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This praise was paid to ten thousand heroes, sustaining every danger, in a retreat to their own country, and is certainly due, so far as heroism is concerned, to less than a tenth parth of the number, marching through equal difficulties against the capital of a hostile country.
Even the march of Hannibal over the Alps, so much celebrated in history, (allowing for the disparity of numbers) has nothing in it of superior merit, to the march of Arnold; and in many circumstances there is a most striking similitude.
The former had to encounter the rapid Rhone; the latter, the more rapid Kennebeck, through an immense length of country. The former, when he came to quit the river, found his further passage barred by mountains, rearing their snowy crests to the sky, rugged, wild, uncultivated. This was also the case with the latter, whose troops, carrying their boats and baggage, were obliged to cross and recross the same mountains sundry times. At the foot of the mountains, the former was deserted by three thousand of his army, desponding at the length of the way, and terrified at the hideous view of those stupendous heights, which they considered as impassable-In like circumstances, about a third part of the army of the latter, deserted shall I say, or use the more courteous language-"returned home*.” The march
When the oration was delivered, the author did not know that an inquiry had been made into the reasons of the return of this party, and that the commanding officer has been acquitted. But as a very general censure had been passed upon him through the Colonies, it was judged much more of the former was about twelve hundred miles in five months. The Virginia and Pennsylvania rifle-companies, belonging to the latter, including their first march from their own habitations to Cambridge, and thence to Quebec, marched near the same distance in about three months.
Besides these rifle-companies, Arnold's corps consisted of about five hundred New-England troops, who sustained all the fatigues of the worst part of the march by land and water, with the utmost fortitude. And General MonTGOMERY, ever ready to do justice to merit, having joined them before Quebec, gives their commander and them this character
“ they are an exceeding fine body of men, inured “ to fatigue, with a style of discipline among them “ much superior to what I have been used to see this “ campaign-He himself is active, intelligent, and enterprizing.”
Having approached those plains which the blood of Wolfe hath consecrated to deathless fame, our hero seemed emulous of his glory, and animated with a
honourable for him to insert an account of his acquitment, than to suppress the paragraph--for all these transactions will be fully scrutinized by future historians.
It was at the foot of the Pyrenees that the 3000 deserted from Hannibal, and he freely dismissed 7000 more, whose courage he perceived was not equal to the undertaking. Indeed Livy tells us that the sight of the Alps, " their snow.clad tops almost penetrating Heaven, the rude cottages built " on rocks, sheep and oxen pinched with cold, the men savage and wearing " long beards, every thing both animate and inanimate stiff with frost”struck even the remainder of his army with a temporary panic. It is not clear what use Hannibal made of his boats after crossing the Rhone, whether to carry his baggage, as he ascended along its banks, or not.
kindred spirit. The situation of his army pressed dispatch! snows and frost only quickened his motions. He hoped by one successful stroke, before the arrival of succours to the garrison, to complete his plan, and save the future effusion of much blood. He further Aattered himself, that his success, if speedy, might have some influence upon parliament, in hastening a reconciliation. He understood that maxim of Fo. lard" No obstacle should break our resolution, “ when there is but a moment between a bad situation “ and a worse”—This sentiment he expresses in his last letter with a spirit of modesty, and a sense of duty, as well as the danger attending it, which ought to be forever recorded to his glory." I shall be sorry to “ be reduced to this mode of attack; because I know “ the melancholy consequences. But the approach.
ing severity of the season, the weakness of the garrison, together with the nature of the works,
point it out too strong to be passed by. Fortune “ often baffles the most sanguine expectations of poor “ mortals--I am not intoxicated with the favours I “ have received at her hands-But I think there is a “ fair prospect of success.”
Poor mortals indeed, if nothing was to remain of them after death; for while he was courting this success, and gloriously leading on his troops in the front of danger, he received the fatal stroke, which in an instant released his great spirit, to follow and join the immortal spirit of Wolfe!
O thou swift winged messenger of destruction, how didst thou triumph in that moment! the stroke
that severed Montgomery from his army, deprived them of more than a member. It reached the vitals, and struck the whole body with a temporary death, As when the forked lightning, darting through the forest, amid the black tempests of night, rends some towering oak, and lays its honours in the dust, the inferior trees which it had long sheltered from the storm, stand mournful around, so stood the astonished bands over their fallen chieftain !--nor over him alone; but over others, in their prime of glory, prostrate by his side!
Here, ye Pennsylvanian youths, second to none in virtue, let a portion of your tears be sacred to the manes of Macpherson! You remember his generous spirit in his early years, for he drank of the same springs of science with many of you now before me; and we who reached the cup to your lip, rejoice that it contributed to invigorate both him and you into wisdom and public spirit. Having finished his scholastic education, he studied the laws of his country, under a lawyer and patriott of distinguished name; and animated by his example, as well as precepts, had become eminent in his profession, at an age when
He was educated partly at the college of Philadelphia, and partly at that of New Jersey. A few days before his death, he visited the very spot on which General Wolfe expired; and the reflections in his letter on this occasion, as well as in that which he left sealed up, for his father, in case of his death in the attack upon Quebec, were such as became a Christian and a soldier. He bequeathed what little fortune he had accumulated, to his only brother, an officer in the regular army. As a reward for his services, he was appointed by the Congress, a Major in a battalion to be raised in the Delaware counties, but had received no account of this promotion.
† John Dickinson, Esquire.
some have scarce begun to think of business. The love of liberty being his ruling passion, he thought it his duty in the present struggle, to offer himself to the service of his country, and he had soon an opportunity of attaining that military pre-eminence, of which he was laudably ambitious.
Enjoying a hereditary bravery, joined to a well cultivated understanding, and an active spirit, he soon became the bosom friend of General Montgomery, was his aid de camp, was entrusted with a share in the management of his most important negociations, stood by his side in the attack upon Quebec, and being, as it were, animated by one common soul, and dear to each other in life-in death, they were not a moment divided!
Here likewise fell Captain Cheeseman, of the New-York forces, covered with honour, and lamented by all who knew him, as an active and gallant officer. His particular merits, as well as the merits of some others, who shared his fate, ought to be more fully commemorated on this occasion, if proper accounts of them could be collected.
I must not, however, omit the name of the brave Captain Hendricks, who commanded one of the Pennsylvania rifle-companies, and was known to me from his infancy. He was indeed prodigal of his life, and courted danger out of his tour of duty. The command of the guard belonged to him, on the morning of the attack; but he solicited and obtained leave to take a more conspicuous post; and having led his men through the barrier, where his commanding offi