Leaves from the Life of Alexander Hamilton

by John M. Wilson

Every reader has heard of the infamous speculation which is still known by the name of the South Sea Bubble. It produced a mania in the mercantile world, and brought ruin and misery to the hearths of thousands. Many who laid their head upon their pillow at night believing themselves to be rich, awoke beggars in the morning. Now, at the time when the South Sea scheme was at its height, there resided in Newcastle a Mr Hamilton, who had come from the neighbourhood of Peebles, when but a mere boy, as a clerk to a merchant; but he possessed much of the caution, the sobriety, and the prudence for which many of his countrymen are noted; and he not only obtained the confidence of his employers, but rose to be an eminent merchant himself. For more than thirty years he carried on business prosperously; he was believed to be wealthy, and he was so. But he had always been a speculative man, one whose temperament was too ardent, and he entered into the South Sea project with his whole heart, embarking in it his entire capital. He was a widower, and had an only son, named Alexander, who, at the age of twenty-one, he took into partnership with himself. The senior Mr Hamilton was a man who well knew the painful labour attending self-teaching, for he had himself experienced it; and, though he had always intended his son to be a merchant, he had sent him to Cambridge for his education, saying, “A British merchant is a citizen of the world, and stands in greater need of more languages than one, than a divine does. Therefore, my son shall be a scholar.”

Alexander accordingly passed through his academical studies with credit to himself; and, as has been said, when he had attained the age of twenty-one, his father took him into partnership. But before he was twenty-three he married Isabella Anderson, the daughter of a gentleman who was then his father’s principal clerk, but who had himself been an extensive merchant, until misfortune reduced him to the situation which he then occupied. She was somewhat younger than Alexander; and although a lovely girl, yet her virtues and the sweetness of her temper far exceeded her personal attractions. The elder Mr Hamilton, being aware of her many excellent qualities, though he knew her to be portionless, was not averse to her marriage with his son. But they had not been married twelve months, when the high-blown bubble burst, and the old merchant found himself a beggar. He took it deeply to heart, and, in the language of the mercantile world, he never raised his head again; but he sat sighing and pining away, like a broken-hearted child, and within six weeks he sank into the grave a ruined man.

Alexander, finding that the firm was indeed bankrupt, and that there was but little prospect of his again succeeding in Newcastle, where his pride revolted from becoming the servant of others, left his young wife with her father, and proceeded to London, where he doubted not but that amongst those who had received from his parent many thousands of pounds, he should soon be enabled to obtain a situation which would enable him to support himself and his Isabella in comfort.

His purse was, in truth, light when he arrived in the metropolis; and having taken lodgings in a mean coffee-house in Ratcliffe Highway, he despatched a note to a gentleman with whom they had dealt extensively, and, without entering into particulars, requested the loan of twenty pounds. He wrote, because he was conscious that he had not the assurance to solicit the favour personally; and he did solicit it, knowing that, before he could obtain a situation in London, money to support him in the interim was necessary. From that gentleman he received an answer by the bearer of his own note, in which no notice was taken of his father’s misfortunes or death; but the writer penned his reply as though he were aware of neither, and expressed his regret that, during the day, a circumstance occurred which deprived him of the pleasure he should have felt in serving Mr Hamilton; and that he was extremely sorry he could not then accommodate him with the trifle he requested. He added, in continuance, that he supposed, from the place from whence Mr Hamilton’s letter was dated, that his embarrassment proceeded from some youthful frolic, and he considered that the best method of discharging the debts of such creditors, was to give their persons over to the power of the magistrates.

“Such, then,” exclaimed Alexander, tearing the letter in pieces, “such is the friendship of this world!”

He was aware that the person to whom he had written was acquainted with the ruined fortunes of his house; and it was gall to his spirit to find that he not only wrote as if ignorant of them, but addressed him with the unfeeling familiarity of cold politeness, attributing to the folly of youth what he well knew to be the effect of misery and ruin.

He applied to another without obtaining any answer whatever; and the third to whom he applied, having read his note, sent a verbal message by the bearer, saying, “Tell Mr Hamilton that Mr —— is not at home.”

Indignant at the treatment of supposed friends, on the evening of the second day he discharged his bill at the coffee-house (on doing which he had but a few shillings left), and resolved to call personally upon an old college associate who had been often obliged to him, and who then was indebted to him more than a hundred pounds. This university companion, after coming of age, had fitted up a house in a style of absurd extravagance in Leicester Square.

I should have told you that, previous to Alexander’s proceeding to London, he had been compelled to dispose of the best part of his apparel to support his wife and himself, and, at the time we speak of, his appearance was what ought to be termed shabby genteel. He proceeded to the house of his friend, and striking upon the huge brass knocker, in the absence of the porter, a pert little French valet, with powdered hair, peeped cautiously from behind the door, and surveying him with a glance of aversion and contempt, in which he no doubt set him down to be a dun, he inquired—“Vat you vant, fellow?”

“The Honourable Edward Stafford, your master,” said Alexander, firmly.

“Mon Dieu! ha! ha! ha!” said the little Gaul, and attempted to thrust the door in his face; but Alexander, perceiving his intention, thrust forth his hand with a force that made the door fly back upon its hinges, and caused the huge brass knocker to sound an unusual and unceremonious alarm through the house, and at the same time drove the little powdered piece of foreign impertinence upon his back at the further end of the lobby.

“Moorder! moorder!” shouted the little valet, sprawling upon his back, and kicking with his feet upon the floor, till kitchen-maids, housekeeper, cook, butler, and all the personages in the Honourable Edward Stafford’s establishment, came rushing around him, holding up their hands.

O sacra Marie!” cried the little valet, as they raised him to his feet; “de tief! de savage! vould commit von moorder!—Ma foi! it be de miracle I be alive!” and, gathering himself upon his hands and knees, he muttered, eyeing him askance—“Je voudrais qu’il s’en allat!

The Honourable Edward Stafford rushed also to the lobby, arrayed in a dressing-gown, having sprung from the hands of a hair-dresser, who was performing a piece of work upon his ringlets for which he did not consider the valet qualified; and, to give additional effect to the figure which he now made in the midst of his servants, he appeared with the one side of his head in curls, while a comb was left sticking in the other.

“What! in the name of the Tower of Babel!” cried, or rather squeaked, Mr Stafford—“what is the meaning of this?”

Alexander, whose natural humour returned at the risible scene before him, approached smiling; and, extending his hand, said—“What! don’t you know me, Ned?”

“Back! back!” exclaimed the honourable and gentle Edward Stafford; “the effluvia of thy garments is poison to my nostrils! Faugh!—know thee—why thou art a moving tar barrel!” There was some cause for this last remark; for Alexander had slept with the common seamen during his passage to London, and his clothes yet bore witness to the pitchy fragrance of his bed-chamber. But Mr Stafford calling for an opera-glass, raised it to his eye, and, surveying him for a few moments, inquired—“Why, who are you? Your face—I have seen it somewhere! Who are you?”

“Have you forgot Cambridge and Alexander Hamilton?” said the other.

“Sandy Hamilton!” exclaimed Stafford, rising an inch, as if in surprise—“we always called you Sandy. But, come, let me hear this lark—’tis a prime one, I will vow, from your appearance; and yet you were no lad for life either,” he added, as he coldly held out his forefinger, and turned to conduct him into an apartment.

Alexander, having related to him his present situation requested from him payment of such a portion of his college debt as he might find convenient.

“A plaguy odd affair, ’pon my honour!” drawled out Stafford; “but I’m sorry I can’t oblige you just at this moment. Never was a poor dog so confoundedly dunned! I am obliged to bilk the bailiffs at every corner. ’Pon my word, Sandy, I have had as many Bills of Middlesex served upon me, within these six months, as would fill a stage coach! Nothing could be so provoking!—My rascal of a tailor, too, got a Quare claussum popped into my hands only this morning! Lost a cool five hundred last night, also. So, you see I am involved on all sides. There is no way of redemption for me, that I can see, but taking a walk across Blackfriars. I do say that it is confoundedly hard that one can’t oblige one’s friends—but I hope you see, my dear fellow, that it is impossible. I am sorry for you, but I can’t help it at present—you must see that plain enough. Only, at the same time, your outward man seems approaching to the third and fourth letters of the alphabet—and, if there be anything in my wardrobe that would be of service——”

Here he paused—and be it known, gentle reader, that the Honourable Edward Stafford was one of the most diminutive of men; and as he stood by the side of Alexander, the crown of his head did not reach his shoulder. He again proceeded—“But why, Sandy, you know, when you were at Cambridge you were the Apollo, nay, the Adonis, of all the heiresses and rich dowagers within seven leagues. Many of them are in town now, and would be glad of an opportunity——”

“Sir,” said Alexander, reprovingly, “you forget that I am a husband.”

“Yes, yes, so you are,” drawled out Mr Stafford; “but that need not cause you to make sermons against your own preferment. I remember now, it was a low match—the daughter of one of your father’s clerks! O Sandy! Sandy!—I thought you had more spirit.”

“Sir,” replied Alexander, “my wife is the daughter of an honest man, whom you contributed to bring low and to ruin;” and, casting upon him a look of scorn, which caused the small gentleman to make precipitate retreat behind his chair, he added, with a sneer—“Farewell, Mr Stafford, and I wish you joy of your hopeful prospects.” Thus saying, and without waiting a reply, he left the house.

It was now July, and one hope remained. A gentleman who held a seat in the House of Commons, and who owed his return to the money advanced by the late Mr Hamilton, and the activity and zeal of Alexander, professed to be touched by his misfortunes, and promised to obtain for him a situation under government, which was then vacant. The day on which he was to be installed into the office was named; and Alexander, in the fulness and gladness of his heart, wrote for Isabella to come to London.

It may here be as well to inform the reader that the Honourable Edward Stafford, of whom we have spoken, was connected with the Borders. As hinted by Alexander, he had been one of those who had contributed to the ruin of Isabella’s father. But there was one circumstance which Alexander knew not, and which was, that, for some years prior to her marriage, the Honourable Edward Stafford had been her heartless persecutor, and as a villain had beset her path. The tale of her husband’s misfortunes having rekindled his hopes, he proceeded to the north to renew his plots and persecutions.

It was early in August, when a vessel, on board of which there were many passengers, sailed from the quayside of Newcastle. The morning was clear, the sky cloudless, and the villages, on either side of the Tyne, appeared in summer beauty. They had passed Shields, the pilot departed, and wished them a pleasant passage; several ladies and gentlemen promenaded the deck, contemplating the scene. Isabella, unconscious of being observed by all, sat alone on the starboard side of the companion, her elbow resting by the top of the binnacle lamp, and her eyes fixed upon the shore.

While she thus sat, an imposing little personage, wearing a superb Spanish cloak, flung with what may be termed graceful negligence across his shoulders, and having a highly-flavoured cigar in his teeth, consequentially ascended the cabin stairs—looked knowingly towards the mast-head—gave two or three springy struts across the after-deck—cast an aristocratical glance around the passengers—stood suddenly still—bent pryingly over the companion—stole round on tiptoe, tapped Isabella familiarly on the shoulder, and, throwing back his little body to its extreme altitude, he stretched out his parcel of white fingers, saying—“A study for a Rembrandt, by the Graces! I am a fortunate fellow in meeting you again; but didn’t know, ’pon my honour, until lately, that my friend, Sandy Hamilton, had the happiness of being acquainted with you.”

“Mr Stafford,” said Isabella, “the wife of him whom you call your friend has hitherto been accustomed to plainer language.”

“You are severe, my pretty paragon,” whispered the little man; “but, now that you are leaving the north country in quest of a husband, do not disfigure that lovely face with north country formality.”

And, casting aside both formality and delicacy himself, with the air of a wooer who presumes more upon his own importance than the feelings of her professed to be beloved, he seated himself by her side, and, with an affected and seemingly careless playfulness, threw his arm across her shoulder.

“Sir,” said Isabella, rising indignantly, “you have this moment called my husband your friend—if you are ignorant of the sacred duties of a friend, or of the respect due to my sex, and the conduct becoming a gentleman, let the misfortunes of our house be my protection.”

“Protection!—creature of beauty!” said he, “I will protect you with my life! Nay, do not frown; for your anger only makes your loveliness the more provoking, and calls back the colour which your misfortunes, as you term them, are trying to banish.”

“Begone, sir,” said Isabella, “practise your fooleries on those who will listen to them;” and she walked to the opposite side of the vessel, whither she was immediately followed by her unabashed tormentor.

“Come, sweet one,” resumed he, “do not delight in throwing lightnings from eyes where moonbeams would blush at the presence of rivals.”

“Your behaviour, sir,” said Isabella, “in any man, but especially in one bearing the rank of a gentleman, is contemptible, cowardly, and unmanly. On former occasions I have borne your insults without drawing upon you the chastisements which you merited; but you now profess to know me as the wife of your friend, and as such I claim your respect—or I shall know how to resent your conduct.”

“An angel in a fury!” exclaimed the Hon. Edward Stafford, with a theatrical start. “Respect you!—why, I adore you!—worship you!—will die for you!”

“Pitiable fool!” replied she, turning from him with disdain.

“Only the fool your eyes have made him, lovely cruelty!” rejoined he, following her, and extending his hand to lay hold of her arm.

“’Vast there, you chap!” cried the skipper—a round, red-faced, jolly-looking seaman, who had observed from the helm the conduct of Mr Stafford; “’vast there, I say—I’ll have no monkey tricks on board o’ my ship. That young lady is under my especial care; for, d’ye see, her father was once one o’ my owners, and so was her husband and his father before him—and I just tell ye, ceevilly, my canny lad, ye had better shove your boat off!”

“Fellow!” sneered Mr Stafford, surveying him with a look of contempt, “do you know to whom you speak?”

“I neither know nor care, young gentleman,” replied the skipper; “but I’ll let you know that neither you nor any man shall ca’ me fellow, or use any indecent liberties on board my ship, so ye had better take in a reef, or keep a look-out for squalls.”

“Heathen—uncivilized Laplander!” fumed Mr Stafford, stamping his little foot upon the deck; “do you know, sir, to whom you are opening your barbarian lips?”

“My wig! I’ll tell ye what it is, young chap,” vociferated the skipper, “I dinna care though ye were first cousin to the flying Dutchman; ye shall know I’m maister o’ this vessel.”

“Confound you and your vessel!” retorted the little man, stamping more passionately than before; “dare you open your frog’s mouth to a gentleman?”

“Ye poor singet creature!—ye miserable button top!” rejoined the skipper, “has an insignificant object like you the assurance to confound anybody? Are you no feared that I wry your neck about like a cock-sparrow’s? As sure as death, sir, if ye drop another word o’ your insolence to me I’ll capsize ye under a bucket.”

“You savage!—you Greenland bear!” reiterated Mr Stafford, brandishing his clenched fist in the face of the other; “are gentlemen to endure the boorish insolence of a Hottentot like you? You’ll capsize me under a bucket, will you? Look you, sir, if you don’t ask my pardon instantly, before the whole ship’s company, sir, I’ll put a brace of bullets through your ass’s head! I will, sir! Do you think with your cowardly carcass to intimidate me? Were you as big as Goliath, I’ll let you know I’m a gentleman, sir!”

“Here Jack, take the helm,” roared the skipper to one of his crew; “and now, ye chattering morsel o’ humanity, I’ll let ye see whether you or I be the best gentleman in this ship, at any bat!”

He sprang forward, Edward Stafford sprang back, and the passengers sprang between them.

“Hands off, gentlemen, if you please!” said the skipper; “remember I am master o’ this vessel. I wud wish to be civil to everybody, but it is not in the power o’ nature to put up wi’ the impudence o’ a creature like that; and though I’ll no hurt him—smash me! he shall either haud his tongue, or he shall never speak more. Did ye hear such names as I put up wi’?”

“Unhand the ruffian, gentlemen!” cried Mr Stafford, who had retreated amid-ships, and felt his courage revive under the protection of half-a-dozen ladies. “Unhand the mountain of moving mud! I’ll teach such fellows how to interfere with a gentleman! Unhand him, and I’ll send him below with a piece of cold lead through his fin!” And heroically taking from his pocket a handsome silver-mounted ivory case, he placed it with a determined air upon the top of a beef cask, again exclaiming—“Don’t hold him, gentlemen—these will do for him!”

“I tell ye again, sirs,” shouted the skipper, “don’t hold me! Do you think a thing like that shall threaten to shoot me on board o’ my own ship?” And he struggled to approach him.

“See to yourselves, gentlemen!” cried Mr Stafford, laying his hand fiercely upon the pistol-case.

“O sir!—pray sir!—dear sir!—” screamed the ladies, grasping him in their arms.

“Oh, don’t be alarmed,” said the little Honourable; “’pon honour, I shall only wing him—I have had some experience in these matters.”

The skipper made a desperate rush forward—the ladies screamed louder—Mr Stafford seized the pistol-case furiously, crying—“Then die, fellow!——”

His exclamation was cut short—a lady grasped the terrible pistol-case; it opened in the struggle, and the hateful weapons fell upon the deck, though not in the shape of pistols, but the honourable gentleman’s sea-stock of cigars! The gentlemen laughed—the ladies tittered.

“It has ended in smoke, sir,” said a fair punster.

“You can still fire them!” added another.

And the skipper, laughing like the mirth of a hoarse wave, taking him firmly by the ear with his finger and thumb, said—“Gather them up, sir—gather up your firearms!” And, as Mr Stafford persisted in disobeying, another twitch was given to his ear, and another and another, while he screamed and wept through passion and pain, danced and twisted to be free, to the amusement of the spectators, who enjoyed his punishment and humiliation.

“Sir,” said Isabella, addressing his tormentor, the frantic cries of Mr Stafford having brought her from the cabin, where she retired at the beginning of their altercation; “if a fly sting us, we may drive it away, without taking pleasure in its tortures; and it is but a cowardly revenge to torment an insect.”

“Well, ma’am,” said the skipper, withdrawing his hand from the ear of the other; “I have no wish to hurt the thing; only, after his impudence to you, as well as to mysel’, he had better have a care what sort o’ colours he hoists for the rest o’ the passage—that’s all.” The agony and confusion of Mr Stafford cannot be described. He blushed, swore, threatened, and wept by turns—rushed to the cabin, hurried back, threw his card in the captain’s face—stamped, stormed, and vowed vengeance, till he became silent from exhaustion. A few weeks before, he had left London for the north, partly to avoid the importunities of his creditors, whose claims had been discharged after his departure by the too fond indulgence of a foolish mother, but chiefly to carry into effect his long-cherished designs against the beautiful wife of his college companion, whose misfortunes caused him now to look upon her as an easy and lawful prize; and it was under this conviction that he watched her departure for London, and took his passage in the same vessel. Mortified at the ridiculous figure he exhibited, he resolved to suspend all further attempts until they arrived at London.

But three days were not past, notwithstanding the misfortune of the pistol-case, until the Honourable Edward Stafford, through the assistance of self-confidence or impudence, with pretended wit and foppish extravagance, was again the principal personage in the vessel. His brandy, his claret, and his cigars, operated marvellously in his favour with the gentlemen; every one sought his society, and called him a good fellow. The weather had hitherto been too fine for sea-sickness, and his agreeable attentions, his vivacity and elegant compliments, rendered him not less a favourite with the ladies. Isabella alone despised him; while he, affecting to despise her in return, circulated foul whispers against her character. Whatever doubts there might be in the minds of his auditory respecting the veracity of his accusation, the breath of slander is exhaled from a poison so black, that for a time its passing shadow will veil the holiness of a saint, and bedim the radiance of a seraph. Isabella, therefore, was shunned by her own sex as contagious, and by the other treated with cold indifference. Occasionally she observed their scrutinizing glances, or coloured at their half audible whispers, but, in the purity of her own heart, she suspected not the cause. In the master of the vessel only she still found a friend, who, although rough as his own element, evinced towards her the tenderness of a parent.

For some days the wind was adverse, and on the Sabbath morning, being the fifth from their leaving Newcastle, it was a dead calm. The skipper was walking backward and forward upon the deck, now glancing at the clouds, and now at the shore, with the countenance of a man who considers he has reason neither to be satisfied with himself nor with others. In the cabin some appeared to read, others yawned, while some went to the deck and instantly returned. The ladies looked at each other, whispered, fretted, and exclaimed—“How tedious!” Isabella sat silent amidst the unhappy group, “among them, but not of them.”

Mr Stafford, who hitherto had been whistling at his toilette, turned round and exclaimed—“Dumb as the foundations of a Quaker’s chapel! Come,” continued he, placing a couple of bottles of claret upon the table, “my pantomimic company of tragedians, allow me to administer the comforts of a calm to the necessities of your poor dumb mouths;” and, as he poured out the wine, he sang a few lines of an idle song. The company looked upon each other with a flitting expression of horror—none of them had been accustomed to hear the Sabbath so desecrated, though, as he proceeded, a few of them relaxed into a smile. But Isabella, rising, said emphatically—“Sir, the FOOL hath said in his heart, There is no God!” And she pronounced the word, fool, with a pointed sarcasm, which, although it in some measure took from the spirit of the original, rendered it more poignant in its present application.

“Your ladyship!” replied he, sneeringly, and, bowing to her with an air of mock humility. “Lily of the saints!” he added, “preach on, that the humblest of thy slaves may treasure up in his heart of hearts the pious honey of thine own sweet lips!”

He paused, and continuing his attitude of mock humility, commenced to hum the tune which he before had attempted to sing.

“Sir,” said Isabella, glancing upon him with scorn and compassion, “I pity you.”

“Now for a sermon!” he added, but the words faltered on his tongue, and he sat down in confusion.

“Sermon or no sermon,” said the skipper, entering from the foot of the cabin stairs, where he had descended to stop the singing himself, “I’ll neither allow Sabbath-breaking nor any wickedness that I can prevent, on board a ship o mine.”

“Come, old prig,” returned Stafford, “I’ve paid for my passage, I suppose, and I’ll have you to know that I’ll amuse myself as I please. Don’t think, my good fellow, that because I have listened to a little sermonizing from a pretty face, that I am to be bored with your croaking.” And he began to whistle a waltz.

“Poor thing!” resumed the skipper, “ye are to be pitied, after a’. I’ll declare, when I see bits o’ dandy creatures like you glorying in your wickedness, and doubling your nieves in the face o’ Heaven, it puts me in mind o’ a peacock spreading its tail to stop a whirlwind, or a cockle opening its shell to swallow a water-spout!”

At this moment the breeze sprang up, and the mate summoning all hands to deck, Mr Stafford was left unheeded to reflect on his own folly. During the night the wind blew very fresh; and the vessel having left the land and entered Boston Deeps, laboured considerably. From the ladies’ cabin issued prayers, shrieks, and groans of suffering, and every one devoutly wished to be once more blest with the tediousness of a calm; and, as the vessel yawed, rocked, and staggered with the heavy swell, and the ponderous boom, with its mainsail flapping like thunder, grating, crashing, clanking, and tearing with sudden jerk, or with fearful lunge reversing the laws of gravity, and tearing both mast and vessel into the sea, scream rose upon scream; sickness and terror met in conflict. Babel seemed above them and thunder below. The wind bellowed more madly. The plunging of the vessel became more frequent and more alarming. There was a running to and fro upon the deck—a bawling and a bustle. Darkness hung over them—thick, substantial darkness, rendering the very surge invisible. The heavy clouds seemed embracing the waters, and the crushed winds roared between the pressure of their meeting. A storm, by almost imperceptible degrees, had circled round them. Every sail of the vessel was reefed, and both anchors dropped; but the chain cable snapped like the web of a gossamer, and she lunged and tugged from her remaining anchor, dragging it after her, like a fiery horse tearing from the rein of a schoolboy. The mast bent as a proud man bends in the day of adversity; the topmast went overboard, striking heavily upon the deck as it fell. It struck immediately over the bed of the Honourable Edward Stafford. A loud shriek issued from the curtained railings; they were flung open, and out sprang Mr Stafford, dragging after him the bed-clothes, wringing his hands, and crying to Heaven for mercy. The dressed and the half-dressed now stood around the floor, clinging to each other and the furniture of the cabin for safety—each speaking and no one hearing;—but a clamour, loud, confused, and fearful, mingled with the noise of the winds and waves. Isabella alone remained tranquil. The vessel had dragged her anchor for several miles; they were in the midst of breakers, and the increased confusion upon deck announced the horrors of a lee shore, when she suddenly brought to, and half turning to the weather, a heavy sea broke over her, sweeping from the deck the boat, casks, and spars, and gushing down the cabin stairs, encompassed its terror-stricken inmates to the knees. The heart of Mr Stafford sprang to his throat, and his feet to the table, where he remained upon his knees, wringing his hands by the side of a flickering lamp. While he was in this position, the vessel was suddenly driven upon her side; for, through the darkness of the night, another vessel had run against her, and she being cracked with age, the bowsprit of the other went through planks and timbers, and, before it gave way, projected rudely several feet into the cabin, forming an unexpected and unwelcome intruder upon the motley scene of sickness and despair. Fear had already fastened the gurgling gasp in the throats of many of the passengers, when a voice from the deck exclaimed—“Ladies and gentlemen, look to yourselves!” It was the signal of death. A general groan followed. There was a rush to the cabin stairs. Calm as Isabella had hitherto been, she was now changed. It is difficult to look the grim angel in the face with indifference; but she rushed not to the stairs with the others. Mr Stafford was driven from the table by the uncourteous visit of the bowsprit, and now wallowed upon the floor, buffeting with the brine, imagining himself at the bottom of the vasty deep. The concussion of the vessels had brought his head in violent conjunction with the cabin floor, which, with his excited fears, deprived him of the consciousness of time and place; and being immersed in water, he continued to gasp, groan, shriek, and flounder upon the floor, seizing the heels of his fellow-passengers—who, in their eagerness for escape, had wedged up the cabin door—doubting nothing, as they trode upon his delicate fingers, that he had thrust them into the mouth of a ravenous fish, which had come to feast upon his unfortunate body.

“Save me!—save me!” he cried again and again, as he continued tossing and rolling in the water.

The vessel again righted, and he was swept to the feet of Isabella, who, aroused by his cries of terror, raised him to his feet. He struggled, gasped, trembled. His eyes and mouth opened to their utmost width—he appeared to draw the breath of an hour in a moment; and, gazing round vacantly, he seemed to marvel whether he was in the world of men, of fish, or of spirits.

“You are living, brave sir!” said Isabella, sarcastically, smiling at his excess of terror; “but,” added she, leaving him, “the Sabbath-breaker and the scoffer are not the most courageous in the hour of danger.”

It is only necessary to add, that the vessels having got disentangled, with daybreak the storm abated; and, on the ninth day, after leaving Newcastle, the vessel drew up off the Hermitage Stairs, Wapping, with the loss of topmast, anchor, and cables, beef and water casks, spars, oars, and other minor et ceteras, together with damaged bulwarks and hulk; but with the crew and passengers safe.

Isabella had not had an opportunity of writing to her husband, to acquaint him with the name of the vessel in which she would take her passage, nor when she would leave Newcastle; and, as they drew up in the pier, while the friends and relatives of other passengers thronged around them, to her no hand was extended. She stood as one deserted upon the threshold of the Nineveh of nations; and the crowds that passed before her seemed as the ghosts of solitude, giving tongues to bereavement, and forms to desolation. She felt herself alone in the midst of millions, solitary as a wearied bird whose wing has drooped in the wilderness.

She went on shore, where she was immediately accosted by a hackney-coachman, whom she requested to convey her to a Mr Fulton’s in Cornhill, to whose care her husband had requested her to forward the letters she addressed to him. She was informed by the skipper that Cornhill was not above a mile and a half from the wharf; and, as the coach drove on, passing the bustling crowds who hurried along the streets, she forgot for a moment her own feelings in contemplation of the motley scene. The coach stopped facing the Mint, and the driver, leaving his box, spoke a few words with another coachman, who immediately drove rapidly in the direction of Watling Street. After a few minutes’ delay the coachman again mounted the box. She had never before looked upon a countenance where a grovelling and villanous soul had written in such broad and unblushing characters its own worthlessness. It was one of those countenances which it is hardly possible to pass upon the street without disliking. In it were pourtrayed meanness, servility, depravity, and deceit—it was purple with dissipation, and blotched with iniquity. She shuddered to find herself, though in the broad day, and in the midst of the metropolis, under the care of such a man. She began to feel conscious that they must have proceeded much farther than the distance mentioned by the skipper, and, with a degree of alarm, she inquired at the driver if he rightly understood where she wished to be set down.

“Vy, yes,” replied he, “I knows the house well enough; it is Mr Fulton’s of Cornhill, an’t it?”

“Yes,” she answered; and he added that they would be there within five minutes, and drove on. Within the time he specified they stopped before an elegant house in a square, the silence of which was only broken by the rattling of a few fashionable carriages. The coachman alighted, and a liveried servant stood ready to receive her. She inquired if the house to which she had been conducted was Mr Fulton’s of Cornhill, and the servant answered that it was. She, however, had been within it but a few minutes, when she became conscious that she was under the roof and in the power of the Honourable Edward Stafford. Despair gave her strength; she raised her eyes to Heaven, and in the emphatic words of Judith, prayed—“Strengthen my hand!” Grasping a fruit-knife, which lay near her, in her hand, she made a desperate effort to escape; and, although the servants aided their master in opposing her, yet, as my readers have already had a specimen of his courage, and as the heroism of his domestics was not of that description, which “smiles at the drawn dagger and defies its point,” they will not be surprised to learn that through half-a-dozen such assailants one weak woman, rendered desperate, forced her escape.

Having reached Cornhill, she was from thence conducted, by one of Mr Fulton’s clerks, to Red Lion Square, where her husband then lodged. Their meeting was one of sorrow and of joy; but I need not describe it. Alexander perceived that she was agitated, and he entreated to know the cause. She, fearful of the consequences that might arise from divulging it, would have concealed it; but it is difficult for an affectionate wife to conceal from her husband aught that concerns him; and within half an hour he knew all that had passed during her passage to London and since she arrived. He would have rushed forth on the instant to seek revenge, but she clung around his neck, she entreated him not to leave her, and he consented to defer the punishment of Stafford to a more favourable moment.

From week to week, Alexander’s expected appointment under government was delayed; and, although they had parted with almost every article of any value which they had brought with them, they began to be in want. Yet Isabella murmured not, but sought to sooth her husband and raise his drooping spirits. At length, the long wished-for day on which he was to be installed into office arrived, and ten o’clock was the hour fixed by his patron for meeting him. Everything around him wore a face of joy. He now knew that wealth was unnecessary to secure happiness with one who had taught him that contentment is true riches. He longed for the appointed hour. There was a tear in Isabella’s eye, but it was a tear of gratitude and happiness. “Bless thee—my own!” she said, as he rose to depart; and in silence he kissed her cheek.

Never until now had she felt the full measure of her anxiety for the issue of an event to which her husband looked forward with passionate eagerness. Slowly and tediously the morning passed away; noon came, and the hours seemed lengthening; and evening drew on, but it brought not Alexander. The long summer day died in midnight, but no remembered footstep stopped at the threshold. The morning dawn stole upon the voiceless streets, imperceptibly filling them with the slow and silent light.

“It is another day!” she exclaimed, in agony; “and where is my Alexander?”

Precisely at the appointed hour, Alexander had arrived at the house of his patron. The servant who opened the door, muttered that it was too early—that his master was not down—and requested him to remain a few minutes in an apartment adjoining the lobby. The few minutes became an hour. Alexander was mortified and in agony. The clock, measuring out the moments, seemed to remind him of the insults to which he was subjected. At length he heard the “great man’s” foot upon the stair, and rose to meet him. But the patron passed on, and his carriage drew up to the door. Alexander sprang forward, and, in the excitement of his feelings, placed his hand upon his shoulder. The bestower of patronage turned haughtily, and demanded the cause of the interruption. Alexander returned his glance with equal haughtiness, and demanded to know how he had dared first to mock and now insult him.

“Begone, fellow!” exclaimed the senator, contemptuously.

“Never!” replied Alexander, “until you have apologized for that word, and for having dared to mock me.”

The courage of the silent member was rather of an aspen character, and he became pale and trembled. Struggling for dignity of manner, shaking, and calling up an air of offended importance, he said he should have felt pleasure to have served him, in consideration of the kindness of his family; but added, after considerable faltering and hesitation, that he was compelled to withdraw his countenance and patronage, owing to the representations which he had heard of his habits and character, and that, in consequence, the situation he intended for him was already bestowed upon another.

“Representations regarding MY habits and character, sir?” exclaimed Alexander; “tell me who has dared to revile me.”

“My informant is a gentleman of honour and of family, one who knows you well—and beyond this I will not be braved to inform you.”

“You shall!” exclaimed Alexander.

“Never!” answered the other bitterly, and called to his servants to obtain assistance and give him into custody; and as he spoke he slid to the farther corner of the lobby. Alexander’s eyes glared upon him as a wounded lion measures its victim. There was an unearthly earnestness and determination in his manner that might have appalled a stouter heart. He grasped the trembler firmly by the arm, and in a tone more impressive than anger, slowly and solemnly inquired—“What is the name of my defamer?”

“The Honourable Edward Stafford,” stammered out the other, awed by the desperate resoluteness of his manner.

“Stafford!” exclaimed Alexander, starting back—“am I then a second time stung by a worm?—poisoned by a reptile?—Stafford!” he repeated, and hurried from the house.

He had turned aside into the Park, to conceal his agitation, indulging in the secret determination to proceed to Leicester Square and seek vengeance upon his enemy; but his gestures betrayed the agitation of his spirit, and excited the loud laughter of two horsemen who rode behind him. He turned fiercely round upon the mockers of his misery—one of them was the Honourable Edward Stafford. Alexander sprang upon him, and dragged him to the ground, as a tiger springeth upon his prey. In his fury he trampled him beneath his feet, and he lay bleeding and insensible upon the ground, when his companion, having procured the assistance of the police, Alexander was taken into custody, and, being brought before the magistrates, was committed for trial.

Wretched and disconsolate, Isabella beheld the sun of another day set, and yet she heard nothing of her husband. She had hurried from street to street, wild and restless as a household bird, which, escaped from its cage, breaks its wings and its heart, as it flutters, without aim and without rest, through the strange wilderness of liberty. Wearied with fatigue, and well nigh delirious with wretchedness, she was ready to inquire of every stranger that she met—“Have you seen my Alexander?” And again and again she returned to their silent and comfortless lodgings; but there the sound of her own sighs murmured desolation; and, in impatient agony, she exclaimed—“My husband!—my Alexander!—where shall I find him?”

She had sent messengers in every direction, and to all of whom she had heard him mention but their name; and, in her agony, her tearful eyes had wandered over the broad Thames, fearfully and eagerly surveying its shores, and following its stream for miles, till, faint and weary, she sank despairing and exhausted on the ground. A letter from her husband was at length put into her hands, which informed her that he was then a prisoner in Newgate. She immediately hastened to the gloomy prison-house, and when she arrived before it, and beheld its ponderous gates, studded with bolts of iron, and overhung with the emblems of the felon’s chain and the gibbet, she recoiled back for a few paces, and her heart failed.

Until the time of admission arrived, she wandered disconsolately in front of the prison, and, on being admitted, she heard the sound as of an unruly multitude issuing from the corner of the prison whither she was conducted. She was shewn into a large and noxious apartment, where about a hundred individuals, of all ages, the accused and the condemned, were assembled together—some cooking, some practising the art of the pickpocket, and others holding mock courts of law. Her heart became motionless with horror as she gazed wildly around the den of guilt and pollution. On perceiving her, they desisted from their amusements and boisterous mirth, and gazed upon her in silent wonder. Their sudden and unusual silence aroused Alexander, who was sitting alone in a dark corner of the room; and, sorrowfully raising his head, he perceived every eye turned upon his own beautiful and afflicted wife. He sprang forward, and, forgetful of all around, she sank upon his bosom. He led her to a remote corner of the apartment, and pressing her hand to his breast—“Ah, my Isabella!” he whispered in agony, “this is indeed kind! to visit me in such a place, and in the midst of these miserable beings!”

“Say not kind, dear husband,” she replied—“what is too much for the affection of a wife to do? Horrible as this place is, but yesterday to have known that you lived, and I could have been its inmate for life.”

“Isabella,” added he, “for imprisonment I care but little—from a tribunal of my countrymen I have nothing to fear; but there is one constant and heart-piercing misery which is consuming me. While I am here a prisoner, who will protect, who will provide for you, my love, for you?”

A faint smile trembled over her features as she replied—“He who sheltereth the lamb from the storm! He who provideth the ravens with food!”

“But,” added he, “are not we already almost without money?—And, until I am free, until——”

“Come, love,” said she tenderly, “do not afflict yourself with idle fears. The sparrow chirps not the less joyfully in the farm-yard because the last sheaf is given to the flail; but day after day finds the little flutterer happy and contented as when it nestled in profusion. You bade me come smiling, and you only are sad. Come, love—give me one smile—fear not for me; with my needle I may be enabled to provide for myself, and to assist you.”

“Isabella!” he exclaimed, starting with agitation, and smiting his hand upon his brow.

“Nay, love,” she added, “start not at shadows; when real deprivations are to be averted, yield not to those of pride and imagination. Adversity is a stern master, but it relaxes its brow before a cheerful pupil. Come,” she added, “let us rather speak of what I can do for my prisoner.”

She endeavoured to pronounce the last word playfully; but the attempt failed, and she turned aside her head to conceal a tear.

“Nay, sweetest,” said he, affectionately drawing her hand from her face, “do not weep—I will not be unhappy—for the sake of my Isabella I will not.”

But the day of trial came; Alexander was placed before his judges, and his faithful wife stood near his side. The clerk of the court rose, and, holding the indictment, said, “Alexander Hamilton, you are charged with committing an unprovoked and outrageous assault, with intent to murder, upon the person of the Honourable Edward Stafford, in Hyde Park. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?”

“Not guilty,” said the prisoner, firmly.

The counsel for the prosecution then rose—“Gentlemen of the jury,” said he, “I confess I am at a loss to find words to express the deadliness of purpose, and the desperate character of the assault with which the prisoner is charged. A deed more reckless, more atrocious and criminal in its character, never was attempted. Its aim was blood!—murder at noonday, in the Park, and in the midst of hundreds. After this, where is safety to be found? Were the prisoner to go unpunished, madmen might be set at large, and assassins crowd our streets with impunity. The ferocity of a savage of the woods, when fired by victory and inflamed with the war-whoop, is tame, compared with the brutal violence which was manifested by the prisoner. With a disregard of all personal consequences, his object was murder! I repeat the word—murder was his object; and he has failed in accomplishing it only through the prompt assistance of the medical gentleman to whose care my client was intrusted. I do not say this from a desire to influence you against the prisoner; but from a regard for truth, for our common safety, and the public welfare. I shall prove to you that this is not a solitary case of the prisoner’s outrage; but that, on the same day on which he attempted the life of the prosecutor, he was guilty of a scarcely less daring assault upon an honourable member of the House of Commons—that on former occasions he has forced his way into the house of Mr Stafford, and endeavoured to extort money by violence. In short, the evidence is such as will leave no doubt upon your mind of the prisoner’s guilt and desperate character, and assures me of what will be your verdict. What plea he will set up, I know not; but he who could attempt the life of a fellow-man in broad day, will not be nice as to the expedients to which he resorts. Should temporary insanity be urged, I need not tell you that you will not consider whether it be lawful for a person subject to such fits of lunacy to be left to go at large amongst mankind; and that, if such a plea be offered, you will duly examine that it be established.”

During this harangue, not a muscle of Alexander’s face moved; but he stood with his eyes bent upon the speaker, manifesting throughout the same calm and proud look of conscious innocence. Isabella exhibited almost the same calmness as her husband; but at times the glow of indignation and impatience flushed her cheek, and she threw upon the accuser a glance of scorn.

I will not enter into the evidence. Several of the witnesses were gentlemen of rank, who, having been spectators of the assault in the Park, gave an unprejudiced statement of what they had seen, and their testimony tended to prepare the minds of the court to give credence to the evidence of less respectable witnesses; for they confirmed the desperate character of the attack and the injury received by the prosecutor. A herd of others were suborned to aggravate the charges, and to controvert whatever evidence the prisoner might bring forward. The case for the prosecution closed, and every hope of acquittal was destroyed. Still he maintained the same firmness; and, for a few seconds, not a sound was heard throughout the court. To the ear of Isabella, the breathless silence was as sudden thunder; hitherto, while listening to the accumulated perjuries with which her husband’s ruin was sought, notwithstanding her hopelessness and agony, her eye had not wandered from him; but she now turned, with a wild and imploring look, towards the jury, at once to read on their countenances the impression which the evidence had made, and to conjure them in speechless agony to believe it not. But she, shuddering, turned away from the appalling scene, and a groan burst from her bosom. She beheld in their features the cold, fixed expression of men who knew no feeling but justice; and she saw their eyes turned to her husband, but in sternness rather than in compassion.

“Prisoner,” said the judge, “you have heard the charges which have been preferred against you; if you have any witnesses on your behalf let them be brought forward; or, if you have aught to say in your defence why judgment ought not to be pronounced against you, speak now.”

“My lord,” said Alexander, “I crave your indulgence. Trusting to innocence, I have employed no counsel, and I hoped to need none. If, therefore, in the few words which I shall speak, I depart from the rules and usages of this court, I beg your protection and direction. Gentlemen of the jury,” he added “much of the evidence which has this day been given before you has not impressed upon you a firmer conviction of my wickedness than it has filled me with horror at the baseness and the perjury of which men can be found capable.”

“My lord,” interrupted the prosecutor’s counsel, “such language is not to be borne.”

“The prisoner has claimed my protection,” said the judge, “and he shall have it. Proceed,” added he, addressing Alexander, “but remember that unsubstantiated charges against others will only aggravate the proofs already given, and militate against you.”

Alexander bowed, and continued—“Gentlemen, that you believe me the guilty being that I have been described, I cannot for a moment doubt; nor do I hope that I shall be able to shake that conviction, and prove to you between myself and the prosecutor, who is, indeed, the guilty party. I know well that words spoken by one situated as I now am come in a questionable form and produce but a slight impression, yet, as truth is stronger than falsehood, I would hope that what I do say may not be altogether ineffectual. That I did make an attack upon the prosecutor in the Park, is true; that my manner was as enraged as has been described, I admit; and that my language might be of a threatening character, I do not deny; but that my intentions were criminal, that I sought his life, is false.”

He then stated the nature of his acquaintance with Stafford—his having forced his way into his house to request payment of a part of the debt which he owed him. But when he spoke of the indignities which he had offered to his wife, and of the calumnies he had whispered in the ear of him who was to procure him an appointment under government, his soul flashed truth from his eyes, every glance told a tale of scorn and wrongs. Stafford, who was present, quailed as the tide of his eloquent indignation rolled on; and could the astonished listeners have turned their eyes from the speaker to him of whom he spoke, they would have read guilt and confusion on his pale cheeks. Even the judge laid down his notes, and gazed upon the prisoner with a look of wonder. Isabella’s fears passed away as she listened to the torrent of indignant eloquence which he poured forth; and, while she participated in the admiration of the crowd, she felt also the affection and the pride of a wife, and, starting from a seat with which she had for some time been accommodated, she pressed closer to his side, her bosom heaving, her cheeks glowing, and her beaming eyes declaring that, where he then stood as a criminal, she was proud to call him husband.

“Could any man,” he exclaimed, in conclusion, “bear more than I did and not resent it? Would any of you, gentlemen—yea, would his lordship, under the same provocations, have acted otherwise than I did? If the attack was furious, was it not provoked? Or could human nature endure more and attempt less? If I am culpable, it is because I have the feelings of a man—because I am not more or because I am not less than man: and, if I am guilty, is my prosecutor innocent?”

The counsel for the prosecution again rose, and added—“Gentlemen of the jury, I presume it is now unnecessary for me to remind you that the prisoner having attempted murder on one of his Majesty’s subjects, it is altogether unnecessary for him to perform it now upon his Majesty’s English. If rhetorical froth were proof, and sound received as evidence, the case of the prisoner might be different from what it is. But it unfortunately happens for his oratory, that froth is not proof, and that noise is not evidence. I will not insult your good sense by adverting for a moment to his shallow calumnies and malicious assertions. You will place them to the spirit of hardened wickedness that invented them. But, gentlemen, we shall now see what evidence he has to bring forward in support of his oratory, and in substantiation of his malicious and frail subterfuges.”

No witnesses being likely to appear in behalf of the prisoner, the governor of the gaol voluntarily came forward and bore testimony to the excellence of Alexander’s conduct while under confinement, and also to the exemplary affection and modesty manifested by his wife.

He left the witness-box, and another pause ensued, when Isabella sprang forward, stretching out her arms towards the jury, and exclaimed—“Hear me! hear me!—only for a moment—as you are men—as you are fathers—as you are Christians, hear me! Do not tear my Alexander from me—he is innocent! Yes! yes! he is innocent of the guilt attributed towards him by the wicked man who seeks his life!—innocent as your babes that may smile at their mother’s breast! Save, then, my husband, and heaven will reward you! He is all that is dear to me—will you tear us asunder? If ye have hearts within you, you will not. Look on his countenance—is there guilt there? Look upon his prosecutor, upon his enemy who sits before you, and oh! can you find innocence where dissipation has left its furrows, and hatred its shadows? If ye will do what may seem to you justice—remember to love mercy! Draw not upon your heads the misery or the blood of a human being through the guilt of a false witness! Save, I implore you, save my husband, for he is innocent!”

The judge summed up the evidence, and more than once he paused and wiped away a tear that did not disgrace his office. “Go,” he concluded, addressing the jury—“the prisoner is in your hands; and if there be a doubt upon your minds as to whether you should pronounce him guilty, give the prisoner the benefit of that doubt.”

“Merciful heaven!” exclaimed Isabella, “deliver my husband—make known his innocence to these men!” She stretched her hand towards him, and cried aloud, “O my Alexander—in death—even in death, I will be yours! They shall not part us!”

And, as she wept, he bent over the dock and threw his arms upon her neck, exclaiming—“Loved one, weep not. The Avenger of the oppressed will not forsake us.”

The jury were rising to withdraw, every eye was moistened with Isabella’s distress—while all felt conscious of her husband’s doom—when a humming noise arose amidst the spectators, and, “Let the jury stop!—let the jury stop!” cried many voices from the door.

The skipper of the vessel in which Isabella had come to London pressed into the court; and, being sworn—

“Weel, sir,” said he, “it isn’t much that the like o’ me has got to say; only, ye see, Mr Hamilton here, that ye ca’ a prisoner, is an auld owner’s son o’ mine. I have known him since he was the height o’ my knee, and he was always a guid and a cannie laddie; and I venture to say, had his father not been ower honest a man, and paid twenty shillings in the pound to every body, he wouldna hae been in his grave to-day. As for the thing that is carrying on the prosecution against Mr Hamilton, I knaw something o’ him tae; and he may think himself weel off that it wasna a wife o’ mine that he shewed his blackguardism to, for had I been my auld maister’s son, hang me! after the insults I saw him offer to this bonny lady here, when they were both passengers on board o’ my ship, Jemmy Johnson, take me! if I wudna hae twisted his neck off his shoulders in a moment!”

The counsel for the prosecution had risen to ridicule the evidence of the prisoner, when he was interrupted by a negro servant of the Honourable Edward Stafford, who had been touched by the fiery eloquence of Alexander and the distress of his wife, and who rose and exclaimed, while others attempted to keep him down—“Me will speak!—Massa be de grand villain! Me be black, but you won’t make me one black heart. De prisoner be innocent! Massa do owe him von hundred pound, for me carried it to massa, and massa did try to steal de wife ob Massa Hamilton; which, be bad—berry bad! Prisoner be de injured man, like de poor African!”

This involuntary testimony on the part of the negro arrested the attention of both judge and jury, and they were requesting that he should be placed in the witness-box, when two gentlemen hurriedly entered the court, and pressed forward, requesting to be heard. The one stated himself to be a Mr Fulton, a broker in Cornhill. With him Alexander’s father had long had extensive dealings. He has already been mentioned in the course of this narrative. Alexander had requested that his wife should address her letters to him to his counting-house. But he was abroad when Alexander reached London, and he only arrived on the evening before his trial. He knew the services which his friend, the elder Hamilton, and his son also, had conferred upon the member of parliament of whom we have spoken, and calling upon him, and hearing the accusations that were preferred against Alexander by Stafford, he demanded that they should be probed to the bottom. They did investigate into them, and they discovered them to be wholly false and without foundation. And the patron now came forward to express his contrition for the act of injustice into which he had been betrayed, and to bear his testimony against the character and malignity of the prosecutor. A change came over the countenances of the jury. The judge seemed perplexed, and was rising to sum up the evidence, when they rose as one man, and exclaimed—“Not guilty.”

“Not guilty, my lord,” repeated the foreman of the jury; “but it would give us pleasure to see the accuser stand where the accused has this day stood.”

The spectators burst into a shout, and the Honourable Edward Stafford endeavoured to escape from the court. All that is necessary to add is, that Alexander Hamilton became the clerk of Mr Fulton, in a few years his partner, and eventually his successor, and his latter days were more prosperous than any that his father had known, while the worth of his wife and her affection increased with age. One word respecting the Honourable Edward Stafford, and I have done. In a few years he became a titled beggar, and twenty years afterwards, when Alexander Hamilton, with his wife and family came to reside in Northumberland, where they had been born and brought up, they heard of a poor gentleman at an inn in the next village, who seemed to be in great distress. They went to visit him—it was the Honourable Edward Stafford. He wept as he recognised them. In the words of holy writ—they heaped coals of fire upon his head—and with his hand in Alexander’s he breathed his last, and at their own expense they buried him with his fathers. Such are a few Leaves from the Life of Alexander Hamilton.