sometimes made in a dead lano:uage, or in stenographical cliarac-
ters, to secure concealment. Here, therefore, he could write with
perfect freedom ; but in his letters he was more guarded, that he
might not excite the apprehensions of his friends. But, not to
anticipate, it is sufficient, at present, to cite a passage or two from
a letter of Sunday evening, February 19 : "I have had no assist-
ance whatever in three full services, to-day, though there have been
three clergymen present, besides Sunday school, baptisms, and visit-
ing the sick." Of this last duty he had a great amount. At the
close of his letter, he says, " I wish I were going out to Europe
with cousin B. I think such a voyage would do me good service,
though I cannot plead any necessity on the score of ill health, and
should much prefer being well enough at home to being a valetudi-
narian abroad. I am tired with a hard day's work, but never
enjoyed better health."
Another letter from the " cloisters " gives a little further infor-
mation as to the new organ, imported by the rector for Trinity
Church : " It is certainly a wonderful instrument, and excites the
admiration of our builders here, who are men of no mean reputa-
tion in their business, but who confess that this will far surpass their
art. Many of the larger pipes, which we construct of wood, are,
in this instrument, of metal ; and the doctor says that there is not
less than a ton in the weight of all of them together. A peculiarity
of this class of instruments is, that the performer turns his back to
the organ, and looks towards the people, with his keyboard before
him, after the fashion of a piano-forte. The builder, young Gray,
who has come out with it, is said to be one of the very best per-
formers in England, and presided at the organ, at the great musical
festival in Westminster Abbey, accompanied by seven hundred sing-
ing men and singing women, besides the orchestra. . . . Gray
says, that, at the first sound of all the music at this festival, the
effect was so overwhelming that he burst into tears, as did almost
all the performers about him, and cried through the whole of it.
Such was their ecstasy that they literally could not contain them-
selves. We, on this side of the water, have but little idea of any
such music as this ; but we have the comfort of knowing, as old
•Tohn Newton says, that if we behave like good Christians, we shall
have much better music in heaven."
The following lines were written, under date of March 28, in
the oratorio of " The Feast of Tabernacles." They are found in
manuscript, and it is doubtful whether they have appeared in print.
198 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CEOSWELL. [1837.
"THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES."
Methinks there is indeed a " feast "
In these inspiring words alone,
Which could not even be increased
By music's most enchanting tone.
My inmost sense they ravish quite
With scenes and sounds so dear to me,
They fill my ear, they fill my sight,
And leave no room for minstrelsy.
ye who will the spells of power
In which the sons of song combine :
To sit and muse some silent hour
O'er these transporting leaves, be mine !
Here pitch my verdant tent ; for here
He must have felt it good to be,
Who built these tabernacles dear
To Faith, and Fame, and Fantasy !
Among the occurrences of this period, there was one which
caused him mucli conflict of feeling ; this was the removal of the
Rev. Dr. Eaton to Burhngton, N. .1., in comphance with an invita-
tion from Bishop Doane, to take a prominent situation in St. Mary's
Hall, an institution established by the bishop for the education of
the daughters of the Church. The call to this important and
responsible post was indeed a high and well-merited testimony to
the worth of Dr. Eaton, and as such, was most welcome and grati-
fying; but to his younger brother personally, and to the general
interests of the Chiu-ch in Boston, it was a severe privation. From
the time of his first settlement as rector of Christ Church, he had
been permitted to look up to Dr. Eaton, his immediate predecessor
in the cure, not only as a venerated father and brother in the min-
istry, but as a highly valued and esteemed counsellor and friend, on
whose judgment and opinion he felt as if he could always rely with
the most entire confidence. Dr. Eaton having also occupied, for
several years, tlie post of city missionary, in which his labors were
abundautly blessed, his removal could not but be considered, in
both respects, as a serious calamity. Writing on the day before his
removal, he says, " This breaking up of the doctor makes us all
sad, and me, especially, homesick. We shall accompany him, if
not to the ship, at least to within three hours' ride of it ; and 1
shall not wonder if souie natural tears are shed on that occasion."
Accordingly, he notes in his diary, the next day, that a party of
1837.] CHRIST ClIUKCII. 199
clertrvinen and others accompanied the doctor and famdy, and took
leave of tlieni at the raih'oad station honse.
This change in his clerical associations, taken in connection with
other circumstances of a disconra<rin<^ nature, produced a moment-
ary depression of his spirits. While he was treated personally
with every mark of respect and cordiality, he discovered some indi-
cations of restlessness and want of harmony among a few ])romi-
nent members of his flock ; and these local jealousies and dissen-
sions affected unfavorably the best interests as well of the pastor as
of the people. Though his own essential wants were decently pro-
vided for, there was so little unity of effort among his people that
the pecuniary affairs of the parish were much neglected, and suffered
to run into a state of embarrassment. Under the pressure of these
untoward circumstances, he was drawn, as a matter of course, to
seek relief by unburdening himself to his father. In a confidential
letter of IMay 8, he freely states all liis difficulties, and suggests the
possibility that some change in his pastoral relations may be expe-
dient, if not necessary. He even intimates that he might get over
all his scruples about entering once more into an editorial engage-
ment, or, if considered less objectionable, might be induced to teach
a few pupils in the higher branches of education, in connection with
the more appropriate duties of his office. He concludes, however,
with expressions of strong attachment to his parish, and a hearty
desire to avoid, if possible, any disruption of their mutual ties.
But these nnpleasant reflections were interrupted, and his mind
ha))pily diverted, by a train of intervening circumstances. He had
fUready projected a visit to New Haven, where he hoped to meet
iiis brother from Albany. But while this visit was still in suspense,
lie was induced to change his purpose by a summons to Burlington,
to attend the ordination of Mr. E. G. Prescott, a young gentleman
of Boston, for whom he entertained a high regard, and to whom he
had granted the customary facilities for obtaining orders. Mr. Pres-
cott had been pursuing his theological studies with Bishop Doane,
and desired to receive his ministerial commission at his hands. He
writes, with reference to this invitation, " He is very urgent on his
own account, and brings pressing invitations from all our warm
friends there, to have me accompany him ; and as I have not the
slightest inducement to decline, I have consented to do so. I am
laboring just now under a severer cold than I have had for many
months, and it is quite desirable that T should have some relaxation
at once. Then it is more than a year since I have been in New
Jersey, and perhaps I should not find again, this season, so conven-
ient an opportunity."
On his way to Burlington, he dates from the Astor House, New
York, May 18; and after giving an account of his passage thus far
with Mr. Prescott, he says, " We have fine rooms in this magnifi-
200 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1837.
cent liouse ; but tliis, you know, is not the kind of tliin^ that the
heart yearns after, and can do nothing towards satisfyinoj the crav-
ings of the immortal mind. I should be lonesome and homesick
to abide here, and would not give one day in the humblest abode
of domestic happiness for a whole life to be spent in these mansions
of gloomy splendor."
On the following day they proceeded to Burlington ; and on the
21st, being Trinity Sunday, he preached both parts of the day, for
his friend Doane, in St. Mary's Church. The ordination of jMr.
Prescott took place on the 25th, and on this occasion he had the
gratification of presenting the candidate. On the 28th, among many
pleasant things, he writes, " A great change has come over the spirit
of my dream since the morning we embarked for New Jersey.
Every thing here is verdant and vernal, and it is impossible for the
spirit to resist the influences which they combine to produce. St.
Mary's Hall is a perfect establishment of the kind, and every thing
works to a charm. . . . Such bright and sunny faces I have
seen nowhere, of late, as on the banks of the Delaware ; and I doubt
whether Dr. Eaton ever enjoyed himself as he does now."
He still lingered at Burlington until after the session of the dio-
cesan Convention ; and then, on the 2d of .Tune, took his departure
for New Haven, by the way of New York, and arrived on Saturday,
the 3d. Though complaining much of fatigue, he was persuaded
to preach in both churches on the following day, besides attending
a Bible class in the evening. The remainder of the week was
spent very pleasantly in visiting his friends, until Friday, when lie
thought it his duty to return to his parish. Remaining at Hartford
over night, he addressed a letter to his mother, from whicii a (ew
passages are selected, to show his lively appreciation of the beauties
of natural scenery : " I cannot say that I ever enjoyed the ride
more in this direction. The richness and luxuriance of the vege-
tation exceed any thing that I have seen on this route before. The
variety of scenery is very considerable. Even the lowly meadows
of North Haven are glorified with the most beautiful green, and the
river winds about in a way which makes it worthy of being famous.
The church is the crowning ornament of a most picturesque land-
scape. All the old shady haunts on the back side of East Rock,
towards Whitneyville, were in their best array, and brought back
many interesting associations. The bold ridges about Meriden lifted
up their verdant sides to the eye in a most inviting manner ; and
many a traveller, in search of the picturesque, has gone many a
weary mile to see what was less worth the labor. Long reaches of
meadow and interval, with streams and rejoicing vales, greeted the
eye from every ascent, and set the jjoetical temperament all astir.
In short, I felt proud of old Connecticut, as the birthplace of my
father and my mother, and wished she might have half as much
1837.] CHRIST CHURCH. 201
reason to be proud of me." But if this be poetry, he does not
close without sonietliiug of deeper import : " I have been most gra-
ciously favored, dear mother, thus far, and feel that I have done
right in returning to my duties this week. I should have been glad
to have been witli you longer ; but we must be content in this world
with momentary gratifications, and be willing ' to meet to part.' A
time will come, I trust, in a better country, when your son will be
ever with you, and all that he has will be thine."
Of the salutary effects of this journey, and of the manner in
which he entei'ed anew upon his duties, he must be allowed to speak
for himself. It may be remarked, however, that if he had gathered
any new strength in his absence, he found abundant occasion for
the employment of all the energies both of his body and his mind.
His next letter is dated on Monday morning, the 12th of June : " I
am once more immersed in this region of rheum and fogmatics,
and north-easter anthems. I was weary and chilled when I reached
here with the roughest rides from Hartford, the atmosphere being
severe enough to make a fire as agreeable as in early winter. My
first impressions were those of homesickness. Every thing was in
such grating contrast with all that I had left, and seemed to symbol-
ize cold and ungenial hearts. Let me do my dear people, however,
no such wrong. The delight which they express at my return ought
to stifle every murmur of discontent. . . . On the whole, I
cannot express too strongly the satisfaction which my visit has given
me, both at the time and in the retrospect. I have gathered a
treasure house of precious memories and thoughts, to cheer the
mind, when it feeds upon itself, in the hours of loneliness and soli-
tude. I feel as if I had accomplished much in a brief space of
time, and can hardly realize that it is but three weeks since I left
the city. ... I had a very refreshing rest on Saturday night,
which placed me far above the need of any aid on Sunday. The
services of the day were fatiguing, the more so that I felt obliged
to undertake the third service at Jamaica Plains."
On the following day, he addressed a letter to an esteemed friend
at Hartford, with whom he had spent a few hours while on his
recent journey. One of those veins of pleasantry, which are often
found in his private correspondence, is selected, by permission, from
this letter : " Mr. will read with interest in the papers the
account of the Irish row in Broad Street. Brother was
in the midst of it, and described it as a most exciting scene. I
reviewed the seat of the war, this morning, with him, and he
showed me the place where he was tumbled by the crowd over a
tar barrel, and made himself redolent with all sorts of low-water
smells. Had he been finished by an accidental brickbat, the story
would not have told so well on his tombstone. Besides the broken
windows, you might know by the heaps of feathers in the streets
202 MEMOni OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1837.
that there had heeii some foul play. B said he liad been
inquired of as to the merits of the case, but could not, for the life
of him, see any merit in it at all."
A|Ktlo«:izing for a little delay in his next letter, he says, " If it
had been as easy to execute as to plan, I should have prepared my
letter early this morning. But, to adopt the figurative idiom of the
East, Thoughts are the sons of heaven, Words are the daughters of
the earth. The former fly through the universe while the latter are
walking across the street." The meeting of the Convention was
at hand, and he was much interrupted by the gathering together of
the clerical and other members ; while the preparation of a sermon
for the occasion seems to have caused him no little anxiety: "In
the intervals, that dreaded Convention sermon is to be prepared, at
least a portion of it ; and I shall not breathe freely until that duty
is discharged. I am only astonished at myself, that, having such
an unaffected horror of being [)laced in such a predicament, I did
not at once decline the appointment. By the time that you receive
this, however, it will all be over, and I shall claim the warmest
congratulations of all my correspondents." These expressions of
self-distrust were doubtless perfectly sincere and heartfelt ; but they
were entirely groundless. The sermon met with general approba-
tion ; and his friends spoke of it in such complimentary terms, that
he could account for it only on the ground of undue partiality.
In his diary of .Tuly 8, he records the departure of the Rev. Mr.
Boone on his foreign mission, and speaks of having presented him
with a co])y of Reble, in which he had inserted some lines of
poetry. Of these lines it is not certain that any copy remains ; but
the following stanzas, which are found in a manuscript collection
without date, seem so appropriate to the occasion, that they are
inserted in this connection : —
THE mSSIONAEY'S FAREWELL.
The signal is made from yon mast o'er the trees.
Which nods to the billows, and beckons the breeze :
The anchor's upheaved, and the sails are unfurled,
To carry him forth to the ends of the world.
And now the near headlands already float by.
And the half-shrouded cottages swim in his eye;
And a thousand past joys are recalled by the view,
Which his bosom can never, O, never renew !
At length he puts forth from his own native bay,
And the bark of his country sweeps southward away ;
1837.1 CHRIST CHURCir. 203
And the heart of the messonger inwardly bleeds,
As each object grows dim on the shore, and recedes.
How can he refrain from the strong burst of tears, •
As the land of his forefathers fast disappears.
As the mountains and hilltops grow dusky and dun,
And turret and spire fade away one by one !
But his bosom, alas ! shall more bitterly ache
O'er the tenderer ties which that parting must break ;
And the tears will, in spite of his manliness, start,
As affection's full tide rushes back on his heart.
But for these though the flesh in its weakness may yearn,
His spirit is willing, he would not return ;
His orders are onward, 'tis his to obey ;
He dare not decline, and he dare not delay.
And the day is soon coming those friends to restore,
Whom he loveth not less, but his Savior the more,
When the faithful to death shall receive their reward,
And together partake of the joy of their Lord.
With him, when our own weary voyage is past,
Be the haven of happiness entered at last.
In that " far better country," undarkened by sin,
Where the shouts of the ransomed shall welcome us in !
At this period, he seems to have entered with renewed ardor and
energy into the interests of his Sunday school. From his diary we
learn, that, on Sunday, the 9th, in addition to the full services of
the day, with a baptism, lie spent several hours in personally super-
intending and instructing the children of the school ; and on the
following day, writing on the subject to a lady of Hartford, with
whom he was in correspondence, he says, "1 am glad to tell you
that my heart warms more to that portion of pastoral duty than
ever of late ; and I deeply regret that any supposed inaptitude for
the work has so long prevented me from giving it, personally, its
portion in due season. I intend in future to lay myself out more
largely in that field, being well assured that our most glorious har-
vest, for time and eternity, is to be looked for from the blessing of
God upon faithful Sunday school instruction. I have many things
to discourage me in my parochial relations ; but here, I feel as if
the hopes of the Church were secure from disappointment."
Some notes are next found of a sort of missionary visit to Bangor,
Maine, which appears to have been undertaken in pursuance of an
204 MEMOIR OF AVILLIAM CROSWELL. [1837.
arrangement with some of liis iieigliboiiiig brethren of the clergy.
" It is an arrangement," he says, July 24, " which does great vio-
lence to my inchnations and habits ; but I cannot escape from it
without the "reproach of the rest of the clergy, who have taken
His next date is from Bangor, August 1. Those who are ac-
quainted with the flourishing city of Bangor, as it is now, will hardly
be able to realize that, in 1837, it was in such an unpolished and
unfinished state. But such is the fact ; and it is a fact that goes to
show, among thousands of others, the amazing growth and improve-
ment of our country. "According to promise, I proceed to give
you some light from the East. We left Boston in the excellent
steamboat Bangor, on Friday afternoon at five o'clock, several of
our parishioners accompanying us to the ship. The whole week
had been bright and serene ; but the skies were overcast before we
went on board. The passage to Portland was made somewhat
unpleasant by rain and rough weather ; but the Bangor is a capital
sea boat, and it did not prevent our reaching there by four o'clock
the next morning, the usual hour. Thus far I suffered nothing
from seasickness; but on the way from Portland to Penobscot, but
few of the passengers were exempt, and I did not make an excep-
tion. The close of the day, however, was fair and bright, and the
passage up the river exceedingly beautiful. The scenery reminds
you, in places, of the Hudson, the shores being very bold, but rude
and more uncultivated. We had a glimpse of an Indian encamp-
ment in the woods, and saw an example of their management of
their canoes. Two amphibious animals, with hats on their heads,
and gowns, which made it difllicult to distinguish their sex, and a
glittering plate of metal on their breasts, were paddling along with
great swiftness and dexterity, leaped ashore like cats, shouldered
their canoe as if it had been an egg shell, and carried it high and
dry on the beach. I mention this incident because it was moi'e
novel and interesting than any thing I saw, and belongs to a class
with which I had no previous acquaintance. I enjoyed this part of
the sail exceedingly, and felt repaid for the unpleasantness of the
preceding part of the trip. The appearance of the coast is very
much as I had expected — innumerable islands, of all sizes, con-
stantly in sight, iron bound and ever green. The substratum is
solid rock, and bristling above with the dark verdure of the fadeless
cedar, pine, and hackmatack — this last peering above all the rest,
like so many millions of spires and pinnacles. We reached Bangor
after nine o'clock on Saturday evening, and landed under cover of
the dark. I found it, in the morning, a large place, with every
mark of high civilization brought in close contact with extreme
rudeness. It is built on two clayey hill sides, with a creek running
between which they call ' the stream.' Beautiful houses, furnished
1837.] CHRIST ciii:rch. 205
in the most ambitious style, and long ranges of stores like those of
Boston. In the mean while, the streets, in many instances, remain
to be yet laid out and graded, and you have all the land before
you where to choose your mode of approach. After a little rain,
it is Kobson's choice ; and it is equal to Catskill or Hartford, as a
town of mud. The church is glorious for situation, and perfect in
bt:auty. ... I held three services on Sunday, which were all
attended by highly respectable congregations ; and I think there is
a fine opening for the Church, if a suitable clergyman could be
He returned to Boston, after spending a second Sunday at Ban-
gor, and on Monday, 12th of August, writes as follows : " I took
my leave of Bangor with all the impressions which I had before
expressed to you. . . . From Bangor to Old Town, the head
quarters of their water power and prosperity, there is a railioad
running through some twelve miles of their interminable pine for-
ests, which look as if they would never pine away. It was quite
' a caution ' to see their revolving saws cut off" the pine logs like a
flash of hghtning, and making shingles as fast as you could ' shake
a stick.' We rode on Monday to Augusta, sixty-five miles, with
excellent roads, driver, coach, and horses, and were carried through
some scenery that was surpassingly fine. Augusta is a beautiful
town, more rural and unsophisticated than Bangor. The Capitol
is a substantial edifice of solid granite, and after good models,
though rather too short and narrow. On Tuesday we passed
through Hallowell and Gardiner, along the Kennebeck, to Bruns-
wick and Portland, where we passed the night. This day's journey
was also exceedingly interesting. The next morning we resutned
our ride, and reached Portsmouth early in the afternoon.
The last day of our travels was the pleasantest,,and would have
been under any circumstances, did it see me safely returned. We
rode to Newburyport in the morning, . . . and arrived at
Boston about eight o'clock in the evening, and found all well, though
I have since had but little cessation from pastoral duty. Yesterday
I preached thrice, attended a funeral, and administered matrimony."
A painful point in our narrative now occurs — painful inasmuch
as it gives the first intimation of some disease that was insidiously
preying upon his constitution. There is nothing of this intimation
in his letters ; but in his private diary, on the 3Ist of August, and
in two repeated instances in the course of ten or fifteen days, he
mentions that twitching of the muscles of the cheek and of the ci/e,
which, in after years, caused him so much trouble and anxiety. At
the same time, he was frequently suffering from extreme nervous
excitement and violent headache. The physician, to whom he
applied for advice, prescribed bathing and prussic acid. To what