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unaccustomed to such work; and unexpected difficulties might reasonably be presumed to present themselves from other causes.
The moment arrived in which the word was to be given for the vessel to move. My friends were in groups on the deck. There was anxiety mixed with fear among them. They were silent, and sad, and weary. I read in their looks nothing but disaster, and almost repented of my efforts.
The signal was given, and the boat moved on a short distance, and then stopped, and became immovable. To the silence of the preceding moment now succeeded murmurs of discontent, and agitations, and whispers, and shrugs. I could hear distinctly repeated, “ I told you it would be so — It is a foolish scheme - I wish we were well out of it." I elevated myself upon a platform, and addressed the assembly. I stated, that I knew not what was the matter ; but if they would be quiet, and indulge me for a half hour, I would either go on, or abandon the voyage for that time. This short respite was conceded without objection. I went below, examined the machinery, and discovered that the cause was *a slight mal-adjustment of some of the work. In a short period it was obviated. The boat was again put in motion. She continued to
All were still incredulous. None seemed willing to trust the evidence of their own senses. We left the fair city of New York; we passed through the romantic and ever-varying scenery of the highlands; we descried the clustering houses of Albany; we reached its shores; and then, even then, when all seemed achieved, I was the victim of disappointment. Imagination superseded the influence® of fact. It was then doubted if it could be done again; or, if done, it was doubted if it could be made of any great value.
Such was the history of the first experiment, as it fell, not in the very language which I have used, but in its substance, from the lips of the inventor. He did not live, indeed, to
used to say
enjoy the full glory of his invention. It is mournful to say, that attempts were made to rob him in the first place of the merits of his invention, and next of its fruits. He fell a victim to his efforts to sustain his title to both. When already his invention had covered the waters of the Hudson, he seemed little satisfied with the results, and looked forward to far more extensive operations. “My ultimate triumph," he
“my ultimate triumph will be on the Mississippi. I know, indeed, that even now it is deemed impossible by many that the difficulties of its navigation can be overcome. But I am confident of success. I may not live to see it; but the Mississippi will yet be covered by steamboats, and thus an entire change be wrought in the course of the internal navigation and commerce of our country.”
And it has been wrought. And the steamboat, looking to its effects upon commerce and navigation, to the combined influences of facilities of travelling and facilities of trade, of rapid circulation of news, and still more rapid circulation of pleasures and products, seems destined to be numbered among the noblest benefactions to the human race.
all, call, fall, feel, peal;
Note. Let the above words be pronounced in a full tone of voice, with extended quantity, gradually diminishing the sound of the voice till it ends in silence.
Trials of the Pilgrims.
From the dark portals of the Star Chamber, and in the stern text of the acts of uniformity, the Pilgrims received a commission more efficient than any that ever bore the royal seal. Their banishment to Holland was fortunate ; the decline of their little company in the strange land was fortunate; the difficulties which they experienced in getting the royal consent to banish themselves to this wilderness were fortunate; all the tears and heart-breakings of that evermemorable parting at Delfthaven had the happiest influence on the rising destinies of New England. All this purified the ranks of the settlers. These rough touches of fortune brushed off the light, uncertain, selfish spirits. They made it a grave, solemn, self-denying expedition, and required of those, who engaged in it, to be so too. They cast a broad shadow of thought and seriousness over the cause; and if this sometimes deepened into melancholy and bitterness, can we find no apology for such a human weakness ?
It is sad, indeed, to reflect on the disasters which the little band of pilgrims encountered ; - sad to see a portion of them, the prey of unrelenting cupidity, treacherously embarked in an unsound, unseaworthy ship, which they are soon obliged to abandon, and crowd themselves into one vessel one hundred persons, besides the ship's company, a vessel of one hundred and eighty tons! One is touched at the story of the long, cold, and weary autumnal passage ; of the landing on the inhospitable rocks at this dismal season, where they are deserted, before long, by the ship which had brought them, and which seemed their only hold upon the world of fellow-men,- a prey to the elements and to want, and fearfully ignorant of the numbers, the power, and the temper of the savage tribes that filled the unexplored continent upon whose verge they had ventured. But all
this wrought together for good. These trials of wandering and exile, of the ocean, the winter, the wilderness, and the savage foe, were the final assurance of success.
It was these that put far away from our fathers' cause all patrician softness, all hereditary claims to preëminence. No effeminate nobility crowded into the dark and austere ranks of the Pilgrims; no Carr or Villiers would lead on the illprovided band of despised Puritans; no well-endowed clergy were on the alert to quit their cathedrals, and set up a pompous hierarchy in the frozen wilderness; no craving governors were anxious to be sent over to our cheerless El Dorados of ice and of snow. No; they could not say they had encouraged, patronized, or helped the Pilgrims: their own cares, their own labors, their own councils, their own blood, contrived all, achieved all, bore all, sealed all. They could not afterwards fairly pretend to reap where they had not strown; and as our fathers reared this broad and solid fabric with pains and watchfulness, unaided, barely tolerated, it did not fall when the favor, which had always been withholden, was changed into wrath — when the arm, which had never supported, was raised to destroy.
Methinks I see it now, that one solitary, adventurous vessel, the May-Flower of a forlorn hope, freighted with the prospects of a future state, and bound across the unknown
I behold it pursuing, with a thousand misgivings, the uncertain, the tedious. voyage. Suns rise and set, and weeks and months pass, and winter surprises them on the deep, but brings them not the sight of the wished-for shore. I see them now, scantily supplied with provisions, crowded almost to suffocation in their ill-stored prison, delayed by calms, pursuing a circuitous route; and now driven in fury before the raging tempest, on the high and giddy waves. The awful voice of the storm howls through the rigging; the laboring masts seem straining from their base; the dismal sound of the pumps is heard; the ship leaps, as it were, madly, from billow to billow; the ocean breaks, and settles with ingulfing floods over the floating deck, and beats, with deadening, shivering weight, against the staggered vessel. I see them, escaped from these perils, pursuing their all but desperate undertaking, and landed, at last, after a few months' passage, on the ice-clad rocks of Plymouth, — weak and weary from the voyage, poorly armed, scantily provisioned, depending on the charity of their ship-master for a draught of beer on board, drinking nothing but water on shore, - without shelter, without means,
- surrounded by hostile tribes.
Shut now the volume of history, and tell me, on any principle of human probability, what shall be the fate of this handful of adventurers. Tell me, man of military science, in how many months were they all swept off by the thirty savage tribes, enumerated within the early limits of New England ? Tell me, politician, how long did this shadow of a colony, on which your conventions and treaties had not smiled, languish on the distant coast? Student of history, compare for me the baffled projects, the deserted settlements, the abandoned adventures, of other times, and find the parallel of this. Was it the winter's storm, beating upon the houseless heads of women and children? was it hard labor and
spare meals ? was it disease ? was it the tomahawk ? was it the deep malady of a blighted hope, a ruined enterprise, and a broken heart, aching, in its last moments, at the recollection of the loved and left, beyond the sea;
some, or all of these united, that hurried this forsaken company to their melancholy fate? - And is it possible that neither of these causes, that not all combined, were able to blast this bud of hope! Is it possible, that, from a beginning so feeble, so frail, so worthy, not so much of admiration as of pity, there has gone forth a progress. so steady, a growth 80 wonderful, an expansion so ample, a reality so important, a promise, yet to be fulfilled, so glorious !