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Point, which we had received from the general that day; that we were on the public service, on business of the highest import, and that he would be answerable for our detention one moment; he insisted on seeing the passports, and conducted us to a house in the vicinity where there was a light. On approaching the house Mr. Anderson* seemed very uneasy ; but I cheered him up by saying our papers would carry us to any part of the country to which they were directed, and that no person dare presume to detain us. When we came to the light I presented the passports, which satisfied the captain; but he seemed better pleased when I told him I intended to quarter that night at major de la Van's, who, he said, was a stanch friend to the cause of his country, would treat us well, and render every aid in his power that tended to promote the welfare of America: he soon began to be more pleased, and in the most impressive manner entreated us not to proceed one inch further in the night, as it was very dangerous, for the Cow Boys had been out the preceding night, and had done much mischief, by carrying off cattle, and some of the inhabitants as prisoners. Alarmed at this intelligence, I was hesitating what to do, when my companion expressed his wish to proceed; but the captain suggested many prudential reasons why he would not advise our progress at night. He particularly remarked that we had little chance of defending ourselves against both parties then out, as he had heard them firing some little time before he met us. 'All this determined me to take the captain's advice, which seemed to direct the surest step for our safety. I accordingly returned a short distance, to look for night quarters, and my companion reluctantly followed.
“With no small difficulty we therefore returned several miles, and gained admittance into a house for the night; while such was the caution and danger of admitting nocturnal inmates, that we were obliged to take to bed, or keep the family up, who would not retire until they saw us safely lodged. We slept in the same bed; and I was often disturbed with the restless motions, and uneasiness of mind exhibited by niy bed-fellow, who, on observing the first approach of day, summoned. my servant to prepare the horses for our departure. He appeared in the morning as if he had not slept an hour during the night; he at first was much dejected, but a pleasing change took place in his countenance when summoned to mount his horse.
“ We rode very cheerfully towards Pine's Bridge without interruption, or any event that excited apprehension; here I proposed to leave my companion; but I observed that the nearer we approached the bridge, the more his countenance brightened into a cheerful serenity, and he became very affable; in short, I now found him highly entertaining; he was not only well informed in general history, but well acquainted with that of America, particularly New-York, which he termed the residuary legatee of the British government (for it took all the remaining lands not granted to the proprietary and chartered provinces). He had consulted the Muses as well as Mars, for he conversed freely on the belles lettres: music, painting, and poetry seemed to be his delight. He displayed a judicious taste in the choice of the authors he had read, possessed great elegance of sentiment, and a most pleasing manner of conveying his ideas, by adopting the powerful colouring of poetical imagery. He lamented the causes which gave birth to and continued the war, and said, if there was a correspondent temper on
* The name assumed by major Andre:
the part of the Americans, with the prevailing spirit of the British ministry, peace was an event not far distant; he intimated that measures were then in agitation for the accomplishment of that desirable object, before France could establish her perfidious designs. He sincerely wished the fate of the war could alone be determined in the fair, open, field contest, between as many British in number as those under the command of count Rochambeau at Rhode Island, whose effective force he seemed clearly to understand; he descanted on the richness of the scenery around us, and particularly admired, from every eminence, the grandeur of the Highland mountains, bathing their lofty summits in the clouds from their seeming watery base at the north extremity of Haverstraw Bay. The pleasantry of converse, and mildness of the weather, so insensibly beguiled the time, that we at length found ourselves at the bridge, before I thought we had got half the way; and I now had reason to think my fellow-traveller a different person from the character I had at first formed of him. This bridge Grosses Croton river, a branch of the Hudson.
“I pointed out to him the road to the White Plains, whither his passport enabled him to go, or lower if he thought proper, he being on public business, as was mentioned in his pass; but he thought the road by the way of Dobbs' ferry, having the river as his guide, would be much the nearest route; having a good horse, he boldly ventured to take that road: had not proceeded more than six miles, when he was stopped by three of the New-York militia, John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Vert, who with others, were on a scouting party, between the outposts of the two armies. These men stopped major Andre at a place near Tarry, and seized his horse by the bridle in a narrow part of the road. Andre, instead of immediately producing his pass, asked where they belonged to? They answered, “to below." Not suspecting deception, he replied, “ So do I," AND DECLARING HIMSELF A BRITISH OFFICER, THAT HE MIGHT NOT BE DETAINED, being on pressing business! The law of the state gave to the captors of any British subject, all his property, and, of course, his horse, saddle, and bridle, were in the first instance a temptation to stop him on the least ground for suspicion, while he being alone, they were the more bold against an unarmed man. Finding himself thus taken by surprise, and detained, he offered a very valuable gold watch; this led to farther suspicion: upon which they took him aside in the bushes and searched him, until they found his papers lodged in his boots. Another circumstance of suspicion was the coat I had lent him, which was crimson, with vellum button-holes, bound with Prussian binding. The captors then conducted him to lieutenant-colonel Jameson, a continental officer, who had the command of about nine hundred men, mostly militia. When major Andre was brought before him, he passed under the the name of Anderson, choosing to hazard the greatest danger rather than let any discovery be made which could involve Arnold, before he had time to provide for his safety. With this view, to effect Arnold's escape, he requested that a line might be written to him, to acquaint him with Anderson's detention, which Jameson granted. The papers which were so found in the major's pocket-book, were in Arnold's hand-writing, and contained exact returns of the state of the forces, ordnance, and defences, at West Point and its dependencies, with the artillery orders, critical remarks on the works, an estimate of the number of men that were ordinarily on duty to defend them, and a copy of a state of affairs that had been laid before a council of war, by the commander in chief, on the 6th of the month. These paper: were enclosed in a packet to general Washir.gton, accompanied with a letter from major Andre, avowing himself to be the adjutant-general of the British army, and was forwarded by Jameson."
These extracts will be sufficient to show that the reader is not to expect to find in this volume a mere dry detail of military and political events, but a relation of interesting facts drawn up with much simplicity, and bearing every appearance of truth. The following is his account of major Andre's death:
“ At length the awful period arrived; and on the morning of the 2d of October, this unhappy victim of the errors of others, was led out to the place of execution. As he passed along, the American army were astonished at the dignity of his deportment, and the manly firmness and complacency of countenance, which spoke the serene composure of his mind; a glow of sympathy pervaded the breasts of the soldiers, and tears of sensibility were visible in every eye. He bowed himself, with a smile, to all he knew in his confinement. When he approached the fatal spot, and beheld the preparations, he stopped, and paused, as if absorbed in reflection; then quickly turning to the officer next him, he said What! must I die in this manner?' Being told it was so ordered, he instantly said, 'I am reconciled, and submit to my fate, but deplore the mode; it will be but a momentary pang:' and with a calmness that, while it excited the admiration, melted the heart of every spectator, performed the last offices to himself. He then requested that all around him would bear witness to the world, 'THAT HE DIED LIKE A BRAVE MAN! He perished universally esteemed and lamented; indeed a general sorrow at his fate pervaded all ranks of people through the continent of America."
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
THE INQUIRER.—No. I. MR. OLDSCHOOL,
I am highly gratified that Philadelphia can boast of one periodical publication conducted on a liberal plan, and free from religious controversy, and the muddy streams of party and factious discussions. I propose to avail myself occasionally of this vehicle, to call upon some of your correspondents for solutions of literary doubts and difficulties that occur in the course of my reading, and shall regard myself as under considerable obligation to such of them as will furnish satisfactory solutions.
COLLIER ON RIDICULE. I have in my possession an extremely valuable work, called “ReHections on Ridicule, or what it is that makes a man ridiculous, with Vol. 1.
. 3 R
the best means to avoid it: wherein are represented the different manners and characters of the present age. By Jeremiah Collier, A.M. seventh edition, Dublin, anno 1764.” • Every time I peruse this book I discover new beauties. The sketches of characters are exquisitely drawn by a most masterly hand. The admonitions against incurring ridicule are the most just and profound: and the moral precepts are founded upon good sense, and a knowledge of the world. But there is hardly a page that does not bear the stamp of the French idiom, so fully that I cannot persuade myself it is other than a translation from the French. Yet it is announced in the title and preface, as an original work.
Among other expressions of the above description, the word “ agreements,” is used in fifty places for charms, or accomplishments, which surely must be a translation; as it is nowhere in any other English work applied in the same sense. There are, moreover, innumerable references to French manners, French customs, and French characters.
I wish therefore to be informed whether this is ascertained to be a translation; and if so, from what work.
CASSADA TREE. The contradictory qualities of the Cassada Tree, as stated in Staunton's Embassy, are perhaps the most extraordinary of any in the whole range of Natural History. The root is said to be salutary food. Yet the juice expressed from the root is deadly poison. And, still more to heighten our wonder, and to show the sports of madam Nature, the sediment from the juice is said to be the tapioca. Can any of your correspondents state whether this account partakes of the traveller's privilege of rodomontading?
Russel, in his history of Modern Europe, states, that among the principal English exports, during the domination of the Anglo Saxons, were slaves. I wish to know how long this traffic was carried on? And, in what mode were these slaves acquired ?
A more agreeable book than Brydone's Tour cannot easily be found. I have, however, heard it confidently asserted by a literary Character, that it is an absolute fabrication; and, like Damberger's Travels, made by a Grub-street garetteer, who had never visited either Sicily or Malta. Can this assertion be true?
CAMPBELL'S INDIA. Campbell's India I have read with wonder. Some parts of it appear absolutely incredible. But there are certificates annexed to the book, that finally removed my doubts respecting its authenticity. I was nevertheless lately assured that it was the production of Mr. Carpenter, who published a paper in Charleston, and in New-York. On this point, I request information.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
ON THE STUDY OF NATURAL HISTORY-No. I.
Though Natural History, strictly speaking, comprehends the whole animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, or is, in other words, a History of Nature; yet, it is, seldom, so generally applied, and is frequently confined to Botany and Zoology; sometimes to the latter alone. It is, of all human knowledge, the most sublime, because it exhibits the power, and introduces us, as it were, into the presence, of OMNIPOTENCE. It is the most instructive, because it unfolds his good. ness, wisdom, and perfections. It is also the most delightful, from its inexpressible beauty, vastness, and variety. The first lessons of infancy should be learned from the pages of this magnificent volume, as the plainest, the most easily comprehended, striking, and impressive ; perpetually inspiring the highest conceptions of the Creator; and animating us with the purest spirit of devotion. Our amazement increases on every fresh survey, and we cxclaim in the rapturous lan. guage of the poet:
“ These are thy glorious Works, Parent of Good!
If then the objects of creation, which surround us, are capable of producing such effects, when beheld even in a general way, how must every sensation of wonder, awe, and devotion be increased, when we . contemplate them more closely, and individually; when we consider their conformation, instincts, peculiarities, uses; their secret connexion, and reciprocity of dependence on each other; as forming one immense chain of created beings, emanating from, and upheld by one