Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part II — Scene I >> Page 10

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Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription 10 Michael Bonham : or, the Fall of Bexar.

R. Harris. 'Twould seem to be in vain that I should try
The ocean yields me up ! The gallows scorns me. The shot strikes down my comrade in his track, The hopeful slain, the hopeless left to life,
And my own weapon, sure for other breasts,
Fails when I threat my own. A fate is in it.
'Tis meant that life has yet some use for me
'Till then I may not perish. Be it so!

Come! Follow me in silence. Not a word,—Dosthear,—on peril of thy life.
[Exit R. Harris.
Harris, [following .] I hear! I follow thee ! I thank thee heaven for this!
Oh ! still be merciful ! On both have mercy !


Interior of Chamber in the palace of Don Esteban de'
Monteneros, Governor of San Antonia de Bexar.
The Governor, sores, in military costume, writing- at
table. His chapeau bras, and sword lie before him
among papers. He looks up from his reading.

Don Esteban. There! Madre de Dios ! It is done. It is well done! It is written! The record is made. I may now take my rest. I may sleep. I have fought successfully. The battle is over. The field is won. The laurels are gathered. They enwreath my brow for ever ! I defy, thee, Time ! Immortality, thou art mine! I clutch thee ! Oblivion, I mock thy spiteful arts! . . . Yet, let me see! Let me read once more what I have written ! Despatches are not like ordinary letters. They belong to history. They make history ! They answer all the purposes of time. They are fiune ! Through such as these she speaks, and confers glory upon great heads! Sic itur ad astra! And I am not alone. Napo
loon lives in his bulletins, rather than his battles ! Great example that! Let me see how I have followed it.
[Reads aloud.
" To his Excellency Don Lopez de Santa Anna, President, &c.
"Excellency! I have the honor to inform you of the complete defeat,—I may almost say, the total annihilation of the Texian invading army, by the small but gallant forces under my command. army, complete, so sudden was the rout, that I may, without exaggeration, appropriate as my own, the language of the mighty Roman. We had but to come, and to see, to conquer! It did not even need that he should see us ! The enemy disappeared at our approach. He shrunk from every encounter, and is now flying, with all speed, to the barbarian homes from which he emerged. The hateful Yankeyos are gone forever!—Our soil no longer blushes beneath the tread of their in-famous and rebellious hordes. This defeat, so utter and complete, is due entirely to the terror inspired by our arms! So conclusive was this terror, that I cannot now be sure that any of them perished. Their slain and wounded have not been reported to me. Their flight was quite too rapid for pursuit. Ours was a victory without a blow ; one of those victories in which the Generalship of the leader, sustained by the bearing of his troops, discourages in the enemy every idea or feeling of resistance. Your Excellency will rejoice with me, that the war is so happily ended. San Antonio de Bexar is safe. We

ineed no succours. May your Excellency live a thous-and years. God and Liberty ! Done, at this our Castle of Montaneros, this, &c.
There! [Seals the Letter.
That I say is well done! Simple and expressive. To the point, without childish epithet or womanly circumlocution. In the very spirit of Napoleon's Dispatches ! He could scarce have (lone it better ! And, for the filets ? Are not the Texian Rebels dispersed ? Who can say where they are ? Who has seen them for a month ? Not I ? Can I answer fur what I have not seen'? No ! If I see not the Texians, and hear nothing more of them, aiim I not to suppose that they are dispersed ? What more natural ? And who should disperse them but myself? To my glory be it written! Ca'sar was a Captain—Cortez was a Captain—Napoleon was a Captain—there was a Captain among the States of the North, named Jackson or Johnson—I'm not sure which, and rather think that both are the same but—What ho ! there Luis.
Enter Luis his Secretary.
There ! for Mexico,—see that the Courier has dispatch. Life, nay, more than life depends upon his speed !
Luis. Excellency, Senor Don Pedro de Zavalo, has just come in from Tuscasito and begs to kiss your hands.
Don Esteban. What! My son that is to be? I wait him here!—Fine fellow, that [Ex. Luis ] Son of mine. A little too fiery, perhaps, too warlike, at a sea-son when bulletins can he made so expressive. Ali ! here he is. Don Pedro, welcome. [Enter Don Pedro.] I rejoice to see you. My household is at your service. All that I have is yours.
Pedro. Your Excellency is too generous. Do I disturb you ?
Esteban. Not a whit. I was just closing my despatch for the President, announcing the late glorious victory. Pedro. Victory !
Esteban, What! do you ask! Have you not heard ? Pedro. Of a victory ?
Esteban. Ay, indeed! Can it be that you have heard nothing?
Pedro. Not a syllable!
Esteban. What ! nothing of our victory over these Texian Yankeyos !
Pedro. Not a word till now !
Esteban. Oh ! Fame ! O glory! What is there now worth living for! But, really, my dear Don Pedro, have you heard nothing of this glorious triumph ?