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Memoirs of Stephen Calvert.

YES, my friend, I admit the
justice of your claim. There
is but one mode of appeasing your
wonder at my present condition,
and that is the relation of the events
of my life. This will amply justify
my choice of an abode in these
mountainous and unvisited recesses,
and explain why I thus anxiously
shut out from my retreat the foot-
steps and society of men.

My present scene is without perils
or vicissitudes. I cultivate my field
of maize; I ramble on the bank of
the lake;* I fish in a canoe made
by my own hands; I eat the pro-

duct of my own labour; I hewed
the logs of which my dwelling is
built; I conform all my measures
to a certain standard of simplicity
and order, and am rewarded by the
uninterrupted enjoyment of health
and tranquillity. I make no use of
my rifle but to exterminate panthers
and wolves. What my own hands
do not supply me, I purchase from
Canadian traders, and my poverty
secures me, for the most part, from
the visits of the Red-men.

For this solitude and labour I
was induced to change my habits of
corruption and idleness, by a just
estimate of benefits and evils. I
tried the world, and found it too
abundant in temptation and calami-
ty for me safely to remain in it.
Some men, gifted with extraordi-
nary endowments, or fortified by
an auspicious education, may pre-
serve their integrity in every scene;
but, as to me, experience has taught
me that I can be safe only by with-
drawing from temptation, and can
escape from guilt and remorse only
by interposing deserts between me
and the haunts of mankind.

It was a taste not wholly incon-
genial with mine that led your
steps hither. You are delighted
with the aspect of rude nature.
You reflect on the destiny for which
this extensive wilderness is reserv-
ed. Scarcely half a century will
elapse, before this desolation will
give place to farms and villages, and
commerce will be busy on the banks
of the Ohio, and in the islands of
this lake. You are willing to con-
template one stage in this memorable
progress, and to view this region,
covered as it now is, with marshes
and woods. To these views I am
indebted for this visit, and wish you
would prolong it sufficiently to dis-
cover all the advantages of my con-

Cast your eye over this wide ex-
* Michegan.

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panse. That waving and bluish
line which almost blends itself with
air, is a chain of rocky summits,
ninety miles distant from the spot
where we stand. They range along
the opposite shore of the lake. Your
eyes, unaccustomed to the scrutiny
of distant objects, are, perhaps, un-
able to discover a darker spot which
breaks the uniformity of this line.
That is a lofty isle, about half-way
across, which contains six hundred
acres of fertile ground. The banks
are steep, and only accessible at
one spot. This entrance was de-
tected by me, by a rare fortune,
and would probably escape the no-
tice of any other. Here, if you
please, you may take up your abode,
and be in no danger of molestation
or intrusion. Exuberant verdure,
spouting rivulets, hickory and pop-
lar shades, commodiously and spar-
ingly distributed, preclude the ne-
cessity of any laborious preparation.
No animal larger than squirrels
and rabbits, can be found in it.
There will, therefore, be no foes,
either of human or beastial kind,
with which you will be under the
necessity of waging war. I will
enable you to go thither, and assist
you in making a plantation, and
erecting an house.

But this scheme, desirable as it
is, more experience of the evils of
society may be necessary to induce
you to adopt. Return, therefore,
to the world, and, when tired of
its monotony, and disgusted with
its iniquities, remember the recluse
of Michegan, and take refuge on
this peaceful shore. Perhaps this
is a choice which can be recom-
mended only by calamities similar
to those which I have endured.
There would be cruelty in wishing
you a fate like mine; and yet, if
your course should terminate in the
same manner, and misfortune should
instruct you in the benefits of this
seclusion, this wish might, perhaps,
be reconciled to benevolence.

There is, indeed, little danger
that the story of any other human
being will resemble mine. My fate
is marked by uncommon hues:
neither imagination nor memory
can supply you with a parallel. Of
this, however, you will be more
qualified to judge after my tale has
been told. I have brought you
hither for the purpose of relating it:
now, therefore, lend me a patient

My ancestry were English. If I
had not long since dismissed the
folly of annexing dignity to birth,
I might lay claim to some respect
on this account, since I can num-
ber, in the founders of my line,
some of those who aided the at-
chievements of Rollo in France,
and Bohemond in Syria. A younger
branch of my family owes the dig-
nity of baronet to the profusion of
James the First, and the English
usurpations in Ireland. He that
first acquired the dignity, was Ste-
phen Porter. This man, like the
rest of the gentlemen of that age,
conceived that all merit was com-
prized in the profession of arms.
He early enlisted in the Palatine
wars, and relinquished the service
of Gustavus, only to take part in
the contest between Charles the First
and his parliament.

When this contest was terminat-
ed, he retired to an ample patrimo-
ny which he possessed in Lancashire.
Here a life which had so often been
exposed to pikes and bullets was de-
stroyed by a stag, whose despair
prompted him to turn upon his
hunters. His estate passed to his
son, whose character was, in many
respects, the reverse of that of his
parent. He was indolent, vindic-
tive, irascible, and carried the pride
of birth to a ridiculous excess.

In his marriage choice he was
governed by no considerations but
those of family and property. His
wife, however, chanced to possess
many excellent qualities. These

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did not secure to her the affections
of her husband. Some slight op-
position to his will changed his in-
difference to hatred, and he com-
pelled her to live apart from him.
No time, and no concessions on
her part, could abate his animosity.
He vowed never to admit her to
his presence; and when a friend,
by means unsuspected by him, had
brought about an interview, he not
only spurned her from him as she
kneeled at his feet, but challenged
the officious agent, who expiated
the offence by his death.

His separation from his wife was
preceded by the birth of two sons.
These were torn from the arms of
their mother, and consigned to the
care of hirelings. No solicitations
could obtain from him permission
that the mother should be indulged,
even for a moment, with the sight
of her offspring. This inflexible
severity soon put a period to the
life of this unfortunate lady.

The sons were educated at a fo-
reign seminary, in the religious faith
of their father, which was that of
Rome. One of them was the heir
of the estate, and the other was in-
tended, by the father, for the mili-
tary service of Austria or Spain.
In proportion as the younger ad-
vanced in age, and exercised his
judgment, he found reason to dis-
approve of parental schemes. He
had been exposed, while in Flan-
ders, to the arguments of a Pro-
testant divine, who had nearly won
over his belief. His return to Eng-
land interposed to prevent or sus-
pend his renunciation of his ancient
faith; but his attachment to his
country, and his love of the peace-
ful occupations of learning, made
him irreconcilably averse to milita-
ry service among foreigners. He
knew, however, his father's in-
flexibility, his lofty notions of pre-
rogative, and his impatience of con-
tradiction. These reflections were a
source of considerable inquietude.

The brothers arrived in London.
The elder was a thoughtless and
generous youth, who was willing
that his conduct and opinions should
be moulded by convenience. He,
therefore, readily complied with the
will of his father, who had taken
care, in his absence, to select for
him a bride, and who had called
him home for the purpose of ful-
filling the contract. The younger,
whose name was Stephen, was
fraught with different sentiments
and principles. He felt insupera-
ble reluctance to pursue the path
which was chalked out for him,
while his obedience was enjoined
by the most powerful considera-
tions. With regard to property he
was wholly dependant on his father;
and his education had unfitted him
for any servile or lucrative occupa-
tion. He was summoned, at the same
time with his brother, to the paternal
residence in Lancashire. He would
willingly have dispensed with the
interview, the purpose of which
he knew to be the final settlement
of plans for his future life; but this
was not possible. He prepared
himself, therefore, for his journey;
but eagerly sought and profitted by
any excuse that tended to delay.

At Chester he permitted a trif-
ling impediment to detain him for
some weeks. At the end of this
time, an accident enabled him to
perform a friendly office for a fa-
mily who resided in the environs.
The master of it, who was an ex-
ile from France, had been pursued
by the vengeance of an hereditary
enemy to his retreat. Assassins had
been hired to destroy him, and,
being apprized of his motions, they
had posted themselves so as to en-
counter him on his return from the
city to his own habitation. The
timely interference of my father
(for it is to this man that I am in-
debted for my being) rescued him
from the power of the ruffians, and
conducted him to his family, but

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not until he had received wounds
which shortly put a period to his
life. This incident gave birth to
intercourse and friendship between
my father and the wife and daugh-
ter of the deceased. On making
suitable inquiries as to their name
and condition, he discovered the
following particulars.

The Calverts were a noble fami-
ly of Provence. Their domain
consisted of obscure and elevated
valleys, embosomed among those
Alps which border upon Italy.
They early became converts to the
reformation, and the head of their
family was renowned among the de-
fenders of Rochelle. Persecution
and war had nearly extirpated their
race, and the only survivors were
brothers of the name of Felix and
Gaspard. These, on the revoca-
tion of the edict of Nantz, were
driven into exile. The eldest re-
tired first into Flanders, and, twenty
years afterwards, emigrated to
America. He purchased and cul-
tivated ground on the bank of
Delaware, just below its conflux
with Schuylkill, where his antique
and humble dwelling is still to be

The younger, who possessed some
property, in consequence of mar-
riage, passed into England, and took
up his abode in the neighbourhood
of Chester. Here he led an ob-
scure and indigent life till the insti-
tution of French regiments, under
king William. He then obtained
a command in the army, and signal-
ized himself in Flanders. Thence
he went to Ireland, and died of his
wounds received at the siege of

His daughter accompanied her
father in all his perils. On his
death she accepted the protection of
a young officer of her own country.
Wedlock succeeded, and they re-
turned to her ancient abode, near
Chester. Their union was pro-
ductive of one child, to whose im-

provement and felicity their cares
were limited.

This was he whose life was now
sacrificed to private revenge, and,
by whose death, his wife and daugh-
ter were deprived of their protector.
My father easily invented excuses
for postponing his departure from
this city, and for devoting most of
his hours to the society of his new
friends. The lady was a woman
endowed with peculiar advantages
of education, a zealous adherent to
her faith, and eager to impart its
benefits to others. My father's be-
lief had already been undermined,
and the exhortations of this eloquent
apostle accomplished its destruc-
tion. Perhaps his facility of con-
viction might be partly owing to the
charms of the young lady, of whom
he speedily became enamoured, and
of whose favour he could entertain
no hope as long as he adhered to
what she deemed an idolatrous and
detestable religion.

His condition was now changed,
and his embarrassments greatly mul-
tiplied. A change of religion, the
marriage of an outcast, indigent, of
obscure birth, and an heretic, were,
in the eyes of his father, the deepest
crimes that it was possible for him
to commit. He would punish
it by inexorable wrath, by reject-
ing all claims to pecuniary assist-
ance, and, perhaps, by the inflic-
tion of some greater evil. Sir Ste-
phen was powerful and subtle, and
would not scruple any means of
vengeance on an occasion like this.
If the son flattered himself that his
personal safety would be unaffected,
he could not hope but that the help-
less objects of his passion would
incur the bitterest persecution.
Means, at least, would be employ-
ed to raise an insuperable bar be-
tween them. His imagination con-
templated no greater evil than this,
and, in order to prevent it, he se-
cretly embraced the protestant re-
ligion, and prevailed upon the lady

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to consent to a private marriage.
For the present, this marriage was
solicitously concealed. He trusted
that some propitious event would
occur, putting an end to the neces-
sity of secrecy. For the present, a
separation took place, and my fa-
ther arrived, at length, at Sir Ste-
phen's residence.

The intercourse between them
proceeded for some time without
any occurrence to ruffle its tran-
quillity. By judicious forbearance
and a circumspect demeanour, Sir
Stephen was prevented from im-
bibing any suspicion of the genuine
condition and creed of his son.
The future was occasionally men-
tioned, and the plan of foreign ser-
vice alluded to, as something about
which no hesitation or question
could arise. No measures to effect
this plan were immediately suggest-
ed. A delay which Sir Stephen
hinted to arise from a project of a
more momentous and general na-
ture, which had lately started into
birth; and, in which, the efforts
of Stephen would be wanted.

Stephen had a perfect reliance on
the justice and fidelity of his bro-
ther, and therefore, with regard to
him, made no secret either of his
change of religion or his marriage.
Both of these were heartily disap-
proved by Henry, but one could
not be recalled and the other was
irreparable by any strength which
he could apply to the task; he ex-
erted himself to make the evil flow-
ing from them as light as possible.
He laboured to penetrate into the
designs of his father, and insensibly
to sway his thoughts conformably
to the wishes of Stephen.

In no long time proposals were
formally made to Sir Stephen, for
marriage between his second son
and a daughter of the Earl of Lucan,
who had been king James's general
in Ireland, and who had attained
great wealth and honours in Spain.
No alliance could more flatter the

pride, bigotry, and avarice of this
man. It coincided with his fondest
schemes of military promotion, and
as the young lady was maid of
honour to the Spanish queen, the
road would thus be opened to the
most illustrious elevation.

Stephen was seasonably apprized,
by his brother, of these proposals.
He had reason to regard himself as
remarkably unfortunate. Every
new event seemed to conspire
against him. He watched it in anx-
ious expectation of a summons to
his father's presence, in which this
inauspicious union would be pro-
posed to him.

This summons, however, was
delayed. Week after week passed,
and no intimation was received. It
seemed impossible that an offer like
this should be rejected, or that the
indecorum of a slow or difficult ac-
ceptance would be practised; it was
not less incredible that Sir Stephen
should not hasten to impart the tid-
ings of his good fortune to his son.
The brothers, at length, began to
doubt the truth of this intelligence,
but a new and closer inquiry re-
moved their doubts. Some inter-
views had taken place between Ste-
phen and the lady, during some
months residence of the former at
Madrid. At that time nothing ex-
isted to render this union undesira-
ble, and the lady had been pursued
by Stephen, with a juvenile and in-
cautious enthusiasm. Now, how-
ever, these crude feelings were sup-
planted by a rational attachment;
and conscience, as well as love, re-
garded this alliance with horror.

In the midst of this perplexity,
a message was delivered to my fa-
ther, commanding him into Sir Ste-
phen's presence. The purpose of
this interview was easily divined.
Obedience, however, was inevit-
able, and the interview took place.
It was accompanied by much ap-
pearance of mystery. Solitude and
a solemn hour was selected. Ave-

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nues were shut, and care taken that
no listener should be posted near.
These precautions being employed,
Sir Stephen began, by communi-
cating to his son the proposals
which had been offered and accept-
ed on his behalf. He reminded my
father of his former devotion to the
lady, noticed the purity of her re-
ligion, the illustriousness of her
rank, the high station which she
occupied at the court of Spain, and
inferred that providence could not
have ordained an event more auspi-
cious than this.

He easily anticipated the desires
of his son, and experienced all the
sympathy of a parent in his happi-
ness; but he appealed to my father
whether this were not a blessing
which, in reality, outstripped his
merits. He was young, and had
hitherto made no sacrifice to duty,
or exerted his talents in any cause of
national utility. Though much
might be expected from his birth
and education, yet, perhaps, it would
be unreasonable to expect his con-
sent to postpone this union on any
consideration that could be pro-
posed. Perhaps, indeed, in labour-
ing to avoid the favourable prepos-
sessions of a parent, he had passed
into the opposite extreme, and un-
derrated the zeal of his son in the
cause of his country and of God.
He should rejoice to discover that
this was the case, and would there-
fore propose to him a scheme, for
the sake of which he might post-
pone his marriage; because the dis-
interestedness of this conduct would
enhance his title to the happiness
that awaited him.

He then proceeded to unfold a
plan of insurrection in favour of
Charles Stewart, which had long
been meditated by the English ca-
tholics, and which the present was
believed to be a suitable opportunity
for carrying into effect. Caution
was the soul of this enterprize, and
men of long experience, deep views

and unconquerable perseverance,
had been selected for this purpose.
The concealment of all preliminary
measures was indispensible to its
success; but Sir Stephen so little
suspected the change that had taken
place in the opinion of his son, that
he deemed it superfluous to enjoin

Such is the imperfection of every
scheme founded on imposture. Sir
Stephen's character was well known.
His devotion to the persecuted fami-
ly and faith of the Stewart's, his
wariness and penetration had raised
him to the station of leader in this
plot, yet, such is the deceitfulness
of appearances, that this man, un-
knowing to himself, was now dis-
closing a scheme of rebellion and
massacre to one whose principles
compelled him to abhor the project,
and who would probably conceive
it his duty to counteract it by all his

He did not enter, in this first in-
terview, into a minute detail of par-
ticulars. He mentioned no names,
and vaguely alluded to the means
which had been suggested. Enough,
however, was unfolded to show the
horror and extent of this treason.
All lenient and dubious measures
were rejected. The long triumph
of heresy and usurpation required
a rigorous and unrelenting hand.
The sanctity and greatness of the
cause would be disgraced by nar-
row schemes and effeminate scru-
ples. The spirit of Charles the
Ninth, and of Guy Faux were ap-
plauded as models of true heroism,
and success was to be rendered cer-
tain by a blow which should exter-
minate at a moment, every adver-
sary. The king, his ministers, and
three hundred of those whose opu-
lence, and talents, and birth, ren-
dered them obnoxious, was to perish
in the hour in which an invading
army was to land in Scotland.

The agents of this destruction
were to be sublimed above all self-

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ish considerations. They were to
devote their lives to this cause, and
the same poniard which dispatched
the victim, each assassin was im-
mediately to turn against his own
breast. Stephen was even allowed
to suspect that the part most illus-
trious and arduous in this drama
was reserved for him; and that his
claim to execute vengeance on the
reigning prince would be readily

The interview ended with an ad-
monition to deliberate on this pro-
posal with calmness. The prefer-
ence of public to private good, the
magnanimity of sacrificing love and
life to the altar of the true God, and
in the service of the rightful prince,
were artfully insisted upon; but, if
this effort were too great, he might
fill an inferior part, and perform
essential services without relinquish-
ing these blessings. The possession
of his mistress would merely be
postponed, and his personal safety
be, in a slight degree, endangered.
He would assign no period to the
deliberation of his son, but wait
patiently till Stephen, having form-
ed his determinations, should him-
self demand an interview.

The sensations with which my
father parted from this conference
may be more easily conceived than
described. Concurrence in either
of these schemes was impossible;
yet what would be the consequence
of refusing to concur? The real
impediments must be disclosed, for
no others will be deemed sufficient.
What shall screen him from the
rage of his imperious father? He
will not be permitted to retire from
the interview, in which his real si-
tuation shall be disclosed, with life.
Sir Stephen acknowledged no
bounds to paternal prerogatives.
The life which he gave he believed
to be forfeited by disobedience,
and conceived himself authorized
to take it away. But now, in ad-
dition to the crimes of disobedience

and apostacy, the secret of this plot
resided with him; and, to prevent
a discovery, his death would be
inevitably exacted.

For a time my father was absorb-
ed in fears for his on safety; but,
at length, his thoughts were turned
to the nature of that conspiracy
which had thus been proved to ex-
ist. Was his duty limited to mere
forbearance? Should he stand an
idle spectator, while his religion
and his country were destroyed?
Was he not bound to communicate
his knowledge of this plot, and
exert himself in its suppression?

As his father's honour and life
were involved in this disclosure,
no wonder that this suggestion was
a plenteous source of anxiety. He
fled into solitude to avoid all wit-
nesses to his perturbation. His pur-
poses perpetually fluctuated. When
he thought upon the extent of that
ruin which was threatened, he felt
himself disposed to prevent it, even
by the ignominious execution of
his father: but when he recollected
his imperfect knowledge of the
scheme, and its connection with
invasion, which a thousand acci-
dents might frustrate, he was again
restored to irresolution and reluc-

Meanwhile some decision daily
became more urgent. Some delay
to concur in his scheme would be
forgiven, and was expected by his
father; but to protract his silence
would excite suspicion. He felt
irreconcilable repugnance to an in-
terview in which his true condition
should be disclosed; and yet was
at a loss by what other means to ac-
count for his aversion to the plot.

At length it occurred to him,
that he might withdraw himself be-
yond the knowledge and the ven-
geance of his father. He might de-
cline a second interview, and im-
mure himself in some remote and
inaccessible corner, and live with
his wife and mother, beyond the

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circle of Sir Stephen's operations
and researches. His father might
not only be kept in ignorance of
his place of abode, his marriage,
and his change of religion, but
might be taught to believe that he
was dead.

This scheme was highly advan-
tageous; but the obstacles to its
execution were not few. No part
of the British Islands would be suf-
ficiently secure. In Holland he
would be easily detected. Difficulty
of subsistence would attend him
every where. Some provision must
be made for his immediate support
in a foreign country. The means
of secret and unsuspected flight
were neither obvious nor easy. My
mother was pregnant, and the usual
period had nearly elapsed. Until
her delivery should have taken place
her removal was nearly impossible.

His visits to his family, who still
occupied their ancient abode, had
hitherto been frequent, but clan-
destine. Now the disturbance of
his mind made him visit them more
rarely. He had too much regard
for the health of his wife to unfold
to her the dangers of his situation;
and to exclude from his counte-
nance every token of the anguish of
his mind, was an undertaking that
surpassed his strength.

To forbear his visits entirely was,
for similar reasons, improper. At
one of these interviews the name
of one who dwelt in their neigh-
bourhood was introduced into con-
versation. It appeared that he was
one of those known by the appel-
lation of Quakers; that his religious
scruples had subjected him to nu-
merous vexations, from a continu-
ance of which he was now prepar-
ing to escape, by emigration to
the English colonies in America.

This incident suggested a train of
ideas to my father, which terminat-
ed in a resolution to follow his ex-
ample. Pennsylvania was remote,
unvisited: subsistence was easily

procured: and hither it was less like-
ly he should be pursued by pater-
nal vengeance than to any other
asylum. He might easily embark
in London; and as he was person-
ally known to few in that city, the
interval previous to embarkation
might be passed there with more
security than elsewhere.

His marriage was an event known
only to the parties themselves, his
mother-in-law, and the clergyman
who performed the ceremony, and
who was now a chaplain to the regi-
ment in garrison at Gibralter. My
mother was contented to endure the
loss of reputation, because the se-
clusion in which she lived exposed
her to few of the inconveniences
that flow from it. Her personal
condition could not escape the no-
tice of all, and was a source of
some obloquy; but this she even
preferred to the publication of the
truth. The knowledge of my fa-
ther's visits would never have gene-
rated a suspicion that he was her
husband. The world would mere-
ly have inferred the existence of an
illicit connection; but even this in-
ference was precluded by the secre-
cy which all parties observed.

In due time this lady became the
mother of twins. A feeble con-
stitution hindered her from nursing
both her children. One of them,
therefore, was entrusted to the
charge of a French woman, whose
mother had been the companion
of the flight of the deceased Ma-
dame de Calvert from Provence,
and who had lately married an ho-
nest and thrifty farmer in the neigh-
bouring district, by name Thurs-

This woman had been eminent
for her affection and fidelity to the
Calverts; but it had not been deem-
ed prudent by my mother to entrust
her with the secret of the marriage.
She was willing to sink in the good
opinion of her servant, rather than
to incur the least hazard of being

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betrayed. Alice cheerfully assum-
ed the province assigned her, and
divided with the stranger the ten-
derness due to her own child.

This obstacle being now remov-
ed, my father began to think seri-
ously of the execution of his pro-
ject. A second interview with Sir
Stephen had not yet taken place.
This delay was owing to a severe
indisposition by which the former
had been seized. No more for-
tunate or seasonable occurrence
could have happened; but the re-
spite which it afforded was short.
His recovery was speedily effected;
and certain tokens had appeared,
which showed that the procrastina-
tions of my father had excited some
suspicion. The necessity of re-
moval became hourly more urgent,
but the want of money rendered it

Since his return to his father's
house the annual pittance formerly
allowed to him had been withdrawn.
Sir Stephen was far from being of
a covetous temper, and his fortune
was ample; but the scheme on
which he had embarked his perso-
nal safety absorbed likewise all his
revenue; and he whom the world
considered as incessantly hoarding
his income, and daily becoming more
rich, distributed his wealth with so
lavish an hand, as sometimes to re-
duce himself to absolute though tem-
porary need.

In this strait my father bethought
himself of relying on the friend-
ship of his brother. He did not
think proper to disclose to him the
whole truth, but stated, as reasons
for changing his abode, the impos-
sibility of otherwise concealing his
condition from Sir Stephen, and
the indignation with which he
should probably be overwhelmed
when the truth should come to be

These motives were deemed in-
sufficient by Henry; but finding
my father proof against all his re-

monstrances, he readily consented
to aid him in the execution of his
scheme. Henry had been enriched,
and thus rendered independent of
his father, by his marriage. He
offered to divide his possessions
with his brother; but Stephen was
satisfied with a small sum at present,
and with an annual remittance until
he should be able to provide for his
own subsistence.

Philip Thurston had conceived
the design of improving his for-
tune by emigration to America.
His little property, however, could
not be disposed of time enough for
him to accompany my father. My
mother's health disabled her from
affording nourishment to more than
one child. A substitute might,
perhaps, have been found for Alice;
but this woman had contracted a
mother's fondness for the babe
which she nursed, and her fidelity
was liable to no doubt. She en-
treated to be still allowed the care
of the infant; and as her husband
prepared to embark for the same
port in America, in a few months,
it was thought that no inconveni-
ence would arise from leaving the
infant in her charge. The separa-
tion would be brief; and this ar-
rangement enabled them to keep
Alice and her husband in their for-
mer ignorance as to that connection
which subsisted between my father
and the Calverts.

Suitable preparations being made,
my father secretly embarked at Lon-
don with his wife, her mother and
her son, in a ship bound to Phila-
delphia. Here they safely arrived,
and, taking an obscure house, they
hoped to enjoy the remnant of their
days in tranquillity. My father as-
sumed his wife's name, and per-
mitted the world to consider him
as one of the victims of the blind
and destructive policy of the French
government in recalling its conces-
sions to the Protestants.

Meanwhile it will be supposed

 image pending 200

that some impatience was felt for
the arrival of the son who had been
left in the care of Alice Thurston.
Henry was apprized of the exist-
ence of this child, and of the views
which had been adopted with re-
gard to it. He had promised to
bestow some attention on its wel-
fare, and not to withdraw from it
his guardianship until it was safely
embarked. A punctual correspond-
ence was maintained by the bro-

The sudden disappearance of his
son excited no small alarm in Sir
Stephen. For a time he was wil-
ling to ascribe it to some casual and
unimportant cause. At length his
anxiety prompted him to set inqui-
ries on foot. Stephen had appeared
as usual at breakfast and dinner,
but in the evening he was no where
to be found. He had left behind
him neither verbal nor written in-
timations of his absence. The ser-
vants and tenants were unable to
remove his uncertainty. Henry,
when interrogated respecting his
brother's destiny, pretended the
same ignorance. More exact in-
quiries and extensive searches were
made, but were no less ineffectual.
Weeks and months rolled away,
and produced no tidings of the fu-

As no conjecture was less pro-
bable than the true, time produced
no cessation of the father's inqui-
ries and doubts. At length he was
compelled to acquiesce in the be-
lief that the son had perished by
some unwitnessed and untoward
accident. This event was fatal to
his fondest hopes, and he deplored
it as the most signal calamity that
could befal him.

Thurston found no difficulty in
the disposal of his property, and
was taking measures for entering on
the meditated voyage, when he was
attacked by a fever which, in a few
days, put an end to his life. This

event incapacitated Alice for prose-
cuting her design. The Calverts
used to be her counsellors in every
difficulty, and she knew no other on
whose sympathy or succour she
could place dependance. Henry
was speedily informed of this disas-
ter. He saw that Alice, encum-
bered with two infants, and resign-
ed to her own guidance, would be
exposed to numerous embarrass-
ments and dangers. Hence ori-
ginated a scheme which he made
haste to impart to his brother, and
which he recommended with un-
common zeal. He proposed that
Alice and the child should continue
in England, under his protection,
and that as soon as his nephew
should grow beyond the necessity
of her care, he should be taken
under his own protection and treat-
ed as his child.

The letter containing this pro-
posal, was received by the vessel
in which my father impatiently ex-
pected the arrival of Alice and her
charge. Deep and almost insup-
portable, especially to my mother,
was this disappointment of their
hopes. She was by no means in-
clined to adopt this proposal, but
she yielded to my father's councils
and wishes, and my brother was
transferred to the family of Henry.

Time would, of course, reconcile
my mother to separation from her
offspring, especially as the charge
was so auspicious. Their fears,
however, were quickly roused by
the failure of a letter from my un-
cle, and by the receipt of an inco-
herent epistle from Alice, who, to
their unspeakable astonishment and
grief, informed them first of the
death of Henry Porter, and, se-
condly, of the loss of my brother
Felix. She related that the two
children had been left alone for a
few minutes, at the door of her
cottage, in the dusk of evening, and
that, on her return to the spot, Felix

 image pending 201

was missing. Her random and
limited inquiries had led to no dis-

The influence of such tidings
may be easily conceived. As to
the fate of their infant son, there
was room only for the gloomiest
predictions. Such instances were
not uncommon. Beggars, and the
vilest of mankind, were accustomed
to make prize of helpless innocence,
and train up the unfortunate subject
of their theft to their own detesta-
ble profession. This lot was infi-
nitely more deplorable than death.
All the hope that remains to the
parents in such cases, is that negli-
gence and cruelty may put a speedy
end to the life of the unfortunate

It is not certain that my mother
would have long survived to sustain
the anguish of these thoughts. A
new occurrence diversified, and in
some degree, alleviated their grief.
If Henry Porter were dead, his fa-
ther would, of course, become the
guardian of his child and of his pro-
perty. Letters had passed between
the brothers, in which the secret of
his flight, his marriage, and his
conversion, were copiously related
or intelligently alluded to. It was
possible that these letters, in obedi-
ence to the writer's injunctions,
were destroyed; but it was likewise
possible that they had been preserv-
ed, and therefore had fallen into the
hands of Sir Stephen. What use
he would make of them, to what
excesses his anger and his bigotry
would transport him, were subjects
of fearful conjecture.

In no longer time a letter was re-
ceived, in which my father's ap-
prehensions were confirmed. Sir
Stephen was the writer. The sud-
den death of his eldest son had
made him master of his cabinet,
and all that my father desired to be
concealed was known. The first
burst of indignation in the mind of
Sir Stephen was followed by im-

pulses of terror, lest the unwary
disclosure of his plot should have
tended to defeat it. Rage yielded
to policy. Alice was robbed of her
charge, and my father was inform-
ed that the son was kept as a sort of
pledge of his fidelity. Maledictions
and invectives were heaped upon
the fugitive, the rights of kindred
were disclaimed; but my father was
flattered with impunity, provided
he maintained an inflexible silence
on certain topics.

This epistle assured my parents
of the personal safety of their off-
spring; but they naturally inferred
from it, the incurable perversion
of his principles. He would be
tainted in an obnoxious faith, and,
perhaps, kept in ignorance of his
birth. To them, therefore, he was
lost; and his destiny, though some-
what better than that for which
they had before imagined him re-
served, was more to be lamented
than his death. Their affection was
now concentred in me, on whom
they bestowed the name of my bro-
ther. My original appellation was
Stephen, but henceforth I was cal-
led Felix.

The death of his brother depriv-
ed my father of the established
means of his subsistence. It was
necessary to discover some new me-
thod of supplying his wants. Seve-
ral expedients were tried, but he at
length decided in favour of the le-
gal profession. To fit him for this
pursuit time and money must be
previously consumed; and he re-
conciled himself to this necessity
by the lucrative employment of his
pen. A practical knowledge of
conveyancing was easily gained,
and by this he procured the means
of subsistence till he was qualified
for the bar.

Meanwhile my father could not
but reflect on that criminal project
in which he had been invited to
concur. He was haunted by fears,
that his duty to his country enjoin-

 image pending 202

ed upon him a different proceeding
from that which he had adopted.
At one time he painted to himself
the scenes of confiscation and pro-
scription which would ensue the
success of this plot, and was almost
prompted to abjure his silence, and
hasten to disclose the knowledge he
possessed. Then he revolved the
numberless incidents which might
occur to frustrate it, to hinder the
conspirators from prosecuting their
design, or detect it before its exe-
cution. This scheme was to coin-
cide with a project of invasion; but
France was the only power from
which an attack could be dreaded,
and the sceptical and pacific cha-
racter of the regent Duke of Or-
leans was well known. It seemed
as if the Jacobite enthusiasm had
nearly vanished, and that the ad-
herents of the exile family must at
length have discovered the despe-
rateness of their cause.

Peace of mind was incompatible
with these thoughts. My father's
anxieties could not escape the watch-
ful tenderness of his wife. It was
easy for him to assign a plausible
cause for appearances very different
from the true one, and his dissimu-
lation succeeded for a time. He
knew not the consequences of dis-
closure, even to his bosom friend.
My mother fostered a magnanimous
spirit, and was an enthusiast in re-
ligion. What use she might con-
ceive it her duty to make of her
knowledge could not be foreseen.
He recollected the penalty that had
been menaced if he should violate
his faith, and these reflections for-
tified him in concealment.

But the impossibility of destroy-
ing the connection between thought
and speech was eminently illustrat-
ed in my father's case. My mother
was a jealous and perpetual ob-
server. The negligent and yield-
ing moment was skilfully employ-
ed, and the secret was extorted.

My mother had no ties of habit

or affection to restrain her from
compliance with the dictates of du-
ty. She permitted her actions to
be controuled by her husband, and
forbore to make any other use of
the knowledge she had acquired,
than to exhort my father to unveil
and defeat this plot. She proposed
nothing less than that he should en-
trust the protection and subsistence
of his family to providence, and im-
mediately embark for England,
where he should hasten to commu-
nicate the particulars of this conspi-
racy to government.

Her remonstrances were earnest
and incessant, and might, probably,
have finally conquered his aversion,
had not the next pacquet brought
tidings which precluded the neces-
sity of his interference. Intima-
tions of this plot had been conveyed
to the ministers, and Sir Stephen
Porter was marked out as the prin-
cipal agent. Messengers were se-
cretly dispatched to arrest him.

One hour before the messengers
arrived at the end of their journey,
Sir Stephen was engaged at dinner,
with a numerous company. In the
midst of their festivity a person
entered the hall, and whispered
something in the ear of the host,
and instantly retired. A pause of
uneasiness and abstraction ensued.
Sir Stephen, at length, rose from
the table, and retired, under pre-
tence of some unexpected and ur-
gent business. Shortly after the
messengers arrived, but their vic-
tim had profited by this interval to
assume the disguise of a clown, and
effect his escape. On the most
diligent search, no papers, throwing
any light on these transactions,
could be discovered: either they
had been burnt, or buried, or se-
creted, or, which was least proba-
ble, had been carried away by the
suspected person.

These are the only facts relative
to this plot which were made public.
No further discovery, nor any other

 image pending 203

consequence, is generally supposed
to have been produced. To this
detection, however, it is probable
that my father was indebted for an
early and untimely grave.

He could not but rejoice at the
defeat of so destructive a project,
especially as the personal safety of
his father had not been affected;
but he that imparted this informa-
tion to the government had proba-
bly stipulated for concealment.
The conspirators, therefore, would
remain ignorant of their betrayer:
but were there not reasons to be-
lieve that Sir Stephen's suspicions
would fall upon his son? Ven-
geance, cruel and implacable, would
probably be excited in his bosom.
This vengeance would fall on his
defenceless child, and might ex-
tend to himself. This imagination
could not fashion to itself the spe-
cies of injury that was to flow from
this source, but this uncertainty by
precluding him from the means of
defence, only aggravated his terrors.

My mother partook of these anx-
ieties. Time had some tendency to
lighten them, but this effect was not
allowed to be produced. One even-
ing, four months after the receipt of
this intelligence, a letter was found
by my father in the entry of his
house. It was couched in the fol-
lowing terms:—


“You need not be informed of
your offences: you know that they
surpass those of the greatest crimi-
nals whose guilt has been recorded.
You have rebelled against your
God; you have been a traitor to
your rightful prince; and, finally,
you have done all that in you lay,
to bring your father to the scaffold.
What punishment do you think you
though so long delayed, is now
preparing to crush you!”

This epistle was written in an un-
known hand, and was without su-
perscription or signature. Its pur-

port was fully comprehended. He
was conceived to be the betrayer of
this fatal project, and the dreaded
vengeance was at length to be in-
flicted. No condition is more de-
plorable than that in which my fa-
ther was now placed. When we
know that danger impends over us,
but are unable to assign to it a dis-
tinct shape, there is no respite to
our fears.

What measures of safety were
adapted to his situation he knew
not; or at what hour, and in what
spot the toils were to close upon him.
Whether his life would be taken,
or his reputation destroyed, or his
means of subsistence annihilated,
whether he should be assailed in his
own person or in that of his wife,
or whether both were to perish by
a common fate, were questions not
to be solved.

My father's mind was distin-
guished by some degree of imbe-
cility. He allowed this incident to
affect his happiness in a greater de-
gree than a reasonable estimate of
danger would justify. It was scarce-
ly ever absent from his thought,
and when present, it filled him with
disquiet and suspicion. Solitude
enhanced his fears, and the aspect of
a stranger was regarded with a shud-
dering he was scarcely able to con-
ceal. He was careful to bar up all
avenues to his house. Not only
the windows, but the shutters of his
chamber, were closed. His dreams
terrified him into wakefulness, and
he was startled by the slightest sound,
the cause of which was, in any de-
gree, ambiguous.

My mother was endowed with a
masculine and daring spirit. She
was far from being devoid of appre-
hension, but her mind escaped more
easily from it, and she was more
inclined to extenuate the danger.
My father conformed himself to
many of her precepts; but her ef-
forts to encourage and console him
on this occasion were resisted with

 image pending 204

an obstinacy that almost allowed
room to suspect that terror had
confused his intellect.

Among other precautions which
he used, was that of never ventur-
ing abroad at night. To this reso-
lution he inflexibly adhered for
some time; but, at length, there
occurred an event which induced
him to forego it.

A man of large fortune, who re-
sided a mile beyond Schuylkill, was
seized with a mortal disease. His
death was predicted to be near; and,
in this extremity, my father, who
had received from him many friend-
ly offices, was summoned from the
city to draw up his will. This
summons was received at eight
o'clock in the evening, and his im-
mediate attendance was required.
There were many motives to en-
force compliance with this sum-
mons. It was probable, that in
the disposal of his estate, this per-
son would not forget my father,
whom he had always distinguished
by marks of peculiar regard. He
had requested my father's attend-
ance, on this occasion, as a favour;
and, to refuse without assigning
any plausible reason, might be ex-
pected to give offence. The scru-
ples of the dying man were fasti-
dious on this head, and his refusal
might, at least, occasion a delay
which perhaps might hinder the
will from being made. In that case
the sick man's property would be
given, by the law, to one in whose
hands it would merely be an instru-
ment of vice and oppression; where-
as, a testamentary act would pro-
bably transfer it to those whose per-
sonal merits and wants gave them
an unquestionable title.

Notwithstanding these reasons
for going, my father would have
declined the task had not my mo-
ther's remonstrances interposed.
With much reluctance, and a bo-
som filled with dreary forebodings,
he set out upon his journey. The

messenger who brought the sum-
mons accompanied him, and con-
tributed, in some degree, to his se-
curity. It was resolved that he
should postpone his return till the
next day.

Her husband having gone, my
mother composed herself to rest as
usual. The succeeding day was
stormy and inclement. My father
did not appear. The state of the
atmosphere would naturally account
for his detention; but my mother's
mind was not free from uneasiness.
The question could not fail to oc-
cur, Would not her husband quiet
those alarms which he knew that
his absence would excite, by dis-
patching a messenger to acquaint
her with the cause of it? The pa-
tient might indeed be dead, and the
sorrow and confusion consequent
on such an event, might exclude
all other thoughts.

The succeeding night she passed
in like manner alone, but not with-
out a great increase of uneasiness.
On the second day, at noon, her
suspense became too painful to be
longer endured, and a man and
horse was dispatched to procure
some tidings of his situation. The
messenger speedily returned with a
letter from the lady who superin-
tended the family of Mr. Thom-
son, informing her, that her hus-
band, having performed the business
for which he came, had immediate-
ly left the house on his return to
the city; that he had been earnest-
ly solicited to postpone his depar-
ture till the next day, but had per-
sisted in his resolution to go imme-
diately. He had set out on foot,
though an horse had been offered

On returning, as on going, it was
requisite to cross the ferry. En-
quiry being made, it was found
that he had not applied for a passage
at the river. What then had be-
come of him? Diligent searches
were made; but none of them were

 image pending 205

effectual. Six weeks passed away
and no tidings of his destiny were
received. At the end of that period
a dead body was discovered con-
cealed among the reeds, at low
water, on the left shore of League-
Island. The remnant of clothes
which still adhered to him, served
to ascertain this to be the body of
my father.

No marks of violence being dis-
coverable, it was unavoidable to
conclude that he had been drowned.
It was difficult to conceive that
chance had occasioned this event.
My mother had some reason to be-
lieve it to be the result of a malig-
nant stratagem, and the accomplish-
ment of that vengeance that had
been threatened. Her fancy teem-
ed with distressful images. In her
dreams she beheld him set upon by
ruffians, his speech inhumanly sti-
fled, and his body cast into the
river. By this means their cunning
would best avoid not only detection,
but suspicion.

Sometimes she admitted a doubt
whether he had not been the author
of his own destruction. His reso-
lution, suddenly conceived to return
to the city alone, on foot, and at
midnight, so opposite to the usual
tenour of his conduct, and so ap-
parently unnecessary, was remem-
bered. He had often expressed his
impatience of existence, linked as
it was with incessant and excruciat-
ing fears. His profession was ob-
noxious to all his indolent and lite-
rary habits, and he had placed con-
siderable dependance on the gene-
rosity of Thomson. A trifling le-
gacy, however, was all that was be-
queathed to him. These causes
might have concurred to sink him
to despair, and prompt him to this
act of self-violence.

This event deprived my mother
not only of a protector and friend,
but of the means of subsistence. I
was three years of age at this time,
and was therefore helpless and whol-

ly dependant on her care. Her
mother had died shortly after their
arrival in America, and the pittance
which that lady enjoyed in right of
her husband, ceased to be paid.
My father's profession supplied
merely his daily wants. His friends
were numerous, but my mother's
exigencies were of the most urgent
and momentous kind, and such as
common friendship could hardly be
expected to obviate.

In this desolate state she was not
deserted by her fortitude. She de-
liberated calmly on the best means
of supplying her wants. She pos-
sessed considerable accomplish-
ments, and was encouraged to in-
stitute a sort of boarding-school
for a small number of female pu-
pils. This scheme was conducted
with remarkable skill and success.
Her character and situation being
known, her terms, though more
expensive than was common, were
eagerly accepted. The best families
in the province contended with each
other for the benefits of her tuition.
She limited herself to six girls, and
three being selected at a very early
age, and being wholly consigned to
her care, she contracted for them all
the fondness, while she exercised
the authority of a parent.

When I had attained my sixth
year, I was sent to a public school,
which a Scottish adventurer had
established at the town of Wood-
bury, in New-Jersey. The plan
of this establishment was compre-
hensive, and all the learning, which
indeed was small, which it was
thought proper for me to acquire,
was acquired in ten years under this
man's direction.

During this period my mother
had discharged every obligation to
her pupils. She had dissolved her
family and retired to an habitation
near Burlington, which the gene-
rosity of a deceased friend, and the
profits of preceptress-ship had ena-
bled her to purchase. On leaving

 image pending 206

Woodbury, I retired to her house.
The management of domestic con-
cerns were divided between us.
My chief employment consisted in
the cultivation of the garden which
appended to the mansion, and which
supplied us with the greater part of
our annual provision. Health, and
pleasure, and agricultural improve-
ment, were blended in this pursuit;
and these few acres afforded a per-
petual theatre for contemplation and
experiment. The intervals were
spent in the recreations of poetry
and music, and in the society of my
mother, the excellence of whose
character became the more conspi-
cuous the more closely and con-
stantly it was inspected.

For some years there was no-
thing to disturb my repose. I was
molested by no gloomy anticipa-
tions of the future. The property
which I should inherit from my
mother would suffice for the abun-
dant supply of all my wants, and I
felt no desire to augment it. In
this immoveable calm there was no
temptation to lead aside, or passion
to bewilder my steps.

The first incident that called away
my thoughts from this scene, was
connected with the fate of my fami-
ly in Europe. Sir Stephen Porter,
refusing to obey a summons to re-
turn and subject his conduct to le-
gal examination, was attainted. His
estate was confiscated, but restored,
by the bounty of the prince, to his
grandson Henry. This person, to
whom I stood in the relation of
cousin, now entered into his ma-
jority, and into the possession of
his estate. He became early ap-
prized of the fortunes of his uncle,
and was influenced, by a sense of
justice, to assist his aunt and his
cousin to the utmost of his power.
He had been solicitously trained in
the Romish religion, but had for-
mally abjured it. This served as
an additional incitement to repair
the evils which my father had in-

curred, in consequence of a simi-
lar deportment. It was not till after
long and painful searches, and the
intervention of some propitious
chance, that he traced us to our
retreat on the banks of Delaware.
A correspondence then commenced
between my mother and him, in
which he persuaded her to resume
her ancient country, and to accept
of a liberal provision.

Her estimate of happiness was
too correct to permit her to accept
his offers. Finding her invincible,
he addressed himself to me in the
same terms, and solicited me to
come and partake with him in all
the goods which fortune had be-
stowed upon him.

My youthful and untutored ima-
gination was delighted with the pic-
tures which he drew, and I was suf-
ficiently inclined to adopt his pro-
posals; but I could not hesitate to
sacrifice these crude visions to the
desires of my mother, and to pre-
fer being her companion and con-
soler to any other office. I could
not forget, however, that her feeble
constitution, and the course of na-
ture, must put a speedy end to her
life, and then there would exist no
impediment to the adoption of this

My cousin had made strenuous
exertions to ascertain the destiny of
my lost brother. Alice, his nurse,
had been extricated by him from
hardship and poverty, and sent to
America. She was now become
my mother's sole and faithful do-
mestic; but all his efforts to reco-
ver the lost Felix were unavailing.
On this topic I was chiefly prone
to indulge a romantic disposition.
My recluse, literary and bookish
education, tended to imbue me with
the refinements of sentiment and
the heroism of friendship. I was
without compeers and associates,
and those sympathies which are al-
ways ardent at my age wasted them-
selves on visionary objects. I con-

 image pending 207

soled myself with the belief that
my brother was still alive, and that
a meeting would one day take place
between us. For want of experi-
ence I imagined that there was
something peculiarly sacred and
tender in the bond of brotherhood,
and that this tie was unspeakably
enhanced by the circumstance of
being ushered into being together;
of being coeval in age, and alike
in constitution and figure: these
resemblances being supposed by
me to exist, in those cases, in an
eminent degree.

The sensations that flowed from
these ideas were not always plea-
surable. I was conscious that eter-
nal and insuperable obstacles to our
meeting might very possibly exist;
and this persuasion was a fertile
source of regret. I believed that
the chance of separation was increas-
ed by the remoteness and seclusion
of my present residence, and would
be diminished by crossing the At-
lantic. This belief was no incon-
siderable recommendation to the
scheme proposed by my cousin.
This scheme, however, was utter-
ly impracticable till the death of
my mother. Till this event should
take place I expected and desired
to remain in my present abode; but
my expectations were frustrated
from a quarter whence it was least
likely to come.

I have mentioned that one of the
Calverts, whom the bigotry of Louis
the Fourteenth drove into exile, had,
after many years residence in Flan-
ders, emigrated to America. He
brought with him money sufficient
for the purchase of what, in Europe,
would be deemed a spacious domain.
Here he devoted himself to agricul-
ture, and the gradual increase of po-
pulation augmented the value of his
estate, till he became respectable
among his neighbours for opu-

He was succeeded in the posses-
sion of this ground by a French-

man, remotely allied to him, and
of the same name, to whom he had
married his daughter. This person,
whose name was Ambrose Calvert,
had insinuated himself, by a long
train of hypocrisy, into the good
opinion of the last possessor. His
habits of dissimulation, in some de-
gree, continued after his accession
to the property. He was as punc-
tual as ever in the forms of reli-
gious worship, was as strictly ob-
servant of the Sabbath, excluded
as austerely all mirth from his fea-
tures and levities from his deport-
ment. In these respects he was
uniform to the end of life; but in
other particulars he conceived him-
self, by the death of the elder Cal-
vert, delivered from all restraint,
and at liberty to obey the genuine
impulse of his temper.

This temper was the cause of
suffering to those only who were
subjected to his power. In his
intercourse with his neighbours and
with the world, his brow was
smooth, his accents tempered into
sweetness, and his whole deport-
ment a model of urbanity and
graciousness. He was just, and
even generous, in his dealings with
others, and was always more prone
to yield up than to persist in his
claims. Little would a casual ob-
server suspect that this man was
the slave of ferocious and immiti-
gable passions; that he was a do-
mestic tyrant, and exercised the
sternest cruelty in the government
of his family and slaves.

His fields were cultivated by Af-
ricans. To these he did not allot
disproportionate tasks, or condemn
them to the use of poor, scanty, or
unwholesome food, or deny them
necessary, or even decent cloathing.
His disposition was remote from
avarice, but it was savage and ca-
pricious. He inflicted on them the
most excruciating punishments for
the most trifling offences. He made
little or no discrimination in the

 image pending 208

choice of objects of his wrath. No
tenderness of age or sex, no degree
of fidelity or diligence, exempted
from suffering the unfortunate be-
ings who were placed under his
yoke. His imagination created
crimes when they were wanting;
and that was an unexpiable offence
at one time, which, at another, was
laudable or indifferent. When in
a sullen mood, merely to smile in
his presence was guilt, and incurred
inhuman chastisement.

His wife was of a soft and com-
passionate temper. Many of the
servants were of the same age, born
and reared under the same roof, and
regarded with somewhat of sisterly
and maternal emotions. Her fa-
ther's government had been full of
lenity and prudence; and nothing
had occurred, previous to his death,
which indicated a contrary disposi-
tion in her husband.

When, therefore, he dropped the
mask, the reverse was the more
disastrous and astonishing. The
tears, the shrieks, and the deep
traces of the lash, in those who had
formerly been treated with nearly
as much forbearance and affection
as herself, were sources of horror
and grief not to be endured. To
be a silent and passive spectator
was impossible; but his cruelty was
only exasperated by intercession and
remonstrance. By persisting in these
his affection appeared gradually to
be withdrawn from her, and she
sunk, by rapid degrees, from the
condition of an equal into that of
a slave.

Her education and temper were
of that kind which made contempt
and indignity more insupportable
to her than stripes and blows. The
former, however, were only intro-
ductory to the latter; and her un-
timely death bore witness to the
acuteness of her sufferings. Even
at this distance I cannot trust my-
self with the task of describing his
enormities. When I think of them

abhorrence and rancour arise in my
heart, from which I endeavour to
escape by diverting my attention to
other objects.

One daughter, Louisa, was the
fruit of this union. Her mother
died soon after her birth. Her
education, during her early years,
was nearly the product of chance.
Her grandfather, who had not been
destitute of literary propensities, left
behind him some books, to which,
in the abundance of her leisure,
she betook herself in search of
amusement. From these she glean-
ed crude and numerous ideas, which
time, and more judicious instruc-
tion, finally converted into useful
and admirable knowledge.

She was not exempted from pa-
rental tyranny. If these had been
limited to stern commands, loud
rebukes, and intervals of sullen si-
lence, it would, by habit, have been
rendered, perhaps, endurable; and
these, it should seem, were suffi-
cient antidotes to content: but these
were bounds by which his passion
was not accustomed to be circum-
scribed. I shudder to think of
the excesses of which this unhappy
girl was the victim. How deeply
it is to be regretted, that the happi-
ness of one being should be swayed
by the perverseness of another!
From the first dawning of reflec-
tion till the age of fifteen, pain and
fear were almost the perpetual com-
panions of Louisa Calvert. The
solace of society, the blessings of li-
berty, were denied to her. All the
affections of her heart were chilled
and curbed. No vigilance nor
caution could give her any security
against mistreatment. If a known
path, however dark, intricate, and
rugged, had been assigned to her,
and her safety was made wholly to
depend upon her adherence to it,
her lot would have been less deplo-
rable, but the caprice of her father
was wholly irregular. He seemed
to act by the instigations of a demon

 image pending 209

and to be impelled by pure, un-
adulterated malice.

In her fifteenth year her condi-
tion underwent a change. Her fa-
ther made occasional journies to the
city, which was ten miles from his
place of residence. Hither, late
in autumn, his engagements chanc-
ed to call him. He proposed to
return on the evening of the same
day. The evening elapsed how-
ever, without producing any token
of his approach. His daughter was,
by this delay, thrown into a state
of considerable perplexity. Whe-
ther she should await his arrival, or
retire to her chamber, leaving a fe-
male servant to attend his coming,
was a question on which much de-
pended, but which she was unable to

The mood in which Calvert
might return, might make him con-
demn her retirement as disrespect-
ful, or her watchfulness as officious;
and his absurd rage would vent it-
self in blows and contumelies. Af-
ter some fruitless deliberation, she
concluded to go to bed.

There is an energy in the human
mind which enables it to conquer
every inquietude, or a flexibility
that reconciles itself to every con-
straint. Louisa was gifted with that
temper which is not easily bereaved
of cheerfulness. Her condition
was well known, and no one ac-
quainted with it could refrain from
expressing their wonder at the for-
titude with which she supported its
unparalleled and complicated evils.
There were moments, however,
when her soul was nearly over-
whelmed with the perception of her
wretchedness, and when she even
admitted a doubt whether death,
inflicted by her own hand, was not
preferable to a being like hers.

Mournful sensations happened to
be particularly prevalent on this
occasion, and she lay sleepless and
listening to the signal which should
announce her father's approach.

This signal was at length heard, but
it was obliged to be frequently re-
peated before the slumbers of the
girl, who remained below, were
broken. Louisa shuddered on re-
flecting on the probable conse-
quences of this negligence. Her
fears, in this respect, were not
groundless, and Calvert no sooner
obtained admittance than he pro-
ceeded to inflict on the culprit the
most barbarous chastisement.

The sufferer, whose name was
Althea, had been the playfellow,
and was the affectionate attendant
of her young mistress. Her form
and features were delicate and regu-
lar, and her complexion so remote
from jet, that the conjecture was
generally admitted that her father
was Calvert himself. These cir-
cumstances, in addition to the lone-
liness of her state, and the want of
suitable associates, fostered in Lou-
isa a sisterly affection for her wait-
ing maid. She partook in all studies
and amusements of her mistress.

From the nature of her functions,
in the performance of which she
seldom had need to enter into the
presence of the tyrant, from the
unwearied diligence of Louisa to
screen her from animadversions;
and, perhaps, from some move-
ments of paternal tenderness, she
had hitherto, for the most part, es-
caped that treatment to which her
companions in servitude had been

Every blow which she now re-
ceived struck upon the heart of
Louisa, and she bitterly lamented
that she had not, by remaining be-
low, encountered his resentment.
Her thoughts were quickly recalled
to the consideration of her own
safety, for, in a few minutes, Cal-
vert relinquished his present victim
and burst into her chamber. He
began with heaping on her those
reproaches which were usually the
prelude to personal violence. This
she summoned up her magnanimity

 image pending 210

to bear without repining. Having
exhausted his abuse, he proceeded
to inform her of his solemn resolu-
tion, that she should not remain a
moment longer under his roof, and
commanded her to rise instantly
and leave his house.

Menaces to this effect had fre-
quently been uttered by him in the
career of passion, but they were
considered as momentary sugges-
tions; and when his paroxysm had
passed, were mutually forgotten.
Now, however, he did not content
himself with threats, but showed
himself immoveably resolved.

Louisa enjoyed the compassion
of all, but the friendship of none.
She was little less than an absolute
stranger to every one beyond her
father's threshold. Exiled from
this roof, she knew of no place of
refuge, or even of momentary en-
tertainment. In vain she endea-
voured, by intreaties, to avert this
sentence, or at least to delay the
execution of it. Her opposition
only exasperated his rage, and trans-
ported him beyond all bounds of
humanity. He seized her by the
hair, and dragging her to the door,
thrust her forth without mercy,
and locked the entrance against her.

Her dress consisted merely of a
thin and long robe which covered
all her limbs; but her neck and feet
were bare. Winter had already
began its progress by disrobing the
trees of their leaves, and whitening
the ground with frost. It was mid-
night, and the atmosphere was
cloudy and tempestuous. Such
were the circumstances in which
this inhuman father thought proper
to turn his child out of doors.

For a time, she flattered herself
that as his passion subsided, he
would see the monstrousness of this
act. She waited at the door in vain.
The chillness of the atmosphere
began at length to be felt; despair
at length took possession of her
bosom, and she dragged her trem-

bling limbs to a short distance from
the house.

The plantation next to that of
her father was bounded by the op-
posite side of the road. Annexed
to it were two barns, one of which,
smaller in size, and but little used,
was sixty or eighty feet from Cal-
vert's door. The first impulse was
to go thither and screen herself from
the piercing wind, by interposing
this building between her and the
northern blasts. She hoped like-
wise to find some hay scattered in its
neighbourhood, by which her feet
might be protected from the cold.
Both of these purposes were in some
degree answered, and she found
herself at leisure to ruminate on the
deplorableness of her condition.

The proprietor of the next plan-
tation was a man of a very differ-
ent character from Calvert. He
had marked with disapprobation the
excesses of his neighbour, and
sometimes endeavoured, by remon-
strances, to check his career. Some
occasion had required him to leave
his bed on this night, and his station
happened to be such as to make him
a witness of the scene that took
place at Calvert's threshold. He
followed the lady to her retreat, and
quickly making himself known to
her, easily prevailed upon her to
take shelter under his roof.

Next morning he paid a visit to
her father. I have said that Cal-
vert, in his intercourse with the
world, was a strict observer of po-
liteness. His treatment of this guest
was by no means an exception to
his maxims, but he absolutely re-
fused to re-admit his daughter.

My mother was a distant relation
of the sufferer, and the only person
in America from whom relation-
ship gave her any claim to protec-
tion. Louisa's present protector
willingly assumed that province,
and would not have consigned it to
another with any other view than
to the superior advantage of this

 image pending 211

young lady. He applied, therefore,
to my mother for her advice on this
occasion. My mother had recently
lost her husband, and was just es-
tablished in her new profession.
She could not hesitate long how to
act in this exigence, and Louisa
thenceforth enjoyed under her roof,
all the delights of social intercourse,
and the benefits of maternal super-

For a time, her father appeared
wholly careless of her destiny. Be-
ing at length informed of her con-
dition, his jealousy of paternal au-
thority, and his malignant temper,
made him desire her return. He
deemed himself entitled to her impli-
cit obedience, and therefore demand-
ed the unconditional possession of
her. Had Louisa been left to her
own guidance, no doubt she would
have readily complied; but my mo-
ther interfered, and prevailed upon
her to continue in her new abode.
No small firmness was required to
resist the authority and menaces of
Calvert, and fortify the wavering
and timid temper of his daughter.

The cruelty of Calvert, by oc-
casioning, as was strongly suspect-
ed, the death of her favourite Al-
thea, took away her most powerful
inducement to return. This event
might be partly owing to regret for
the loss of her young mistress,
whom she tenderly loved; but there
was likewise reason to ascribe it to
inhuman treatment from her mas-
ter. For many years after, her fate
could never be thought upon by
Louisa without impatience, or her
name be mentioned without tears.

Calvert finding my mother inflex-
ible, informed her that he would
not only refuse to discharge the ex-
pense of his daughter's subsistence,
but would punish her disobedience
by excluding her from all share in
his estate after his decease. These
threats were not likely to influence
my mother's conduct. The inhe-
ritance of his estate would by no

means compensate Louisa for the
privation of all instruction and en-
joyment during his life. Besides,
she trusted to the favourable influ-
ence of time, and believed that the
approach of death would make a
change in his views.

From this period till the dissolu-
tion of her little college, Louisa
was my mother's companion. The
same generous benefactor who be-
queathed a portion of her property
to my mother, gave to Louisa the
property of three bonds, on the in-
terest of which, by the practice of the
rigidest economy, she was able to
subsist. To effect this purpose, she
was obliged to limit her expenses to
little more than necessaries, and to
perform many personal and house-
hold offices for herself. The abode
which she selected, and which was
recommended by its cheapness, its
picturesque scenes, its salubrious
air, and its vicinity to the resi-
dence of her dearest friends, was
eight miles from the town of Lan-
caster. Here she pursued occupa-
tions and amusements which, at first,
were prescribed by necessity, but
soon became the dictates of choice.

My mother's plan of education
was wholly singular and unexam-
pled. Hence her pupils, while they
were bound to each other and to her,
by similitude of tastes and opinions,
were placed in irreconcilable oppo-
sition to the rest of mankind. That
friendship, which residence under
the same roof and perpetual inter-
course for ten years, were calcu-
lated to produce, did not languish
or expire during their separation.
Half the year was usually spent, by
Louisa, at the house of one or other
of her friends.

All intercourse between the pa-
rent and child had ceased from the
moment when her final resolution
was known to avoid her father's ha-
bitation. He acted, on all occasions,
just as if she had ceased to exist.
Surrounded with the slaves of his

 image pending 212

will, and shut out, partly by ne-
cessity and partly through choice,
from intercourse with the rest of
the world, he spent several years in
the unrestrained indulgence of his
passions. At length he was attack-
ed by an acute disease, which short-
ly brought his life to a close.

It was now to appear whether he
had carried to his grave the enmity
which he had fostered against his
daughter. If her claim to prefer-
ence should be disallowed, it did
not appear that there was any other
person in the world entitled to this
preference. Those by whom he
was surrounded were his slaves, to
whom he was actuated by no senti-
ment but that of hatred. The rest
of mankind were unknown, and
must, therefore, be supposed to be
indifferent to him. What, there-
fore, must my astonishment have
been, on receiving a letter, shortly
after his decease, from a respecta-
ble inhabitant of Philadelphia, an-
nouncing himself as joint executor
with me in the will of Calvert, and
informing me that, by this will, I
was constituted successor to all his

Calvert and I had had no inter-
course, and my mother must have
been to him an object of resent-
ment. No event, therefore, was
more adverse to my expectations.
It was a new proof of the capri-
ciousness of this man's temper. My
surprize quickly yielded place to
considerations as to the mode in
which I should conduct myself in
my new situation.

I was now become proprietor of
three hundred fertile acres, in a
commodious and healthful situa-
tion, a spacious and well furnished
mansion, and fifteen negroes. My
wants were already copiously sup-
plied; and any deficiency was ready
to be made up by my English cou-
sin. With relation to myself, there-
fore, this event was no topic of
congratulation. In a different view

it was to be regarded with pleasure.
The produce of this estate might be
applied to far better uses than had
been chosen by Calvert. His
slaves would henceforth receive
the treatment that was due to men,
and their happiness be as sedulously
promoted as it had been heretofore
counteracted. I could not fail to
perceive the superiority of Louisa's
claim to this property, both as
the daughter of Calvert, and as a
being of uncommon worth, desti-
tute of the means of agreeable and
respectable subsistence. I needed
not to be stimulated by my mother to
an act of justice, and speedily resolv-
ed to transfer this property to her.

Meanwhile it was necessary to
visit and take possession of this
estate. I prepared for an imme-
diate journey. My unacquaint-
ance with the world, and my spe-
culative education, made this ex-
pedition of uncommon importance.
I had hitherto pursued an humble
and familiar tract, and was oppres-
sed with a consciousness of wanting
a guide and instructor in the new
path on which I was entering.

I shall not dwell upon the sensa-
tions which novelty produces, and
whose existence is necessarily tran-
sient. The requisite forms were
easily dispatched, and possession of
my new inheritance acquired. The
land was in the highest state of cul-
tivation, and habits of diligence
and regularity had been so long
established among the slaves, that
affairs proceeded in their usual
course, notwithstanding the death
of the late proprietor.

In the management of a planta-
tion like this, it is requisite to se-
lect one to whom the whole autho-
rity may be occasionally delegated,
and with whom the master may di-
vide the task of actual superintend-
ance. In the choice of a deputy
Calvert had exercised his usual
judgment. Cæsar, the eldest of
the slaves, had a perfect knowledge

 image pending 213

of agriculture, was fertile in expe-
dients, vigorous in foresight, and
of unblameable fidelity. Cæsar,
therefore, was invested with the of-
fice of steward. Habits of com-
mand, and the influence of exam-
ple, had a tendency to deprave him;
but this tendency was checked by
the precautions of Calvert, who
not only withheld from him the
power of inflicting punishment, but
even prohibited him from the use
of harsh and reproachful language.

These measures were not adopt-
ed by Calvert from a beneficent re-
gard to the welfare of his servants,
and from a knowledge of the cru-
elty which is sure to characterize a
slave in office. They proceeded
from an imperious temper, which
could not endure that any of his
slaves should lose sight of his de-
pendant condition, and was unwil-
ling to part, even for a moment,
with his tyrannical prerogatives.
Hence Cæsar was obliged to secure
obedience to his mandates by a
mild and equitable deportment, and
hence their attachment to his per-
son was proportioned to their anti-
pathy for Calvert.

Their new master was by no
means disposed to revive the system
of oppression under which they had
suffered so long. The management
was continued in the hands of Cæ-
sar; and, after a short stay at Cal-
I returned to the city. I
purposed to return to Burlington;
but my curiosity detained me in
the city for some time, as well as
my scheme with regard to Louisa
Calvert. This lady had contracted
an engagement with one of her
friends and fellow pupils, who was
lately married, and settled in this
city, to spend two or three months
with her. A fortnight was to elapse
before her intended arrival; and it
had been preconcerted, that, after
her visit to Mrs. Wallace was per-
formed, she should bestow the fa-
vour of her company, for an equal

period, on my mother at Burling-

It will not surprize you that I
eagerly desired an interview with
this lady. The boon which I had
to bestow was not inconsiderable,
and there seemed some propriety in
obtaining a personal knowledge of
the object of this benefit previous
to conferring it. A letter from my
mother, introduced me to Mrs.
Wallace; and her husband, whose
profession was that of a lawyer, had
aided me in the execution of Cal-
vert's testament. Hence, in this
family, I was admitted on a familiar
and confidential footing; and here
my opportunities of intercourse
with their expected visitant, would
be frequent and favourable.

I have mentioned that my cha-
racter contained no small portion
of enthusiasm. I had mused on
ideal forms, and glowed with vision-
ary ardours. At this age there is
an inexplicable fascination attend-
ant upon our sex, and I was, in an
eminent degree, the slave of this
enchantment. My fancy was per-
petually figuring to itself a train of
consequences to flow from any ca-
sual occurrences, and, where mar-
riage was possible to be introduced,
it was never omitted. I had never
seen Louisa Calvert, but had listen-
ed, on numberless occasions, to eu-
logiums on her character, pro-
nounced by my mother. Her
image, therefore, was oftener pre-
sented to my mind than that of any
other female. It could not but
happen that my reveries would
sometimes suggest the possibility of
marriage; but this idea was thwarted
by the timorousness of youth, which
made me depreciate my own claims
to such felicity, by the conscious-
ness of poverty, and, chiefly, by the
unlikelihood that, in our respective
situations, any meeting would take
place between us.

A surprizing revolution had re-
moved many of these obstacles.

 image pending 214

From the conduct which I intend-
ed to pursue, I should derive some
merit, and, at the same time, re-
move the obstacle which poverty
had erected. My acquaintance
with the Wallaces, and her resi-
dence in this family, would bring us
to the knowledge of each other un-
der the most favourable auspices.
Love is an ambiguous and capricious
principle. That I was prepared or
resolved to love this woman, is not,
perhaps, an adequate description of
my state. The delineations of her
form and mind had been vivid and
minute, and these had been truly
lovely. I entertained no doubt that
my destiny, in this respect, was now
accomplished. My anticipations of
an interview awakened all those
golden dreams and delicious palpita-
tions which are said to characterize
this passion. Must it not, therefore,
be inferred that I was in love?

Still it is apparent that my pas-
sion was merely the creature of
fancy, and, as such, liable to be
suddenly extinguished or transferred
to a new object.

My mother's consent to my re-
maining in the city was easily ob-
tained. I did not conceal from her
my views with respect to Louisa,
and they obtained her ardent appro-
bation. The tenour of her dis-
course and her wishes, frequently
hinted, that she might live to see
me allied to a woman equally ex-
cellent, had no small influence on
my meditations. These were like-
wise assisted by the eulogies of
Mrs. Wallace, to whom the virtues
of her friend constituted an inex-
haustable theme.

My social intercourse was limited
to a small circle. Besides this fami-
ly, I was conversant with no one
but a young man, my equal in age,
though eminently my superior in
wisdom, by name Sydney Carlton.
He was the brother of Mrs. Wal-
lace, and newly initiated into the
legal profession. I met him at his

sister's house, which he constantly
frequented, and where I supped in
his company every evening. It
was this man whose existence was
the source of the first uneasiness
which I had ever known, and who
was indirectly the author of all my
subsequent calamities.

As the brother of Louisa's friend,
and as one entitled, by that rela-
tionship, as well as by his native
worth, to the good opinion of
Louisa, he quickly appeared to me
in an interesting and formidable
light. He was regarded by his sis-
ter with an affection little short of
idolatry. He was almost an inmate
of the house. His intercourse,
therefore, with the visitant, would
be without restraint, and almost
without intermission. His sister
would exert herself to unite two
persons so equally and passionately
loved, and his merit was of so trans-
cendant a kind that all ideas of ri-
valship were vain.

These thoughts might have tend-
ed to repress all hope; but I was
rescued from despondency by re-
flecting on the capriciousness of
passion, on the contrariety that fre-
quently subsists between the dictates
of desire and the injunctions of rea-
son. Love is a motly and complex
sentiment. It is the growth not of
reason, but of sense. The concur-
rence of reason may be requisite to
make it a principle of action in
persons of unusual elevation and
refinement, but not in ordinary
cases. The understanding may ap-
prove, and fortify, and prolong the
existence of the passion, but this can
never be the source of its existence.

Highly as I deemed of the dis-
cernment and intelligence of my
cousin, I did not believe her exempt
from sexual impulses. I believed
her capable of being dazzled and
seduced by a demeanour, charac-
terized by all the impetuosity and
tenderness of passion, by dexterity
and fluency of elocution, by ro-

 image pending 215

mantic generosity of sentiment, and
elegant proportions and expressive
features. In all these particulars
my vanity taught me to believe my-
self superior to Sydney.

In these reflections I found an
antidote to my fears. I was atten-
tive to the sentiments and conduct
of Sydney and of his sister, and
met with nothing to persuade me
that the esteem which the former
was always eager to express for the
absent lady, was connected with
love. No fits of abstraction, no
changes of hue took place when her
name was mentioned, or the cir-
cumstances of her journey were
discussed. These perturbations were
felt only by myself.

My tranquillity, however, was
destined to be interrupted. One
evening, my cousin being mention-
ed, Mrs. Wallace told me that her
coming was expected on the next
day. These tidings were, as was
easily guessed, communicated in a
letter. But my surprize and em-
barrassment were not a little excited
when I discovered that this letter
had been addressed not to Mrs.
Wallace, but to her brother, and
that an epistolary correspondence
had subsisted between him and
Louisa for a long time.

This proof of confidence between
them awakened all my fears. My
confusion and dejection could not
be concealed; but the apparent folly
of this motive, hindered my friends
from suspecting its influence. My
deportment was frequently regard-
ed by them as enigmatical. My
fits of hope and of fear, of dejection
and vivacity, were to them wholly

I was at first deterred, by a thou-
sand scruples, from requesting the
perusal of this letter. The first in-
timation which I dropped was in-
stantly complied with. Not only
this letter was put into my hand,
but an offer made to me of perusing
all the letters that had passed be-
tween them. The offer was ac-

cepted with a mixture of trepida-
tion and joy. I shut myself up in
my chamber to peruse them.

I read with eagerness and won-
der. The scene exhibited by this
correspondence was new. Sydney
was four year solder than his friend,
and their intercourse by letter had
lasted during a period equal to this.
It began with avowals of love on
the part of Sydney, which the lady
had rejected. This rejection was
unaccompanied with anger and
contempt. It was softened by every
token of regret, by every proof of
reverence, and by pathetic intrea-
ties, that her incapacity to love him
might not prove a forfeiture of his
esteem, or a bar to their future in-

This procedure appeared to have
been regarded by the lover in its
true light. Professions of love ceased
to be made. The passion, lately so
vehement, seemed to be extinguish-
ed in a moment, and to give place
to the solicitude and fondness of a

A fearlessness of false construc-
tion, absolute purity of purpose,
and an unbounded disclosure of
every sentiment, distinguished the
correspondence that ensued between
them. Every sentence was preg-
nant with novelty and instruction.
A degree of unreserve was mutually
practised, the possibility of which,
between persons of a different sex,
unconnected by kindred or by pas-
sion, I should, without this evi-
dence, have deemed impossible.

The perusal of these letters ad-
ded inconceivably to my venera-
tion for my cousin. The value of
her love was augmented a thousand
fold. I vowed, with new ardour,
to devote my thoughts and efforts to
this purpose. That Sydney had
already been rejected, was the in-
spirer of new hopes; but the proofs
of her intellectual and moral attain-
ments which these manuscripts con-
tained, tended to discourage me.

(To be continued.)