ページの画像
PDF
ePub

sient manner, and his own thoughts were of which, to the day of his death, he bas conveyed to paper chiefly through an been confined to his house, and almost amanuensis.--He dictated perfect sen- to his chair. Although often suffering tences, even in his family circle, often excruciating pain, with privation in a joining in conversation, on other topics, considerable degree of food, sleep, and while the sentences were written down, ease, his mind has seemed almost to and rarely wished any other aid in triumph over the decays of his body, preserving the connexion than the and he has, with little interruption, repetition of the last word. He has employed his amanuensis upon various been known to dictate to two persons subjects, but more especially upon a at a time.

work which he had much at heart, upon Through forty years, embracing the proofs of the divine origin of the nearly all the maturity of his life, he scriptures, as derived from the writings struggled with this difficulty. It is be- of St. Paul. The manuscript embraces lieved that few instances can be pointed also other important topics. fout of acquisitions so 'numerous and "This work, forming a volume of extensive, made under such embarrass. three or four hundred pages, he com. ments.

pleted but three days before his de. His literary enterprise and his cha- cease, and but the very evening before racteristic energy did not diminish with the attack on his brain, which proved the increase of years. In the latter part the immediate prelude to his death, and of bis life, he projected various works incapacitated him for farther labour.. in theology and in literature, and, This attack took place on Wednesday among other things, often conversed morning; and on Tuesday afternoon, at with his literary friends on the plan twilight, he with his own hand stitched of a periodical work, whose object the cover upon this manuscript, and should be, to elevate the moral and upon an original poem of 1500 lines,* literary taste of our country, to improve which also be had just completed. its manners, and, in various ways, to Although it was almost dark, be declinproduce a salutary influence. So late ed having a candle, and said he believe as December 1815, but thirteen months ed he could finish. He did so, and before his death, although he had been added emphatically ;-although it is not more than a year labouring under his supposed with any presentiment how last malady, a considerable mitigation prophetical his words would prove of his symptoms revived his interest in there, I have done." this project, and be offered to write "He had indeed done, for, except half the original matter, rather than signing an official paper relating to the that the thing should fail. Even within College, this was the last work which four weeks of his death, he actually his Maker had for him to do; it is rewrote six numbers of an original perio. markable that he was permitted to finish dical paper, by way of experiment, to his important manuscripts, even to their ascertain whether he could write two envelopes. in a week without injuring bis health. Examination after death ascertained Finding, as he imagined, that he could, that his disease was an internal cancer, t. he proposed to continue it under the and that his life was cut short merely title of The Friend-a title under which by the effect of long continued suffering, he wrote, thirty years ago, in a literary not in producing general disease, for, newspaper in this town.

except his local affection, his system The industry—the zeal--the perseverance of President Dwight, have a

ve " It is entitled The Trial, and is a contest rarely been more conspicuous than truth acts as umpire.

between genius and comndon sense, in which during the present winter, through most t A cancer around the neck of the bladder.

ex

was perfectly sound, and might have his own request, the 8th chapter of endured to extreme old age; but he Romans was read to him a few hours was destroyed by the effect of mere before his death ;-on hearing the conpain, and that often agonizing, eventual- clusion, he said; O what a glorious ly overturning his nervous system. apostrophe !

Upon rising from bed upon the .. The character and writings of St. morning of Wednesday, the 8th of Ja. Paul, it is well known, had always nuary, after a more comfortable night been with him a favourite subject of than common, he was seized with a examination and of eulogium. The violent nervous agitation—succeeded hearing of this chapter seemed to by a fever-a fulness of the blood bring back all his former associations vessels of the head, and a degree of of ideas ; he remarked on an error in stupor, which proved to be the final tri- the translation and on the views of umph of his terrible internal enemy. Clarke and Waterland, and other For two days, although he declined tak. writers, and seemed to have his inind ing to his bed, he seemed indisposed to completely withdrawn from his sufferspeak, but always uttered bimself with ings. " propriety when be attempted it ;-be • At his own request, as before, the prayed with bis family on Thursday 17th chapter of John, and afterwards night; but, from the extremity of his the 14th, 15th, and 16th, were read to distress, was obliged to desist before he him ; he listened attentively, and rebad finished

marked to a considerable extent upon On Friday he was, in a degree, the contents of the chapters. relieved from the stupor ; but the man- He continued the conversation with ner in which his disease affected his brain, a friend who came, and entered with evidently veiled from him, in a consi, apparent interest into the subject of derable degree, the apprehension of his some recent travels up the Euphrates, danger.--He perfectly knew every especially as they related to the site of friend who came in, and observed all ancient Babylon, the traditionary acthat was passing ; but his respiration coants of the tomb of Daniel, and other had become very laborious, and grew subjects connected with sacred writ: more and more. so till his death: the same interest was exhibited in the although he frequently spoke, his sen- subject of the translation and diffusion tences were so interrupted, that their of the scriptures, and especially the connexion could not always be traced translation of the scriptures into the at the moment, and they were sometimes Chinese language-a beautiful copy thought to be incoherent, when circum- of which work, as far as executed, he stances afterwards showed, that there had a few days before received from was a real connexion in his own mind. Serampore, and directly from Mr. He often uttered bimself with perfect Marshman himself. clearness for a time upon a particular .When that verse of the 23d Psalm, subject, and then his mind would ap- “ Yea, though I walk through the valley pear somewhat wandering. But the of the shadow of death, I will fear no entrance of a friend a question put, or evil, for thou art with me ; tby rod and any such mental stimulus, would imme- thy staff they comfort me"--was rediately bring him back, and he would cited to him by a friend, and a hope exspeak with his characteristic elegance pressed that he could appropriate it to and fulness, and with bis own peculiar bimself,—he said, I hope I can. . turns of expression. His politeness, his "Still, the subject of his impending affability, bis gratitude for favours done, death, although frequently mentioned were all conspicuous to the last. At to him, appeared to make no lasting

VOL. I. ro. I.

impression on his mind; be assented in the usual language of prayer, were to his danger, but the perception of it distinctly heard. seemed immediately to pass from his · Escepting a laborious respiration, view.

our departed friend was mercifully re. During the two or three last hours lieved from any struggle of nature with of his life, he appeared, however, to the king of terrors. He expired withbe engaged in prayer, his eyes were out the movement of a limb or the disraised, and some expressions, couched tortion of a feature.'

Art. 6. An authentic Narrative of the loss of the American brig Commerce,

wrecked on the western coast of Africa, in the month of August, 1815, with the account of the sufferings of her surviving crew, who were enslaved by the wandering Arabs on the great African Desert, or Zahahrah ; and observations Historical, Geographical, &c. made during the travels of the Author, while a slave to the Arabs, and in the Empire of Morocco. By James Riley, late master and supercargo. Published by T. Longworth, 114 Broadway. .

THIS is an interesting volume. It is next day a number of furious Arabs

the genuine journal of an Ameri- attacked and plundered them; and after can seaman; and as such, is entitled to killing one of the crew, compelled the credit in every respect. It contains, rest to seek refuge, from their violence. besides an entertaining history of the on board the wreck. Finding it imposauthor's extraordinary adventures and sible to remain long in this situation, sufferings, a curious and instructive ac. and apprehending every hour that they count of the manners of the untameable should fall into the hands of the barbaArabs, the rovers of the Great Desert.' rians, Captain Riley and his compaThe following sketch of this “Narra- nions resolved, in this cruel exigency, tive' is intended for such of our read- considering it their only chance of preers as bave not had an opportunity of servation, to put to sea in their shatperusing the work.

tered boat, in the hope of throwing On the 23d of August, 1815, Captain themselves in the way of some friendly Riley sailed from Gibraltar in the brig vessel that might happen to be near. Commerce, as master, on his return In this hope, however, they were misevoyage to New Orleans, with a crew rably disappointed; and after buffeting consisting of nine men and a boy. In- the waves for several days, in the greattending 10 pass near the Cape de Verd est distress, they dropped their oars in islands, he appears to have been car. despair, and resigned themselves to the ried by a current (the nature of wbich mercy of the elements. In a short time he afterwards undertakes to explain the same inhospitable and cheerless farther to the south than be was aware coast again presented itself to their desof; and whilst endeavouring to alter bis ponding view, and they were soon cast course, in the midst of fog and dark- upon the shore by an overwhelming ness, his véssel struck on a gand bank surf, and left in a condition the most near the shore, and very soon became destitute and forlorn that can be ima a inere wreck. With great difficulty gined. Perishing with hunger and they all reached the land; but on the thirst, they with difficulty succeeded in

clambering up the cliffs that bounded and although they had anticipated a the coast, in the faint expectation of very severe fate, yet the borrid treatmeeting with something to mitigate ment they received from these mercitheir misery ; when, to their utter dis- less savages, together with their dreadmay, they found themselves on the ful sufferings from thirst, hunger, and Atlantic border of the barren and dreary the heat of the desert, so far exceeded desert of Zaharah :

every measure of misery they had ap"A wild expanse of lifeless sand and sky." prebended, that they frequently, in the “Though I bad previously prepared

bitterness of despair, regretted that they all their minds ísats our authori'for a bad not sunk in the ocean, or resigned barren prospect, yet the sight of it, when their breath on the lonely beach, withthey reached its level, had such an ef- out any further effort to prolong a fect on their senses, that they sank to wretched existence. the earth involuntarily; and as they The Arabs, after tearing from them surveyed the dry and dreary waste, stretching out to an immeasurable ex- every article of clothing, and fighting tent before them, they exclaimed, “ 'tis like furies among themselves for the enough ; here we must breatbe our last ; possession of their persons, at length nothing can live bere.” The little

tle settled the conflict by dividing the moisture yet left in us overflowed at our eyes, but as the salt tears rolled down slaves (for such the prisoners were now our wo-worn and haggard cheeks, we to be considered) between the two parwere fain to catch them with our fin- ties of which the caravan consisted; and gers and carry them to our mouths, that having mounted them on their camels, they might not be lost, and serve to moisten our tongues, that were now

w set off on their journey across the Great nearly as dry as parched leather, and Desert. The extreme and complicated so stiff, that with difficulty we could sufferings of the prisoners, during the articulate a sentence so as to be under- devious wanderings of their savage mas; stood by each other.'

i ters, over the scorched and barren In this extremity of distress, one of plains of Zabarab, are almost incredithe men, towards evening, perceived a ble ; and one is astonished to find hur light on the beach before them, and man nature capable of enduring such upon approaching it, a band of Arabs, horrid hardships and privations. After with their women and camels, was dis- being sold and separated from one an. covered encamped near the shore. Al- other, on different occasions, by means though certain of experiencing the most of the traffic carried on among the wan, barbarous treatment, and of being re- dering tribes of the desert, as they hapduced to the most cruel slavery by these pened to meet in their route across this wild and licentious wanderers of the trackless waste, Captain Riley, and desert, yet there was no alternative ; four of bis men, fell into the hand of and they determined that, as soon as Sidi Hamet, a humane and generous daylight appeared, they would throw Arab, who was finally prevailed upon. themselves into the hands of these peo- to carry them up to Mogadore, where ple, whatever might be the conse- Captain Riley assured him he had se quence. This was accordingly done ; friend who would pay their ransom

This assurance was founded merely occurred since his shipwreck, and by on the supposition that there was an means of a capacious and retentive me: American consul resident there, and mory, he was enabled to compose a although it proved not to be the case, complete journal of all the principal, yet, most providentially for the suffer- and to him, at least, most important ers, there was indeed a friend there ; a events of his days of slavery and sufferstranger, of whom they had never ing, together with a description of the heard, and to whom they also were to- country and towns through which he tally unknown a young Englishman passed, and an account of the manners of almost unexampled humanity, of the and character of the inhabitants. These most disinterested benevolence, and means and materials have enabled him whose conduct on this occasion does the to present to the public a narrative pehighest honour to human nature. . culiarly interesting and entertaining.

The author's letter, which he was Possessed of a good natural understand. required by his master, on the north- ing, and of an inquisitive disposition, noern borders of the desert, to write thing appears to have escaped his atto bis imaginary friend in Mogadore, tention and observation; and to those came, most fortunately, into the hands who are aware how little information of the English gentleman abovemen- exists relative to the geography and tioned, (Mr. William Willshire,) who natural history of the Zaharah, and of immediately paid from his own funds the condition, customs, and character of the stipulated ransom, (upwards of a the inhabitants of western and northern thousand dollars,) and despatched a mes- Africa, this volume of Captain Riley senger to the confines of Morocco with will undoubtedly be perused with great refreshments and clothing for the curiosity and interest. The Narrative' wretched captives, who for two months is written in a very simple and unhad been dragged about on the desert, adorned style, and ought, perhaps, for upwards of a thousand miles, en- from thai circumstance, to inspire the tirely naked, and wasted to the bone reader with greater confidence in the with hunger, thirst, and every species of truth of the story, than if recourse bad suffering.

been had to those auxiliary means that After a series of new dangers, diffi- are sometimes resorted to, from merceculties, and sufferings, they at length nary views, for the purpose of making arrived at Mogadore, where their bu- up a bulky volume from a few matemane deliverer received them with rials. every expression of generous sympathy, The readers of the Edinburgh and and exerted himself with the greatest Quarterly Reviews are apprized of the zeal to administer to their relief. great interest that has been excited

Having recovered his health and spi- in Great Britain by the narrative of the rits under the generous care of Mr. American sailor, Robert Adams, in relaWillshire, Captain Riley began to make tion to the apocryphal city of Tombucmemoranda in writing of all that had too, and the mysterious course of the

« 前へ次へ »