« AnteriorContinuar »
celebrated and obscure, the powerful and weak, shall all sink alike into one common grave.
Though my mode of life has not been favourable to the cultivation of an elegant style, yet in what relates to the structure of my sentences, I shall not fear competi. tion with those who have reposed from their youth under the shade of Academic bowers. He who can have re. course to the critical prefaces of Dryden, the voluble periods of Addison, the nervous sentences of Johnson, and the felicitous antitheses of Goldsmith, may spare bimself the trouble of seeking that purity and decoration of language in a College, which may be found in his closet. *
In the progress of my work it will be discovered that I have not joined myself to that frantic crew of Deisis, who would prostrate every institution, human or divine; and,
* While contemporary writers were wandering in imagination with Ulysses and Æneas, and growing giddy with the violence of poetical tempests, I was performing a sailor's duty in a ship of nine hundred tons, and encountering the gales of the promontory of Africa.
I have visited many places in the eastern section of the globe. I have been twice to India. I am familiar with St. Helena, and Batavia, and Johanna, and Bomlay, and Tillicherry, and Goa, and Cochin, and Anjengo. I was four months at Canton ; and I have toiled up the Table Mountain at the Cape of Good Hope.
Let me be forgiven this impulse à me faire valoir. It is what every
small Traveller does. Behold the Welch Tourist ! He crosses the New Ferry, enters the ale-house on its bordercalls for pen and ink-lugs out his enormous common-place book-awes the family into silence by the profound wisdom of his looks—and solemnly sits down to fill a solemn chapter with the tempests that harassed him in navigating the SEVERN !!!
though I dedicate my book to a republican, it is not the magistrate but the man, whom I address. I am no republican! No federalist ! I have learned to estimate rightly the value of the British Constitution; and I think no system of government so perfect as that of King, Lords, and Commons.
A word more before I conclude. Should the critic detect the vanity that not infrequently swells my periods, let him be assured that he cannot be more sensible of it than I, When a man becomes the historiographer of his own actions, he can scarcely avoid this error without degenerating into the opposite one of affected diffidence. I have often caught myself making my own panegyric; the fact is indisputable ; yet it is still better to be vain than dull.
APRIL 22, 1803
CHAP IV. Picture of a Family travelling through the Woods
Terror inspired by two Snakes, and the Gallantry of an American Boy_Residence at Ashley River
- Removal to Sullivan's Island Literary Projects—Anecdotes of Goldsmith-A Journey on Foot from Charleston to George-town—Elegy over the Grave of a Stranger in the Woods of Owendaw Reception at George-town—Death of General Washington—-Journey back to Charleston—Embark for New-York- Incidents of the Voyage,
CHAP. V. Engagements at New-York-An American Au
thor-Mr. George arrives at New-York-Epistolary Correspondence—A visit to Long IslandThe Classical Elegance of the New-York Reviewers exhibited—Journey to the City of Washington,
148 CHAP. VI. Emotions on entering the City of IVashington—The
Plan of the Place—The inaugural Speech of Mr. Jefferson to both Houses of Congress assembled at the Capitol,
168 CHAP. VII. Return to New-York-Literary Pursuits-Mag
nificent Promises from a great Man—The Horizon of Life brightens. I no longer feed on the Va
pours of a School, but depart for the City of Washington, with a Heart dancing to the Song of Expectation-I mingle at Philadelphia with the Votaries of Taste ; and an elbowed by Poets and Prose-Writers, Critics and PhilosophersI proceed to Washington--Interview with the Secretary of the Treasury-All my Hopes blasted -1 travel into Virginia, by the Way of Alexandria-A Quaker Opens his door to receive me, and l exchange with him lasting Knowledge for perishable Coing.
MEMOIR OF MY LIFE ON THE BANKS OF THE
Description of Occoquan Settlement-Evening at
Occoquan, an Ode— Morning at Occoquan, an Ode A Party of Indians visit Occoquan—Speech of a Warrior-A War-Dance, and Scene of riotous Intoxication- A Disquisition of the moral Character of the Indians—Story of Captain Smith and Pocahontas—The Dispute between Buffon and Jefferson on the Subject of Beards satisfactorily decided—The Midnight Orgies of the White-Man of America dramatized, &c... 232
CHAP. IX. Return from Occoquan to New-York-Visit to Mr.
George on Long Island Meditations among the Tombs—I go to Baltimore, Mammoth Cheese An exchange of Letters with the Vice-PresidentA Walk to Washington-Congress assembled