N.D. - Another memoir of John Graves Simcoe mentioning André and Williams.
CWF Rockefeller Library, Special Collections - SCMS1930.6


Where the passions are alive in all their sensibilities & arrive at their
utmost height, the measure of Poetry is but fetters, Language itself is expressive
& imperfect; Hence those strokes those sketches alone are natural & pleasing
which the Poet catches while his eye Glances from Heaven to Earth, &
which the Genius of Passion admits not that he should dwell upon.
I am certain this is so in the haughty & elevated ones, & I believe it holds
good in those that are more tender tho not less elevated. Williams than
whom no one felt more deeply, could not imagine a thought or express a
sentiment on this the subject of his eternal meditation that equalled
his idea, or gave pleasure to himself — to think greatly is the
Province alone of Great Souls; an Empire, that Fortune cannot
raise or destroy. It is this that prepares men for the highest spheres
of action, & habitually renders them capable of efforts which
weaker minds would sink under — should destiny deny to them
the scene of lofty action; it is still a high Prerogative to be elevated by
a conscious superiority of thought, the energy of which tran[s]fuses
itself into the numerous recesses of private life. It was this
elegance of soul that irradiated the most minute actions, &
adorned the Domestic scenes of the Heroes of Antiquity; men who
not being blessed with the light of Revelation, struggled through the
darkness with which they were surrounded, loved the moral virtues
for their own sake, felt their harmony & beauty, & carried them to
the utmost height that Human Science could attain to. It is this
elevation of soul that equally aggrandices itself in every situation, it
p2 it calls down fire from Heaven to support itself in the most arduous public
difficulties, & in private life converts the dull dross of selfish & mercenary Passions
into the virtues of golden & glowing enthusiasm. I ever held André & Williams,
to be souls of this frame, to have been urged on & impelled by the noblest principles, &
to have united, the beauty & sense of Genius with the vigor & sole of Patriotism.
The following lines at the end of a Poem of Williams addressed to a
Friend to whom he was partial exemplifying virtues that he himself
felt and were sufficient to have erected them in the Person to whom
the were inscribed

He who to reach the towing height aspires,
Enthusiasm's Eagle wing requires,
Transports, that breath around a Fire divine
Speak in each thought, in every action shine!

Assert, all generous youth thy true career
By pleasure unseduced, un awed by Fear;
Fade, not thó Fortunes clouds around the role
Bright in their own magnificence of soul &

Great in thyself should storms obscure each ray
Tis the Worlds part to mourn the loss of Day.

This excellent & accomplished officer was in a deep consumption in Boston
at the time of the Blockade when duty was [novel] & severe — some ingenerous
hints that he was not so ill as he pretended fixed his Nature — he had been
selected for a duty where an action was expected & this to those, who feel
not how far, a generous spirit, will exert itself beyond its strength, gave
rise to some reflections that he was capable of those duties which are
only a [rou]tine & conten[illegible]y of drudgery where the mind is unoccupied
& the body only employed — these reflections pressed on his spirits. He
[volunteered] what he thought himself able to perform. [He] going on
p3 Shipboard to the Bay of Fundy & the superintending the party sent
there for Provisions — the cold & dampness of the ship struck his
disorder on his lungs — on his return he sought his native air
& died soon after his landing in England. He who now forms
these imperfect sketches was honored with the unreserved
friendship of both these excellent men! the happiness He
enjoyed in it, is present at his most secret hours, which
never could be listless & unoccupied had he no other employment
for his thoughts than this certain thó melancholy rememberance
& while he shall preserve their memory, which death alone can
obliterate He will find a consolation from whatever
disappointments await him, by reflecting if the Talents
of André, & Williams, could not command success shall I
complain if their virtues were left by the great disposer
of events unrewarded shall I dare to repine at any
calamity that can happen to me.