George Hooker Colton.

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of a blue so delicate and soft ? Do you
see below yonder those tall poplars almost
hidden in the mists of the stream ? Do you
see yonder b: rk, that glides so slowly by
that bank, which is almost concealed by
flowers ? Well, then, my Giulia, if you will
come with me to France, with me, who
love you more than I love myself, more than
I love my brothers and my sisters, such are
the lovely views that we shall have inces-
santly beneath our eyes, and we shall enjoy
them together, for there we shall be united."

" Ah, but why, my Fiorentino," replied
Giulia, resigning her hand to the young
man's Hps, " why should we go so far to
seek the pleasures that we can find here in
this fair Italy, where we were both born ?"

" But do you not know, Giulia, that if we
remain here we shall never be united ? Do
you not know that another spouse is already
chosen for you ? Can you live happy far
from Fiorentino ? Do you wish that, see-
ing you in the power of my rival, I should
die with grief at your feet ? Oh, my Giulia,
your heart is pure and calm as the waves of
this quiet lake, but mine is agitated and
stormy as the sea in its fury. Do not
arouse the tempest which now scarcely sleeps
in my bosom."

" Is it true, then, that you love me, Fio-
rentino?"

"Love you?"

He was interrupted by Vanina, who,
placing her hand upon Giulia's shoulder,
said, with a glance that was veiled with
tears :

" Good morrow, Vanina !"

Giulia started.

" This is the first time that she has utter-
ed her name," she said, whispering in Fio-
lentino's ear.

" I will not carry the trial farther at pres-
ent," he said, in a low voice ; " it is enough
for one day."

" You have returned to me then, Vanina ?"
said the maniac. " I thought that you were
dead, it is so long since I have seen you."

" You remember me, then ?" said Giulia.

" Ah, yes, I well remember having seen
you long since in a lovely meadow with
your betrothed."

"My betrothed?"

" Yes, your betrothed, the Signor "

12



170



Unwritten Music.



August,



She passed her hand across her brow, as
if to recall her remembrances.

" The Signer Fioreutino ?" said Giulia.

" No, no, it was the Captain — the Captain
Hector Fiaramonti ; you were married, and
you were very unhappy — yes, very unhap-
py !" she murmured in a dreamy tone.

And she sank into a profound revery.

" Let us leave her," said Fiorentino, ad-
dressing Giuha.

They rose and walked away, but the
young girl did not perceive their departure.
She remained seated in tiie same spot, mo-
tionle: s, with her eyes fixed upon the grour.d.

" Well !" said the Prince to Fiorentino.

*' Inquire of Signorina Giulia," replied the
young man; "she will inform you that I
have made more progress in one hour than
the Signor Pezzolini has made in a year."

*' I know not what to think of it," said
the beautiful Giulia, "but your daughter
has pronounced her name, and although her
words were incoherent, as usual, yet her
mind has succeeded in seizing some remem-
brance of the past."

This slight success transported the un-



happy father with joy, who, from this mo-
ment, looked upon his daughter as restored
to him.

"Do not yield to joy so prematurely,"
said the Signor Pezzolini ; " hope too early
cherished adds cruel stings to disappoint-
ment."

" But have you not yourself told me," re-
plied the Prince, " that on the day when my
daughter should pronounce her name, and
recall past remembrances, her cure would be
almost cei tain ?"

" Yes, Prince, but in the case that I alone
guided the progress of her cure, because then
I should have been con^'inced that this result
was due to my cares, and not to chance.
But let us wait, and witness Signor Fioren-
tino's second trial, which he has promised
on the morrow, I believe."

" Yes, Signor, on the morrow ; and I can
answer for it in advance, that to-morrow, as
to-day, chance will ever be favorable to me."

" Ever ?" said Captain Fiaramonti, casting
a glance of irony upon Fiorentino.

" I hope so," replied the latter, measuring
him with a calm, cold gaze.



[concluded in our next.]



UNWRITTEN MUSIC



W'e hear its low and dreamy tone,

Like some sweet angel-spell,
Among the wood-haunts, wild and lone,

Wliere the young violets dwell;
Where the deep sunset-flush hath thrown

Its glory on the sea,
We linger for its ceaseless moan,

That wordless minstrelsy !

The primal world its echoes woke

When first the ardent Sun,
In all his fresh'ning day-spring, broke.

His regal race to run :
It floated through those lonely skies,

Each immemorial hill.
Where now such countless cities rise,

The might of human will ■

The cavern'd depths of the wild sea,

That gather in their lair
Such shrieks of mortal agony,

Such pleadings of despair!
Upon their turgid billows wreathed.

Such lulling strains have sped,
As if their charnel-waters breathed

No requiem for the dead !

Oh ! earth hath not a lonely plain

Unblest by mystic song ;
The diapason of the main.

Its anthem to prolong !

Brooklyn, Juiy 8th, 1851.



The seaman, in his home-fraught dream,

Upon the moonlit waves.
Hears, in its undulating stream,

The music of sea-caves !

Through Hippocrene's violet fount

The haunting Spirit rung ;
To every old Ihessalian mount

Its storied legends clung I
It filled the wild Baotian hiUs,

With fabled visions blent,
And murmured through the Pythian rills —

A melody unspent !

An incense-breath upon the wind,

For morning's glorious dower ;
A fairy-spell, the heart to bind

At noontide's languid hour:
A voice the forest-child hath sought

By every glade and stream,
Uut most, at twilight's hour of thought,

Half-shadow and half-dream !

A song upon the summer-prime.

Of gladness and of praise ;
A voice that bids the vintage-time

Its choral tribute raise :
A tone ubiquitous and free,

A deathless music given ;
A strain of immortality,

An attribute of Heaven ! C.



1851.



David A. Bokee.



ITI



DAVID A. BOKEE.



One of tlie most glorious results of a free
Goverumenfc is the kindly influence it exerts
in the development of Intellect. Under
its institutions the Ava^it of rank, fortune, or
early schohistic training, opposes no insur-
mountable obstacles to advancement. The
ardent soul and the energetic mind may
gaze upward, tuid move onward in the path-
way of hope and honorable ambition, un-
fettered by prejudices, and unimpeded by
social distinctions. Man, with virtuous pur-
poses, may avail himself of all his faculties
to become great, honored, and useful, with
every thing to excite his action, and no con-
ventional barriers to check him in his noble
career ! The blessings of living under such
a Government cannot be too deeply im-
pressed upon those who enjoy them ; more
particularly the rising generation, into whose
hands its guardianship must fall, and whose
sacred duty it will become to transmit the
institutions of their country unimpaired to
their successors — au inviolalable legacy.

We know of no means better calculated
to enhance the res])ect and affection of a
citizen for his Government than by pointing-
out the incentives to virtuous ambition which
its institutions oft'er, especially as illustrated
in the career of those who have attained an
honorable distinction, under disadvantages
which in a less favored country A\'ould be
deemed insurmountable. It is the biography
of SELF-MADE MEN which afFords the most
useful lessons to the youth of a country like
ours. They are thus taught the rewards of
perseverance and merit, and the vanity of
mere social position and adventitious aids
in the struggle for honor and distinction.
It is, therefore, with undisguised pleasure
that we present to our readers the sub-
ject of this brief memoir, as emphatically a
SELF-MADE MAN, and oue who is destined, we
hope, to a long career of public usefulness.

David A. Bokee was born in the city
of New- York, in October, 1805. He is
descended from the old Knickerbockers, a
race too well known for their deep energy of
character, their strong minds, their honesty



and patriotism, to need any euloglum here
Uis paternal ancestors, Abraham Bockee.
and Wolfert Webber, were among the
earliest settlers in New- York, and were
among the nine grantees of a large tract of
land in Dutchess and the adjoining counties,
called the " Nine Partners' Grant." Wolfert
Webber was an aldermau of the outer ward
of New- York as e^xrly as 16C8, and was con-
sidered one of the most substantial and
useful citizens of his time.

The subject of this sketch had the mis-
fortune to lose his father before he wa& Jive
years old, and the care of him devolving
upon relatives, he obtained only the advan-
tages of a common school education. While
at school he was distinguished for his apt-
ness, especially in Biathematics, in which
science his attainments soon reached the ex-
tent of his teacher's capacity to instruct him.
At the eai'ly age of twelve 3'ears he left
school to battle with the world alone, with-
out the aid of friends or fortune. Entirely
through his own exertions he obtained a
situation in a counting-house, and, sustained
by the indomitable perseverence of his char-
acter, and a proud spirit of independence,
he was soon enabled, by his industry, in-
tegrity, and intelligence, to win the confi-
dence and esteem of his employers. Since
the time of entering their service, a period
of about thirty-three years, Mr. Bokee has
been connected with the mercantile interests
of New- York, and has been universally
known and respected among that honorable
and important class of citizens who are en-
gaged in commercial pursuits.

At eighteen years old Mr. Bokee's mer-
cantile acquhements were of a nature to fit
him for a better position than it was in the
power of his employers to afford him ; and
an opportuuity oft'ering to establish himself in
business, he removed to Georgetown, South
Carohna, where his mercantile knowledge,
his integrity of character, and habits of in-
dustry, won him popularity and esteem, so
that he was early elected, and frequently
served, as an alderman of the town. During



172



David A. BoJcee.



August,



his residence in Georgetown, Mr. Bokee en-
joyed the first opportunity of distinguishing
himself for patriotic attachment to the Union.
The sheriff of the county being in ill-heaUh,
it devolved upon Mr. Bokee as deputy to
fill his place, during the hottest of the nulli-
fication strife in South Carolina ; and his
prompt, fearless, and considerate discharge
of his duties made such an impression upon
the friends of the Union, that he ivas nomi-
nated as their candidate/or the office of sheriff
at the ensuing election, and, notwithstanding
the excitement which existed, and the preju-
dices arrayed against him as a Northern
man, he was only beaten by some ffty
votes !

Mr. Bokee was married in Georgetown,
S. C, and has six children. In the year
1834 he returned to this State, and took up
his residence in the city of Brooklyn. He
immediately formed a connection with one of
the largest and most respectable mercantile
houses in Pearl street. New- York, with
which he remained until he was induced to
take a situation as an Under-writer in Wall
street, in which position he has formed an
extensive and favorable acquaintance among
the leading merchants of the city.

In 1839 Mr. Bokee was elected an Alder-
man of the City of Brooklyn, and remained
in the Board until he became senior mem-
ber and President thereof. He also served,
for successive terms, with much credit to him-
self, and eflficiency for the party, as Chairman
of the Young Men's Whig Committee, and
of the Whig General Committee of Brook-
lyn. On the adoption of the new Constitu-
tion, when Kings county became a senatorial
district, he was nominated by the Whig
party as their candidate, and elected to the
State Senate by fourteen hundred majority,
notwithstanding that the Whigs of his coun-
ty had been defeated but a few months before
in the Judicial elections.

As a Senator, Mr. Bokee was distinguished
for his industry, perseverance, and business
trlents, and for his fearless and manly advo-
cacy of whatever he thought to be right.
For these qualities he was selected as chair-
man of several important special committees,
and particularly of the Committee of Inves-
tigation on the affairs of the Canal Bank, in
which capacity he made an able report, ex-
posing so completely the monstrous frauds of
that institution, as to excite public indigna-
tion against it to the highest degree, while



he won enviable applause for his honesty and
independence.

Ere he had closed his senatorial career,
his well-deserved popularity, and the high
order of talents he had evinced, pointed out
Mr. Bokee to the Whigs of his district as
their most eligible candidate for Congress.
He accordingly received the nomination, and
was elected triumphantly, over two opponents,
by a majority of between tivo and three thou-
sand votes ! The first session of his attend-
ance in the National Legislature was one of
the stoi-miest through which our country has
ever passed, and will be remembered as
long as the history of the Republic shall
exist. The long-smouldering embers of dis-
sension on the question of African slavery
burst into a flame which threatened the dis-
solution of the Union and the destruction of
our glorious Institutions. The wisest states-
men, and the purest patriots of the age,
aroused by a sense of the imminent danger
to American liberty, threw their mightiest
energies into the conflict, and, forgetful of pre-
vious differences, of personal ambition and of
party strife, labored nobly together, with
hearts united as one by the holiest senti-
ments of patriotic devotion, to rescue their
beloved country from the impending peril !
Side by side with these, with all his energies
bent to useful ends, and disdaining, in the
frankness and fearlessness of his nature, the
slightest concealment of his opinions, was
David A. Bokee, always a patriot, and
friend of the Union ! vl

In the protracted dfeBates of the session
Mr. Bokee took no prominent part : a natural
diffidence of his abilities as a pubhc speaker,
for which his previous career was not such
as to have qualified him, and an appreciable
modesty, deterred him from attempts at rhe-
torical display in an arena where the first
orators of the age were pitted together ; but
his talents, his judgment, his industry, and
his business habits soon gained him the re-
spect and appreciation of his fellow members ;
and his ser\aces in the passage of the Com-
promise measures thi-ough the House of
Representatives were as essential as those of
any member thereof. It was in great part
through his exertions that the New- York
delegation cast so large a number of votes for
those measures, and had the emergency de-
manded it, through his pei-severance and tact
two more notes were ready to have been
given in their favor.



1851.



David A. Bokee.



173



Mr. Bokee's energy of character, business
qualifications, and untiring industry were
sensibly and favorably felt, during his labors
as a Representative, especially where the in-
terests of his immediate constituents or his
own State were concerned ; and his frank
manners, generous disposition, and gentle-
manly deportment made him a universal fa-
vorite with his compeers and associates. Dur-
ing the last session of Congress Mr. Bokee
on more than one occasion gave evidence of
a readiness and power in debate entirely un-
looked for even by his warmest friends and
admirers, who were aware of the absence of
all pretension on his part as a public speaker,
and which afford promise of extended useful-
ness in his rising career as a statesman. In
connection with this subject it will not be
inappropriate for us to refer to an oration
dehvered on the Fourth of July last by Mr.
Bokee in Brooklyn, which ranks in our esti-
mation among the most eloquent and patri-
otic ever delivered on that glorious occasion,
and a few extracts from which our readers
will readily excuse.

The exordium of Mr, Bokee is classic, and
in good taste : —

" There are times and seasons when it is proper
for men, in travelling the journey of life, to pause
and take a retrospect of the past, that they may
see what progress they have made, and whether
they have deviated from the right course ; and
that they may also look foi-ward and take as ex-
tensive a survey of their future route, as their own
vision and the suiTounding objects will permit.
No wise man, indeed, will allow himself to neglect
these proper occasions of self-examination in regard
to the past, and serious contemplation of the fu-
ture.

" The same may be said of nations. With them
there are recurrences of important epochs, when
the people are emphatically called upon to pause
and reflect ; to contemplate the past and survey
the future. Can there be a more fitting occasion
for such a pause and for such examination than
upon the arrival of another national birthday ?
This is an annual resting-place, and it will be well
for us to seize the opportunity it offers to deepen
the impression and refresh our recollections of the
events with which it is in every mind associated.
Circumstances of a momentous character that have
lately transpired, and are now agitating the public
mind, give additional interest to these events, and
add greatly to the duty of the American people
rightly to appreciate the blessings which flow
from them, and which have made us a great and
happy nation."

The orator then gives a brief but compre-
hensive view of the first settlement of the
American colonies ; refers to the diversity of



feelings and sentiments among the colonists,
and paints forcibly the powerful causes which
brought them, through compromise and
mutual concession, into one harmonious and
united nation.

" The colonies wliich were planted in North
America, and which at the commencement of that
noble struggle which resulted so gloriously to them,
were commenced at different periods, by different
persons, and for diff'erent purposes. They were
distant from each other, separated by an unexplor^
wilderness filled with wild beasts, and wild men,
much more to be dreaded than the most savage
and dangerous animals, and had little communica-
tion or sympathy for each otlier. They were nei-
ther all of one race or language, nor was there a
community of interest or religion to bind them
together as one people. So far from this, there
existed among some of them strong feelings of hos-
tility, growing out of those embittered religious
contests that had disturbed the peace of England
before they had left their parent land, for these
then western wilds. The Cavalier of Virginia,
Maryland and South Carolina, saw in the New-
Englander the same sturdy, bigoted Puritan, who
had kindled his ire, and against whom he had
drawn his sword in the conflicts between Puritan-
ism and Prelacy, or Protestantism and Papistry
in Old England. And the Puritan beheld his old
enemies settled upon the same continent, but at
such a distance, and beyond such intervening ob-
stacles, that there was little prospect of their ever
being brought into proximity or association with
each other.

" Between these, and the staid, cool, and imper-
turbable settlers of New- Amsterdam, there was lit-
tle affinity or intercourse, and sometimes even hos-
tihties. Such were the disjointed members of that
confederacy which was afterwards formed, and
which eventually became a well-cemented Union.

" And what, let me ask you, fellow-citizens, were
those causes — powerful, indeed, they must have
been — which overcame the repulsive force of these
scattered members, and united them in a firm, fra-
ternal, national band ? What were tlie causes
which brought the Cavalier, the Roundhead, and
the sturdy Dutchman to forget former antipathies,
to embrace as brothers, and to pledge their lives,
their fortunes, and their sacred honor to stand by
each other in the deadly conflict they had em-
barked in ?

" It was the love of Liberty ; it was a firm re-
solve never to be deprived of the rights of free-
men."

Of the difficulties which the early revo-
lutionists encountered, especially those who
were in favor of declaring the colonies in-
dependent, he speaks eloquently and feel-
ingly, and accords to John Adams, from
whose autobiography he quotes some ex-
tracts not generally known, all the credit
which is so eminently due him, as one of
the fothers of the Revolution. Mr. Adams
was for independence, and the following



174



David A. Bohee.



August,



fine passage from Mr. Bokee's oration
throws light upon that period of his career,
and tends still more to consecrate his mem-
ory in the hearts of his countrymen : —

" But there were those who were faithful to the
cause, that were unprepared for the great step
whicli was taken in the Eevolution, declaring the
Colonies independent, and were even shocked at
the suggestion of such a procedure! Will you
believe it, fellow-citizens, that when this idea first
got out through a private letter which had been
intercepted, and published by order of General
Gage, the author was shunned, even by members
of the Congress of '76, as a dangerous person !
Mr. Adams was the writer of that letter, and after
its publication, he says, ' I was avoided like a man
having the leprosy. I walked the streets of Phila-
delphia in solitude, borne down by the weight
of care and unpopularity.' And this account is
confirmed by Dr. Rush, who says, ' I saw this gen-
tleman (Mr. Adams) walk the streets of Philadel-
phia aloue, after the publication of his intercepted
letttr in our newspapers, in 1775, an object of
nearly universal scorn and detestation !' Such,
fellow-citizens, was the odium which in Philadel-
phia fell upon those who dared even to hint at
independence, as late as the fall of 1775, some
months after the battle of Bunker's Hill, and after
General Washington had taken command of the
American army ! Am I not then borne out, in
saying that the labor of those great men who pre-
pared the public mind for separation from the
mother country — who led the way to independ-
ence, and who toiled in Congress to sustain the army
and the conflict in the long years of a doubtful
struggle, and of gloomy prospects — was no holi-
day labor, no drawing-room amusement ? Nothing
less than the most sacred conviction of the just-
ness of their cause, the inborn love of liberty which
belongs to freemen, and a firm rehance on the
goodness and justice of that Providence who had
ever watched over the destinies of North America,
could have sustained and encouraged them in
those times that literally and emphatically ' tried
men's souls.'

" But they were borne up through all trials,
hardships, and difficulties, and had the satisfiiction
of seeing their country take her place among the
nations of the earth, as their acknowledged equal.
And here a reflection is forced upon us. John
Adams was the first Minister who represented tlie
United States at the Court of St. James, after the
peace of '83, and the acknowledgment by Great
Britain of our independence ; and what a contrast
must there have been in his feelings when he stood
before George the Third, the proud representative
of a nation of freemen, and when he walked the
streets of Philadelphia, 'an object of nearly uni-
versal scorn and detestation,' because he had in a
private letter dared to hint at independence!
Amply was he dien repaid for all the odium that
had been attempted to be cast upon him for being
six months in advance of some other members of
Congress, and well might he afford to forget their
scorn and contumely."

The want of space prevents us from quot-



ing as fully as we could wish from this
admirable address. Briefly, but clearly,
and in eloquent and energetic terms, Mr.
Bokee describes the difficulties which sur-
rounded the framers of the Constitution : —

" The Constitution was brought into existence
by compromise. Had each member of the Con-
vention, and each section of the country adhered
pertinaciously and unyieldingly to its own views
and wishes, the delegates must have separated
without accomplishing the glorious work which
.stands as an everlasting monument of their for-
bearance, conciliatory spirit and wisdom. What
the condition of this countiy would now have been
had they thus separated, and what the contrast
between what it would have been and what it now
is, I must leave to the imagination of those who



Online LibraryGeorge Hooker ColtonThe American review : a Whig journal of politics, literature, art, and science (Volume 14) → online text (page 17 of 89)