Terms in this set (126)

In December, 1776, our circumstances being much distressed, it was proposed in the house of delegates to create a dictator, invested with every power legislative, executive, and judiciary, civil and military, of life and of death , over our persons and over our properties; and in June 1781, again under calamity, the same proposition was repeated, and wanted a few votes only of being passed.--One who entered into this contest from a pure love of liberty (himself) and a sense of injured rights, who determined to make every sacrifice, and to meet every danger for the re-establishment of those rights on a firm basis, who did not mean to expend his blood and substance for the wretched purpose of changing this master for that, but to place the powers of governing him in a plurality of hands in his own choice, so that the corrupt will of no one man might in future oppress him, must stand confounded and dismayed when he is told that a considerable portion of that plurality had meditated the surrender of them into a single hand, and, in lieu of a limited monarch, to deliver him over to a despotic one! How must he find his efforts and sacrifices abused and baffled, if he may still, by a single vote, be laid prostrate at the feet of one man. In God's name, from whence have they derived this power? Is it from our ancient laws?
Was it from the necessity of the case? Necessities which dissolve a government, do not convey its authority to an oligarchy or a monarchy. They throw back into the hands of the people.
Mean time my friends, the veterans of my cause,
Rack'd every nerve, and gain'd all hell's applause,
Thro' realms of cheat and doubt, and darkness, ran,
New-made creation, uncreated man,
Taught, and retaught, asserted and denied, .
As pamper'd pleasure, or as bolster'd pride.
Now, groping man in death's dim darkness trod,
Now, all things kenn'd, with eyelids of a god.
Now, miracles, not God himself could spell;
Now, every monk could grunt them from his cell. .
Priests now were dullest, last, of mortal things;
Now outslew Satan's self, on cunning's wings.
No system here, of truth, to man is given;
There my own doctrines speak the voice of heaven;
While God, with smiling eyes, alike surveys
The pagan mysteries, and the christian praise.
While here on earth no virtuous man was found, .
There saints, like pismires, swarm'd the molehill round;
Like maggots, crawl'd Caffraria's entrail'd forts;
Or mushroom'd o'er Europa's putrid courts;
To deist clubs familiar dar'd retire,
Or howl'd, and powaw'd, round the Indian fire,
Such feats my sons atchiev'd, such honors won;
The shores, the blocking, of th' infernal throne!
And tho' yon haughty world their worth deny, .
Their names shall glitter in the nether sky.
But ah their wisdom, wit, and toils were vain,
A balm first soothing, then increasing pain.
Thro' nature's fields while cloud-borne Bacon ran,
Doubtful his mind, an angel, or a man;
While high-soul'd Newton, wing'd by Heaven abroad, .
Explain'd alike the works, and word, of God;
While patient Locke illum'd with newborn ray,
The path of reason, and the laws of sway;
While Berkley, bursting like the morning sun,
Look'd round all parching from his lofty throne, .
In all events, and in all beings shew'd
The present, living, acting, speaking God,
Black fool, why winter here? These frozen skies,
Worn by your wings and deafen'd by your cries,
Should warn you hence, where milder suns invite,
And day alternates with his mother night.
You fear perhaps your food will fail you there,
Your human carnage, that delicious fare
That lured you hither, following still your friend
The great Napoleon to the world's bleak end.
You fear, because the southern climes pour'd forth
Their clustering nations to infest the north,
Barvarians, Austrians, those who Drink the Po
And those who skirt the Tuscan seas below,
With all Germania, Neustria, Belgia, Gaul,
Doom'd here to wade thro slaughter to their fall,
You fear he left behind no wars, to feed
His feather'd canibals and nurse the breed.
Fear not, my screamer, call your greedy train,
Sweep over Europe, hurry back to Spain,

You'll find his legions there; the valliant crew
Please best their master when they toil for you.
Abundant there they spread the country o'er
And taint the breeze with every nation's gore,
Iberian, Lussian, British widely strown,
But still more wide and copious flows their own.
Go where you will; Calabria, Malta, Greece,
Egypt and Syria still his fame increase,
Domingo's fatten'd isle and India's plains
Glow deep with purple drawn from Gallic veins.
No Raven's wing can stretch the flight so far
As the torn bandrols of Napoleon's war.
Choose then your climate, fix your best abode,
He'll make you deserts and he'll bring you blood.
How could you fear a dearth? have not mankind,
Tho slain by millions, millions left behind?
Has not CONSCRIPTION still the power to weild
Her annual faulchion o'er the human field?
A faithful harvester! or if a man
Escape that gleaner, shall he scape the BAN?

The triple BAN, that like the hound of hell
Gripes with three joles, to hold his victim well.
Fear nothing then, hatch fast your ravenous brood,
Teach them to cry to Bonaparte for food;
They'll be like you, of all his suppliant train,
The only class that never cries in vain.
For see what mutual benefits you lend!
(The surest way to fix the mutual friend)
While on his slaughter'd troops your tribes are fed,
You cleanse his camp and carry off his dead.
Imperial Scavenger! but now you know
Your work is vain amid these hills of snow.
His tentless troops are marbled thro with frost
And change to crystal when the breath is lost.
Mere trunks of ice, tho limb'd like human frames
And lately warm'd with life's endearing flames,
They cannot taint the air, the world impest,
Nor can you tear one fiber from their breast.
No! from their visual sockets, as they lie,
With beak and claws you cannot pluck an eye.
The frozen orb, preserving still its form,
Defies your talons as it braves the storm,
But stands and stares to God, as if to know
In what curst hands he leaves his world below.
EXULT, each patriot heart!--this night is shewn
A piece, which we may fairly call our own;
Where the proud titles of "My Lord! Your Grace!"
To humble Mr. and plain Sir give place.
Our Author pictures not from foreign climes
The fashions or the follies of the times;
But has confin'd the subject of his work
To the gay scenes--the circles of New-York.
On native themes his Muse displays her pow'rs;
If ours the faults, the virtues too are ours.
Why should our thoughts to distant countries roam,
When each refinement may be found at home?
Who travels now to ape the rich or great,
To deck an equipage and roll in state;
To court the graces, or to dance with ease,
Or by hypocrisy to strive to please?
Our free-born ancestors such arts despis'd;
Genuine sincerity alone they pris'd;
Their minds, with honest emulation fir'd;
To solid good--not ornament--aspir'd;
Or, if ambition rous'd a bolder flame,
Stern virtue throve, where indolence was shame.

But modern youths, with imitative sense,
Deem taste in dress the proof of excellence;
And spurn the meanness of your homespun arts,
Since homespun habits would obscure their parts;
Whilst all, which aims at splendour and parade,
Must come from Europe, and be ready made.
Strange! We should thus our native worth disclaim,
And check the progress of our rising fame.
Yet one, whilst imitation bears the sway,
Aspires to nobler heights, and points the way.
Be rous'd, my friends! his bold example view;
Let your own Bards be proud to copy you!
Should rigid critics reprobate our play,
At least the patriotic heart will say,
"Glorious our fall, since in a noble cause.
"The bold attempt alone demands applause."
Still may the wisdom of the Comic Muse
Exalt your merits, or your faults accuse.
But think not, tis her aim to be severe;--
We all are mortals, and as mortals err.
If candour pleases, we are truly blest;
Vice trembles, when compell'd to stand confess'd.
Let not light Censure on your faults offend,
Which aims not to expose them, but amend.
Thus does our Author to your candour trust;
Conscious, the free are generous, as just. _
No, no, that won't do. Now, if I was with Tabitha
Wymen and Jemima Cawley down at father Chase's,
I shouldn't mind singing this all out before them--
you would be affronted if I was to sing that, though
that's a lucky thought; if you should be affronted,
I have something dang'd cute, which Jessamy told
me to say to you.
JENNY: Is that all! I assure you I like it of all things.
JONATHAN: No, no; I can sing more; some other time, when
you and I are better acquainted, I'll sing the whole
of it--no, no--that's a fib--I can't sing but a hun-
dred and ninety verses; our Tabitha at home can sing
it all.--[Sings.]
Marblehead's a rocky place,
And Cape-Cod is sandy;
Charlestown is burnt down,
Boston is the dandy.
Yankee doodle, doodle do, etc.
I vow, my own town song has put me into such top-
ping spirits that I believe I'll begin to do a little, as
Jessamy says we must when we go a-courting.--
[Runs and kisses her.] Burning rivers! cooling flames!
red-hot roses! pig-nuts! hasty-pudding and ambrosia!
JENNY: What means this freedom? you insulting wretch.
[Strikes him.]
JONATHAN: Are you affronted?
JENNY: Affronted! with what looks shall I express my
JONATHAN: Looks! why as to the matter of looks, you look as
cross as a witch.
JENNY: Have you no feeling for the delicacy of my sex?
JONATHAN: Feeling! Gor, I--I feel the delicacy of your sex
pretty smartly [rubbing his cheek], though, I vow, I
thought when you city ladies courted and married, and
all that, you put feeling out of the question. But I
want to know whether you are really affronted, or only
pretend to be so? 'Cause, if you are certainly right
down affronted, I am at the end of my tether; Jessamy
didn't tell me what to say to you.
JENNY: Pretend to be affronted!
JONATHAN: Aye, aye, if you only pretend, you shall hear how
I'll go to work to make cherubim consequences.
[Runs up to her.]
JENNY: Begone, you brute!
JONATHAN: That looks like mad; but I won't lose my speech.
My dearest Jenny--your name is Jenny, I think?--
CHARLOTTE: Oh! brother, you don't know what a fund of happi-
ness you have in store.
MANLY: I fear, sister, I have not refinement sufficient to
enjoy it.
CHARLOTTE: Oh! you cannot fail being pleased.
LETITIA: Our ladies are so delicate and dressy.
CHARLOTTE: And our beaux so dressy and delicate.
LETITIA: Our ladies chat and flirt so agreeably.
CHARLOTTE: And our beaux simper and bow so gracefully.
LETITIA: With their hair so trim and neat.
CHARLOTTE: And their faces so soft and sleek.
LETITIA: Their buckles so tonish and bright.
CHARLOTTE: And their hands so slender and white.
LETITIA: I vow, Charlotte, we are quite poetical.
CHARLOTTE: And then, brother, the faces of the beaux are of
such a lily-white hue! None of that horrid robustness
of constitution, that vulgar corn-fed glow of health,
which can only serve to alarm an unmarried lady with
apprehension, and prove a melancholy memento to a
married one, that she can never hope for the happiness
of being a widow. I will say this to the credit of our
city beaux, that such is the delicacy of their complex-
ion, dress, and address, that, even had I no reliance
upon the honour of the dear Adonises, I would trust
myself in any possible situation with them, without
the least apprehensions of rudeness.
MANLY: Sister Charlotte!
CHARLOTTE: Now, now, now, brother [interrupting him], now
don't go to spoil my mirth with a dash of your grav-
ity; I am so glad to see you, I am in tiptop spirits.
Oh! that you could be with us at a little snug party.
There is Billy Simper, Jack Chaffe, and Colonel Van
Titter, Miss Promonade, and the two Miss Tambours,
sometimes make a party, with some other ladies, in a
side-box at the play. Everything is conducted with
such decorum. First we bow round to the company
in general, then to each one in particular, then we
have so many inquiries after each other's health, and
we are so happy to meet each other, and it is so many
ages since we last had that pleasure, and if a married
lady is in company, we have such a sweet dissertation
upon her son Bobby's chin-cough; then the curtain
rises, then our sensibility is all awake, and then, by the
mere force of apprehension, we torture some harmless
expression into a double meaning, which the poor au-
thor never dreamt of, and then we have recourse to
our fans, and then we blush, and then the gentlemen
jog one another, peep under the fan, and make the
prettiest remarks; and then we giggle and they simper,
and they giggle and we simper, and then the curtain
drops, and then for nuts and oranges, and then we
bow, and it's pray, Ma'am, take it, and pray, Sir, keep
it, and oh! not for the world, Sir; and then the curtain
rises again, and then we blush and giggle and simper
and bow all over again. Oh! the sentimental charms
of a side-box conversation! [All laugh.]
The other assured him that he was under a very great mistake; for there were persons who scarcely knew a B from a bull's foot. That may be, said the captain; but if others choose to degrade themselves, by suffering their names to be used in so preposterous a way as that, it was no reason he should.
The other gave him to understand, that the society would certainly wish to express their sense of his merit, and show themselves not inattentive to a virtuoso; that as he declined the honor himself, he probably might not be averse to let his servant take a sear among them.
Said the Captain, "He is but a simple Irishman, and of a low education; his language being that spoken by the aborigines of his country. And if he speaks a little English, it is with a brogue in his tongue; which would be unbecoming in a member of your body. It would seem to me, that a philosopher ought to know how to write, or at least to read. But Teague can neither write nor read. He can sing a song, or whistle an Irish tune, but is totally illiterate in all things else. I question much if he could tell you how many new moons there are in the year; or any the most common things that you could ask him. He is a long-legged fellow, it is true; and might be of service in clambering over rocks, or going to the shores of rivers, to gather curiosities. But could you not get persons to do this, without making them members? I have more respect for science, than to suffer this bog-trotter to be so advanced in its expense. "In these American states, there is a wide field for philosophic search."
In this state of mind he chanced to light upon a book written by one of the teachers of the Albigenses, or French Protestants. He entertained no relish for books, and was wholly unconscious of any power they possessed to delight or instruct. This volume had lain for years in a corner of his garret, half buried in dust and rubbish. He had marked it as it lay; had thrown it, as his occasions required, from one spot to another; but had felt no inclination to examine its contents, or even to inquire what was the subject of which it entreated.
One Sunday afternoon, being induced to retire for a few minutes to his garret, his eye was attracted by a page of this book, which, by some accident, had been opened and placed full in his view. He was seated on the edge of his bed, and was employed in repairing a rent in some part of his clothes. His eyes were not confined to his work, but occasionally wandering, lighted at length upon the page. The words "Seek and ye shall find," were those that first offered themselves his notice. His curiosity was roused by these so far as to prompt him to proceed. As soon as he finished his work, he took up the book and turned to the first page...The book cointained an exposition of the doctrine of the sect of Camissards, and an historical account of his origin. His mind was in a state of peculiarity fitted for the reception of devotional sentiments. The craving which had haunted him was now supplied with an object. His mind was of no less for a theme of meditation. On days of business, he rose at the dawn, and retired to his chamber not till late at night. He now supplied himself with candles, and employed his nocturnal and Sunday hours in studying this book. It, of course, abounded with allusions to the Bible. All its conclusions were deduced from the sacred text. This was the fountain, beyond which it was necessary to trace the stream of religious truth; but it was his duty to trace it thus far.
A Bible was easily procured, and he ardently entered on the study of it. His understanding had received a particular direction. All his reveries were fashioned in the same mould. His progress towards the formation of his creed was rapid. Every fact and sentiment in this book were viewed through a medium which the writings of the Camisard apostle had suggested, His constructions of the text were hasty, and formed on a narrow scale Every thing was viewed in a diconnected position. One action and one precept were not employed to illustrate and restrict the meaning of another.
Need I dwell upon the impressions which your conversation and deportment originally made upon me? We parted in childhood; but our intercourse, by letter, was copious and uninterrupted How fondly did I anticipate a meeting with one whome her letters had previously taught me to consider as the first of women, and how fully realized were the expectations that I had formed!
Here, said I, is a being, after whom sages may model their transcendent intelligence, and painters, their ideal beauty. Here is exemplified, that union between intellect and form, which has hitherto existed only in the conceptions of the poet. I have watched your eyes; my attention has hung upon your lips. I have questioned whether the enchantments of your voice were more conspicuous in the intricacies of melody, or the emphasis of rhetoric. I have marked the transitions of your discourse, the felicities of your expression, your refined argumentation, and glowing imagery; and been forced to acknowledge, that all delights were meagre and contemptible, compared with those connected with the audience and sight of you. I have contemplated your principles, and been astonished at the solidity of their foundation, and the perfection of their structure. I have traced you to your home. I have viewed you in relation to your servants, to your family, to your neighbors, and to the world. I have seen by what skillful arrangements you facilitate the performance of the most arduous and complicated duties; what daily accessions of strength your judicious discipline bestowed upon your memory; what correctness and abundance of knowledge was daily experienced by your unwearied application to books, and to writing. If she that possesses so much in the bloom of youth, will you go on accumulating her stores, what, said I, is the picture she will display at a mature age? You know not the accuracy of my observation. I was desirous that others should profit by example so rare. I therefore noted down, in writing, every particular of your conduct. I was anxious to benefit by an opportunity so seldom afforded us. I labored not to omit the slightest shade, or the most petty line in your portrait. Here there was no other talk incumbent on me but to copy; there was no need to exaggerate or overlook, in order to produce a more exceptionable pattern. Here was a combination of harmonies and graces, incapable of diminution or ascension without injury to its completeness. I found no end and no bounds to my task. No display of a scene like this could be chargeable with redundancy or superfluity. Even the color of a shoe, the knot of a ribband, or your attitudes in plucking a rose, were of moment to be recorded. Even the arrangements of your breakfast table and your toilet have been amply displayed. I know that mankind are more easily enticed to virtue by example than by precept. I know that the absoluteness of a model, when supplied by invention, diminishes its salutary influence, since it is useless, we think, to strive after that which we know to be beyond our reach. But the picture which I drew was not a phantom; as a model, it was devoid of imperfection; and to aspire to that height which had been really attained, was by no means unreasonable I had another more interesting object in view. One existed who claimed all my tenderness. Here, in all its parts, was a model worthy of assiduous study, and indefatigable imitation. I called upon her, and she wished to secure and enhance my esteem, to mold her thoughts, her words, her countenance, her actions, by this pattern. The task was exuberant of pleasure, and I was deeply engaged in it, with an imp of mischief was let loose in the form of Carwin,
I now willingly listened to my uncle's solicitations to be the companion of his voyage. Preparations were easily made, and after a tedious passage, we set our feet on the shore of the ancient world. The memory of the past did not forsake me; but the melancholy which it generated, and the tears with which it filled my eyes, were not unprofitable. My curiosity was revived, and I contemplated, with ardour, the spectacle of living manners and the monuments of the past ages. Through my uncle's exertions a meeting was brought about between Carwin and Pleyel, and explanations took place which restored me at once to the good opinion of the latter. Though separated so widely our correspondence was punctual and frequent, and paved the way for that union which can only end with the death of one of us.
In my letters to him I made no secret of my former sentiments. This was a theme on which I could talk without painful, though not without delicate emotions. That knowledge which I should never have imparted to a lover, I felt little scruple to communicate to a friend.
A year and a half elapsed when Theresa was snatched from him by death, in the hour in which she gave him the first pledge of their mutual affection. This event was borne by him with his customary fortitude. It induced him, however, to make a change in his plans. He disposed of his property in America, and joined my uncle and me, who had terminated the wanderings of two years at Montpellier, which will henceforth, I believe, be our permanent abode.
Stranger, if you have learned a truth which needs
No school of long experience, that the world
is full of guilt and misery, and has seen
emough of all its sorrows, crimes, and cares
to tire you of it, enter this wild wood
and view the haunts of nature. Tha calm shade
shall bring a kindred calm; and the sweet breeze,
that makes the green leaves dance, shall waft a balm
to your sick heart. You will find nothing here
of all that pained you in the haunts of men
And made you loathe your life. The primal curse
fell, it is true, upon the unsinning earth,
But not in vengance. God has yoked to guilt
her pale tormentor, misery. Hence these shades
Are still the abodes of gladness: the thick roof
Of green and stirring branches is alive
And musical with birds, that sing and sport
the wantoness of spirit; while, below,
The squirrel, with raised paws anf form erect,
chirps merrily. Throngs of insects in the shade
Try their thin wings and dance in the warm beam
That waked them into life. Even the green trees
Partake the deep contentment; as they bend
To the soft winds, the sun from the blue sky
Looks in and sheds a blessing on the scene
Scarce less the cleft-born wild-flower seems to enjoy
Existence that the winged plunderer
That sucks its sweets. The mossy rocks themselves,
And the old and plunderous trunks of prostrate trees
That lead from knoll to knoll a causey rude
Or bridge the sunken brook, and their dark roots,
With all their earth upon them, twisting high,
Breathe fixed tranquility. The rivulet
sends forth glad sounds, and, tripping over its bed
Of pebbly sands or leaping down the rocks,
Seems with continuous laughter to rejoice
In its own being. Softly tread the marge
Lest from her midway perch you scare the wren
That dips her bill in water. The cool wind,
That stirs the stream in play, shall come to thee,
Like one that loves you nor will let you pass
Ungreeted, and shall give its light embrace.
Spirit! that dwells where,
In the deep sky,
The terrible and fair,
In beauty vie!
Beyond the line of blue--
The boundary of the star
Which turns at the view
Of your barrier and your bar--
Of the barrier overgone
By the comet who were cast
From their pride and from their throne
To be drudges till the last--
To be carriers of fire
(The red fire of their heart)
With speed that may not tire
And with pain that shall not part--
Who lives--that we know--
In Eternity--we feel--
But the shadow of whose brow
What spirit shall reveal?
Tho the beings whom your Nesace
Your messanger has known
Have dreamed for your Infinity
A model of their own--
Your will is done, Oh, God!
The star has ridden high
Thro many a tempest, but she rode
Beneath your burning eye;
And here, in thought, to thee--
In thought that can alone
Ascend your empire and so be
A partner of your throne--
By winged Fantasy,
My embassy is given,
Till secrecy shall knowledge be
n the environs of heaven.

She ceased--and buried then her burning cheel
Abashed, amid the lilies there, to seek
A shelter from the fervor og His eye
For the stars trembled at the Diety.
She stirred not--breathed not--for a voice was there
How solemnly pervading the calm air!

A sound of silence on the startled ear
Which dreamy poets name "the music of the sphere."
Ours is a world of words (discourse): Quiet we call "Silence--which is the merest word of all.
All Nature speaks, and even ideal things
Flap shadowy sounds from visionary wings--
But ah! not so when, thus, in realms on high
The eternal voice of God is passing by
And the red winds are withering in the sky!

[God is speaking]
What tho in worlds which sightest cycles run,
Linked to a little system, and one sun--
Where all my love is folly and the crowd
Still think my terrors but the thunder cloud,
the storm, the earthquake, and the ocean-wrath--
(Ah! Will they cross me in my angrier path?)
What tho' in worlds which own a single sun
The sands of Time grow dimmer as they run,
Yet thine is my resplendency, so given
To bear my secrets through the upper heaven
Leave tenantless thy crystal home and fly,
With all your train athwart the moon sky--
Apart--like fire-flies in Silician night,
And wing to other worlds another light!
Divulge the secrets of your embassy
to the proud orbs that twinkle--and so be
To every heart a barrier and a ban
Lest the stars totter in the guilt of man!"
Up rose the maiden in the yellow night.
This rambling propensity strengthened with my years. Books of voyagers and travels became my passion, and in devouring their contents I neglected the regular exercises of the school. How wistfully would I wander about the pier heads in fine weather, and watch the parting ships, bound to distant climes. With what longing eyes would I gaze after their lessening sails, and waft myself in imagination to the ends of the earth.
Further reading and thinking, though they brought this vague inclination into more reasonable bounds, only served to make it more decided. I visited various parts of my own country, and had I been merely a lover of fine scenery, I should have felt little desire to seek elsewhere its gratification, for on no country have the charms of nature been more prodigally lavished. Her mighty lakes, like oceans of liquid silver, her mountains with her bright aerial tints; her valleys teeming with wild fertility; her tremendous cataracts thundering in their solitudes; her boundless plains waving with spontaneous verdure; her broad, deep rivers, rolling in solemn silence to the ocean; her trackless forests, where vegetation puts forth all its magnificence; her skies kindling with the magic of summer clouds and glorious sunshine-no, never need an American look beyond his own country for the sublime and beautiful of natural scenery
But Europe held forth the charms of storied and poetical association. There were to be seen the masterpieces of art, the refinements of highly-cultivated society, the quaint peculiarities of ancient and local custom My native country was full of youthful promise; Europe was rich in the accumulated treasures of age. Her very ruins told the history of times gone by, and every mouldering stone was a chronicle. I longed to wander over the scenes of renowned achievement--to tread as it were in the footsteps of antiquity--to loiter about the ruined castle--to meditate on the falling tower--to escape in short, from the commonplace realities of the present, and lose myself among the shadowy grandeurs of the past.
Rip was at last reduced almost to despair; and his only alternative to escape from the labor of the farm and the clamor of his wife, was to take a gun in hand and stroll away into the woods. Here he would sometimes seat himself at the foot of a tree and share the contents of his wallet with Wolf. with whom he sympathized as a fellow sufferer in persecution. "Poor Wolf," he would say, "your mistress leads you a dog's life of it, but never mind my lad, whilst I live you shalt never want a friend to stand by you" Wolf would wag his tail, look wistfully in his master's face, and If dogs can feel pity I verily believe he reciprocated the sentiment with all his heart.
In a long ramble of the kind of autumnal day, Rip had unconsciously scrambled to one of the highest parts of the Kaatskill mountains. He was after his favorite sport of squirrel shooting and the still solitudes had echoed and re-echoed with the reports of his gun. Panting and fatigued he threw himself, late in the afternoon, on a green knoll, covered with mountain herbage, that crowned the brow of a precipice. From an opening between the trees he could overlook all the lower country for many a mile of rich woodland. He saw at a distance the lordly Hudson, far, far, below him, moving on its silent but majestic course, with the reflection of a purple cloud, or the sail of a lagging bark here and there sleeping on its glassy bosom, and at last losing itself in the blue highlands.
On the other side he looked down into a deep mountain glen, wild, lonely and shagged, the bottom filled with fragments from the impending cliffs and scarcely lighted by the reflected rays of the setting sun.

As he was about to descend he heard a voice from a distance hallooing "Rip Van Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!" He looked around, but could see nothing but a crow winging its solitary flight across the mountain He thought his fancy must have deceived him and turned again to descend, when he heard the same crying through the still evening air: "Rip Van Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!"
It is a pious custom in some Catholic countries to honor the memory of saints, by votive lights burnt before their pictures. The popularity of a saint, therefore, may be known by a number of these offerings. One perhaps is left to moulder in the darkness of his little chapel; another may be a solitary lamp to throw its blinking rays athwart his effigy; while the whole blaze of adoration is lavished at the shrine of some beatified father of renown. The wealthy devotee brings luminary wax, the eager zealot his seven branched candlestick, and even the mendicant pilgrim is by no means satisfied that sufficient light is thrown upon the deceased, unless he hang up his little lamp of smoking oil. The consequence is, that in the eagerness to enlighten they are often apt to obscure; and I have occasionally seen an unlucky saint, almost smoked out of countenance by the officiousness of his followers.
In like manner has it fared with the immortal Shakespeare. Every writer considers it his bounden duty to light up some portion of his character or works, and to rescue some merit from oblivion. The commentator, opulent in words, produces vast tombs of dissertations; the common herd of editors send up mists of obscurity from their notes at the bottom of every page, and every casual scribbler brings his farthing rush light of eulogy or research, to swell the cloud of incense or of smoke
As I honor all established usages of my brethren of the quill I thought it but proper to contribute my mite of homage to the memory of the illustrious bard.