Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Prose

New-York Magazine; or, Literary Repository
Journal of an Asiatic Expedition
Vol. IV No. II; Feb 1793; p.98; by R



For the New-York Magazine
Messrs. Swords,

I NOT long since happened to purchase at a venue, an old trunk, which a refugee from Hispaniola brought with him last spring to this city. The gentleman informed me that it had long been in his family, handied about from one garret to another, and was once the property of a French counsul who had resided many years at Aleppo. On a rainy day, about a month ago, I sat down to rummage it, and found nine tenths of it filled with accounts of tobacco, wines and sugars received; and opium, rhubarb and scammony shipped; copies of letters to Monsieur Capelet De la Porte Mammouzin, and epistles from a good old aunt, Madame De Vivre le Faucon's, but at the bottom of the trunk, I perceived several rolls of parchment written very full, and to my surprise, in the English language. It was nothing less than a Journal of Alexander the Great, written by that splendid hero himself. The abstract I will now publish is copied verbatim, from the venerable original, and will shew, that all men are pretty much alike GREAT during their trampousing this planet; and that lapse of time, and rust alone make demi-gods.

Journal of an Asiatic Expedition attempted by me, Alexander the son of Olympia, (and perhaps the son of Philip.)

446th Olympiad, June 23. Eight o'clock in the evening. Confoundedly tired with marching through this sun-burnt oriental country. A puddle of fresh water is a natural curiosity, and my canteen is half full of sediment. But the hope of filling our knapsacks with Persian gold keeps us from repining. I mean to measure my mattrass in less than an hour, and if that slut Thais keeps me in bed till six o'clock to-morrow morning, I'll know why. There is no campaigning with or without these trollops.

24th. Ten in the morning. Just finished reviewing my troops -- Adjutant-general Parmenio is as formal as his old maiden sister -- to receive and return the salutes of a thousand fellows is worse than to be engaged in a decent skirmish. I ever hated ceremony. Give me a girl, a bottle, and a battle, sans souci.

25th. Three in the afternoon. My scouts have this moment come in and inform, that I can easily reach the banks of the Granicus in two hours; and that the Persians, gay as gems and gold can make them, and numerous as locusts, line the eastern shore as far as the eye can reach. My men expect a scratch, but I and Darius's general perfectly understand each other. I have promised him a province when I shake his hand at Babylon, and I know the coward will rely upon me. I am to make the onset with great play fury, and he is to retreat as ostentatiously as he pleases.

--Seven o'clock. Well, the farce is over, and we Invincible Macedonians have got the Granicus in our rear! My opponent behaved pretty well; although he ought to have pretended resistence a little longer than he did. I believe the rascal thought more than once that we were in earnest. I will give one of the half starved poets that hang upon me, a pistareen and mug of grog, to describe this day's bustling as a battle of amazing magnitude: Paint Bucephalus as plunging thro' the foaming current, and bearing me resistless at the head of thirty thousand veterans on a foe, valiant, tho' unequal -- describe the eagle of victory hovering over my helmet -- and the Fates fainting on the shore. The fools of posterity perhaps may read the nonsense and believe it.

26th. I could not get down my bohea and muscovado this morning for vexation -- Poor Bucephalus has got the wambles most furiously -- I feared some mischief might befal, when I lent him last night to that pimp Hephestion, to ride to a watermelon frolic. I am confident that the varlet tied him up to a post without a morsel to eat, while he was cramming fruit and cutting capers with the girls. I will punish the puppy by keeping on scout for a fortnight altogether -- he hates fatigue almost as much as he does fighting.

[Here a roll or two appear to be missing.]

April 10th. Huzza! the battle of Arbela is over, and I have got, with the Persian empire, an exquisite bevy of bona-roba's; thanks to my good friend Darius. A betrothed wood-chuck would have defended his oney-doney more magnanimously than this Asiatic poltroon did his Haram. I will treat the high mettled dames very ceremoniously by day -- they have already hinted that they will be perfectly accomodating by night.

14th. Of all the bamboosing bouts I ever was in, that of last night exceeds. Thais, and I, and Parmerio, and Antipater, Hephestion, Philtas, and every mother's son and daughter of us as drunk as so many Kickapoos. Persepolis in flames served as a flambeau to light us to our pavilions -- Glorious perogatives pertain to us heroes, and we generally are careful not to neglect their exercise -- To-morrow it seems I am to make, what they call my triumphant entry into Babylon. I ever did, and ever will, abominate parade and fuss.

15th. Eleven at night. The raryshow is past, and I am as tired as a carman's horse -- the flattering rascals called me the son of Jupiter, at the very time that I felt like a puppy, the son of a bitch. I could with good will kick the cringing Persians to the devil -- the avaricious Macedonians after them -- burn this metropolis of the world -- and turn farmer at Wethersfield and raise onions.
(To be continued.)
[Henry never continued this piece.]

The style of this piece is highly reminiscent of Henry's own journal of the Montgomery Expedition.



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