. The message he was sent to do, he delivered, unembarrassed, unimplicated. He gave voice to the finest, curiousest, boldest speculations. Hamlet and Othello he counted not his creatures, but self-subsistent; too high-born to be propertied; if they lived, he lived,' etc. The subjoined characteristic paragraph is 'Tevel to the meanest capacity;' in fact, nothing could be flatter:

'The popular genesis is historical. It is written to sense not to the soul. Two principles, diverse and alien, interchange the Godhead, and sway the world by turns. God is dual. Spirit is derivative. Identity halts in diversity. Unity is actual merely. The poles of things are not integrated; creation is globed and orbed. Yet in the truc genesis, nature is globed in the material, souls orbed in the spiritual firmament. Love globes, wisdom orbs, all things. As magnet the steel, so spirit attracts matter, which trembles to traverse the poles of diversity, and rest in the bosom of unity. All genesis is of love. Wisdom is her form; beauty her costume.'

'Granting,' says a brother journalist, 'that the popular Genesis is historical, may we not ask the author of these comprehensible sentences, what he thinks of the Exodus of the Egyptians, in days of yore? Were 'the poles of things' integrated then? Or was unity actual merely,

'What time Dan Abraham left the Chaldee land,
And pastured on from verdant stage to stage :'

and what was the general effect of it on the growth of sheep?· and collaterly, upon the price of putty? These are points which the writer should settle at once. They have a 'dual' interest; aud if he can'orb' out any thing 'right nice' on the subject, he will oblige the Universe particularly. Let him help the dial to show Europe and America what's o'clock, as soon as he can. Quære: Is not the dial dual? But enough. There are good thoughts in several of the 'Dial' papers, but they are smothered in words, words.' This school of literary euphuists cannot last: the imitative pupils, especially, are destined to a speedy dissolution. If your meats are good, what is the use of disguising them?' said a plain-spoken Yankee, to a boasting chef de cuisine at Paris. 'You might serve up the leg of a monkey, or the head of your grand father, and it would pass perhaps for whatever you might please to call it, when covered up with your contraptions. For my part, I should like to know what I eat.' There is a moral in this. Four pails of water to a turnip' may make an authentic 'potage à la mode de Paris;' but a kindred proportion of mind to a literary ' turnip-head,' would scarcely edify the public, or improve American letters.




No. 3.




BENEDICT ARNOLD was a native of Connecticut; and the brick building in which he once kept store, although time-worn and decayed, is still standing at New-Haven, near the harbor, with one end overgrown with ivy, and in the garret may still be seen the sign he then used. No officer of the American army stood higher than he, in the confidence of the government, and the love of the people, prior to that dark period, when, plotting the ruin of his oppressed country, he effected his own, and exchanged for ever the bright and spotless inheritance of a soldier's fame, for the withering curse of a nation's contempt, and the unending infamy of a traitor's name, which living, haunted every hour of his life, and will be fresh in the history of all future time.

All writers agree that the deep pecuniary embarrassments of Arnold, into which his love of pleasure and great extravagance had led him, were the leading motives that impelled him to the fearful step. Ramsay informs us that the generosity of the States did not keep pace with the extravagance of their favorite officer. A sumptuous table and expensive equipage, unsupported by the resources of private fortune, unguarded by the virtues of economy, and good management, soon increased his debts beyond a possibility of discharging them. His love of pleasure produced the love of money; and that extinguished all sensibility to the obligations of honor and duty.

* THE writer, in a note to the Editor, says, that at the recent examination by the 'Board of Visiters' of the Military Academy, an officer of the post politely suggested, during their stay, an excursion to 'Beverly' or the 'Robinson House,' on the opposite side of the Hudson, about two miles below West Point, and memorable as the Head Quarters of General ARNOLD, while plotting with ANDRE the surrender of his country. The deep interest excited by the scene where one of the most striking events of the Revolution had its inception and melancholy termination, induced our correspondent to recall and arrange, in a methodical form, the 'scattered legends of the past, which time had almost obliterated.' The result is here given to the reader, who will scarcely fail to share the impressions of the writer. ED. KNICKERBOCKER.

[blocks in formation]

The calls of luxury were pressing, and demanded gratification, although at the expense of fame and country. Contracts were made, speculations entered into, and partnerships instituted, which could not bear investigation. Oppression, extortion, misapplication of public money and property, furnished him with the farther means of gratifying his favorite passions. In these circumstances, a change of sides afforded the only hope of evading a scrutiny, and at the same time held out a prospect of replenishing his exhausted coffers.

In the midst of his desperation, his funds gone, detection unavoidable, he resolved to unburden his griefs to the French envoy; and mingling in their detail the ingratitude' of his country, to seek from the sympathy of a foreigner the means to retrieve his shattered fortunes. The application was not only unsuccessful, but was rejected with such disdain, and accompanied with such bitter rebuke, as to add greatly to the desperation of Arnold. Thus baffled and mortified, he was at last driven, by his impetuous feelings, into the fatal project of selling his country; that country which had heaped honor after honor upon him, with prodigal kindness; which had given him birth, and placed his name high upon the roll of her great and distinguished men; whose shores were covered with a mercenary foe, seeking her subjugation; that country, in fine, whose soldiery were barefoot and starving, amid the storms of winter, and which, poor in every thing but her reliance on God, her valor, and the bravery of her people, had no hoarded gold with which to win back to love and duty the traitor to her standard and her righteous cause.

After the British evacuated Philadelphia, many families were left, who were disaffected toward the Americans, and among others, that of Mr. EDWARD SHIPPEN, afterward Chief Justice of Pennsylvania. His beautiful and accomplished daughter had been the toast' of all the British officers, of whom none stood higher in the estimation of the family than Major JOHN ANDRE. With him Miss Shippen was in the habit of constant and friendly correspondence. Arnold was not an unmoved spectator of the young lady's beauty and worth; and having made an offer of his hand and heart, was accepted, and thus entered a family hostile to his country, and whose interest and pleasure it would naturally be, to win from the cause of the rebels' to that of the king one so well known to fame. The acquaintance with Major André commenced at this time; and even then the determination of Arnold was formed, to make André the instrument by which the hellish plot was to be consummated. Arnold had been for some time leading an inactive life, having been excused from duty, owing to the wounds he had received: but he became suddenly anxious for active service in the field. His first effort was to procure at the hands of General WASHINGTON the command of West Point, then universally esteemed the most important military post in the country. He succeeded in this, and established his head quarters at 'Beverly' or 'Robinson House,' on the eastern side of the Hudson river, about two miles below West Point. This place had belonged to one Beverly Robinson, who having taken up arms with the British against his country, forfeited his property. The main part of the army was at this time down the Hudson, between 'Dobbs' Ferry' and Tappan.' General La Fayette had employed, at his own ex

pense, in New-York, several spies, who were to furnish him secret intelligence of the movements of the enemy. Arnold applied to him for their names and address, on the pretence that they could communicate with him with greater facility, and he would then send the information to La Fayette; but the request was promptly refused, as some old-fashioned notions of honor seemed to forbid it. Arnold, after his marriage, encouraged Mrs. Arnold in keeping up the correspondence with Major Andre, and thus, although unknown to herself, the devoted wife was made one of the tools by which American liberty was to be crushed. In a little time Arnold commenced a direct correspondence with André, the letters of the former being signed 'Gustavus,' and of the latter, ‘John Anderson.' For some time Sir Henry Clinton did not know the real author; but he soon became satisfied, from a chain of circumstances, that it was General Arnold. The grand project of securing West Point, with all its dependant posts, stores, and property, was of such vast importance, that Sir Henry Clinton deemed no expense or trouble too great to effect it. It being now known to the British commander that Arnold was in fact the person with whom the correspondence commenced, measures were taken to perfect the details of the system of villany which he proposed. Arnold requested that Major André should be the person to hold communication with him, and Clinton accordingly deputed him.

Major John André was intended for commercial life, and had entered upon its busy employments; but the abrupt and sad termination of his addresses to a young English lady, whose father forbade the union, drove him to the excitement of military life; and, forsaking England, he sought in the fascination of military glory, a forgetfulness of his bitter fate. He was taken prisoner of war soon after he entered the army; and when searched, he concealed in his mouth a miniature of his lady love, which in happier days his own pencil had sketched, and which in distant lands and amidst other scenes, he wore as memory's talisman; the silent, though still loved companion of life's weary pilgrimage. He was a most graceful, elegant, and accomplished gentleman, and ripe scholar; passionately fond of the fine arts, and a finished master of painting and drawing. He was the favorite of the whole army, and into every domestic circle was welcomed as a friend and brother. Such was the man selected to conduct the delicate and dangerous negotiation, which had for its unholy aim the base surrender of America; such the man with whose aid Benedict Arnold was to strike a blow at the heart of that country, under whose 'stripes and stars' he had fought Freedom's battles; from whose gory fields he had borne away the wounds and scars which are the soldier's best certificates, and the mute pleaders for a country's gratitude.

It was the original intention of Arnold to receive André within the lines, at his own Head-Quarters, and to arrange there the whole plan of operations. At that time, part of the army was stationed at Salem, a town on the eastern side of the Hudson, some distance from the river, and under the command of Colonel Sheldon. He had been told by General Arnold that he expected a person from New-York

whom he wished to meet at Sheldon's quarters, and desired instant notice of his arrival. A letter was then written, informing André of this arrangement: to this he replied, in the enigmatical style which distinguished all their correspondence, that he would be at 'Dobbs' Ferry' at a certain time. Arnold left West Point in the afternoon of the tenth of September, went down the river in his barge to 'King's Ferry,' passed the night at the house of Joshua Smith, and went early next morning down to Dobbs' Ferry.' André had arrived the night before, but not finding Arnold, and fearing mistake, he returned to New-York. Another meeting was fixed for the 20th. Arnold then wrote to Major Tallmadge, commandant at one of the out-posts, that if a man calling himself 'John Anderson' arrived at his station, to send him without delay to Head-Quarters, escorted by two dragoons. Sir Henry Clinton, in order to afford means of easier intercourse and escape, had sent Colonel Beverly Robinson up the river, in the sloop of war VULTURE, with orders to stop at Teller's Point.' A letter from the Vulture, addressed to General Putnam, (known not to be there,) reached Arnold, and was of course understood to apprize him that André was on board.

On that very day, and but a few hours after the boat had carried the letter on shore, General WASHINGTON and his suite crossed the Hudson at 'King's Ferry,' in Arnold's barge, the Vulture then in full view below; and while WASHINGTON was viewing her with his glass, Arnold is said to have betrayed great uneasiness. It is worthy of remark, that before André left New-York, he was expressly ordered by Sir Henry Clinton not to change his dress, nor to go within the American lines, and on no account to take any papers.

Arnold employed a man by the name of Joshua Smith to aid him generally in the prosecution of his plan, although it is now generally believed that he never did communicate to Smith the purpose he had in view. Smith was to bring André on shore from the Vulture, and 'Smith's house,' in case of ultimate necessity, was to be the place of negociation. At Arnold's request, Smith sent all his family away except the servants. Being furnished with a boat and pass, and assisted by two brothers by the name of Colqhoun, who were forced very reluctantly to go, he went off to the Vulture, with orders to bring Mr. Anderson on shore. The oars were muffled, the night was tranquil and serene; the stars shone brightly above them; the water was calm and unruffled; and the gentle air floated mildly by. The work of treason went noiselessly on, and the whispers of conscience found no echo, save in the heart where they originated.

[ocr errors]

Smith was shown into the cabin of the Vulture, into which soon after Colonel Robinson brought a man, whom he introduced as Mr. Anderson. He was in full uniform, but over it he wore a blue travelling coat. They left the Vulture, and landed at the foot of a mountain called the Long Clove,' on the west margin of the river, about six miles below Stony Point.' The exact spot for the first interview had been fixed, and to this place Arnold had ridden from Smith's house. And there, in the darkness of night, amid its stillness and gloom, stood the arch-traitor of America, and the flower of England's chivalry! It was a picture worthy of a master pencil.


« PreviousContinue »