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blank verse in the form of a dialogue. It was in eulogy of the energy and progress of the colonies, and prophetic of the future glory of the United States. The poem was well received and appeared two years later in print in Philadelphia. Its motto, taken from Seneca, was afterwards adopted by Washington Irving as the heading to his "Life of Columbus.'
I would call the attention of the reader to his eulogy of Washington in the poem which is used as the dedicatory poem of this work; his admiration of that illustrious man's character never waned, although in after years many and severe were his comments upon his policy.
This poem has been said by a reviewer1 to possess "considerable merit in respect to the ease of its versification and beauty of its description; and although as a whole it bears the marks of youth, some points are worthy of a person of mature years, and will not suffer by comparison with similar productions of the present day." In it he has displayed his remarkable prophetic gift.
The ivy planted by the class of '71 still clasps in its embrace the old walls that supported it during the many varied and thrilling scenes through which it passed; but the hands that planted it have long since turned to dust.
Upon leaving college, Philip, to comply with the desire of his deceased father that he should study divinity, accepted an invitation from Hugh Henry Brackenridge, his former classmate and fellow-orator of '71, to take the second position in a seminary in Maryland, of which he, Brackenridge, was to be principal, and at the same time pursue his theological
It would seem from the letter to Madison while with Brackenridge, that in the interim of his leaving
1 North American Review, v. xciii.
Princeton and beginning his course of teaching and study in the Maryland seminary, he had tried his hand at pedagogy in Flatbush, Long Island; we will let him describe his non-success in that occupation which he held some thirteen days.
SOMERSET COUNTY IN MARYLAND.
SIR, If I am not wrongly informed by my memory, I have not seen you since last April. You may recollect I was then undertaking a school at Flatbush on Long Island. I did enter upon the business, it is certain, and continued in it thirteen days—but Long Island I have bid adieu, with all its brainless crew. The youth of that detested place, are void of reason and of grace. From Flushing hills to Flatbush plains, Deep ignorance unrivall'd reigns. I am very poetical, but excuse it. Si fama non venit ad aures,' if you have not heard the rumour of this story (which, by the by, is told in various Taverns and eating houses), you must allow me to be a little prolix with it. Those who employed me were some gentlemen of New York; some of them were bullies, some merchants, and others Scoundrels. They sent me Eight children, the eldest of whom was 10 years. Some could read, others spell and a few stammer over a chapter of the Bible. These were my pupils and over these was I to preside. My Salary moreover was £40,- there is something else relating to that I shall not at present mention. After I forsook them they proscribed me for four days and swore that if I was caught in New York they would either Trounce or maim me, but I luckily escaped with my goods to Princetown, where I remained till commencement -SO much for this affair. I have printed a poem in New York called "The American Village," containing about four hundred and fifty lines, also a few short pieces added; I would send you one if I had a proper opportunity - the additional poems are: 1. "A Poem to the Nymph I never saw," "The Miserable Life of a Pedagogue," and Stanzas on "An ancient Dutch House on Long Island." As to the main poem, it is damned by all good and judicious Judges. My name is in the
title page; this is called vanity by some but "who so fond as a youthful bard of fame?" I arrived at this Sommerset Academy the 18th of October and intend to remain here till next October. I am assistant to Mr Brackenridge. This is the last time I shall enter into such a business; it worries me to death and by no means suits my "giddy, wandering brain." I would go over for the gown this time two years, but the old hag necessity has got such a prodigious gripe of me that I fear I shall never be able to accomplish it. I believe if I cannot make this out I must turn quack — and indeed I am now reading Physic at my leisure hours, that is, when I am neither sleeping, hearing classes, or writing Poetry. For these three take up all my time. It is now late at night; not an hour ago I finished a little poem of about 400 lines, entitled a Journey to Maryland, being the sum of my adventures. It begins: "From that fam'd town where Hudson's flood unites with streams perhaps as good, Muse, has your bard begun to roam"- & I intend to write a terrible Satire upon certain vicious persons of quality in N. Y.-who have also used me ill-and print it next fall; it shall contain 5 or 600 Lines. Sometimes I write pastorals to shew my Wit, –
Deep to the woods, I sing a Shepherd's care,
Verse made me mad at first and-will keep me so."
I should have been glad to have heard from you before now. While I was at College I had but a short participation of your agreeable friendship, and the few persons I converse with and yet fewer whose conversation I delight in, make me regret the Loss of it. I have met with a variety of rebuffs this year, which I forbear to mention. I look like an unmeaning Teague just turned out of the hold of an Irish ship. Coming down hither I met with a rare adventure at Annapolis. I was destitute even of a brass farthing. I got clear very handsomely. Could one expect even to see you again? if I travel through Virginia I shall stop and talk with you a day or two. I should be very glad to receive a Letter from you if it can be conveniently forwarded. In short, "Non sum qualis eram "
as Partridge says in Tom Jones. My hair is grown like a mop and I have a huge tuft of Beard directly upon my chin. I want but five weeks of twenty-one years of age, and already feel stiff with age. We have about 30 students in this Academy, who prey upon me like Leaches. When shall I quit this whimpering Jack, and hide my head in Acomack? Shall I leave them and go "Where Pokomoke's long stream meandring flows"? Excuse this prodigious Scraw! — without stile or verse. I send this by M Luther Martin, who will forward it to Colonel Lee, and he to you, I hope. M: Martin lives in Acomack in Virginia, this side the bay. Farewell, and be persuaded I remain your
truly humble Servt. and friend,
Finding in himself no signs of vocation to the ministry, Philip took up the study of law, but after a time he found it too dry for his poetic temperament, and instead he occupied the time left from his professional duties in writing for the press articles of such a nature as to stir up love and enthusiasm for liberty, and a detestation of Britain's galling yoke. "He was the poet of hatred, and he carefully trained himself for his function as a stern political satirist, by studying the Roman and French masterpieces in satire; he began his career at a fortunate moment when just such a satirist was needed and when the materials for such satire sincere, wrathful, Juvenalian satire were furnished to him in abundance by the conduct of the English government and its civil and military representatives in America." Upon the breaking out of the war Philip returned to Philadelphia and threw himself heart and soul into the interests of his country, endeavoring by his pen to throw off at once and forever the yoke of foreign servitude.
The colonists were not desirous of severing all 1 Professor Tyler.
connection with the mother country, and were quite willing to make any concessions to preserve their former relations with it; and therefore contented themselves with merely endeavoring to maintain the rights guaranteed them by their charters and ratified by the Constitution.
They acted solely on the defensive, hoping to gain redress for their grievances by another petition to the Crown.
Philip was no conservative; and, finding his countrymen too slow in making use of the golden opportunity now offered of making themselves independent, and fearing that further concessions from the Crown might adjust the present difficulty, he determined not to witness the total overthrow of all his cherished hopes; he therefore accepted an invitation from a West Indian gentleman by the name of Hanson, to visit him in his island home. This gentleman owned a large plantation in the island of Jamaica, and sailed as master of his own ship.
During the passage the mate died: and Philip's love of the sea led him to offer himself to fill his place, and also to study navigation; of which branch of science he soon made himself a master.
While in Jamaica he recorded his detestation of the cruelties of slavery in a poem addressed to Sir Tobey, a planter on that island:
"If there exists a Hell the case is clear
It is probable that if Philip ever made a second visit to that island, Sir Tobey did not receive him as favorably as he did upon the first visit.
From Jamaica, Philip visited the Danish Island of Santa Cruz, where his poetic nature revelled in the natural beauties of the scenery, which he enjoyed to the fullest extent. He loved to watch the great soft