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When this undignified conduct of the general's was known, a Frenchman named Ambroise, who had been preserved by the government, on account of his talents as an engineer, waited upon his excellency, and told him in firm and bold language, that " he had been guilty of sacrilege in destroying the lodge?” The general becoming furiously enraged, ordered him instantly to be shot. “Ay, that's what I desire”-replied the intrepid soldier; «place me before the mouth of one of those cannon, which I have been mounting to satisfy your pride and ambition, and blow me to atoms.--I should glory in the death.” But his excellency, on resuming his reflection, recollected that he was too valuable a man to be lost to the state, and simply dismissed him from his presence.
About the period this commotion happened at the Cape, another affair of a similar nature occurred at the city of Dessalines. Eighteen Frenchmen who had been preserved during the general massacre, in consideration of their services, and had been employed at the seat of government in some nice branches of mechanical trades, attempted to effect their escape. One of them, who was a printer, blacked the faces of his comrades, that they might pass for negroes, and in that disguise, they took ad. vantage of the approach of evening, and departed together. Their object was to travel through the interior of the country to wards the city of Santa Domingo, that route presenting the greatest security from pursuit in its mountainous and thinly populated districts. But unfortunately, after proceeding a short distance, they fell into a dispute about the choice of roads. Twelve were in favour of a bridle path, not much frequented, whilst the remaining six were resolved upon pursuing the main road. The former were not overtaken, but the ill-fated minori. ty fell into the hands of a detachment of dragoons on the ensu. " ing day. Two of them were cut to pieces in the encounter that ensued, two of them were disarmed, after a resolute defence, and the other two submitted without resistance. The four sur vivors were then conducted back to the emperor, who thus ad. dressed them:- Why have you treated me so basely? Were you not provided for as my children, and had you not as much as you could eat and drink.? But againsince you did break
my laws, by attempting to leave me, why did you suffer yourselves to be taken? Did you not know that I would put you to death, if I caught you? Why did you not fight and die like your brave companions?" Two of them replied, that they had fought, but were overpowered—“And you two," turning to the others patiently—“ Why we knew that we should be vanquished, and concluded to rely upon the clemency of your majesty.” “Hang those two cowards instantly,” was the Imperial mandate, which was immediately obeyed–The two who fought, were suffered to exist, and were propably restored to their former occupations.
The loss of the twelve who had eloped from Marchand, added to the escape of the seven from the Cape, exasperated the emperor to so violent a degree, that he instantly decreed the destruction of all the remaining whites. His orders soon reached Christophe, who speedily retired to the Fort Ferrier, after having singled out twelve or fifteen individuals destined for preservation. Some of these were sent to the fort, while others remained in town under the immediate eye of the commandant of the place, who was directed to see that no violence was offered them. With a few exceptions, the other French inhabitants had by this time been removed out of town, but in what direction was not known, for no communication was afterward permitted between them and their friends. This particular period of time was extremely melancholy, and excited to an interesting degree the sympathy of the Americans, when they saw the hopeless state to which many worthy French families were doomed. Their own safety too, was a subject of serious apprehension; for although the government might not be disposed to injure them, the insolent populace, with their wonted propensity to pillage and murder, were highly to be dreaded. . An instance of the mode adopted in some cases, to secure the persons of those who were proscribed, occurred in the presence of a few Americans, and interested our feelings in an especial manner. We were seated one evening at the door of a Haytian neighbour's house, ruminating upon the existing state of affairs, and deploring the situation of the French inhabitants, when an officer, called the adjudant of the place, road by on horseback, followed by a file of soldiers on foot. He stopped at
the house next to us, where a hatter, a decent peaceable man resided. The poor fellow had retired to bed and was aroused from his sleep by several loud raps at the door, which must have sounded to bim like harbingers of death. The man in a short time opened his door, when the officer, addressing him in a fierce and savage-like voice, told him, that he musi prepare himself to go to the fort on the following morning at day-light.” The wretched victim replied that he would do so, and when he had shut his door, the adjudant ordered one of the soldiers to take his station as sentinel, and suffer no person to leave or enter the house during the night. This was the last that we heard of the poor hatter. His fate was no doubt decided with that of many others of his unfortunate countrymen, in the manner which shall be de-. scribed in my next communication.
Note, in 1811.
After my return to the United States, I understood from a French officer, who had recently arrived from the city of Santa Domingo, that the twelve men who left Marchand had arrived at that place, and it afforded me great pleasure to learn, that the seven fugitives from the Cape were likewise successful. The following is an extract from a letter written to me by one of them at Newyork in July, 1806. “We embarked between Petite Ance and the ferry in a canoe belonging to a negro fisherman, who conducted us: we experienced all kinds of hardships during four days and four nights we were on board without landing, and we had no provisions but a dozen small sausages, and a barrel of water. Hunger constrained us to go on shore, rather than to die of faintness; twelve leagues from Port-au-platte, we landed at a small creek, and through the woods discovered a Spanish hut, where we were plentifully supplied with food. After twenty-six days of travelling, entirely through the woods, we arrived at Santa Domingo, exhausted with fatigue and hunger. The pleasure of being at liberty enabled us to surmount these difficulties, although, I assure you, it was high time we had arrived. Gene: ral Ferrand gave us the kindest possible reception.”
GENERAL REVIEW OF LITERATURE.
(Concluded from page 568, of vol. 6.) We are now to consider a department of poetry, which, but for one luminous and splendid exception, we should regard as a huge waste, a wilderness traversed only by caitiff and ignorant barbarians, undeserving of notice, and incapable of profiting by criticism. We mean Tragedy; which Dryden considered as the most noble occupation of the Muse. We mean not to call up from Limbo Lake the damned ghosts of the wretched productions which have strutted and fretted their hour upon the stage, under the facetious denomination of Melo-dramas; still less the deplorable remnants from the old and established warehouses of Rowe and Congreve, which have aspired to the more dignified appellation of Tragedies. The former have had at least the merit of affording show and spectacle, and might have been tolerably entertaining to the deaf and dumb students of Mr. Braidwood's Academy; while the professed tragedies are destitute of every thing excepting blood and blank verse. In this exalted region of poetry, therefore, Joanna BAILLIE stands not merely foremost, but altogether unrivalled, not only most distinguished, but alone. How or where the spirit of tragedy has slumbered since the days of Shakspeare and Massinger, of Otway and Southern-by what chance their successors have wased dull of heart and feeble of fancy, and unfit to receive the influence which they invoked;—by what strangest of strange dispensations this rich vein of poetry, strong conception of character, and vigorous glow of imagination, have become the portion of a retired, amiable, and unassuming female, is only known to him who inspired the Jaels, the Deborabs, and the Judiths of Scripture. Of the remarkable persons we have named, and of those whose names we are yet to review, we consider Miss Baillie as by far the most wonderful literary phenomenon. In her detail of the more violent passions, there glows through every scene that knowledge of the human heart which is derived from intuitive genius alone, since it could neither be supplied by experience nor by observation. But poetic inspiration, like the wind of heaven, bloweth where it listeth; and the same dispensation which places the heart of a soldier under the rochet of a bishop, and the narrow soul of a fanatic monk in the bosom of a statesman, has invested a sequestered and gentle-tempered woman with a power of analyzing the countless counterpoises and springs of the human passions, denied to sages, who have spent lives in metaphysical study, and to the more practical philosophers, who, mixing with the world, haye, “ with all appliances and means to boot," observed in courts and camps the secret movements by which distinguished characters and great events are matured, influenced, or achieved. Yet we are obliged to remark, that even the force of miss Baillie's genius might, in the inferior de. partments of her art, have reaped advantage froin a more extended acquaintance with its rules. Fielding has somewhere said of his hero, Tom Jones, that he had natural but not artificial good breeding, and was therefore apt to sin against those arbitrary and conventional regulations of elegant society, which the beau monde establishes from time to time, as the by-laws of its own corporation. Iu like manner, miss Baillie's execution sometimes falls short of her aim, either by her not knowing, or not attending to atıributes, which have, by universal consent, whether properly or not, been accounted indispensible to the Drama. She has not hesitated, in Rayner, to introduce a drunken negro, and to make the catastrophe of the whole turn upon a piece of legerdemain, executed by that respectable character, highly improbable in itself, and, in point of effect, unworthy of a pantomime, or even of a melodrama. Her scenes, too, are frequently strangely crowded upon each other, with little attention to the unities of time, place, or action; imperfections which will be found of serious consequence, should a reviving taste for dramatic poetry ever demand the performance of the Plays upon the Passions. To these deficiencies, in the technical knowledge of her art, we are compelled to add faults which apparently arise from the want of a correct and well-regulated taste. The vehemence of her language osten outsteps what the rules of the stage prescribe, and the characters are made to use expressions more violent and forci. ble, than either elegant or dignified. The lower characters sometimes digress into coarse and clownish dialogue, and those