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which made itself felt upon his opponents
is evident enough. Mr. Adams at one time
expresses himself troubled, not only with
adverse elements in the Senate and House,
but with " a John Ward Fenno and a Por-
cupine Cobbett out of doors." Again, writ-
ing to Skelton Jones in 1809, he speaks more
directly : " The causes of my retirement are
to be found in the writings of Freneau, Mar-
koe, Ned Church, Andrew Brown, Paine,
Callender, Hamilton, Cobbett, and John
Ward Fenno, and many others. Without a
complete collection of all these libels, no
faithful history of the last twenty years can
ever be written, nor any adequate accoimt
of the causes of my retirement from public
life." In the above paragraph Fenno's abil-
ity is admitted ; but in the fourth of Mr.
Adams's series of letters to the "Boston
Patriot " appears the following :

** A great clamor was raised among the members
of the House of Representatives and out of doors,
and an abundance of squibs, scoffs, and sarcasms, in
what were then called the Federal newspapers, par-
ticularly Cobbett's 'Porcupine,' and John Ward
Fenno's * United States Gazette.' And by whom
were these written ? * • • * It was given out
that John Ward Fenno was the writer of the most
important of them, and he was represented as a
masterly writer, possessed of a most eloquent pen.
But the p^n was not his,''''

He. evidently means to charge the offen-
sive paragraphs upon Hamilton. It seems
X'sj us that Fenno was an able and honest
advocate of what he believed to be right
He was bitter, and undoubtedly ofken too
hasty in the attack ; but may not as much
be said of his superior, the censor of Quincy?
Every man coimted one or a cipher at this
period of American history, and courtesy was
not to hinder the computation.

John Fenno, the father, named the writer
of these letters for Colonel Ward, toward
whom he ever manifested the warmest affec-
tion. The son came naturally to terms of
intimate friendship with the favorite of his
father, and there was, too, much that was
congenial in the composition of the two.
Before presenting Fenno's letters to Ward,
it is but just, after Mr. Adams's, to record
the opinion of Fisher Ames, as set forth in
a letter to J. W. Fenno, February, 1800.

•• I value the fiivor of your Gazette as I ought.
Those who tkmk are not very many, and the world's
business, lucidly, is not to be done by thinking. A



Gazette conducted by a man of keen
who dares to publish what he has
enough to comprdiend* will, of course, hm^
and slanderers, even among his most dmnsjr imka-
tors. • * • • Your father was a rare good nun :
my heart grows heavy as often as I revrve in it the
remembrance of his death. My affection §or te
memory, and my regard for yon, would Aotiiome
me to set myself up through one page as your
adviser, if I did not know that, of all rights, those of
advisers are the most mistaken and abased. "

Phila., February loth, iSool
My Dear Friend : Your communication of the
30th ult has come to hand, and will be eaufy
attended to. The publication of your last prodnoed
some furious attacks upon me, public and private; aad
the Aurora republished the piece with strong repro-
bation, contained in some comments of a very cuj io as
nature. The malice of the whole miserable crew of
time-servers and sectaries oi expediency having been
long since exhausted on my head, their itoadoas
efforts I despise as much as I do themselves. When
you write me again, I wish you to detail to me the
general outline of your case, the amount of the
whole debt, and other circumstances that may be
material for me to know. I will reinforce you with
such assistance as my limited powers can supply,
and I will pour into the ears of the few Congress-
men with whom my admonitions will be likely to
have weight, ''truths meet to be known/' But I
repeat to you again, and I repeat it with a serious-
ness which is intended to repress any sanguine hope,
that I have no expectations of success. If we had
men of sense to deal with, the case were iMx other-
wise ; but when we survey the phalanx of the fed-
eral foith, undoubtedly the flower of the erase in
sense and virtue, it is a meUmdioly truth that we
find them miserably deficient. I am not ibnd to
mention names; but, to confine oursdves to the
delegation of our own State, there are Lyman, Bart-
let, Wadsworth, Shepard, Vamum, Bishop, Otis,— all
miserably ignorant of what a legislator ought to know,
—that the government of a vast empire is not to be
administered upon miserable, narrow, General-Court
politics, by saving •* a few thousand dollars ^ here, and
a few thousand there, reganfless of the meant ; not,
in short, by lopping off necessities to encrease means,
instead of supplying encreased means to enoeased
necessities. Should I say to any of these, ** Behold
the plighted faith of the country broken! and behold
an opportunity, which may soon be wanting^ to
repair it ! Sieze this occasion, both on the groond
of principle and of policy ; of PrimcipU^ by doing
Justice to brave men who, with an honorable credu-
lity, trusted you, nobly trusted in your £uth at
a momentous era ; of F^icy^ as tending to wipe
away stains imputed by many to die RevoIotioQ.
Has it not been sakl that the Revolution had men
of violence, fraud, and treadiery in it than of honest
aim ? Has it not been said that the honest men of
the Revolutkm were made the scapegoats of the
raving demagogues ? And do you not, by withhold-
ing justice from these daimants whoavevetemis

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of the Revolution, do all in your power to confirm
these stigmas ? "

Should I address this language to any of these,
his answer would be, in plain Englbh, tho' sophist-
icated under a multiplicity of words : " It is not
expedient to pay these claims." This we deny, and
begin an argument with him on the new and abstract
<|nestion, which said argument we should better dis-
play our sagacity in addressing to your Barn-door.
** O judgment ! thou hast fled to Beasts, and Men

have lost their Reason.'' * » * * ^ who

is interested (and 1 am sorry for't) along with you,
has gone once more to jail to swindle his creditors.
He is a most profligate, blasphemous, enormous,
unprincipled villain, democrat and cheat. I pray
you avoid him in future. The commercial world
seems agitated as with its last convulsions. The
trade and the merchants of Baltimore groan, wholly
prostrate. Five of the most capital houses here
hare failed, and further ruin daily threatens. Fre-
quent fiulures occur at New York. One last week
for lour hundred thousand dollars, and one a short
time before for nine hundred thousand ; and I am
told Aat the great house of F. & S. Geyer of Boston
has failed. You talked in a former letter of going
into business again. I wish you would communi-
cate to me from time to time such circumstances
relating to your prospects, intentions, &c, as are
proper for roe to know, for there is no other person
left me in whom I take so deep an interest. If, in
the execution of any project you may entertain, a
few thousand dollars can be of any service to you, it
will give me sincere pleasure to be called upon by
yo«. There is no other purpose I can apply money
to so useful, honorable, pleasurable, or profitable in
tiie noUest sense, as that of contributing to your
convenience. * • * •

Vr. affectionate Jno. Ward Fknno.

Phila., March 19, 1800.

My Dear Friend : The pleasure I take in writ-
ing to you, would be the cause of your hearing from
me much oftener, had I more time and better spirits,
and the tax of postage were less exorbitant. Too
little attention seems to have been bestowed by
Government, on the important object (in this as
well as many other departments) of preserving its
friends fipom oppressive burthens. My postage
amounts to raatt than two hundred dollars a
year; no inconsiderable portion of which, is en-
countexvd in furthering objects immediately con-
nected with the defence of Government The incon-
venience I feel on this score, makes me cautious
towards my friends. Your last memorial has laid
on hand several days, owing to a variety of engage-
ments, and in order to avail myself of some open
moment when the houses were not occupied in
squabbles about Randolph and Robbins; lest it
diould be passed by, ** unheeded as the idle wind.*'

The influence of some evil spirit or other, has
paralyzed almost every remaining principle of dig-
nity or virtue; and more money is actually coosunked
in eulogies on a tlne^ and a pirate^ and a murderer,
than wmUd have retrieved the broken faith of Gov-

ernment, in the very instance of which we complain.
Our Legislators and Cabinet are composed of small
men, narrow-minded men — Salem men,

Stoddart advised, the other day, to laying aside
the building of the Seventy-fours. On being rallied
that he, being the Sec'y of the Navy, should advise
to the diminution of the Navy, he said that it was
Mr. Wolcott's fault, that Mr. W. said there was no
money. This is the ** eternal bUizon" they have
held up against the payment of your demand, when
it is palpable, even to a fool, that nothing can be
more shallow. It is a received opinion that free
governments cannot subsist without the intervention
of some artificial binding-power, whereby it must be
made the interest of the people to protect the system
under which they live. To a certain reasonable
point, therefore, the greater the National Debt be-
comes, the stronger the Government grows.

March 30.

Since I wrote you, a petition of Govr. Gill has
been rejected by Congress. It was, I believe, for
New Emission Bills, on nearly the sanie ground
with yours. I had some conversation on the sub-
ject with your old acquaintance, S. L. I believe he
is a very honest msm ; but (if a weak mortal may
venture to say so much of another) the veriest child
in understanding, that I ever conversed with. To
such men does the wisdom, even of the enlightened
Massachusetts, entrust her most momentous con-
cerns. L. says that Congress will never do anything
for you. I find myself oftentimes, really inclining
to misanthropy; so much villainy, treachery, and
business of every kind, do I everywhere meet with.
Nothing but my firm belief in an Omnipotent and
Just God, could have enabled me to preserve the
balance of my mind, thro' the trials I have encount-
ered at one time or other.

Reflection and experience have convinced one that
it will be in vain to look for moral principle or fidelity
to engagements, in the conduct of any Republican
Govt, whatever. It is all nonsense to talk about
what Republics might be, or what they ought to be ;
we know what they have been and what they are.
The Senate have lately been attempting to take hold
of Duane ; but he has hid himself, and laughs in
his sleeve at them. * * I have published your
last communication. Your pieces I perceive to be
noticed in various Gazettes, in all quarters. Preach-
ing to deaf ears. I fear you make yourself enemies
in Boston by the freedom with which you write and
speak. At your time of life, this is unpleasant. It
is not the strong grounds of your wrong that will
free you from the malicious sneers of the most illib-
eral, narrow-minded, hypocritical, false-hearted set
of people, that ever an imfortunate being's lot was
cast amongst * * * * It is altogether wrong
that you should longer continue to have your mind
distracted with this wretched affair. If it do not
shorten, it embitters your days. My hearty curses
rest upon the villains by whom you sufier.
Very truly 1 am

yr. afiectionate firiend,
Jno. Ward Fenno.

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(Condenaed from Jules Verne.)


The convalescence of the young invalid
was regulariy progressing. One thing only
was now to be desired, that his condition
would allow him to be brought to Granite
House. However well built and supplied
the corral house was, it could not be so
comfortable or secure as the healthy granite

It was the 29th of November, seven
o'clock in the evening. The three settlers
were talking in Harber^s room, when they
heard Top utter quick barks.

Cyrus.Smith, Pencroff; and Spilett seized
their guns and ran out of the house. Sud-
denly a body leaped over the palisade and
fell on the ground inside the corral.

It was Jupe, Master Jupe in person, and at
his neck hun^ a small bag, and in this bag
was found a httle note traced by Neb's hand.
It read :

" Friday, six o'clock in the morning.
" Plateau inraded by oonvicti.

Harbert, on seeing the engineer, the
reporter, and Pencroff re-enter, guessed
that their trouble was aggravated; and
when he saw Jupe, he no longer doubted
that some misforttme menaced Granite

" Captain Smith," said he, " I must go ; I
can bear the journey. I must go."

Gideon Spilett approached Harbert; then,
having looked at him,

" Let us go, then," said he.

The cart was brought Pencroff har-
nessed the onaga. Cyrus Smith and the
reporter raised Haibert's mattress and
placed it on the bottom of the cart. The
weather was fine. The sun's bright rajrs
glanced through the trees. The engineer
and Pencroff, each armed with a double-
barreled gxm, and Gideon Spilett carrying his
rifle, had nothing to do but start

"Are you comfortable, Harbert?" asked
the engineer.

"Ah, Captain ! " replied the lad. " Don't
be uneasy ; I shall not die on the road."

Cyrus ^nith and Gideon Spilett walked
one on each side of the cart, ready to
answer to any attack. However, it was not
probable that the convicts would have yet
left the plateau of Prospect Heights.

At length an opening in the trees allowed
the sea horizon to be seen. But the cart
continued its progress, for not one of hs
defenders thought of abandoning it

At that moment Pencroff pointed to a
thick smoke rising firom the mill, Ae sheds
and the buildings at the poultry-jrard. A
man was moving about in the midst of the
smoke. It was Neb. His companions
uttered a shout He heard, and ran to
meet them. The convicts had left the pla-
teau nearlv half an hour before, after having
devastated it

Harbert had hardly reached Gnmke
House before he tinted away.

chapter VII.

Harbert's critical state now outweighed
all other considerations.

After recovering fix)m his swoon, the bul
fell into a kind of feverish sleep, and the
reporter and Pencroff remained constancy
near the bed.

It was soon evident that Harbert was
now seized by an intermittent fever, and
this fever must be cured at any cost befoie
it should assume a more serious aspect

"And in order to cure it," said Spilett to
C)rrus Smith, " we need a febriftige."

"A febriftige?" answered the engineo*.
"We have neither Peruvian bark nor sul-
phate of quinine."

"No," said Gideon Spilett, "but there
are willows on the border of the lake, and
the bark of the willow might, perhiq)s, prove
to be a substitute iix quinine."

" Let us try it without losing a moment,"
replied Cyrus Smith.

The engineer went himself to cut a few
pieces of bark fix)m the trunk of a species
of black willow; he brought them back to
Granite House and reduced them to a pow-
der, which was administered that same
evening to Harbert. But the relief was
only temporary. Harbert gradually grew
worse from day to day.

During the night of the 8th of December
he was seized by a more violent delirium.
His liver was fearftilly congested, his brain
afiected, and aheady it was impossible for
him to recognize any one. It was evident
that he now had a malignant fever.

Toward three o'dodc in the morning

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Harbert uttered a piercing cry. He seemed
to be torn by a supreme convulsion. Neb,
wbo was near him, terrified, ran into the
next room, where his companions were

Top at that moment barked in a stiange

All rushed in immediately and managed
to restrain the dying boy, who was endeavor-
ing to throw himself out of his bed, while
Spilett, taking his arm, felt his pulse gradu-
ally quicken.

Suddenly Pencroff, uttering a cry, pointed
to the table.

On it lay a httle oblong box,, the cover
of which bore these words :

"Sulphate of Quinine."


Gideon Spilett took the box and opened
it It contained neariy two hundred grains
of a white powder, a few particles of which
he carried to his lips. It was certainly
quinine. This powder must be adminis-
tered without delay. How it came there
might be discussed later.

In a few moments Neb brought a cup of
coffee. Gideon Spilett threw into it about
eighteen grains of quinine, and thejr suc-
ceed in making Haibert drink the mixture.
Under this treatment the next day some
improvement in Harberfs condition was
apparent Certainly he was not out of
danger, but the most assiduous care was
bestowed on him. And, besides, the speci-
fic was at hand ; nor, doubtless, was he who
had brought it fiu* distant Ten days 'after,
on the 20th of December, Harbert's conva-
lescence commenced.

As soon as Harbert had fiilly recovered,
the colonists made another expedition to
explore the coast near Reptile End, and to
discover, if possible, the whereabouts of the
pirates. Finding no trace of them, they
decided to approach the corral and attempt
its capture, if it should be held by the

In the darkness the reporter and Pencroff
advanced to reconnoiter.

Spilett grasped his companion's hand, and
both crept toward the conal, their guns ready
to fire.

They reached the gate without the dark-
ness being ilhiminat^ by a single ray of

Pencroff tried to push open the gate,
which, as the reporter and he had supposed,
was closed. However, the sailor was able
to ascertain that the outer bars had not been

put up. It might, then, be concluded that
the convicts were there in the corral, and
that very probably they had fastened the
gate in sudi a way that it could not be forced
open. Within everything was quiet

In a few minutes the others were nuide
acquainted with the state of affairs.

Without hesitating, the little band moved
toward the palisade. The engineer, the
reporter, Harbert, and Pencroff proceeded
to the door to ascertain if it was barricaded

It was open !

"What do you say now?" asked the
engineer, turning to the sailor and Spilett

" I can swear," said Pencroff, " fiiat this
gtite was shut just now ! "

As all five cautiously advanced, they saw
a feeble light glimmering through the win-
dow fronting them.

Smith signed to his companions not to
stir, and approached the window, then feebly
lighted by the inner light He gazed into
the apartment On the taUe burned a lan-
tern. Near the table was the bed formerly
used by Ayrton. On the bed lay the body
of a man. Suddenly Cyrus Smith drew back.

" Ayrton I " he exclauned.

Immediately the door was forced rather
than opened, and the colonists rushed into
the room.

Ayrton appeared to be asleep. His coun*
tenance showed that he had long and cruelly
sufiered. On his wrists and ankles could be
seen great bruises.

" Ayrton ! " cried the engineer.

"Where am I?"

" In the house in the corral !"



" But they will come back !" cried Ayrton.
" Defend yourselves ! defend yourselves ! "

And he fell back exhausted

"Spilett," exclaimed the engineer, "we
may be attacked at any moment Bring the
cart into the conal. Then barricade the
door, and all come back here."

But, at that moment. Top, breakmg loose,
began to bark furiously and rush to the back
of the corral, to the right of the house.

The colonists raised their pieces, and
waited the moment to fire. Top still baiked,
and Jupe, running toward the dog, uttered
shrill ones. The cok>nists followed him, and
reached the borders of the litde stream,
shaded by large trees. And there, in the
light of the moon, which had just arisen,
what did they see ? Five corpses, stretched
on the bank ! They were those of the con-

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victs who, four months previously, had landed
on Lincoln Island !


As soon as he was able, Ayrton recounted
what had happened, or at least as much
as he knew. The day after his arrival at
the corral, on the loth of November, at
nightfall, he was surprised by the convicts,
who had scaled the palisade. They bound
and gagged him ; then he was led to a dark
cavern, at the foot of Mount Franklin, where
the convicts had taken refuge.

At last, weakened by ill-treatment, he fell
into a prostration so profound that sight and
hearing failed him. From that moment,
that is to say, since the last two days, he
could give no information whatever of what
had occurred.

" But, CapUin Smith," he added, "since
I was imprisoned in that cavern, how is it
that I find myself in the corral ? "

" How is it that the convicts are lying
yonder dead in the middle of the inclosure ? "
answered the engineer.

Ayrton was astounded. Smith and his
companions looked at him without uttering
a word. On a sign from the engineer. Neb
and Pencroff examined the bodies, already
stiffened by the cold. They bore no appar-
ent trace of any wound. Only, after care-
fully examining them, Pencroff found on the
forehead of one, on the chest of another, on
the back of this one, on the shoulder of that,
a little red spot^ a sort of scarcely visible
bruise, the cause of which it was impossible
to conjecture.

Ayrton now informed them that the
" Bonadventure " had been captured and
run aground by the convicts. It was agreed
that this loss should be repaired as soon as
possible. Six months would be required for
the construction of a new vessel. Measures
were taken at once toward building a vessel
of 300 tons. The colonists were now much
in the woods felling and carting the lumber,
and rapid progress was made with the work.

The winter was passed with very litde
incident; but in the first days of spring
occiured an event of great importance.

On the 7th of September, Cyrus Smith,
having observed the crater, saw smoke
curling round the summit of the mountain,
its first vapors rising in the air.


The colonists, warned by the engineer,
left their work and gazed in silence at the
summit of Mount Franklin.

The volcano had awaked, and tlie vapor
had penetrated the mineral layer heaped up
at the bottom of the crater. But would the
subterranean fires provoke any violent en^
tion ? This was an event which could not
be foreseen. However, even while admit-
ting the possibility of an eruption, it was
not probable that the whole of Linooln
Island would suffer fitmi it The fk>'w oC
volcanic matter is not always disastrous,
and the island had already undergone this
trial, as was shown by the streams of lava
hardened on the northern slopes of the
mountains. Besides, from the shape of the
crater — thp opening broken in the upper
edge — ^the matter would be thrown to the
side opposite the fertile regions of the island.
Every moment was devoted to finishing the
schooner. When night came the workmen
were really quite exhausted.

One evening, on the 15th of October, the
six colonists all being present, the conversa-
tion was prolonged later than usuaL It was
nine o'clcK:k. Already long, badly concealed
yawns gave warning of the hour of rest,
when the electric beU, placed in die dining-
room, suddenly rang.

The engineer rose. His companions
stared at each other, scarcely beUeving their

" The weather is stormy," observed Har-
bert " Might not electricity ''

Smith went to the apparatus, and sent
this question to the conal :

"What do you want?"

A few moments later the needle, movmg
on the alphabet dial, gave this reply:

"Come to the corral immediately."

At last the mystery was about to be
unveiled. The cdonists' fatigue had disap-
peared before the tremendous interest which
was about to urge them to the corral, and
all wish for rest had ceased. Without having
uttered a word, in a few moments they had
left Granite House, and were standing on
the beach.

At ten o'clock a vivid flash showed them
the palisade, and as they reached the gate
the storm burst forth with tremendous fuiy.

Probably the house was occupied by the
stranger, since it was thence that the tele-
gram had been sent However, no light
shone through the window.

The engineer opened the door, and the
setders entered the room, which was per-
fectly dark. A light was struck by Neb,

Online LibraryFrancis HallThe Century, Volume 11 → online text (page 153 of 163)