페이지 이미지

room below as that of the General. Making sure | inces still loyal to the Crown. In July, 1778, of the host, they returned into the entry, where the French fleet of Count d'Estaing arrived, and Barton ordered them to fire the house at the four anchored near Brenton's Reef, off the southern corners, as he meant to have the General alive or point of the island. One of the ships followed dead. But at this moment, aroused by the noise, the course of Admiral Parker's fleet, sailed up Prescott called to know what was the matter. the West Passage, and anchored at the north The soldiers ran down stairs and entered his point of Conanicut. A few days afterward it room, where Barton saw a man sitting on the pursued three English frigates, which were seekside of the bed.

ing the protection of their battery upon Tamma" Are you General Prescott ?" demanded Bar- ny Hill, and ran them ashore upon the westem ton.

coast of Rhode Island, five or six miles from “I am, sir," replied the officer.

Newport. Their masts were cut away, and the “ You are my prisoner,” returned Barton. crews fired the vessels as they took to the boats “I acknowledge it, sir," said the General. | and pulled for shore. A few days afterward the

Major Barton then told him that he must go whole fleet entered the harbor. As it approachwith them, and to his request that he might be ed, the British began to burn the houses beyond allowed to dress himself, replied that he was a line of two miles from Newport, and sent out very sorry that his business required great dis parties by night, who destroyed all kinds of carpatch, and the General was obliged to hurry off riages and implements, grindstones, scythes, axes, as he was. Prescott's aid, Major Barrington, and filled up the wells. The same night the Brithad leaped out of a window at the beginning of ish withdrew from the north end of the island, the fray, and landed safely in the midst of the and posted themselves upon the heights, two guard of reserve. Of the three prisoners, only miles from the town, their line extending from the sentinel had his shoes on; and as the party Coddington's Cove to Easton's Beach. On the folhurried across a field of rye-stubble tangled with lowing morning, the American army often or fifteen blackberry bushes, the General's feet and legs, thousand men, under Generals Sullivan, Greene, as also those of Major Barrington, were sorely Glover, and Lafayette, crossed from the main-land scratched. But the party was led along to the at Tiverton, and occupied the north part of the islshore as directly and rapidly as possible, and and. During that day, a British fleet of twentyreached their boats safely. Barton placed the pris- five sail, under Lord Howe, was seen standing in oners in his boat, and wrapping his cloak around for Newport. They lay to off Point Judith for the the shivering General, he ordered the little fleet night, and the next morning, Count d'Estaing, to put off. The alarm was given from the shore alarmed, ran out to sea with his whole squadron. by guns and rockets, but the boats darted silent. A fearful gale, that raged during the 12th and ly and swiftly out of danger. General Prescott 13th of July, seriously damaged the two fleets, asked if Barton commanded, and said to him: and there was no battle. Lafayette vainly en

"You have made a bold push to-night," and deavored to persuade D'Estaing to return and coexpressed the hope that he should not be hurt. operate with the army. The French officers

* Not while you are in my care," said Barton. unanimously protested against entering the harThe bay was all in wild confusion with the spread- bor in their disabled condition, and the army was ing alarm; but straight under the sterns and bows left unsupported. Within twenty-four hours of of the English ships, in that darkest hour pre- the departure of the fleet, more than two thousand ceding dawn, the prisoner was safely rowed, and volunteers left the army, with many of the milimorning broke upon the expedition arriving un- tia whose terms of service had expired, and der the guns of its own batteries. General about midnight of the 28th July, the American Prescott was afterward exchanged for General army began to retire toward the north end of the Lee.

island. Count d'Estaing offered to march his The Revolution and the residence of the Brit- troops from Boston, if required. But at dayish army upon the island ruined Newport. Dur- light the British discovered the retreat of the ing the investment nine hundred buildings were Americans, and marched in pursuit. A scatterdestroyed. The churches, excepting Trinity, / ing fight was maintained for two days, of which were changed into barracks and riding-schools; the severest skirmish was at Butt's Hill. On the Court-house was occupied as a hospital; the the 30th, the Americans made a feint of strengthRedwood Library was risled of its gayest books— ening their position; at sundown they built a poetry, voyages, and travels, were taken by the line of fires across the island, and, during the officers, and little else than folios, too heavy to night, the whole army safely escaped to the mainremove either by hea] or hand, were left behind. land. General Prescott is reported to have sent a guard. It was during this retreat that General Greene thither, and carefully to have locked the door repulsed an attack of the enemy with a force of when the horse was stolen. The trees of every less than half their number. This was the first kind in all parts of the island were cut down. time that this most distinguished man, the intiBusiness was, of course, entirely suspended. The mate friend and confidant of Washington, the inhabitants who sympathized with the British generous, noble, and successful hero—who would were compelled to guard a strict reserve for fear undoubtedly have been summoned to succeed of the vengeance of their fellow-citizens, and all Washington, had any adverse chance deprived the who dared, or who were able, escaped to prove country of his service-took part in the military movements of the Revolution within his own roes of historical achievements than of feats of State. The fame, indeed, of so illustrious a char- fabulous luxury and license, crossing the sea in acter, and a fame acquired in the service of all pursuit of glory or fortune, found the “ savage the States, can not be claimed by one. But Americans" of Berkeley to be as beautiful and fasRhode Island, the smallest State of the confed-cinating as the ladies of France, with a charm deeracy, which gave the greatest hero to the sec- rived from purity of character and manner which ond war with England, may well reflect with those courtiers could, perhaps, better appreciate pride that he who was only second to Washing than men of a different education and career. It ton, in the first and great war, was her son is remarkable that the aid which was furnished Nathaniel Greene was born in Warwick, upon to America, struggling to be free, and whose the western shore of Narragansett Bay, in the struggle was to result in the recognition and oryear 1742. His father was a Quaker, but the ganization of the democratic principle, proceeded boy was early smitten with the love of arms, and from the haughtiest aristocracy of Europe, and at the first call of the country, appeared in Bos- at a moment when it was beginning to feel the ton, and, on the 6th of June, 1775, assumed the throes of that revolution which should shatter its command, which he held until Washington soon pride forever. The American success, encourafter arrived. He served with eminent ability, aged by French sympathy and French assistance, and a prudence which in the circumstances was was one of the strongest influences in the dethe best heroism, all through the war; and, in struction of the old French règime. The presOctober, 1779, he was appointed by Washington tige of a success which France had fostered, reto succeed General Gates in the chief direction acted terribly upon France itself. of the Southern army. Here his uncontrolled The Frenchmen of talent and capacity at that genius secured him the most brilliant part of his period, weary of intrigue, or worsted by it, threw career; and at the close of the war he returned themselves into any career that promised distracto Rhode Island, loved by Washington, honored tion and excitement. To these exhausted votaby the country, and extolled by history. In ries of an effete civilization the wilds of America 1785, Georgia, mindful of his services and mer- were fascinating. To turn from the easy smiles its, made him valuable grants of land, and he of a rouged marquise, and win a glance from the went to the South with his family to occupy modest eye of maiden purity, was a prospect them. But on the 19th of June, 1786, being only too alluring to satiety. It thus happens only forty-four years old, he died of the effects that men famous in the European Chronique of a sun-stroke. It is understood that his grand- Scandaleuse for the audacity of their lives, are son, who has added the laurels of literature, the laureates of the simplicity and beauty of to those of military glory, which already adorn the women of our best colonial society. They his family name, is engaged in preparing for crossed the sea in troops, and they who came publication the papers and a biography of his to scoff remained to pray. They saw Newport, illustrious relative. The elegant scholarship then the social capital of the country, and they and classical care evinced in the best edition of all pay homage to the dignity, beauty, and intelliAddison yet published, are the assurances of the gence of its society. In the French memoirs of manner in which a work so truly national will be that period the reader is at once struck by the completed.

altered tone of the authors when they speak of The day after the retreat of the Americans from America and of American women, after the gay Rhode Island, Sir Henry Clinton arrived from record of licentious lives at home. New York with a British reinforcement of four It was on the 10th of July, 1780, that the thousand men, which would probably have ren- French fleet, seven ships of the line and five dered the retreat impracticable. The British frigates, with a large number of transports, and forces landed upon Rhode Island in November, an army of six thousand men, arrived in New1776, and remained until the autumn of 1779, port harbor. when they were withdrawn to strengthen the The Chevalier de Tournay commanded the feet, army in New York. They embarked from the | and the Count de Rochambeau the army. Illuneck at the south part of the island, and orders minations, complimentary addresses, and general were issued that the inhabitants upon Thames joy hailed the day. The French who had come Street, through which the retiring army marched, to the country before the Count d'Estaing, were should remain within doors upon the day of evac- men of neither consideration, influence, nor prinuation, under pain of death.

ciple. When d'Estaing arrived high hopes were The British investment was immediately suc- excited. But his conduct was timorous and vacilceeded by the brief and brilliant episode of the lating, and confidence was again lost. The French occupation. Yet the many and glowing coming of Rochambeau was greeted with public accounts that have reached us of those days, serve rejoicing, but there were still lurking doubts and only to assure us that their gayety was but the suspicions. The Rev. Jacob Bailey, a tory clergyfinal feast of an expiring prosperity.

man, “ improves" the arrival of the French in The fine old society of Newport had for his- his Diary, August 5th, 1780, thus : "To see these torians the most accomplished gentlemen and people who had always the greatest aversion to officers of France, and of France at the culmination the manners, religion, and government of the of the old règime. The courtiers who ornamented French, now rejoicing in their alliance, and Versailles and Marly, and who are no less the he- exulting in their assistance, affords a most striking instance of the perverseness of the human heart, and displays, beyond example, the obstinacy, the madness, the folly, the perfidy of my countrymen."

A Frenchman was better than an Englishman, perhaps ; how much better was to be proved. Rochambeau and Washington had not a per-, fect understanding. The secret of the difficulty undoubtedly lay in their different estimates of General Lafayette. He was the especial friend of Washington ; but he was distasteful to the gentlemen and nobles who accompanied Rochambeau, many of whom were his elders in years, and superiors in military rank and service. But the exquisite tact

ROCHAMBEAU'S HEAD QUARTERS. displayed by Rochambeau in the management of | Vernon, who was president of the Eastern Navy his army at Newport was worthy the most ac-Board at Boston, and who gave himself and his complished courtier of the most ceremonious court. means heartily to the great struggle. The English had left a name of hatred and terror Upon the windows of this comely house, which behind them. They had destroyed property, and has still an air of ancient dignity, the names of insulted the proprietors in every way. They had famous belles were scratched by the diamond waged war with barbaric recklessness. But the rings of the French officers. The panes are French commander ordered the most conscien- now gone, but it is well remembered that the tious respect toward persons and things. The glass was covered with such scrawling, which wounds inflicted by British ruffianism were gave the beauties, long since forgotten, to an healed by the balm of French politeness. The evanescent fame. young noblemen of Rochambeau's suite lived. It was here that General Washington was simply, popularly, and even frugally. The tories entertained when he arrived at Newport, in themselves were compelled to love them. The March, 1781, to see Count de Rochambeau. The soldiers were at once inspired and restrained by barge of the French admiral was sent for him, the conduct of their superiors, and it is estimated and he crossed the bay from the Conanicut shore, that a hundred dollars would cover the damage saluted by the French fleet, and landed at the done to Newport by the presence of the French Ferry dock, corner of Washington Street and army.

Long Wharf. He was a Marshal of France, The gay gentlemen of the General's suite not without which honor he could not have commandonly respected Newport houses, but its homes ed the French army, and wore on this day the also. The most successful of intriguers forgot insignia of his office. gallantry in the presence of the purity of charac As he stepped ashore the bells rang, the ter they encountered here. It is related, indeed, French cannon thundered incessantly, and the that the wife of a Newport gentleman had list- Commander-in-chief was received by Rochamened too willingly to the wishes of one of the beau and a group of his officers and a deputation officers. The husband ascertained the fact, but of citizens. " I regarded him," says one of the being tenderly attached to his wife, and unwilling French observers, “ with the attention which the to ruin her by exposure, redoubled his kindness sight of great men always inspires. We half and devotion, and, at the same time, unsuspect- expect to find in their features the genius which edly deprived the officer of opportunity of secret distinguishes them above their fellows.. Washmeetings. The loyalty of the wife returned ; the ington is adapted, more than any other man, to officer expostulated and pleaded in vain, then produce this impression—tall, noble, well-proporgrew angry and withdrew, leaving the happy tioned, with an open, sweet, and calm expression, husband and rescued wife more closely united and an entirely modest air, he strikes and interthan ever. But this story is told as a remark- ests French and Americans, and even his eneable instance. Even the Abbé Robin confesses mies." Through the lines of the army, drawn that “ Newport was the exception” to the gallant up three deep, and with the profound obeisance rule of French life.

of French chivalry, the waving of hats, and Admiral de Tournay died soon after his arrival, plumes, and standards, Washington, with Rochagrined at the reproaches heaped upon him for chambeau upon his left, walked bare-headed up want of energy and courage. He was buried the Parade and along Clarke Street to his quarters with great military pomp in Trinity church-yard, at the Vernon House. where his monument still remains.

| In the evening the town was illuminated, and The head-quarters of Count de Rochambeau the officers, escorted by a large number of citiwere in the Vernon House, corner of Clarke and zens, and preceded by thirty boys bearing torches, Mary streets, so called from its proprietor William marched through the streets. Upon returning

Vol. IX.-No. 51.-U


to the house Washington carefully thanked the ping ashore at Newport, fresh from the beauties boys for their services. It was his first interview of all the world, stopped in the street as she passwith the French officers, and it is supposed that ed, involuntarily removed their hats in homage, in the Vernon House he sketched, with Rocham- and gazed after her, enchanted, long after she beau, the plan of an attack upon New York. was gone. She married Christopher G. Cham

Associated with this visit of Washington, the plin, brother of Washington's partner in “A name of one of the belles of those days has at- successful Campaign.” Men who were boys tained a greater immortality than even French in Newport thirty and forty years ago, remember courtesy had secured. This was the beautiful a grave and gracious old lady pouring wine and Miss Champlin, a Newport maiden famed no less eggs and sugar into a pan, stepping down into for her charm of manner than her lovely person. the yard where the cow was feeding, and returnDuring Washington's visit the citizens of the ing with a creamy, foamy, whipped syllabub. town gave a ball in honor of the event to the Com- It was the beautiful Redwood, the toast of the mander-in-chief and his French host, in the Assem- flower of France. bly-room in Church Street. The General was sum- The Duc de Lauzun-the Duc de Biron of the moned to open the ball, and he selected Miss Vendée—the most famous gallant of his time, Champlin for his partner, and requested her to whose amours were endless, and whose affair with name the dance. She chose "A successful the beautiful Lady Sarah Bunbury (whom, as Lady Campaign,” a dance then in the highest favor. Sarah Lenox, George III. seriously wished to As Washington led out his partner upon the marry), and with the Polish princess Czartorisky, floor, the French officers, with the most grace- who proved to the catholic Duke que sans être jolie ful courtesy, took the instruments from the hands on pouvait être charmante, are historical-arrived of the musicians, and played while the couple in Newport in July, 1780, with Rochambeau, stepped through the minuet. There is a chival- after a passage of seventy-two days from Brest. ric strain in that old gallantry which the belated He says that if the English had immediately spectator might contemplate the nightly dances attacked them, the French would have been lost. of the Atlantic,” the “Ocean," and the “ Belle- Admiral Rodney's fleet, with others, constantly vue,” without immediately perceiving.

appeared off the island, and frightened them ; The heroine of this little romance lived with but no attack was made. Lauzun recommended her parents in the house still standing at No. himself to Washington by not declining to serve 119 Thames Street, where Washington took tea under Lafayette, who was yet at school when on the evening of the ball. It is now occupied Lauzun was a colonel in the army. The Duc by the grandson of the beautiful girl, and has spoke English, which with Frenchmen is always been the home of five successive generations. a rare accomplishment. They can not even spell Fortunately all memorial windows in Newport the names of places correctly. Upon their pages are not yet broken, and the name of Betsey Hali- Hartford is always Harford, New Bedford is Newburton is still visible, scratched upon a pane in bedfort ; Seekonk masquerades as Selchoon; the room of this house where Washington took Mystic, as Mistruck; the Tappan Zee as Tapytea.

| zay, &c. But this facility in English committed There were other belles, too, whose fame, the Duc de Lauzun to an infinity of details, like that of the fair Champlin, survives by " mortellement ennuyeux," but necessary. He surer records than a diamond-scratched name was sent on all missions into the interior, whither upon a window. The daughters of William the schoolmaster had not yet carried French. Ellery, one of the Rhode Island signers This Sybarite of Marly goes to Lebanon, where of the Declaration of Independence, are not now the Sybarites of America congregate in sumforgotten by domestic tradition. The One of them married William Channing, father of the son who made the name more famous, and her grand-daughter was the wife of Washington Allston. - The name of Miss Redwood also escapes to us from that group of Revolutionary belles. She was the daughter of the Abraham Redwood from whom the library takes its name. Tradition calls her“ exceedingly beautiful,” and tells of the Newport beauty a story like that told of the superb Duchess of Devonshire. “Ah ! lady," said a London dustman to the Duchess, as she stepped, resplendent, into her carriage, “may I light my pipe at your eyes ?" and of the beautiful Redwood it is told that sailors step



mer. “Siberia alone can be compared to Leba- | thing more, possibly, than the tender regrets of non," says the Duc de Lauzun in despair. the girls they left behind them.

In Newport he is charmed by the society, and But in 1782-3, a year after the departure of makes especial mention of the family of Dr. the French army, came the Prince de Broglie Hunter. The doctor was no longer living at the and a party of friends to console them. “I artime of the Duc de Lauzun's visit ; but he says, rived in Newport, that charming spot regretted “Madame Hunter, a widow of some thirty-six by all the army.” He had no more pressing busiyears of age, had two charming daughters, whom ness, he says, than to make acquaintance with its she had perfectly well educated. They lived in society, and was immediately presented to Mona very retired manner, and saw scarcely any one. sieur Champlin, celebrated for his wealth, but Chance introduced me to Madame upon my ar- | better known in the army by the lovely face of his rival in Rhode Island. She received me into daughter. This was the partner of Washingher friendship, and I was presently regarded as ton's minuet. The Prince, having no more one of the family. I really lived there ; and pressing duty than visiting, fortunately had also when I was taken seriously ill, she had me brought the time to observe, the taste to criticise, and to her house, and lavished upon me the most the talent to record his observations. Miss touching attentions. I was not in love with the Champlin, in his portrait of her, had beautiful Misses Hunter; but had they been my sisters eyes, a sweet mouth, a perfectly shaped face, fine I could not have loved them more, especially the figure, pretty foot, and an air altogether attracteldest, who is one of the most amiable persons I ive. She was dressed and coiffed with taste; have ever met.” These ladies went to Europe that is to say," says this penetrant critic, "à la soon after the peace. The elder married Count Française," and she understood and spoke French. de Cardignan; the younger, Mr. Falconet, a bank- The Prince de Broglie, and his friend M. de er of Naples.

Vauban, instantly paid ample homage of admi. The Duc de Lauzun speaks of Washington's ration and respect to Miss Champlin; and then visit to Newport as by no means so agreeable as hurried to see the Misses Hunter, “ her rivals in thirty boys with torches, the army drawn up in beauty and reputation," of whom the Duc de line, a ball given by the citizens, and a minuet Lauzun had already spoken. The eldest, who danced with the beautiful Miss Champlin, while had so charmed Lauzan, the Prince finds to be the French officers played “ A successful Cam- not regularly beautiful; but she has a noble aspaign," would lead us to suppose. When, some pect, and the air of high breeding, with a spiritual time afterward, Rochambeau sent de Lauzun face and grace of movement. “She dresses at with a letter informing Washington that ar least as well as Miss Champlin," says this true rangements had been made different from those Frenchman; “ not quite so freshly, perhaps.” they had stipulated together, the Duc says that| Miss Nancy, the younger sister, had not so lofty Washington was so angry that he did not wish an air, it seems; “but she is a rose in person." to answer, but finally sent a cold reply, stating Her character was gay, her face always smiling, that he was still of the same opinion, but that and “ her teeth charming, which is a very rare Count Rochambeau was of course his own mas- thing in America," says this audacious critic. ter.

Yet Callender speaks of defective teeth among The gay and gallant de Lauzun remained in the people of the island, and Roger Williams service to the end of the campaign and of the war. says that the Narragansett Indians complained He returned to France after the peace of 1783. much of toothache. His name appears in the tumultuous history of After this brilliant beginning they returned his country during the subsequent period, as home, and de Vauban-as in an Arabian talemember of the States General, co-embassador promised the Prince "still better things for towith Talleyrand and Chauvelin to London, as morrow !" Accordingly, the next day they proGeneral of the Army of the Rhine, of the Mari-ceeded to a house where a serious and silent time Alps, and of the Vendée ; and for the last old gentleman received them without raising his time, on the 1st of January, 1794, when he was hat, asked them to be seated without compliment, condemned for an alleged conspiracy against the and answered their questions in monosyllables. Republic, and the head which had been caressed Their host was evidently a Quaker; and while by all the famous beauties of a famous age fell they were sitting amused with their reception, under the guillotine.

“ suddenly we beheld the Goddess of grace and The belles of Newport doubtless thought Amer- of beauty, Minerva in person, having exchanged ican liberty dearly purchased by the departure of her sterner attributes for pastoral charms. It the French army-the “small, keen-looking" Ro- was the daughter of the Quaker, Polly Lawton" chambeau, “not handsome as was his son"—the (the name was then pronounced, and is spelt by Count de Noailles—the resplendent beauty of de Broglie and Segur, Leighton or Leyton). The the two Viosminels," youths of whom an eye- appreciative Frenchman continues : “ In accordwitness says: “Ilewport never saw any thing ance with the customs of her sect she addressed so handsome as these two young brothers." The us familiarly (nous parla en nous tutoyant), but Duc de Lauzun, de Vauban, de Champceretz, the with a simplicity and grace which I can only Marquis de Chastellux, de Chabanes, Bozon de compare to that of her toilet. It was a kind of Talleyrand, could not leave for other posts and English dress, fitting the figure closely, and was other conquests without taking with them s me- white as milk, a muslin apron of the same color,

« 이전계속 »