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through his low apartment in the height of his malicious satisfaction, while a grim sinile went over his face, already kindling with the glow of perfected hopes, and perfected revenge. Darkness stole into the room, and still he trode the floor, unconscious of the lapse of time: and in his excited fancy he already saw his companion in this dangerous hazard bounding happily away in the exulting buovarcy of hope and delight, and entering the garrison of his friends, dwelling with the important tidings of his mission. Full of these high fancies, he at last seated himself at a small window that looked out upon the deep Hudson, that now lay below him in stillness and indistinctness. It was
a beautiful night. He looked upon the glancing bayonets, as the sentinels went their weary rounds upon the ramparts, and upon the flag, as it lay lifeless upon the staff. It was indeed a scene ill suited to a state like hisof wild and tumultuous passion. A few hours,' muttered he to himnself, “a few hours, and all this fair scene shall be changed! These waters shall be broken and ploughed by the boats of hostile ships, and these heights shall be echoing io strange sounds. The fortress of which they are so proud, and where they feel so safe, shall ring to the cries of a glad enemy, and they shall find a foe here at their sides, before they are aware that friends are gone. This very heart of their hopes shall be reached, and it shall bleed to its core. Ay,sound on,' cried he, as the lone bugle wound its beautiful note, till hill and valley echoed to the summons; a few hours, and the hoarse trumpet shall drown your fair voice in its roar, till an armeil host is round this wretched people, and their white hearts are confounded.' The moon was now rising full and unclouded above the highlands, and its beams fell upon the strong hold in calm and brilliant beauty. As she came up, a slight breeze began to move among the hills, and to stir the huge folds of the ensign that hung over the walls, till its broad stripes floated out lazily on the night air. A dismal smile sent over his face. •Another night,' said he, 'shall see another banner in your place, and that shall be torn, to steep in the wounds of those that fall beneath it. Those stars must come down—and they sball come down! I have no love of them—they have been evil ones to me. But ye shall no longer augur desperately of me. Ye shall light me this once to victory at least; and in that ye shall see the fulfilment of my own destiny, and the ruin of this accursed land.'
* All's well!' went round the ramparts. He listenerl. Yes,' cried he, “it is well now; but it shall not be so long-it shall be either the better or the worse ere many hours, or my arm shall be palsied, or my reason lost. There shall be another watchword upon these rocks; and, though they are among the mountains, they shall not remain in such proud security, if my hate can keep pace with my faith. Yes-yes—have ye in my hands, and ye shall find I know how sweet it is to be ungrateful.' Such was the course of thought, now mounting into soliloquy, and now dying into the sullen murmur of discontent, as it alternately agitated the bosom of the speaker. He at length became silent; but the ever-varying motion of his lips would have convinced the beholder, that his feelings were exercised by unholy, as well as unusual excitement. He gazed out, beneath his contracted brows, upon the unbroken expanse of the river. As the long moonbeams stretched far over the waters, even to the foot of the embattled rock below him, he thought he could discern in its bright flickering, line, an object moving upon their surface. It was so still that he could soon hear the noise of oars, as they regularly dipt into the sparkling tide; and in a few moments le could easily ern a boat
rapidly making its way to land, and just disappearing under one of the bold projections of the shore.
He rose, and paced the apartment with unequal steps, stopping frequently to listen, and sometimes approaching even to the door in his anxiety. But there was short time for his foreboding good or bad. Some one was heard advancing in haste, and a soldier entered, presented a carefully sealed note, and was about retiring. But the eye of his master was quicker than his steps; and, ere the subaltern had reached the door, the wary traitor had caught the import of the letter, and exclaimed in confusion, Stay! man the barge instantly-death if you delay-fy!' Then, lowering his voice, and muttering to himself as the man retired,— This looks like danger; perdition rest upon it, it will be a failure! Takencaptured—so near home too! Fool! madman! why didn't he spring in spite of their bullets ?-the chance was a good one! Folly—folly! This is desperate indeed,' continued he, as he hurryingly thrust his pistols into his bosom, and threw his cloak about his shoulders ; but one bold step must save me, and save all.' As he stood at the entrance of the apartment, he hesitated. •Nay, she must find her way to me; as my wife, she will be protected—as a woman, at least, she will be safe. And these small coins,' murmured he, as his eye fell on some few paltry pieces, “these may not be left behind. As he spoke, he swept them from the table to his pocket, and, drawing his beaver low over his brow, departed with hasty steps. Muffled in his cloak, he passed within the shadow of the tents, and sprung along the steep path that led to the rocks below, where the barge was already in waiting. His motions betrayed the state of his conscience, and he seemed himself to have forgotten he was commander there, in the stern consciousness of his traitorous designs. Arrived at the water's edge, he leaped on board the boat, and ordered the oarsmen to pull down the river at the top of their strength. It was but short time before the post he had deserted faded obscurity, and the gleam of bayonets along its ramparts was lost in the mist, as it curled up from the river. The boatmen, continuing to ply their oars with diligence, soon bore their freight of treason beyond the immediate scene of danger; and, by the time the commander-in-chief entered the garrison he had fled from in terror, the object of his signal indignation was within full view of the British ship, from which the unfortunate young Englishman had debarked to meet his ruin. In another moment he was alongside, and upon deck-upon the gun-deck of his country's enemy-an outcast and a deserter! Flushed with the success of his escape, he declared himself a renegado to his bargernen, and held forth promise of splendid reward, would they join him in his defection. But the same untainted virtue which their noble countrymen had so recently displayed on the outposts, before the tempting offers of foreign gold, again manifested itself in these heroic fellows, even in the very grasp of their foes, when brilliant hopes of aggrandizement were whispered them, and their commander, by his example, first taught them how to be traitors! They spurned his promises, and trampled on his offers; and, ere the unrighteous proposal was repeated, they left him with a stinging rebuke, to direct their way to the highlands in the miserable boat, to which his magnanimous spirit commended them. The barge in which he had effected his escape, he retained for the pittance it might somewhere command of the gold of his idolatry. The ship then flung out her topsails, and, ere the moon was down, she was anchored before the metropolis, and the prize she bore was transferred to the garrison, to glitter in and glorify the ranks of the oppressor.
We now return to our unfortunate captive. The wise and the brave had sat in judgment upon him. His case had been the subject of high and deliberate and affecting consideration. The circumstance of his capturehis unqualified confessions—his earnest, though dignified requests, had been maturely but sternly weighed. The nobleness of his nature, the lofty disinterestedness of his demeanor, the winning amenity of his manners, the importance of his rank, were all appreciated as they should be by soldiers-tried soldiers—when sitting under the severe sanctions of a warcouncil. When they issued from that council, the desolate doom of the prisoner was irrevocably fixed: he was to die ; before another sun should go down, his ties on earth were to be severed.
Meanwhile, the subject of this melancholy decision was awaiting the result with all the calm and elevated feelings of a generous and undaunted soldier. He was ignorant of what might be the issue ; but his knowledge of the rules of war led him so far to anticipate it, that he had in some degree become reconciled to his probable doom, from the very hopelessness of escaping from it. The agitation consequent upon the suddenness of his arrest, had subsided; and, though his saddened mind reverted again and again to the scenes and associations we have seen him cling to from the beginning, yet there was less poignancy in his recollections, and less acuteness in the trials of his high and masculine sensibilities. The thought of death was a vain thought to him. He was prepared to meet it, in every honorable shape, in which a soldier expects and hopes some time to meet it. It was the stigma upon his fame-the memory he should leave with man, that preyed upon his soul. It was this that paled his cheek, and dewed his brow; it was this made his heart beat till he could hear it, in his solitude. If sometimes his sad, glistening eye rested again on that precious gem, which before had absorbed, as it seemed, his very life, the kindest and bravest heart would spare him there, if a tear was seen to drop upon it; and the thought, possibly, of sacred and devoted passion, of long and holy love, with all its blessed hopes, and all its desolate bereavements, would accompany it as it fell, and hallow it forever.
There was yet one consolation that bore up the prisoner, even when he thought upon the memory he should bequeath to the world and to posterity. He hoped and trusted that he should meet an honorable death, and that his country would never blush at his epitaph. He had asked, he had besought, with a bursting heart, that, if he must die, he might die like a man of honor. He had addressed the American chieftain, in proud petition, for this last little boon of the condemned soldier. He had addressed him in all the beautiful eloquence of his lofty mind, urged by a heart almost breaking in the intensity of its emotions. Need it be said that he roused all the sympathies of a bosom kindling with godlike purposes, and alive to every heavenly character that can sanctify our nature? Can it be said that the heart he appealed to would not have bid him God speed, even with a father's blessing, to the arms of his country and his home, did that heart beat alone for himself, or did the fate of the victim involve only the single destiny of that great and devoted being? But there were stern duties arrayed against the kind spirit of forbearance and forgiveness. The voice of his suffering land was imperious with him who guarded her in council, and led her in battle. That voice now called for justice, and demanded that the crisis should not be forgotten. It was the cry of liberty, and the sacrifice must not be withheld; it was the summons of justice, and his death must accord with the crime of which the prisoner stood convicted.
During the days of his confinement, not a murmur escaped the captive,
in the presence of his guard. A dignified composure distinguished bis deportment, and the serenity of his mind was depicted in the tranquillity of his countenance. The last hours of his solitude were employed in those holy offices which friendship claims of us when the sands of life are running low. There were a few words to be said, a few prayers to be uttered for those who were now dreaming of him on his path to glory. There were a few sad, sacred words to be breathed to a fond mother, to sisters that loved him, to soine perhaps for whose sake alone lise was yet desirable, and to whose bosom he would now, as a last duty to himiself, commit the reputation that was dearer to him than the air of heaven.
It was in the midst of this latest and holiest occupation, that the prisoner was interrupted by the entrance of the guard officer. He came to announce the hour of execution. The young soldier looked up hastily from his paper. His eyes were fixed a moment on his visitor, then slowly fell again, and he passed his hand across his brow without betraying the least emotion. Is it indeed so soon ?' said he ; “then I must hasten.' lle finished the letter in perfect calmness; and, having made all the little arrangements that he had anticipated, previous to the important event, he declared to the officer his readiness to attend him at the moment of his summons. He was then left once more alone.
Firm in the belief that he was now to die like a soldier, he felt the weight of his misfortune passing from his spiril. As he was relieved of this iron load, an unnatural elasticity seemed to be imparted to his bosom. His heart beat almost to suffocation, and the tumultuous motion of that fountain of his system, certainly manifested an extraordinary degree of excitement. His last wish had been granted; his last hope was about to be realized; he was to find an honorable grave! Even that was enough to be thankful for; a few years, at best, and the same destiny would be his. The pang,' thought he, 'is but the common one that man is heir tom
One touch of nature makes the whole world kinand if my young existence must be thus hastily sealed, thus severed forerer, let fate dlo her worst, and finish her work with speed ; and he paced the apartment with an unfaltering step, and a lofty and unbending air.
The silence that had been observed by the commander-in-chief towards the respectful but ardent solicitations of the prisoner, had led him to augur favorably of his success. His requests had not, indeed, passed unheeded; they had sunk deep; they had touched the finest and tenderest chords that ever vibrate in the bosom of virtue and bravery ; they had appealed to the master-feeling of a great heart, and they wrought upon it with a living power! The solicitation was listened to with a deepening interest ; but that noble delicacy that actuates and animates none but elevated minds, forbade the answer. To grant the prayer was impossible-such was the iron law of those who came up to battle; to deny it was a sorrowful duty; and it was equally a trial to the soul of a generous enemy to throw back a solitary denial, or to wound the spirit of a devoted prisoner, by recapitulating the story of his dishonor in justification of his sentence. It was ordained, therefore, that he should remain in ignorance of his doom. From that very uncertainty, the unfortunate victim was now drawing his last and only consolation. The guard officer had now returned to accompany him forth, and we shall leave them together while we join the scene of preparation, in which the spy was so soon to become conspicuous.
It was deep in the afternoon, when shadows threw themselves long over the earth, and the sun was to sink into a thick, dull mass of clouds, when movements, preparatory to the execution began to manifest themselves within the post. There was hurrying to and fro along the lines: and sad faces went by continually, and downcast looks were seen there; and every countenance wore the livery of deep and sorrowful feeling. It was evident that something mournful was about to transpire. The soldiers paced along the esplanade with low words and rapid steps, and now and then a tear might be seen to glisten-it was but for a moment–in the eye of the veteran. A large detachment of troops was paraded, and many of the general officers were already on horseback. Great multitudes of people Hocked in to witness the melancholy spectacle ; but a wide silence pervaded the immense collection. With slow and struggling steps, the confused and intermingled crowd of citizens and soldiers bent their way towards the appointed place, just beneath the brow of a green hill, that sloped towards the river. There, clustered round the dim spot devoted to destruction, or sauntering over the adjacent ground, they awaited the approach of the unhappy victim.
When the prisoner was led out, each arm locked in that of a subaltern, his step was uncommonly firm, and his expression unusually calm, and even exhilarated. The eloquent blood glowed to his temples, and a bright smile of satisfaction beamed from his countenance on all whom he recognized. The thought of death was dealing powerfully but kindly with him; for he saw that an honorable end was to be his—that his dying prayer was about to be granted. He thought—and the reflection sent yet new vigor into his throbbing arteries—he thought that he saw some pledge of a kind and heroic memory, in the sympathy that was breaking all around him, in the gaze of admiration that was fixed upon hin, in the tearful eye, the agitated countenance, the respectful salutation, the sad farewell, and the low and suppressed murmur, as he passed on, as though something went by which it was sacrilege to disturb in its course through the thronging multitude. He saw the high tribute that was paid to his fortitude, in the silent look with which he was regarded; and he felt that his premature fate was not unwept, even by his foes. Buoyed up by these lively demonstrations of feeling, he fancied himself a martyr in the cause he had undertaken to advance, and pressed forward with mounting emotions, as though in haste to seal his pilgrimage here, and commence the stainless career of his future fame. • The report,' thought he, “that lays me low, will send forth an ccho that shall never die.'
The detachment, with their prisoner, had now reached the summit of the hill, and came suddenly in view of the ground which had been set apart for this distressiny occasion. It was occupied by a gallows! With the rapidity of light every eye was turned upon the victim. His was fixed in frenzy on the dismal object that rose portentously out of the multitude. He spake not a word-some powerful, rending emotion had taken possession of his bursting bosom. His hand few to his heart-one look of anguish passed like a shadow over his face, and he fell lifeless into the arms of his guards. There was no voice heard in that immense crowd-but a confused trampling, as of a vast concourse of people, when they are rushing together.
The clouds had now cleared off from the horizon, and the sun was about going down, when the last rites were performed over the departed soldier. There was no pomp, or noise, or show. A small escort of troops marched quickly over the gravel, and stood before the door of the stone building, from which the remains were to be carried. A single drum beat out a