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ANDRE; A TRAGEDY, IN FIVE ACTS: AS PERFORMED BY THE OLD AMERICAN COMPANY, NEW-YORK, MARCH 30, 1798.

TO WHICH ARE ADDED AUTHENTIC DOCUMENTS RESPECTING MAJOR ANDRE; CONSISTING OF LETTERS TO MISS SEWARD, THE COW CHACE, PROCEEDINGS OF THE COURT MARTIAL, &c.

COPY RIGHT SECURED.

NEW-YORK: Printed by T. & J. SWORDS, No. 99 Pearl-street. —1798.—

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PREFACE.

MORE than nine years ago the Author made choice of the death of Major André as the subject of a Tragedy, and part of what is now offered to the public was written at that time. Many circumstances discouraged him from finish­ing his Play, and among them must be reckoned a prevail­ing opinion that recent events are unfit subjects for tragedy. These discouragements have at length all given way to his desire of bringing a story on the Stage so eminently fitted, in his opinion, to excite interest in the breasts of an American audience.

In exhibiting a stage representation of a real transaction, the particulars of which are fresh in the minds of many of the audience, an author has this peculiar difficulty to struggle with, that those who know the events expect to see them all recorded; and any deviation from what they remember to be fact, appears to them as a fault in the poet; they are disappointed, their expectations are not fulfilled, and the writer is more or less condemned, not considering the differ­ence between the poet and the historian, or not knowing that what is intended to be exhibited is a free poetical pic­ture, not an exact historical portrait.

Still further difficulties has the Tragedy of André to sur­mount, difficulties independent of its own demerits, in its way to public favor. The subject necessarily involves poli­tical questions; but the Author presumes that he owes no apology to any one for having shewn himself an American. The friends of Major André (and it appears that all who [Page iv] knew him were his friends) will look with a jealous eye on the Poem, whose principal incident is the sad catastrophe which his misconduct, in submitting to be an instrument in a transaction of treachery and deceit, justly brought upon him: but these friends have no cause of offence; the Author has adorned the poetical character of André with every virtue; he has made him his Hero; to do which, he was under the necessity of making him condemn his own conduct, in the one dreadfully unfortunate action of his life. To shew the effects which Major André's excellent qualities had upon the minds of men, the Author has drawn a generous and amiable youth, so blinded by his love for the accomplished Briton, as to consider his country, and the great commander of her armies, as in the commission of such horrid injustice, that he, in the anguish of his soul, disclaims the service. In this it appears, since the first representation, that the Author has gone near to offend the veterans of the Ame­rican army who were present on the first night, and who not knowing the sequel of the action, felt much disposed to condemn him: but surely they must remember the diver­sity of opinion which agitated the minds of men at that time, on the question of the propriety of putting André to death; and when they add the circumstances of André's having saved the life of this youth, and gained his ardent friendship, they will be inclined to mingle with their disap­probation, a sentiment of pity, and excuse, perhaps com­mend, the Poet, who has represented the action without sanctioning it by his approbation.

As a sequel to the affair of the cockade, the Author has added the following lines, which the reader is requested to insert, page 55, between the 5th and 15th lines, instead of the lines he will find there, which were printed before the piece was represented.—

BLAND.
Noble McDonald, truth and honor's champion!
Yet think not strange that my intemperance wrong'd thee:
Good as thou art! for, would'st thou, can'st thou, think it?
[Page v]My tongue, unbridled, hath the same offence,
With action violent, and boisterous tone,
Hurl'd on that glorious man, whose pious labours
Shield from every ill his grateful country!
That man, whom friends to adoration love,
And enemies revere.—Yes, McDonald,
Even in the presence of the first of men
Did I abjure the service of my country,
And rest my helmet of that glorious badge
Which graces even the brow of Washington.
How shall I see him more!—
McDONALD.
Alive himself to every generous impulse,
He hath excus'd the impetuous warmth of youth,
In expectation that thy fiery soul,
Chasten'd by time and reason, will receive
The stamp indelible of godlike virtue.
To me, in trust, he gave this badge disclaim'd,
With power, when thou should'st see thy wrongful error,
From him, to reinstate it in thy helm,
And thee in his high favour.
(Gives the cockade.)
BLAND
(Takes the cockade and replaces it.)
Shall I speak my thoughts of thee and him▪
No:—let my actions henceforth shew what thou
And he have made me. Ne'er shall my helmet
Lack again its proudest, noblest ornament,
Until my country knows the rest of peace,
Or Bland the peace of death!
Exit.

This alteration, as well as the whole performance, on the second night, met the warm approbation of the audience.

To the performers the Author takes this opportunity of returning his thanks for their exertions in his behalf; per­fectly convinced, that on this, as on former occasions, the members of the Old American Company have anxiously striven to oblige him.

If this Play is successful, it will be a proof that recent events may be so managed in tragedy as to command popu­lar [Page vi] attention; if it is unsuccessful, the question must remain undetermined until some more powerful writer shall again make the experiment. The Poem is now submitted to the ordeal of closet examination, with the Author's respectful assurance to every reader, that as it is not his interest, so it has not been his intention to offend any; but, on the con­trary, to impress, through the medium of a pleasing stage exhibition, the sublime lessons of Truth and Justice upon the minds of his countrymen.

W. DUNLAP.
[Page vii]

PROLOGUE.

A Native Bard, a native scene displays,
And claims your candour for his daring lays:
Daring, so soon, in mimic scenes to shew,
What each remembers as a real woe.
Who has forgot when gallant ANDRE died?
A name by Fate to Sorrow's self allied.
Who has forgot, when o'er the untimely bier,
Contending armies paus'd, to drop a tear.
Our Poet builds upon a fact to-night;
Yet claims, in building, every Poet's right:
To choose, embellish, lop, or add, or blend,
Fiction with truth, as best may suit his end;
Which, he avows, is pleasure to impart,
And move the passions but to mend the heart.
O, may no party-spirit blast his views,
Or turn to ill the meanings of the Muse:
She sings of wrongs long past, Men as they were,
To instruct, without reproach, the Men that are;
Then judge the Story by the genius shown,
And praise, or damn it, for its worth alone.
[Page viii]

CHARACTERS.

General, dress, American staff uniform, blue, faced with buff, large gold epaulets, cocked hat, with the black and white cockade, indicating the union with Frence, buff waistcoat and bree­ches, boots,
Mr. Hallam.
McDonald, a man of forty years of age, uniform nearly the same of the first,
Mr. Tyler.
Seward, a man of thirty years of age, staff uniform,
Mr. Martin.
André, a man of twenty-nine years of age, full British uniform after the first scene,
Mr. Hodgkinson.
Bland, a youthful but military figure, in the uniform of a Captain of horse—dress, a short blue coat, faced with red, and trimmed with gold lace, two small epaulets, a white waistcoat, leather breeches, boots and spurs; over the coat, cross­ing the chest from the right shoulder, a broad buff belt, to which is suspended a manageable huffar sword; a horseman's helmet on the head, decorated as usual, and the union cock­ade affixed,
Mr. Cooper.
Melville, a man of middle age, and grave deportment; his dress a Captain's uniform when on duty; a blue coat, with red facings, gold epaulet, white waistcoat and breeches, boots and cocked hat, with the union cockade,
Mr. Williamson.
British Officer,
Mr. Hogg.
American Officer,
Mr. Miller.
Children,
Master Stockwell and Miss Hogg.
American Sergeant,
Mr. Seymour.
American Officers and Soldiers, &c.
 
Mrs. Bland,
Mrs. Melmoth.
Honora,
Mrs. Johnson.

Scene, the Village of Tappan, Encampment, and adjoin­ing Country. Time, ten hours.

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ANDRE.

ACT FIRST.

SCENE FIRST.

A Wood seen by star-light; an Encampment at a dis­tance appearing between the trees.
Enter MELVILLE.
MELVILLE.
THE solemn hour, "when night and morning meet,"
Mysterious time, to superstition dear,
And superstition's guides, now passes by;
Deathlike in solitude. The sentinels,
In drowsy tones, from post to post, send on
The signal of the passing hour. "All's well,"
Sounds through the camp. Alas! all is not well;
Else, why stand I, a man, the friend of man,
At midnight's depth, deck'd in this murderous guise,
The habiliment of death, the badge of dire,
Necessitous coercion. 'Tis not well.
—In vain the enlighten'd friends of suffering man
Point out, of war, the folly, guilt, and madness.
Still, age succeeds to age, and war to war;
And man, the murderer, marshalls out his hosts
In all the gaiety of festive pomp,
To spread around him death and desolation.
How long! how long!—
—Methinks I hear the tread of feet this way.
My meditating mood may work me woe.
(Draws.)
Stand, whosoe'er thou art. Answer. Who's there?
[Page 10] Enter BLAND.
BLAND.

A friend.

MELVILLE.

Advance and give the countersign.

BLAND.

Hudson.

MELVILLE.

What, Bland!

BLAND.

Melville, my friend, you here?

MELVILLE.
And well, my brave young friend. But why do you,
At this dead hour of night, approach the camp,
On foot, and thus alone?
BLAND.
I have but now
Dismounted; and, from you sequester'd cot,
Whose lonely taper through the crannied wall
Sheds its faint beams, and twinkles midst the trees,
Have I, adventurous, grop'd my darksome way.
My servant, and my horses, spent with toil,
There wait till morn.
MELVILLE.

Why waited not yourself?

BLAND.
Anxious to know the truth of those reports
Which, from the many mouths of busy Fame,
Still, as I pass'd, struck varying on my ear,
Each making th' other void. Nor does delay
The colour of my hasteful business suit.
I bring dispatches for our great Commander.
And hasted hither with design to wait
His rising, or awake him with the sun.
MELVILLE.
You will not need the last, for the blest sun
[Page 11]Ne'er rises on his slumbers; by the dawn
We see him mounted gaily in the field,
Or find him wrapt in meditation deep▪
Planning the welfare of our war-worn land.
BLAND.

Prosper, kind heaven▪ and recompence his cares.

MELVILLE.

You're from the South, if I presume aright?

BLAND.
I am; and, Melville, I am fraught with news.
The South teems with events; convulsing ones:
The Briton, there, plays at no mimic war:
With gallant face he moves, and gallantly is met.
Brave spirits, rous'd by glory, throng our camp;
The hardy hunter, skill'd to fell the deer,
Or start the sluggish bear from covert rude;
And not a clown that comes, but from his youth
Is trained to pour from far the leaden death,
To climb the steep, to struggle with the stream,
To labour firmly under scorching skies,
And bear, unshrinking, winter's roughest blast.
This, and that heaven-inspir'd enthusiasm
Which ever animates the patriot's breast,
Shall far outweigh the lack of discipline.
MELVILLE.

Justice is ours; what shall prevail against her?

BLAND.
But as I past along, many strange tales,
And monstrous rumours, have my ears assail'd:
That Arnold had prov'd false; but he was ta'en,
And hung, or to be hung—I know not what.
Another told, that all our army, with their
Much lov'd Chief, sold and betray'd, were captur'd.
But, as I nearer drew, at yonder cot,
'Twas said, that Arnold, traitor like, had fled;
And that a Briton, tried and prov'd a spy,
Was, on this day, as such, to suffer death.
MELVILLE.
[Page 12]
As you drew near, plain truth advanced to meet you.
'Tis even as you heard, my brave young friend.
Never had people on a single throw
More interest at stake; when he, who held
For us the die, prov'd false and play'd us foul.
But for a circumstance of that nice kind,
Of cause so microscopic, that the tongues
Of inattentive men call it the effect
Of chance, we must have lost the glorious game.
BLAND.

Blest, blest be heaven! whatever was the cause!

MELVILLE.
The blow ere this had fallen that would have bruis'd
The tender plant which we have striven to rear,
Crush'd to the dust, no more to bless this soil.
BLAND.

What warded off the blow?

MELVILLE.
The brave young man, who this day dies, was seiz'd
Within our bounds, in rustic garb disguis'd.
He offer'd bribes to tempt the band that seiz'd him;
But the rough farmer, for his country arm'd,
That soil defending which his ploughshare turn'd,
Those laws, his father chose, and he approv'd,
Cannot, as mercenary soldiers may,
Be brib'd to sell the public-weal for gold.
BLAND.
'Tis well. Just Heaven! O grant that thus may fall
All those who seek to bring this land to woe!
All those, who, or by open force, or dark
And secret machinations, seek to shake
The Tree of Liberty, or stop its growth,
In any soil where thou hast pleas'd to plant it.
MELVILLE.
Yet not a heart but pities and would save him;
For all confirm that he is brave and virtuous;
Known, but 'till now, the darling child of Honor.
BLAND
[Page 13]
(Contemptuously.)

And how is call'd this—honorable spy?

MELVILLE.

André's his name.

BLAND
(Much agitated.)

André!

MELVILLE.

Aye, Major André.

BLAND.
André!!—O no, my friend, you're sure deceiv'd—
I'll pawn my life, my ever sacred fame,
My General's favor, or a soldier's honor,
That gallant André never yet put on
The guise of falsehood. O, it cannot be!
MELVILLE.
How might I be deceiv'd? I've heard him, seen him,
And what I tell, I tell from well-prov'd knowledge;
No second tale-bearer, who heard the news.
BLAND.
Pardon me, Melville. O, that well-known name,
So link'd with circumstances infamous!—
My friend must pardon me. Thou wilt not blame
When I shall tell what cause I have to love him:
What cause to think him nothing more the pupil
Of Honor stern, than sweet Humanity.
Rememberest thou, when cover'd o'er with wounds,
And left upon the field, I fell the prey
Of Britain? To a loathsome prison-ship
Confin'd, soon had I sunk, victim of death,
A death of aggravated miseries;
But, by benevolence urg'd, this best of men,
This gallant youth, then favor'd, high in power,
Sought out the pit obscene of foul disease,
Where I, and many a suffering soldier lay,
And, like an angel, seeking good for man,
Restor'd us light, and partial liberty.
Me he mark'd out his own. He nurst and cur'd,
He lov'd and made his friend. I liv'd by him,
[Page 14]And in my heart he liv'd, 'till, when exchang'd,
Duty and honor call'd me from my friend.—
Judge how my heart is tortur'd.—Gracious heaven!
Thus, thus to meet him on the brink of death—
A death so infamous! Heav'n grant my prayer.
(Kneels.)
That I may save him, O, inspire my heart
With thoughts, my tongue with words that move to pity!
(Rises)
Quick, Melville, shew me where my André lies.
MELVILLE.

Good wishes go with you.

BLAND.

I'll save my friend!

Exeunt.

SCENE, the Encampment, by star-light.

Enter the GENERAL, McDONALD, and SEWARD.
GENERAL.
'Tis well. Each sentinel upon his post
Stands firm, and meets me at the bayonet's point▪
While in his tent the weary soldier lies,
The sweet reward of wholesome toil enjoying▪
Resting secure as erst within his cot
He careless slept, his rural labour o'er;
Ere Britons dar'd to violate those laws,
Those boasted laws by which themselves are govern'd,
And strove to make their fellow-subjects slaves.
SEWARD.

They know to whom they owe their present safety.

GENERAL.
I hope they know that to themselves they owe it:
To that good discipline which they observe,
The discipline of men to order train'd,
Who know its value, and in whom 'tis virtue:
To that prompt hardihood with which they meet
Or toil or danger, poverty or death.
Mankind who know not whence that spirit springs,
Which holds at bay all Britain's boasted power,
[Page 15]Gaze on their deeds astonish'd. See the youth
Start from his plough, and straightway play the hero;
Unmurmuring bear such toils as veterans shun;
Rest all content upon the dampsome earth;
Follow undaunted to the deathful charge;
Or, when occasion asks, lead to the breach,
Fearless of all the unusual din of war,
His former peaceful mates. O patriotism!
Thou wond'rous principle of god-like action!
Wherever liberty is found, there reigns
The love of country. Now the self-same spirit
Which fill'd the breast of great Leonidas,
Swells in the hearts of thousands on these plains,
Thousands who never heard the hero's tale.
'Tis this alone which saves thee, O my country!
And, till that spirit flies these western shores,
No power on earth shall crush thee!
SEWARD.
Tis wond'rous!
The men of other climes from this shall see
How easy 'tis to shake oppression off;
How all resistless is an union'd people:
And hence, from our success, (which, by my soul,
I feel as much secur'd, as though our foes
Were now within their floating prisons hous'd,
And their proud prows all pointing to the east)
Shall other nations break their galling fetters,
And re-assume the dignity of man.
McDONALD.
Are other nations in that happy state,
That, having broke Coercion's iron yoke,
They can submit to Order's gentle voice,
And walk on earth self-ruled? I much do fear it.
As to ourselves, in truth, I nothing see,
In all the wond'rous deeds which we perform,
But plain effects from causes full as plain.
Rises not man for ever 'gainst oppression?
It is the law of life; he can't avoid it.
[Page 16]But when the love of property unites
With sense of injuries past, and dread of future,
Is it then wonderful, that he should brave
A lesser evil to avoid a greater?
GENERAL
(Sportively.)
'Tis hard, quite hard, we may not please ourselves,
By our great deeds ascribing to our virtue.
SEWARD.

McDonald never spares to lash our pride.

McDONALD.
In truth I know of nought to make you proud.
I think there's none within the camp that draws
With better will his sword than does McDonald.
I have a home to guard. My son is—butcher'd—
SEWARD.
Hast thou no nobler motives for thy arms
Than love of property, and thirst of vengeance?
McDONALD.
Yes, my good Seward, and yet nothing wond'rous.
I love this country for the sake of man.
My parents, and I thank them, cross'd the seas,
And made me native of fair Nature's world,
With room to grow and thrive in. I have thriven▪
And feel my mind unshackled, free, expanding,
Grasping, with ken unbounded, mighty thoughts,
At which, if chance my mother had, good dame,
In Scotia, our revered parent soil,
Given me to see the day, I should have shrunk
Affrighted. Now, I see in this new world
A resting spot for man, if he can stand
Firm in his place, while Europe howls around him,
And all unsettled as the thoughts of vice,
Each nation in its turn threats him with feeble malice.
One trial, now, we prove; and I have met it.
GENERAL.

And met it like a man, my brave McDonald.

McDONALD.
I hope so; and I hope my every act
[Page 17]Has been the offspring of deliberate judgment;
Yet, feeling second's reason's cool resolves.
O! I could hate, if I did not more pity,
These bands of mercenary Europeans,
So wanting in the common sense of nature,
As, without shame, to sell themselves for pelf,
To aid the cause of darkness, murder man—
Without inquiry murder, and yet call
Their trade the trade of honor—high-soul'd honor—
Yet honor shall accord in act with falshood.
O that proud man should e'er descend to play
The tempter's part, and lure men to their ruin!
Deceit and honor badly pair together.
SEWARD.
You have much shew of reason; yet, methinks
What you suggest of one, whom fickle Fortune,
In her changeling mood, hath hurl'd, unpitying,
From her topmost height to lowest misery,
Tastes not of charity. André I mean.
McDONALD.
I mean him too; sunk by misdeed, not fortune.
Fortune and chance, O, most convenient words!
Man runs the wild career of blind ambition,
Plunges in vice, takes falshood for his buoy,
And when he feels the waves of ruin o'er him,
Curses, in "good set terms," poor Lady Fortune.
GENERAL
(Sportively to Seward.)
His mood is all untoward; let us leave him.
Tho' he may think that he is bound to rail,
We are not bound to hear him.
(To McDonald.)
Grant you that?
McDONALD.

O, freely, freely! you I never rail on.

GENERAL.

No thanks for that; you've courtesy for office.

McDONALD.

You slander me.

GENERAL.
[Page 18]
Slander that would not wound.
Worthy McDonald, though it suits full well
The virtuous man to frown on all misdeeds;
Yet ever keep in mind that man is frail;
His tide of passions struggling still with Reason's
Fair and favorable gale, and adverse
Driving his unstable Bark, upon the
Rocks of error. Should he sink thus shipwreck'd,
Sure it is not Virtue's voice that triumphs
In his ruin. I must seek rest. Adieu.
Exeunt General and Seward.
McDONALD.
Both good and great thou art: first among men:
By nature, or by early habit, grac'd
With that blest quality which gives due force
To every faculty, and keeps the mind
In healthful equipoise, ready for action;
Invaluable temperance—by all
To be acquired, yet scarcely known to any.
Exit▪
END OF THE FIRST ACT.
[Page 19]

ACT SECOND.

SCENE, a Prison.

ANDRE discovered, in a pensive posture, sitting at a table; a book by him and candles: his dress neglected, his hair disheveiled: he rises and comes forward.
ANDRE.
KIND heaven be thank'd for that I stand alone
In this sad hour of life's brief pilgrimage!
Single in misery; no one else involving,
In grief, in shame, and ruin. 'Tis my comfort.
Thou, my thrice honor'd sire, in peace went'st down
Unto the tomb, nor knew to blush, nor knew
A pang for me! And thou, revered matron,
Could'st bless thy child, and yield thy breath in peace!
No wife shall weep, no child lament, my loss.
Thus may I consolation find in what
Was once my woe. I little thought to joy
In not possessing, as I erst possest,
Thy love, Honora! André's death, perhaps,
May cause a cloud pass o'er thy lovely face;
The pearly tear may steal from either eye;
For thou mayest feel a transient pang, nor wrong
A husband's rights: more than a transient pang
O mayest thou never feel! The morn draws nigh
To light me to my shame. Frail nature shrinks.—
And is death then so fearful? I have brav'd
Him, fearless, in the field, and steel'd my breast
Against his thousand horrors; but his cool,
His sure approach, requires a fortitude
Which nought but conscious rectitude can give.
(Retires, and sits leaning.)
[Page 20] Enter BLAND, unperceived by ANDRE.
BLAND.
And is that André! O how chang'd! Alas!
Where is that martial fire, that generous warmth,
Which glow'd his manly countenance throughout,
And gave to every look, to every act,
The tone of high chivalrous animation?—
André, my friend! look up.
ANDRE.

Who calls me friend?

BLAND.

Young Arthur Bland.

ANDRE
(Rising.)
That name sounds like a friend's.
(With emotion.)
I have inquir'd for thee—wish'd much to see thee—
I prythee take no note of these fool's tears—
My heart was full—and seeing thee—
BLAND
(Embracing him.)
O, André!—
I have but now arrived from the south—
Nor heard—till now—of this—I cannot speak.
Is this a place?—O, thus to find my friend!
ANDRE.
Still dost thou call me friend? I, who dared act
Against my reason, my declared opinion;
Against my conscience, and a soldier's fame?
Oft in the generous heat of glowing youth,
Oft have I said how fully I despis'd
All bribery base, all treacherous tricks in war:
Rather my blood should bathe these hostile shores,
And have it said "he died a gallant soldier,"
Than with my country's gold encourage treason,
And thereby purchase gratitude and fame▪
BLAND.
Still mayest thou say it, for thy heart's the same.
ANDRE.
[Page 21]
Still is my heart the same: still may I say it:
But now my deeds will rise against my words;
And should I dare to talk of honest truth,
Frank undissembling probity and faith,
Memory would crimson o'er my burning cheek,
And actions retrospected choak the tale.
Still is my heart the same. But there has past
A day, an hour—which ne'er can be recall'd!
Unhappy man! tho' all thy life pass pure;
Mark'd by benevolence thy every deed;
The out-spread map, which shows the way thou'st trod,
Without one devious track, or doubtful line;
It all avails thee naught, if in one hour,
One hapless hour, thy feet are led astray;—
Thy happy deeds, all blotted from remembrance;
Cancel'd the record of thy former good.
Is it not hard, my friend? Is 't not unjust?
BLAND.
Not every record cancel'd—O, there are hearts,
Where Virtue's image, when 'tis once engrav'd,
Can never know erasure.
ANDRE.
Generous Bland!
(Takes his hand)
The hour draws nigh which ends my life's sad story.
I should be firm—
BLAND.
By heaven thou shalt not die!
Thou dost not sure deserve it. Betray'd, perhaps—
Condemn'd without due circumstance made known?
Thou didst not mean to tempt our officers?
Betray our yeoman soldiers to destruction?
Silent. Nay, then 'twas from a duteous wish
To serve the cause thou wast in honor bound—
ANDRE.
Kind is my Bland, who to his generous heart,
Still finds excuses for his erring friend.
[Page 22]Attentive hear and judge me.—
Pleas'd with the honors daily shower'd upon me,
I glow'd with martial heat, my name to raise
Above the vulgar herd, who live to die,
And die to be forgotten. Thus I stood,
When, avarice or ambition Arnold tempted,
His country, fame, and honor to betray;
Linking his name to infamy eternal.
In confidence it was to me propos'd,
To plan with him the means which should ensure
Thy country's downfall. Nothing then I saw
But confidential favor in the service,
My country's glory, and my mounting fame;
Forgot my former purity of thought,
And high-ton'd honor's scruples disregarded.
BLAND.

It was thy duty so to serve thy country.

ANDRE.
Nay, nay; be cautious ever to admit
That duty can beget dissimulation.
On ground, unoccupied by either part,
Neutral esteem'd, I landed, and was met.
But ere my conference was with Arnold clos'd,
The day began to dawn: I then was told
That 'till the night I must my safety seek
In close concealment. Within your posts convey'd,
I found myself involv'd in unthought dangers.
Night came. I sought the vessel which had borne
Me to the fatal spot; but she was gone.
Retreat that way cut off, again I sought
Concealment with the traitors of your army.
Arnold now granted passes, and I doff'd
My martial garb, and put on curs'd disguise!
Thus in a peasant's form I pass'd your posts;
And when, as I conceiv'd, my danger o'er,
Was stopt and seiz'd by some returning scouts.
So did ambition lead me, step by step,
To treat with traitors, and encourage treason;
[Page 23]And then, bewilder'd in the guilty scene,
To quit my martial designating badges,
Deny my name, and sink into the spy.
BLAND.
Thou didst no more than was a soldier's duty,
To serve the part on which he drew his sword.
Thou shalt not die for this. Straight will I fly—
I surely shall prevail—
ANDRE.
It is in vain.
All has been tried. Each friendly argument—
BLAND.
All has not yet been tried. The powerful voice
Of friendship, in thy cause, has not been heard.
My General favors me, and loves my father—
My gallant father! would that he were here!
But he, perhaps, now wants an André's care,
To cheer his hours—perhaps now languishes
Amidst those horrors whence thou sav'd'st his son!
The present moment claims my thought. André—
I fly to save thee!—
ANDRE.
Bland, it is in vain.
But, hold—there is a service thou may'st do me.
BLAND.
Speak it.
ANDRE.
O, think, and as a soldier think,
How I must die—The manner of my death—
Like the base ruffian, or the midnight thief,
Ta'en in the act of stealing from the poor,
To be turn'd off the felon's—murderer's cart,
A mid-air spectacle to gaping clowns:—
To run a short, an envied course of glory,
And end it on a gibbet.—
BLAND.

Damnation!!

ANDRE.
[Page 24]
Such is my doom. O! have the manner changed,
And of mere death I'll think not. Dost thou think—?
Perhaps thou canst gain that—?
BLAND
(Almost in a phrenzy.)

Thou shalt not die!

ANDRE.
Let me, O! let me die a soldier's death,
While friendly clouds of smoke shroud from all eyes
My last convulsive pangs, and I'm content.
BLAND
(With increasing emotion.)
Thou shalt not die! Curse on the laws of war!—
If worth like thine must thus be sacrificed,
To policy so cruel and unjust,
I will forswear my country and her service:
I'll hie me to the Briton, and with fire,
And sword, and every instrument of death
Or devastation, join in the work of war!
What, shall worth weigh for nought? I will avenge thee!
ANDRE.
Hold, hold, my friend; thy country's woes are full.
What! would'st thou make me cause another traitor?
No more of this; and, if I die, believe me,
Thy country for my death incurs no blame.
Restrain thy ardour—but ceaselessly intreat,
That André may at least die as he lived,
A soldier.
BLAND.
By heaven thou shalt not die!—
(Bland rushes off: André looks after him with an ex­pression of love and gratitude, then retires up the stage. Scene closes.)
[Page 25]

SCENE, the General's Quarters.

Enter McDONALD and SEWARD, in conversation.
McDONALD
(Coming forward.)
Three thousand miles the Atlantic wave rolls on,
Which bathed Columbia's shores, ere, on the strand
Of Europe, or of Afric, their continents,
Or sea-girt isles, it chafes.—
SEWARD.
O! would to heaven,
That in mid-way between these sever'd worlds,
Rose barriers, all impassable to man,
Cutting off intercourse, till either side
Had lost all memory of the other.
McDONALD.

What spur now goads thy warm imagination?

SEWARD.
Then might, perhaps, one land on earth be found,
Free from th' extremes of poverty and riches;
Where ne'er a scepter'd tyrant should be known,
Or tyrant lordling, curses of creation;—
Where the faint shrieks of woe-exhausted age,
Raving, in feeble madness, o'er the corse
Of a polluted daughter, stain'd by lust
Of viand-pamper'd luxury, might ne'er be heard;—
Where the blasted form of much abused
Beauty, by villany seduced, by knowledge
All unguarded, might ne'er be view'd, flitting
Obscene, 'tween lamp and lamp, i' th' midnight street
Of all defiling city; where the child—
McDONALD.
Hold! Shroud thy raven imagination!
Torture not me with images so curst!
SEWARD.
Soon shall our foes, inglorious, fly these shores.
Peace shall again return. Then Europe's ports
[Page 26]Shall pour a herd upon us, far more fell
Than those, her mercenary sons, who, now,
Threaten our sore chastisement.
McDONALD.
Prophet of ill,
From Europe shall enriching commerce flow,
And many an ill attendant; but from thence
Shall likewise flow blest Science. Europe's knowledge,
By sharp experience bought, we should appropriate;
Striving thus to leap from that simplicity,
With ignorance curst, to that simplicity,
By knowledge blest; unknown the gulph between.
SEWARD.

Mere theoretic dreaming!

McDONALD.
Blest wisdom
Seems, from out the chaos of the social world,
Where good and ill, in strange commixture, float,
To rise, by strong necessity, impell'd;
Starting, like Love divine, from womb of Night,
Illuming all, to order all reducing;
And shewing, by its bright and noontide blaze,
That happiness alone proceeds from justice.
SEWARD.

Dreams, dreams! Man can know nought but ill on earth.

McDONALD.
I'll to my bed, for I have watch'd all night;
And may my sleep give pleasing repetition
Of these my waking dreams! Virtue's incentives.
Exit.
SEWARD.

Folly's chimeras rather: guides to error.

Enter BLAND, preceded by a SERGEANT.
SERGEANT.

Pacquets for the General.

Exit.
BLAND.

Seward, my friend!

SEWARD.
[Page 27]
Captain! I'm glad to see the hue of health.
Sit on a visage from the sallow south.
BLAND.
The lustihood of youth hath yet defied
The parching sun, and chilling dew of even.
The General—Seward—?
SEWARD.

I will lead you to him.

BLAND.
Seward, I must make bold. Leave us together,
When occasion offers. 'Twill be friendly.
SEWARD.

I will not cross your purpose.

Exeunt.

SCENE, a Chamber.

Enter Mrs. BLAND.
Mrs. BLAND.
Yes, ever be this day a festival
In my domestic calender. This morn
Will see my husband free. Even now, perhaps,
Ere yet Aurora flies the eastern hills,
Shunning the sultry sun, my Bland embarks.
Already, on the Hudson's dancing wave,
He chides the sluggish rowers, or supplicates
For gales propitious: that his eager arms
May clasp his wife, may bless his little ones.
O! how the tide of joy makes my heart bound,
Glowing with high and ardent expectation!
Enter two CHILDREN.
1st. CHILD.

Here we are, Mama, up, and dress'd already.

Mrs. BLAND.

And why were ye so early?

1st. CHILD.
[Page 28]

Why, did not you tell us that Papa was to be home to-day?

Mrs. BLAND.

I said, perhaps.

2d. CHILD.
(Disappointed.)

Perhaps!

1st. CHILD.

I don't like perhaps's.

2d. CHILD.

No, nor I neither; nor "may be so's."

Mrs. BLAND.
We make not certainties, my pretty loves;
I do not like "perhaps's" more than you do.
2d. CHILD.

O! don't say so, Mama, for I'm sure I hardly ever ask you any thing but you answer me with "may be so,"— "perhaps,"—or "very likely."—"Mama, shall I go to the camp to-morrow, and see the General?" "May be so, my dear." Hang "may be so," say I.

Mrs. BLAND.

Well said, Sir Pertness.

1st. CHILD.

But I am sure, Mama, you said, that, to-day, Papa would have his liberty.

Mrs. BLAND.

So, your dear father, by his letters, told me.

2d. CHILD.

Why, then, I am sure he will be here to-day. When he can come to us, I'm sure he will not stay among those strange Englishmen and Hessians. I often wish'd that I had wings to fly, for then I would soon be with him.

Mrs. BLAND.

Dear boy!

[Page 29] Enter SERVANT, and gives a letter to Mrs. BLAND.
SERVANT.

An express, Madam, from New-York to Head-quarters, in passing, delivered this.

2d. CHILD.

Papa's coming home to-day, John.

Exeunt Servant and Children.
Mrs. BLAND.
What fears assail me! O! I did not want
A letter now!
(She reads in great agitation, exclaim­ing, while her eyes are fixed on the paper,)
My husband! doom'd to die! Retaliation!
(She looks forward with wildness, consternation, and horror.)
To die, if André dies! He dies to-day!—
My husband to be murdered! And to-day!
To-day, if André dies! Retaliation!
O curst contrivance!—Madness relieve me!
Burst, burst, my brain!—Yet—André is not dead:
My husband lives.
(Looks at the letter.)
"One man has power."
I fly to save the father of my children!
Rushes out.
END OF THE SECOND ACT.
[Page 30]

ACT THIRD.

SCENE, the General's Quarters.

The GENERAL and BLAND come forward.
GENERAL.
(Papers in his hand.)
CAPTAIN, you are noted here with honorable
Praises. Depend upon that countenance
From me, which you have prov'd yourself so richly
Meriting. Both for your father's virtues,
And your own, your country owes you honor—
The sole return the poor can make for service.
BLAND.
If from my country ought I've merited,
Or gain'd the approbation of her champion,
At any other time, I should not dare,
Presumptuously, to shew my sense of it;
But now, my tongue, all shameless, dares to name
The boon, the precious recompence, I wish,
Which, granted, pays all service, past or future,
O'erpays the utmost I can e'er atchieve.
GENERAL.

Brief, my young friend, briefly, your purpose.

BLAND.
If I have done my duty as a soldier;
If I have brav'd all dangers for my country;
If my brave father has deserved ought;
Call all to mind—and cancel all—but grant
My one request—mine, and humanity's.
GENERAL.
Be less profuse of words, and name your wish;
If fit, its fitness is the best assurance
That not in vain you sue; but, if unjust,
Thy merits, nor the merits of thy race,
Cannot its nature alter, nor my mind,
From its determined opposition, change.
BLAND.
[Page 31]
You hold the fate of my most lov'd of friends;
As gallant soldier as e'er faced a foe,
Bless'd with each polish'd gift of social life,
And every virtue of humanity.
To me, a saviour from the pit of death,
To me, and many more my countrymen.
Oh! could my words pourtray him what he is;
Bring to your mind the blessings of his deeds,
While thro' the fever-heated, loathsome holds,
Of floating hulks, dungeons obscene, where ne'er
The dewy breeze of morn, or evening's coolness,
Breath'd on our parching skins, he pass'd along,
Diffusing blessings; still his power exerting,
To alleviate the woes which ruthless war,
Perhaps, thro' dire necessity, heap'd on us;
Surely, the scene would move you to forget
His late intent—(tho' only serving then,
As duty prompted,)—and turn the rigour
Of War's iron law from him, the best of men,
Meant only for the worst.
GENERAL.

Captain, no more.

BLAND.
If André lives, the prisoner finds a friend;
Else helpless and forlorn—
All men will bless the act, and bless thee for it.
GENERAL.
Think'st thou thy country would not curse the man,
Who, by a clemency ill-tim'd, ill-judg'd,
Encourag'd treason? That pride encourag'd,
Which, by denying us the rights of nations,
Hath caus'd those ills which thou hast now pourtray'd!
Our prisoners, brave and generous peasantry,
As rebels have been treated, not as men.
'Tis mine, brave yeomen, to assert your rights;
'Tis mine to teach the foe, that, though array'd
In rude simplicity, ye, yet, are men,
[Page 32]And rank among the foremost. Oft their scouts,
The very refuse of the English arms,
Unquestion'd, have our countrymen consign'd
To death, when captur'd, mocking their agonies.
BLAND.
Curse them!
(Checking himself)
Yet let not censure fall on André.
O, there are Englishmen as brave, as good,
As ever land on earth might call its own;
And gallant André is among the best!
GENERAL.
Since they have hurl'd war on us, we must shew
That by the laws of war we will abide;
And have the power to bring their acts for trial,
To that tribunal, eminent 'mongst men,
Erected, by the policy of nations,
To stem the flood of ills, which else fell war
Would pour, uncheck'd, upon the sickening world,
Sweeping away all trace of civil life.
BLAND.
To pardon him would not encourage ill.
His case is singular; his station high;
His qualities admired; his virtues lov'd.
GENERAL.
No more, my good young friend: it is in vain.
The men entrusted with thy country's rights
Have weigh'd, attentive, every circumstance.
An individual's virtue is, by them,
As highly prized as it can be by thee.
I know the virtues of this man, and love them.
But the destiny of millions, millions
Yet unborn, depends upon the rigour
Of this moment. The haughty Briton laughs
To scorn our armies and our councils. Mercy,
Humanity, call loudly, that we make
Our now despised power be felt, vindictive.
Millions demand the death of this young man.
My injur'd country, he his forfeit life
[Page 33]Must yield, to shield thy lacerated breast
From torture.
(To Bland)
Thy merits are not overlook'd.
Promotion shall immediately attend thee.
BLAND
(With contemptuous irony.)
Pardon me, Sir, I never shall deserve it.
(With increasing heat.)
The country that forgets to re­verence virtue;
That makes no difference 'twixt the sordid wretch,
Who, for reward, risks treason's penalty,
And him unfortunate, whose duteous service
Is, by mere accident, so chang'd in form,
As to assume guilt's semblance, I serve not:
Scorn to serve. I have a soldier's honor,
But 'tis in union with a freeman's judgment,
And when I act, both prompt. Thus from my helm
I tear, what once I proudly thought, the badge
Of virtuous fellowship.
(Tears the cockade from his hel­met.)
My sword I keep.
(Puts on his helmet.)
Would, André, thou had'st never put thine off!
Then had'st thou through opposers' hearts made way
To liberty, or bravely pierc'd thine own!
Exit.
GENERAL.
Rash, headstrong, maddening boy!
Had not this action past without a witness,
Duty would ask that thou should'st rue thy folly—
But, for the motive, be the deed forgotten.
Exit.

SCENE, a Village.

At a distance some tents. In front muskets, drums, and other indications of soldiers' quarters.
Enter Mrs. BLAND and CHILDREN, attended by MEL­VILLE.
MELVILLE.
The General's doors to you are ever open.
But why, my worthy friend, this agitation?
Our Colonel, your husband—
Mrs. BLAND
[Page 34]
(In tears, gives him the letter.)

Read, Melville.

1st. CHILD.

Do not cry, Mama, for I'm sure if Papa said he would come home to-day he will come yet: for he always does what he says he will.

Mrs. BLAND.

He cannot come, dear love; they will not let him.

2d. CHILD.

Why, then they told him lies; O, fye upon them!

MELVILLE
(Returning the letter.)
Fear nothing, Madam, 'tis an empty threat:
A trick of policy. They dare not do it.
Mrs. BLAND.
Alas! alas! what dares not power to do?
What art of reasoning, or what magic words,
Can still the storm of fears these lines have rais'd?
The wife's, the mother's fears? Ye innocents,
Unconscious on the brink of what a perilous
Precipice ye stand, unknowing that to-day
Ye are cast down the gulph, poor babes, ye weep
From sympathy. Children of sorrow, nurst,
Nurtur'd, 'midst camps and arms; unknowing man,
But as man's fell destroyer; must ye now,
To crown your piteous fate, be fatherless?
O, lead me, lead me to him! Let me kneel,
Let these, my children, kneel, 'till André pardon'd,
Ensures to me a husband, them a father.
MELVILLE.
Madam, duty forbids further attendance.
I am on guard to-day. But see your son.
To him I leave your guidance. Good wishes
Prosper you!
Exit Melville.
Enter BLAND.
Mrs. BLAND.

My Arthur, O, my Arthur!

BLAND.
[Page 35]

My mother!

(Embracing her.)
Mrs. BLAND.
My son, I have been wishing
For you—
(Bursts into tears, unable to proceed.)
BLAND.
But whence this grief, these tears, my mother?
Why are these little cheeks bedew'd with sorrow?
(He kisses the children, who exclaim, Brother, brother!)
Have I done aught to cause a mother's sadness?
Mrs. BLAND.
No, my brave boy! I oft have fear'd, but never
Sorrow'd for thee.
BLAND.
High praise!—Then bless me, Madam;
For I have pass'd through many a bustling scene
Since I have seen a father or a mother.
Mrs. BLAND.
Bless thee, my boy! O bless him, bless him, heaven!
Render him worthy to support these babes!
So soon, perhaps, all fatherless—dependant.—
BLAND.

What mean'st thou, Madam? Why these tears?

Mrs. BLAND.
Thy father—
BLAND.
A prisoner of war—I long have known it—
But made so without blemish to his honor,
And soon exchang'd, returns unto his friends,
To guard these little ones, and point and lead,
To virtue and to glory.
Mrs. BLAND.
Never, never!
His life, a sacrifice to André's manes,
Must soon be offer'd. Even now, endungeon'd,
Like a vile felon, on the earth he lies,
His death expecting. André's execution
Gives signal for the murder of thy father—
André now dies!!—
BLAND
[Page 36]
(Despairingly.)

My father and my friend!!

Mrs. BLAND.
There is but one on earth can save my husband—
But one can pardon André.
BLAND.
Haste, my mother!
Thou wilt prevail. Take with thee in each hand
An unoffending child of him thou weep'st.
Save—save them both! This way—haste—lean on me.
Exeunt.

SCENE, the General's Quarters.

Enter the GENERAL and McDONALD.
GENERAL.
Here have I intimation from the foe,
That still they deem the spy we have condemn'd,
Merely a captive; by the laws of arms
From death protected; and retaliation,
As they term it, threaten, if we our purpose hold.
Bland is the victim they have singled out,
Hoping his threaten'd death will André save.
McDONALD.
If I were Bland I boldly might advise
My General how to act. Free, and in safety,
I will now suppose my counsel needless.
Enter an AMERICAN OFFICER.
OFFICER.
Another flag hath from the foe arriv'd,
And craves admittance.
GENERAL.
Conduct it hither.
Exit Officer.
Let us, unwearied hear, unbiass'd judge,
Whate'er against our martial court's decision,
Our enemies can bring.
[Page 37] Enter BRITISH OFFICER, conducted by the AMERICAN OFFICER.
GENERAL.
You are welcome, Sir.
What further says Sir Henry?
BRITISH OFFICER.
This from him.
He calls on you to think what weighty woes
You now are busy bringing on your country.
He bids me say, that, if your sentence reach
The prisoner's life (prisoner of arms he deems him,
And no spy), on him alone it falls not.
He bids me loud proclaim it, and declare,
If this brave officer, by cruel mockery
Of war's stern law, and justice' feign'd pretence,
Be murder'd; the sequel of our strife, bloody,
Unsparing and remorseless, you will make.
Think of the many captives in our power.
Already one is mark'd; for André mark'd;—
And when his death, unparallel'd in war,
The signal gives, then Colonel Bland must die.
GENERAL.
'Tis well, Sir; bear this message in return.
Sir Henry Clinton knows the laws of arms:
He is a soldier, and, I think, a brave one.
The prisoners he retains he must account for.
Perhaps the reckoning's near. I, likewise, am
A soldier; entrusted by my country.
What I shall judge most for that country's good,
That shall I do. When doubtful, I consult
My country's friends; never her enemies.
In André's case there are no doubts: 'tis clear:
Sir Henry Clinton knows it.
BRITISH OFFICER.

Weigh consequences.

GENERAL.
[Page 38]
In strict regard to consequence I act;
And much should doubt to call that action right,
However specious, whose apparent end
Was misery to man. That brave officer
Whose death you threaten, for himself drew not
His sword—his country's wrongs arous'd his mind;
Her good alone his aim; and if his fall
Can further fire that country to resistance,
He will, with smiles, yield up his glorious life,
And count his death a gain; and tho' Columbians
Will lament his fall, they will lament in blood.
(General walks up the stage.)
McDONALD.

Hear this! hear this, mankind!

BRITISH OFFICER.

Thus am I answered?

Enter a SERGEANT with a letter.
SERGEANT.

Express from Colonel Bland.

Delivers it and exit.
GENERAL.

With your permission.

(Opens it.)
BRITISH OFFICER.

Your pleasure, Sir. It may my mission further.

McDONALD.

O, Bland! my countryman, surely I know thee!

GENERAL.

'Tis short: I will put form aside, and read it.

(Reads.)

"Excuse me, my Commander, for having a moment doubted your virtue: but you love me. If you waver, let this confirm you. My wife and children, to you and my country. Do your duty."

Report this to your General.

BRITISH OFFICER.

I shall, Sir.

Bows, and exit with American Officer.
GENERAL.
[Page 39]

O, Bland! my countryman!

Exit with emotion.
McDONALD.
Triumph of virtue!
Like him and thee, still be Americans.
Then, tho' all-powerful Europe league against us,
And pour in arms her legions on our shores;
Who is so dull would doubt their shameful flight?
Who doubt our safety, and our glorious triumph?

SCENE, the Prison.

Enter BLAND.
BLAND.
Lingering, I come to crush the bud of hope
My breath has, flattering, to existence warm'd.
Hard is the task to friendship! hard to say,
To the lov'd object there remains no hope,
No consolation for thee; thou must die;
The worst of deaths; no circumstance abated.
Enter ANDRE—In his uniform, and dress'd.
ANDRE.

Is there that state on earth which friendship cannot cheer?

BLAND.

Little I bring to cheer thee, André!

ANDRE.
I understand. 'Tis well. 'Twill soon be past.
Yet▪ 'twas not much I ask'd. A soldier's death.
A trifling change of form.
BLAND.
Of that I spoke not.
By vehemence of passion hurried on,
I pleaded for thy precious life alone;
The which denied, my indignation barr'd
[Page 40]All further parley. But strong solicitation
Now is urg'd to gain the wish'd-for favor.
ANDRE.

What is 't o'clock?

BLAND.

'Tis past the stroke of nine.

ANDRE.
Why, then 'tis almost o'er. But to be hung—
Is there no way to escape that infamy?
What then is infamy?—no matter—no matter.
BLAND.

Our General hath received another flag.

ANDRE.

Soliciting for me?

BLAND.

On thy behalf.

ANDRE.

I have been ever favor'd.

BLAND.
Threat'nings, now;
No more solicitations. Harsh, indeed,
The import of the message: harsh, indeed.
ANDRE.
I am sorry for it. Would that I were dead,
And all was well with those I leave behind.
BLAND.
Such a threat! Is it not enough, just heaven,
That I must lose this man? Yet there was left
One for my soul to rest on. But, to know
That the same blow deprives them both of life—
ANDRE.
What mean'st thou, Bland? Surely my General
Threats not retaliation! In vengeance,
Dooms not some better man to die for me?
BLAND.

The best of men.

ANDRE.
Thou hast a father, captive—
I dare not ask—
BLAND.
[Page 41]

That father dies for thee.

ANDRE.
Gracious heaven! how woes are heap'd upon me!
What! cannot one, so trifling in life's scene,
Fall, without drawing such a ponderous ruin?
Leave me, my friend, awhile—I yet have life—
A little space of life—let me exert it
To prevent injustice:—From death to save
Thy father, thee to save from utter desolation.
BLAND.

What mean'st thou, André?

ANDRE.
Seek thou the messenger
Who brought this threat. I will my last entreaty
Send by him. My General, sure, will grant it.
BLAND.

To the last thyself!

Exit.
ANDRE.
If, at this moment,
When the pangs of death already touch me,
Firmly my mind against injustice strives,
And the last impulse to my vital powers
Is given by anxious wishes to redeem
My fellow men from pain; surely my end,
Howe'er accomplish'd, is not infamous.
Exit.
[Page 42]

ACT FOURTH.

SCENE, the Encampment.

Enter McDONALD and BLAND.
BLAND.
IT doth in truth appear, that as a spy—
Detested word!—brave André must be view'd.
His sentence he confesses strictly just.
Yet sure a deed of mercy, from thy hand,
Could never lead to ill. By such an act,
The stern and blood-stain'd brow of War
Would be disarm'd of half its gorgon horrors;
More humanized customs be induced;
And all the race of civilized man
Be blest in the example. Be it thy suit:
'Twill well become thy character and station.
McDONALD.
Trust me, young friend, I am alone the judge
Of what becomes my character and station:
And having judg'd that this young Briton's death,
Even 'though attended by thy father's murder,
Is necessary, in these times accurs'd,
When every thought of man is ting'd with blood.
I will not stir my finger to redeem them.
Nay, much I wonder, Bland, having so oft
The reasons for this necessary rigour
Enforced upon thee, thou wilt still persist
In vain solicitations. Imitate
Thy father!
BLAND.
My father knew not André.
I know his value; owe to him my life;
And, gratitude, that first, that best of virtues,—
Without the which man sinks beneath the brute,—
Binds me in ties indissoluble to him.
McDONALD.
[Page 43]
That man-created virtue blinds thy reason.
Man owes to man all love; when exercised,
He does no more than duty. Gratitude,
That selfish rule of action, which commands
That we our preference make of men,
Not for their worth, but that they did us service,
Misleading reason, casting in the way
Of justice stumbling blocks, cannot be virtue.
BLAND.

Detested sophistry!—'Twas André sav'd me!

McDONALD.
He sav'd thy life, and thou art grateful for it.
How self intrudes delusive on man's thoughts!
He sav'd thy life, yet strove to damn thy country;
Doom'd millions to the haughty Briton's yoke;
The best, and foremost in the cause of virtue,
To death, by sword, by prison, or the halter:
His sacrifice now stands the only bar
Between the wanton cruelties of war,
And our much-suffering soldiers: yet, when weigh'd
With gratitude, for that he sav'd thy life,
These things prove gossamer, and balance air:—
Perversion monstrous of man's moral sense!
BLAND.
Rather perversion monstrous of all good,
Is thy accurs'd, detestable opinion.
Cold-blooded reasoners, such as thee, would blast
All warm affection; asunder sever
Every social tie of humanized man.
Curst be thy sophisms! cunningly contriv'd
The callous coldness of thy heart to cover,
And screen thee from the brave man's detestation.
McDONALD.

Boy, boy!

BLAND.
Thou knowest that André's not a spy
McDONALD.
[Page 44]

I know him one. Thou hast acknowledg'd it.

BLAND.

Thou liest!

McDONALD.
Shame on thy ruffian tongue! how passion
Mars thee! I pity thee! Thou canst not harm,
By words intemperate, a virtuous man.
I pity thee! for passion sometimes sways
My older frame, through former uncheck'd habit:
But when I see the havoc which it makes
In others, I can shun the snare accurst,
And nothing feel but pity.
BLAND
(Indignantly.)
Pity me!
(Approaches him, and speaks in an under voice.)
Thou canst be cool, yet, trust me, passion sways thee.
Fear does not warm the blood, yet 'tis a passion.
Hast thou no feeling? I have call'd thee liar!
McDONALD.

If thou could'st make me one, I then might grieve.

BLAND.

Thy coolness goes to freezing: thou'rt a coward.

McDONALD.

Thou knowest thou tell'st a falsehood.

BLAND.
Thou shalt know
None with impunity speaks thus of me.
That to rouse thy courage.
(Touches him gently, with his open hand, in crossing him. McDonald looks at him unmoved.)
Dost thou not yet feel?
McDONALD.
For thee I feel. And tho' another's acts,
Cast no dishonor on the worthy man,
I still feel for thy father. Yet, remember,
I may not, haply, ever be thus guarded,
I may not always the distinction make,
[Page 45]However just, between the blow intended
To provoke, and one that's meant to injure.
BLAND.

Hast thou no sense of honor?

McDONALD.
Truly, yes:
For I am honor's votary. Honor, with me,
Is worth: 'tis truth; 'tis virtue; 'tis a thing,
So high pre-eminent, that a boy's breath,
Or brute's, or madman's blow, can never reach it.
My honor is so much, so truly mine,
That none hath power to wound it, save myself.
BLAND.

I will proclaim thee through the camp a coward.

McDONALD.

Think better of it! Proclaim not thine own shame.

BLAND.

I'll brand thee—Damnation!

Exit.
McDONALD.
O, passion, passion!
A man who values fame, far more than life;
A brave young man; in many things a good;
Utters vile falsehood; adds injury to insult;
Striving with blood to seal such foul injustice;
And all from impulse of unbridled feeling.—
(Pause.)
Here comes the mother of this headstrong boy,
Severely rack'd—What shall allay her torture?
For common consolation, here, is insult.
Enter Mrs. BLAND and CHILDREN.
Mrs. BLAND.

O, my good friend!

McDONALD
(Taking her hand.)
I know thy cause of sorrow.
Art thou now from our Commander?
Mrs. BLAND
(Drying her tears, and assuming dignity.)
I am.
[Page 46]But vain is my entreaty. All unmov'd
He hears my words, he sees my desperate sorrow.
Fain would I blame his conduct—but I cannot.
Strictly examin'd, with intent to mark
The error which so fatal proves to me,
My scrutiny but ends in admiration.
Thus when the prophet from the Hills of Moab,
Look'd down upon the chosen race of heaven,
With fell intent to curse; ere yet he spake,
Truth all resistless, emanation bright
From great Adonai, fill'd his froward mind,
And chang'd the curses of his heart to blessings.
McDONALD.
Thou payest high praise to virtue. Whither now?—
Mrs. BLAND.
I still must hover round this spot, until
My doom is known.
McDONALD.
Then to my quarters, lady,
There shall my mate give comfort and refreshment:
One of your sex can best your sorrows soothe.
Exeunt.

SCENE, the Prison.

Enter BLAND.
BLAND.
Where'er I look cold desolation meets me.
My father—André—and self-condemnation!
Why seek I André now? Am I a man,
To soothe the sorrows of a suffering friend?
The weather-cock of passion! fool inebriate!
Who could with ruffian hand strive to provoke
Hoar wisdom to intemperance! who could lie!
Aye, swagger, lie, and brag!—Liar! Damnation!!
O let me steal away and hide my head,
Nor view a man, condemn'd to harshest death,
Whose words and actions, when by mine compar'd,
[Page 47]Show white as innocence, and bright as truth.
I now would shun him; but that his shorten'd
Thread of life, gives me no line to play with.
He comes, with smiles, and all the air of triumph;
While I am sinking with remorse and shame:
Yet he is doom'd to death, and I am free!
Enter ANDRE.
ANDRE.
Welcome, my Bland! Cheerly, a welcome hither!
I feel assurance that my last request
Will not be slighted. Safely thy father
Shall return to thee.
(Holding out a paper.)
See what employment
For a dying man. Take thou these verses;
And, after my decease, send them to her
Whose name is woven in them; whose image,
Hath controul'd my destiny. Such tokens
Are rather out of date. Fashions
There are in love as in all else; they change
As variously. A gallant Knight, erewhile,
Of Coeur de Lion's day, would, dying, send
His heart home to its mistress; degenerate
Soldier I, send but some blotted paper.
BLAND.
If't would not damp thy present cheerfulness,
I would require the meaning of thy words.
I ne'er till now did hear of André's mistress.
ANDRE.
Mine is a story of that common kind,
So often told, with scanty variation,
That the pall'd ear loaths the repeated tale.
Each young romancer chuses for his theme
The woes of youthful hearts, by the cold hand
Of frosty Age, arm'd with parental power,
Asunder torn. But I long since have ceas'd
To mourn; well satisfied that she I love,
[Page 48]Happy in holy union with another,
Shares not my wayward fortunes. Nor would I
Now these tokens send, remembrance to awaken,
But that I know her happy: and the happy
Can think on misery and share it not.
BLAND
(Agitated.)

Some one approaches.

ANDRE.
Why, 'tis near the time.
But tell me, Bland, say—is the manner chang'd?
BLAND.

I hope it—but I yet have no assurance.

ANDRE.

Well, well!

HONORA
(Without)

I must see him.

ANDRE.
Who's voice was that?
My senses?—Do I dream—?
(Leans on Bland.)
Enter HONORA.
HONORA.

Where is he?

ANDRE.

'Tis she!!

(Starts from Bland and advances towards Honora; she rushes into his arms.)
HONORA.

It is enough! He lives, and I shall save him.

(She faints in the arms of André.)
ANDRE.
She sinks—assist me, Bland! O save her, save her!
(Places her in a chair, and looks tenderly on her.)
Yet why should she awake from that sweet sleep!
Why should she ope her eyes—
(wildly)
—to see me hung!
What does she here? Stand off—
(tenderly)
—and let her die.
How pale she looks! how worn that tender frame!—
She has known sorrow! Who could injure her?
BLAND.
[Page 49]

She revives—André—soft, bend her forward.

(André kneels and supports her.)
HONORA.

André—!

ANDRE.

Lov'd excellence!

HONORA.

Yes, it is André!

(Rises and looks at him.)
No more deceived by visionary forms,
By him supported—
(Leans on him.)
ANDRE.
Why is this?
Thou dost look pale, Honora—sick and wan—
Languid thy fainting limbs—
HONORA.
All will be well.
But was it kind to leave me as thou did'st—?
So rashly to desert thy vow-link'd wife?—
ANDRE.
When made another's both by vows and laws—
HONORA
(Quitting his support.)

What meanest thou?

ANDRE.

Did'st thou not marry him?

HONORA.

Marry!

ANDRE.
Did'st thou not give thy hand away
From me?
HONORA.

O, never, never!

ANDRE.

Not married?

HONORA.

To none but thee, and but in will to thee.

ANDRE.
[Page 50]
O, blind, blind wretch!—Thy father told me—
HONORA.
Thou wast deceived. They hurried me away,
Spreading false rumours to remove thy love—
(Tenderly)
Thou did'st too soon believe them.
ANDRE.
Thy father—
How could I but believe Honora's father?
And he did tell me so. I reverenced age,
Yet knew, age was not virtue. I believed
His snowy locks, and yet they did deceive me!
I have destroy'd myself and thee!—Alas!
Ill-fated maid! why did'st thou not forget me?
Hast thou rude seas and hostile shores explor'd
For this? To see my death? Witness my shame?
HONORA.
I come to bless thee, André; and shall do it.
I bear such offers from thy kind Commander,
As must prevail to save thee. Thus the daughter
May repair the ills her cruel sire inflicted.
My father, dying, gave me cause to think
That arts were us'd to drive thee from thy home;
But what those arts I knew not. An heiress left,
Of years mature, with power and liberty,
I straight resolv'd to seek thee o'er the seas.
A long-known friend who came to join her lord,
Yielded protection and lov'd fellowship.—
Indeed, when I did hear of thy estate
It almost kill'd me:—I was weak before—
ANDRE.
'Tis I have murder'd thee!—
HONORA.
All shall be well.
Thy General heard of me, and instant form'd
The plan of this my visit. I am strong,
Compar'd with what I was. Hope strengthens me▪
[Page 51]Nay, even solicitude supports me now:
And when thou shalt be safe, thou wilt support me.
ANDRE.
Support thee!—O heaven! What!—And must I die?
Die!—and leave her thus—suffering—unprotected!—
Enter MELVILLE and GUARD.
MELVILLE.
I am sorry that my duty should require
Service, at which my heart revolts; but, Sir,
Our soldiers wait in arms. All is prepar'd—
HONORA.
To death!—Impossible!—Has my delay,
Then, murder'd him?—A momentary respite—
MELVILLE.

Lady, I have no power.

BLAND.
Melville, my friend,
This lady bears dispatches of high import,
Touching this business:—should they arrive too late—
HONORA.
For pity's sake, and heaven's, conduct me to him;
And wait the issue of our conference.
O, 'twould be murder of the blackest dye,
Sin execrable, not to break thy orders—
Inhuman, thou art not.
MELVILLE.
Lady, thou say'st true;
For rather would I lose my rank in arms,
And stand cashier'd for lack of discipline,
Than, gain 'mongst military men all praise,
Wanting the touch of sweet humanity.
HONORA.

Thou grantest my request.

MELVILLE.
Lady, I do.
Retire!
(Soldiers go out.)
BLAND.
[Page 52]
I know not what excuse, to martial men,
Thou can'st advance for this; but to thy heart
Thou wilt need none, good Melville.
ANDRE.
O, Honora!
HONORA.
Cheer up, I feel assur'd. Hope wings my flight,
To bring thee tidings of much joy to come.
Exit Honora, with Bland and Melville.
ANDRE.
Eternal blessings on thee, matchless woman!—
If death now comes, he finds the veriest coward
That e'er he dealt withal. I cannot think
Of dying. Void of fortitude, each thought
Clings to the world—the world that holds Honora!
Exit.
END OF THE FOURTH ACT.
[Page 53]

ACT FIFTH.

SCENE, the Encampment.

Enter BLAND.
BLAND.
SUSPENCE—uncertainty—man's bane and solace!
How racking now to me! My mother comes.
Forgive me, O, my father! if in this war,
This wasting conflict of my wildering passions,
Memory of th [...] holds here a second place!
M [...]Donald comes with her. I would not meet him:
Yet I will do it. Summon up some courage—
Confess my fault, and gain, if not his love,
At least the approbation of my judgment.
Enter Mrs. BLAND and CHILDREN, with McDONALD.
BLAND.
Say, Madam, is there no change of counsel,
Or new determination?
Mrs. BLAND.
Nought new, my son.
The tale of misery is told unheard.
The widow's and the orphan's sighs
Fly up, unnoted by the eye of man,
And mingle, undistinguish'd, with the winds.
My friend
(to M [...]Donald)
attend thy duties. I must away.
2d. CHILD.

You need not cry, Mama, the General will do it I am sure; for I saw him cry. He turn'd away his head from you, but I saw it.

Mrs. BLAND.
Poor thing! come let us home and weep. Alas!
I can no more, for war hath made men rocks.
Exeunt Mrs. Bland and Children.
BLAND.
[Page 54]

Colonel, I used thee ill this morning.

McDONALD.
No!
Thyself thou used'st most vilely, I remember.
BLAND.
Myself sustain'd the injury, most true;
But the intent of what I said and did
Was ill to thee alone: I'm sorry for it.
Seest thou these blushes? They proceed from warmth
As honest as the heart of man e'er felt;—
But not with shame unmingled, while I force
This tongue, debased, to own, it slander'd thee,
And utter'd—I could curse it—utter'd falshood.
Howe'er misled by passion, still my mind
Retains that sense of honest rectitude
Which makes the memory of an evil deed
A troublesome companion. I was wrong.
McDONALD.
Why now this glads me; for thou now art right.
O may thy tongue, henceforward, utter nought
But Truth's sweet precepts, in fair Virtue's cause!
Give me thy hand.
(Takes his hand.)
Ne'er may it grasp a sword,
But in defence of justice.
BLAND.
Yet, erewhile,
A few short hours scarce past, when this vile hand
Attempted on thee insult; and was raised
Against thy honor; ready to be raised
Against thy life. If this my deep remorse—
McDONALD.
No more, no more. 'Tis past. Remember it
But as thou would'st the action of another,
By thy enlighten'd judgment much condemn'd;
And serving as a beacon in the storms
Thy passions yet may raise. Remorse is vice:
Guard thee against its influence debasing.
[Page 55]Say to thyself, "I am not what I was;
I am not now the instrument of vice;
I'm changed; I am a man; Virtue's firm friend;
Sever'd for ever from my former self;
No link, but in remembrance salutary."
BLAND.

How all men tower above me!

McDONALD.
Nay, not so.
Above what once thou wast, some few do rise;
None above what thou art.
BLAND.

It shall be so.

McDONALD.
It is so.
BLAND.
Then to prove it.
For I must yet a trial undergo,
That will require a consciousness of virtue.
Exit.
McDONALD.
O what a temper doth in man reside!
How capable of yet unthought perfection!
Exit.

SCENE, the General's Quarters.

Enter GENERAL and SEWARD.
GENERAL.
Ask her, my friend, to send by thee her pacquets.
Exit Sew.
O, what keen struggles must I undergo!
Unbless'd estate! to have the power to pardon;
The court's stern sentence to remit;—give life;—
Feel the strong wish to use such blessed power;
Yet know that circumstances strong as fate
Forbid to obey the impulse. O, I feel
That man should never shed the blood of man.
[Page 56] Enter SEWARD.
SEWARD.
Nought can the lovely suitor satisfy,
But conference with thee, and much I fear
Refusal would cause madness.
GENERAL.
Yet to admit,
To hear, be tortur'd, and refuse at last—
SEWARD.
Sure never man such spectacle of sorrow
Saw before. Motionless the rough-hewn soldiers
Silent view her, or walk aside and weep.
GENERAL
(After a pause.)
Admit her
(Seward goes out).
O for the art, the precious art,
To reconcile the sufferer to his sorrows!
HONORA rushes in, and throws herself wildly on her knees before him; he endeavours to raise her.
HONORA.
Nay, nay, here is my place, or here, or lower,
Unless thou grant'st his life. All forms away!
Thus will I clasp thy knees, thus cling to thee.—
I am his wife—'tis I have ruin'd him—
O save him! Give him to me! Let us cross
The mighty seas, far, far—ne'er to offend again.—
(The General turns away, and hides his eyes with his hand.)
Enter SEWARD and an OFFICER.
GENERAL.
Seward, support her—my heart is torn in twain.
(Honora, as if exhausted, suffers herself to be raised, and leans on Seward.)
OFFICER▪
[Page 57]
This moment, Sir, a messenger arrived
With well confirm'd and mournful information,
That gallant Hastings, by the lawless scouts
Of Britain taken, after cruel mockery
With show of trial and of condemnation,
On the next tree was hung.
HONORA
(Wildly.)

O, it is false!

GENERAL.

Why, why, my country, did I hesitate!

Exit.
(Honora sinks, faints, and is borne off by Seward and Officer.)

SCENE, the Prison.

ANDRE, meeting BLAND.
ANDRE.
How speeds Honora?
(Pause.)
Art thou silent, Bland?
Why, then I know my task. The mind of man,
If not by vice debas'd, debilitated,
Or by disease of body quite unton'd,
Hath o'er its thoughts a power—energy divine!
Of fortitude the source and every virtue—
A godlike power, which e'en o'er circumstance
Its sov'reignty exerts. Now, from my thoughts,
Honora! Yet she is left alone—expos'd—
BLAND.
O, André, spurn me, strike me to the earth;
For what a wretch am I, in André's mind,
That he can think he leaves his love alone,
And I retaining life!
ANDRE.
Forgive me, Bland,
My thoughts glanc'd not on thee. Imagination
Pictur'd only, then, her orphan state, helpless;
[Page 58]Her weak and grief-exhausted frame. Alas!
This blow will kill her!
BLAND
(Kneeling.)
Here do I myself
Devote, my fortune consecrate, to thee,
To thy remembrance, and Honora's service!—
ANDRE.
Enough! Let me not see her more—nor think of her—
Farewell! farewell, sweet image! Now for death.
BLAND.
Yet that thou should'st the felon's fate fulfill—
Damnation! my blood boils. Indignation
Makes the current of my life course wildly
Through its round, and maddens each emotion.
ANDRE.

Come, come, it matters not.

BLAND.
I do remember,
When a boy, at school, in our allotted tasks,
We, by our puny acts, strove to pourtray
The giant thoughts of Otway. I was Pierre.—
O, thou art Pierre's reality! a soldier,
On whose manly brow sits fortitude enamour'd!
A Mars, abhorring vice, yet doom'd to die
A death of infamy; thy corse expos'd
To vulgar gaze—halter'd—distorted—Oh!!
(Pauses, and then adds in a low hollow voice)
Pierre had a friend to save him from such shame—
And so hast thou.
ANDRE.

No more, as thou dost love me.

BLAND.

I have a sword, and arm, that never fail'd me.

ANDRE.
Bland, such an act would justly thee involve,
And leave that helpless one thou sworest to guard,
Expos'd to every ill. O! think not of it.
BLAND.
[Page 59]

If thou wilt not my aid—take it thyself.

(Draws and offers his sword.)
ANDRE.
No, men will say that cowardice did urge me.
In my mind's weakness, I did wish to shun
That mode of death which error represented
Infamous: now let me rise superior;
And with a fortitude too true to start
From mere appearances, show your country,
That she, in me, destroys a man who might
Have liv'd to virtue.
BLAND
(Sheathing his sword.)
I will not think more of it▪
I was again the sport of erring passion.
ANDRE.

Go thou and guide Honora from this spot.

HONORA
(Entering.)
Who shall oppose his wife? I will have way!
They, cruel, would have kept me from thee, André.
Say, am I not thy wife? Wilt thou deny me?
Indeed I am not dress'd in bridal trim.
But I have travell'd far:—rough was the road—
Rugged and rough—that must excuse my dress.
(Seeing André's distress)
Thou art not glad to see me.
ANDRE.

Break my heart!

HONORA.

Indeed, I feel not much in spirits. I wept but now.

Enter MELVILLE and GUARD.
BLAND
(To Melville.)

Say nothing.

ANDRE.

I am ready.

HONORA
[Page 60]
(Seeing the Guard.)
Are they here?
Here again!—The same—but they shall not harm me—
I am with thee, my André—I am safe—
And thou art safe with me. Is it not so?
(Clinging to him.)
Enter Mrs. BLAND.
Mrs. BLAND.

Where is this lovely victim?

BLAND.

Thanks, my mother.

Mrs. BLAND.
McDonald sent me hither. My woes are past.
Thy father, by the foe releas'd, already
Is in safety. This be forgotten now;
And every thought be turn'd to this sad scene.
Come, lady, home with me.
HONORA.
Go home with thee?
Art thou my André's mother? We will home
And rest, for thou art weary—very weary.
(Leans on Mrs. Bland.)
André retires to the Guard, and goes off with them, looking on her to the last, and with an action of extreme tenderness takes leave of her. Melville and Bland accompany him.
HONORA.
Now we will go. Come love! Where is he?
All gone!—I do remember—I awake—
They have him. Murder! Help! O, save him! save him!
(Honora attempts to follow, but falls. Mrs. Bland kneels to assist her. Scene closes.)
[Page 61]

SCENE, the Encampment.

Procession to the execution of ANDRE. First enter Pio­neers—Detachment of Infantry—Military Band of Music—Infantry. The Music having passed off, enter ANDRE between MELVILLE and AMERICAN OFFI­CER; they sorrowful, he cheerfully conversing as he passes over the stage.
ANDRE.
It may in me be merely prejudice,
The effect of young-opinion deep engraved
Upon the tender mind by care parental;
But I must think your country has mistook
Her interests. Believe me, but for this I should
Not willingly have drawn a sword against her.
(They bow their heads in silence.)
Opinion must, nay ought, to sway our actions;
Therefore—
Having crossed the stage, he goes out as still conversing with them. Another detachment of Infantry, with muffled and craped drums, close the procession: as soon as they are off—

SCENE draws and discovers the distant view of the Encampment.

Procession enters in the same order as before, proceeds up the stage, and goes off on the opposite side.
Enter Mc DONALD, leading BLAND, who looks wildly back.
BLAND.
I dare not thee resist. Yet why, O why
Thus hurry me away—?—
McDONALD.
Would'st thou behold—
BLAND.
[Page 62]

O, name it not!

Mc DONALD.
Or would'st thou, by thy looks
And gestures wild, o'erthrow that manly calmness
Which, or assum'd or felt, so well becomes thy friend?
BLAND.

What means that cannon's sound?

Mc DONALD
(After a pause.)
Signal of death
Appointed. André, thy friend, is now no more!
BLAND.
Farewell, farewell, brave spirit! O, let my countrymen,
Henceforward, when the cruelties of war
Arise in their remembrance; when their ready
Speech would pour forth torrents in their foe's dispraise,
Think on this act accurst, and lock complaint in silence.
(Bland throws himself on the earth.)
Mc DONALD.
Such are the dictates of the heart, not head.
O may the children of Columbia still
Be taught by every teacher of mankind,
Each circumstance of calculative gain,
Or wounded pride, which prompted our oppressors:
May every child be taught to lisp the tale:
And may, in times to come, no foreign force,
No European influence, tempt to mistate,
Or awe the tongue of eloquence to silence.
Still may our children's children deep abhor
The motives, doubly deep detest the actors;
Ever remembering, that the race who plan'd,
Who acquiesced, or did the deeds abhor'd,
Has pass'd from off the earth; and, in its stead,
Stand men who challenge love or detestation
But from their proper, individual deeds.
Never let memory of the sire's offence
Descend upon the son.
Curtain drops.
[Page]

AUTHENTIC DOCUMENTS RELATIVE TO MAJOR ANDRE.

Presuming that the readers of the foregoing Drama would be gratified by an account of the Hero, divested of all ornament, and separated from poetic fiction, I have collected every thing relative to him which has been made public, and shall state it in the fullest and most simple manner, according to the natural order of time.

LETTERS

Addressed to Miss SEWARD by Major ANDRE, when he was a youth of eighteen.

FROM their agreeable excursion to Shrewsbury my friends are by this time returned to their beloved Lichfield. Once again have they beheld those fortunate spires, the con­stant witnesses of all their pains and pleasures. I can well conceive the emotions of joy which their first appearance, from the neighbouring hills, excites after absence;—they seem to welcome you home, and invite you to reiterate those hours of happiness, of which they are a species of monu­ment. I shall have an eternal love and reverence for them. Never shall I forget the joy that danced in HONORA'S eyes, when she first shewed them to me from the Needwood Forest, on our return with you from Buxton to Lichfield. I remember she called them the Ladies of the Valley—their lightness and elegance deserve the title. Oh! how I lov'd them from that instant! My enthusiasm concerning them is carried farther even than your's and HONORA'S, for every object that has a pyramidal form, recalls them to my recol­lection, [Page 64] with a sensation, that brings the tear of pleasure into my eyes.

How happy must you have been at Shrewsbury! only that you tell me, alas! that dear HONORA was not so well as you wished during your stay there.—I always hope the best. My impatient spirit rejects every obtruding idea, which I have not fortitude to support—Doctor Darwin's skill, and your tender care, will remove that sad pain in her side, which makes writing troublesome and injurious to her; which robs her poor Cher Jean * of those precious pages, with which he flatters himself, she would otherwise have indulged him.

So, your happiness at Shrewsbury scorn'd to be indebted to public amusements—five virgins—united in the soft bonds of friendship!—How I should have lik'd to have made the sixth!—But you surprize me by such an absolute ex­clusion of the Beaux—I certainly thought that when five wise virgins were watching at midnight, it must have been in expectation of the bridegroom's coming. We are at this instant five virgins, writing round the same table—my three sisters, Mr. Ewer, and myself. I beg no reflections inju­rious to the honor of poor Cher Jean. My mother is gone to pay a visit, and has left us in possession of the old coach; but as for nags, we can boast of only two long-tails, and my sisters say they are sorry cattle, being no other than my friend Ewer and myself, who, to say truth, have enor­mous pig-tails.

My dear Boissier is come to town; he has brought a little of the soldier with him; but he is the same honest, warm, intelligent friend I always found him. He sacrifices the town diversions, since I will not partake of them.

We are jealous of your correspondents, who are so nu­merous—yet, write to the Andrés often, my dear JULIA, for who are they that will value your letters quite as much as we value them?—The least scrap of a letter will be received [Page 65] with the greatest joy—write, therefore, though it were only to give us the comfort of having a piece of paper which has recently passed through your hands—HONORA will put in a little postscript, were it only to tell me that she is my very sincere friend, who will neither give me love nor comfort —Very short, indeed, HONORA, was thy last postscript!— But I am too presumptuous; I will not scratch out, but I unsay—from the little there was I received more joy than I deserve. This Cher Jean is an impertinent fellow, but he will grow discreet in time—you must consider him as a poor novice of eighteen, who, for all the sins he may com­mit, is sufficiently punished in the single evil of being 120 miles from Lichfield.

My mother and sisters will go to Putney in a few days, to stay some time—We none of us like Clapton—I need not care, for I am all day long in town; but it is avoiding Scylla to fall into Charybdis. You paint to me the plea­sant vale of Stow in the richest autumnal colouring: In re­turn I must tell you, that my zephyrs are wafted through cracks in the wainscot; for murmuring streams I have dirty kennels; for bleating flocks, grunting pigs; and squalling cats for birds that incessantly warble—I have said some­thing of this sort in my letter to Miss Spearman, and am twing'd with the idea of these epistles being confronted, and that I shall recall to your memory the fat knight's love letters to Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page.

JULIA, perhaps thou fanciest I am merry—Alas! But I do not wish to make you as doleful as myself; and be­sides, when I would express the tender feelings of my soul, I have no language which does them any justice; if I had, I should regret that you could not have it fresher, and that whatever one communicates by letter must go such a round-about way, before it reaches one's correspondent; from the writer's heart through his head, arm, hand, pen, ink, paper, over many a weary hill and dale, to the eye, head, and heart of the reader. I have often regretted our not possessing a sort of faculty which should enable our sensations, remarks, &c. to arise from their source in a sort of exhalation, and [Page 66] fall upon our paper in words and phrases properly adapted to express them, without passing through an imagination whose operations so often fail to second those of the heart. Then what a metamorphose should we see in people's stile! How eloquent those who are truly attached! How stupid they who falsely profess affection! Perhaps the former had never been able to express half their regard; while the latter, by their flowers of rhetoric, had made us believe a thou­sand times more than they ever felt; but this is whimsical moralizing.

My sisters' Penserosos were dispersed on their arrival in town, by the joy of seeing Louisa and their dear little bro­ther Billy again, our kind and excellent uncle Giradot, and uncle Lewis André. I was glad to see them; but they complained, not without reason, of the gloom upon my countenance: Billy wept for joy that we were returned, while poor Cher Jean was ready to weep for sorrow. Louisa is grown still handsomer since we left her. Our sisters, Mary and Anne, knowing your partiality to beauty, are afraid that when they shall introduce her to you, she will put their noses out of joint. Billy is not old enough for me to be afraid of in the rival way, else I should keep him aloof, for his heart is formed of those affectionate ma­terials, so dear to the ingenuous taste of JULIA and her HONORA.

I sympathize in your resentment against the Canonical Dons, who stumpify the heads of those good green people,* beneath whose friendly shade so many of your happiest hours have glided away; but they defy them; let them stumpify as much as they please; time will repair the mis­chief; their verdant arms will again extend, and invite you to their shelter.

The evenings grow very long; I hope your conversation round the fire will sometimes fall on the Andrés; it will be a great comfort that they are remembered. We chink our glasses to your healths at every meal; here's to our Lich­fieldian friends, says Nanny;—Oh—ho, says Mary; with [Page 67] all my soul, says I; alons, cries my mother; and the draught seems nectar. The libation made us begin our uncloying theme, and so beguile the gloomy evening.

Mr. and Mrs. Seward will accept my most affectionate respects—My male friend at Lichfield will join in your conversation on the Andrés. Among the numerous good qualities he is possessed of, he certainly has gratitude, and then he cannot forget those who so sincerely love and esteem him; I, in particular, shall always recall with pleasure the happy hours I have passed in his company; my friendship for him, and for your family, has diffused itself, like the precious ointment from Aaron's beard, on every thing which surrounds you; therefore I beg you would give my amities to the whole town. Persuade HONORA to forgive the length and ardour of the inclosed, and believe me truly,

Your affectionate and faithful friend, J. ANDRE.

LETTER II.

FROM the midst of books, papers, bills, and other im­plements of gain, let me lift up my drowsy head a while, to converse with dear JULIA. And first, as I know she has a fervent wish to see me a quill-driver, I must tell her, that I begin, as most people are wont to do, to look upon my future profession with great partiality. I no longer see it in so disadvantageous a light. Instead of figuring a merchant as a middle aged man, with a bob wig, a rough beard, in snuff coloured clothes, grasping a guinea in his red hand; I con­ceive a comely young man, with a tolerable pig-tail, wield­ing a pen with all the noble fierceness of the Duke of Marl­borough brandishing a truncheon upon a sign post, sur­rounded with types and emblems, and canopied with cornu­copiaes that disembogue their stores upon his head; Mercu­ries [Page 68] reclin'd upon bales of goods; Genii playing with pens, ink and paper; while, in perspective, his gorgeous vessels "launch'd on the bosom of the silver Thames," are waft­ing to distant lands the produce of this commercial nation. Thus all the mercantile glories crowd on my fancy, embla­zoned in the most refulgent colouring of an ardent imagi­nation—Borne on her soaring pinions, I wing my flight to the time when Heaven shall have crowned my labours with success and opulence. I see sumptuous palaces rising to receive me. I see orphans and widows, and painters, fid­lers, and poets, and builders, protected and encouraged; and when the fabrick is pretty near finished by my shattered pericranium, I cast my eyes around, and find John André, by a small coal fire, in a gloomy compting-house in Warn­ford court, nothing so little as what he has been making himself, and in all probability never to be much more than he is at present. But oh! my dear HONORA! it is for thy sake only I wish for wealth. You say she was somewhat better at the time you wrote last. I must flatter myself that she will soon be without any remains of this threatening disease.

It is seven o'clock; you and HONORA, with two or three more select friends, are now probably encircling your dressing-room fire-place. What would I not give to en­large that circle! The idea of a clean hearth, and a snug circle round it, formed by a few sincere friends, transports me. You seem combined together against the inclemency of the weather, the hurry, bustle, ceremony, censorious­ness, and envy of the world. The purity, the warmth, the kindling influence of fire, to all for whom it is kindled, is a good emblem of the friendship of such amiable minds as JULIA'S and her HONORA'S. Since I cannot be there in reality, pray imagine me with you; admit me to your con­versations; think how I wish for the blessing of joining them! and be persuaded that I take part in all your plea­sures, in the dear hope, that e'er it be very long, your blazing hearth will burn again for me. Pray keep me a place; let the poker, tongs, or shovel represent me; but you [Page 69] have Dutch tiles, which are infinitely better; so let Moses, or Aaron, or Balaam's ass, be my representative.

But time calls me to Clapton. I quit you abruptly till to-morrow: when, if I do not tear the nonsense I have been writing, I may perhaps increase its quantity. Signora Cynthia is in clouded majesty. Silvered with her beams I am about to jog to Clapton upon my own stumps; musing as I homeward plod my way. Ah! need I name the sub­ject of my contemplation!

Thursday.

I had a sweet walk home last night, and found the Clap­tonians, with their fair guest, a Miss Mourgue, very well. My sisters send their amities, and will write in a few days.

This morning I returned to town. It has been the finest day imaginable. A solemn mildness was diffused through­out the blue horizon; its light was clear and distinct, rather than dazzling; the serene beams of the autumnal sun, gilded hills, variegated woods, glittering spires, ruminating herds, bounding flocks, all combined to enchant the eyes, expand the heart, and "chace all sorrow but despair." In the midst of such a scene, no lesser grief can prevent our sympathy with nature—A calmness, a benevolent dis­position seizes us with sweet insinuating power. The very brute creation seem sensible of these beauties; there is a species of mild cheerfulness in the face of a lamb, which I have but indifferently expressed in a corner of my paper; and a demure contented look in an ox, which, in the fear of expressing still worse, I leave unattempted.

Business calls me away. I must dispatch my letter. Yet, what does it contain? No matter, you like any thing better than news. Indeed, you never told me so, but I have an intuitive knowledge upon the subject, from the sympathy which I have constantly perceived in the taste of JULIA and Cher Jean. What is it to you or me,

If here in the city we have nothing but riot,
If the Spitalfield weavers can't be kept quiet.
If the weather is fine, or the streets should be dirty,
Or if Mr. Dick Wilson died aged of thirty?

[Page 70]But, if I was to hearken to the versifying grumbling I feel within me, I should fill my paper, and not have room left to intreat that you would plead my cause to HONORA more eloquently than the inclosed letter has the power of doing. Apropos of verses, you desire me to recollect my random description of the engaging appearance of the charming Mrs. —. Here it is at your service—

Then rustling and bustling the lady comes down,
With a flaming red face, and a broad yellow gown,
And a hobbling out-of-breath gait, and a frown.

This little French cousin of ours, Delariseé, was my sister Mary's play-fellow at Paris. His sprightliness engages my sisters extremely. Doubtless they talk much of him to you in their letters.

How sorry I am to bid you adieu! Oh let me not be for­got by the friends most dear to you at Lichfield! Lich­field! Ah! of what magic letters is that little word com­posed! How graceful it looks when it is written! Let nobody talk to me of its original meaning. "The field of blood!" Oh! no such thing! It is the field of joy! "The beautiful city, that lifts up her fair head in the valley, and says, I am, and there is none beside me!" Who says she is vain? JULIA will not say so—nor yet HONORA; and least of all their devoted

JOHN ANDRE.

LETTER III.

MY ears still ring with the sounds of oh Jack! oh Jack▪ How do the dear Lichfieldians?—What do they say?— What are they about?—What did you do while you were with them?—Have patience, said I, good people; and be­gan [Page 71] my story, which they devoured with as much joyful avidity as Adam did Gabriel's tidings of heaven.—My mo­ther and sisters are all very well, and delighted with their little Frenchman, who is a very agreeable lad.

Surely you applaud the fortitude with which I left you! Did I not come off with flying colours?—It was a great ef­fort; for, alas! this recreant heart did not second the smil­ing courage of the countenance; nor is it yet as it ought to be, from the hopes it may reasonably entertain of seeing you all again e'er the winter's dreary hours are past.— JULIA, my dear JULIA, gild them with tidings of our be­loved HONORA!—Oh that you may be enabled to tell me that she regains her health, and her charming vivacity! Your sympathizing heart partakes all the joys and pains of your friends.—Never can I forget its kind offices, which were of such moment to my peace!—Mine is formed for friendship; and I am blest in being able to place so well the purest pas­sion of an ingenuous mind!—How am I honored in Mr. and Mrs. Seward's attachment to me!—Charming were the anticipations which beguiled the long tracts of hill, and dale, and plain, that divide London from Lichfield!—With what delight my eager eyes drank their first view of the dear spires!—What rapture did I not feel on entering your gates! in flying up the hall steps! in rushing into the dining-room! in meeting the gladdened eyes of dear JULIA and her en­chanting friend!—That instant convinced me of the truth of Rousseau's observation, "That there are moments worth ages." Shall not those moments return? Ah JULIA! the cold hand of absence is heavy upon the heart of your poor Cher Jean—he is forced to hammer into it perpetually every consoling argument that the magic wand of hope can conjure up, viz. that every moment of industrious absence advances his journey, you know whither.—I may some­times make excursions to Lichfield, and bask in the light of my HONORA'S eyes!—Sustain me hope! nothing on my part shall be wanting which may induce thee to fulfil thy blossoming promises.

The happy, social circle, JULIA, HONORA, Miss S—n, [Page 72] Miss B—n, her brother, Mr. S—e, Mr. R—n, &c. &c. are now, perhaps, enlivening your dressing-room, the dear blue region, as HONORA calls it, with the sensible ob­servation, the tasteful criticism, or the elegant song; dread­ing the iron tongue of the nine o'clock bell, which disperses the beings whom friendship and kindred virtues had drawn together.—My imagination attaches itself to all, even the inanimate objects which surround HONORA and her JULIA; that have beheld their graces and virtues expand and ripen; my dear HONORA'S, from their infant bud.

The sleepy Claptonian train are gone to bed, somewhat wearied with their excursion to Enfield, whither they have this day carried their little Frenchman; so great a favorite, the parting was quite tragical. I walked hither from town, as usual, to-night—no hour of the twenty-four is so preci­ous to me as that devoted to this solitary walk.—Oh, my friend! I am far from possessing the patient frame of mind which I so continually invoke!— Why is Lichfield an hun­dred and twenty miles from me?—There is no moderation in the distance! Fifty or sixty miles had been a great deal too much; but then there would have been less opposition from authority to my frequent visits.—I conjure you supply the want of these blessings by frequent letters. I must not, will not ask them of HONORA, since the use of the pen is forbid to her declining health. I will content myself, as usual, with a postscript from her in your epistles.—My sisters are charmed with the packet which arrived yesterday, and which they will answer soon.

As yet I have said nothing of our journey. We met an entertaining Irish gentleman at Dunchurch, and being fel­low sufferers in cold and hunger, joined interests, ordered four horses, and stuffed three in a chaise.—It is not to you I need apologize for talking in raptures of an higler, whom we met on our road. His cart had passed us, and was at a considerable distance, when looking back, he per­ceived that our chaise had stopped, and that the driver seemed mending something. He ran up to him, and with a face full of honest anxiety, pity, good nature, and every sweet [Page 73] affection under heaven, asked him if he wanted any thing; that he had plenty of nails, ropes, &c. in his cart—That wretch of a postilion made no other reply than, "We want nothing, master." From the same impulse, the good Irish­man, Mr. Till, and myself, thrust our heads instantly out of the chaise, and tried to recompence to the honest creature the surly reply, by every kind and grateful acknowledgment, and by forcing upon him a little pecuniary tribute. My benevolence will be the warmer, while I live, for the trea­sured remembrance of this higler's countenance.

I know you interest yourself in my destiny—I have now completely subdued my aversion to the profession of a merchant, and hope in time to acquire an inclination for it.—Yet, God forbid I should ever love what I am to make the object of my attention!—that vile trash, which I care not for, but only as it may be the future means of pro­curing the blessing of my soul—Thus all my mercantile calculations go to the tune of dear HONORA.—When an impertinent consciousness whispers in my ear, that I am not of the right stuff for a merchant, I draw my HONORA'S picture from my bosom, and the sight of that dear talisman so inspires my industry, that no toil appears oppressive.

The poetic task you set me is in a sad method—My head and heart are too full of other matters to be engrossed by a draggle-tailed wench of the Heliconian puddle.

I am going to try my interest in Parliament—How you stare!—It is to procure a frank.—Be so good to give the enclosed to HONORA—it will speak to her—and do you say every thing that is kind of me to every other distinguished friend of the dressing-room circle—encourage them in their obliging desire of scribbling in your letters; but do not let them take HONORA'S corner of the sheet.

Adieu!—May you all possess that cheerfulness denied to your Cher Jean. I fear it hurts my mother to see my musing moods; but I can neither help nor overcome them. The near hopes of another excursion to Lichfield could alone disperse every gloomy vapour of my imagination.

Again, and yet again, adieu!

J. ANDRE.
[Page 74]

WE find annexed to Miss SEWARD'S Monody on Major André this note:—

‘Miss HONORA S—, to whom Mr. André's at­tachment was of such singular constancy, died, in a con­sumption, a few months before he suffered death at Tap­pan. She had married another gentleman four years af­ter her engagement with Mr. André had been dissolved by parental authority.’

By another note we are informed, that, on receiving the tidings of HONORA'S marriage, Mr. André quitted his pro­fession as a merchant, and joined the British army in Ame­rica.

Another note has these words:—

‘A letter from Major André to one of his friends, writ­ten a few years ago, contained the following sentence:— I have been taken prisoner by the Americans, and stript of every thing except the picture of HONORA, which I concealed in my mouth. Preserving that, I yet think my­self fortunate.’

[Page]
In the year 1780 Major André amused himself and his friends by writ­ing the following little Poem, called the Cow Chace; and Mr. James Rivington, at that time printer to his Britannic Majesty in New-York, says, that the poet gave him the last Canto the day before he left town on the fatal expedition, and that it appeared in the Royal Gazette the morning of the day André was taken. The last stanza has been called prophetic; and the puerile idea has been entertained by many, and even adopted by Miss Seward, that this trifling performance influenced the Court-martial in their decision on the trial of its author!

THE COW CHACE.

CANTO I.

TO drive the kine one summer's morn,
The tanner took his way;
The calf shall rue that is unborn
The jumbling of that day.
And Wayne descending steers shall know,
And tauntingly deride,
And call to mind in every low
The tanning of his hide.
Yet Bergen cows still ruminate
Unconscious in the stall,
What mighty means were used to get
And loose them after all.
For many heroes bold and brave
From New-Bridge and Tapaan,
And those that drink Passaick's wave,
And those that eat soupaan;
[Page 76]
And sons of distant Delaware,
And still remoter Shannon.
And Major Lee, with horses rare,
And Proctor with his cannon:
All wond'rous proud in arms they came;
What hero could refuse,
To tread the rugged path to fame,
Who had a pair of shoes?
At six the host with sweating buff,
Arrived at freedom's pole;
When Wayne, who thought he'd time enough,
Thus speechified the whole:
"O ye whom glory doth unite,
Who freedom's cause espouse,
Whether the wing that's doom'd to fight,
Or that to drive the cows!
Ere yet you tempt your further way,
Or into action come,
Hear, soldiers, what I have to say,
And take a pint of rum.
Intemp'rate valour then will string
Each nervous arm the better;
So all the land shall IO sing,
And read the Gen'ral's letter.
Know that some paltry refugees
Whom I've a mind to fight,
Are playing h—l amongst the trees,
That grow on yonder height.
Their fort and block-houses we'll level,
And deal a horrid slaughter;
We'll drive the scoundrels to the devil,
* * * * * * * * * * *
[Page 77]
I, under cover of th' attack,
Whilst you are all at blows,
From English Neighb'rood and Tinack
Will drive away the cows.
For well you know the latter is
The serious operation;
And fighting with the refugees
Is only demonstration."
His daring words from all the crowd
Such great applause did gain,
That every man declar'd aloud
For serious work with Wayne.
Then from the cask of rum once more
They took a heady jill,
When one and all they loudly swore
They'd fight upon the hill.
But here—the Muse has not a strain
Befitting such great deeds;
Huzza, they cried, huzza for Wayne
* * * * * * * * * * * *

CANTO II.

NEAR his meridian pomp the sun
Had journey'd from th' horizon,
When fierce the dusky tribe mov'd on,
Of heroes drunk as poison.
The sounds confused of boasting oaths,
Re-echoed thro' the wood;
Some vow'd to sleep in dead men's clothes
And some to swim in blood.
[Page 78]
At Irvine's nod 'twas fine to see
The left prepare to fight,
The while the drovers, Wayne and Lee,
Drew off upon the right.
Which Irvine 'twas, Fame don't relate,
Nor can the Muse assist her,
Whether 'twas he that cocks a hat,
Or he that * * * * * *
For greatly one was signalized,
That fought at Chesnut-Hill;
And Canada immortalized
The vender of the pill.
Yet the attendance upon Proctor,
They both might have to boast of;
For there was business for the doctor,
And hats to be disposed of.
Let none uncandidly infer,
That Stirling wanted spunk;
The self-made peer had sure been there,
But that the peer was drunk.
But turn we to the Hudson's banks,
Where stood the modest train,
With purpose firm, tho' slender ranks,
Nor car'd a pin for Wayne.
For them the unrelenting hand
Of rebel fury drove,
And tore from ev'ry genial band,
Of friendship and of love.
And some within a dungeon's gloom,
By mock tribunals laid;
Had waited long a cruel doom,
Impending o'er their heads.
[Page 79]
Here one bewails a brother's fate,
There one a sire demands,
Cut off, alas! before their date,
By ignominious hands.
And silver'd grandsires here appear'd,
In deep distress serene,
Of reverend manners, that declared
The better days they'd seen.
Oh curs'd rebellion! these are thine,
Thine are these tales of woe;
Shall at thy dire insatiate shrine
Blood never cease to flow?
And now the foe began to lead
His forces to the attack;
Balls whistling unto balls succeed,
And make the block-house crack.
No shot could pass if you will take
The Gen'ral's word for true;
But 'tis a d—ble mistake,
For ev'ry shot went thro'.
The firmer as the rebels press'd,
The loyal heroes stand;
Virtue had nerv'd each honest breast,
And industry each hand.
"In * valour's phrenzy, Hamilton
"Rode like a soldier big,
"And secretary Harrison,
"With pen stuck in his wig."
"But least their chieftain Washington,
"Should mourn them in the mumps,
"The fate of Withrington to shun,
"They fought behind the stumps."
[Page 80]
But ah, Thadaeus Posset, why
Should thy poor soul elope?
And why should Titus Hooper die,
Ah die—without a rope?
Apostate Murphy, thou to whom
Fair Shela ne'er was cruel,
In death shalt hear her mourn thy doom,
Auch wou'd you die my jewel?
Thee Nathan Pumpkin I lament,
Of melancholy fate,
The grey goose stolen as he went,
In his heart's blood was wet.
Now as the fight was further fought,
And balls began to thicken,
The fray assum'd, the Gen'rals thought,
The colour of a licking.
Yet undismay'd the chiefs command,
And, to redeem the day,
Cry, SOLDIERS CHARGE! they hear, they stand,
They turn, and run away.

CANTO III.

NOT all delights the bloody spear,
Or horrid din of battle,
There are, I'm sure, who'd like to hear,
A word about the cattle.
The chief whom we beheld of late,
Near Schralenberg haranguing,
At Yan Van Poop's, unconscious [...],
Of Irvine's hearty banging.
[Page 81]
Whilst valiant Lee, with courage wild,
Most bravely did oppose
The tears of woman and of child,
Who begg'd he'd leave the cows.
But Wayne, of sympathising heart,
Required a relief,
Not all the blessings could impart
Of battle or of beef;
For now a prey to female charms,
His soul took more delight in
A lovely * Hamadryad's arms,
Than cow driving or fighting:
A nymph, the refugees had drove,
Far from her native tree,
Just happen'd to be on the move,
When up came Wayne and Lee.
She in mad Anthony's fierce eye,
The hero saw pourtray'd;
And all in tears she took him by
— The bridle of his jade.
Hear, said the nymph, O great commander!
No human lamentations;
The trees you see them cutting yonder,
Are all my near relations.
And I, forlorn! implore thine aid,
To free the sacred grove;
So shall thy prowess be repaid
With an Immortal's love.
Now some, to prove she was a Goddess,
Said this enchanting fair
[Page 82]Had late retired fore the bodies, *
In all the pomp of war.
That drums and merry fifes had play'd
To honor her retreat,
And Cunningham himself convey'd
The lady thro' the street.
Great Wayne, by soft compassion sway'd,
To no inquiry stoops,
But takes the fair afflicted maid
Right into Yan Van Poop's.
So Roman Anthony, they say,
Disgraced the imperial banner,
And for a gypsy lost the day,
Like Anthony the tanner.
* * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * *
When drums and colours, cow and calf,
Came down the road amain.
All in a cloud of dust were seen
The sheep, the horse, the goat,
The gentle heifer, ass obscene,
The yearling and the shoat.
And pack-horses with fowls came by,
Befeather'd on each side,
Like Pegasus, the horse that I
And other poets ride.
Sublime upon his stirrups rose
The mighty Lee behind,
And drove the terror-smitten cows
Like chaff before the wind.
[Page 83]
But sudden see the woods above
Pour down another corps;
All helter skelter in a drove,
Like that I sung before.
Irvine and terror in the van
Came flying all abroad;
And cannon, colours, horse and man,
Ran tumbling to the road.
Still as he fled, 'twas Irvine's cry,
And his example too,
"Run on, my merry men all—For why?
The shot will not go thro'."
Five refugees ('tis true) were found
Stiff on the block-house floor,
But then 'tis thought the shot went round,
And in at the back door.
As when too kennels in the street,
Swell'd with a recent rain,
In gushing streams together meet,
And seek the neighbouring drain:
So met these dung-born tribes in one,
As swift in their career;
And so to New-Bridge they ran on,—
But all the cows got clear.
Poor parson —, all in wonder,
Saw the returning train,
And mourn'd to Wayne the lack of plunder
For them to steal again.
For 'twas his right to seize the spoil, and
To share with each commander,
As he had done at Staten-Island,
With frost-bit Alexander.*
[Page 84]
In his dismay the frantic priest
Began to grow prophetic,
You'd swore, to see his lab'ring breast,
He'd taken an emetic.
I view a future day, said he,
Brighter than this day dark is,
And you shall see what you shall see,
Ha! ha! one pretty Marquis;
And he shall come to Paules-hook,
And great atchievements think on;
And make a bow, and take a look,
Like satan over Lincoln.
And all the land around shall glory
To see the Frenchmen caper,
And pretty Susan tell the story
In the next Chatham paper.
This solemn prophecy, of course,
Gave all much consolation,
Except to Wayne, who lost his horse
Upon the great occasion.
His horse that carried all his prog,
His military speeches,
His corn-stalk whisky for his grog,
Blue stockings, and brown breeches.
And now I've clos'd my epic strain,
I tremble as I shew it,
Lest this same warrior-drover, Wayne,
Should ever catch the poet.
[Page]

TRIAL OF MAJOR JOHN ANDRE.

Extracts of Letters from General WASHINGTON to the President of Congress.

SIR,

I HAVE the honor to inform Congress, that I arrived here yesterday about twelve o'clock, on my return from Hart­ford. Some hours previous to my arrival, Major-General Arnold went from his quarters, which were this place, and, as it was supposed, over the river to the garrison at West-Point, whither I proceeded myself, in order to visit the post▪ I found General Arnold had not been there during the day; and, on my return to his quarters, he was still absent. In the mean time, a packet had arrived from Lieut. Colonel Jameson, announcing the capture of a John Anderson, who was endeavouring to go to New-York, with several interest­ing and important papers, all in the hand-writing of General Arnold. This was also accompanied with a letter from the prisoner, avowing himself to be Major John André, Adju­tant-General to the British army, relating the manner of his capture, and endeavouring to shew that he did not come under the description of a spy. From these several circum­stances, and information that the General seemed to be thrown into some degree of agitation, on receiving a letter a little time before he went from his quarters, I was led to con­clude immediately that he had heard of Major André's cap­tivity, and that he would, if possible, escape to the enemy; and accordingly took such measures as appeared the most pro­bable [Page 86] to apprehend him. But he had embarked in a barge, and proceeded down the river, under a flag, to the Vulture ship of war, which lay at some miles below Stony and Verplanck's Points. He wrote me a letter after he got on board.—Major André is not yet arrived, but I hope he is secure, and that he will be here to-day. I have been, and am taking precautions, which I trust will prove effectual, to prevent the important consequences which this conduct, on the part of General Arnold, was intended to produce. I do not know the party that took Major André, but it is said that it consisted only of a few militia, who acted in such a manner upon the oc­casion, as does them the highest honor, and proves them to be men of great virtue. As soon as I know their names, I shall take pleasure in transmitting them to Congress.

SIR,

I have the honor to enclose Congress a copy of the pro­ceedings of a Board of General Officers in the case of Major André, Adjutant-General to the British army. This officer was executed, in pursuance of the opinion of the Board, on Monday, the 2d instant, at twelve o'clock, at our late camp, at Tappan. Besides the proceedings, I transmit copies of sundry letters respecting the matter, which are all that passed on the subject, not included in the proceedings.

I have now the pleasure to communicate the names of the three persons who captured Major André, and who refused to release him, notwithstanding the most earnest importuni­ties and assurances of a liberal reward on his part. Their names are, John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Wert.

[Page 87]

Proceedings of a Board of General Officers, held by or­der of his Excellency General WASHINGTON, Com­mander in Chief of the Army of the United States of America, respecting Major ANDRE, Adjutant-General of the British Army, September the 29th, 1780, at Tappan, in the State of New-York.

PRESENT.
  • Major-General Green, President.
  • Major-General Lord Stirling,
  • Major-General St. Clair,
  • Major-General the Marquis la Fayette,
  • Major-General Howe,
  • Major-General the Baron de Steuben,
  • Brigadier-General Parsons,
  • Brigadier-General Clinton,
  • Brigadier-General Knox,
  • Brigadier-General Glover,
  • Brigadier-General Patterson,
  • Brigadier-General Hand,
  • Brigadier-General Huntington,
  • Brigadier-General Starke,
  • John Lawrence, Judge-Advocate-General.

MAJOR ANDRE, Adjutant-General to the British army, was brought before the Board, and the following let­ter from General Washington to the Board, dated Head­quarters, Tappan, September 29, 1780, was laid before them, and read.

GENTLEMEN,

Major André, Adjutant-General to the British army, will be brought before you for your examination. He came within our lines in the night, on an interview with Major-General Arnold, and in an assumed character, and was taken within our lines, in a disguised habit, with a pass under a feigned name, and with the enclosed papers concealed upon him. After a careful examination, you will be pleased, as [Page 88] speedily as possible, to report a precise state of his case, to­gether with your opinion of the light in which he ought to be considered, and the punishment that ought to be inflicted. The Judge-Advocate will attend to assist in the examina­tion, who has sundry other papers, relative to this matter, which he will lay before the Board.

I have the honor to be, gentlemen, Your most obedient and humble servant, G. WASHINGTON.

The Board of General Officers convened at Tappan.

The names of the officers composing the Board were read to Major André, and on his being asked whether he confessed the matters contained in the letter from his Excellency Ge­neral Washington to the Board, or denied them, he said, "in addition to his letter to General Washington, dated Salem, the 24th September, 1780," which was read to the Board, and acknowledged by Major André to have been written by him, which letter is as follows:

SIR,

WHAT I have as yet said concerning myself, was in the justifiable attempt to be extricated; I am too little accus­tomed to duplicity to have succeeded.

I beg your Excellency will be persuaded that no altera­tion in the temper of my mind, or apprehension for my safety, induces me to take the step of addressing you, but that it is to secure myself from an imputation of having assumed a mean character, for treacherous purposes or self-interest—A conduct incompatible with the principles that actuated me, as well as with my condition in life.

It is to vindicate my fame that I speak, and not to solicit security.

The person in your possession is Major John André, Adjutant-General to the British army.

The influence of one commander in the army of his adversary, is an advantage taken in war. A correspond­ence [Page 89] for this purpose I held; as confidential (in the present instance) with his Excellency Sir Henry Clinton.

To favor it, I agreed to meet upon ground not within posts of either army, a person who was to give me intelli­gence: I came up in the Vulture man of war, for this effect, and was fetched, by a boat from the shore, to the beach: Being there, I was told that the approach of day would pre­vent my return, and that I must be concealed until the next night. I was in my regimentals, and had fairly risked my person.

Against my stipulation, my intention, and without my knowledge before hand, I was conducted within one of your posts. Your Excellency may conceive my sensation on this occasion, and will imagine how much more I must have been affected, by a refusal to reconduct me back the next night, as I had been brought. Thus become a pri­soner, I had to concert my escape. I quitted my uniform, was passed another way in the night without the American posts to neutral ground, and informed I was beyond all armed parties, and left to press for New-York. I was taken at Tarry-Town by some volunteers.

Thus, as I have had the honor to relate, was I betrayed (being Adjutant-General of the British army) into the vile condition of an enemy in disguise within your posts.

Having avowed myself a British officer, I have nothing to reveal but what relates to myself, which is true on the honor of an officer and a gentleman.

The request I have to make your Excellency, and I am conscious I address myself well, is, that in any rigor policy may dictate, a decency of conduct towards me may mark, that though unfortunate, I am branded with nothing dis­honorable, as no motive could be mine but the service of my King, and as I was involuntarily an impostor.

Another request is, that I may be permitted to write an open letter to Sir Henry Clinton, and another to a friend for clothes and linen.

I take the liberty to mention the condition of some gen­tlemen at Charleston, who being either on parole or under [Page 90] protection, were engaged in a conspiracy against us. Tho' their situation is not similar, they are objects who may be set in exchange for me, or are persons whom the treatment I receive might affect.

It is no less, Sir, in a confidence in the generosity of your mind, than on account of your superior station, that I have chosen to importune you with this letter.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient, and most humble servant, JOHN ANDRE, Adjutant-General.

His Excellency General Washington, &c. &c. &c.

That he came on shore from the Vulture sloop of war, in the night of the twenty-first of September instant, some­where under the Haverstraw Mountain: That the boat he came on shore in carried no flag; and that he had on a surtout coat over his regimentals, and that he wore his surtout coat when he was taken: That he met General Arnold on the shore, and had an interview with him there. He also said, that when he left the Vulture sloop of war, it was under­stood that he was to return that night; but it was then doubt­ed, and if he could not return, he was promised to be conceal­ed on shore in a place of safety, until the next night, when he was to return in the same manner he came on shore; and when the next day came, he was solicitous to get back, and made inquiries in the course of the day how he should return, when he was informed he could not return that way, and he must take the route he did afterwards. He also said, that the first notice he had of his being within any of our posts, was, being challenged by the sentry, which was the first night he was on shore. He also said, that the evening of the twenty-second of September instant, he passed King's-Ferry, between our posts of Stony and Verplanck's Points, in the dress he is at present in, and which he said was not his regimentals, and which dress he procured, after he landed from the Vulture, and when he was within our post; and that he was proceeding to New-York, but was taken on his [Page 91] way at Tarry-Town, as he has mentioned in his letter, on Saturday the twenty-third of September instant, about nine o'clock in the morning.

The following papers were laid before the Board and shewn to Major André, who confessed to the Board, that they were found on him when he was taken, and said they were concealed in his boot, except the pass:—

A pass from General Arnold to John Anderson, which name Major André acknowledged he assumed.

Artillery orders, September 5, 1780.

Estimate of the force at West-Point and its dependencies, September, 1780.

Estimate of men to man the works at West-Point, &c.

Return of ordnance at West-Point, September, 1780.

Remarks on works at West-Point.

Copy of a state of matters laid before a council of war, by his Excellency General Washington, held the 6th of September, 1780.

A letter signed John Anderson, dated September 7, 1780, to Colonel Sheldon,* was also laid before the Board, and shewn to Major André, which he acknowledged to have been written by him, and is as follows:

SIR,

I AM told my name is made known to you, and that I may hope your indulgence in permitting me to meet a friend near your out-posts. I will endeavour to obtain permission to go out with a flag, which will be sent to Dobb's Ferry on Monday next, the 11th, at twelve o'clock, when I shall [Page 92] be happy to meet Mr. G—.* Should I not be allow­ed to go, the officer who is to command the escort, between whom and myself no distinction need be made, can speak on the affair.

Let me intreat you, Sir, to favor a matter so interesting to the parties concerned, and which is of so private a nature, that the public on neither side can be injured by it.

I shall be happy on my part in doing any act of kindness to you, in a family or property concern of a similar nature

I trust I shall not be detained, but should any old grudge be a cause for it, I shall rather [...]k that, than neglect the busi­ness in question, or assume a mysterious character to carry on an innocent affair, and, as friends have advised, get to your lines by stealth. I am, Sir, with all regard.

Your most obedient humble servant, JOHN ANDERSON.

Col. Sheldon.

*
It appears by the same letter, that Arnold had written to Mr. An­derson under the signature of Gustavus. His words are "I was obliged to write with great caution to him, my letter was signed Gustavus, to prevent any discovery, in case it fell into the hands of the enemy."

Major André observed that this letter could be of no force in the case in question, as it was written in New-York, when he was under the orders of General Clinton; but that it tended to prove that it was not his intention to come within our lines.

The Board having interrogated Major André about his conception of his coming on shore under the sanction of a flag, he said, that it was impossible for him to suppose he came on shore under that sanction; and added, that if he came on shore under that sanction, he certainly might have returned under it.

Major André having acknowledged the preceding facts▪ and being asked whether he had any thing to say respecting them, answered, he left them to operate with the Board.

The examination of Major André being concluded, he was remanded into custody.

[Page 93]The following letters were laid before the Board, and read:—Benedict Arnold's letter to General Washington, dated September 25, 1780; Colonel Robinson's letter to General Washington, dated September 25, 1780; and General Clinton's letter, dated 26th Semptember, 1780, (in­closing a letter of the same date from Benedict Arnold) to General Washington.

SIR,

THE heart which is conscious of its own rectitude, can­not attempt to palliate a step which the world may censure as wrong; I have ever acted from a principle of love to my country, since the commencement of the present un­happy contest between Great-Britain and the colonies; the same principle of love to my country actuates my present conduct, however it may appear inconsistent to the world, who very seldom judge right of any man's actions.

I have no favor to ask for myself. I have too often ex­perienced the ingratitude of my country to attempt it; but from the known humanity of your Excellency, I am induc­ed to ask your protection for Mrs. Arnold, from every insult and injury that the mistaken vengeance of my country may expose her to. It ought to fall only on me; she is as good and as innocent as an angel, and is incapable of doing wrong. I beg she may be permitted to return to her friends in Philadelphia, or to come to me, as she may choose: from your Excellency I have no fears on her account, but she may suffer from the mistaken fury of the country.

I have to request that the inclosed letter may be delivered to Mrs. Arnold, and she permitted to write to me.

I have also to ask that my clothes and baggage, which are of little consequence, may be sent to me; if required, their value shall be paid for in money.

I have the honor to be, with great regard and esteem. Your Excellency's most obedient humble servant, B. ARNOLD.

His Excellency General Washington.

[Page 94]

N. B. In justice to the gentlemen of my family, Colonel Varick and Major Franks, I think myself in honor bound to declare, that they, as well as Joshua Smith, Esq. (who I know is suspected) are totally ignorant of any transactions of mine, that they had reason to believe were injurious to the public.

SIR,

I AM this moment informed that Major André, Adjutant-General of his Majesty's army in America, is detained as a prisoner by the army under your command: it is, therefore, incumbent on me to inform you of the manner of his fall­ing into your hands. He went up with a flag at the request of General Arnold, on public business with him, and had his permit to return by land to New-York. Under these circumstances Major André cannot be [...]ined by you, without the greatest violation of flags, and contrary to the custom and usage of all nations; and▪ as I imagine you will see this matter in the same point of view as I do, I must desire that you will order him to be set at liberty, and al­lowed to return immediately. Every step Major André took was by the advice and direction of General Arnold, even that of taking a feigned name, and of course not liable to censure for it.

I am, Sir, not forgetting former acquaintance, Your very humble servant, BEV. ROBINSON, Col. Loyal Americans.

His Excellency General Washington.

SIR,

BEING informed that the King's Adjutant-General in America has been stopt under Major-General Arnold's passports, and is detained a prisoner in your Excellency's army, I have the honor to inform you, Sir, that I permitted Major André to go to Major-General Arnold, at the particular request of that general officer. You will per­ceive, Sir, by the inclosed paper, that a flag of truce was sent to receive Major André, and passports granted for his [Page 95] return: I therefore can have no doubt but your Excellency will immediately direct, that this officer has permission to return to my orders at New-York.

I have the honor to be, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant. H. CLINTON.

His Excellency General Washington.

SIR,

IN answer to your Excellency's message, respecting your Adjutant-General, Major André, and desiring my idea of the reasons why he is detained, being under my passports, I have the honor to inform you, Sir, that I apprehend a few hours must return Major André to your Excellency's orders, as that officer is assuredly under the protection of a flag of truce sent by me to him, for the purpose of a con­versation which I requested to hold with him relating to myself, and which I wished to communicate through that officer to your Excellency.

I commanded at the time at West-Point, had an un­doubted right to send my flag of truce for Major André, who came to me under that protection, and having held my conversation with him, I delivered him confidential papers in my own hand-writing, to deliver to your Excel­lency. Thinking it much properer he should return by land, I directed him to make use of the feigned name of John Anderson, under which he had, by my direction, come on shore, and gave him my passports to go to the White Plains, on his way to New-York. This officer cannot therefore fail of being immediately sent to New-York, as he was invited to a conversation with me, for which I sent him a flag of truce, and finally gave him passports for his safe return to your Excellency; all which I had then a right to do, being in the actual service of America, under the orders of General Washington, and commanding general at West-Point and its dependencies.

I have the honor to be, your Excellency's most obedient and very humble servant, B. ARNOLD.

His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton.

[Page 96]The Board having considered the letter from his Excel­lency General Washington respecting Major André, Ad­jutant-General to the British army, the confession of Major André, and the papers produced to them, REPORT to his Excellency the Commander in Chief, the following facts, which appear to them relative to Major André.

First, That he came on shore from the Vulture sloop of war, in the night of the twenty-first of September instant, on an interview with General Arnold, in a private and secret manner.

Secondly, That he changed his dress within our lines, and under a feigned name, and in a disguised habit, passed our works at Stony and Verplanck's Points, the evening of the twenty-second of September instant, and was taken the morning of the twenty-third of September instant, at Tarry-Town, in a disguised habit, being then on his way to New-York; and when taken, he had in his possession several papers, which contained intelligence for the enemy.

The Board having maturely considered these facts, DO ALSO REPORT to his Excellency General Washington, that Major André, Adjutant-General to the British army, ought to be considered as a Spy from the enemy, and that agreeable to the law and usage of nations, it is their opinion, he ought to suffer death.

  • Nathaniel Green, Major-General, President.
  • Stirling, Major-General.
  • Ar. St. Clair, Major-General.
  • La Fayette, Major-General.
  • R. Howe, Major-General.
  • Steuben, Major-General.
  • Samuel H. Parsons, Brigadier-General.
  • James Clinton, Brigadier-General.
  • H. Knox, Brigadier-General of Artillery.
  • John Glover, Brigadier-General.
  • John Patterson, Brigadier-General.
  • Edward Hand, Brigadier-General.
  • J. Huntington, Brigadier-General.
  • John Starke, Brigadier-General.
  • John Lawrence, Judge-Advocate-General.
[Page]

APPENDIX.

Copy of a Letter from Major André, Adjutant-General, to Sir Henry Clinton, K. B. &c. &c.

SIR,

YOUR Excellency is doubtless already apprized of the manner in which I was taken, and possibly of the serious light in which my conduct is considered, and the rigorous determination that is impending.

Under these circumstances, I have obtained General Washington's permission to send you this letter; the object of which is, to remove from your breast any suspicion, that I could imagine I was bound by your Excellency's orders to expose myself to what has happened. The events of coming within an enemy's posts, and of changing my dress, which led me to my present situation, were contrary to my own intentions, as they were to your orders; and the cir­cuitous route, which I took to return, was imposed (per­haps unavoidably) without alternative upon me.

I am perfectly tranquil in mind, and prepared for any fate to which an honest zeal for my King's service may have devoted me.

In addressing myself to your Excellency on this occa­sion, the force of all my obligations to you, and of the attachment and gratitude I bear you, recurs to me. With all the warmth of my heart, I give you thanks for your Excellency's profuse kindness to me; and I send you the most earnest wishes for your welfare, which a faithful, affectionate, and respectful attendant can frame.

I have a mother and three sisters, to whom the value of my commission would be an object, as the loss of Grenada has much affected their income. It is needless to be more explicit on this subject; I am persuaded of your Excellen­cy's goodness.

[Page 98]I receive the greatest attention from his Excellency Ge­neral Washington, and from every person under whose charge I happen to be placed.

I have the honor to be, With the most respectful attachment, Your Excellency's most obedient, and most humble servant, JOHN ANDRE, Adjutant-General.

(Addressed) His Excellency Gen. Sir Henry Clinton, K. B. &c. &c. &c.

Copy of a Letter from his Excellency General Washing­ton, to his Excellency Sir Henry Clinton.

SIR,

IN answer to your Excellency's letter of the 26th instant, which I had the honor to receive, I am to inform you, that Major André was taken under such circumstances as would have justified the most summary proceedings against him. I determined, however, to refer his case to the examination and decision of a Board of General Officers, who have re­ported, on his free and voluntary confession and letters, "That he came on shore from the Vulture sloop of war, in the night of the twenty-first of September instant," &c. &c. as in the report of the Board of General Officers.

From these proceedings, it is evident Major André was employed in the execution of measures very foreign to the objects of flags of truce, and such as they were never meant to authorise or countenance in the most distant degree; and this gentleman confessed, with the greatest candor, in the course of his examination, "That it was impossible for him to suppose he came on shore under the sanction of a flag."

I have the honor to be your Excellency's Most obedient and most humble servant, G. WASHINGTON.

(Addressed) His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton.

In this letter, Major André's of the 29th of September to Sir Henry Clinton was transmitted.

[Page 99]
SIR,

PERSUADED that you are inclined rather to promote than prevent the civilities and acts of humanity, which the rules of war permit between civilized nations, I find no difficulty in representing to you, that several letters and mes­sages sent from hence have been disregarded, are unanswer­ed, and the flags of truce that carried them, detained. As I have ever treated all flags of truce with civility and re­spect, I have a right to hope, that you will order my com­plaint to be immediately redressed.

Major André, who visited an officer commanding in a district at his own desire, and acted in every circumstance agreeable to his direction, I find is detained a prisoner; my friendship for him leads me to fear he may suffer some inconvenience for want of necessaries; I wish to be allowed to send him a few, and shall take it as a favor if you will be pleased to permit his servant to deliver them. In Sir Henry Clinton's absence, it becomes a part of my [...] make this representation and request.

I am, Sir, your Excellency's Most obedient humble servant, JAMES ROBERTSON, Lieutenant-General.

His Excellency General Washington.

SIR,

I HAVE just received your letter of the 29th. Any delay which may have attended your flags, has proceeded from accident and the peculiar circumstances of the occa­sion, not from intentional neglect or violation. The letter that admitted of an answer, has received one as early as it could be given with propriety, transmitted by a flag this morning. As to messages, I am uninformed of any that have been sent.

The necessaries for Major André will be delivered to him, agreeable to your request.

I am, Sir, Your most obedient humble servant, G. WASHINGTON.

His Excellency Lieut. Gen. Robertson, New-York.

[Page 100]
SIR,

FROM your Excellency's letter of this date, I am per­suaded the Board of General Officers▪ to whom you referred the case of Major André, cannot have been rightly inform­ed of all the circumstances on which a judgment ought to be formed. I think it of the highest moment to humanity, that your Excellency should be perfectly apprized of the state of this matter, before you proceed to put that judgment in execution.

For this reason, I send his Excellency Lieutenant-Gene­ral Robertson, and two other gentlemen, to give you a true state of facts, and to declare to you my sentiments and resolutions. They will set out to-morrow, as early as the wind and tide will permit, and wait near Dobb's Ferry for your permission and safe conduct, to meet your Excellency, or such persons as you may appoint, to con­verse with them on this subject.

I have the honor to be your Excellency's Most obedient and most humble servant, H. CLINTON.

P. S. The Hon. Andrew Elliot, Esq. Lieutenant-Go­vernor, and the Hon. William Smith, Chief-Justice of this province, will attend his Excellency Lieutenant-General Robertson.

H. C.

His Excellency General Washington.

Lieut. General Robertson, Mr. Elliot, and Mr. Smith, came up in a flag vessel to Dobb's Ferry, agreeable to the above letter. The two last were not suffered to land. General Robertson was permitted to come on shore, and was met by Major-General Greene, who verbally reported that General Robertson mentioned to him in substance what is contained in his letter of the 2d of October to General Washington.

SIR,

I TAKE this opportunity to inform your Excellency, that I consider myself no longer acting under the commis­sion [Page 101] of Congress: Their last to me being among my papers at West-Point, you, Sir, will make such use of it as you think proper.

At the same time, I beg leave to assure your Excellency, that my attachment to the true interest of my country is in­variable, and that I am actuated by the same principle which has ever been the governing rule of my conduct, in this unhappy contest.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Your Excellency's most obedient humble servant, B. ARNOLD.

His Excellency General Washington.

SIR,

A NOTE I have from General Greene, leaves me in doubt if his memory had served him to relate to you, with exactness, the substance of the conversation that had passed between him and myself, on the subject of Major André. In an affair of so much consequence to my friend, to the two armies, and humanity, I would leave no possibility of a mis­understanding, and therefore take the liberty to put in writ­ing the substance of what I said to General Greene.

I offered to prove, by the evidence of Colonel Robinson, and the officers of the Vulture, that Major André went on shore at General Arnold's desire, in a boat sent for him with a flag of truce; that he not only came ashore with the know­ledge, and under the protection of the general who com­manded in the district, but that he took no step, while on shore, but by the direction of General Arnold, as will ap­pear by the inclosed letter from him to your Excellency. Under these circumstances I could not, and hoped you would not, consider Major André as a spy, for any improper phrase in his letter to you.

The facts he relates correspond with the evidence I offer; but he admits a conclusion that does not follow. The change of clothes and name was ordered by General Arnold, under whose direction he necessarily was, while within his com­mand. [Page 102] As General Greene and I did not agree in opinion, I wished that disinterested gentlemen of knowledge of the law of war and nations, might he asked their opinion on the subject, and mentioned Monsieur Knyphausen and General Rochambault.

I related that a Captain Robinson had been delivered to Sir Henry Clinton as a spy, and undoubtedly was such; but that it being signified to him that you were desirous that this man should be exchanged, he had ordered him to be ex­changed.

I wished that an intercourse of such civilities as the rules of war admit of, might take off many of its horrors. I ad­mitted that Major André had a great share of Sir Henry Clinton's esteem, and that he would be infinitely obliged by his liberation; and that if he was permitted to return with me, I would engage to have any person you would be pleas­ed to name, set at liberty.

I added, that Sir Henry Clinton had never put to death any person for a breach of the rules of war, though he had, and now has, many in his power. Under the present cir­cumstances, much good may arise from humanity, much ill from the want of it. If that could give any weight, I beg leave to add, that your favorable treatment of Major André will be a favor I should ever be intent to return to any you hold dear.

My memory does not retain with the exactness I could wish, the words of the letter which General Greene shewed me from Major André to your Excellency. For Sir Henry Clinton's satisfaction, I beg you will order a copy of it to be sent to me at New-York.

I have the honor to be your Excellency's Most obedient, and most humble servant, JAMES ROBERTSON.

His Excellency General Washington.

SIR,

THE polite attention shewn by your Excellency and the gentlemen of your family to Mrs. Arnold, when in distress, [Page 103] demands my grateful acknowledgment and thanks, which I beg leave to present.

From your Excellency's letter to Sir Henry Clinton, I find a board of general officers have given it as their opi­nion, that Major André comes under the description of a spy. My good opinion of the candor and justice of those gentlemen leads me to believe, that if they had been made fully acquainted with every circumstance respecting Major André▪ that they would by no means have considered him in the [...]ight of a spy, or even of a prisoner. In justice to him, I think it my duty to declare, that he came from on board the Vulture at my particular request, by a flag sent on purpose for him by Joshua Smith, Esq. who had permis­sion to go to Dobb's Ferry, to carry letters, and for other purposes not mentioned, and to return. This was done as a blind to the spy boats. Mr. Smith at the same time had my private instructions to go on board the Vulture, and bring on shore Colonel Robinson, or Mr. John Anderson, which was the name I had requested Major André to assume: at the same time I desired Mr. Smith to inform him that he should have my protection, and a safe passport to return in the same boat, as soon as our business was completed. As several accidents intervened to prevent his being sent on board, I gave him my passport to return by land. Major André came on shore in his uniform (without disguise), which, with much reluctance, at my particular and pressing instance, he exchanged for another coat. I furnished him with a horse and saddle, and pointed out the route by which he was to return. And, as commanding officer in the de­partment, I had an undoubted right to transact all these mat­ters, which, if wrong, Major André ought by no means to suffer for them.

But if, after this just and candid representation of Major André's case, the board of general officers adhere to their former opinion, I shall suppose it dictated by passion and re­sentment; and if that gentleman should suffer the severity of their sentence, I shall think myself bound, by every tie of [Page 104] duty and honor, to retaliate on such unhappy persons of your army as may fall within my power, that the respect due [...] flags, and to the law of nations, may be better understood and observed.

I have further to observe, that forty of the principal inha­bitants of South-Carolina have justly forfeited their lives, which have hitherto been spared by the clemency of his Excellency Sir Henry Clinton, who cannot in justice ex­tend his mercy to them any longer, if Major André suffers; which, in all probability, will open a scene of blood at which humanity will revolt.

Suffer me to intreat your Excellency for your own and the honor of humanity, and the love you have of justice, that you suffer not an unjust sentence to touch the life of Major André.

But if this warning should be disregarded, and he suffer, I call heaven and earth to witness, that your Excellency will be justly answerable for the torrent of blood that may be spilt in consequence.

I have the honor to be, with due respect, Your Excellency's most obedient, and very humble servant, B. ARNOLD.

His Excellency General Washington.

SIR,

BUOY'D above the terror of death, by the conscious­ness of a life devoted to honorable pursuits, and stained with no action that can give me remorse, I trust that the request I make to your Excellency at this serious period, and which is to soften my last moments, will not be rejected.

Sympathy towards a soldier will surely induce your Ex­cellency and a military tribunal, to adapt the mode of my death to the feelings of a man of honor.

Let me hope, Sir, that if aught in my character impresses you with esteem towards me, if aught in my misfortunes marks me as the victim of policy and not of resentment, I [Page 105] shall experience the operation of these feelings in your breast, by being informed that I am not to die on a gibbet.

I have the honor to be your Excellency's Most obedient, and most humble servant, JOHN ANDRE. Adj. Gen. to the British army.

His Excellency General Washington.

The time which elapsed between the capture of Major André, which was on the morning of the 23d of September, and his execution, which did not take place till twelve o'clock on the second of October; the mode of trying him; his letter to Sir Henry Clinton, K. B. on the 29th of Sep­tember, in which he said, "I receive the greatest attention from his Excellency General Washington, and from every person under whose charge I happen to be placed;" not to mention many other acknowledgments which he made of the good treatment he received; must evince that the proceed­ings against him were not guided by passion or resentment. The practice and usage of war were against his request, and made the indulgence he solicited, circumstanced as he was, inadmissible.

Published by Order of Congress,
CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.
[Page 106]

EXTRACT from a LETTER which appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette, dated October 25, 1780. The Author supposed to be Colonel HAMILTON, Aid-de-Camp to General WASHINGTON.

NEVER, perhaps, did a man suffer death with more justice, or deserve it less. The first step he took after his capture was to write a letter to General Washington, con­ceived in terms of dignity without insolence, and apology without meanness. The scope of it was to vindicate him­self from the imputation of having assumed a mean cha­racter, for treacherous or interested purposes; that, contra­ry to his intention, which was to meet a person for intelli­gence, on neutral ground, he had been betrayed within our posts, and forced into the vile condition of an enemy in disguise; soliciting only, that to whatever rigour policy might devote him, a decency of treatment might be observ­ed due to a person who, though unfortunate, had been guil­ty of nothing dishonorable. His request was granted in its full extent; for, in the whole progress of the affair, he was treated with the most scrupulous delicacy. When brought before the Board of Officers, he met with every mark of indulgence, and was required to answer no interrogatory which could embarrass his feelings. On his part, while he carefully concealed every thing that might involve others, he frankly confessed all the facts relative to himself; and, upon his confession, without the trouble of examining a witness, the Board made their report. The members of it were not more impressed with the candour and modest firmness, mixed with a becoming sensibility, which he dis­played, than he was penetrated with their liberality and po­liteness. He acknowledged the generosity of the behaviour towards him in every respect, but particularly in this, in the strongest terms of manly gratitude. In a conversation with a gentleman who visited him after his trial, he said, he flat­tered himself he had never been illiberal; but if there were [Page 107] any remains of prejudice in his mind, his present experience must obliterate them.

In one of the visits I made to him (and I saw him several times during his confinement) he begged me to be the bearer of a request to the General, for permission to send an open letter to Sir Henry Clinton. "I foresee my fate," said he, "and though I pretend not to play the hero, or to be indif­ferent about life, yet I am reconciled to whatever may hap­pen, conscious that misfortune, not guilt, will have brought it upon me. There is only one thing that disturbs my tran­quillity. Sir Henry Clinton has been too good to me; he has been lavish of his kindness. I am bound to him by too many obligations, and love him too well, to bear the thought that he should reproach himself, or that others should re­proach him, on a supposition that I had conceived myself obliged by his instructions to run the risk I did. I would not for the world leave a sting in his mind that should em­bitter his future days." He could scarce finish the sentence, bursting into tears in spite of his efforts to suppress them, and with difficulty collected himself enough afterwards to add, "I wish to be permitted to assure him I did not act under this impression, but submitted to a necessity imposed upon me, as contrary to my own inclination as to his or­ders."—His request was readily complied with, and he wrote the letter annexed, with which I dare say you will be as much pleased as I am, both for the diction and sentiment.

When his sentence was announced to him, he remarked, that since it was his lot to die, as there was a choice in the mode, which would make material difference to his feelings, he would be happy, if it were possible to be indulged with a professional death. He made a second application by let­ter, in concise but persuasive terms. It was thought this indulgence, being incompatible with the customs of war; could not be granted; and it was therefore determined in both cases to evade an answer, to spare him the sensations which a certain knowledge of the intended mode would in­flict.

[Page 108]When he was led out to the place of execution, as he went along, he bowed familiarly to all those with whom he had been acquainted in his confinement. A smile of com­placency expressed the serene fortitude of his mind. Arriv­ed at the fatal spot, he asked, with emotion, "Must I then die in this manner?" He was told it had been una­voidable. "I am reconciled to my fate," said he, "but not to the mode." Soon, however, recollecting himself, he added, "It will be but a momentary pang;" and, spring­ing upon the cart, performed the last offices to himself, with a composure that excited the admiration, and melted the hearts of the beholders. Upon being told the final moment was at hand, and asked if he had any thing to say, he an­swered, "Nothing, but to request you will witness to the world that I die like a brave man." Among the extraordi­nary circumstances that attended him, in the midst of his enemies, he died universally esteemed, and universally re­gretted.

There was something singularly interesting in the cha­racter and fortunes of André. To an excellent understand­ing, well improved by education and travel, he united a pe­culiar elegance of mind and manners, and the advantage of a pleasing person. It is said he possessed a pretty taste for the fine arts, and had himself attained some proficiency in poetry, music and painting. His knowledge appeared with­out ostentation, and embellished by a diffidence that rarely accompanies so many talents and accomplishments, which left you to suppose more than appeared. His sentiments were elevated, and inspired esteem; they had a softness that conciliated affection. His elocution was handsome; his ad­dress easy, polite, and insinuating. By his merit he had ac­quired the confidence of his General, and was making a rapid progress in military rank and reputation. But in the height of his career, flushed with new hopes from the execu­tion of a project, the most beneficial to his party that could be devised, he is at once precipitated from the summit of prosperity, sees all the expectations of his ambition blasted, and himself ruined.

[Page 109]The character I have given of him is drawn partly from what I saw of him myself, and partly from information. I am aware that a man of real merit is never seen in so favor­able a light, as through the medium of adversity. The clouds that surround him are so many shadows that set off his good qualities. Misfortune cuts down little vanities, that, in prosperous times, serve as so many spots in his virtues, and gives a tone of humility that makes his worth more amiable. His spectators, who enjoyed a happier lot, are less prone to detract from its true envy; and are more dis­posed by compassion to give him the credit he deserves, and perhaps ever to magnify it.

I speak not of André's conduct in this affair as a philo­sopher, but as a man of the world. The authorized max­ims and practices of war are the sators of human nature. They countenance almost every species of seduction as well as violence; and the general who can make most traitors in the army of his adversary, is frequently most applauded. On this scale we acquit André, while we could not but condemn him if we were to exemine his conduct by the so­ber rules of philosophy and moral rectitude.

THE END.
[Page]

THE FOLLOWING PLAYS, Written by the Author of André, Are for sale at the Book-stores of Gaine and Ten Eyck, T. Allen, T. and J. Swords, and J. Fellows, THE ARCHERS, OR MOUNTAINEERS OF SWITZERLAND: AN OPERA IN THREE ACTS.

As performed by the Old American Company in New-York.

TO WHICH IS ADDED, A BRIEF HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF SWITZERLAND, From the Dissolution of the Roman Empire to the final Establishment of the Helvetic Confederacy, by the Battle of Sempach.

TELL TRUTH AND SHAME THE DEVIL: A COMEDY, IN TWO ACTS.

As performed by the Old American Company in New-York.

[Page]T. & J. Swords have for sale, at their Book-store and Printing-office, No. 99 Pearl-street, AN ASSORTMENT OF BOOKS, STATIONARY, JEWELLERY, PLATED WARE, &c. &c.

AND A NUMBER OF ELEGANT PRINTS.

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