Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

1171 Narrative of the Death of Major John Andre. 1172 with, Major Andre, Aid-de-camp to to General Arnold, after allowing Sir Henry Clinton, and Adjutant-time for him to make his escape, he General of the British army, under-threw off all disguise, and avowed his took to bring the conference to a con- real name and character. He also clusion. Accordingly, he repaired on wrote a letter to Washingtop, acquaintboard the Vulture, and at night, ac- ing him that he was his prisoner, and cording to agreement, a boat from accounting for the disguise he was the shore carried him to the beach, necessitated to assume.

The message where he met General Amold. Day- to Arnold, announcing the detention light approaching before the confe- of one John Anderson, was sufficient rence was over, Andre was told he for him to provide for his own safety; must be concealed till the following he therefore went on board the Vulnight, when he might go on board the ture, and in her sailed to New Vulture, without the danger of being York. discovered. The beach where they Washington having returned from held their conference was without, but Rhode Island, and being informed of the place where he was conducted by what had taken place during his abArnold, was within the American out- sence, reinforced the garrison of posts, against his intention, and without West-point, and appointed a board his knowledge. Here he lay concealed of officers to examine into, and report till night, when the boatmen refusing upon the case of Major Andre. The to carry him on board the Vulture, she open, candid, and manly explanation having been obliged to shift her sta- which was given, showing that he was tion, a gan being ordered to bear on only anxious that the affair in which her from the shore-he was compelled he had been engaged, shaded as it to attempt his passage to New York was by unfortunate circumstances, by land. Laying aside his regimen- might be cleared from obscurity, and tals, which he had hitherto worn, he appear in its genuine colours, at least put on plain clothes, and receiving a with respect to his intentions, which pass from Arnold, under the assumed were incapable of dishonour, drew name of John Anderson, as if he had forth the admiration of those men who been down on public business, he were about to shed his blood. But began his journey. He had already they, fixing their attention on the passed the American out-posts, and naked point of his being within their thought bimself out of danger, when lines, without ever consideriog the three militia-men, who had been pa- unfortunate events which placed him trolling the road, suddenly sprang in that situation, were unanimous in from the woods, and stopped his their opinion, that nothing but death horse. The suddenness of the sur-could expiate the crime. prise seems to have deprived Major The concern felt at New York, in Andre of his wonted presence of mind, consequence of the capture of Major and a man of the greatest address was Andre, was, in the mean time, inconthus entrapped by the rude simplicity ceivably great." His gallantry,” says of clowns.

an eminent writer on the American Inquiring from whence they were, war, “ as an officer, and amiable deand being answered, “ From below;" meanour as a man, had gained him “ And so,” said he “ am I.” He soon not only admiration, but the affection perceived his error, but too late to of the whole army; and the upceramend it. The men having taken him tainty of his fate filled them with the prisoner, and found a letter on him in deepest anxiety.” Sir Henry Clinton, Arnold's own hand-writing, deter- whose confidence he possessed in a mined to conduct him before their great degree, instantly opened a cor. officer. ' Iv vain he offered his watch respondence with Washington, urging and gold, in vain he offered them pro- every motive of justice, policy, and motion if they would accompany him humanity, for the remission of the to New York. After these efforts, he sentence. Finding them of no effect, seems to have been perfectly indiffe- he sent General Robertson, to confer rent to his own fate, and bis only on the subject with any one Wasbingo anxiety was for Arnold. Before the ton should appoint. An interview Commandant, he personated the sup- accordingly took place between Geneposed John Anderson, and at his own ral Robertson and General Green, who request, a messenger being dispatched had been president of the court mar

[ocr errors]

1173
Memoirs of Leonardo Aretinu.

1174 tial; and the only accommodation | been elected as successor to Alexanwhich could take place being incom- der V. It was, therefore, with no patible with English justice, namely, small degree of alarm, that he soon the exchange of Arnold for Andre, the afterwards found the council deterofficers departed dissatisfied on both mined to assert its independence of sides. The greatness of the danger any previous synod, of a similar nawhich the American army had escaped, ture; and to maintain its plenary auseemed to have extinguished every thority to take whatever steps might spark of humanity in the breast of seem to it expedient, to effect the Washington. The day before his union of the church. Nor were bis execution, Andre sent a most pathetic fears allayed by the presence of the letter to Washington, conjuring him Emperor, who arrived in Constance to let him die the death of a soldier, on Christmas-day. At the celebration instead of a common malefactor, leav- of the mass on that high festival, ing him to judge whether, in bis situ. Sigismund assisted in the quality of ation, he should not make the same deacon. In the discharge of the durequest; but even this was refused. ties of this office, he read the gospel

of the day, which commenced with the On the 2d of October, 1780, he met passage,

“There came an edict from his fate, according to his sentence, the emperor Augustus.” From these with a fortitude, serenity, and compo- words, which reminded him that he sure, which excited compassion in the was now in a manner at the mercy of breast of every beholder, and made imperial power, the evil conscience of them lament, rather than avert his John drew an inauspicious omen, sentence. Thus fell the man for whom which was amply confirmed by the every eye was wet, every heart was subsequent conduct of the Emperor grieved. Insensible of danger, he towards him, which was marked by lived a hero; and fearless of death, he coldness and distrust.* died a martyr. Bright as thy fame, In the crooked policy of states, no Oh Washington, shall shine in the stratagem is more common than atannals of thy country, as one of the tempts, on the part of wicked princes firmest assertors of her liberties, and and ministers, to withdraw the atten-, bravest defenders of her rights, the tion of the public from their own sons of freedom shall lament the cold crimes, by the persecution of the ininsensibility which offered not to res- nocent for imputed offences. Of this cue from the iron hand of the grave, policy, John attempted to avail himso gallant an officer, and even to deny self, in order to free himself from his the poor boon of dying as a soldier, present difficulties. Whilst the most while a glance of indignation shall discreet and virtuous members of the dart from their eyes, softened only by council were loudly calling for a rethe tear of compassion for the unfor- formation of the discipline of the tunate end of the gallant Andre. church, in its head as well as in its

members, he affected an extraordinary

zeal for the purity of its doctrines; MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE AND TIMES OF

and John Huss, the celebrated Bohe

mian reformer, having repaired to LEONARDO ARETINO.

Constance, he caused him to be ar

rested, in violation of a safe-conduct (Continued from col. 1091.)

which he had received from the Em

peror, and committed him to prison. On his arrival at Constance, Leo- in the course of a few days after the pardo found his master a prey to per-arrest of Huss, articles of impeachplexity and anxiety. With greatment were exhibited against him, of reluctance John had opened the coun- which the following are the principal : eil, on the 1st day of November, by a -1. That he publicly taught that proclamation, in which it was declared the sacrament ought to be adminito be a continuation of the council of stered to the people in both kinds. 2. Pisa. 'In thus characterizing it, he That he held, that in the sacrament evinced consummate artifice. By the of the altar, the bread remaineth council of Pisa, his competitors, Be- bread after the consecration. 3. That nedict XIII. and Gregory XII. had been deposed, and he himself had * L'Enfant's Council of Constance.

1175
Memoirs of Leonardo Aretino.

1176 he maintained, that ministers in a withdrew from Constance, in the disstate of mortal sin cannot effectually guise of a postillion, and iook shelter administer the sacraments, and that, in the city of Schaffhausen. on the contrary, any other person may Leonardo seems to have foreseen, do it, provided he be in a state of or to have been informed of, the apgrace. 4. That by the Church, ought proach of this crisis. He quitted Connot to be understood the Pope, Car- stance a few days before his master, dinals, Archbishops, and Clergy; and and arrived at Florence on the 14th of that this is a wicked definition invent- March, 1415. Here he found so ed by the schoolmen. 5. That the much pleasure in the prosecution of Church ought not to possess tempora- his studies, and in the renewal of his lities; and that secular Lords may intercourse with his ancient friends, take them away from the ecclesiastics that, to adopt his own expression, he with impunity. 6. That all Priests was almost grateful to the storms, are of equal authority, and that con- which had thus driven him into a hasequently the ordinations and casual- 'ven of security and rest.|| ties reserved to the Popes and Bishops Leonardo was endued with a mind are the mere effect of their ambition. of uncommon activity, and did not 7. That the Church has no longer the suffer a day to pass in idleness. He power of the keys, when the Pope, was no sooner settled in his native Cardinals, Bishops, and all the country, and freed from the laborious Clergy, are in a state of mortal sin, occupations of the Pontifical chanwhich is a contingency which may cery, than be determined to avail himhappen."

self of this season of leisure to comIt will readily be believed, that in pose a work, which might be the an age of religious ignorance and means of preserving his memory to intolerance, and in the head-quarters future ages"; and, after due deliberaof bigotry, propositions thus founded tion, chose for his subject the History on plain common sense, excited gene- of Florence. Though, when he had ral indignation against their unfortu- advanced a little way in the prosecunate promulgator. Huss had been tion of his design, he began to be arrested before the arrival of Sigis- alarmed at the magnitude of his unmund. Immediately on the Empe- dertaking, yet so great was his zeal, and ror's coming to Constance, the friends so exemplary his diligence, that he of the Reformer (for friends he had, finished it in the space of nine months. who did not desert him in this hour of It bears, however, no marks of haste. need) called upon that monarch to vin- In the narration of events, it evinces dicate his insulted authority, and to a lucid order; in style, it is at once set the captive at liberty.. But, to elegant and forcible, and the sentihis everlasting disgrace, Sigismund ments with which it is interspersed are winked at the violation of his safe- worthy of a virtuous man, and of the conduct, and left the Bohemian to his citizen of a free state. Leonardo has, fate.t

however, been accused by Vossius, The Pontiff, however, was disap- and perhaps justly, of dwelling too pointed in his expectations, that these much on foreign transactions, and proceedings against Huss would ope- touching too lightly the domestic disrate as a diversion in his own favour. cussions of the Florentine republic. He found his difficulties daily increas- His history commences with the founing, and at length perceiving that he dation of the colony of Fæsculæ by was virtually a prisoner in his own Sylla, and is brought down to the end palace, where he was surrounded and of the year 1402. strictly watched by the emissaries of John XXII. in all probability enterSigismund, he at length determined tained hopes, that by withdrawing to escape by flight. In this enterprise from the council, he should embarrass he was assisted by the Duke of Aus- the proceedings of that assembly, tria, who, to facilitate the means of which in his absence would be regardhis evasion, gave a grand tournament ed by Christendom in general, as a on the 20th of March, during the bus-body without a head. If this was the tle and tumult of which, his Holiness case, he was soon convinced of the

* L'Enfant.

+ Ibid. Mehi Vita Leon. Aret.

# Ibid,

|| Leon. Aret. Epist. lib. iv. ep. 11. | Vossius de Hist. Lat. p. 554.

1177
Memoirs of Leonardo Aretino.

1178 futility of his expectations. Encou: Jerome, however, soon took alarm at raged by the Emperor, the assembled the perils by which he was surround-fathers declared themselves indepen- ed, and attempted to save himself by dent of his Holiness, and shortly af- flight. Being taken and brought back terwards proceeded solemnly to de- to Constance, his resolution failed posc him from his sacred office. This him, and on the 15th of December, bold step filled John with alarm. It 1415, he read in full council a retrachas been already related, that on his tation of his imputed errors. But escape from Constance, he had repair- this did not satisfy his enemies, who, ed to Schaffhausen. When he was being determined on his destruction, apprised of the decisive measures loaded him with fresh accusations. which were meditated against him, This new act of injustice seems to thinking himself no longer safe in this have roused the spirit of the Reformlatter place, he suddenly quitted it, er; and to have nerved him to the and took shelter in Lauffenburg, froni utmost energy of active and of sufferwhence, in the course of a little time, ing virtue. The process of his trial his fears drove him to Friburg, a city and execution is faithfully and forcibly of considerable strength belonging to described in the following letter, adhis partizan, the Duke of Austria. dressed to Leonardo, by his friend But that prince having made his peace Poggio Bracciolini, who, having conwith the Emperor, the Pontiff was tinued at Constance after the depocompelled to quit this place of refuge, sition of his master, was a witness of and was conveyed, in the custody of the skill and power of his defence, and the ollicers of Sigismund, to Ratolf- of bis constancy in the endurance of cell, a small town at about the dis- torture, tance of a German league from Con- “Soon after my return from Baden stance. Here a deputation from the to Constance, the cause of Jerome of council speedily waited on him, who Prague, who was accused of heresy, announced to him his deposition, in came to a public hearing. The purwhich the necessity of his circum- port of my present letter is to give stances compelled him to acquiesce; you an account of this trial, which. and he was soon afterwards conveyed must of necessity be a matter of conas a prisoner to the fortress of Got- siderable interest, both on account of leben.*

the importance of the subject, and the What must have been the feelings eloquence and learning of the defenof the fallen Pontiff, when he found, dant. I must confess that I never saw immured in the same prison with him any one, who, in pleading a cause, self, the victim of his cold blooded especially a cause, on the issue of cruelty, the Reformer Huss! If sym- which his own life depended, appathy in misfortune excited in his proached nearer to that standard of breast any sentiments of compassion ancient eloquence, which we so much towards his victim, they were fruit- admire. It was astonishing to witness less and unavailing. The council re- with what choice of words, with what lentlessly pursued their process against closeness of argument, with what conthe heretic. In the fifteenth session fidence of countenance, he replied to of that assembly, which was held on his adversaries. So impressive was the 6th of July, 1415, he was con his peroration, that it is a subject of demned to die the death of a martyr. great concern, that a man of so noble Being conducted from the tribunal to and excellent a genius should have the stake, he was not overpowered by: deviated into heresy. On this latter the fear of death. He maintained his point, however, I cannot help enterprinciples with firmness to the last, taining some doubts. But far be it and perished, exulting in the good- from me, to take upon myself to deness of the cause for which he was cide in so important a matter. I shall doomed to suffer.t

acquiesce in the opinion of those who When Huss was first arrested by are wiser than myself. Do not, howthe agents of the Pontiff, his friend ever, imagine that I intend to enter and associate, Jerome of Prague, had into the particulars of this cause. I hastened to Constance, to yield' him shall only touch upon the more remarkthe requisite assistance and support. able and interesting circumstances,

which will be sufficient to give you an * L'Enfant, book ii. + Ibid. book iii. idea of the learning of the man. Many No. 35.- Vol. III.

4F

1179
Memoirs of Leonardo Aretino.

1180 things having been alleged against many other observations, he made the prisoner, as proofs of his enter with great eloquence; but he was in. taining heretical notions, and the terrupted by the murmurs and clacouncil being of opinion that the proof mour of several of his auditors. It was sufficiently strong to warrant fur-was decreed, that he should first anther investigation, it was ordered that swer to the charges exbibited against he should publicly answer to every him, and afterwards have free liberty particular of the charge. He was of speech. The heads of the accusaaccordingly brought before the coun- tion were accordingly read from the cil. But when he was called upon to desk. When, after they had been give in his answers, he for a long time proved by testimony, he was asked refused so to do; alleging, that he whether he had any remarks to make ought to be permitted to speak gene- in his defence; it is incredible with rally in his defence, before he replied what skill and judgment he put in his to the false imputations of bis adver- answers. He advanced nothing unbesaries. This indulgence was, how- coming a good man ; and, if his real ever, denied him. Upon which, stand- sentiments agreed with his profesing up in the midst of the assembly- sions, he was so far from deserving to What gross injustice is this! exclaim- die, that his principles did not even ed he, that though for the space of give just ground for the slightest of three hundred and forty days, which fence. He denied the whole impeachI have spent in filth and fetters, de- ment, as a fiction invented by the prived of every comfort, in prisons malice of his enemies. Among others, situated at the most remote distances an article was read, which accused from each other, you have been con- him of being a detractor of the Apostinually listening to my adversaries tolic see, an oppugner of the Roman and slanderers, you will not hear me Pontiff, an enemy of the Cardinals, for a single hour! The consequence a persecutor of Prelates, and an adof this is, that while on the one hand, versary of the Christian Clergy. When every one's ears are open to them, this charge was read, he arose, and and they have for so long a time been stretching out his hands, he said in a attempting to persuade you that I am pathetic tone of voice, Fathers! to a heretic, an enemy to the true faith, whom shall I have recourse for suca persecutor of the clergy; and on the cour? Whose assistance shall I imother hand, I am deprived of every plore? Unto whom shall I appeal, in opportunity of defending myself: you protestation of my innocence?- Unto have prejudged my cause, and have, you ?--But these my persecutors have in your own minds, condemned me, prejudiced your minds against me, by before you could possibly become declaring that I entertain hostility acquainted with my principles. But, against all my judges. Thus have says he, you are not gods, but men, they artfully endeavoured, if they not immortals, but mortals, liable to cannot reach me by their imputations error, and subject to imperfection. of error, so to excite your fears, that We are taught to believe that this you may be induced to seize any assembly contains the light of the plausible pretext to destroy your world, the prudent men of the earth. common enemy, such as they most You ought, therefore to be unremit falsely represent me to be. Thus, if tingly careful not to do any thing you give credit to their assertion, all rashly, foolishly, or unjustly. I in my hopes of safety are lost. He causdeed, who am pleading for my life, ed many to smart by the keenness of am a man of little consequence ; nor his wit, and the bitterness of his redo I say what I do say through anxiety proaches. Melancholy as the occasion for myself (for I am prepared to sub- was, he frequently excited laughter, mit to the common lot of mortality) by turning to ridicule the imputations but I am prompted by an earnest de- of his adversaries. When he was sire, that the collective wisdom of so asked what were bis sentiments conmany eminent men may not, in my cerning the sacrament, he replied, person, violate the laws of justice. that it was by nature bread; but that As to the injury done to myself, it is at the time of consecration, and aftercomparatively of trifling consequence, wards, it was the true body of Christ, but the precedent will be pregnant &c. according to the strictest orthowith future mischief. Thesc, and doxy. Then some one said, But it is

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »