Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

the stone pipes which Mr. Brown saw, for the purpose, as it appeared to him, of conveying water to the site of Kolzoum, from Bir Naba, or the well of Naha. Major Rennell very correctly remarks, that this is a well, situated some miles to the east of Suez, and on the opposite side of the inlet of the sea that passes before it. 'One may conclude,' he adds, 'that this work was unnecessary during the existence of a canal from the Nile ;' and he might have said, too, that it must have been carried underneath a broad though shallow arm of the sea, to the opposite coast; a work of labor and expense, which, compared with its object, is not at all probable, since water could always be conveyed with facility and despatch in boats, in the small quantities which all the wells of the neighborhood produce, and which at different seasons of the year are dry. Nothing, in short, remains of the ancient Kolzoum, but one continued heap of rubbish ; its destruction is complete ; and by a collection of stones within an entrenchment at the top, it would seem to have been recently used as a post of defence.

In the very learned and masterly discussion of Major Rennell, on the Isthmus of Suez and its canals, when endeavoring to establish the distance between Serapeum and Pelusium, he says: The position of the former is unknown, but by circumstances, it ought to be near the head of the Gulf of Suez, and to Arsinoë of course ; but this latter must have been more to the north than Suez, as the sea has retreated, and is constantly retreating to the south, and has even left Kolzoum, which was a port in the time of the Caliphs, three quarters of a mile inland; therefore Arsinoë may have been full a mile to the northward of Suez.' (p. 454.) Having this memorandum among my extracts for observation, I was the more anxious to satisfy myself whether this mass of ruins, although still called by the inhabitants here, Kolzoum, was really the site of that settlement or not. My elevated situation enabled me to distinguish from its summit the smallest object for several miles to the northward, across the sandy plain, if any such objects existed. The wells of Suez and Adjerood were in sight to the north-west, and the sandy beach along which the arm of the sea, extending beyond Suez, flows, continued its course to the north, inclining easterly; but in all this range of view, neither mound, rubbish, or fragment of any kind, was to be seen, to indicate the situation of former buildings : and all whom I consulted, agreed that the spot on which I stood was the only one near Suez, containing ancient remains, distinguishable from the sands. Yet this mound has the sea flowing up to its very base, and stretching beyond it to the northward, inclining easterly for three or four miles at least. To what settlement the granite and marble columns, lying scattered at Suez, could have belonged, whether to Arsinoë or Kolzoum, I am at a loss to determine. The known indolence of the Turks, and their indifference to the transportation of such fragments, more particularly as they lie broken and unused for any purpose, induce one to conclude, that they occupy the original place of their destruction, or their fall; and coupling this with Mr. Brown's opinion that Suez itself is a comparatively modern town, and probably built within the last three hundred years, of which it bears every appearance, as well as having been unknown to travellers of a more ancient date, I am disposed

to think that Suez itself, including the mound without its northern gate, occupies the very site of Kolzoum, and that Arsinoë might then have been more to the northward, as Rennell describes it; the remains, from being more ancient, having disappeared, by the united agencies of an undermining sea, and the overwhelming sands by which it was surrounded, toward the land.

Returning from my evening walk, I supped at the governor's, and remained there late in a crowded divan, a rich merchant from Jedda having paid his personal respects to Hassan Aga. After evening prayers, performed with all possible solemnity, these bearded elders amused themselves in playing tricks upon an old Hadji, or Pilgrim, whom the governor retained among his dependants as a buffoon ; among a number of other devices, the loading his pipe with gunpowder beneath the tobacco, so as to explode while smoking, and placing fire in the small outer cup in which they serve coffee, so as to burn his fingers, and make him forego his hold, were applauded by loud bursts of laughter, which, from the contrast of their general gravity, came from them with a very borrowed grace indeed.

Taking leave of this Turkish Aga, to whose kindness I had been much indebted, I retired to rest, and the differences with my guide, Phanoose, being amicably adjusted, the next sunrise was fixed for our departure on the Desert Journey of Investigation, already adverted to. The results of this will be given in the ensuing number.

THE EVER-PRESENT.

A TRAGMENT FROM AN UNPUBLISHED POEM.

I've seen the blushing dawn on India's mountains,

When, bathed in gold, the sun kissed the blue sea,
And I have cooled my limbs in Ganga's fountains ;

And then, O God! alone I thought on Thee,
By Ganga's fountains, thought alone on Thee!

And I have dwelt within the polar sphere,
Mid realms of crystal ice, and marked the stars,

Reflecting halos of celestial light,
Brighter than Hindol's gems or Nared's spars,

Through the protracted reign of arctic night;
And there, O God! alone I thought on Thee,
Mid frozen oceans, thought alone on Thee !

Beneath the tropic's arid, scorching heat,

On the Bahamas, have I panting stood;
Viewing thy wonders in the coral beds,

Which spread, in endless vines, beneath the flood;
And gazing on the golden sands and sea,
My thoughts were fixed, O God! alone on Thee !

I've stretched my arms o'er thrones, where once did reign

The plume-crown'd Incas of a southern world;
Sons of the Sun! kings of the vestal fire,

Who realms have lost, and desolation hurled ;
In the deep mine I've stood, adoring Thee,

Thinking alone, my God! alone on Thee !
Troy, January, 1838.

MASON,

[blocks in formation]

I am not what I was. I feel these years
Have done sad office for me; and that time,
Which I had dreamed might fling around the path
On which I ventured, something of that light
Which cheers life like a halo, has but cast
A sickly shadow o'er my pilgrimage,
And made thus far what I had deemed should be
A course for men to point at and admire,
Only an upward strife of weariness
A struggle with dark destiny - a toil
In which I've given no lesson to the world
Of that stern toleration which sets crown
On virtue in her trial; because here
I've poured my spirit out in dull complaint,
That should have striven for mastery!

I see

Through the pale vista of my memory,
What once I was, compared with what I am.
I once was buoyant, and my footstep rose
To something strong within me. I gave voice
As in uplifting music, to high thoughts
That spoke of a high nature, that should rise,
So it were true to Him who fashioned it,
Onward, in lofty march up to the skies;
Or, were it faithless, downward to the dust
Our graves are made of! I was certain, then,
There was no power could lure my eye from heaven,
Or that a cloud upon the things of earth
Could come, than midnight quicker and more deep!
But I have found my reason was a child
Without a master- a mere wanderer -
Untaught and learning nothing ---- till my days
Brought something that reproved me as il passed ;
A strong, rebuking spirit, whose dark wings,
Heavy with sorrow, swept but slowly by,
And held me in long shadow, like a night!
Thus was it that I found a punishment
Brought by my years, for giving to the earth
What with my young vows should have gone to God!

'Tis not mine to forget. Yet can I not
Remember what I would, or what were well!
Mem'ry plays tyrant with me, by a wand
I cannot master. I may not forget
My visitations, that have shadowed me
Like an eclipse; until my tortured heart
Was weakened like a child's; and like a child's,
Scarce knew its duty in its feebleness.
Forgetfulness of sorrow is not mine,
But on me reste remembrance like a ban;
Yet like the flash that plays upon the cloud
In the night season, mem'ry will unveil,
Though for a moment, some din passages
Of my passed, palled existence. I can see,
As in a dream, how life was when I sprang
Into its high way for the agony
And strain of high contention. I can see,
Beyond a vision's clearness, how I went
Cheered as the lark is, to the upper sky
By the unbarring morning; so by shouts
Of men, as they broke round me, in my morn!
Life was a panorama of high hope -
A prospect of high travel, and great fame.
I saw upon the future painted naught
That looked like frowns upon repelling browe,
But only hands that seemed to beckon on
In a still, strange temptation, that my eye

Grew mad with, till the colors of this earth
Took hue like those of heaven ; and I forgot
It was the destiny of one to fade,
And that my love was given to! But my years
Here, too, brought knowledge; in that company
Of sadness and repentance, whose dim train
Sweeps on so with experience, that they seem
Like manacled and cowled captives at the car
Of some unmoved and stayless conqueror!

And now how gaze I on that memory
Of that first page I turned for lessons here!
My prayer is to forget that dreamy past-
And senseless to the present, to look on,
And upward, with a better constancy,
And holier aspiration, till rebuke
Is merged in mercy, and I feel the clouds
Are bending to receive me, like great wings,
To waft me to the mighty tabernacle

That they are round about!
Nere York, January, 1838.

GRENVILLE MELLEN.

A RELIC OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

A JOURNAL OF EIGHT YEARS' HARD FIGHTING DURING THE WAR FOR OUR INDEPENDENCE.

BY COLONEL ALLAN M'LANE.

We have before us, through the courtesy of an obliging friend in the country, an ancient document, which can scarcely fail to interest every true American. It is the original. Journal of the War for our Independence,' kept by that gallant officer, Major ALLAN M'LANE, father of the Hon. Louis M’LANE, late Minister to France. It was presented by the veteran writer to Gov. BLOOMFIELD, of New Jersey, the chairman and father of the Pension Law of the United States. Attached to the journal, is the following original letter from Gen. WASHINGTON to the Board of War, in relation to the long and honor. able service of the writer :

T 'MAJOR ALLAN M'LANE, late of the Continental Army under my command, 11.Do informs me that John PIENCE, Esq., Paymaster General, and Commissioner of the Army Accounts, doth not consider himself authorized, by the Resolution of Con. gress, and construction of the Honorable Board of War, to adjust his claims to half pay for life, and refers the Major to Lieut. Col. H. LEE, to be provided for, with the other officers of his legion. Major M'Lane has served in the Army of the United States from the commencement of the war. Early in the year 1777, ne raised which was attached to one of the sixteen additional regiments. On his joining the Continental Army, he was selected to command a party of observation; and on the incorporation of those regiments into other regiments of the several states, he was appointed io the command of Major Lee's partisan infantry, July 13, 1779, and served with great reputation in Lee's legion, till March, 1781. The Major was then transferred to the army under the BARON STEUBEN's command, in Virginia. He commanded a detachment from the Marquis De LAFAYETTE's infantry, and under the immediate orders of the Board of War, and Commander-in-chief, till after the siege of York; and he was permitted to retire on half-pay for life, on the 31st day of December, 1781.

Given under my hand and seal, at Rocky Hill,
the 4th day of November, 1783.'

(Signed,) "Geo. WASHINGTON.' "To The Hon. BOARD OF WAR.'

The Journal is written in the old school style of penmanship, round and bold, in occasional antique orthography, and generally in

pany

the second person. It extends through a period of eight years' hard fighting,' and illustrates some of the darkest periods in our country's history, in a style of modest and sententious brevity, characteristic of a true hero. But the reader shall judge for himself.

On the assembling of the first Continental Congress, M'LANE armed at his own expense, and pledged his all in support of his country. In November, 1775, he joined the Minute Men, of Virginia, under Gov. Dunmore, where he fought the enemy till January, 1776. In August of that year, he joined General Washington at New-York; and when the British landed on Long Island, he was with the American infantry as a volunteer, and fought day and night, till after the bloody battle of the 29th of August, at which time he surprised and took, near Yellow Hook, five officers, and fifteen privates, British marines, and the only prisoners taken. He passed them safely over to New-York from Brooklyn, returned to Long Island in the night, joined the Light Infantry on the lines, and remained with Washington's army until they returned to New-York. He fought all this unfortunate campaign on Harlæm Heights, White Plains, and in Jersey, at Trenton and Princeton found himself. He was soon after elevated to the rank of Captain, by Washington, and raised an hundred men with his own private funde, advancing specie for bounty. He fought hard fights at Short Hill, in Jersey, in June, 1777, and at Gray's Hill, Maryland, where he assisted the American infantry in checking the enemy, who had landed at Turkey Point, in their chase of the militia. Fought another hard battle on the 11th September, near Chadsford, on the Brandywine. Lieut. Houston and nine men fell that day.

"Gen. Washington fell back on Philadelphia, but Congress ordered him to face the enemy again, on the morning of the 16th. M'Lane skirmished with the enemy, on the Lancaster road, while Washington formed for a general action, which a heavy rain only prevented. The Lord's name be praised ! — for the army would have been cut to pieces. M'Lane hung upon the enemy's lines, until early in October, when he moved in front of Wayne to the battle of Germantown, having previously reconnoitered the enemy's position. He made the first fire upon them from Mount Airy, and followed the retreating foe as far as the market in Germantown. After this battle, the British army retired to Philadelphia. On the night of the 4th of December, however, they moved out to surprise Washington's camp; but M’Lane, at the head of a party of observation, surprised the enemy at Hunt's Hill, and, by a close fire, harassed them all night, without the loss of one of his men. The next day at noon, he turned the enemy's right, entered Germantown, and cut off the communication between the British army and the town, for that day and night. At day-break, on the following morning, he found the enemy advancing on Washington's left, and joined Gen. Reed, while engaged with a van of the enemy; and when that officer's horse was shot under him, kept the British infantry from bayonetting him, while he had time to escape. He then followed the retreating enemy, by the Old York road, to the Globe Mill, in Front-street, where he forced five hundred of them to throw off the rails from their shoulders, which

« PoprzedniaDalej »