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On the following morning we discovered that the frigate during the night had been warped in close to the shore ; her broadside was displayed to the town; she had springs on her cables; and her hammocks all arranged over the gunwale, in battle order; the tomkins were even out of the guns, and every thing in complete readiness for firing upon the town. Most of the Americans staid on board of their vessels, every moment expecting the attack; but nothing was done. The ship lay in that position all day, and at night resumed her old station. The alarm excited in the town upon this conduct of the English commander, was considerable, and four hundred troops were immediately marched in for its defence. During the night a boat was sent on shore for a pilot; they succeeded in getting one, but not without hazard, for the boat was discovered and fired at by the soldiers, one of whom wounded the pilot in the arm. Orders, it appears, had been issued, forbidding the pilots to assist in conducting the frigate out of the harbour.
On the 7th inst. this ship sailed, and as she passed fort Picolet her courses were hauled up, and every preparation made for eng:gement, in case she should be attacked. No attempt was, however, made to molest her, and she departed in peace. The number of French persons that made their escape in this frigate is said to have been about thirty, and many others might have been equally successful, had they been possessed of sufficient resolution to have hazarded the attempt. Previous to his departure, the captain in a conversation with an American gentleman, declared that “if, during the quarrel on the wharf, he had only said one word to his sailors, they would have picked up Christophe, his horse, and his whole gang, and carried them on board the frigate."
NOTES Made in 1809, at the time of the publication of the foregoing letter.
Mr. B. one of the Frenchmen who' escaped through the bravery of the lieutenant of the British frigate, as above related, now resides in Philadelphia. He some time ago informed me, that through the friendship of general Romain, a black chief, now a general of division in Christophe's army, he was first advised of the danger in which the whites were of being massacred, and that it was through his admonition he undertook the attempt for his escape.
The frigate noticed in the preceding letter was the Desirée. The captain was Whitby, the same who has been the cause of so much uneasiness in the United States. It is much to be regretted, that a man possessed of so much humanity, even towards his enemies, should have been the unlucky perpetrator of an act which has been justly considered in our country as a wanton and Nagrant violation of the laws of nations:
The name of the second lieutenant was Burtz, I believe the same who afterwards commanded his majesty's schooner Redbridge.
Sometime after the departure of the Desirée from the Cape, she went to Jamaica. An English gentleman who went passenger in her, and whom I afterwards saw, related to me the following anecdote, to which he was witness. He went one day with captain Whitby on board of the admiral's ship to pay their respects to the admiral, Sir John Duckworth. After some conversation relative to the affair that had happened at the Cape, Sir John addressed himself to Whitby in the following harsh language, uttered with warmth, and accompanied by his usual lisp:“What! you young son of a b-, threaten to blow a town down, and not do it : G-d-you—You're a disgrace to his majesty's service-I'll report you to the lords of the. admiralty, and you shall be tried and hanged, by Go."
Sung by Mr. Caulfield at the new Exchange Coffeehouse, Boston, ei
a public festival given in honour of the Spanish patriots, by the citizens of Boston, January 24, 1809.
Written by ROBERT TREAT PAINE, Junr.
ARMA VIROSQUE CANO.”.
"What a plague ails the man,' quoth friar John, 'start, staring mad, or bewitched on my word. What o’devil has he swallowed, that he thus peppers it away in this maggoty crambo vein.'
"Then Pantagruel chid friar John and said,
" Bold monk, forbear, this I'll assure ye,
When the sage Pantagruel and his merry companions, after touching at Pope Figue Land, the Isle of Odes, a and diver's other places, not laid down in the maps, came at last to the Oracle of
the Holy Botile; they forth with became grievously possessed with! the spirit of fustian, and began to rhyme incontinently out of all
Whoerer reads the colossal ode, which, for our sins, or rather the sins of the author, we have undertaken to dissect, will naturally conclude that our gigantic poet had just returned from a visit to this same oracle, and became in like manner, to use the words of the renowned Pantagruel, inspired with poetic fury. The poem is undoubtedly written in the true spirit of an oracle, though not that of the Delphic god, for it is sublime, prophetic, and unintelligible.
The author bounces in upon us like a doughty stage king, with a most alarming blast of trumpets,
“Sound the trumpet of fame !"
A man whose imagination was apt to gambol a little, might here fancy he saw the poet pushing in a queer, bewhiskered, little High-Dutch trumpeter before him, mounted on a Canada poney, and ordering him, under pain of losing his long quene, to " sound the trumpet of Fame," and demand the attention of the whole universe to what he is going to say or sing. Let us hear what they have got to say, for really both poet and trumpeter seem to be charged up to the muzzle with combustibles and inspiration.
Sound the trumpet of Fame! swell that paean again!
From the cell where she lay,
She leaps in array,
Well blown little trumpeter! or rather well sung great poet"great let us call him, for he conquered us”—we mean our gravity. In this verse we are informed that Spain is regenerated, like a huge giant, who being overtaken in liquor perhaps, (for your giants were huge drinkers) fell asleep sone hundred years ago, and not having the good fortune to be awakened, like Polyphemus, with a redhot poker, continued to snore away most lustily till the other day. Being at length, however, awakened, he starts up, rubs his eyes, or rather his cye-your genuine giants having but one peeper-yawns, stretches, and stares with gigantic astonishment, on being solemnly assured by his poet
66 like a
laureat that he has “ slumbered for ages.” But before we can well digest this giant story, up rides the little trumpeter, who Natly contradicts the poet, maintaining that Spain is not like a giant, but like Ajax, who being a brave man, and true muddy-brained hero, desperately rushes forth from his cell-(low he got there the Lord knows)-determined to “ die in the face of the day,” on purpose, I suppose, that people might see what a handsome corpse he would inake. We were at first in pain least this dispute might occasion a breach between the poet and the trumpeter ; but our fears soon subsided on seeing the former fly off at a tangent, in pursuit of a “ standard,” which, comet," is to consume while it lightens the neighbouring sky.” Candour, however, and a high respect for well-born and legitimate comparison, oblige us to declure, that both the trumpeter and poet are mistaken in supposing that Spain is either “like a giant” or “ like Ajax.” We think we see her rise up indignant at this disgraceful charge, and exclaim in the language of Glumdalca, “We are no giant, we are a GIANTESS!” As to her being like Ajax, the resemblance is nought, unless it can be proved that in imitation of that va-, liant blockhead, she has exchanged garinents with the l'edoubted Hector Bonaparte, and is now vapouring about in a pair of his breeches-a thing as impossible as for the aforesaid Glumdalca to wear the breeches of Tommy Thunb.
The poet, it would seem, having drawn a little more inspiration from the oracular bottie, seizes the littie trumpeter by the leg, and probably in revenge for daring to differ with him, fairly oversets him in the dirt, so that we hear no more of him, through the whole course of the poem. The poet then mounts the Canada poney, buries his spurs in his side, and scrambles-to the very crack-sculled top of Parnassus, where he behoids such sights as baffle all the wonders of Mahomet's dream, or the vision of Don Quixote in Montesino's cave,
" (V'er her hills see the DAYSTAR of CLORY advance !
Like a DREAM in the AIR,
See the PYRENEES glare !
As we never yet suspected Mr. Paine, or indeed any other Eastern luminary, of writing what neither he, or any body eise, could possibly understand, we took uncommon pains to discover the mystic meaning of this alarming verse. But alas ! for us, it was a perfect terra incog. nita, that eluded all our circumnavigations and we resigned it with a
sigh of bitter despondency to the unconquerable industry of some future Dutch commentator, who being born in the region of fogs, may perhaps be able to grope through a mist, that to us is impenetrable. Such a medley of metaphorical confusion—such a desperate conflict of
stars,” “planets," meteors,” and “ castles of fire,” each striving for the mastery of the poet's imagination, doubtless never yet was seen in literary warfare. Would that he had contented himself with his single DAYSTAR,” which is as much as one man can cleverly manage. He might then perhaps have kept his sanity a little longer, and saved us all the bitter yearnings we felt, on beholding the desolation of his brain by this intestine commotion of rebellious metaphors.
Notwithstanding the ever to be lamented obscurity that pervades this gigantic, and enormous little ode, we do the author the justice to , believe he would have made it more clear if he could. Indeed he has spared no pains to eke out his struggling meaning, with dashes, pauses, italics, black-letter, and capitals of all dimensions; not to mention a profusion of upstart notes of admiration, that, like little militia corporals, flank his lines, and strut about with enormous feathers in their hats. We are always sad, when we see a hapless author under the necessity of dizening out his Muse with such rulgar ornaments; and when we first beheld the multitude of these lights thrown out to illuminate or to allure, we could not help auguring that the reader would fare like the traveller who is cheered with the sight of a house of entertainment at a distance, but approaching, finds it empty and unfurnished, as the poet's lodging, or the politician's brain.
We shall quote one more specimen, not because it is much more unintelligible than the rest, but merely to show that what has been already selected, is not the accidental nodding of Homer, or the sudden frenzy of a combustible imagination, hurried for a moment by uncontrolable impulse beyond the sober meridian of reason, but the regular flow of the poet's genius, running through and pervading the whole poem.
“ Bright Day of the WORLD-dart thy lustre afar!
Through each zone may’st thou roll,
'Till thy beams at the pole,
Bless us- - what a volcanic verse we have here! and what a quantity of ashes, and pumice-stones, our poet heaves out of the crater of lils imagination! Who, but fancies he beholds Mount Etna vomiting