ePub 版

ture. There, with almost hopeless labor, we have! But of the public man--as we remember him for dug deep wells, which the future traveller will en- nearly thirty years-of the personal friend—for so joy. Without a guide who had traversed them, we it was our honor and delight to be permitted to conhave ventured into trackless prairies, where water sider him—we may utter in sadness and yet in triwas not found for several marches. With crowbar umph, some of the facts which illustrate this gloriand pickaxe in hand, we have worked our way over ous life. mountains, which seemed to defy aught save the Mr. Kent, from 1794 to 1824, was the occupang wild goat; and hewed a passage through a chasm of a judicial station—beginning with that of recorder of living rock, more narrow than our wagons. To of the city of New York in 1794, and ending with bring these first wagons to the Pacific, we have that of chancellor of the state in 1824. At this time preserved the strength of the mules, by herding he accomplished his sixtieth year, and thenceforth, ihem over large tracts which you have laboriously according to the arbitrary assumption of the conguarded, without loss.

stitution of New York, he was to be deemed inca"The garrisons of four Presidios of Sonora, con- pable of serving the public as a judge. But nature, centrated within the walls of Tueson, gave us no which has no complaisance for the chimerical nopause ; we drove them out with their artillery ; but tions of constitution-mongers-nature, aided by an our intercourse with the citizens was not marked even disposition, a life of moderation and temperby a single act of injustice. Thus marching, half ance, and saved alike from decay and from rust, by naked and half fed, and living upon wild animals, cheerful industry, and constant application of fine we have discovered and made a road of great value intellectual faculties to the pursuit and elucidation to our country.

of knowledge, nature vindicated her right and dig“ Arrived at the first settlement of California, after nity in his person, and enabled him, after the law a single day's rest, you cheerfully turned off from had pronounced him incompetent, to prepare and the route to this point of promised repose, to enter give to the world--we use the word advisedlyupon a campaign, and meet, as we believed, the those " Commentaries,” which take second rank to approach of the enemy; and this, too, without no known treatises on law. Edition after edition even salt to season your sole subsistence of fresh of this standard work has been published_each one meat.

carefully superintended, improved, and added to by “ Lieuts. A.J. Smith and Geo. Stoneman, of the the author ; whose mind was never idle, whose inIst dragoons, have shared and given valuable aid in dustry could not be overtasked. It was a labor of all these labors.

love to him, and is fraught with benefits innumer“ Thus, volunteers, you have exhibited some high able and inappreciable to his countrymen, and to the and essential qualities of veterans. But much re- cause of sound conservative principles elsewhere. mains undone; soon you will turn your strict atten- With the cheerfulness and elasticity of youth in tion to the drill, to system and order, to forms also, his spirits, and in his step, Chancellor Keni has enwhich are all necessary to the soldier.

joyed, for the last twenty years of his life, a sort of “ By order of Lt. Col. P. St. Geo. CookE. moral and intellectual supremacy in this our repub[Signed] P..C. MERRIEL, Adjutant." lic, rarely paid to any man—and never was any one

so wholly unspoiled by it. Simplicity, was quite

From the N. Y. Courier. as much the attribute of his mind, as vigor and CHANCELLOR KENT is dead! Such was the justness—and that quality gave to his personal insalutation which passed in whispers yesterday from tercourse an indescribable charm. mouth to mouth in the thronged marts of business His opinions were uttered with a frankness that -in the precincts of courts of law-wherever men an open and honest nature can alone practise. He most do congregate. It was whispered as one ut- had no concealments, and he needed none. His ters something sacred at once and sorrowful. learning was deep and varied—his reading compre

It is even so! the great jurist, the pure patriot, hended the whole scope of knowledge-his memory the instructive companion, the wise teacher, the was faithful, and it was aided by the habit, invarigood man is dead! But he had been permitted to able we believe with him, of reading pen in hand live beyond the ordinary age of man, and has gone and annotating as he read. down to the tomb as the sun sets in the west-with He was educated in the politics of the federal splendor mellowed but undimmed, with a glory re- school, as it was in the days of his youth-with flected from earth to sky, and again from sky to Washington for its chief, and such men as Hamilton, earth.

Marshal and John Jay for his models and teachers James Kent, whom yet all people knew and From the high-toned, conservative and patriotic called by the office he so long adorned—was in the principles imbibed from such sources, Chancellor 87th year of his age—with mind unclouded, with Kent never swerved. He died, as he lived, a fedthe consciousness of a well-spent life-in peace eral republican. with all mankind-he saw the approach of death

Into the domestic sanctuary, now in the newness unmoved. On the stage of life he had played his of its grief at the loss of such a head, we may not part well-it was a conspicuous part, and at the intrude, further than to say, that in every relation close of it, wrapping his robe around him with dig- which belongs to family, and in all the qualities of nified composure, he laid him down to die. affection, kindness and trust—in the cheerfulness

We cannot upon the spur of the moment under- which irradiates, and the steadfastness which binds take to present even a sketch of the career of this together, the family circle-he was unsurpassed. eminent civilian. It would be unjust moreover if it When the tomb shall close over the mortal rewere practicable, for he who did so much for the mains of James Kent, there will be none to gainsay renown of his country, should not suffer any attaint the record that there lies all that is mortal of an of his own from imperfect, however well-meant, |able, upright, and honest man. representation.


From Chambers' Journal. were then at peace,) having on board the Spanish THE PRIVATEERS.

ambassador on his way to Denmark, was boarded

by three different squadrons of privateers, and In order to recollect the last shots fired in the plundered even of his excellency's baggage. A European battle-field of this country, a man must (little hanging was had recourse to on this occanow be well up in middle age. The young know sion; and in the following year, the nuisance still nothing of arms but from history; and they can continuing unabated, great numbers of the privahardly persuade themselves that the most pacific teers, as they were taken and brought into the old man in England, is the same Iron Duke who English ports from time to time, were consigned commanded at Waterloo before they came into the to the gallows. The neglect of our internal police world. The trade of soldiering has no longer any added to the disorders of the period ; and the necessary connection with fighting. Its duties are result, as we are informed by historians, was, that merely the drill and parade, and the wearing of an ingredient of savage ferocity mingled in the gay clothes. And although the officers, in their national character. different grades, are hardly so well paid as mer- Forty years later—in the first year or two of chants' clerks, still there is always a sufficient the present century—when the war raged bitterly number found for so easy and amiable a service. between France and England, the career of two It is true they have a chance of being drafted, at adventurers commenced, one on either side of the some time or other, to the further East, several channel, who were destined to exercise some thousand miles away; but they know very well influence on the fortunes of each other. that in India they will meet with no such equal Jérôme Harbour resided in a little sea-porton enemies as were formerly grappled with in Europe, the coast of Brittany—that is, when he was on while in China, it is a mere amusement to bring shore ; for although now only twenty-four years down the bald headed celestials—in fact, a human of age, he had been fourteen years a sailor, man battue.

and boy. He was little, fat, fair, with short arms Under such circumstances, we look back upon and round shoulders. His face was the reverse war as one of the interesting or terrible things of of long; but his small nose, small mouth, and the past ; and although somewhat sick of the small blue eyes, were lost in its width. He was, details of its bloody struggles, from their having in fact, anything but the pirate of poetry or been so frequently obtruded upon our notice, we romance in form; and in other respects he had regard the composition of its materials and char- nothing to distinguish him from the commonest of acter as legitimate objects of literary curiosity. common sailors, except his genius for sea robbery. One of the strangest departments of such a subject When in his twenty-fourth year, his uncle, a is the privateering system ; and we now proceed to weaver at Vannes, left him 20,000 francs—a large offer some illustrations of a class of belligerents fortune either in Normandy or Brittany; and after who have not as yet received due attention either twelve months' cogitations, assisted by' as much from history or romance. This we shall do by brandy as would have gone well-nigh to float a letmeans of a couple of individual portraits—one ter of marque, he determined to invest his money French, and one English—which may be taken as in the purchase of a vessel, and go a privateering. exhibiting, though of course in higher relief than To present little surface; to take hold of the usual, the general features of the tribe.

water by length rather than breadth ; to keep the As for the system itself, it is a relic of the bar- sea in any weather; and to be able to run close-in barism of the middle ages, organized and legalized shore at almost any depth—these were Jérôme's by the folly or depravity of modern governments. requirements in a ship. And all these and more It is the piracy of the northern barbarians and he found in a long, low, narrow schooner, which, eastern infidels sanctioned by letters of marque-a notwithstanding, he cut down still further; shaving document which affects to give the right of reprisal, her off almost to the water's edge, so that she ran but, in reality, invests the desperadoes of the coun- constantly between two seas-one below her keel, try with the privilege to rob and murder. This and the other above her always wet deck. This sort of commission did not come generally into vessel he rigged with a single sail of enormous fashion till the end of the sixteenth century; but proportions, with the weight of which the long, once fairly afloat, the privateers continued to main- low, narrow craft rocked like a cradle, even in the tain their flag in time of war, in spite of the bursts harbor. The astounded spectators called her La of indignation which their excesses called forth Grenouille, as signifying that she would soon seek from the neutral nations. Various attempts were her proper place at the bottom. “ Be it so," said made to bring them under legal restraint; but to her owner; and presently the figure-head of a impose any control but that of force upon ruffians frog, splendidly painted in green and gold, apcalled into action by such sordid motives was peared at the bow. Jerome himself was from that impossible. Sometimes the channel between France day called Captain Grenouille, and in the course and England was swept so clean by the sea of a few years was known on the shore of the guerillas of the two nations, that the poor priva- channel by no other name. teers must have starved if they had not turned His commission, in the mean time, had arrived ; their arms against neutrals. In 1758, a ship and all being ready, he filled his tarry hat with belonging to Holland, (with which country we six-franc pieces, and stirring them up as he walked

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

with his tarry hand, so as to make them discourse persuasion as no human being could withstand. most eloquent music, he went from tavern to tav- When he ordered, implicit and instantaneous obeern to find a crew. The guests crowded round dience was necessary : but not because he spoke him at the enticing sound.

louder than usual, or had recourse to such ungen“Who is for the Grenouille ?" said he ; "she tlemanly enticements as knocking recusants down sails this afternoon."

with a handspike : far from it. If a voice or a “1-1-I!” cried they with one voice. hand was raised beyond the desirable pitch, he

• Avast, brothers! Who are you with the invited the indiscreet individual to his cabin, and game leg?.

pouring out for him a glass of rum from his oldest "I have only a little coolness with the govern- bottle, addressed him in some such terms as these : ment just now.”

-“ Now do, brother, I beg of you, treat me with “ You are a deserter ?”

a little more kindness. I am as true a comrade as “Yes, Captain Grenouille."

ever a fellow had, and even now, so far from being Nothing more?''

angry, you see I am as mild as a lamb. But my “ Nothing more at present.”

dear friend, don't do so again ; for it would com“ There are forty francs; ship yourself at once. pel me-you know it would, old chap-it would And you with the plaster on your eye?"!.

reduce me to the really unpleasant necessity of “ The police are such ugly fellows, I hate 10 blowing out your brains with this pistol. There, look at them.”

it is all amicably understood between us; and now, “ You are an escaped prisoner ?

take another glass of rum—it is real good stuff “Yes, captain.”

and jump up to your work again like a rigger!” “ You belong to the Grenouille. And you This remonstrance never failed of its effect; and with the down-look ?"

for the simple reason, that every man on board “I was in the purser's department of a govern- knew that Captain Grenouille would do what he ment ship, and the rascals accused me''

said—“ seeing as how" he had already done it “ We shall hear the story again. You are now more than once. in the purser's department of the Grenouille ; but Captain Grenouille was widely different from his mind this, brother, that the first cipher you turn crew, and from most other seamen, in one remarkinto a nine by putting a tail to it, I shall take off able particular. He was no niggard of his money, your head from your shoulders, and so make a and yet no spendthrift

. He was devoutly attached cipher of you!"

to the sea, but at the same time had a passionate This arithmetical sally was received with a roar desire to be a landed proprietor. He was, in of laughter which made the glasses jingle ; and, in short, a Norman as well as a rover; and he garfine, by the time Captain Grenouille had made the nered up from time to time the produce of his tour of the taverns, a crew was collected which lawful piracy in fields, and barns, and cows, and comprised the choicest ruffianism of the place. cider-mills. An economist privateer must needs

That afternoon the whole population ran along be a terrible phenomenon, and Captain Grenouille the rocks to see the Grenouille leave the harbor. was this phenomenon. The sight was worth the trouble ; for as she got But Captain Grenouille was not alone in his out into rough water, she appeared to pass be- glory. He had a rival from the other side of the tween two seas, like a weaver's shuttle between the channel who was as distinguished a scoundrel as threads. Nothing was visible but the mighty sail himself. The real name of this worthy, we regret flinging its gigantic shadow upon the water, and to say, is not on record ; but his soubriquet was the legs of the crew, who were squatted listlessly Beggar—Captain Beggar—and the vessel he comat the port-holes, leaning their chins on the manded was a schooner called the Hunger. Among breeches of the guns, and smoking with impertur- his crew were some regularly-bred seamen ; but bable gravity. The next afternoon the Grenouille the greater number were smugglers, thieves, returned into the harbor, towing after her an Eng- ruined gamesters, and bankrupts—the miscellanelish brig loaded with sugar and tobacco.

ous vagabonds, in short, who, in this amphibious But we have no intention to record the battles, country, take to the water by instinct when the victories, repulses, flights, and escapes of the land becomes too hot to hold them. Captain BegGrenouille. Such narratives have now become gar himself had been bred to the law, and is even nauseous, from the frequency of their appearance, said to have practised as a barrister ; and his early and the change that has taken place in the taste studies were of great benefit to him in sundry preof the public. Susfice it to say, that the vessel dicaments arising in his new profession. He was became the terror of the channel ; and her captain, a little young man, like the French privateer; but, notwithstanding his awkward build and low-breed- unlike him, was thin and pale. In action he susing, the very Roland of privateers. It may be tained himself with gin, as Napoleon did with matter of surprise that a little fat man, with a bul- snuff; but as the liquid fire burned in his entrails, let-head and a great stomach, should have acquired it served only to sharpen his intellect, while exterand retained so perfect a command as was neces- nally it gave him a phantom-like appearance that sary for the success of the letter of marque over terrified his very crew. When all was over, his the most desperate crew that ever floated on blue excitement suddenly evaporated; and the poor litwater ; but Captain Grenouille had such ways of | tle wretch dropped upon the deck, a mere lifeless

“ Of course.

rag soaked in spirits, and was carried off to his

“ Done." hammock.

“Shall we do a little more, Captain Frog ?" These two great rivals met for the first time off Say away, Captain Beggar.” Cape la Hogue, and in circumstances of some inter- Well, there are ten ships of ours which will est. The English privateer was in chase of a French pay me a thousand pounds apiece, if I bring them brig loaded to the gunwale, and stretching in des- safely through the channel. Will you let them peration under a cloud of canvass for Cherbourg. alone ? One good turn, you know”– But the efforts of the latter were vain ; for it was

Here is a list I happen to have in Hunger that was after her, and the importunate my pocket of ten customers of the same sort. Beggar would not be denied. She was just about Give me yours. Is it agreed ?" to surrender as the guns of her pursuer thundered “Agreed ;” and the two captains, first shaking quicker and quicker over the abyss, when suddenly hands, and then pulling off hats, returned to their the desert circle of water, which was their field of own ships, and bore away for opposite points of strife, opened at another point of the horizon, the horizon. about three leagues distant, and there entered upon The paction was honorably kept. Gold bethe arena two other vessels. One of these filed, came a drug among the privateers, who could and the other pursued, and the sound of their dis- hardly contrive to spent it fast enough to prevent tant cannonade came sullen and subdued over the its accumulation ; and Captain Grenouille, who deep. They were of course French and English ; still held to his crotchet of investment, was at und Captain Beggar had here an opportunity of length so great a landed proprietor, that he had saving a countryman and destroying an enemy. serious thoughts of giving up the sea, except a: But the privateers, even in the construction of the cruise against the English now and then for amuselaw, were afloat on their own account; they were ment. under no legal constraint to interfere ;* and even One day, when this idea was passing through after the strangers proved to be an English argosy his mind, and with the greater force, that he had in the very clutches of the Grenouille, Captain been scouring the channel for a week without fallBeggar looked with his hungry eyes at the heavy ing in with anything worth his attention, a promFrench brig, teeming with spoil, and stood irreso- ising object was seen on the verge of the leeward lute.

horizon. It proved to be a large, dusky, awkward Desiring to learn the enemy's intention, he at ship, which lay upon the water like an island; length put his ship about, and made a sweep round, and the heart of Captain Grenouille was glad as if with the view of examining the new-comers within him, as he noted her unwieldy bulk, her from a different quarter. This manæuvre was ex- peaceful build, and fat, bloated appearance. A actly imitated by Captain Grenouille ; and by and thousand jibes passed from mouth to mouth on the by the two privateers were in a line in which, if privateer's deck, as they set their vessel, with her far enough produced, they must have met. As gigantic sail, large before the wind, and trundled they came nearer and nearer, they both cleared for down upon the stranger, rolling from side to side, action ; but even when greatly withiri cannon range, now over, and now under the waves, like a por-not a gun spoke their counsel. When at length poise gambolling after a shoal of herrings. "They they might have fought with pistols, a small boat likened the huge merchantman to a sleeping whale, was seen putting off from the Grenouille ; and whose blubber they would have under hatches in Captain Beggar, leaping instantly into his yawl, no time ; and then they described her as an overwent out to meet her, as in politeness bound, half grown turtle, which they would cut up and devour way. The two captains saluted each other as their for dinner. The object of their jocularity, in the boats came alongside.

mean time, as if confiding in her vastness, took no. “What are we to be about?” said Captain notice of their approach ; and Captain Grenouille, Grenouille.

as he neared her, threw his ship up in the wind, “ Don't know,” replied Captain Beggar. that he might not damage his green and gold frog

“If I take you, what shall I do with your ras- against the senseless sides of the leviathan. cally crew, that are not worth a five-franc piece ?” “I see nothing on deck," said Captain Gre

“And if I take you, what shall I make of yours, nouille, when they were within a stone's-cast, for the whole boiling of whom I would not give a “ but a dog, and a man in a cotton nightcap. herring ?”

Ahoy!”' bellowed he through his speaking-trum“ Then I should lose yonder three masted-prize." pet, “ which of you two is the captain !" “And I yonder brig, with a cargo that seems

“ 'Tis 1,” replied the man in the cotton nightbursting out of her hatches for very richness." cap—“I—Captain Beggar!”—and at the word,

“Suppose we each go about our own business ?”' a discharge of musketry swept the decks of the “ Done."

French privateer as with a besom. Captain Gre

nouille, like most of his comrades, was laid pros* This is proved by the division of spoil; which, in the trate ; and when he next opened his eyes, he found case of a government prize, was shared in by any government ships that chanced to be within sight, it being sup

himself in the prison of Plymouth. posed that it was their intention, as it was their business, He was one of the ten Frenchmen who effected io lend a hand. The privateers, on the contrary, whose business was their own interest, received prize-money

an escape famous in the annals of ingenuity and only when they had been actually engaged in the mêlée.' (daring. Without the assistance of a single instru





ment of any kind, wood or iron, they excavated a dawn broke upon the sea, showing that the fog tunnel from their dungeon, eighty feet long, and had cleared. Captain Grenouille, who had sank four feet wide, carrying away the rubbish in their into a doze, opened his eyes, then shut them again ; pockets, and spreading it over the surface of a then rubbed them very hard, opened them once court where they were permitted to walk twice a more, and stared right forward. But he had not day. The task, however, was not a brief one ; rubbed out the phantom which haunted him, and and when Captain Grenouille at length revisited which he at first supposed to be the fragment of a his Norman farms, the harvest had been gathered dream; and when he recognized Captain Beggar three times during his absence.

in lith and limb sitting quietly on a beam before He was wealthy; his estate was flourishing ; him, he sprang up with a shout, and catching an and his friends urged him to marry, and subside axe from one of his men, rushed



enemy. quietly into a great proprietor. But Captain Gre- But the ten English sailors were up as promptly nouille had an account to settle, which was his in defence of their captain ; every right hand on thought by day and his dream by night. Captain board was in the air ; and every bunch of fingers Beggar must be paid to the last farthing !-he grasped a cutlass. The two leaders, however, must be rewarded with interest upon interest ; this accustomed to think in the midst of peril, soon was the only condition upon which he could rest. came to their bearings. After a glance over his farms, and a second at the Good morning, Captain Grenouille,” said he lady recommended for promotion as Madame Gre- of the departed Hunger. Captain Grenouille nouille, he set himself to look out for a vessel growled. which should rival his lost beauty. All was ready “Have you any biscuit ?" persisted the English towards the end of January, 1814; and for no other privateer. reason than that all was ready, he set sail in quest “We have nothing,” replied Captain Grenouille. of his enemy, in the midst of what was little less “We could offer you as much ourselves," said than a gale of wind.

Captain Beggar; “but since we cannot eat, let us By and by it was quite a gale of wind; and at go to council. We are now between Guernsey the tail of the storm there descended so thick a fog and Cherbourg—that is, between England and upon the channel, that Captain Grenouille, by this France ; but nearer the former. It is clear to me, time dismasted and water-logged, found himself therefore, that we must steer for Guernsey." driving about, the sport of the winds and waves, “ It is clear to you that I must still be a priswithout the possibility of ascertaining his bearings, oner in England ! To the east, say 1-for or even knowing whether they were close to the France !" land, or had a dozen miles of sea-room.

“Where I shall be your prisoner. Is it not intensely cold, and the air was so thick that they so ?" seemed to breathe sponge. All day they could

“ Exactly.” only just recognize one another's faces; but as the “But I have two men more than you, and that night fell down in darkness and horror, even this turns the scale.” last comfort was withdrawn. The strain of the “We shall see ;" and the Frenchmen ranged ship's timbers was so great, that there was the themselves in the bows, while the English, under strongest possibility of her going to pieces, with their captain, kept the stern. Appearances threatout the agency of anything harder than water ;ened a bloody struggle ; but at that moment a but at two hours after midnight a sudden shock large ship was seen emerging from the haze, and was felt, and after some wild convulsions, the presently the report of a heavy gun boomed along groaning vessel seemed to be settling down in deep the water.

“She is French !” cried Grenouille ; “ you “Out with the long-boat !” roared Captain Gre- will dance, captain !" nouille through his trumpet, and the order was not “She is English,” replied Beggar; "you will given a moment too soon ; for the ship, after a return to Plymouth, captain!” But she was furious plunge, went down like a stone, very nearly neither one nor other, for the next moment the sucking boat and men with her into the abyss. Dutch flag rolled out upon the breeze. The proximate cause of the catastrophe had be- “Are we your prisoners, or you ours ?'' shouted come obvious as the long-boat was leaving her the two privateers to the Dutchman with their cusside ; for in addition to their own crew, number- tomary audacity. ing nine men, eleven strangers tumbled in in the “Neither,” replied he: “Napoleon has ceased dark. It was a case of collision. Both vessels, to reign, and all the world is at peace.” being near their last hour at any rate, perished in “Give us your hand !” said Captain Beggar. the shock; and both crews saved themselves in “ There it is,” replied Captain Grenouille. “I the same boat.

wish that Dutchman had not been in such a conCaptain Grenouille, who had been the last man founded hurry with his news, that I might have to quit his ship, threw himself down sulky and taught you to dance, brother ; but since we are at silent in the bottom of the boat; leaving the task peace, why, we are there is no help for it !" of baling to the rest, who had some difficulty in Who would promote a state of things which keeping her afloat. Not a word was exchanged could resuscitate the Grenouille and Beggar school among that sullen crew till the gray light of the of miscreants ?

It was


[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »