Newspaper Page Text
The Proscribed Song.
[The following is the celebrated poem of Whit
tier, which was not allowed to be sung by the
Hutchinson's on this side of the Potomac. Our
readers will notice that the poem is suggested by
a famous hymn of Martin Luther : " Eln' Feste
Burg ist unser Gott."]
We wait beneath the furnace-blast
The pangs of transformation:
Not plainlessly doth God recast
And mould anew tho nation.
Hot burns the fire
Where wrongs expire;
Nor spares the hand
That from the land
Uproots the ancient evil.
The hand-breadth cloud that sages feared
Its bloody rain is dropping ;
The poison-plant the fathers spared
All else is overtopping,
East, West, South, North,
It curses earth:
All justice dies,
And fraud and lies
Live only in its shadow.
What gives the wheat-field blades of steel ?
What points the rebel cannon?
What sets the roaring rabble's heel
On the star-spangled pennon ?
What breaks the oath
Of the men of the South ?
What whets the knife
For the Union's life?
Hark to the answer : Slavery.'
Then waste no blows on lesser foes
In strife unworthy freemen :
God lifts to-day the veil and shows
The features of the demon !
O North and South,
Its victims both,
Can ye not cry,
Let Slavery die!
And Union find in freedom?
What though the cast-out spirit tear
The nation in her going,
We who have shared the guilt must share
The pang of his o'erthrowing?
Whate'er the loss,
Whate'er the cross,
Shall they complain
Of present pain
Who trusts in God's hereafter?
For who that leans on His right arm
Was ever yet forsaken ?
What righteous cause can suffer harm
If He its part has taken ?
Though wild and loud
And dark the'cloud,
Behind its folds
His hand upholds
The calm sky of to-morrow !
Above the maddening cry for blood,
Above the wild war-drumming,
Let Freedom's voice be heard with good
The evil overcoming.
Give prayer and purse
To stay the curse
Whose wrong we share,
Whose shame we beai,
Whose end shall gladden Heaven I
In vain the bells of war shall ring
Of triumphs and revenges,
While still is spared the evil thing
That severs and estranges.
But blest the ear
That yet shall hear
The jubilant bell
That rings the knell
Of Slavery forever !
Then let the selfish lip be dumb,
And hushed the breath of sighing ;
Before the joy of peace must come
The pains of purifying.
God give us grace
Each in his place
To bear his lot,
And murmuring not,
l&uduro and wait and labor t
Hazlitt's Death Bed.
William Hazlitt was hailed at the commence
ment of his term of authorship as a star. Vast
things were predicted of him ; and he, looking
at the flattering picture, presaged a happy voy
age through life. But how soon was the scene
changed ! His determi tied bent of thought hav
ing been ascertained to be on the popular side,
he was soon marked down as a fit object for ille
gal calumny, or libel. To say ho was an infidel,
that his associates were the same, to assail the
integrity of his opinions and the motives from
which he supported them, were the lightest mis
siles hurled at him by his enemies.
Tiie harrassing nature of his occupation, the
periodical supply of a certain quantum of copy,
at length produced its effect. Those alono who
are doomed to the same drudgery can appreci
ate our simile when we liken the press to " the
horseleech, which cries, Give! give!" and this
eternal cry, together with the application of
stimuli to enable him to supply the demand,
brought on that depravation of the stomach
which is the usual effect of such a course of
Reluctantly, nay, tremblingly, do we lift the
veil which hangs over the death bed of poor
Hazlitt. Imagine this highly-gifted man stretch
ed on a couch in the back room of a second floor,
his only child, and Martin, his faithful com
panion and friend, watching over him. Others
were not deficient in attention and in providing
the means of existence for him; for know, reader,
that the death bed of this author was not distin
guished by the circumstance of his possessing
wherewith to support life when exertion was not
in his power. It seems that some sudden turn
of memory caused a pang in the dying man's
bosom; and, calling to one whom we shall
conceal under the name of Basil ius, ho gently
said, " Basilius, stoop down, and let .nje talk to
Basilius, (crouching by the bed side.) —What
can I do for you, my dear Hazlitt ?
Hazlitt.—Rid me of a pang.
Basilius. —Willingly, dear friend.
Hazlitt. —Lend me forty pounds.
Basilius. —Forty pounds ? Dear Hazlitt, what
can you want with forty pounds ?
Hazlitt.—Lend me forty pounds.
Basilius.—Do not talk so, my dear Hazlitt.
You cannot want forty pounds.
Hazlitt.—l know—l know, Basilius, what I
ask. Lend it me—lend it me—l want it. 'Twill
ease my mind—l want it. Lend it me ; and
think, Basilius, think what the world will say
when it is known that you lent a dying man
forty pounds without a hope of being repaid.
The argument of Hazlitt did not prevail. Very
shortly after, he said to Martin, (whose attend
ance was constant,) " Martin, come here."
Hazlitt.—Martin, I want you to write a letter
for me, (starting up with energy.) Swear you'll
Martin went through the ceremony of an oath.
Hazlitt. —Now write, " Dear sir."
Martin. —"Dear sir."
Hazlitt. —" I am at the last gasp."
Martin.—" I am at the last gasp."
Hazlitt. —" Pray send me a hundred pounds."
Martin.—" Pray send me a hundred pounds."
Hazlitt.—" Yours truly—"
Hazlitt.—" William Hazlitt."
Martin.—" William Hazlitt."
Hazlitt.—Now fold the letter.
Martin folded it.
1 . f —' »
Hazlitt.—Write, To Francis Jeffrey, Esq., Ed
Martin superscribed the letter.
Hazlitt.—Now I am satisfied.
Martin.—Shall I not put in a w r ord, Hazlitt,
explaining who wrote it ?
Hazlitt, (starting up.)— Swear, Martin, yon
won't do so ; swear you'll send it as it is.
Martin sent the letter : Hazlett died soon after»
and on tho day subsequent to his death, a letter
from Jeffrey arrived with an enclosure of fifty
Hone called on the previous day; he met "a
physician who had attended Hazlitt at tho door,
about to depart. " How is your patient, sir ?"
inquired Hone. " 'T\_ all over," replied the
medical man. " Clinically speaking, he ought
to have died two days ago. He seemed to live,
during tho last eight and forty hours, purely in
obedience to his own will." A third person, who
had just come up, here observed, " He was wait
ing, perhaps, until return of post, for Jeffrey'
reply. What he could have wanted with that
forty j)ounds, is a perfect mystery."
A few months before, Hone had met Hazlitt to
the street, and kindly inquired as to his health
and circumstances. Both were bad. " You are
aware," said Hazlitt, "of some of my difficul
ties—those dreadful bills—those back accounts.;
but no human being knows all. I have carried
a volcano in my bosom, up and down Paternos
ter Row, for a good two hours and a half. Even
now 11 truggle—struggle mortally to quench—
to quell it; but I can't. Its pent-up throes and
agonies, I fear, will break out. Can you lend ms
a shilling ? I have been wituout pood Tiusya
two days !"
To state what Hone felt and did on hearing
this, would be needless.
— i— > ftt
Anagram.—Perhaps the happiest of anagrams
was that produced on a singular person and oc
casion. Lady Eleanor Davies, the wife of th*
celebrated Sir John Davies, the poet, was a very
extraordinary character. She was th© Cassan
dra of her age; and several of her prediction*
warranted her to conceive she was a prophetess.
As her prophecies, in the troubled times of
Charles 1., were usually against the government,
she was at length brought by them into the
Court of High Commission.
The prophetess was not a little mad, and fan
cied the spirit of Dailies was in her, from an an
agram she had formed of her name :—
Reveal, O Daniel!
The anagram had too much by an L, and too
little by an S; yet Daniel and reveal were in it,
and that was sufficient to satisfy her inspira-*
tions. The court attempted to dispossess the
spirit from the lady, while the bishops were in
vain reasoning the point with her out of the
Scriptures, to no purpose, she poising text
against text. One of the deans of the arches,
says Heylin, shot her through and through with
an arrow borrowed from her own quiver: he
took a pen and at last hit upon this excellent
Dame Eleanor Davies,^
Never so mad a ladie!
The happy fancy put the solemn court into
laughter, and Cassandra into the utmost dejeo
tion of spirit. Foiled by her own weapons, hep
spirit suddenly forsook her; and either she
never afterwards ventured on prophesying, or
the anagram perpetually reminded her hearers
of her state—and we hear no more of this pro