Page images
PDF

noble rewire to suffer any fate rather than government. His life, however, was pretamcly submit to injustice. | served, and he was admitted to the rank of

On the outbreak of the war, Lee resigned j an ordinary prisoner of war, in consequence his position of lieutenant-colonel on half-' of Washington's significant menace, in a

pav in the British army, and accepted the third command of the rebel forces — Washington being commander-iu-chief, and Ward being first major-general. Of course, Lee was dissatisfied with the place assigned him. A soldier by profession, he held the colonial captains in no high esteem; and his prestige in the country of his adoption was so great, that men of all classes turned their eyes on him as their leader. Had he been a native of America he would unquestionably have been nominated to the command of the

letter to General Howe: "I think it necessary to add, that your conduct to prisoners' will govern mine." But it was not till the 21st of April, 1778, that he was exchanged for Major-General Prcscott. On the 20th of May he rejoined the army at Valley Forge and resumed his command. On the 28th of June was fought the battle of Monmouth Court House. Every one is familiar with the particulars of that engagement. Sent in command of the advanced corps, Lee beat a hasty retreat before an inferior force led

army. As a prudent and safe man, pledged ] by Sir Henry Clinton. In the inquiry that to fidelity by all the associations of family j was subsequently instituted into his conduct, and interests of property, Washington was ; he asserted that he did not order the retreat: honored with the first place; but even that it commenced from some mistake of amongst the nearest and most cordial asso-' orders or interference of subordinates; and ciates of that statesman there was a general. that he was powerless to do any thing but mistrust of his military capacity. By many i concur in it, and make it as orderly as poshe was looked upon only as a nominal chief, ! siblc. He also argued that, though an acciacting under the guidance of the general; dent, it was a lucky one. Anyhow, he forwho had served three European monarchs. j got at the time to send information of his Self-sufficient and vain, boastful and, at ] retrograde movement to the main body, on the same time, earnest enough to persuade j which he was retreating. All was in conhimself into a belief in his specious profes- fusion; when Washington, spurring up at sions, a droll mixture of charlatan and hero, full gallop, by indignant glances, rather than

Lee saw the strength of his position, and was not slow to improve it by practising fearlessly upon the credulity of the simple planters. They held him to be one of the greatest captains of the age; it was not his part to undeceive them. They were fascinated with the boldness and brilliance of his literary style;—he coolly assured them that he was Junius;—and it required a Junius controversy to convince them of the falsehood of so impudent an assertion. On the resignation of Ward, whom in his habitual tone of contempt he described as "a fat old gentleman, who had been a popular churchwarden, but had no acquaintance whatever with military affairs," Lee succeeded to the second command. A troublesome subordinate Washington found him. Holding himself at liberty to obey orders or not, as he pleased, to scold Congress, and bully every one who came in collision with his imperious will, he caused the commander-in-chief infinite trouble. He was in his most insolent and lawless mood when he experienced the cruel humiliation of being taken a prisoner of war in the December of 1776, by a patrol of thirty dragoons, under the command of Lieutenant-Col. Harcourt, afterwards Earl Hareourt, F. M. His position was a perilous one. The Tories, both in England and America, urged thata terrible example should be made of an officer who, after wearing the king's uniform, had borne arms against his

by words, upbraided the general for his misconduct,—by a quickly effected re-arrangement of his forces, restored order, and after a long and stubborn battle gained a hardwon victory. By his gallant conduct on the field, subsequent to the retreat, Lee secured himself from any imputation of cowardice. How to account for his blunder was the one topic of the army. There were many who thought that he would fain have seen a general engagement, entered upon in opposition to his counsels, terminate in disaster. Others judged him more charitably. A court-martial finding him guilty of disobedience to orders, of making an unnecessary retreat, and of disrespect to the commanderin-chief, sentenced him to be disabled from holding any command in the army for twelve months. Directing a sarcasm at Washington, whom he regarded as a personal enemy, the degraded general retired to an estate he had purchased in Berkely County, Virginia, —'.' to learn to hoe tobacco, which is the best school to form a consummate general. This is a discovery I have lately made." A fresh outburst of intemperance completed his disgrace j and he was finally dismissed by Congress from the service of the States. Furious at his defeat, severed from the country of his birth, dishonored in the land of his adoption, he ended his days after a brief illness in Philadelphia, in his fifty-second year, Octobers, 1782 — a little more than six months before the termination of the war. His death caused a deep sensation in America, and a violent reaction of feeling in his favor. His services alone •were remembered j his errors were forgotten. He was interred with military honors; and from that time the biographers and historians of the United States have combined to speak of him with gratitude. With all parties his impetuous and ungovernable temper gained nim credit for candor and sincerity. Washington Irving, balancing the virtues and failings of his character, says, "There was nothing crafty or mean in nis character, nor do we think he ever engaged in the low intrigues of the cabal; but he was a disappointed man, and the gall of bitterness overflowed his generous qualities." In a similar spirit Jared Sparkes observes, "It should be said that he was wholly incapable of attempting any design by underhand means, plot, cabal, or intrigue, so often the resort of little minds and reckless ambition."

The startling revelation relating to this singularly guileless man, now for the first time published, is, that on March the 29th, 1777, whilst a prisoner of war, he sent in to Lord Howe and Sir William Howe a plan of operations that should effectually and permanently crush the Revolutionary army

and re-establish British supremacy in America. Of the particulars of this plan we need not speak, save to say, in the language of Mr. Moore, that, "to the extent of his knowledge of the then circumstances of both armies, it was perfectly adapted for entire success." Our interest with it lies principally in its moral significance, and in the insight which it gives us into the character of a remarkable actor in an important drama of the world's history, whom his contemporaries and their successors alike failed to understand. Of course, in looking for the motive which induced this false soldier and craven prisoner (trembling for his life) to plan the ruin of that cause, on which he had staked fortune and reputation, it is impossible for any two men to arrive at different conclusions. Mr. Moore does not inform us through what channels he obtained possession of "the document—in Lee's own handwriting, unmistakable and real, and endorsed in the handwriting of Henry Strachey, the then Secretary to the Royal Commissioners." We trust that in his forthcoming "Memoirs of the Life and Treason of Charles Lee," based on Langworthy's Memoirs, he will be more communicative on this point. In England, we are in the habit of asking very pertinent questions about historical manuscripts.

Egyptian Mosuments.—M. Mariette, assistant keeper of the Louvre, the remarkable success of whose antiquarian researches in Egypt have obtained much attention in this country as well as in France, dated last year from the Scrapeum, discovered by himself at Memphis, a letter to a friend, in which he details pleasantly the result of his clearings and excavations of the temples of Edfou, Karnac, and Abydos. In the temple of Karnac M. Mariette—according to a translation of his letter given in the Critic

"Made some pleasing discoveries, one of which is a granite steli, having engraved on it a long poem in honor of the conquests of Thothmosis III. On the newly cleared walls I found fragments of the famous numerical wall hitherto . unknown, and in front of the great obelisk I discovered a small porch upon which are figured as many as two hundred and thirty Asiatic tribes conquered by Tliothmosis III. The most interesting objects found during this clearing belong to the twelfth and thirteenth dynasties. At Abydos I commenced onlv very lately. It is a terrible piece of work. The excavations are carried on only at Memphis, Abydos, Thebes, and Elephantina. I shall soon commence some

others. There has been nothing particular found at Elephantina, where the souvenirs of the sixth dynasty abound. My centre of operations is at 1 hcbes, where, besides some other fine things, I found a splendid stntuo of Queen Ammcritis, and the tomb, hitherto inviolate, of Queen Aahhotcp, of the eighteenth dynasty. In this last tomb I discovered some fifty fine jewels, all bearing the name of Araosis and other kings of the seventeenth dynasty. I believe this Queen Aahhotep to bo the mother of Amosis, and wife of a certain king named Knmcs. Among the cariosities in this roy.il tomb was a barque worked in massive gold, witli twelve rowers all in silver, and the wholo mounted on a chariot of silver with four wheels. The pilot, the singer, and a third individual of whoso functions 1 am ignorant, are wrought in gold. Much has been said of the treasure of Fcrlini, but I believe it to bo exceeded by that of Goumah."

M. Marietto describes himself as "Director of the Historical Monuments of Egypt, with the permission of 11. M. the emperor." and defines his official duty as being " to guard against any possible injury the ancient monuments, and at the same timo to form a museum for his highness the viceroy."

From The Saturday Review.
A FINAL ARCTIC SEAKCH.

It may interest some of our readers to know that an attempt is being made to organize what, if it is ever sent out, will in all probability be the last arctic expedition in search of the relics of the Franklin expedition. The plans and prospects of the projected enterprise are curious and interesting. The head of it is Mr. Parker Snow, a gentleman whose works have more than once been noticed in these columns, and who is entitled to the credit of having been the first, or nearly the first, person to indicate by conjecture the place at which the remains of Sir John Franklin's party would be found—an indication which Captain M'Clintock's expedition ascertained to be well founded. Mr. Snow's plan is to purchase and equip for two years—if he succeeds in obtaining the necessary amount of subscriptions for that purpose—a small vessel, which he intends to man with a very few picked hands. He proposes to sail from this country about the end of the present or the beginning of next year, and to proceed by Cape Horn and Behring's Straits along the open water which is usually found along the north coast of North America, until he reaches, from the west, a point somewhat to the south of that at which Captain M'Clintock discovered the boat, the cairn, and the letter which form the most authentic memorials of the fate of the lost expedition. The principal objects of his search would be twofold—the recovery of additional records and documents relating to Sir John Franklin, and the discovery of more authentic information than has as yet been obtained in any shape of the fate of the large party which left the ships on their journey southwards, and of whom absolutely nothing positive has ever been ascertained.

Such a plan may no doubt appear at first eight very unlikely to be productive of good, and to many persons the means which it is intended to employ may seem inadequate; but several considerations upon each of these points, which may not present themselves at a first glance, deserve to be taken into consideration. In the first place, there is a broad distinction between public or quasipublic undertakings and private adventures. There can be no doubt that there is no longer sufficient ground to hope that any of Sir John Franklin's party survive to justify the government in appropriating public money to the purpose or searching for them, or in inducing officers and seamen to risk lives of the highest value to their country in such a sen-ice. With private adventurers the case is very different. If a small number of men, with their eyes fully open to the nature of

the undertaking in which they are to be engaged, and well acquainted with its dangers, deliberately determine to run the risk of such a search, and if they can prevail on the public to enable them to do so, it seems, on the whole, a pity that they should not have the opportunity of carrying out their plan. The object in view may not be one of national importance, and it is certainly not a national duty to effect it j but if the scheme were carried out with any considerable share of success, the result would be very curious and interesting, and would be well worth the sum (not much over £3,000) which would have been laid out in obtaining it. Whatever mystery may overhang some parts of Sir John Franklin's last expedition, it appears to be abundantly clear that the explorations which he completed were nearly, if not quite, the mcst remarkable that have occurred in the long list of arctic voyages. His northerly voyage round C'ornwallis Land must have been full of curious incidents and observations, and the whole account of the three years during which he struggled against the horrors and dangers of his situation must be one of the most singular of all histories of courage and adventure. It is hardly conceivable that all records of it should have entirely vanished away, and it is no injustice to Captain M'Clintock to say that the inquiries which he had the opportunity of making were of necessity incomplete. Every credit is due both to him and to Lieutenant Hobson for their gallantry and endurance, but it seems highly improbable that they should have pitched upon the only cairn and the only record which could throw any light at all upon the history or the fate of the expedition. The log-books, journals, and other documents of the party would be of the highest conceivable interest. The survivors would naturally attach the greatest importance to them, and would, if forced to leave them, do their best to furnish indications as to the place in which they might be found. It would seem therefore that, as we now know the exact place where the ships were abandoned, and part at least of the route which the party took after leaving them, there must be a really good prospect of discovering some detailed information as to their proceedings which would be valuable and curious in a very high degree. Captain M'Clintock's discoveries, no doubt, go far enough to dispense with the necessity of further search, but they also excite a strong curiosity to know what would be the result of one; and if a knot of private persons are willing to make this experiment at their own risk, it would, on the whole, be not undesirable that they should do so.

The hope that there may still be some survivors of the unfortunate expedition, or that any very trustworthy information will be obtained as to the fortunes of the party which left the ship, certainly does seem faint in the extreme. There are, no doubt, several instances on record which show that! life in the far north is not so unhealthy, and that the difficulty of sustaining it is not so overwhelmingly great, as the vague popular notions on the subject seem to assume it to be. In spite of the frightful hardships to which they were exposed, Dr. Hayes and his party contrived to maintain themselves amongst the natives, though they had hardly any shelter, and next to no provisions. It does, however, seem almost incredible that, if any considerable number of Sir John Franklin's crew survived for any considerable time, they should not, in the course of twelve years, have found any means of effecting their escape.

It may appear to many persons that the peril attendant upon such an expedition as the one which is proposed would be so serious that no one ought to be encouraged to incur it j but, independently of the consideration that this is rather a question for those who run the risk than for those who enable them to do so, the danger would not seem to be as great, in fact, as it appears to be at first sight. Almost every thing is, in reality, far less dangerous than a graphic description of it makes it appear to be. This is not owing to boasting or exaggeration on the part of the authors of such descriptions — and, certainly, nothing can, as a rule, be simpler or more manly than the descriptions of arctic voyages — but to the fact that the imagination is influenced, and the memory impressed, with the picturesque and striking circumstances which constitute the danger, and not with the minute and commonplace incidents by which the danger is averted. Any one who has ever made the ascent of a mountain, or crossed a glacier in Switzerland, knows quite well how many scores of places he has passed over which could only be described in language from which a person who had never seen such places would infer that it must be in the highest degree dangerous to approach them; yet they are not really dangerous to any one who has good nerves, and who is particular in taking lie precautions for his safety which experience has discovered. The proof of this is

that, in point of fact, accidents hardly ever do happen on such occasions, and when they do they may almost always be attributed to carelessness or neglect. A very similar remark applies to arctic explorations. The number of catastrophes that have occurred have, after all, been surprisingly few. Sir John Franklin's expedition is, indeed, the only one of the large number that have been sent out within the last fifteen years that has met with entire destruction.

It may also be urged that the means with which Mr. Snow proposes to undertake his expedition are inadequate. After sending out so many and such elaborate vessels, it may appear incongruous to despatch at last a small schooner manned with a mere handful of men. This objection is hardly sustained by experience. The most successful expeditions which have ever been undertaken to the north have been accomplished with very small means. Captain M'C'lintock I had a small vessel and very few men, and Dr. Kane's means were still more limited; yet, in each instance, very conspicuous and memorable services were performed. Indeed, a small party is, in several respects, better fitted for such a purpose than a large one. A few men, all well acquainted with each other, and all intent upon a common object, are far more likely to be friendly, and to have a good common understanding, than a larger number. They will also naturally be chosen with more distinct reference to personal qualifications, and may, therefore, be presumed to know and have confidence in each other before they set out.

Such are some of the considerations which arc alleged in favor of the proposed expedition. They may not, perhaps, raise a very sanguine expectation of its success, but they certainly seem to relieve it from the imputation of being cither hopeless or uncalled for. Indeed, when an enterprise which is unquestionably bold and disinterested asks for public support, the burden of proof is rather upon those who discourage it. Arctic exploration has contributed so many very bright pages to our naval history that we cannot help feeling what is perhaps an unreasonable leaning in favor of a proposal to add one more to the long list of gallant adventures by which its annals have been distinguished.

From The Athenoeum. . At Weimar, he was patted on the head by Travels and Adventures of (he Rev. Joseph. Goethe; buUhe people of that place, he says, Vol. I. Saunders,

[ocr errors]

Wolffs career is

crowded with an endless variety of incidents. It recounts a series of enterprises, hardships, escapes, and romantic episodes almost incredible, if we regard them as constituting the daily experience of one man during a long life. Joseph Wolff, as a boy, was a heretic among his brethren, a fugitive from home, a precocious apostolic preacher, a wanderer in disguise ; and the least formidable of his adventures in after years seldom fell short of imprisonment, slavery, menaces of death, thirst and famine, encounters with bandits, and attempts at assassination. It was now among worshippers of the Devil, and then

were half Christian and half Hindoo j" the latter half of which assertion he enforces by declaring that they were worshippers of Ariadne. However, his serious career really began at Vienna, where he was pronounced by the professors qualified to give instruction in the Chaldean, Latin, Hebrew, and German languages ; where he knew Von Hammer, Friedrich von Schlegcl, Dorothea von Schlegel, a daughter of Mendelssohn, and Korner, and in the midst of this society, besides that of the hierarchs and the preachers, he sketches with much vivacity many curious pictures of Viennese life early in the present century.

There is a very characteristic account of Hoffbauer, who, half mystic, half medieval, dressed himself as a sort of Peter the Mar

among worshippers of the sun, that he fell tyr, always knitted his own stockings, and into danger; he trod in the steps of the Ten : preached five times a day. He was accusTribes; he was robbed by the Kurds, and in- tomed to represent the Virgin Mary in heaven suited by Ladv Hester Stanhope; the voice with a golden crown, and Martin Luther in of Harouu al Raschid spoke to him in Bag-) the nether world with a kettle of sulphur on dad, and the shadow of Sennacherib crossed ; his head. With all these eccentricities of his path among the ruins of Mesopotamia; > the day Wolff became acquainted, during his it was at Burchund that, discoursing from two years' stay in the Austrian capital, and morn till eve, during fourteen days, he sent that portion of his life was the least marked his_missionary message through the mouth by vicissitudes. It was after a visit to Rome

of Hadjee Muhammad Jawad, the dervish, throughout the whole of Khorassan, Turkistan, including Bokhara, Balkh, Cabul, Khotan, Kokan, Tashkand, Hasrat, Sultan, and Yarkand in Chinese Tartary, the whole of Hindoostan, Thibet, and China. In recognition of the hospitality enjoyed under the roof of this man, he enters upon a vindication of the dervishes as a body, and argues that they are the real heroes of the desert.

The path into which Wolff struck in the earliest period of his life was one which tended towards this wilderness of romance and travel. His family were the Wolffs of the tribe of Levi of Prague, and his ancestors had been immemorially Rabbin. They had emigrated from Prague during the days of persecution at the beginning of the eighteenth century,— they had been driven from Bavaria by the French Invasion of 1795,—they then established themselves for a while in Saxony, and, afterwards, returning to Bavaria, settled at

and then to Tubingen, where he began to develops his Protestant opinions, that he resolved to undertake his travels. With a knapsack on his back, he walked to Fribourg in Switzerland, and thence throughout Italy; he came to England, and studied at Cambridge, and then he began his great missionary tour in Central Asia. All this is somewhat irregularly and inconsequentially related in the third person; but most readers will be impatient to leave the monks and miracle-working nuns behind them, to turn from Wolff the Flagellant, who avenged himself upon a priest by biting instead of kissing his toe, to Wolff, the Wanderer, inspired by the history of Francis Xavicr, penetrating the deserts in pursuit of a sacred purpose. We cannot undertake to treat him in his character as a missionary. We think hint often uncharitable and rash. We know not by what right he meets a Swedish consulgeneral and sets him down as "a nasty

Ullfeld. There the boy Joseph heard nu-! atheist and infidel," or talks of" filthy Calvmmerous conversations on religious tradition ] ism," or bursts out into an invective against

and theology, and an impulse arose in his mind to forsake the Judaism of his fathers and become a Gentile. Quitting home without saying a word, and without a farthing in his pocket, he went about studying, teaching Hebrew, now entering a monastery, then learning Latin at a gymnasium, and subjecting himself, notwithstanding his philosophic character, to sundry inflictions of the birch.

Methodism as though it were on a par with the grossest Fetishism of Eastern Africa. We may, once for all, remark also, that he is generally insulting and disparaging to the Jewish community, wherever it exists t but without entering upon any discussion: upon this point, we will strike in with the traveller at the gates of Jerusalem. There, entering the circle of his former co-religionist, she

« PreviousContinue »