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from resistance, made under still greater disadvantages, to venture another excursion, and probably it was suspected by their officers, that the courage of the men was too completely cowed by the rough handling of the provincials on former occasions, to be much depended on.
On page 345, we find the following paragraph: In appointing to office under the federal government, General Washington selected those who had been distinguished by their zeal and patriotism during the war of the revolution. And his appointments were bestowed on none but men of integrity and talents, which fully qualified them for the stations in which they were placed. This policy was approved by all impartial men; and yet Mr Jefferson, who succeeded to the presidency, some years after General Washington declined it, removed some of the revolutionary characters from the offices they held, merely for difference of political opinions, on subjects or measures of minor consideration, which did not implicate their patriotism or their republican principles.
The latter part of this, we think, had better been omitted. The history of Mr Jefferson's administration belongs to a period beyond the limits of this volume. Posterity will decide upon its merits ; and admitting both the fact and the implied consequence to be correct, it seems to us, as if the writer had gone out of his way to give utterance to an expression of disapprobation of a political measure, with which he had, in that place at least, nothing to do.
We noticed a few typographical errors, perhaps not more than were to be expected in a work of this length, but some are important, as, for instance, the wrong spelling of names; thus, “Howe” is three times spelled “How," and in the only instance in which the name of “ Pulaski” is mentioned, it is printed“. Polaski.” In another place we find “Goreham,” instead of “ Gorham."
We remarked also the following errors in construction and the use of words:
· His decision and zeal equal to those distinguished men,' &c. P. 37.
* The legislative assembly of Massachusetts, which met and organized on the 19th of July,' &c. P. 65.
• They had some belief that administration would retract of its despotic purposes,' &c. P. 68.
“That the governor of Canada would avail of the occasion,' &c. P. 89. "Some of the paper was of so little value, as that thirty,' &c. P. 181. • A singular phenomena occurred,' &c. P. 192. * Avowed the most disorganizing sentiments,' &c. P. 267.
They are neither very numerous nor important, and though a more careful examination may possibly detect a few more, we think
number cannot be considerable.
One fact related here, which we do not recollect to have met with in any other place, is a singular proof of the poverty and simplicity of the times; on the occasion of the brilliant affair at Bennington, á present was ordered by the legislature to General Stark, of a suit of clothes, and a piece of linen.
The following anecdote of Washington was also new to us.
Hon. Mr Partridge, one of the committee, [appointed by the Legislature of Massachusetts to go to the head-quarters of General Washington to consult him on the subject of enlistment] related afterwards, that he never saw Washington discover any thing but perfect selfcommand, except on that occasion. When a year was mentioned for the time of service, he started from his chair, and exclaimed, "Good God, gentlemen, our cause is ruined, if you engage men only for a year. You must not think of it. If we ever hope for success, we must have men enlisted for the whole term of the war.'
The exertions of the Massachusetts government at every period of the war, were very great. A singular instance of this appeared on one occasion, when we are told, that
Lead and fints to a considerable amount, were again furnished the state of Connecticut, for the supply of their troops. Nor was this done because of a great quantity in Massachusetts; for at this time the people were requested to take the weights from their windows for the public use.
It is well known that opinions were various respecting the federal constitution, of which the results have been so glorious. Many of the states, and among the number, New York and Rhode Island, resisted obstinately and for a long time its adoption, and if the public opinion had not been powerfully influenced by the writings of some of the greatest politicians of the age, the constitution would probably not have been adopted. The example of Massachusetts had a great share in effecting this beneficial result, though its acceptance in this state was carried by the small majority of nineteen in an assembly of three hundred and sixty persons, and this after a discussion of several weeks, and the unwearied exertions of its eloquent advocates. Washington, we are told, “ expressed great satisfaction when informed that Massachusetts had adopted it."
We conclude our remarks upon this work by again recommending it to the notice of our readers, as a work from which they may derive both profit and amusement.
Hadad, a Dramatic Poem. By James A. Hillhouse, Author of
“Percy's Masque,” and “ The Judgment.” New York. 1825.
8vo. pp. 208. This is a highly finished and beautiful poem. It is worthy the former works of the author, and fulfils whatever promise of excellence they may have given. It is written with great care, perfectly free from all imitation of that off-hand and flippant style so characteristic of the modern school, and at once richly and chastely ornamented; vigorous in its diction, elegant and expressive in versification, though sometimes wanting in the easy flow of syllables; and with great purity and frequent sublimity of thought. In the general structure of the plot, selection and arrangement of incidents, and portraying of character, there seem to us eminent felicity and judgment. In a word, we consider this as the offspring of superior genius, under the direction of the truest taste; and as deserving to be numbered with the memorable works of the day, and to meet with a hearty and grateful reception from the reading public.
We do not apprehend that any, who shall read this little volume with attention, will think our expressions of admiration too strong, though we may not be able fully to justify them to our readers in the remarks and extracts we may now offer. The effect of all narrative and dramatic writings depends much on their being read in course; and scenes or passages which are striking and affecting to him who has become interested in the circumstances of the story and the fortunes of the persons, may be cold and unattractive to him who reads them only as disjointed paragraphs, in critical specimens. Yet at the same time, the merit of the poetical diction will not be lost from the most insulated extract; and we think it would be difficult to select a passage of any length from the present work, which could be considered as the production of an ordinary or unskilful mind.
Mr Hillhouse has laid his scene in Jerusalem, at the time of Absalom's rebellion. The prominent features of the Scripture history of that event are adhered to with fidelity, and most of the principal actors are historical personages. As it is thus a drama founded on sacred history, a comparison is involuntarily suggested with the sacred dramas of Mr Milman; a comparison which our author might fearlessly invite. The
present poem has not indeed the gorgeous and elaborate splendor, which characterizes the works of the other writer; but it has, if we mistake not, more of the soul of poetry, and, in point of language, evinces a juster taste.
We think, too, there is better discrimination of character, and far greater success in the difficult union of fine poetry with seemingly real conversation; not to say that there is a true tenderness and pathos occasionally displayed, which we never perceived in Milman. In a word, the one is more the work of the artificer, the other of the poet; the one is more scholastic, the other is more natural.
In the selection of an event on which to build his plot, we think our author has been fortunate. But we are not certain that we should not have been better pleased if the plot had been conducted without the intervention of supernatural machinery. This, however, appears to have been the favourite object of the writer, is defended in the preface, and is executed with such singular skill, that we will not suffer ourselves to censure it. It does not seem so shocking to us in reading the poem, where the fact is made gradually, and, as it were, by glimpses to betray itself, and is not fully stated till we are fully prepared for it, and reconciled to it;—in this case, it is not so great a shock to discover that Hadad is the spirit of evil, in human form, as it is to be told of it plainly before we begin to read. The author adopts the ancient notion, that good and evil spirits are active in human affairs, and uses it in various ways to promote the purposes of his plot. The evil “ Peer of Angels” being enamoured of Tamar, the beautiful daughter of Absalom, takes the form of Hadad, her lover, who had, unknown to her, been slain in hunting. He attaches himself to Absalom, encourages his pride, stimulates him to rebellion, and hopes to possess his daughter. His character is well conceived and well supported. Not a trace of human sympathy or feeling is to be discovered. He is wholly the demon, pursuing his selfish ends without the slightest regard to the interests of others, and coldly unconcerned amidst the tumult and perils of their affairs. The scenes between him and Tamar are particularly fine. They are more like the real communings of a spirit with a mortal, than any thing of the kind we have seen; and when we say this, we remember Moore and Byron. One of these scenes closes in a manner, which appears to us in the highest degree touching and sublime. We shall quote it hereafter.
The action opens with an interview of Hadad with the laine son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, and with Absalom, which is well contrived to bring before us the state of the kingdom, to introduce the feelings and jealousies on which the plot is to turn, and prepare the way for the intrigues which are to follow. The next scene finds David and the prophet Nathan in council on the question of granting the suit of Hadad for Absalom's daughter; in the course of which the seer expresses his dislike of Absalom's conduct, and the father defends him.
The next is a powerful scene between Hadad and Tamar, which opens beautifully.
Tam. How aromatic evening grows! The flowers
Tam. Nay, Hadad, tell me whence
Had. What sounds, dear Princess ?
Tam. Surely, thou know'st; and now I almost think
Had. I heard no sounds, but such as evening sends
Tam. The sounds I mean,
Had. "Tis but thy fancy, wrought