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discovered the next Sunday morning hanging on the weather-cock of Esopus' church steeple, at least forty miles off! After several events of this kind had taken place, the regular skippers of the river, for a long time, did not venture to pass the Dunderberg, without lowering their peaks, out of homage to the Heer of the mountain ; and it was observed that all such as paid this tribute of respect were suffered to pass unmolested.*
Anecdote of James Otis.-J. ADAMS. Oris belonged to a club who met on evenings; of which club William Molineuxť was a member. · Moly neux had a petition before the legislature, which did not succeed to his wishes, and he became for several evenings sour, and wearied the company with his complaints of services, losses, sacrifices, &c., and said " That a man who has behaved as I have should be treated as I am is
* Among the superstitions which prevailed in the colonies, during the early times of the settlements, there seems to have been a singular one about phantom ships. The superstitious fancies of men are always apt to turn upon those objects which concern their daily occupations. Thé solitary ship, which, from year to year, came like a raven in the wilderness, bringing to the inhabitants of a settlement the comforts of life from the world from which they were cut off, was apt to be present to their dreams, whether sleeping or waking. The accidental sigh: from shore of a sail gliding along the horizon in those, as yet, lonely seas, was apt to be a matter of much talk and speculation. There is inention made in one of the early New England writers, of a ship navigated by witches, with a great horse that stood by the mainmast. I have met with another story, somewhere, of a ship that drove on shore, in fair, sunny, tranquil weather, with sails all set, and a table spread in the cabin, as if to regale a number of guests, yet not a living being on board. These phantom ships always sailed in the eye of the wind, or ploughed their way with great velocity, making the smooth sea foam before their bows, when not a breath of air was stirring.
Moore has finely wrought up one of these legends of the sea into a little tale, which, within a small compass, contains the very essence of this species of supernatural fiction. I allude to his Spectre-Ship bound to Deadman's Isle. :
| Mr. Molineux was a merchant, but much more of a sportsman and a bon vivant, than a man of business. His sentiments were warmly in fa vour of his country; and, though often a companion of the English officers, he was yet an intimate acquaintance of the leading patrioti of the day.-TUDOR.
intolerable!” Otis had said nothing; but the company were disgusted and out of patience, when Otis rose from his seat, and said " Come, come, Will, quit this subject, and let us enjoy ourselves. I also have a list of grievances; will you hear it?” The club expected some fun, and all cried out, “ Ay! ay! let us hear your list.”
“Well, then, Will: in the first place, I resigned the office of advocate-general, which I held from the crown, that produced me how much do you think?” “A great deal, no doubt,” said Molineux. “ Shall we say two hundred sterling a year?” “Ay, more, I believe,” said Molineux. “Well, let it be two hundred; that, for ten years, is two thousand.
“In the next place, I have been obliged to relinquish the greatest part of my business at the bar. Will you set that at two hundred more ?” “Oh! I believe it much more than that.” “Well, let it be two hundred; this, for ten years, is two thousand more. You allow, then, I have lost four thousand pounds sterling.” “Ay, and much more too,” said Molineux.
« In the next place, I have lost an hundred friends; among whom were the men of the first rank, fortune and power in the province. At what price will you estimate them?” “At nothing," said Molineux ; “ you are better without them, than with them.” A loud laugh. “ Be it so,” said Otis.
“ In the next place, I have made a thousand enemies, among whom are the government of the province and the nation. What do you think of this item ?” “ That is as it may happen,” said Molineux.
“ In the next place, you know, I love pleasure; but I have renounced all amusement for ten years. What is that worth to a man of pleasure ?” “No great matter," said Molineux; “ you have made politics your amusement.” A hearty laugh.
“ In the next place, I have ruined as fine health, and as good a constitution of body, as nature ever gave to man.” “ This is melancholy indeed,” said Molineux; “ there is nothing to be said on that point.”
“ Once more,” said Otis, holding his head down before Molineux ; “look upon this head !” (where was a scar, in which a man might bury his finger ;*) “ what do you think of this ? and, what is worse, my friends think I have a monstrous crack in my skull.”
This made all the company very grave, and look very solemn. But Otis, setting up a laugh, and with a gay countenance, said to Molineux-"Now, Willy, my advice to you is, to say no more about your grievances; for you and I had better put up our accounts of profit and loss in our pockets, and say no more about them, lest the world should laugh at us.”
This whimsical dialogue put all the company, and Molineux himself, into good humour, and they passed the rest of the evening in joyous conviviality.
Interesting Passage in the Life of James Otis.
Oris had long been so conspicuous as a leader of the patriotic party, his power of exciting public feeling was so irresistible, bis opposition to the administration was so bold and vehement, his detestation against those who were bringing ruin on the country was so open and mortifying, that secret representations had long been making to render him particularly obnoxious to the ministry, and to stimulate them to arrest and try him for treason. At length, in the course of this summer, copies of several of the letters of Governor Bernard, and of the commissioners, filled with insinuations, and even charges of a treasonable nature, were procured at the public offices in England, and transmitted to him; leaving no doubt, that, if these persons had ventured on such a crimination in official letters, they had gone much further in their private correspondence.
He was stung to madness by the discovery and proofs of these malignant calumnies, and this secret treachery. Agitated as he was by the actual and impending evils, that threatened the whole country, and that were more espe
* The manner in which he received this wound is related in the fol lowing extract.-ED.
cially directed, at this period, against his own province, and his own town ; penetrated with anxious responsibility for the expediency of those measures of opposition, of which he was one of the chief advisers, and had long been the ostensible leader ; these attempts to destroy his character, if not his life, excited the deepest indignation. In defending the cause of the colonies, he had looked forward to the time when justice would be done them, and when he should derive advantage and honour for all his exertions and sacrifices. He was not acting as a demagogue, nor as a revolutionist. He was proud of his rank in society; and in opposing the ministerial schemes he still felt loyalty to. wards the sovereign, and affection for England; and longed for the period, when he might give proofs of both, not in opposing, but in supporting the views of government; while, at this very time, he found that the crown officers had been assiduously labouring to blast his reputation, and endeavouring to have him torn from his home, to undergo imprisonment and persecution in the mother country. With the proofs of their conduct in his possession, he could no longer restrain himself, but hurled his defiance and contempt in the following notice.*
“ Advertisement. Whereas I have full evidence, that Henry Hutton, Charles Paxton, William Burch, and John Robinson,t Esquires, have frequently and lately treated the characters of all true North Americans in a manner that is not to be endured, by privately and publicly representing them as traitors and rebels, and in a general combination to revolt from Great Britain ; and whereas the said Henry, Charles, William and John, without the least provocation or colour, have represented me by name, as inimical to the rights of the crown, and disaffected to his majesty, to whom I annually swear, and am determined at all events to bear true and faithful allegiance ; for all which general, as well as personal abuse and insult, satisfaction has been personally demanded, due warning given, but no sufficient answer obtained ; these are humbly to desire the lords commissioners of his majesty's treasury, his principal secretaries of state, particularly my lord Hillsborough, the board of trade, and all others whom it may concern, or who may condescend to read this, to pay no kind of regard to any of the abusive representations of me or my country, that may be transmitted by the said Henry, Charles, William and John, or their confederates; for they are no more worthy of credit, than those of Sir Francis Bernard, of Nettleham, Bart., or any of his cabal; which cabal may be well known, from the papers in the house of commons, and at every great office in England.”
* Boston Gazette, September 4th, 1769. + These were the commissioners of the customs,
• There were some further documents inserted in the same Gazette, such as a correspondence with the collector, and some extracts from the letters of these officers to the treasury and board of trade in England.
The next evening, about seven o'clock, Mr. Otis went to the British coffee-house, where Mr. Robinson, one of the commissioners, was sitting, as also a number of army, navy, and revenue officers. As soon as he came in, an altercation took place, which soon terminated in Robinson's striking him with a cane, which was returned with a weapon of the same kind. Great confusion then ensued. The lights were extinguished, and Otis, without a friend, was surrounded by the adherents of Robinson. A young man, by the name of Gridley, passing by, very boldly entered the coffee-house to take the part of Otis against so many foes; but he was also assaulted, beaten, and turned out of the house. After some time the combatants were separated, Robinson retreated by a back passage, and Otis was led home wounded and bleeding
This affair naturally excited much attention. Various and contradictory statements were given in the newspapers respecting it. It was said, that this intentional assault was the result of a meditated plan of assassination. Five or six bludgeons and one scabbard were found on the floor after the struggle. Otis received a deep wound on the head, which the surgeons, Doctors Perkins and Lloyd, testified must have been given by a sharp instrument. The accusation of a preconcerted intention to murder, is doubt