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There looms th' unwieldy cuttle-fish, there haunts the stinging ray, And grinds his teeth th' insatiate shark, hyena of the sea.
“And there I hung; and on my heart with conscious horror smote
“And while I shuddered at the thought, crept some huge creature on, It moved a hundred joints at once-it snapped at me-'twas done! Blinded with fear I loosed my hold, and then the whirlpool's might Seized me, but haply swept me up, to safety and to light.".
Marvelled the king; and soothly said: “ The goblet is thine own; This costly ring, too, shall be thine, enriched with precious stone If once more thou wilt venture down, and bring me word again, Within Charybdis' deepest cave what wonders may be seen.”
With softened heart the daughter heard, and spoke, in fluttering
tone: “ Father, forbear this cruel sport! Bethink thee, he has done What no one dared : and if thy heart's wild wish thou can'st not
tame, Let some among your knights step forth, and put the page to shame."
The king has snatched the goblet, and has dashed it in the sea, “ Fetch me that bowl once more," he cried, “and thou shalt be
The first among my belted knights—ay, more! as wedded wife, This very night, shalt her embrace, who pleads to save thy life!"
It kindles in his inmost soul, it lightens from his eye;
They hear the thund' ring ocean-surge, they note its backward
sweep; And fair young eyes, bedimmed with tears, look out o'er that lorn
deep: They come, they come, the lone sea-waves, they swell and they
subside, But no sea-wave brings back the youth, to claim his ling'ring bride!
POLITICAL PORTRAITS WITH PEN AND PENCIL.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BUTLER.
There are but few men, indeed, of whom we would say, that they do honor to a great party. We are not prone to the common habit of the day, of exaggerating the merits or importance of individuals, in comparison with that stupendous thing, a mass of aggregate millions. It is an honor, according to our conception, to any man, to belong to the Democratic party, if it be in sincerity of heart, and with a liberal expansion of views to the comprehension of the grand, harmonious, simple, and sublime truths of its political faith. But if in any sense allowable, we know no individual, prominent among the public men of the day, to whom--for all the best qualities of heart and head, and a transparent purity of conduct in all the relations of life-we could more sincerely apply the expression, than to the subject of the present sketch. We have heard this opinion so often expressed in private, by political foes as well as friends, whenever brought into personal relations with Mr. Butler, that we feel perfectly justified in thus giving this public expression to it, rather as a matter of general consent than as any tribute of individual sentiment.
Mr. Butler's life presents none of those striking points, of connection with great events of national history, or of adventurous incident, which have lent their interest to some of the biographical narratives we have already presented in this series of Political Portraits. Though he has never yielded to any in the ardor of the interest he has always felt in the political contests of the times, it has only been within a recent period that he has suffered himself to be drawn from the retirement of private and professional life, to bear a conspicuous part on the public stage, in the stirring drama of our national politics. His way of life has therefore flowed on, like an even and unruffled stream, gathering its quiet depth of volume from a thousand springs unseen to the public eye; and though scarcely perhaps noticed by the stranger whose admiration is rather attracted by the more picturesque wildness of the mountain torrent, yet diffusing a daily beneficent utility to the dwellers upon its tranquil borders, and an object of a far higher admiration to the more judicious eye that can better appreciate true excellence. Having risen from a humble beginning, by the quiet but zealous exercise of those qualities which, similarly applied, can never fail
VOL. V. NO. XIII.- JANUARY, 1839.
to command a similar success, industry, self-cultivation, integrity, and purity of life, his career presents one of those pictures best illustrative of the spirit of our institutions, and best calculated for a useful example and encouragement to others.
Mr. Butler is a native of Kinderhook, Columbia county, New York, and is therefore a fellow-townsman of his early and fast friend, the present President of the United States. For the sake of precision it may be worth while to distinguish, that he was born (December 14th, 1795,) in that part of the town bordering on the river, usually known as Kinderhook Landing, though recently set off a separate town, by the name of Stuyvesant. His parents were both from Connecticut, and are both now living, in the enjoyment of a healthy and honored green old age. The subject of the present memoir is their eldest son. Mr. Butler's parentage has this peculiar interest, that those who know him find no difficulty in recognizing in his character, illustrated by his life, the traces of the different influences which his genealogy was calculated to combine in its formation.
His father, Medad Butler, was born in Branford, Connecticut. The grandfather of the latter, Jonathan Butler, was one of two brothers, Irish adventurers, who came to Connecticut in about the year 1710; and who may therefore be regarded as the earliest pioncers of that stream of emigration from the land of generous hearts and ardent temperaments, which has since poured its wealth over the whole extent of our country, and proved one of the most valaable elements of its growing prosperity. He married a descendant of the original Puritan settlers of that Colony. His son, Ezekiel, married Mabel Jones, a lineal descendant of Colonel John Jones and Catharine, a sister of Oliver Cromwell. This Colonel Jones was one the Regicide Judges, and after the Restoration suffered the penalty for that act whose stern glory shall immortalize the names of all who participated in it, by being beheaded for High Treason. His family came to Connecticut, and many of his descendants are to be found in different parts of the United States. Such a descent, of the Irish stock, combined with the Puritan-the latter taking its origin from that stout and high-hearted bench of judges who inflicted the just doom of a nation's vengeance on a tyrant who had dared to deserve its awful wrath, and directly from the side of Cromwell himself-harmonizes well with the quiet ardor of temperament, the calm firmness of purpose and clearness of judgment, the chastened enthusiasm, the strict purity of religious and moral principle, and the unwavering devotion to the great truths of democracy and freedom, which combine to characterize BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BUTLER.
His father, after serving an apprenticeship, in New Haven, to a scythe-maker, emigrated, in 1787, to the State of New York; and