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crimes with which they are so soon to ruin their declivity of a hill overlooking the romantic stream country! That moment of guilty triumph come, of the Dart, which rises in the vicinity, and, after avenging everything, they avenge on the moulder- pursuing a meandering course through a district ing corpse of their illustrious denouncer even the of much natural beauty, falls into the Thames, bereminiscences of their fear. One of the last acts low London. He was the only son of the veteran of their ferocious despotism was 10 remove it to General Edward Wolfe, who had distinguished some secret spot in an obscure cemetery, that the himself under Marlborough, and in the suppression tomb awarded by the nation might be occupied by of the Scotch Rebellion of 1715. Destined, in like the bloodthirsty but now quenched Marat. manner, for the profession of arms, young Wolfe was
Such, then, was the death, and such its access taken from his studies, part of which had been at the sories, of the last of the Mirabeaus—a man who, College of Glasgow, and entered the regiment which by his qualities no less than by the singularity of bore his father's name, at the early age of fifteen. his fortune, is destined to take his place in his. This was in 1741, only four years previous to the tory by the side of the Demosthenes, the Gracchi, last Rebellion. The period at which he thus beand the other kindred spirits of an antiquity whose came a soldier was one of uncommon interest in gigantic characteristics he so frequently reproduced. the national history. It was in the interval bePosterity, which will probably recognize in him tween two rebellions, when the north part of the one of greatest geniuses of an age fertile in island, but more especially that section included in great men, will only enhance its admiration before the Highlands, was comparatively little known and the doubts thrown out of the enormous chasms in little cared for. Indeed, of the Highlands it may his greatness. As the hazy masses in the lunar safely be said that the greatest ignorance had, till face, those unfathomable phenomena suggest but about the year of Wolfe's birth, prevailed. The grotesque images to the ignorant, while increasing edge of the ancient animosity between the people admiration in others with their very means of of the northern and the southern divisions of this knowledge ; so probably will this gigantic char- island, now happily broken and removed, was still acter, slighted and unconsidered by meaner intel- keen. The Scottish mind was filled with distrust ; lects, elicit each day more from the comprehensions it rankled with the remembrance of the treachery that can grasp it, a deeper scrutiny and augment- which forced on Scotland the then hated Union. ing wonder.
The Hanoverian succession was by no means popu
lar in the north ; and men's minds fluctuated beFrom Tait's Magazine.
tween the old and the new race of kings. ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE OF GENERAL
The Rebellion of 1715, and the prominent part WOLFE.
taken in it by the mountain clans, had, however, 'In the galaxy of brilliant names •which illumi- seriously alarmed the government of that day, and nate our military annals, there are probably few prompted a more close inspection of Scotland and which Britons regard with more honest pride, and her warlike hill-tribes. As already said, little was almost affectionate interest, than that of the young known of the Highlands, beyond what fatal exand gallant Wolfe. This arises, not less from his perience had recently taught, namely, that their consummate genius in the art of war, than from dreary recesses were filled with wild and hardy the nobleness of soul and gentleness of disposition warriors, who held the comparatively peaceful men by which he was distinguished ; while the sentiment of the plains in contempt, for cultivating vocations in his favor is deepened, and our feelings stimu- opposed to their own, of clan-strife and war. They lated, by reflecting on the splendor of his great were, therefore, ready, on the least signal from their and final achievement, when, on the Heights of chiefs, to descend with the fury of a mountain temAbraham, victory snatched him too soon from his pest on the inhabitants of the Lowlands, and carry country, and claimed him as her own. Anything, devastation around them, with little or no check at therefore, which tends to illustrate the life and cast the hands of a timid government. of thought of this excellent man, and real hero, can- There is a very curious and instructive report to not fail to prove interesting. A small packet of George I., by Wade, the intelligent and able mililetters, written by Wolfe to a very intimate friend tary officer he had sent to reconnoitre the Highand brother officer, having been lately discovered lands, and bring back an account of their military amongst the papers of a relative of that friend, in strength, resources, and prevalent political sentiGlasgow, access has been kindly allowed to them, ment, with such suggestions as seemed to the general and permission given to make extracts.
best calculated to hold this troublesome frontier in But, before approaching these letters, now for check, and promote the internal improvement of the the first time made public, and roused from the dust hill-country. The report bears date 31st January, of nearly a century, some remarks on the aspect of 1725, shortly before the monarch's death, and ten the times in which Wolfe lived, and a brief sketch years after the rebellion of 1715, which, as already of his own history, seem to be necessary, in order said, Wolfe's father had assisted in suppressing. to elucidate the contents of the packet, and that This able report is characterized by the discriminathe import may be better understood.
tion and calm good sense for which Wade was reJames Wolfe was born on the 20 January, 1727, markable. In it he gives an account of the features of at Westerham, in Kent. This pretty little town is the wild region, estimating the fighting men at about situated near the west border of the county, on the 22,000, of whom fully one half were disaffected to
the king, the kind and quality of their arms, mode | the netile and foxglove rustle within, as the sumof warfare, and cattle-thieving propensities. It mer wind plays idly through the ruins. The little contains a recommendation to have the clans proper- military graveyard, too, may still be traced, in ly disarmed, their country held with a firm grasp by which the bones of the brave mouldered into dust, means of forts, and rendered more accessible to the with its small white headstones partially bid under king's troops by lines of military roads. How
mossy tufts and tangled weeds; but still telling us, curious to read his description of a country and a in quaintly-shaped letters, that parties of the Buffs, people, then nearly as dangerous to visit as the (which afterwards fought at Culloden,) and other American wilds, but which is now the favorite regiments, from time to time lay there. retreat of royalty itself for recreation from the The scene is even more impressive when viewed weight of state cares, and the chosen resort of by night, with the beams of an autumnal moon tourists from every clime.
streaming and sparkling on the dusky lake, illumiThe report was acted upon. To Wade was as- nating the ruin in some places with a silvery light, signed the duty of carrying out his own recom- and throwing the deep, elongated shadows of other mendations of disarming the clans, and constructing portions on the pale background. Silence, the the roads. The former was a delicate task, which most profound, reigns, broken only at intervals by he executed with judicious moderation ; so much the low moan of the night-wind, and the melanso, that even Rob Roy wrote him a curious letter, choly cry of the owl, as of some sprite wailing still preserved, praising that moderation, and so- over the past. liciting his clemency. The military roads were We can imagine the talented young soldier, surcarried into the heart of the Scottish wilderness. rounded by the grandeur of nature, which must Two main lines were formed, and attest, at the have made a deep impression on his sensitive mind, distance of more than 100 years, the skill of this studying, in this little Highland fortlet, that art excellent officer. He took the ancient Roman Iters which, at no distant day, was to make his name for his model, and, in fact, started his roads from illustrious. How long Wolfe remained at Invertheir venerable lines, at nearly right angles west snaid and Dumbarton is uncertain ; but we next and north-west, across the dreary country, towards find him serving under the Duke of Cumberland, the preëxisting forts on the chain of the great at the battle of Culloden, in 1746. Wolfe must Scottish lakes, now connected by the Caledonian have had rapid promotion, for he was by that timo Canal. These roads stretched over 250 miles ; a major, (at the age of 20,) and acted as aide-deand 500 soldiers labored upwards of 11 years in camp to the worthless General Hawley on that their formation. They were finished in 1737, bloody day. about the time that Wolfe was a student at Glas- Never was there a greater contrast than between gow College.
the brutal Cumberland and the amiable young Such was Scotland in his day; and it was in major. The latter, brave as a lion, yet kindly in that country that he wrote the first of the letters his disposition as a young child ; the former, the to be quoted from. As already stated, Wolfe counterpart of a tiger in all its cruelty and bloodentered the army in 1741. Soon afterwards (the thirstiness. Wolfe, a prodigy of military skill ; precise date is uncertain, but before the battle of Cumberland, indebted to the accident of being a Culloden) this young officer was stationed, as a king's son for a command which tarnished our subaltern, with a body of troops, at the small fort arms at Fontenoy, outraged humanity in Scotland, of Inversnaid, built soon after the Rebellion of and, at a later period, compelled him to retire from 1715, at the mouth of the romantic gorge stretch- the army, a disgrace to his profession, haunted by ing between Loch Lomond and the wild and the ghosts of the murdered old men, the wounded picturesque region round Loch Ketturin and the brave, the helpless women and children ruthlessly Trossachs, to keep the turbulent M'Gregors and cut down by this detestable and well-named "huRob Roy in check. This fortified ravine formed man butcher.” A single illustration will show the line of demarkation between the countries of the truth of this contrast. When riding over the the bold M'Gregors, and of the loyal and once field of battle, after the engagement, the duke numerous clan Buchanan ; the upper shores of observed the young colonel of the Frazer RegiLoch Lomond skirting the former, and the lower ment lying wounded. Frazer raised himself on the Buchanan's territory, which last included the his elbow, and looked at Cumberland, who, offendlofty, broad-shouldered Ben, and the group of ed, turned and said, “ Wolfe ! shoot me that beautiful, green-wooded islets that stud the bosom Highland scoundrel, who thus dares to look upon of the “Queen of Scottish Lakes,” affording us with so insolent a stare !” Wolfe, horrified at friendly access to the troops, or “red soldiers," this inhuman order, coolly replied that his comsent up from Dumbarton Castle in boats.
mission was at his royal highness' disposal, but The gray ruins of this antique little Inversnaid that he never would consent to become an execuFort still linger in peaceful repose. The armed tioner. Other officers also refusing, a private men who there kept ward, and the fiery tribes they soldier, at the duke's command, shot the gallant, were intended to overawe, have alike long passed wounded young Frazer before his eyes ! away. But there it stands, as their memorial—its In the following year, (1747,) Wolfe distinold walls, in some places, kindly screened from guished himself very much by his personal bravery the wild mountain blast by the mantling ivy, while at the battle of Lafeldt, in Austrian Flanders. He
was present at every engagement during that war, the United States, and the French possessed Canada. and never without distinction. He also applied There was much bickering between the two counhimself ciosely, not only to the improvement of tries, in regard to the encroachments by France his own military talents, but to the introduction and on the British territory, more particularly along maintenance of the most exact discipline in the the Ohio. This ended in that war, which, a few corps, then generally too litle attended to. This years after, drew Wolfe to his destiny. This will he did without any unnecessary severity. He explain the circumstances under which the second, showed himself, in all his relations, a good, a brave, and some of the other letters, were written by him an intelligent, and high-minded soldier.
to his friend. In 17-19, the year after the peace, he was sta- We find from this curious correspondence that, tioned in Glasgow, and, during his stay there, was in 1751, Wolfe had been removed to Banff; and pronoted lieutenant-colonel of Kingsley's Regi- he appears to have finally quitted Scotland in, or ment. But the Glasgow of that period was a very prior to, 1754. Some curious matter will be found different town from the city of the present day. in letters Nos. 4, 6, 7, expressive of Wolfe's Iis population did not exceed 20,000 ; and it did views of the Highlands, and the proper way of not stretch further along its now great arterial keeping them in subjection, consequent on his street than the head of Stockwell on the west, and residence in, and observation of, that section of the where the old Saracen's Head Inn yet stands, at kingdom. Without following him in all his the ancient Gallowgate port, on the east. Indeed, movements, it may be said that, when the elder it was in that very year that this fine old hotel, the Pitt came into power, in 1757, he resolved, if first, and for many a day the most celebrated in possible, to remove the stains which various rethe city, and west of Scotland, was erected. There verses had thrown on our arms, by employing were no barracks in Glasgow then ; and Wolfe, officers of known skill and enterprise, instead of desirous of retirement to pursue his studies in those imbeciles who had been too often in command Latin and Mathematics, which had been inter- under former administrations, more particularly rupted by his early admission into the army, lodged that of the Duke of Newcastle. Among the first a short way out of town ; in the now droll-looking of Pitt's plans was a descent on the French coast old village of Camlachie, then quite a rural spot. at Rochefort. In this affair Wolfe was employed. The house he lived in was pulled down only three But the warlike minister erred, in not sufficiently or four years ago, and stood at the north-west defining his plan of operation, and in dividing and corner of the road leading down to a villa after- frittering the command among no less than seven wards built, and named Crownpoint, after one of officers. The consequences were what might have the celebrated scenes of conflict in North America. been expected. Differences of opinion arose among This residence of Wolfe was a small, quaint-look- the commanders, followed by irresolution and fatal ing, two-story house ; and we can fancy the young delays. Wolfe in vain urged instant and vigorous colonel, in this primitive and peaceful abode, at action. In this he was seconded by the gallant the age of twenty-two, acquiring part of his edu- young Howe, a naval officer with whom he had cation through the instrumentality of a Glasgow contracted a close intimacy as a kindred spirit; schoolmaster ! This we learn from the first letter but to no purpose. They were overruled by the of the series to be afterwards quoted. Let not other five ; and, finally, the enterprise completely people think slightingly of Camlachie village, in failed. The troops returned to England, and connection with Wolfe's name. It is the most Wolfe and Howe were not backward in expressing ancient of the suburbs, and is mentioned in the their indignation at the blundering which led to chartulary of Glasgow prior to the year 1300, the this unsuccessful result. Wolfe's sentiments on days of Sir William Wallace and Robert the this expedition are expressed in the letter No. 9, Bruce. The name is genuine Celtic, and has been written to his friend after coming home. imposed at a very remote time. The etymology Pitt now turned his attention to the French is “ the crooked water,” singularly descriptive of possessions in North America, and determined to the tortuous burn which intersects the village, and strike a blow there. An expedition was accordthere forms the boundary of the royalty. ingly ordered against Louisbourg, the principal
While thus stationed in Glasgow, Wolfe was town of Cape Breton. Wolfe was again employed. called upon to the somewhat inglorious duty of The principal command was committed to General suppressing a riot in the town, caused by a party Amherst, a good officer, having under him Wolfe of resurrectionists raising a dead body! It is and three other brigadiers, with a force of 13,000 uncertain how long Wolfe remained at Glasgow ; men, and a powerful fleet. The expedition sailed but it would rather appear, from one of the letters, from England early in 1758. The letter No. 11 that he was still there in 1750. By this time the was written immediately before embarking. In friend to whom they were written had embarked, this important affair Wolfe behaved with the with a division of the army, under Cornwallis, for greatest skill and intrepidity. Louisbourg had a the purpose of settling a strong British colony in numerous garrison ; and the shore, for more than Nova Scotia, which had been much neglected. seven miles, was defended by a chain of posts, The town of Halifax, fortified with a wooden with intrenchments and batteries. In order to palisade, began to rise in the wilderness. At that distract the enemy's attention a false attack was time Britain still held the splendid region, now resolved on, to mask the real one which was to
be made by Wolfe. His division consisted of the capture of a fortress considered the strongest in grenadiers and light infantry of the army, with America. In short, all the principal French posts Frazer's Highlanders. Before break of day of were to be attacked at once. che 8th June, the troops were embarked in the Accordingly, Wolfe left England on the 17th of boats ; and, while the false attack was going on February, 1759, after having been promoted to the under Brigadiers Whitmore and Laurence, Wolfe's rank of major-general. Three young brigadiers division, under cover of the fire of several frigates of talent accompanied him, not a single veteran and sloops, dashed boldly towards the shore, through officer of note being employed. Suffice it to say, a tremendous surf, which upset several of the boats, that the two portions of the grand plan, under and drowned a number of soldiers. The landing Amherst and Prideaux, were successful, though place was defended by a large body of French the latter was killed in the trenches ; but difficulties troops, intrenched behind a battery of eight guns. prevented the forces of either from forming a juncThey reserved their fire till the English came tion with Wolfe. He was, therefore, left alone, close, when they opened with great execution. with a very inadequate division of troops, not But nothing could resist Wolfe's impetuous attack. exceeding 8000 men, to undertake the important He was the first officer to leap on shore, amidst a task assigned to him. Only fancy such an entershower of bullets, and issued his orders with his prise devolved on a young officer, such as Wolfe usual coolness and precision. Heading, in person, was, of 33! But he was not to be daunted, even the light infantry and Highlanders, he carried by the most formidable difficulties. everything before him at the point of the bayonet, In order, however, to form a better estimate of pursuing the enemy to the very walls of Louis- Wolfe's arduous task, it seems necessary to describe bourg. The town was invested ; and, by a series briefly the position and aspect of the fortress, desof skilful maneuvres on the part of Wolfe, he tined to immortalize England's young general. mainly contributed to the final capture of this im- Quebec stands on the summit of steep cliffs, at the portant place. His conduct throughout this affair confluence of two rivers—the great St. Lawrence, was the theme of general admiration, both in the and the inferior stream of St. Charles. These army and at home, and tended still more to raise rivers, associated with gloomy ravines and dismal him in the estimation of Mr. Pitt. That able rocks, rendered the plateau, on which the French minister had signified his wish, when conferring capital stood, nearly inaccessible on three sides. on Wolfe the rank of brigadier, preparatory to The mighty American river flowed solemnly and setting out on the Louisbourg expedition, that, im- impressively along the base. The breadth of the mediately after its termination, he should return to stream is narrowed at this point to little more than England, instead of remaining with the troops a mile. A short way further down, and nearly in abroad. Wolfe accordingly did so, and the letter the centre of the river, stands the large and fertile No. 12 was written after his return. In it he island of Orleans, the westernmost point of which comments freely on the expedition, and does not is considerably elevated, and within cannon-range appear to have thought at all favorably of the plan of Quebec. This almost impregnable French of attack; in fact, he says he anticipated a repulse. fortress (the Gibraltar of America) bristled with This letter is the last of the packet, and is the cannon, which commanded and swept the subjacent more interesting as being dated only about two waters; it was skilfully fortified, and flanked by months before departing again for America on his the most formidable intrenchments, while within final and memorable campaign against Quebec. its massive ramparts lay upwards of ten thousand of
The object of Pitt's wish to have Wolfe back to the best troops of France, under a young French England was now made known. He had deter- marquis, whose military renown eminently fitted mined to give him the principal command in a still him to sustain his country's honor, and measure his more important expedition which he had planned. sword with victory's brave son. It is both an imIt was to be on a great scale, and to embrace three pressive and affecting incident, inscribed on war's distinct objects. The chief part, however, was the dread page, that two young heroes, each far sepcapture of Quebec, the key to the French domin- arated from his fatherland by the broad, stormy ions in Canada. The plan, in all its parts, was billows of the vast Atlantic, and left to his own this :-Wolfe, with a large body of troops, and skill and resources, should have been selected, aided by a powerful fleet, was to sail up the St. respectively, by England and France, to lead their Lawrence, and besiege Quebec. Amherst, the veteran troops-a duty heretofore assigned, on the commander-in-chief in British America, with 12,- battle-fields of Europe, chiefly to those whose plumes 000 men, was to attack Ticonderoga and Crown- surmounted the furrowed brows and whitened locks point, (from which we had formerly been repulsed) of age, and whose energies had been severely tested both situated in a very formidable pass; while in many a hard-fought campaign. Montcalm and General Prideaux was to invest the strong fort Wolfe were, indeed, of kindred minds, and each near the Falls of Niagara, commanding the ap- knew the other's value as a skilful soldier, exerting proach to the great lakes. These two last officers, their military talents in the cause of their native aftor accomplishing the capture of the places land. assigned to them, were to find their way to Quebec, Such was Quebec, and such were the leaders and assist Wolfe, the strength of whose division who were to play for the prize. Both were conwas not considered sufficient by itself to effect the scious of the magnitude of the stake, and both
were resolved to triumph. The Gallic war-eagle | crowded vessels, and left them idly to consome stood high on his eyrie, holding with firm grasp themselves on the French shore. Fire-rafts, filled the key of the French possessions in the west, with combustibles, and explosive missiles, were his sharp piercing glance thrown proudly, yet next sent, but shared the same fate. anxiously, over the wild waste, in calm expecta- Wolfe now resolved to cross, and reconnoitre. tion of the coming British lion, so soon to make He did so; and, soon afterwards, landed with a his fatal spring, and wrest from Gaul the eagle's strong body of his forces, and encamped on Montsacred charge.
calm's flank, below Quebec, with the deep river The feet which conveyed Wolfe's little army Montmorenci, celebrated for its beautiful falls, was under Admiral Saunders. It became neces- between them. Here Wolfe lay for a short time, sary to ascertain the soundings of the channel in expectation of receiving some intelligence of, or between the island of Orleans and Quebec ; and aid from, Amherst's division ; and here he also here another young man, whose foot was then only wrote Mr. Pitt an admirable dispatch, describing about to ascend the steps of Fame's Great Temple, his operations, and assigning excellent military distinguished himself. The difficult and dangerous reasons for taking up the position in which he duty of taking the soundings was intrusted to Cook then lay. His object was, if possible, to draw out -afterwards so celebrated as a navigator, destined Montcalm from his formidable intrenchments, and to explore the vast mysterious oceans of the south give battle in the open field. With this view he and the west, and carry the white man's name made a diversion, by throwing Colonel Carleton and the torch of civilization to the hitherto unknown across a ford to the French side, and, by a series Jands which rear their volcanic peaks, exhibit the of skilful feints and maneuvres, tempting the wondrous marine architecture of the coral-zoophyte, marquis to come forth and attack him. But Montand shed a delightful tropical fragrance, wasted to calm was too wary. He saw the snare, and, the weather-beaten sailor approaching their shores, knowing the advantageous nature of his own strong over the long, broad billows which furrow the blue position, declined battle, choosing rather to leave waste of waters. Cook was then only thirty-one, Wolfe under every disadvantage. Wolfe now and acted as master of the Mercury, one of the conceived an attack on a particular point of the fleet. He performed the service, for which he French intrenchments, which he deemed practicahad been recommended by Captain Palliaer, in a ble; and the troops were moved for this purpose, most masterly manner, and much to Wolfe's satis under cover of a brisk fire from the Centurion faction, as enabling him the better to mature his man-of-war ; but a party of English grenadiers. plans.
who were first across, rushed towards the point of Wolfe disembarked a large portion of his troops attack prematurely, without waiting to be properly on the river-island of Orleans, before noticed ; and supported, and were received with such murderous erected batteries to cannonade the town and citadel, volleys that they recoiled, and withdrew with loss, which he did with much effect. Almost the first disconcerting entirely the general's plan. Wolfe, thing, however, that suggested itself to him in laboring under fever, occasioned in some measure commencing hostilities, was characteristic of his by fatigue and prolonged exertion on a frame not generous heart. He wrote a polite note to Mont- naturally robust,* called a council of war. In calm, inviting him to abandon the cruelties perpe- another dispatch to Mr. Pitt, he stated clearly, trated by the wild Indians in the French service, and in his usual pithy style, the difficulties of the on those who fell into their power ; but this did not enterprise, but added, “ I will do my best.” He meet the favorable response due to humanity. now resolved to attempt a surprise ; but the obsta
The marquis, seeing Wolfe's operations on the cles to this were as a thousand to one, from the island, endeavored to prevent them by throwing a natural and artificial strength of the place, and the strong detachment across the river ; but he did not unremitting vigilance of the enemy. Behind the succeed. He carefully revised and strengthened city, the Plains of Abraham stretch away, and on all his own outworks, and added others at every this inland side the fortifications were ascertained point considered susceptible of assault; while to be less formidable. But there were heights 10 whole nations of savages, in his pay, swarmed be surmounted of fully three hundred vertical feet around, keenly watching every movement, and before the plains could be reached. The general. scalping all who ventured unguardedly from the after consulting Admiral Saunders, resolved on a English lines. The fleet was placed in imminent night-escalade of these now celebrated Heights of danger by a violent storm, which burst from the Abraham, at a point he thought practicable. Could birth-place of the mighty stream-far up among the idea possibly have suggested itself to his mind the great lakes—and sought to overwhelm every from recollection of the success of a similar noething within its dismal track. Had the fleet been turnal ascent, in ancient times, of the steep cliffs wrecked, Wolfe must have surrendered. Know- on which the Castle of Dumbarton standsma ing this, Montcalm, in the midst of the tempest, stronghold which he himself had held and carefully sent down fire-ships among the thickest of the examined, while a subaltern officer? English fleet ; but the gallant tars, defying the In order to mask this strategy, the Admiral storm, launched themselves in boats on the angry sailed up the St. Lawrence a considerable distance, waters, and, boldly grappling with the blazing machines of destruction, towed them past the
* Vide his own account of himself in letter No. 12.