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I had neglected that morning to take from the breast-pocket of my top coat a loaded pistol which I sometimes carried when out late at night. It was cocked and pointed at Viscomté's heart even as the last words passed his lips.

"You are larger and stronger than I am," was my calm return, for he was at my mercy, and at the same time I held the little weapon so as not to attract the notice of any passer by. "Lift but a finger to strike and you are a dead man."

For a moment he hesitated, for the Frenchman was no coward, then turned away with such a look as I had fancied none but the nether world could fashion, as he groaned forth rather than spoke these bitter words, "Devil! American devil as you are, may a curse be with you wherever you go!"

I never saw Viscomte afterwards, but on visiting the continent at a later day, I made such inquiries about him, and so arranged matters, as to be kept constantly informed of all his future history.

Partly through desperation probably at his mortifying disappointment, which was the subject of general notoriety, his course of life soon became so utterly lawless that he was obliged to quit the army. At that signal his numerous creditors rose against him as they had never dared to do while he was a commissioned officer in one of the finest cavalry regiments of France, and in the receipt of high pay. Seized by some of those whom he had severely fleeced and sometimes abused, he was cast into the debtor's prison in the Rue de Clichy, where, at that time it was lawful to detain an insolvent to the day of his death, on the simple condition of

the unsatisfied creditors paying thirty sous a day for his support. At the age of thirty-one, Viscomte was incarcerated, and an unpitied, forgotten prisoner did he remain till the Revolution of 1830,and eleven life-corroding years they must have been to a man of his temper,-when, on the overturn of all established things, he emerged from the only home that remained to him, (for his mother had died broken-hearted at the disgrace of her son,) and with hundreds of other friendless and pennyless outcasts once more set forth to war against the world. Prematurely old in physical appearance, he had become, morally speaking, an aged man. Deprived of the means of excitement so habitual to him, behind those impassable stone walls, his native elasticity had broken down, his spirit had failed and even much of the external of a gentleman, on which he justly prided himself, had disappeared. Essentially an unvirtuous man, and possessed of no internal tower of strength to fly to when thrown upon his own resources, little chance did the solitary wretch, freed by the hands of a mob, stand of regaining his own self-esteem or of conquering the respect of his fellow creatures. Poor as the pauper who vainly begged a sou of him as he wended his way to the heart of the city, he was forced to pawn his coat to raise a few francs to supply his most pressing wants. With forty sous which remained, he went to a low gambling house, where fortune, or something surer to the skilful practitioner, so well besteaded him that he was able to clothe himself decently preparatory to entering Frascati's, the fashionable hell of Paris-a den of abomination early suppressed on the accession of Louis Philippe to the French throne. There again he prospered, retiring from the table a winner of several thousand francs. Fearful of being recognized by some of his former associates, the next day he left the capital for the Midi-the South of France, where he hoped to live by his wits, and, under a new name, to be less liable to expose his fallen estate to those who had known him in his palmy days. He pitched his tent in the city of Toulouse, where people's blood is as proverbially hot as

his own once was. After a time the good luck, which thus far had bolstered up his hopes, began to play him false, although aided by a slight of hand which he had never totally neglected. And at length, on one fatal evening, others, who were more skilful players or more adroit cheats, stript him of the last remnants of his infamously gained treasures. At the final throw of the dice which left him literally the owner of nothing but the clothes he stood in, the fiend-look of earlier years when I knew him gleamed like an unearthly fire beneath his swollen eyelids.

"Why do you gaze at me so earnestly?" inquired of him in rather a supercilious tone an old ex-officer, the most successful of his opponents, who had just won from him his last stake-his last hundred francs. "Do I owe you anything, sir?"

"You owe me all of mine which you have touched this evening-all which you have ever gained from me-you are a swindler, sir!"

"Mille tonnerres! coquin!" roared the officer.


· Coquin to me—to me the count of but enough! take that," and Viscomte flung his glove in the officer's face. All was confusion for a few moments, but the company soon dispersed, the master of the house having called on the police, who were always in attendance when gambling establishments were tolerated in France.

After so gross an affront, a duel of course became inevitable. It was not without difficulty that so friendless an individual as Viscomte succeeded in finding seconds, or witnesses, as they are called by the French. Two, however, the requisite number, were at length induced at the solicitation of the other party to lend their assistance. The following morning was appointed for the meeting. Pistols, according to usage, were to be first employed, and, if they failed, then recourse was to be had to small swords.

Slight was the preparation that Viscomte had to make for the morrow's encounter; yet something he did do. He wrote a letter addressed to Mr. Nelson and enclosed it in another to the banking

house which he had formerly visited in London. Through my hands it eventually reached its final destination. These were its words: "I am about to engage in a duel. Something tells me that my hour has come. These then are my last words. You, liar and traitor that you are, basely robbed me of my fortuneyou stole from me my wife, and in so doing you deprived me of liberty and rank, and now you are my murderer. If the curse of a dying man have any power to work his will in this world, or in the world to come, if there be another, may my present and eternal curse rest on you and yours forever!—Count Jules de Viscomté."

Punctual to the time and place of rendezvous, the two would-be murderers came, for both were as personally courageous as they were reckless of God's command and human law. Viscomte's face was dark with rage and spite at having been plundered by one inferior to himself in trickery, as he deemed him, and then defied. His antagonist's was still flushed with shame at the outrageous insult inflicted on him in public and in the presence of many who were not his wellwishers. The combat, as all could see, was to be one to the death. The ground was measured; the duellists placed; few words were spoken. On the signal being given, so simultaneous were both dischar ges that there seemed but one explosion. Each combatant stood firmly erect as before, and all unchanged in attitude, save the dropped hands which held the pistols, now emitting two slender threads of bluish smoke. Without delay the seconds advanced to prepare their principals for another shot previously to handing them the swords. As they approached, Viscomte, glaring fiercely at vacancy, and rolling his eyes wildly as if in search of some object whereon to wreak his baffled vengeance, suddenly and without relaxing a single muscle, fell flat upon his face! The ball had pierced his heart! He had refused to breathe! An iron will had kept him on his legs upright till even such a will was no longer his. Thus perished the worst of men! Unfit to live in this bad world, what could he do in Hea

ven, if admitted there? Is there then a Hell? Count the bipeds of the earth, and you will have the exact number of Heavens and Hells appointed to this woe-begirt habitation of fallen man.

Since our leave-taking in Liverpool, Mr. Nelson, his daughter and I have oftefi met. Once more a peaceful roof sheltered the unhappy wanderers, and their lives were not unblessed. Under another name, and with ample means, such as they possessed, there was no difficulty in accomplishing the object of their desires, -a secluded home, where the voice of slander could never reach, the finger of scorn never point, and the machinations of the wicked never harm. Again hap

piness dawned on those who so richly deserved it, for to make others happy they ever labored and not without success. New friendships were formed in the bright, free spot of earth selected as their future residence, new interests were created, and, to crown all, one day a little stranger came to cheer their fireside-in personal beauty the father's image, but happily in moral qualities, as time has since developed, worthy of his maternal lineage. Where that same bright, free spot of earth which they inhabit can be found, none of all their former friends can tell excepting one, and he is the writer of this plain narrative of facts.




Here, long ago,

While the fair River in its spring-time flow

Murmured with happy voice

"Rejoice! Rejoice,"

While youth's full pulses thrilled within our breasts

Far from life's hopeless calms, or fierce unrests,

We told our love,

The April sunset heaven was bright above,

The Earth below

Most beautiful, but this was long ago,

Long, very long ago.


Here, once again

Whilst the dark River like a soul in pain

Heaves, as it were from depths of human care

A sigh of lorn despair,

Youth's glorious pulses stilled within our breasts, The haunt of hopeless calms, or fierce unrests, We speak-but not of love,

The angry winter's Heaven is wild above,

The earth below

Drear as the Hopes that withered long ago,
Long, very long ago.





Washington Cty, Oct. 18th, 1784. SIR-It is with singular pleasure I reflect that you are of the Delegation to Congress the coming year: that you can forego your ease and quiet to serve us, and I wish I could add, to serve a grateful people. But I trust your mind is above giving way to disgust and resentment, that you can do good for evil, when the interests of America call for your assistance. I have been told by one who professed friendship for you, that your politicks were too theoretical, too much refined for the multitude, for rude uncivilized Americans, I rather judge that your stubborn virtue stands too much in the way of those, who with gales of popularity or political chicanery, wish to indulge a lust for dominion, for rule, aristocratical rule, and certain despotism. It is my hope that America, and even Virginia, will never want friends who will successfully combat and overthrow such malignant principles, and degrading essays to the interests and happiness of freemen.

I have for some time past viewed with concern, the struggle which seems to have commenced between Congress and the States claiming Western Territory. 1 will not pretend to determine which side has erred most, or who obstinately perseveres in error. This is certain, that every friend to his country ought to wish to see the matter finally concluded on equitable principles. Delay creates jealousies that may have a lasting effect on our union. It is true the decision of Congress of April last has forwarded the business much: but that principally relates to the Country over the Ohio: the greater part of which may remain a long time in possession of the Indians. On this side that River, if new States were laid off, the numerous inhabitants would become immediately useful, by bearing a part of the burdens of the Confederacy and lessening the national debt.

In limiting the new States over the

Ohio, it would have accorded with my judgment if natural boundaries had been attended to. My personal knowledge of the Country, by being two years and some months captive with the Indians when a lad, gives me an opportunity to be satisfied on that head. But as it will be a distant day before the Act of Congress can take effect, time will give an opportunity to know the necessary alterations. To hint how the Country on this side of the Ohio should be laid off, I hope will not be unacceptable.

Virginia ought to cede all westward of the great Kanawha. The Carolinas and Georgia, all westward of the Alleghany or Apalachian mountains.

1. The State that includes the Kentucky Inhabitants would most properly be bounded by the Ohio on the North, the river Kanawha as high as the mouth of the Ronceverte or Green Brier River, thence westwardly along the top of the Laurel Mountain to latitude 37°, thence along that latitude to the meridian of the rapids of Ohio.

2. The State adjoining on the South, be bounded by the Kanawha from the mouth of the Green Brier to the confluence of Little River near Ingless' Ferry, and a south line from thence to the top of the Alleghany or Apalachian mountains, thence southwestwardly along the top of said mountain and the ridges that divide the Eastern from the Western waters to latitude 34°, thence west to a point the nearest to the Cherokee River, North to said River, up the same to the meridian of the rapids of Ohio. North along the same to the Kentucky State.

3. To include what remains northward of the Lat. 34° castwardly of the Ohio, and westwardly of the meridian of the Ohio rapids.

4. To contain the remainder of Western Territory belonging to the United States on the Mississippi. The two last are large, but their vicinity to the Spaniards, the unhealthiness of the Climate, the vast quantities of naked and sunken

grounds will point out some of the reasons for such extent. The people of North Carolina inhabiting the late ceded lands, have chosen a Commissioner to go to Congress with a memorial. His name is Cocke. Altho' he is a confused, shallow body, yet you may learn something from him that may be of use. I hope the matter will not be finally decided on until next spring, when others better informed may wait on Congress. Can you inform my friend, your Brother, that Indian Affairs wear a bad aspect in the Southern Department? The Spaniards have gone great lengths in tampering with them: perhaps mostly for their trade.

And what is bad on our part, individuals that I would be sorry to name, have been making late essays to purchase, or rather leave to possess, great tracts of Country that the Indians insist on reserving for their hunting grounds.

When will the Commissioners for the United States hold Treaties in the Middle and Southern Departments? North Carolina promised a treaty and purchase of the Land they lately sold at their land Office. But lately orders were given to withhold the goods and the treaty forbid. The Indians took great umbrage at this. Congress ought not to appoint superintendants of Indian Affairs until after the Commissioners return from treating, they will then be a better judge who to entrust.

It gives me infinite pleasure to see the affairs of America prosper; to see her rise, step by step, to consequence, power and glory. If I can in the smallest degree contribute to any of these ends, it will be to me a great reward.

I am, hon'ble Sir, with great respect,
Your most obedient humble servant,

Richmond, Dec. 14th, 1784. -I think it would be wise in Congress to recommend to the States the calling a Convention for the sole purpose of amending the Confederation. At present the Supreme Council of the Union is so feeble that they have little or no weight

in Government. Their recommendations are slighted, and their wisest plans are subject to be rejected by any one petty insignificant State refusing to adopt them. Besides, I see no danger in making the experiment, as we are not obliged to part with the Old Confederation till the new is adopted. Bad as the present one is, I would not wish to lose it, but would willingly exchange it for a better.

The appointment of Councillors was over before I received your letter, otherwise, independent of the high idea I entertained of General Gates' abilities, your recommendation would have procured for him any services within my reach.

The Assize bill has happily passed thro' our House. I hope the Senate will have wisdom enough to concur with us in the enacting so wholesome a law. The influence which it will have upon the morals of the people and upon the credit of the Country, will soon be universally felt and acknowledged.


Mannsfield, July 23rd, 1789.

I have read the Bill for establishing the Federal Judiciary with attention, and am happy to find, that in the formation of it, the Senate have taken great pains to remove from the minds of the people those apprehensions which they entertained, of the dangers which might arise under that part of the Constitution. As yet I have heard no objections of any weight made to the Bill, nor do I perceive any fault to be found with it. If it be not perfect, so soon as it begins to operate its imperfections will be distinctly observed, and may be properly remedied.

I am well pleased that the Import Law has at last passed, but particularly so since it has been modified by the Senate; tho' still I think many of the Duties are too high. The discrimination in the tonnage, between vessels belonging to Powers in treaty with us and those not, always appeared to me to be unwise. Our object should be to conciliate to us

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