« AnteriorContinuar »
honorably erected to his memory by his friends and admirers;' and then follows the epitaph, thus :
Requiscant in peace! This, from a church which prides itself on its Latinity, and over the grave, too, of one of its most learned doctors, is ludicrous enough.
Somewhere in this ground, I believe, though as yet no stone marks the spot, were laid, some twelve months since, the remains of a young man, whose untimely and awful death struck all hearts with grief. On him had been bestowed the fatal gift of eloquence without the balanced mind that should accompany it, to guard its possessor from the snares of which the world has too many for the impulsive children of genius. Those who have ever heard his eloquent voice in our assemblies, when pleading in behalf of his native land, will not soon forget the thrilling tones of that voice, nor the thundering plaudits with which his warmhearted countrymen answered its impressive appeals. The child of poor parents, and self-educated, he had while yet a boy fought his way up to a respectable position in society. He was the idol of his friends; fame and honor were wooing his footsteps; and had he not turned aside, and stumbled in the mire, he might perhaps have reached the topmost round of distinction. But adulation and flattery followed him at every turn, and made him giddy; the temptations of social life met him at the threshold, and he turned aside and dallied; the fatal glass touched his lips, and he drank; until at last Intemperance laid an unyielding grasp upon him, and he became a helpless victim to its power; and then, sad finale to his short and warning career, Death, in its most awful power, struck him from the earth. And yet, though he died as all of us should pray to God we may never die, yet he left behind many friends who loved him, and will cherish in perpetual greenness the remembrance of his virtues, while they lament in secret his folly and his untimely death.
"Ou! breathe not his name, let it sleep in the shade,
Where cold and unhonored his relics are laid;
As the night-dew that falls on the grass o'er his head.
But the night-dew that falls, though in silence it weeps,
SONNET: THE SEA SHELL'S MURMUR.
As in the shell once cradled on the billow,
Though torn from home, and far from Ocean's shore,
Lingers a murmuring song, so like the roar Of whispering waves, that, lay it on his pillow, (The land-bound sailors, voyaging no more,)
He dreams of wandering by the restless main,
Of sailing o'er some sunny sea again,
Thy cherished gifts a spell have for my heart;
Their power to bring thee to me as thou art,
Oh, cauld, cauld is the grave, DONALD,
Where lowly lies my pride, But caulder, caulder is the world
Since my poor Duncan died ! Its storms are blawing round my heart,
And beating round my brow; Oh, would this trembling form were laid
Beside that dear one's now!
Ah! do you say that I am fair,
Too fair a thing to flee;
And a starbeam in my e'e ?
My beauty is not fied,
To lie beside the dead !
He went down in his pride, DONALD,
Wi' that blue tender e'e
First turned its light on me :
And I would join him there,
Or blanched the golden hair.
He comes to me at night, Donald,
He comes in dreams of bliss ; For the God who took him kens my heart
Would break if not for this : He comes to me at night, DONALD,
And oh ! he looks sae bright, That I can see he has been bathed
In Heaven's eternal light!
And then he faulds me in his arms,
And holds me to his heart, And tells me of that far, far hame,
Where we never mair shall part:
He then sae sweetly sings,
While angels swept the strings !
I rise up in the morn, DONALD,
To my loneliness again,
My thoughts are wi' my ain:
Sink down in yon broad wave,
Its beams upon his grave.
About half a century ago, a gentleman from Holland erected in Utica a brick building three stories in height, which is still standing. It
may well have been deemed gigantic at the period of its construction, for it has lately been formed into two spacious private dwellinghouses by a very little modernization of the original mass. The building was constructed for a tavern, and on its front-wall the word * Hotel was painted in letters which were severally four feet tall ; though nothing now remains to chronicle the former occupation of the house except that the street which it faces retains the name of · Hotelstreet.' The house had four large chimneys towering above the lofty roof, and a large lightning-rod rose above each chimney; so that people who lived in the vicinity would come many miles to view the building, as one of the curiosities of the period; and so little were the beholders conversant with kindred establishments, that the word · Hotel constituted a sort of puzzle as to the manner in which it should be pronounced, and public usage finally became settled in placing the accent on the first syllable instead of the second, as is practised by the initiated in the mysteries of orthoepy. The mistake may have originated with the proprietor, who, speaking English but poorly, may
This remark is said to have been made by an Indian woman when solicited to enter into a second union,
have misled the infant community into the adoption of his Dutch accentuation of the word.
The existing inhabitants of the Central City are more beholden for their civic consequence to the above building than they are probably aware, though its enterprising projector was not exempt from pecuniary personal motives in its construction. He was part owner with several opulent Hollanders of a large tract of country in and around Utica, and his business in our country was to manage and dispose of the common property, as the general agent of the proprietors. He saw that the position of Utica was favorable to the production of a large town, and that a great tavern would be profitable in itself and beneficial to prospective interests. The Mohawk river, how unfitted soever for navigation we may now deem its shallow meanderings, was then the only avenue by which merchandise could be brought from the city of New York into Upper Canada, and into our own western inland new settlements; while the downward current of the river greatly facilitated a transmission to the Atlantic of the furs and heavier articles of pot and pearl ashes which began to be manufactured in large quantities, as the forests were swept by fire, in the double purpose of manufacturing the ashes and preparing the land for husbandry.
Nor was the founder of the hotel mistaken in his anticipations. The house was no sooner tenanted and properly furnished than it was found to be the general stopping-place during the day and the rendezvous at night for all travellers ; and in addition to the river travel, a state-road had just been cut through from Utica to Canandaigua, thus creating a very important new avenue into the heart of a rich country, with a tide of emigration tending rapidly thither.
The first landlord that occupied the house was a Mr. Schwartz, who, with his wife, were a young couple of Dutch descent; and they had already enjoyed some little experience in tavern-keeping. Their intelligence and suavity caused them to be selected by the proprietor as proper persons to give due effect to his experiment; and he determined that a grand house-warming,' in the shape of a large public dinner, should be given by way of encouraging the landlord and adding eclat to the new establishment. The preparation for such a feast was no small operation at the period in which it occurred, and even Albany had to be visited for the procurement of some extra luxuries and extra conveniences; so that the dinner was delayed until some weeks after the hotel had been opened for general purposes ; but the interval was well employed in disseminating information of the contemplated festival and in inviting the attendance of guests from far
Many circumstances conspired to enlarge the contemplated gathering. A number of persons in different parts of the state, and some in Connecticut, projected the creation of a turnpike from Utica to Canandaigua, on the state-road already formed; and the time for a meeting, which was expected to be large, of all persons favoring the new project, was with a little management planned to be held at Utica on the day of the contemplated house-warming. A like management succeeded in designating the same time and place for a public meeting of