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With its wild voice to which the seas reply!
And the far hills repeat their battle-cry,
Stand firm ! — Again the crescent host is rushing,
In the red moat, of dying and of slain,
Where art thou, Constantine ? - Where Death is reaping
Confronts all this, and still brave hearts beat high,
Where art thou, Constantine? Where Christian blood
Where all, save one high spirit, is subdued,
Now is he battling 'midst a host alone,
Of mountain-storms, whose fury hath o'erthrown
And win, what haply Fate may yet accord,
Constantine ! on thy ramparts proudly dying,
The Crescent blazes, while the Cross must bow;
BURR AND BLENNERHASSETT.
In the year 1806, Aaron Burr, noted in the political history of the United States, conceived the project of invading Mexico. For this he was arrested and brought to Richmond, in August, 1807, on a charge of treason, and, after a long trial, acquitted. Among the persons implicated with him was Herman Blennerhassett, an Irishman, who had invested a large part of a considerable fortune in erecting, near Marietta, on an island in the Ohio, which soon became known by his name, an elegant mansion, surrounded by gardens and conservatories.
See in Index, ACCESSORY, CLANGOR, DRAMA, NYMPH, PORTAL, REVOLTING, CALYPSO, SHENSTONE, WIRT.
Delivery. This specimen of the most polished style of forensic oratory should be delivered principally in the middle pitch, with a vocal quality generally pure, but occasionally aspirate, varied inflections and pauses, medium time and force.
1. A PLAIN man, who knew nothing of the curious transmutations which the wit of man can work, would
be very apt to wonder by what kind of legerdemain Aaron Burr had contrived to shuffle himself down to the bottom of the pack, as an accessory, and turn up poor Blennerhassett as principal, in this treason. Who, then, is Aaron Burr, and what the part which he has borne in this transaction ? He is its author, its projector, its active executor. Bold, ardent, restless, and aspiring, his brain conceived it, his hand brought it into action.
2. Who is Blennerhassett? A native of Ireland, a man of letters, who fled from the storms of his own. country to find quiet in ours. On his arrival in America, he retired, even from the population of the Atlantic States, and sought quiet and solitude in the bosom of our Western forests. But he brought with him taste, and science, and wealth; and "lo, the desert smiled!” Possessing himself of a beautiful island in the Ohio, he rears upon it a palace, and decorates it with every romantic embellishment of fancy.
3. A shrubbery, that Shenstone might have envied, blooms around him. Music, that might have charmed Calypso and her nymphs, is his. An extensive library spreads its treasures before him. A philosophical apparatus offers to him all the secrets and mysteries of nature. Peace, tranquillity, and innocence shed their mingled delights around him. And, to crown the enchantment of the scene, a wife, who is said to be lovely even beyond her sex, and graced with every accomplishment that can render it irresistible, had blessed him with her love, and made him the father of several children.
4. The evidence would convince you that this is but a faint picture of the real life. In the midst of all this peace, this innocence, and this tranquillity, — this feast of the mind, this pure banquet of the heart, – the destroyer comes. He comes to turn this paradise into a hell. Yet the flowers do not wither at his approach,
and no monitory shuddering through the bosom of their unfortunate possessor warns him of the ruin that is coming upon him. A stranger presents himself. It is Aaron Burr.
5. Introduced to their civilities by the high rank which he had lately held in his country, he soon finds his
way to their hearts, by the dignity and elegance of his demeanor, the light and beauty of his conversation, and the seductive and fascinating power of his address. The conquest was not difficult. Innocence is ever simple and credulous. Conscious of no designs itself, it suspects none in others. It wears no guards before its breast. Every door and portal and avenue of the heart is thrown open, and all who choose it enter. Such was the state of Eden, when the serpent entered its bowers!
6. The prisoner, in a more engaging form, winding himself into the open and unpracticed heart of the unfortunate Blennerhassett, found but little difficulty in changing the native character of that heart, and the objects of its affection. By degrees, he infuses into it the poison of his own ambition. He breathes into it the fire of his own courage; a daring and desperate thirst for glory; an ardor, panting for all the storm, and bustle, and hurricane of life. In a short time, the whole man is changed, and every object of his former delight relinquished.
7. No more he enjoys the tranquil scene : it has become flat and insipid to his taste. His books are abandoned. His retort and crucible are thrown aside. His shrubbery blooms and breathes its fragrance upon the air in vain, — he likes it not. His ear no longer drinks the rich melody of music; it longs for the trumpet's clangor and the cannon's roar. Even the prattle of his babes, once so sweet, no longer affects him ; and the angel smile of his wife, which hitherto touched his bosom with ecstasy so unspeakable, is now unfelt and
unseen. Greater objects have taken possession of his soul.
8. His imagination has been dazzled by visions of diadems, and stars, and garters, and titles of nobility. He has been taught to burn with restless emulation at the names of great heroes and conquerors,— of Cromwell, and Cæsar, and Bonaparte. His enchanted island is destined soon to relapse into a wilderness; and, in a few months, we find the tender and beautiful partner of his bosom, whom he lately “permitted not the winds of” summer “ to visit too roughly," we find her shivering, at midnight, on the wintry banks of the Ohio, and mingling her tears with the torrents that froze as they fell.
9. Yet this unfortunate man, thus deluded from his interest and his happiness, — thus seduced from the paths of innocence and peace, - thus confounded in the toils which were deliberately spread for him, and overwhelmed by the mastering spirit and genius of another, — this man, thus ruined and undone, and made to play a subordinate part in this grand drama of guilt and treason, — this man is to be called the principal offender; while he, by whom he was thus plunged in misery, is comparatively innocent, a mere accessory! Is this reason ? Is it law? Is it humanity ? Sir, neither the human heart nor the human understanding will bear a perversion so monstrous and absurd; so shocking to the soul ; so revolting to reason !
AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE. Wordsworth. She dwelt among the untrodden ways beside the springs of Dove, A maid whom there were none to praise, and very few to love: A violet by a mossy stone, half hidden from the eye! Fair as a star when only one is shining in the sky. She lived unknown, and few could know when Lucy ceased to be; But she is in her grave, and O the difference to me!