[To “Voices from 19th-Century America”]

The Token, for 1831

The Token, edited by Samuel Goodrich, was one of many gift annuals available to early 19th-century readers. These lavishly bound, lushly illustrated collections of poetry and prose were intended as Christmas and New Year’s gifts—reminding us that in early 19th-century America, New Year’s was a gift-giving holiday. Gift books were published both for children and for adults, though the audiences often overlapped: some pieces by Goodrich appearing in The Token were reprinted in his works for children, including Robert Merry’s Museum. Goodrich saw in The Token a chance to promote American writers and engravers. He succeeded very well, especially with the writers, who included John Neal, Catharine Sedgwick, N. P. Willis, Lydia Sigourney, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Eliza Leslie, and—in retrospect, most significant—Nathaniel Hawthorne. The first volume of The Token appeared in 1828; the last was published in 1842. Almost always, it was a decorative volume, with a handsome binding, fulsome end papers, and contents that were—well—decorative. Scenic views and scenic ladies were staples in the poetry; the prose tended to be lightly humorous, slightly sensational, and delicately edifying. Most of what appeared in The Token was innocuous.

The volume for 1831 is 320 pages of sentiment and art. The pages are gilded on all exposed sides, and the text is embellished by eleven engravings, snapshots of which are reproduced here. In keeping with the book’s intended purpose as a gift, a presentation plate is included at the front, and the list of engravings appears before the table of contents for the text—establishing for shoppers that there was a good number of illustrations for the money.

For gift books, engravings were a major draw. These include the notation for a piece of music and paintings by British and American painters. The quality of the engravings is higher than in earlier volumes, with the reproductions of Thomas Lawrence’s “The Calmady Children” and “Rosamond Croker” being especially delightful. The engravings also reproduce works by Alvan Fisher (“The Shadow” and “The Lost Boy”) and landscape painter Thomas Cole, whose “Landscape Scene from ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ ” may have been owned by Samuel Griswold Goodrich, editor of this volume. (See Robert F. Perkins and William J. Gavin III, comp. The Boston Athenæum Art Exhibition Index, 1827-1874. Boston, Massachusetts: The Library of the Boston Athenæum, 1980; p. 38. Goodrich reproduced Cole’s “Colonel Daniel Boone,” listed on that page, in the Token’s 1828 volume; “A Landscape,” also listed on the page, may be Cole’s “Landscape Scene,” reproduced for this volume.) Each engraving is accompanied by a piece inspired by it, illustrations being in need of accompanying text; it was (and still is) cheaper to hire the writer to write for an illustration, rather than create or alter an illustration to accompany text. Thus Oliver Wendell Holmes provides a poem for Fisher’s picture of a sleeping boy being protected by his dog (“The Lost Boy”). The author of “The Shadow” creates around it a moral tale and explains that “Such is the brief story which suggested Mr Fisher’s picture entitled ‘The Shadow.’ ”

The Token for 1831 includes a number of interesting works. Here Nathaniel Hawthorne makes his debut with an unsigned piece (“Sights From a Steeple”) and a humorous story under a penname (“The Haunted Quack”). Another story in keeping with his more gothic tales—“The New England Village”—was later attributed to him. Here, also, John Neal draws from an apparently bottomless ire against John Dunn Hunter to present him as a grifting tinsmith whose story takes on its own life (“The Adventurer”). (In 1843, Samuel Griswold Goodrich—who edited this volume of the Token—would both claim that Hunter was a fraud and use Hunter’s story of his life among the Osage as the basis for a story for children.)

A number of the usual 19th-century American writers contributed to this volume of the Token. Besides Hawthorne and Neal, the collection includes a piece by Catherine Sedgwick (“Mary Dyer”), two poems by Hannah Gould (“To the Moonbeams” and “The Midnight Mail”), a poem by Sarah Josepha Hale (“The Alchymist”), and two poems by Nathaniel Parker Willis (“To a City Pigeon” and “The Blind Mother”). Lydia Sigourney contributed a description of Connecticut (“Return to Connecticut”) and an horrifically racist poem about a supposed Native American tradition (“The Indian’s Burial of His Child”). Samuel Griswold Goodrich included at least two of his own poems, one of which was often reprinted after his death (“Lake Superior”).

Religion and spirituality are overarching themes. The volume opens with a long philosophical essay (“The Mysteries of Life”) and includes an exploration of the ocean as metaphor for the human soul, as metaphor for religion, and as an expression of the divine (“Religion of the Sea”). “To a Lady on Her Thirtieth Birthday” praises a woman for finding religion. “Lines” and “A Thought” encourage readers to pursue hope in a sometimes-difficult world while “The Alcymist” asserts that many seek gold, but the true gold is the wonder of the world around us.

As often in popular 19th-century works, writers couldn’t pass up a flirtation with death. The wagon bearing the midnight mail along a road might bring word of the death of a loved one (“The Midnight Mail”). Families die because they’re doomed (“The Fated Family”); fathers and sons die in search of the unknowable (“Oriental Mysticism”). The moon shines on the grave of a maiden (“To the Moonbeams”), and a grave beside the sea is to be preferred (“The Last Request”). Friends are eulogized (“To —”) or die to shine elsewhere as a star shines behind a mist (”Lines”). Native Americans are praised for remembering the dead more steadfastly than “we” do (“Remembrances”) and bury newborn infants with their dead mothers (”The Indian’s Burial of his Child”).

While Goodrich affirms his plan to make the Token “strictly national,” with the text and illustrations created by Americans, several pieces have settings not American. “Lord Vapourcourt” is a long story set in London, as a bored nobleman finds new life in helping a poor family after saving the father from suicide (and, in a startling development, arranges his marriage to the man’s 15-year-old daughter without her consent or knowledge, planning to persuade her while a servant fetches the marriage license). “Ronda” describes a region of Spain at great length, and details an incident of war taking place there. Other pieces edge further away from being “strictly national.” “Oriental Mysticism” is an American translation of a German version of a Persian poem, while the “New Tyrolese Waltz” is “strictly national” because its steel engraving was made by an American.

The majority of the pieces, however, have American themes. Some draw from American history: “Mary Dyre” details the life and death of a Quaker executed by Puritans; “The Fated Family” follows a doomed Tory family during the American Revolution; and an extract from The Last of the Mohicans accompanies an engraving of Thomas Cole’s painting placing the scene in a landscape so majestic that the figures are almost lost. Samuel Griswold Goodrich gives a gothic vibe to Lake Superior (“Lake Superior”), while Lydia Sigourney extolls the “scant, noteless vales” of Connecticut. Several pieces focus on American life. ”The New England Village” follows the decline of a righteous man with a terrible secret. Others detail the comic adventures of a medical quack (“The Haunted Quack”), comment on public human behavior (“Sights from a Steeple”), and poke gentle fun at a rural town as the local fiddler courts the local belle (“The Village Musician”).

Among the American themes are pieces about Native Americans invoking in the reader varying degrees of horror. William Joseph Snelling is specific about the Native Americans in the pieces he contributes: an Inuit girl sarcastically refuses an elderly suitor (“The Snow Shoe”), and the Dakota are evicted from an edenic landscape in a myth (“The Birth of Thunder”) or are affected badly by alcohol (“Te Zahpahtah”). Other writers serve up a more generic stereotype. Charles West Thomson’s “Indian tribes” remember the dead more faithfully than “we,/ More civilized than they” (“Remembrance”). An extract from The Last of the Mohicans touches on bloodthirstiness as Cora pleads for death, rather than being given up to the tortures Magua will inflict on her (“American Scenery”); Samuel Griswold Goodrich’s captive—the last of his tribe—dreams as he awaits a painful execution (“The Captive’s Dream”). Most horrifying is Lydia Sigourney’s description of a grieving man preparing to bury his newborn with its dead mother before the baby dies of starvation, following a tradition in which, we are assured in a quote from Malthus, “Among some of the ruder tribes of North American Indians, if a mother dies during the period of nursing her child, it is buried in the same grave, with the breast that nourished it” (“The Indian’s Burial of His Child”).

Reviewers of the volume argued over the extent to which the contents were “strictly national” and made caustic remarks about some of the poetry. Modern readers may be surprised to find that Hawthorne’s pieces attracted little attention, though “The Haunted Quack” was appreciated by one reviewer as being among those “distinguished for clearness and purity of style, and for a playful and delicate humor.”

The entire volume is transcribed here, with spelling intact. Careful readers will notice the lack of hyphens in spelled-out numbers (for example, “fiftyfive” in place of “fifty-five”), which appears to be standard for the time. Images of the pages on which works by Hawthorne and Sedgwick appear are linked from the page numbers. Unfortunately, scanning all the illustrations would damage the book, so engravings are quick (and sometimes distorted) snapshots. Reviews are on a separate page.

The Token and Atlantic Souvenir, edited by Samuel Griswold Goodrich (Boston: Gray & Bowen, 1830)

[presentation page]

flowers in a basket atop a stone slab with words Presented To above a large blank space
Drawn by G. Hervey ANA      Engraved by E. Gaulladet.


Isabel stands gracefully, looking off page
Painted by Newton.      Engraved by Danforth.
Published by Gray & Bowen, Boston.

[“fancy title page”; engraved title page]

two lively white children, framed by flowers, written beneath is The Token 1831

printed title page]



‘Then take my flower, and let its leaves

Beside thy heart be cherished near,

While that confiding heart receives

The thought it whispers to thine ear.’



[copyright page]


District Clerk’s Office.

Be it remembered, that on the tenth day of August, A. D. 1830, in the fiftyfifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, S. G. Goodrich, of the said district, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit:—

‘The Token, a Christmas and New Year’s Present. Edited by S. G. Goodrich.

“Then take my flower, and let its leaves

Beside thy heart be cherished near,

While that confiding heart receives

The thought it whispers to thine ear.” ’

In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled ‘An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned;’ and also to an act, entitled ‘An act supplementary to an act, entitled “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints” ’

Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.

[p. iii]


In coming a fourth time with our sober ANNUAL before the world, we need offer little, beside thanks to the public and to our friends, for the ample aid and favor, they have hitherto bestowed upon us.

We have already expressed our intention to make the Token strictly national, and to depend entirely upon the resources of our country for the engravings, and the literary contents of the work. We yet see no cause to regret, or change this design, and as in the present volume, so in the future ones, we propose to adhere to it.

We have the pleasure of giving in the present work an engraving from our countryman, M. J. Danforth, who has so much distinguished himself in London, within the last two years. We have also one engraving from a fine picture by Cole, for which we owe particular thanks to D. Wadsworth, Esq., of Hartford, to whom the picture belongs, and who politely gave us permission to have it

p. iv [printed as vi]

copied. For the piece of music inserted in the volume, we are indebted to Dr Lieber, who received it recently from Germany, where it was among the new favorites of the musical world.

As to the future, we need only add, that we have made arrangements to prosecute our work with additional zeal, and we hope with additional satisfaction to the public. If we mistake not, the present volume will be found to possess higher claims than any of its predecessors, to public approbation, and it will be our aim, every succeeding year, to surpass what has gone before.

To our contributors we owe many thanks, and some apologies. If any of them have had reason to expect the insertion of pieces which are not to be found in the volume, we beg them to impute what may seem neglect, to simple necessity. We are too deeply sensible of our dependence upon them, willingly to give them just cause of complaint. We may be permitted to say that most of the embarrassment we feel, in the editorial department of our work, arises from the lateness of the period at which the articles are received, and from the undue length to which many of them extend. We need but intimate these things, and hope our friends will hereafter keep them in mind.

p. 5


1. Presentation Plate—designed for Gray and Bowen, by G. Harvey, and engraved by E. Gallaudet.

2. Titlepage—The Ornamental Part designed for Gray and Bowen, by G. Harvey, and engraved by V. Balch. The Figures engraved by E. Gallaudet, after Sir Thomas Lawrence … 1

3. The Lost Boy, from a Painting by A. Fisher, belonging to that Artist, and engraved by E. Gallaudet … 27

4. Just Seventeen—engraved by J. Cheney, after a Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence … 141

5. Music (St Cecelia)—engraved by E. Gallaudet after Dominichino … 107

6. Blind Mother—engraved by J. Andrews, after Lescot … 187

7. Isabel—painted by S. Newton, and engraved by M. J. Danforth … 217

8. The Shadow—painted by A. Fisher and engraved by J. Andrews … 247

9. American Scenery—engraved by G. B. Ellis, from a Painting by T. Cole, in the possession of D. Wadsworth, Esq. of Hartford, Connecticut … 55

10. The Snow Shoe—drawn by Lieut. Hood, of the Royal British Navy, and engraved by O. Pelton … 285

11. New Tyrolese Waltz … 313

[p. 6 blank]

[p. vii]



The Mysteries of Life—By Orville Dewey … 9

To a City Pigeon [N. P. Willis] … 24

To the Moonbeams—By Hannah F. Gould … 26

The Lost Boy—By O. W. H. … 27

To —— … 28

Religion of the Sea—By F. W. P. Greenwood … 29

Sights from a Steeple [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 41

Lake Superior—By S. G. Goodrich … 52

Lines—By L.M…t … 54

American Scenery … 55

The Fated Family … 57

Remembrance—By Charles West Thomson … 83

Ronda—By the Author of ‘A Year in Spain’ [Alexander Slidell Mackenzie] … 85

A Thought—By P. M. Wetmore … 106

Ode on Music—By Grenville Mellen … 107

I meet them in my Dreams—By Mrs L. P. Smith … 114

The Haunted Quack. A Tale of a Canal Boat—By Joseph Nicholson [Nathaniel Hawthorne] … 117

p. viii

The Midnight Mail—By H. F. Gould … 138

Lines … 140

Just Seventeen … 141

Te Zahpahtah. A Sketch from Indian History—By the Author of ‘Tales of the Northwest’ [William Joseph Snelling] … 143

Return to Connecticut—By Mrs Sigourney … 152

The New England Village … 155

The Birth of Thunder. A Dahcotah Legend—By J. Snelling … 177

The Indian’s Burial of his Child—by Mrs Sigourney … 184

To the Witch Hazel … 186

The Blind Mother [N. P. Willis] … 187

The Adventurer—By J. Neal? … 189

To —— By O. W. B. Peabody … 213

To a Lady on her Thirtieth Birthday … 216

Isabel … 217

The Village Musician—By James Hall … 219

The Shadow … 247

Lord Vapourcourt; or a November Day in London [Alexander H. Everett] … 249

Farewell … 284

The Snow Shoe—By J. S. [William Joseph Snelling] … 285

The Captive’s Dream—By S. G. Goodrich … 288

Mary Dyre—By Miss Sedgwick … 294

The Waltz … 313

The Alchymist—By S. J. H. … 314

Oriental Mysticism—By L. W. [Leonard Woods] … 315

The Last Request—By B. B. Thatcher … 319

[p. 9]




To the reflecting mind, especially if it is touched with any influences of religious contemplation or poetic sensibility, there is nothing more extraordinary, than to observe with what obtuse, dull, and commonplace impressions most men pass through this wonderful life, which Heaven has ordained for us. Life, which, to such a mind, means everything momentous, mysterious, prophetic, monitory, trying to the reflections, and touching to the heart, to the many is but a round of cares and toils, of familiar pursuits and formal actions. Their fathers have lived; their children will live after them; the way is plain; the boundaries are definite; the business is obvious; and

p. 10

this to them is life. They look upon this world as a vast domicil, or an extensive pleasure ground; the objects are familiar; the implements are worn; the very skies are old; the earth is a pathway for those that come and go, on earthly errands; the world is a working-field, a warehouse, a market-place,—and this is life.

But life indeed—the intellectual life, struggling with its earthly load, coming it knows not whence, going it knows not whither, with an eternity unimaginable behind it, with an eternity to be experienced before it, with all its strange and mystic remembrances, now exploring its past years as if they were periods before the flood, and then gathering them within a space as brief and unsubstantial as if they were the dream of a day—with all its dark and its bright visions of mortal fear and hope; life, such as life, is full of mysteries. In the simplest actions, indeed, as well as in the loftiest contemplations, in the most ordinary feelings, as well as in the most abstruse speculations, mysteries meet us everywhere, mingle with all our employments, terminate all our views.

The bare act of walking has enough in it to fill us with astonishment. If we were brought into existence in the full maturity of our faculties, if experience had not made us dull, as well as confident, we should feel a strange and thrilling doubt, when we took one

p. 11

step, whether another would follow. We should pause at every step, with awe at the wonders of that familiar action. For who knows anything of the mysterious connexion and process, by which the invisible will governs the visible frame? Who has seen the swift and silent messengers, which the mind sends out to the subject members of the body? Philosophers have reasoned upon this, and have talked of nerves, and have talked of delicate fluids, as transmitting the mandates of the will; but they have known nothing. No eye of man, nor penetrating glance of his understanding, has searched out those hidden channels, those secret agencies of the soul in its mortal tenement. Man indeed can construct machinery, curious, complicated, and delicate, though far less than that of the human frame, and with the aid of certain other contrivances and powers, he can cause it to be moved; but to cause it to move itself, to impart to it an intelligent power to direct its motions whithersoever it will, this is the mysterious work of God.

Nay, the bare connexion of mind with matter, is itself a mystery. The extremes of the creation are here brought together, its most opposite and incongruous elements are blended, not only in perfect harmony, but in the most intimate sympathy. Celestial life and light mingle, nay, and sympathize, with

p. 12

dark, dull, and senseless matter. The boundless thought hath bodily organs. That which in a moment glances through the immeasurable hosts of heaven, hath its abode within the narrow bounds of nerves, and limbs, and senses. The clay beneath our feet is built up into the palace of the soul. The sordid dust we tread upon, forms, in the mystic frame of our humanity, the dwelling-place of high-reasoning thoughts, fashions the chambers of imagery, and moulds the heart, that beats with every lofty and generous affection. Yes, the feelings that soar to heaven, the virtue that is to win the heavenly crown, flows in the life-blood, that in itself is as senseless as the soil from which it derives its nourishment. Who shall explain to us this mysterious union—tell us where sensation ends, and thought begins, or where organization passes into life? There have been philosophers who have reasoned about this, materialists and immaterialists; and under their direction, the powers of matter and spirit have been marshalled in the contest, for ascendancy in this human microcosm; but the war has been fruitless; the argument futile; philosophers have settled nothing, proved nothing for they knew nothing.

Turn to what pursuit of science, or point of observation we will, and it is still the same. In every department of thought and study, we sooner or later

p. 13

come to a region, into which our inquiries cannot penetrate. Everywhere our thoughts run out into the vast, the indefinite, the incomprehensible; time stretches to eternity, place to immensity, calculation to ‘numbers without number’ being to Infinite Greatness. Every path of our reflections brings us at length to the shrine of the unknown and the unfathomable, where we must sit down, and receive with devout and childlike meekness, if we receive at all, the voice of the oracle within.

Even the purest demonstrations in philosophy and the mathematics, often result in mysteries, and paradoxes. Matter that is finite, is infinitely divisible. A drop of water may be balanced against the universe. That, gentle reader, if thou hast ever chanced to hear of it, is the hydrostatic paradox. But there are pneumatic paradoxes too, and metallic wonders, wrought in the dark and silent mine, and geologic marvels, everywhere disclosed in the capacious bosom of the earth, in which flood and fire seem so mysteriously to have struggled together. Nor is there a plant so humble, no hyssop by the wall, nor flower nor weed in the garden, that springeth from the bosom of that earth, but it is an organized and living mystery. The secrets of the abyss are not more inscrutable, than the work that is wrought in its hidden germ. The goings on of the heavens are

p. 14

not more incomprehensible than its growth, as it waves in the breeze. Its life, that which constitutes its life, who can tell us what it is? The functions that contribute to its growth, flowering, and fruit, the processes of secretion, the organs or the affinities by which every part receives the material that answers its purpose, who can unfold or explain them? Yes, the simplest spire of grass has wonders in it, in which the wisest philosopher may find a reason for humility, and the proudest skeptic an argument for faith.

Life, I repeat—and I say, let the dull in thought, let the children of sense be aroused by the reflection—life is full of mysteries. If we were wandering through the purlieus of a vast palace, and found here and there a closed door, or an inaccessible entrance, over which the word ‘MYSTERY’ was written, how would our curiosity be awakened by the inscription! Life is such a wandering; the world is such a structure; and over many a door forbidding all entrance, and over many a mazy labyrinth, is written the startling inscription that tells us of our ignorance, and announces to us unseen and unimaginable wonders. The ground we tread upon is not dull, cold soil, not the mere paved way, on which the footsteps of the weary and busy are hasting, not the mere arena on which the war of mercantile competition is waged; but ‘we tread upon enchanted ground’

p. 15

The means of communication with this outward scene, are all mysteries. Anatomists may explain the structure of the eye and ear, but they leave inexplicable things behind;—seeing and hearing are still mysteries. The organ that collects within it the agitated waves of the air, the chambers of sound that lie beyond it, after all dissection and analysis, are still labyrinths and regions of mystery. And that little orb, the eye, which gathers in the boundless landscape at a glance, which in an instant measures the near and the distant, the vast and the minute, which brings knowledge from ten thousand objects in one commanding act of vision—what a mystery is that?

And then, if the soul communicates with the outward world, through mysterious processes, what power has that world—its objects, its events, its changes, its varying hues, its many toned voices, what mysterious power have they, to strike the secret springs of the soul within?

‘It may be a sound—

A tone of music—summer’s eve—or spring—

A flower—the wind—the ocean—which shall wound,

Striking the electric chain, wherewith we are darkly bound;

And how and why we know not, nor can trace

Home to its cloud this lightning of the mind.’

But if nature is bound with almost magic spells of

p. 16

association to our maturer years, what a pure and fresh mystery is it to our childhood! Ah! Childhood—beautiful mystery!—how does nature lie all around thee, as a treasure-house of wonders. Sweet and gentle season of being! whose flowers bring on the period of ripening, or bloom but to wither and fade in their loveliness—time of ‘thick coming’ joys and tears! of tears that pass quickly away, as if they did not belong to thee, of joys that linger and abide long, and yet make the long day short—time of weakness! yet of power to charm the eye of sages from their lore;—Childhood! what a mystery art thou, and what mysteries dost thou deal with? What mystery is there in thy unfolding faculties, that call forth wonder from those that gaze upon thee, and seem to thyself at times, almost as if they were strange reminiscences of an earlier being! What mystery is there in thy thoughts, when thou art first struggling to grasp the infinite and eternal! when thou art told of immortal regions where thou shalt wander onward and onward forever, and sayest, even to the teaching voice of authority, ‘It cannot, father! it cannot be!’

And there are mysteries, too, thickly strewed all along the moral path of this wonderful being. There are ‘mysteries of our holy religion.’ Miracles of power, giving attestation to its truth, ushered it into the world. Wonders of heavenly mercy are displayed

p. 17

in its successive triumphs over the human soul. Gracious interpositions, too, of the teaching Spirit and a succouring Providence, help the infirmities and struggles of the faithful.

And the results, moreover, of this great and solemn trial of human nature, that is passing on earth, are as mysterious as the process—the heavenly interposition and the human effort, and these, too, alike mysterious—the heavenly interposition, certain, but indefinable; the human will, strangely balanced somewhere, but nobody can tell where, between necessity and freedom.

Goodness, in the heart, is a mystery. No language can define it, which does not equally need definition. No man can tell what it is. No man can know, but by an inward experience, and an experience in reality inexpressible. Goodness is a breath in the soul, we know not from whence; it cometh and it goeth, like ‘the wind that bloweth where it listeth:’ it is the inspiration of the Almighty.

And sin!—how great and tremendous is that mystery! That beneath these serene and pure heavens, which beam with the benignity of their Maker; that amidst the fair earth, amidst ten thousand forms of perfection—that where all else is perfect, the spoiler should have gone forth to mar and to crush the noblest and fairest—this is ‘the mystery of iniquity,

p. 18

that hath been hidden from ages,’ and is not yet fully unfolded. This was the theme that tasked and tried the meditations of the old philosophers. Unde malum et quare? ‘Whence is evil, and why?’ Noble-minded old men!—sages of the elder world!—when I look at the busy and giddy throng, that think of nothing but pleasure or gain, that question not this mysterious life nor this mighty sphere, but to ask for the way to gratification and profit, I turn to you with veneration, and refreshment of spirit. I pay a homage to your sublime meditations, less only than that which I give to the inspiration of apostles, and the visions of holy martyrs. Ay, christian men of this every-day world may call you heathens, and those who bear of the christian religion nothing but the name, may think themselves entitled to look upon you with pity or scorn; but, contrasted with them, ye are as stars that shine from the depths of the midnight heaven, compared with the insects that sport in the beams of the noontide sun.

The mysteries of our present being, though met with in daily experience, though recognised by the severest philosophy, are never perhaps more sensibly, or, so to speak, consciously shadowed forth to us, than in that scene of strangely mingled experience and illusion, that world veiled from the eyes of philosophy—the world or our dreams. Mr Hogg

p. 19

somewhere remarks, and it seems to be more than a poetical fancy, that our dreams are emphatically mysteries, hitherto sacred from metaphysical analysis. The writer hopes he may be excused, therefore, if he introduces, as appropriate to the meditations of this paper, a dream of his own.

An excursion for health carried me, some years ago, through the beautiful villages of Concord and Lancaster, to the brow of the noble Wachusett. It was in the month of our summer’s glory—June. I know not how it may appear to others; but that enjoyment, leading to surfeit and oppression, which is often described as attending upon one class of our pleasures, seems to me as more than realized in the overpowering, the almost oppressive, the mysterious delight with which we gaze upon the ever-renewed and brightened vision of nature. Such it was to me; and when the evening came, its calmness was as grateful to me, as the rest which hospitality offered.

Yet it brought its own fascination. The moon shed down from her calm and lofty sphere, a more sacred beam than that of day. Her light seemed like an emanation, an element for holy thought, in which there was something like consciousness and witnessing to the thoughts of mortals. The breeze, as it went up the mountain’s side and touched the forest boughs, seemed like a living spirit. The summit,

p. 20

rising towards heaven and resting in a solemn and serene light, appeared like a mount of meditation, where some holy sufferer had retired from the world to pray, and where angels were ascending and descending.

Fatigued and exhausted, I sought repose at an early hour,—and soon fell into that half sleeping and half waking state, with which the diseased and troubled, at least, are so well acquainted. It is the well known and frequent effect of this state of partial consciousness, to give a mysterious and preternatural importance to everything that attracts the notice of the wandering senses. Now and then, an evening traveller passed by; but that was not the simple character with which my imagination invested him. He was a fierce rider from the battle-field—and as he rushed by upon the sounding mountain pavement, he seemed to bear upon his tread, the fate of empires. Then, a sound of laughter and shout of revelry reached me from a neighbouring ale-house, and it appeared like the discordant mockery of fiends over the wreck of kingdoms. And ever and anon, the passing breeze shook the casement of my window, and the sound, in my ear, seemed stern as the voice of destiny, and struck me with that inexplicable awe, that attends the slightest jar of an earthquake.

At length, I sunk into a deeper sleep; but still the

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confused images of my half conscious state, mingled with the deeper reveries of my dream. I dreamed, as I often do when awake, of men, and life, and the crowded world. The procession of human generations passed before me. The wandering Tartar flew by me in his sledge over the frozen solitudes of the North. The turbaned Turk moved slowly on, by the many shores of his rich and glorious domain. The politic, bustling, busy European passed over the theatre of my vision, and it was a theatre of merchandize. And then, again, the wilds of the New World were opened to me, and I saw the stealthy Indian retiring from thicket to thicket, and the white man pressed hard upon his retreating steps. Then the palaces and courts of royalty rose before me, and I saw the gay and gorgeous train that thronged them, and heard from many a recess and by-path, the sighs of disappointed ambition. Anon, the camp, with its mingled order and confusion, came upon the wayward fancies of my dream; and the fearful tread of a host drew near, and music from unnumbered instruments burst forth, and swelled gloriously up to heaven. And then suddenly the scene changed, and I thought it was music for the gay assembly and the dance; and a multitude innumerable wandered through boundless plains in pursuit of pleasure. But immediately—either in the strange vagaries of my

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dream, or according to the broken memory of it—it appeared to be no longer a multitude, but a mighty city of immeasurable extent;—and then the countless habitations of far distant countries came with the range of my vision, and the scenes of domestic abode and all the mazy struggle of human life, were beneath my eye. I saw the embrace of love; I heard the song of gladness; and then the wailings of infancy were in my ears, and stern voices seemed to hush them. In another quarter, the throng of pleasure, and the pall of death passed on, and went different ways, as it seemed, but in a shocking vicinity to each other, and in strangely mingled and mournful confusion; and I thought of human weal and wo, and of this world’s great fortunes, and of the mystery of this life, and of God’s wisdom, till it seemed to me that my heart would break with its longing for further knowledge, and my pillow was wet with the tears of my dream.

As my head was bowed down in meditation and sorrow, it suddenly appeared to me that an unusual and unearthly light was breaking around me. I instantly lifted my eyes, for a thrilling and awful expectation came upon me. I thought of the Judgment, and almost expected to behold the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven. But I immediately perceived that the vision was to me alone; for the light did not spread far, and proceeded from only one luminous cloud. As I gazed upon it, features of more than

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mortal loveliness became visible, though the form was partly veiled from me in the glorious brightness that surrounded it. I imagined that I perceived a resemblance to the countenance of one that I had known and loved on earth; and I girded up the powers of my mind, as I have often thought I should do, in my waking hours, to meet a spirit from the other world. But the first words that fell upon my ear, instead of inspiring me with the expected terror, spread a sacred tranquillity [sic] through all my faculties. ‘Mortal!’—the voice said—‘once a fellow-mortal!’—and no earthly tongue can express the soothing sweetness and tenderness that flowed into those words—“be patient,’ it said, ‘be strong; fear not; be not troubled. If thou couldst know!—but I may not tell thee—else would not thy faith be perfected:—be yet patient; trust in God; trust in him, and be happy!’ The bright cloud was borne as by the gentlest breath of air away from me; the features slowly faded, but with such a smile of ineffable benignity and love lingering upon the countenance, that in the ecstasy of my emotions I awoke.

I awoke; the songs of the morning were around me; the sun was high in heaven; the earth seemed to me clothed with new beauty. I went forth with a firmer step, and a more cheerful brow, resolving to be patient and happy till I also ‘should see as I am seen, and know even as I am know.’

[p. 24]


Stoop to my window, thou beautiful dove!

Thy daily visits have touched my love!

I watch thy coming, and list the note

That stirs so low in thy mellow throat,

And my joy is high

To catch the glance of thy gentle eye.

Why dost thou sit on the heated eaves,

And forsake the wood with its freshened leaves?

Why dost thou haunt the sultry street,

When the paths of the forest are cool and sweet?

How canst thou bear

This noise of people—this breezeless air?

Thou alone of the feathered race,

Dost look unscared on the human face;

Thou alone, with a wing to flee,

Dost love with man in his haunts to be;

And the ‘gentle dove’

Has become a name for trust and love.

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A holy gift is thine, sweet bird!

Thou ’rt named with childhood’s earliest word;

Thou ’rt linked with all that is fresh and wild

In the prisoned thoughts of the city child—

And thy even wings

Are its brightest image of moving things.

It is no light chance, Thou art set apart

Wisely by him who tamed thy heart—

To stir the love for the bright and fair,

That else were sealed in the crowded air—

I sometimes dream

Angelic rays from thy pinions stream.

Come, then, ever when daylight leaves

The page I read, to my humble eaves;

And wash thy breast in the hollow spout,

And murmur thy low, sweet music out—

I hear and see

Lessons of heaven, sweet bird, in thee!

[p. 26]



Away! Away! from her favorite bower,

Where ye loved to come in the evening hour,

To silver the leaf, and smile on the flower—

Away! away! for the maid ye seek

Hath a clouded eye, and a pale, pale cheek,

As the lonely walk, and the flowers all speak.

Away! for the voice that ye could win

To flow with the melody found within,

’T is hushed, ’t is gone, as it never had been;—

And the fearful harp that ye could make

Its deepest and tenderest tones awake,

It hath not a string but it fain would break.

Away! to the slope of the dew-bright hill,

Where the sod is fresh and the air is chill,

Where the marble is white and all is still;

But never reveal who there is led

By your light, to mourn for the early dead,

And weep o’er the lost, in her lonely bed!


a dog barks at a wolf to protect a sleeping white boy
Painted by A. Fisher.      Engraved by E. Gallaudat.

[p. 27]


BY O. W. H.

How sweet to boyhood’s glowing pulse

The sleep that languid Summer yields,

In the still bosom of the wild,

Or in the flowery fields!

So art thou slumbering, lonely boy—

But ah! how little deemest thou

The hungry felon of the wood,

Is glaring on thee now!

He crept along the tangled glen,

He panted up the rocky steep,

He stands and howls above thy head,

And thou art still asleep!

No trouble mars thy peaceful dream;

And though the arrow, winged with death,

Goes glancing near thy thoughtless heart,

Thou heedest not its breath.

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Sleep on! the danger all is past,

The watch-dog, roused, defends thy breast,

And well the savage prowler knows

He may not break thy rest!

TO ——.

Blessed thou art, and shalt be! though thy day

Hath not been cloudless, nor unknown the tear

Of secret grief, too early and severe—

Darkness and sorrow soon shall pass away.

As the disciples, when their aching eye

Caught the first dawning of the eastern light

That saw their Master rising—let thy sight

In faith and hope be ever fixed on high.

Therefore in patience wait the heavenly prize:

Then shall thy deeds in sweet remembrance rise

Before the throne. And why should earthly love,

When on thy cheek the seal of death is set,

Shed the vain tear, or witness with regret

The beautiful made permanent above?

[p. 29]



‘In every object here I see

Something, O Lord, that leads to thee!

Firm as the rocks thy promise stands,

Thy mercies countless as the sands,

Thy love a sea immensely wide,

Thy grace an ever flowing tide.’

J. Newton

The ocean is wonderful and divine in its forms and changes and sounds, in its grandeur, its beauty, its variety, its inhabitants, its uses and its mysteries, in all that strikes the sense and is immediately apprehended by the understanding. But besides all these, and lying deeper than all, it possesses a moral interest, which is partly bestowed upon it, and partly borrowed from it, by the mind of man. The soul finds in it a fund of high spiritual associations. Analogies are perceived in it, which connect it most affectingly with our mortal life, with dread eternity, and with

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Almighty God himself, the source and end of all. And thus it becomes a principal link in that great chain of purpose and sympathy, with which the Creator has bound up all matter and mind, together with his own infinite being, in one consenting whole.

The sea has often been likened to this our life. Poetry is fond of remarking resemblances between it and the passions and fortunes of humanity. Our contemplations launch forth on its capacious bosom, and gather up the images and shadowings of our existence and fate, of what we are, and what is appointed to us. Do we see its multitudinous waves rushing blindly and impetuously along wherever they are driven by the lashing wind? They remind us of the tempest of an angry mind,, or the tumult of an enraged people. Are the waves hushed, and is a calm breathed over the floods? It is the similitude of a peaceful breast, of a composed and placid spirit, or a quiet, untroubled time. Doubts, anxieties, and fears pass over our minds, as clouds do over the sea, tinging them, as the clouds tinge the waters, with their deep and threatening hues. Does a beaming hope or a golden joy break in suddenly upon us, in the midst of care or misfortune? What is it but a ray of light, such as we sometimes behold sent down from the rifted sky, shining alone in the dark horizon, a sun-burst on a sullen sea?

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Then how often are the vicissitudes of life compared with the changes of the ocean. Who that has been abroad on the sea, who that has heard or read anything of its phenomena, does not know that to the most propitious winds and skies which can bless the mariner, frequently succeed those which are the most adverse and destructive; that the morning may rise with the fairest promises, bringing the favoring breeze, and smiling over the pleasant water, and ere the evening falls, or before high noon is come, the scene may be wrapt in gloom, the steady gale may be converted into the savage blast, the gay sunbeams may be followed by the blue lightnings, and the floods above be poured down on the floods below, as if together they were determined, as of old, to drown and desolate the world? And do not these things take place in the voyage of human life? Who knows not how often youth sets sail with flattering hopes and brilliant prospects, which are changed before manhood, into dreary disappointment or black despair? Who knows not how often and how suddenly the sun of prosperity may be covered up from sight, and its glowing rays be quenched in the coldness and darkness and fearfulness of howling adversity? Who knows not that in the midst of joy and peace, the billows of affliction may all at once rise up, and roll in upon the soul? ‘All thy waves and thy billows

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are gone over me,’ cries the mourning Psalmist; and again he complains, ‘Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves.’ And there is not, perhaps, in all literature, sacred or profane, a more striking image of dank, weltering, utter desolation, than is contained in the exclamation of the prophet Jonah. ‘The depth closed me round about,’ says he, ‘the weeds were wrapped about my head.’

Though no voyage, on the sea or in life, is free from vicissitudes, yet the same changes happen not to all, nor do all suffer the same or equal reverses. Our barks are all abroad on the wide surface of existence, and some experience more severe and frequent storms, or more baffling winds than others. For some, the gales of prosperity appear to blow, as we may say, tropically, so fair and steady is the course of fortune into which they seem to have fallen; while others appear to have encountered, almost at the outset, an unfavorable vein, which has opposed, wearied and persecuted them to the very end. To that end they all arrive, sooner or later. The ocean has many harbors; life has but one. It is safe and peaceful. There the tempests cease to rage, and all the winds of heaven fold up their wings, and rest. There the mariner reposes

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from all his toils, and forgets his perils and fears, his watchings and fatigues. The billows are without; they foam and toss in vain. The sails are furled, and the anchors are dropped. ‘We sail the sea of life,’ says the poet,

‘We sail the sea of life—a calm one finds,

And one a tempest—and, the voyage o’er,

Death is the quiet haven of us all.’

Thus discourses the ocean on the great themes of mortality—the eloquent ocean, sounding forth incessantly, in its deep toned surges, a true and dignified philosophy; repeating to every shore the moral and the mystery of human life.

But it does something more. It is so vast, so uniform, so full, so all enveloping, that it leads the thoughts to a sublimer theme than life or time, to the theme of dread eternity. When contemplations on this subject are suggested by it, human life shrinks up into a stream, wandering through a varied land, now through flowers, and now through sands, now clearly and now turbidly, now smoothly and quietly, and now obstructed and chafed, till it is lost at last in the mighty ocean, which receives, and feels it not. There is nothing among the earthly works of God, which brings the feeling—for it can hardly be termed a conception—the feeling of eternity so powerfully

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to the soul, as does the ‘wide, wide sea.’ We look upon its waves, succeeding each other continually, one rising up as another vanishes, and we think of the generations of men, which lift up their heads for a while and then pass away, one after the other, for all the noise and show they make, even as those restless and momentary waves. Thus the waves and the ages come and go, appear and disappear, and the ocean and eternity remain the same, undecaying and unaffected, abiding in the unchanging integrity of their solemn existence. We stand upon the solitary shore, and we hear the surges beat, uttering such grand, inimitable symphonies as are fit for the audience of cliffs and skies; and our minds fly back through years and years, to that time, when, though we were not and our fathers were not, those surges were yet beating, incessantly beating, making the same wild music, and heard alone by the overhanging cliffs, and the overarching skies, which silently gave heed to it, even as they do now. In the presence of this old and united company we feel on what an exceedingly small point we stand, and how soon we shall be swept away, while the surges will continue to beat on that very spot, and the cliffs and the skies will still lean over to hear. This is what may be called the feeling of eternity. Perhaps the feeling is rendered yet more intense, when we lie on our bed,

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musing and watching, and hear the sonorous cadences of the waves coming up solemnly and soothingly through the stillness of night. It is as the voice of a spirit—as the voice of the spirit of eternity. The ocean seems now to be a living thing, ever living and ever moving, a sleepless influence, a personification of unending duration, uttering aloud the oracles of primeval truth.

‘Listen! the mighty being is awake,

And doth with his eternal motion make

A sound like thunder, everlastingly.’

Where are the myriads of men who have trodden its shores, and gone down to it in ships? They are passed away. Not a single trace has been left by all their armaments. Where are the old kingdoms which were once washed by its waves? They have been changed, and changed again, till a few ruins only tell where they stood. But the sea is all the same. Man can place no monuments upon it, with all his ambition and pride. It suffers not even a ruin to speak of his triumphs or his existence. It remains as young, as strong, as free, as when it first listened to the Almighty Word, and responded with all its billows to the song of the morning stars.

‘Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow;

Such as creation’s dawn beheld, thou rollest now.’

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It is this immutability, which, more than any other of the attributes of ocean, perhaps, impresses our minds with the sentiment of eternity, and gives to it its character of superiority among the works of God. Earth never frees itself entirely from the subjection of man. It constantly receives and covers his fallen remains, indeed, but is made to bear memorials of the victor, even after he is vanquished. All over the world, we see the vestiges of former generations; their caves, their wells, their pyramids, their roads, their towers, their graves. But none of these things are on the sea. Its surface is unmarked but by its own commotions; and when it buries man or man’s works, the sepulture is sudden and entire; a plunge, a bubble, and the waters roll on as before, careless of the momentary interruption of their wonted flowing. Thus immutable, thus unworn and unsullied is ocean. To what shall it be compared, but to the highest subjects of thought, to life and to immortality? It allies itself in its greatness more with spirit than with matter. It holds itself above subjection or control. It seems to have a will, a liberty, and a power.

As these are high associations, they readily lead us up to Him who is above all height. There is a natural connexion between all sublime and pure sentiment, and the conception of Deity. All grandeur

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directs us to him, because we have learnt that he is greatest. We cannot stop in the creature, after we have received any true ideas of the Creator. And thus God himself comes, as if by an influence of his spirit, into our minds, when we are looking upon the sea, or listening to its roar, and imbibing the emotions which it is so powerful to excite. Where he comes, he reigns. The conception of God, when it enters, takes the throne of authority among the other thoughts, and brings them into easy subordination. And then we think how inferior and dependent are all might and majesty, compared with his. The eternity of ocean becomes a brief type of the eternity of him who made it, and all its grandeur as a passing shadow of his. It does not, however, lose any of its interest, by this kind of inferiority. Nothing is lessened to the pious mind, by being esteemed less than the Supreme. It retains its connexion with eternity and God, and is exalted by its glorious dependence. It puts on the aspect, and speaks with the added solemnity of religion; telling us that all its power and magnificence are from the Maker, and that if it is full of beauty, and life, and usefulness, and mystery, it is because the Maker is good and wise and infinite. The sea has been called the religious sea. It is religious, as it suggests religious thoughts and emotions. And as the feelings excited

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by a noble object in a contemplative soul, are always in some degree reflected back upon that object, the sea will appear to be in its own self religious; to know that it is lying in the hollow of the Almighty’s hand; to chant loud anthems to his praise in the noise of its rushing floods, and to send up its more quiet devotions in the breathing stillness of its calms. In short, we know nothing of the sea as we ought to know, we feel nothing of its best and sublimest inspirations, unless we receive from it, and communicate to it, the thoughts and feelings of religion; unless we grow devout as we gaze, and return from contemplating it with the consciousness that we have entered into a nearer union with God.

The moral associations which have now been described as naturally arising from the soul’s converse with the sea, are all in a great degree definite. The deep is, as it were, freighted and laden with them, and bears them richly to our receiving bosoms. And when we look out upon the ocean, without fixing on either of these associations as the direct subject of thought, it is the union of several or of all of them, which, almost unconsciously to us, produces such a strong impression within us. But besides these sentiments, which can be traced and numbered, there are feelings suggested by that magnificent object, which cannot so well, if at all, be defined. I believe

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that no one, who loves nature, has let his soul go out on the sea, without experiencing emotions which he could not possibly explain, but which were as real as any that he ever felt. All that he can tell of them, is, that they are elevating and refining. Further than this he cannot communicate them, for they baffle all description and search. It seems to him, sometimes, as he waits and watches on the shore, that the great Spirit himself moves, as in the beginning, on the face of the waters, and speaks to him holy words, which, though he hears and imbibes, he cannot fully understand; which he knows not now, but will know hereafter. They come like whispers of that communion, intelligence, and consent which pervade creation. They teach us something of our unrevealed connexions, something of the unseen and unimaginable future; and, if so be that we are disposed to bring down all our faith and trust to that alone which we can touch and clearly define, they gently rebuke us for our coldness, and intimate to us that there are more, many more things in heaven and earth and sea, than are dreamt of in our philosophy.

I have spoken as I was able, and not as I could have desired, of the ‘great and wide sea.’ Let the rest be learnt by each one, where it can be learnt much better than from me, from the sea itself. If I

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have induced a single individual, who has hitherto regarded it as a barren collection of waters, or a medium of traffic merely, to look upon it as something more wonderful, divine, and useful than this, I am satisfied. If his curiosity is at all excited, let him go to the sea-shore, and get wisdom. If his devout affections are at all moved, let him go to the ocean, and worship.

‘His choir shall be the moonlight waves,

When murmuring homeward to their caves;

Or, when the stillness of the sea,

Even more than music, breathes of Thee!’

Every object in nature yields instruction to the teachable and listening mind; but some objects utter a voice more powerful, more commanding, more thrilling than others. If we may find, as one of the best English poets tells us we may, ‘sermons in stones,’ in lifeless stones, what eloquent and soul-stirring addresses may we not hear from the living, glorious, beautiful, eternal sea!

p. 41]


So! I have climbed high, and my reward is small. Here I stand, with wearied knees, earth, indeed, at a dizzy depth below, but heaven far, far beyond me still. O that I could soar up into the very zenith, where man never breathed, nor eagle ever flew, and where the ethereal azure melts away from the eye, and appears only a deepened shade of nothingness! And yet I shiver at that cold and solitary thought. What clouds are gathering in the golden west, with direful intent against the brightness and the warmth of this summer afternoon! They are ponderous air ships, black as death, and freighted with the tempest; and at intervals their thunder, the signal-guns of that unearthly squadron, rolls distant along the deep of heaven. These nearer heaps of fleecy vapor—methinks I could roll and toss upon them the whole day long!—seem scattered here and there, for the repose of tired pilgrims through the sky. Perhaps—for who can tell?—beautiful spirits are disporting themselves there, and will

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bless my mortal eye with the brief appearance of their curly locks of golden light and laughing faces, fair and faint as the people of a rosy dream. Or, where the floating mass so imperfectly obstructs the color of the firmament, a slender foot and fairy limb, resting too heavily upon the frail support, may be thrust through, and suddenly withdrawn, while longing fancy follows them in vain. Yonder again is an airy archipelago, where the sunbeams love to linger in their journeyings though space. Every one of those little clouds has been dipped and steeped in radiance, which the slightest pressure might disengage in silvery profusion, like water wrung from a sea-maid’s hair. Bright they are as a young man’s vision, and like them, would be realized in chillness, obscurity, and tears. I will look on them no more.

In three parts of the visible circle, whose centre is this spire, I discern cultivated fields, villages, white country-seats, the waving lines of rivulets, little placid lakes, and here and there a rising ground, that would fain be termed a hill. On the fourth side is the sea, stretching away towards a viewless boundary, blue and calm, except where the passing anger of a shadow flits across its surface, and is gone. Hitherward, a broad inlet penetrates far into the land; on the verge of the harbour, formed by its extremity, is a town; and over it am I, a watchman, all-heeding

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and unheeded. O that the multitude of chimneys could speak, like those of Madrid, and betray, in smoky whispers, the secrets of all who, since their first foundation, have assembled at the hearths within! O that the Limping Devil of Le Sage would perch beside me here, extend his wand over this contiguity of roofs, uncover every chamber, and make me familiar with their inhabitants! The most desirable mode of existence might be that of a spiritualized Paul Pry, hovering invisible round man and woman, witnessing their deeds, searching into their hearts, borrowing brightness from their felicity, and shade from their sorrow, and retaining an emotion peculiar to himself. But none of these things are possible; and if I would know the interior of brick walls, or the mystery of human bosoms, I can but guess.

Yonder is a fair street, extending north and south. The stately mansions are placed each on its carpet of verdant grass, and a long flight of steps descends from every door to the pavement. Ornamental trees, the broad-leafed horse-chestnut, the elm so lofty and others whereof I know not the names, grow thrivingly among brick and stone. The oblique rays of the sun are intercepted by these green citizens, and by the houses, so that one side of the street is a shaded

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and pleasant walk. On its whole extent there is now but a single passenger, advancing from the upper end; and he, unless distance, and the medium of a pocket spy-glass do him more than justice, is a fine young man of twenty. He saunters slowly forward, slapping his left hand with his folded gloves, bending his eyes upon the pavement, and sometimes raising them to throw a glance before him. Certainly, he has a pensive air. Is he in doubt, or in debt? Is he, if the question be allowable, in love? Does he strive to be melancholy and gentlemanlike?—Or, is he merely overcome by the heat? But I bid him farewell, for the present. The door of one of the houses, an aristocratic edifice, with curtains of purple and gold waving from the windows, is now opened, and down the steps come two ladies, swinging their parasols, and lightly arrayed for a summer ramble. Both are young, both are pretty; but methinks the left hand lass is the fairer of the twain; and though she be so serious at this moment, I could swear that there is a treasure of gentle fun within her. They stand talking a little while upon the steps, and finally proceed up the street. Meantime, as their faces are now turned from me, I may look elsewhere.

Upon that wharf, and down the corresponding street, is a busy contrast to the quiet scene which I have just noticed. Business evidently has its centre

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there, and many a man is wasting the summer afternoon in labor and anxiety, in losing riches, or in gaining them, when he would be wiser to flee away to some pleasant country village, or shaded lake in the forest, or wild and cool sea-beach. I see vessels unlading at the wharf, and precious merchandise strown upon the ground, abundantly as at the bottom of the sea, that market whence no goods return, and where there is no captain nor supercargo to render an account of sales. Here, the clerks are diligent with their paper and pencils, and sailors ply the block and tackle that hang over the hold, accompanying their toil with cries, long-drawn and roughly melodious, till the bales and puncheons ascend to upper air. At a little distance, a group of gentlemen are assembled round the door of a warehouse. Grave seniors be they, and I would wager—if it were safe, in these times, to be responsible, for any one—that the least eminent among them, might vie with old Vincentio, that incomparable trafficker of Pisa. I can even select the wealthiest of the company. It is the elderly personage in somewhat rusty black, with powdered hair, the superfluous whiteness of which is visible upon the cape of his coat. His twenty ships are wafted on some of their many courses by every breeze that blows, and his name—I will venture to say, though I know it not—is a familiar sound among

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the far separated merchants of Europe and the Indies. But I bestow too much of my attention in this quarter. On looking again to the long and shady walk, I perceive that the two fair girls have encountered the young man, and, after a sort of shyness in the recognition, he turns back with them. Moreover, he has sanctioned my taste in regard to his companions by placing himself on the inner side of the pavement, nearest the Venus to whom I—enacting, on a steeple-top, the part of Paris on the top of Ida—adjudged the golden apple.

In two streets, converging at right angles towards my watch-tower, I distinguish three different processions. One is a proud array of volunteer soldiers in bright uniform, resembling, from the height whence I look down, the painted veterans that garrison the windows of a toy-shop. And yet, it stirs my heart; their regular advance, their nodding plumes, the sun-flash on their bayonets and musket-barrels, the roll of their drums ascending past me, and the fife ever and anon piercing through—these things have wakened a warlike fire, peaceful though I be. Close to their rear marches a battalion of school boys, ranged in crooked and irregular platoons, shouldering sticks, thumping a harsh and unripe clatter from an instrument of tin, and unfortunately aping the intricate manœuvres of the foremost band. Nevertheless,

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as slight differences are scarcely perceptible from a church spire, one might be tempted to ask, ‘Which are the boys?’—or rather, ‘Which the men?’ but, leaving these, let us turn to the third procession, which, though sadder in outward show, may excite identical reflections in the thoughtful mind. It is a funeral. A hearse, drawn by a black and bony steed, and covered by a dusty pall; two or three coaches rumbling over the stones, their drivers half asleep; a dozen couple of careless mourners in their every day attire; such was not the fashion of our fathers, when they carried a friend to his grave. There is now no clang of passing bell, to proclaim sorrow to the town. Was the King of Terrors more awful in those days than in our own, that wisdom and philosophy have been able to produce this change? Not so. Here is a proof that he retains his proper majesty. The military men, and the military boys, are wheeling round the corner, and meet the funeral full in the face. Immediately, the drum is silent, all but the tap that regulates each simultaneous foot-fall. The soldiers yield the plan to the dusty hearse, and unpretending train, and the children quit their ranks, and cluster on the sidewalks, with timorous and instinctive curiosity. The mourners enter the churchyard at the base of the steeple, and pause by an open grave among the burial stones; the lightning glimmers on

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them as they lower down the coffin, and the thunder rattles heavily while they throw the earth upon its lid. Verily, the shower is near, and I tremble for the young man and the girls, who have now disappeared from the long and shady street.

How various are the situations of the people covered by the roofs beneath me, and how diversified are the events at this moment befalling them! The new-born, the aged, the dying, the strong in life, and the recent dead, are in the chambers of these many mansions. The full of hope, the happy, the miserable, and the desperate, dwell together within the circle of my glance. In some of the houses over which my eyes roam so coldly, guilt is entering into hearts that are still tenanted by a debased and trodden virtue,—guilt is on the very edge of commission, and the impending deed might be averted; guilt is done, and the criminal wonders if it be irrevocable. There are broad thoughts struggling in my mind, and, were I able to give them distinctness, they would make their way in eloquence. Lo! the rain-drops are descending.

The clouds, within a little time, have gathered over all the sky, hanging heavily, as if about to drop in one unbroken mass upon the earth. At intervals, the lightning flashes from their brooding hearts, quivers, disappears, and then comes the thunder,

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travelling slowly after its twin-born flame. A strong wind has sprung up, howls through the darkened streets, and raises the dust in dense bodies, to rebel against the approaching storm. The disbanded soldiers fly, the funeral has already vanished like its dead, and all people hurry homeward—all that have a home; while a few lounge by the corners, or trudge on desperately, at their leisure. In a narrow lane which communicates with the shady street, I discern the rich old merchant, putting himself to the top of his speed, lest the rain should convert his hair-powder to a paste. Unhappy gentleman! By the slow vehemence, and painful moderation wherewith he journeys, it is but too evident that Podagra has left its thrilling tenderness in his great toe. But yonder, at a far more rapid pace, come three other of my acquaintance, the two pretty girls and the young man, unseasonably interrupted in their walk. Their footsteps are supported by the risen dust, the wind lends them its velocity, they fly like three sea-birds driven landward by the tempestuous breeze. The ladies would not thus rival Atalanta, if they but knew that any one were at leisure to observe them. Ah! as they hasten onward, laughing in the angry face of nature, a sudden catastrophe has chanced. At the corner where the narrow lane enters into the street, they come plump against the old merchant, whose

p. 50

tortoise motion has just brought him to that point. He likes not the sweet encounter; the darkness of the whole air gathers speedily upon his visage, and there is a pause on both sides. Finally he thrusts aside the youth with little courtesy, seizes an arm of each of the two girls, and plods onward, like a magician with a prize of captive fairies. All this is easy to be understood. How disconsolate the poor lover stands! regardless of the rain that threatens an exceeding damage to his well-fashioned habiliment, till he catches a backward glance of mirth from a bright eye, and turns away with whatever comfort it conveys.

The old man and his daughters are safely housed, and now the storm lets loose its fury. In every dwelling I perceive the faces of the chambermaids as they shut down the windows, excluding the impetuous shower, and shrinking away from the quick fiery glare. The large drops descend with force upon the slated roofs, and rise again in smoke. There is a rush and roar, as of a river through the air, and muddy streams bubble majestically along the pavement, whirl their dusky foam into the kennel, and disappear beneath iron grates. Thus it was that Arethusa sunk. I love not my station here aloft, in the midst of the tumult which I am powerless to direct or quell, with the blue lightning wrinkling on my brow, and the thunder muttering its first awful

p. 51

syllables in my ear. I will descend. Yet let me give another glance to the sea, where the foam breaks out in long white lines upon a broad expanse of blackness, or boils up in far distant points, like snowy mountain tops in the eddies of a flood; and let me look once more at the green plain, and little hills of the country, over which the giant of the storm is striding in robes of mist, and at the town, whose obscured and desolate streets might beseem a city of the dead: and turning a single moment to the sky, now gloomy as an author’s prospects, I prepare to resume my station on lower earth. But stay! A little speck of azure has widened in the western heavens; the sunbeams find a passage, and go rejoicing through the tempest; and on yonder darkest cloud, born, like hallowed hopes, of the glory of another world, and the trouble and tears of this, brightens forth the rainbow!

[p. 52]



‘Father of Lakes!’ thy waters bend

Beyond the eagle’s utmost view,

When, throned in heaven, he sees thee send

Back to the sky its world of blue.

Boundless and deep, the forests weave

Their twilight shade thy borders o’er,

And threatening cliffs, like giants, heave

Their rugged forms along thy shore.

Pale Silence, mid thy hollow caves,

With listening ear in sadness broods,

Or startled Echo, o’er thy waves

Sends the hoarse wolf-notes of thy woods.

Nor can the light canoes, that glide

Across thy breast like things of air,

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Chase from thy lone and level tide,

The spell of stillness, reigning there.

Yet round this waste of wood and wave,

Unheard, unseen, a spirit lives,

That, breathing o’er each rock and cave,

To all a wild, strange aspect gives.

The thunder-riven oak, that flings

Its grisly arms athwart the sky,

A sudden, startling image brings

To the lone traveller’s kindled eye.

The gnarled and braided boughs, that show

Their dim forms in the forest shade,

Like wrestling serpents seem, and throw

Fantastic horrors through the glade.

The very echoes round this shore

Have caught a strange and gibbering tone,

For they have told the war-whoop o’er,

Till the wild chorus is their own.

Wave of the Wilderness, adieu!

Adieu ye Rocks, ye Wilds and Woods!

Roll on, thou Element of Blue,

And fill these awful solitudes!

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Thou hast no tale to tell of man—

God is thy theme. Ye Sounding Caves—

Whisper of Him, whose mighty plan

Deems as a bubble all your waves!


Yes! there are pleasures, that so closely tread

On suffering’s dark and melancholy train,

That scarce the throbbing heart, the aching head,

Seem conscious of the change to joy, from pain—

Not yet aroused from fear’s benumbing reign;—

Thus, when the yawning grave to health returns

Friends, for whom prayer had seemed to rise in vain,

The joy, so long delayed, half welcome dawns,

And the vexed spirit, though it kindles, mourns.

So when the bow of beauty in the skies,

Serenely arches in its native heaven,

And in its robes of many-colored dies, [sic]

Renews the promise to the Patriarchs given,—

Though stormy winds and waves are backward driven,

Still trembles Nature with her recent fears;

The agony with which her frame has striven,

In contest strange, upon her face appears,

And, though she sweetly smiles, her smiles are stained with tears.

L. M … t.


a group of people on a cliff among the mountains
Painted by Cole.      Engraved by G. B. Ellis.

[p. 55]


The picture by Mr Cole, of which we have given a copy under the above title, is in the possession of Daniel Wadsworth, Esq., Hartford, by whose favour we have been allowed to give it a place in the Token. It is not a view of a particular spot, but a combination of sketches from nature, taken in various parts of the country. The design of the artist appears to have been, to present in one view, the characteristic features of our mountain landscape; and, as not inappropriate to such a design, he has introduced in the distance a scene from Mr Cooper’s tale of the Last of the Mohicans. The particular point of the story referred to, is indicated by the following extracts. The lines annexed, which might be entitled Cora’s Appeal, were furnished us by a friend.

‘When the sun was seen climbing above the tops of the mountain against whose bosom the Delawares had constructed their encampment, most were seated; and as his bright rays darted from behind the outline of trees that fringed the eminence, they fell upon as grave, as attentive and as deeply interested a multitude, as was probably ever before lightened by his morning beams. Its number somewhat exceeded a thousand souls.’

‘Magua cast a look of triumph around the whole assembly, before he proceeded to the execution of his purpose. Perceiving that the men were unable to offer any resistance, he turned his

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looks on her he valued most. Cora met his gaze, with an eye so calm and firm, that his resolution wavered. Then recollecting his former artifice, he raised Alice from the arms of the warrior, against whom she leaned, and beckoning Heyward to follow, he motioned for the encircling crowd to open. But Cora, instead of obeying the impulse he had expected, rushed to the feet of the patriarch; and raising her voice, exclaimed aloud;’—

Hear! old of days, hear, father! hear—

Whose ancient form, and temples, crowned

With snows of by-gone time, appear

Coeval with the hills around!

To you these Indian maidens kneel—

For mercy, justice, plead to you.

O let thine aged bosom feel

Ruth for the white man’s daughter too.

To that high peak, whose cloud-clad brow

Approaches near the Eternal’s throne,

Bid these young warriors bear me now,

Thence bid them dash me headlong down;

Or let me die in smoke and fire,

Or in yon torrent find relief,

Or perish here, by tortures dire,

Ere give me to that savage chief—

Yield me not up his victim here.

O rather rend me limb from limb—

As well the panther with the deer

May dwell in peace, as I with him!

[p. 57]


Shortly after the close of the Revolutionary war, I visited the islands, which in a clear day, are seen so distinctly from the coast of New Hampshire. One who sees them from the shore, would take them for barren rocks rising from the sea. And such in fact they are; but they were then inhabited by a few bold and hardy men, who had little intercourse with the continent, and who did not encourage the visits of strangers by any cordiality of reception. These islands were the scene of shipwrecks, much more frequently in that day than in this, when the navigation of our coast is better understood; and as their situation made them a secure resort for those engaged in evading the revenue laws of the country, it seemed important that the inhabitants should be taught the duties of humanity to the one, and justice to the other. As I had buried the last of my family, and was desirous to spend the short remainder of my life in the service of my heavenly Master, I determined to visit

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these islands in the way of my professional duty, hoping, though without enthusiasm, to do something for the benefit of the islanders, by encouraging their improvement in religion, and the duties of social life.

It was on a fine summer morning that I left the shore and stood out for the islands. They rose white and shining, like icebergs, from the dark blue sea. Our little boat sprang gaily over the waters, and in two short hours we approached the one which was distinguished from the rest by a small stone church, that stood on an elevated rock, and towered above the neighbouring buildings. As we turned the corner of the projecting rock which formed their little harbour, we saw a number of men engaged in removing the fish from their boats to the shore. When they saw us, they armed themselves with stones, and seemed determined to prevent our landing. This they would perhaps have done, but for an old man, who seemed to be superintending their labor. He reproved them with authority, though not perhaps with the dialect of a patriarch, and approaching the boat, bade me welcome. I explained to him that my desire was to preach in the church, and to instruct their children; that, as he might easily imagine, I had no interested purpose to answer, and should ask of them nothing but the privilege of doing good. After a moment’s consideration, he invited me to land, and

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explained to the people the purpose with which I had come. They made no objections. Some of them even showed an interest in the plan, but soon returned to their labor, while the old man led me over the rocks into the little town.

I soon found that he had a prescriptive authority among them, and thought myself fortunate in securing his favor. As we walked slowly through the rude street, he explained to me the reason of the welcome he had given me. ‘I know nothing about priestly matters,’ said he, ‘but I have always tried to do my duty. No man can say that I have not been as honest as the times would allow. Still, there is no doubt a good deal that might be mended in all of us, and I am willing that you should try your hand. But you will have discouraging work of it, I forewarn ye. Our young men are as rough as the sea, and the children are as ignorant as cattle, though you will find them ready to mind you, if they see that you want to do them good. But there is one family here, somewhat different from the rest. It consists of a poor young girl and her brother, a wild youth, who follows the sea. Ever since she has been here, she has lived in a house of my own; and as she has often wished to see a person of your cloth, I cannot do better, than give you your lodgings in the same

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house, where they live more after your inland fashion than we do.’

Thus saying, he without ceremony opened the door of a small house, and invited me to enter. A young female was sitting by the fire with her face turned from us. The old man spoke to her in a kind and respectful manner, saying, ‘Well, Miss Mary, you have often wished that there was a minister here, and here is one come at last. He seems well disposed, and as there is no other house on the island, where he could make himself content for a day, I must make bold to quarter him with you.’ I know not that I was ever more astonished, than to see a delicate and graceful girl rise when she heard the sound of his voice, and express her pleasure at seeing him. Then turning to me, she offered me her hand, and said with much sweetness, that she was happy to receive me in the house of her aged friend, which he had kindly assigned for her dwelling. Such attentions as she herself and her old companion, pointing to a deaf old woman, could afford me, they would be most happy to render; and she was confident, that as nothing but desire of doing good could have brought me thither, I should not be offended at the defects of their hospitality. Such a vision in such a place, surprised me so much, that I was almost unable to reply to her kind welcome.

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The next day was the sabbath; and it rose as bright and calm, as any day that ever dawned upon the world. I saw that the boats were drawn up high upon the shore. Nothing but the low murmur of the waves broke the quiet of the islands; and the only sign of life, was the blue smoke which was gently winding upward from the humble habitations. My young companion informed me, that the islanders, though little informed with respect to religion, always respected the sabbath as a release from labor which was needed by weary man. Before the sun was high, a bell, which was used instead of a light to warn vessels by night of the danger of the islands, sent an unusual summons across the waves, and in an hour or two, boats were seen putting off from their rocky harbours, with their supplies for the little assembly at the church. I explained to them the history and purpose of Jesus Christ, who chose his apostles from an humble employment like their own; whose whole object was to make them happy in this life and another, by making them holy, just and good. I spoke with simplicity and with some effect. I wished to see no effects but such as were likely to endure, and when I could see that I had gained the attention of my little audience, my purpose was answered. I was met after the service by some of the congregation, who expressed, in rude phrase, their gratifica-

p. 62

tion at hearing me talk sense and religion, and their wishes that I might do them some good. I could not help being struck with the respectful, but compassionate interest, with which my young companion was regarded; while she, in turn, had something to say to each, and she appeared so much like a superior being, with her gentle dignity of manner, that every eye, as it was turned toward her, seemed to kindle with delight.

Old as I was, I could hardly suppress my curiosity to learn the explanation of this mystery; but I felt that she had a right to take her own time to give her confidence, and I would not ask the explanation from any but herself. Meantime, she went with me from house to house, and from island to island. In every dwelling she seemed to be familiar. The children clapped their hands when they saw her, and rant o the doors to tell the inmates that she was near. I found much sickness and suffering among them; but instead of being treated as an intruder, which I expected would be the case at first, I found that I was welcomed with respect and kindness. When I gently suggested to them the consolations of religion, I found that they had heard them all before. It seemed as if an angel had preceded me to prepare my way. In these lowly mansions, I found religion kindling the innocent smiles of youth, and glowing

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with holy serenity on the venerable brow of age. there were straw-built sheds from which the Samaritan would have almost turned away; in them, I found that a messenger of peace had been before me. Religion had been set before them as a principle of duty to God, and benevolence to man, and their hearts had given a quiet verdict in its favor.

Such a state of things I had never found in any other community, and the grateful testimony of all, assured me, that it was owing to her who stood modestly silent by my side. She told me that she had been early taught to derive happiness from heavenly sources, and in some of her leisure hours had read and explained the Scriptures to the sick and aged, who were unable to read for themselves. The view of its effect recommended the subject to others, and though she said she knew nothing but the first elements of Christianity, she had taken pleasure in teaching them that they were immortal, and that they had it in their own power to determine what that immortality should be.

Unequal as is the friendship of age and youth, we were almost unseparable companions; and all my acquaintance with her, served to confirm the respect, with which she had already inspired me. I often sat with her on a tomb, which is raised on a little hill, to the memory of some persons, who, in the early age of

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the colony, perished by shipwreck on these islands. I found that to her everything was a subject of religious and happy contemplation. She delighted to watch the day, as it went down over the edge of the horizon to join the eternal past, and the evening star, when it began to burn in the purple radiance, as a signal for all the other fires to be lighted in the sky.

Nothing could exceed the beauty of such hours, when small sails, gilt with the soft light, were hurrying homeward, and the distant beacons were beginning to twinkle on the waters; while the very ocean seemed to share the calmness, and hushed its resounding voice to a tone as gentle and mournful as the murmurs of a dream. She loved to gaze upon the same ocean, when it was lifted and broken by the storm; when the everlasting rock of the island seemed to tremble before the battering waves, and the lightning shot its dazzling bolt to the lowest depths of the sea; while the sound of the bell, warning the seamen from the dangerous coast, was plaintive as the death angel’s voice, and at times rose higher and louder upon the wind, as if to give the alarm, that some ill-fated vessel was dashed upon the shore.

One evening when we were sitting upon this tomb, which was our favorite retreat in the summer evenings, we saw a sail at a distance, which seemed to

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belong to a larger vessel, than the fishing craft that generally passed the island. The old patriarch of the community was with us, and his experienced eye at once detected it to be a ship bound for Portsmouth harbour. ‘Oh! if my poor brother should be on board,’ said Mary. ‘No, no,’ said the old man; ‘he sails in no such vessel as that, and does not often make for a harbour in the daytime.’ ‘Yes, you are right,’ she said; ‘but I live upon the home that he will abandon this infamous employment, and do something worthy of him.’ ‘Why,’ said the old man, ‘as to its being infamous, I do not exactly know; it wrongs nobody but the government, and they have not done so well by your family, that you need be uneasy about their losing a little. But I suppose the minister thinks harder of it than I do, so I won’t undertake to justify it; and yet I suppose, if he knew just how it is, he would see some excuse for your wild brother.’ ‘I hope, indeed,’ said Mary, ‘that there is some excuse for him, considering how unfortunate he has been; but I can find no justification whatever for his employment, and I would give up everything—I would labor day and night to the last breath of existence, if I could induce him to live like one of the honest young men of these islands. But this gentleman ought to know something about us, and with your leave, I will tell him our short history.’ She turned

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her face a little from me, the old man leaned on his staff, and she began.

‘My father lived in New Jersey, on a beautiful estate, not far from the seashore. In his youth, he was an officer in the British service, and was seriously wounded in one of his European campaigns. His physicians recommending his retiring from the army, he left it with honor, and married an English lady, who came to his country with him. They lost all their children, but the brother I have mentioned, and myself. George was older than I, and being an only son, was much indulged by his parents, who saw in him the elements of a character that promised eminence in the military profession, for which my father designed him. I was left to my mother’s care, and I have reason to bless her memory; for she was unwearied in her endeavours to form my character. She was no enthusiast in religion, but was deeply impressed with its importance, and did all in her power to instruct me in that faith, which she regarded with veneration. In a measure she succeeded. I cannot remember the time, when I did not think of God with more love and confidence than dread; and the faith, which, in some youthful minds, is made cheerless and unsocial, in mine was bright, inspiring, and associated with everything happy. I could almost adore her for her judicious affection;

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for by this early instruction, I trust I have been enabled to bear my misfortunes better than some, who have been less acquainted with grief.

‘Those scenes of childhood are almost always before me. I know not whether I think upon them with more pleasure or pain. I can almost see the garden, in which we sat in summer evenings like this; the fields, on whose sunny green we delighted to tread; and the forests, which breathed a sound from their deep caverns, so like the ocean before us. In winter too, our house was the very home of hospitality. Well do I remember, how we gathered round the vast fireplace, as the snow-storm howled over our chimneys, and shook the windows; how we listened to the tales of wonder which then abounded, till our blood ran cold at every sound. But my feeling is almost agony, when I think how sadly all is changed, and what a few short years can do.

‘When the troubles between this and the mother country began, our father took the side of England. All his prejudices were in favor of that nation, and he felt too that he owed it a debt of gratitude, which bound him to its service. He was a bold and independent man; and even if he had seen the danger of avowing his opinions, would never have concealed them. I thought of these things only as the politics of the day; but my mother, whose health had

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been for some time declining, was full of serious apprehensions. Still my father was resolute, and maintained, that if troubles should arise, which he did not fear, a small detachment of the British army would easily put them down. I dreaded to hear him say this; for though I was very young, I could easily discover that the eyes of his guests would flash fire, whenever he used this tone of contemptuous defiance. At last we were almost deserted. His friends fell away one by one; and as his social enjoyments were thus abridged, his temper grew more stern, and he declared his opinions on all occasions almost with fierceness. It was not easy to see where this would end, but I could see that it had a bad effect on the young mind of my brother, and my poor mother, thus worn with anxiety as well as disease, was sinking slowly to the grave.

‘At last what we dreaded came upon us. We heard that the fire was kindled at Lexington which could only be quenched in blood. My father retained his haughty bearing, and repeatedly declared that an overwhelming force would soon be upon the coast. This gave reason to suppose that he was in correspondence with the British, and was doubtless the cause of his ruin. One night, when all was still, we were alarmed by the clattering of hoofs; lights flashed into the windows, and we heard a stern voice, giving

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orders to secure the doors and windows. Then there was a heavy tread, and ringing of arms upon the stairs, and my father was called upon to surrender himself to the new authorities of his country. Whether it was accident or design I know not, but he fired a pistol which slightly wounded one of the men. This made them furious. They compelled him to dress himself in haste, and go with them before their Committee of Safety. He gave but one silent embrace to his wife and children. He did not trust himself to speak. We knew what was in his heart; but I saw by the light of the lamp, that there was no expression but that of calm and haughty defiance on his brow.

‘Oh! how sadly did that morning dawn! My poor mother had received a shock that finished what disease had left undone. There was no one with us but the aged domestic, who is with me now. There were some who ventured to come near the mansion, but my brother, young as he was, received them with reproaches and defiance. I know not what we should have done, but for this friend of our family, a distant relative of my mother, who was sent to us by Providence in our adversity, and has never withdrawn from us his kind protection. He was in favor with the ruling party, and was therefore able to defend us. for the few days that my mother survived, she was in

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a state of distressing gloom, and was constantly repeating that we were a fated family. I am not superstitious, but it may be, the prophecy of the dying is true.

‘My father, when taken from us, was hurried to a prison-ship, one of the sad places in which the political offenders of that day were confined. It seems hard to believe that needless cruelty could have been practised by the American people; but in that day, all was madness. Prisoners were crowded in these hateful dungeons, where they soon became prey to disease and sorrow. It was there my father learned that his children had no longer a mother, and that the eyes which had so long been turned on him with delighted affection, were not to behold him again. The friend of whom I speak, determined at all hazards to effect his escape, and with the aid of some others, who joined in the benevolent enterprise, he released him by night, and brought him to this island. That he might relieve his solitude and sorrow, this devoted friend came for us, his children, and restored us to him in the house where we now dwell. There was great hazard in all this, but our benefactor was unwearied in his kindness; and there was so little intercourse in those times, between this island and the continent, that our retreat was unknown.

‘Though my father’s health was broken, he lived; but he was an altered man. He still retained his in-

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terest in the cause of his king and country, and the intelligence, which reached him from time to time, of the fate of successive royal armies, did not lessen his ardor. Still, his spirit was altered. He was gentle and thoughtful, and seemed to take pleasure in hearing me read the history of Him, whose noble forbearance under injury he had learned to admire. Our friend did everything to relieve him; and I believe he might, once more, have been almost happy, were it not for anxiety for us. A treacherous friend, who undertook to secure the estate from confiscation, had secured it to himself, and having my father’s papers in his possession, was successful in his fraud. The thought that he must leave us destitute at no distant time, was the weight that sat most heavy upon him. Our kind protector endeavoured to lighten it, by assurances that he would never desert us. Excepting this, all was calm in his soul; though his son was always engaged with the islanders in some adventure, he seemed to have confidence that he would turn out well; and when, at last, he was called away from the living, I was happy, lonely as I was, to think how peaceful was his departure, and how serene his hope that he should meet us all again.

‘Many years will not pass before I shall meet him. I have inherited my mother’s slender frame. I am

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not weary of life, but have few ties to bind me to it, excepting my poor brother. He has already dishonored himself by associating with the smugglers, who hover upon our defenceless coast. But this I could bear, did I not dread his taking revenge on those who wronged my father. He has sworn to call the relative to account who now holds my father’s estate, and knowing his disposition as I do, I live in constant fear of his being led into some deed of guilt. Oh! we are unfortunate in being so early deprived of a mother’s care! I hope—I try to hope, that he may give up his companions, who, for their own base purposes, are constantly filling his mind with thoughts of his own wrongs. If I could only see him what I wish him to be, I should be content to lie down by the side of my father.’ The tears sprang into her eyes as she spoke. At the same time she pointed to a little hillock on which the grass, greener than any around it, showed that it was a grave.

We now continued our labors together, endeavouring to teach the aged and the young. For the remainder of the summer, we went from house to house, with persevering attention; but I observed that my young companion began to grow feeble. Her step was not so light, nor her cheek so roselike, as when I first knew her; but she did not complain, and seemed to think herself better for the exertion. I once

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intimated to her that her health required her attention; but she only remarked with a smile, ‘We are a fated family, you know.’ I was disagreeably struck with the words. Was it possible, that, with her good sense and just views of religion, she was influenced by a wretched superstition? I could not believe it; and after observing her for some time with almost painful interest, I could not resist the conviction, that she felt herself declining under the approaches of that fatal disease, which, in our climate, destroys more than any other messenger of death, and almost always selects the young, delicate, and fair, for its prey.

In the autumn, I was obliged to leave the island for a week on private business, which called me to Rhode Island. I went with regret, for I had become attached to the place, where my services had been received with gratitude, and not without benefit. The old man, whom I saw daily, was very friendly to me; and my young companion, who had begun to treat me with the confidence of a child, inspired an interest similar to that of the children I had lost. they all urged me to return as soon as possible, and I felt that while the world was all before me, I had no ties to bind me to any other place.

I had finished my business, and was on my return, when being one day in Boston, as I sat in the dining

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room of a hotel, a young man, of handsome person, asked me hastily for the newspaper, which I had just taken from the table. His manner was earnest, though civil, and I put it into his hands without hesitation. He glanced hastily over it with a troubled eye. I observed, that as something met his eye on one of the pages, he gave a convulsive start, and his face grew pale as death; but recovering in an instant, he laid down the paper, and hurried out of the room. I looked after him a moment with surprise, and then took up the paper to learn the cause of his agitation. I was not long in finding it, under the word Murder! It was there stated, that a citizen of New Jersey, who lived at some distance from any town, was alarmed one night by a person who came to his house, and insisted upon seeing him. He rose and went to the door, when the stranger asked him to walk a little distance from the house by the moonlight, as he had something to say, which he wished none might overhear. This he declined, unless the stranger would declare his name. The other urged the point impatiently, but finding he could not prevail, tole him in a voice trembling with passion, that he was come to demand satisfaction for the wrongs of the former owner of that mansion. Without giving him time to reply, the stranger forced a pistol into his hand, stepped backward a few paces, and directed him to fire,

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when the word was given. At the word, the stranger fired, and he sunk insensible on his threshold, while the assassin escaped, and as there were none but females in the house, no pursuit was made. The life of the wounded man was despaired of, and a reward was offered to any one who would discover the author of the attempt.

It was supposed to be the son of the former owner of the mansion, though his person was unknown. This sufficiently explained all that I dreaded to know. I could not resolve to betray him, and probably pursuit would have been vain; for this was in the days when, as many now living can remember, the mail required a day and a half to pass from Portsmouth to Boston. I trembled for the effect this distressing intelligence might have on my young friend, and thought it my duty to hurry on my journey, that she might at least, since she must know it, learn it from a considerate friend.

The next day I arrived at the part of the coast nearest the islands, early in the afternoon. There was a small house, standing upon an elevated part of the shore, in which those who visit the islands generally took shelter, while preparing for the little voyage. As I rode up, the landlord was standing at his door, and in answer to my application for a boat, told me that I should be under the necessity of pass-

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ing the night there, as no boat could go and return at so late an hour of the day. ‘I sent off a boat at daybreak, with a young spark who was in a great hurry to go,’ said he, ‘and it has not got back. I begin to be troubled about it, for the mist that is coming up like smoke from the marshes, is no good sign.’ When he had taken care of my horse, he proposed to me to walk with him to the highest part of the elevation to look out for his boat. We went accordingly, and saw at a great distance what seemed to be a sail. ‘There it is,’ said he, ‘and it will come fast enough with such a wind as this; perhaps a little too fast, for the wind rises every minute, and the sea boils like a kettle. I am glad that I am not in that craft that you see off at a distance; she will have business this night, or I know nothing about the sea.’

We sat down upon the edge of the cliff that overhung the sea. He kept his eye upon his boat, and I amused myself with watching the waves, as they broke in a long roll of thunder upon the shore. He was not in the habit of remaining long silent, and soon startled me with an exclamation, ‘What under the heaven is this?’ as he happened to turn a moment from the sea. He left me without another word, and ran to his house. In a few moments, I saw a heavy cloud of thick smoke pouring from his chimney, which, in the intervals of the breeze, rose high into the

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air, and then rolled slowly away. While I was pondering what this might mean, he returned, and taking his seat again, said, ‘There! that will do for warning; and yet they are in no great danger, for even the gulls are coming in from the ocean, and nobody will be in a hurry to venture upon it. I am glad that my boat is almost in.’

‘What does this mean, friend?’ said I, ‘for you are talking riddles to me.’

‘Why,’ said he, ‘that craft that you see off, and which ought to be in some safer place, is one that has some reasons of its own for not wishing to see visiters on board.’

‘What! a smuggler? Then I suppose your smoke was a signal of some kind or other.’

‘You are not much out. You see that smoke at a distance over the trees. That is a sign that some of the custom-house gentry are on the road.’

‘Is it possible that this business is carried on in a country like ours?’

‘There is no better country for it in all creation. You can find a creek almost anywhere. That vessel that you see, landed half her cargo last night, and if they should seize her now, she has made a clever voyage. They arrange matters with people on shore, who meet them at night with their teams, and before morning it would be impossible to find a trace of the

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night’s work. Many ’s the time I have worked at that trade, but it is too hard for my time of life, and some say it is not quite right. However I ’m easy on that point, for I never saw a word against it in the Bible.’

I attempted to make him comprehend that it was a crime, but found that I was laboring to no purpose. While we were engaged in the argument, we heard the trampling of a horse’s hoofs near us, and in an instant a rider, whose dress and manner showed the haste of his errand, rode up, and demanded a boat for the purpose of boarding the vessel, which he saw from the shore. My host told him that the boat was ready to sail at a minute’s warning.

‘Then call your hands, and put off this instant.’

‘Not so fast, master. I told you you might have the boat, but you must go alone. What mortal would think of going on the water at such a time as this? Why, it blows a gale already, and the spray beats on the shore like a snow-storm. If the crew of that vessel were as safe on land as you are, they would bless their stars, and unless they make for a harbour, which they seem in no haste to do, they never will weather another storm in this world.’ He was right in his prediction of a storm. At nightfall the wind blew a hurricane. The waves beat on the shore in incessant thunder. It was in vain that I attempted to

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get any rest. The rattling of the casements and the roaring of the chimney, were a constant disturbance, and I could not resist the belief that I sometimes heard cries of distress, as well as the quick hollow echo of the minute gun. At daybreak the wind abated, and the sun rose upon a sea, as blue and calm as it had been the day before.

I went toward the island the next day, with a heavy and foreboding heart. Nothing could exceed the clear transparency of the atmosphere, or the beauty of the white rocks, as they shone in the steady brightness of an autumn day. Whether it were occasioned by the sleeplessness of the night, I know not, but I was full of dark imaginations, and almost dreaded to learn what might have happened while I was away. It seemed as if our boat would never reach the little harbour, and I felt all the sickness of heart which can be produced by impatience and dread. When we arrived, I sprang to the shore and hastened to my habitation; but before I could reach it, I saw the old man coming toward me, with a look that confirmed my fears. As I eagerly asked if all were well, he shook his head. ‘No, no,’ said he, ‘it is not well. And you and I, who thought we had our share of trials, must bear one more yet. Old as we are, the young will go before us.’

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‘What,’ said I, ‘can bad news reach these solitary islands so soon?’

‘Yes,’ said he, ‘the poor girl, who had gone beyond her strength before, grew sick as soon as you left us; but it seemed nothing alarming. She might have done well, but for that brother. Wretch that he is, I could almost curse him. Yesterday morning he broke into the house, without any kind of warning, and, without minding the state she was in, told her that he had taken vengeance on the man who had injured their family. He had sworn to do it long ago, and had kept his word; but now there would be a price on his head, and he must go to some distant country. He meant, he said, to have given his enemy an honorable meeting, but the coward had refused it, and had taken the consequences. He threw his arms round her for a moment, and before I could recover myself from my surprise, his boat was skimming like a seabird over the waves. Old as I am, I could have shot him for this last murder.’

‘No. She fell into convulsions the moment she heard what he had done, and at times she raves, and talks of nothing but murder. But go in, go in; and when you pray, ask God to forgive me for cursing a miserable sinful creature, who, unless he

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has escaped the storm by miracle, has before this answered for what he has done.’

I went in as directed, and saw a sight that shocked me. I cannot describe the unutterable wo expressed on the poor girl’s countenance. She lay without motion, the veins of her beautiful forehead swelled with agony. I spoke, but she made no reply. I took her hand, but felt no answering pressure. Her whole soul was wrapt in one overwhelming emotion, and she neither heard nor heeded anything around her. I sunk upon my knees by the bedside, and prayed that God would spare her a little while, at least to show that the consolations of her religion were neither few nor small. The familiar voice of prayer revived her. Her face became as an angel’s in its calm and holy expression. She seemed to recover the consciousness of existence, and we welcomed her as one returning from the dead.

She slowly recovered so far as to walk with my support to some of the houses on the island. All seemed delighted to see her once more among them; and though her countenance never changed its mournful and affecting expression, it was evident that she found relief in returning to her chosen duty. We often rested on the tomb, which overlooked the sea. There she would gaze all round upon the waters, and then cast down her eyes in sadness, as if

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she sought for some object which she was never to behold again. She often spoke of her father and mother, but never mentioned her brother’s name. Perhaps she had the impression which prevailed in the island, that his vessel could not have outlived the storm. It was afterwards ascertained, that it found shelter that night, in a small river; but it never was known where the unhappy man was overtaken by the avenger of blood. The health of my young friend seemed slowly declining, but one day I saw an unusual radiance in her expression. I congratulated her on her restoration. ‘Do not deceive yourself,’ she said; ‘you know we are a fated family; but let me for the last time listen to the voice of prayer.’ I prayed as she desired, and before I had closed the lips of devotion, she was gone from the earthly service, to the heavenly enjoyment of God!

Such is the narrative which I received from a servant of God, who died many years ago. I have since visited the spot, and seen the ruins of a house which belonged to a former patriarch of the islands, whose name is yet remembered. But the unfortunate family, whose short history is here told, have left no more trace upon the memory of the islanders, than some passing vessel leaves upon the waters that welter round their shores.

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‘It is a custom of the Indian tribes, to visit the tombs of their ancestors, who have been buried for upwards of a century.’—See Notes to Gertrude of Wyoming.

Ay! ’t is a holy rite,

Remembrance of the dead!

That will not let oblivious blight

Around the graves be shed,

Of those the heart in life revered,

The loved, the honored, the endeared.

Nor transient is the time

To holy memory given;

But faithful as the starry clime

That marks the hours in heaven,

Pointing a love that will not die,

Though years elapse, and centuries fly.

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The Indian marks the tomb

Where sleep his fathers’ sires;

There still he bids the flowerets bloom,

There still he lights his fires—

Still watching on, through ages fled,

The sacred ashes of the dead.—

Far o’er the rugged wild

Their pilgrim steps they trace,

Where rocks on rocks are rudely piled,

In nature’s awful grace,

To stand again before the mound

By kindred earth made holy ground.

But we, alas!—but we,

More civilized than they,

Inurned our loved ones’ ashes see,

And weep them for a day—

Then turn away to mirth or gain,

And let them in their tombs remain!

[p. 85]



Spain, whether considered as a land singularly favored in soil, climate, and all the blessings which a benignant nature can bestow, or as connected with historical recollections of the most romantic ast, or, in fine, as the home of a primitive and peculiar people, a nation, even in ruins magnanimous, yields to no other country in attractions.

Of no portion of that country is the remark more true, than of the Sierrania of Ronda. This is an Alpine region, situated in the extremity of the Peninsula, and which seems to rear itself at the termination of Europe, as if to outfrown the rugged mountains of the opposite continent. The genius of its inhabitants has ever been, and still is, singularly hardy and warlike. Reared amid the untamed scenes of a capricious nature, like the Araucanians of the New World, they have ever scorned, though they have not like them always successfully resisted,

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subjection. Nowhere, except in Galicia, did the Romans meet with so desperate a resistance to their ambitious projects as here. It was here that, when the retiring tide of conquest rolled the Saracens backward to the shores of the Mediterranean, the Christians encountered the most deadly opposition; and here, too, the modern despot, who would have brought the whole world to tremble at his nod, was most humbled in the pride of his invincibility.

Trained, indeed, as he is, to the laborious pursuits of the shepherd or the husbandman, or leading the more hazardous life of the smuggler, mounted with halter and packsaddle on his good steed, and trusting only to the speed of the generous beast or to the sure aim of his carbine, the Serrino of the present day excels not less in physical force, than in a courage which sets danger at defiance.

Of all the localities that I have ever seen, that of Ronda, the mountain city which gives its name to the surrounding Sierrania, is the most picturesque, and the most peculiar. Switzerland, in all the wild magnificence of her scenery, has nothing so wonderful. In the midst of a vast basin formed by an amphitheatre of noble mountains, rises a small platform or table-land, terminated by lofty precipices and surrounded by a pleasant valley, which leaves it in a manner insulated. There the city stands, not unlike

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the uncouth castles of Gothic times, reared amid the loveliness of nature.

This rock, which at some far distant day was doubtless encircled by the waters of the Guardiaro, is now divided from east to west by a narrow gap of great depth, the present bed of the river. It is known by the appropriate name of Tajo, or the Cut. Were the Guardiaro not there to attest the agency of that subtle element, conjecture would have to seek a cause for this wonderful opening, in some sudden convulsion of nature. Indeed, before reaching the city, the river glides gently along a sheltered and beautiful valley, fringed with orchards and gardens. But suddenly, as you follow the course of the stream, the quiet landscape disappears, and the eye is arrested by the rugged rock on which Ronda stands pinnacled. The river is no longer seen, and a deep and narrow cavern, discovered with difficulty, offers itself as the only possible outlet. It has, in fact, cut boldly through this barrier, leaving on either hand a precipice perfectly perpendicular, which, by the gradual descent of the river, and the simultaneous ascent of the land, grows bolder and bolder, until the depth reaches the fearful profundity of a thousand feet. Nothing is more strange or perplexing, than the contrast offered by the ascent of the hill, and the descending river dimly discoverable far below, as,

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foaming amid fallen rocks, and sending up clouds of mist, it urges its way fearfully forward.

Where the hill has reached its highest point, and just before the Tajo has attained its greatest depth, stands a massive bridge, sustained upon abutments three hundred feet in height, which rise from the ravine, and are incorporated with the precipices. The narrowness of the Tajo, compared with its surprising depths, may be estimated, from the fact of its being embraced by a single arch of no great span.

Below the bridge, the right bank of the Guardiaro remains level, while the bed of the stream continues to descend, pouring its waters in a succession of cascades. Upon the continuation of this platform stands the Alameda. This is the chief promenade of Ronda, in summer the nightly resort of its inhabitants. Here benches are placed in convenient situations under the trees, while ever busy fountains, disposed at the angles of the walks, cool the air and impart animation and cheerfulness to the scene.

Towards the Tajo, the Alameda is bounded by an iron railing; not a mere ornament, for there the precipice is so completely perpendicular, that you may drop a line from the bench on which you sit into the torrent, a thousand feet below. At Ronda, this is the ready refuge of despairing lovers, and of all to whom

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life may have become loathsome; in the war of independence it was the grave of many a Frenchman.

To one, however, who has a heart at ease and an eye to be pleased with the charms of nature, the scene from the Alameda is fraught with attraction. It takes in the broken range of the Sierrania, and overlooks the opposite bank, where the abruptness of the Tajo disappearing below the bridge, gives place to a declivity, which, though steep and narrow, and of dangerous access, yet offers occasional ledges, where mills are seated. These ledges are also covered with vegetation, quickened by the water from the aqueducts, or the spray thrown up by the dashing of the wheels, while hanging gardens and arbors attest the assistance of art. Millers, too, are seen moving from house to house, directing the efforts of the stream; men and boys, and sure footed borricos, laden with sacks of flour, circulate between the mills and city, by many zig-zag paths of dangerous appearance. In the pleasant valley directly below, the various objects of the landscape, baffle the beholder from their unwonted position. The houses scarce form tangible points to the eye; the trees appear but as circular spots of a deeper verdure; the men laboring in the fields and the women washing at the stream, are dwindled into Lilliputians, lengthening but when they stoop; the four-footed beasts preserve their pro-

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portions better; whilst the birds, which make their home in the crannies of the precipice, now for the first time looked down upon as they perform their circling eddies, seem but swarms of insects.

Far lovelier is the view to him who has courage and industry to descend, along the dangerous and fatiguing footpath, to the valley below. There the stream, weary at length of its former impatience, glides peacefully along, and the landscape softens into beauty. The whole valley forms one vast and ever sheltered orchard, than which no fairer may be found within the whole domain of Pomona. The scene, restricted by the overhanging banks, to the exclusion of all indifferent objects, is truly enchanting. While all around is bloom and beauty, the eye follows to the west the rich undulations of the stream, rendered more lovely by the contrasting gloom of the overhanging Sierra. Immediately above is the railing of the Alameda. There, at the evening hour, soldiers in uniform, priests in their sable garbs, and contrabandistas in their jaunty and more gracious attire, leaning over to gaze with never ending admiration upon the outspread beauties below, all add to the singularity of the spectacle; while the fair form of woman, shone on by the last rays of the sun, and painted upon the clear blue of the overhanging heavens, comes to complete its loveliness.

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How pleasantly did my time not pass, during a week that I continued to ramble amid these wonders of Ronda! Nor were mere natural beauties the only attractions of this singular location. Antiquities, decaying relics of departed greatness, also abound for those who relish them. In Roman times, Ronda was already a city of importance; and here, as everywhere, that mighty people have left something—columns and arches, remnants of temples and amphitheatres—to attest their dominion. Some will even have it, that Ronda is no other than that Munda, in whose neighbourhood was fought the bloody battle between Cæsar and the younger Pompey, which fixed the fate of the empire, and of which Cæsar was used afterwards to say, that many a time before he had fought for glory, but that on that occasion he had struggled for his life. Ronda, whatever it may have been under the Romans, became, however, far more important in the days of the Saracens. To them its impregnable situation and fertile environs, afforded all that they most desired in the location of a city—security and abundance. No wonder then it contains so many memorials of that peculiar people. Here a wall performing half the circuit of the town, incorporated with works of Spaniards and of Frenchmen, and pierced with loop-holes through which death has been full often dealt to the assailant; there a gate,

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its horse-shoe arch and projecting cope-stones attesting the labor of the Saracen; and then again an ancient and time-worn Alcazar, its vaulted halls and hardy towers, existing notwithstanding the attempts made by the Imperialists to level them, triumphing at once over time and the spirit of destruction.

The most interesting, however, of all the antiquities of Ronda, is a subterranean work situated on the left bank of the Guardiaro, and which leads from the level of the town down to the bottom of the Tajo. There are various opinions as to what could have occasioned the construction of this singular passage. Some think that it was made to bring water from the river to supply the town in the event of the aqueduct being broken in time of siege; others that it was a mazmorra or prison for christian captives; others that it was a summer retreat of the petty king or alcaide of Ronda, whither he was wont to retire during the summer heats, or through which he might escape on a sudden emergency, if attacked in those revolts so frequent in every country which owns the institutions of Mahomet. This opinion is much strengthened by the jasper pavement and ruins of baths which have been found here under the rubbish, and by a popular tradition that there is a secret passage leading under ground from this building to the old Alcazar, similar to one which I had seen a few

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weeks before at Granada, extending from the Alhambra to the Casa del Rey, and through which more than one Naseritan king had escaped from popular insurrection or the fury of a rival.

With a curiosity not a little excited by what I had heard of this singular place, I went one day to visit it. The entrance is in the garden of one of the principal dwelling houses of Ronda, and it was of course necessary to ask admittance of the family. As I drew near the door, my ears were greeted with the ever welcome notes of woman, poured forth with the accompaniment of a guitar, in one of those plaintive, melancholy, yet impassioned lays, that so often captivate the senses and send a thrill to the heart of the wanderer through this romantic land. I paused for fear of interrupting so sweet a strain. Surely the lips that could utter it must be lovely, as the soul of which it was the outpouring must be full of sentiment and passion. It was with an entire confidence that my anticipations would be realized, that I knocked when the last note had died away. ‘Quien?’ and presently, ‘Entre!’ in a voice which lost nothing in passing to the tone of conversation, gave me the customary invitation to come in. The house was, as usual, built round an open quadrangle, with two galleries, and a double row of marble columns within. The court yard paved with pebbles, and the fountain

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in the centre, with the awning above, imparting shade, coolness and an air of darkness, contrasting agreeably in a July day, with the bright and fervid sunshine without, were all similar to what I had seen in an hundred houses of Andalusia. But here there was an unusual air of neatness and seclusion. All was solitude below, and above, the only individual anywhere seen was the late minstrel of the moment, seated on a low cushion beside a few plants, among which was the lemon, the geranium and lavender. A canary hung in its cage from a neighbouring column. She had been embroidering a handkerchief which lay upon a chair beside her, and, perhaps in weariness of the task, or awakened to melody by the song of the bird, had laid it aside, in season to furnish me with this agreeable recontre, and a chance, if I were fond of quotations, to say in the words of the poet—

‘I was all ear,

And took in sounds that might create a soul

Under the ribs of death.’

I paused on seeing her, with something of the guilt and embarrassment of intrusion upon my mind, feeling as I might have done had the Moors still been masters of Ronda, and my boldness had carried me within the precincts of the harem. But there was no harm done, or if there were, my low bow and sup-

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pliant air had procured my pardon; for the lady hastened with a soft voice to reassure me, and give me courage to tell my errand. Our colloquy was overheard by a young man seated in one of the lower rooms, laboring among a pile of papers, apparently accounts, who, coming forth, bade me welcome, and not only gave me permission to see the cavern, but offered himself as my guide.

A dark old Morisca, who doubtless filled the double office of cook and duenna, was called, and presently brought a lighted taper in a lanthorn. Taking this, my companion led the way from the court yard to a postern opening upon a garden. This, though small, was adorned with a thrifty growth of fruit trees and flowers, which irrigation had taught to grow upon the thin layer of soil which concealed the rock upon which the whole of Ronda is situated. Towards the bottom of the garden, which is abruptly terminated by the deep precipice of the Tajo, undiscovered till you stand upon its very brink, rose a little mound with a door at one side, overshadowed by a fruit tree. Having opened this, we took leave of the cheerful surface of the earth, and began descending. This subterranean passage was cut in an oblique direction through the solid rock, the roof being arched, while below was a series of steps. When it had led us about an hundred and fifty feet below the surface,

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a glimmering of day showed that we were approaching the side of the ravine, and we presently found ourselves in a suite of apartments, partly hollowed into the bosom of the rock, partly formed by a very solid construction of brick which rises from the bottom of the ravine far below, and is so incorporated with the perpendicular bank of the Tajo as to seem to form a portion of it. The rooms, though small, were numerous and complicated. They were all beautifully arched overhead, their ceilings resembling domes in miniature, and were connected with each other by doors cut through the massive partitions. The floors were generally so strewed with rubbish as to remain unseen; but my companion mentioned, that in several places where it had been uncovered by money-diggers, it was found to be paved with jasper.

Leaving the lanthorn at the entrance of these singular apartments, we passed through them, and descended the remaining stairway by the aid of a glimmering of light, which struggled through embrasures on the side of the Tajo. At length we came to a small door opening upon the bed of the Guadiaro. The rocks immediately at our feet were dry, from the lowness of the river, the greater portion of whose waters is at this season led aside for irrigation. Here we sat down, well pleased to rest after the fatigue of

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the descent, and breathe a little fresh air in exchange for the dank atmosphere of the dungeon. Nothing could be more strange and bewildering than the view above and around us. The sight of the Tajo was, indeed, one that I could never become used to. Around us were huge rocks, torn from the sides of the precipice, already worn smooth and deprived of their angles, bidding fair, with the progress of centuries, to dwindle into as complete insignificance as the pebbles that clustered about them. The river roared at the bottom of the ravine with a voice that gained strength from the confinement and isolation; while at a short distance on either side rose the parallel and perpendicular walls which the stream had hewn out for itself, towering upward and upward, until at length they blended themselves with, and seemed lost in the sky, offering on either hand a broken outline of towers, roofs and chimnies, the busy haunts of men.

When the first surprise, and the exclamations it produced, were over, I began to inquire about the origin of the singular construction through which we had passed, and the uses to which it could possibly have been appropriated. It was then that I heard the different opinions and traditions already stated. With the young man this was a favorite theme. He was in the frequent practice of visiting the cavern, and

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often came alone with a book to enjoy the coolness and seclusion of the Tajo. He dwelt long and learnedly upon the history of the place, and told me all that was known and all that was conjectured in relation to it. Among other things he mentioned, that about five years before, his father, in groping about the cavern, had discovered a decayed old box, which he found on opening it to contain some jewels and Moorish coin of little value. The prize, however, had proved a dear one; for he had since employed laborers in excavating, but had got nothing but the trouble for his pains. This little treasure had, doubtless, been thus concealed by some broken-hearted Morisco, when driven beyond the sea from his home and his possessions, and denied the privilege of carrying away even the smallest trinket. The young man grew eloquent as he drew a picture of so hard a lot. He was the only Spaniard I had ever heard speak in pity of the sorrows of the Moriscos; and reason good there was for his sympathy. The case had in some measure been made his own. He chanced to have some very dear relations, who had been obnoxious in the time of the constitution, and were now wandering in distant exile from their homes. His own elder brother was among the number of those hapless outcasts. Communication by letter with him was denied by the ingenious cruelty of the Apostolics,

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and for aught they knew, he might even then be languishing in want for the narrowest necessaries of life, or driven to escape from starvation by some ignominious alternative.

We were yet talking over these misfortunes, when we were suddenly startled by the arrival of a third person, who sprang from the bottom of the stairway to the rocks beside us. This was a robust old mountaineer, who farmed an estate of the family in one of the valleys of the Sierrania. He had come down, partly to see his young landlord on business, partly to look at a place with which he had once had a great deal to do, but which for years he had not seen. Salutations over, he began to tell me of a plan which the mountaineers had entertained in the war of independence. They were to descend in the night along the bed of the stream, gain possession of the stairway, at that time in an abandoned state, and, so introducing themselves into the town, fall suddenly upon the French garrison, and massacre every man. The town’s people were made privy to the scheme, and were to have joined in the onslaught; through them it became known to the enemy and was defeated. The strong door which still secures the place was then put up, and a guard was ever after posted at the entrance of the cavern.

The conversation of the old man soon discovered

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that he had taken a prominent part in the bloody and exterminating war which was waged between the French and Serrinos in the mountains of the neighbourhood. I afterwards heard that he had been a distinguished partisan chief, and had at times commanded as many as a thousand of these wild warriors, brought together from the villages of his district. He took a seat beside us, and though he spoke without ostentation, he was easily led to talk of the scenes he had witnessed, and the dangers he had shared. Some of them, by their terrible interest and the simplicity with which they were told, made a deep impression upon me. I thought I was witnessing them myself, and the feeling of horror excited by some of the atrocities to which the Spaniards were stimulated by the thirst for retaliation and the settled spirit of revenge, will never fade from my mind. Good faith and decency forbid their relation upon paper. Yet there was one, which, though terrible enough, may bear recounting.

‘We were returning,’ said the old warrior, ‘from a successful attack upon a French foraging party, which we cut off close by the gates of the city, when we came suddenly upon a small patroling guard of the enemy, under the command of a sergeant. So soon as we could prepare our arms, we fell upon them, and though they fought like lions,

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there were in a few moments only two or three remaining. These were at once overpowered by main force, and brought to the ground. The sergeant was one of the survivors. This was the biggest man I ever saw. He was at least seven feet high, with immense frame and limbs, and was in all respects a giant, even to his long mustaches which he might have curled over his ears. He was moreover sergeant major of his regiment, a proof that he was first in courage as well as size, and had already made himself terribly known to us in former skirmishes. In those days the French called us brigands, and gave us no quarter when they caught us, which was seldom; nor did we spare them, when they, as much oftener happened, fell into our hands singly or in small parties. But we were struck with the looks and courage of the big sergeant, and though he had just killed two fine fellows for us with his own hand, we hated to destroy such a noble piece of manhood. After a short consultation we agreed to make him an exception to our rule. So, killing and stripping the rest of the prisoners, we tied his hands behind him, and shouldering our own dead, we set off for our villages in the mountains.

‘We had gone a couple of leagues, when we came to a very narrow pass with rocks on either side. This pass had been a favorite stand of our guerrillas, and had been fatal to many Frenchmen, among whom

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it was familiarly known as the Road of Bitterness. I do n’t know whether the sergeant was overcome with fatigue, or what it was that possessed him, but when he came to this place, he suddenly halted and swore that he would go no further. We told him that we had spared his life in truth and honesty; that we meant no harm to him, but would treat him as a prisoner and send him to the English at the Plaza. But all that we could say did not move his fixed resolution. And his body was as immovable as his will; for, placing his back against a rock and his feet at the other side of the path, he braced himself so strongly that our attempts to drag him with us, were as if they had been made upon the hill itself. He was even unwilling to hear what we said to him. Putting his hands to his ears, he moved his head from side to side, and muttered in bad Castilian—“no prisionero! No prisionero. Morir!”—There was no doing anything else with him, since he would not go a prisoner to the English, for fear perhaps of the pontoons; so we did as he desired.

‘There was a Moor with us, who had lived some time in Malaga, and then came to dwell among us in the mountains. The fellow, notwithstanding his bad lineage, was a good Christian, and very valiant. This Moor we set upon the Frenchman; and he, putting the muzzle of his musket close to the sergeant’s

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ear, pulled the trigger. He straightened himself, convulsively grating his teeth and lifting his body upwards, as if he would have pushed the rocks from their places. Then relaxing suddenly, he fell like a rag at the bottom of the pass, and, if we had not caught him, would have rolled down the mountain. There was a hollow, close by the side of the declivity, made by the rolling away of a large rock. We threw the dead giant into it, and covering him with stones we stuck a wooden cross into the top of the heap, and left him there sleeping far from the land of his fathers.’

The veteran guerillo did not tire of telling these stories, when he had once begun, nor we of hearing them; and in this way we passed an hour without suspecting it, in the most wild and out of the way place in the world, at the foot of the subterranean stairway, and at the bottom of the Tajo. At length he suddenly bethought himself that he had little time to lose, if he were to settle all his business and return that night to the mountains. We all rose, and the old man, who felt himself stiffening with age, and no longer in a condition to act over again the scenes which had just passed in retrospection before him, as he stretched himself aloft, and raised his hands above his head to shake off the uneasiness of a long sitting, exclaimed, half in pride, half regrettingly—‘ah! era

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entonces un buen pedacito de hombre.’—‘Ah me! I was then a good little piece of a man.’

As he stood before me, I dwelt with pleasure upon his manly and noble form and compact attire. He had left his jacket and hat above, that they might not embarrass him, his head being bound, as usual among the mountaineers, with a red handkerchief. His embroidered shirt was simply buttoned at the neck, discovering below a projecting sunburnt chest, covered with a thick growth of hair. He wore also breeches of half dress leather, having brass buttons at the outside, and girt about the loins with a long sash of red woollen. A long knife with a sheath was stuck through the sash in front, while as a pendant, was a grape-vine staff, similarly disposed of behind. Leggings, and shoes of unstained leather, a short spur being screwed to the heel of the right one, completed his dress.

As for the features of the veteran, they were prominent and manly, with shaggy and projecting eyebrows. His hair and beard were changing their color, and his face was scarred with many a furrow, which time and the enemies of his country had combined to scatter there; yet the disgusting traces of intemperance were nowhere to be seen. While we were sitting down, the squareness of his frame, and the admirable proportions of his limbs had led me to

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underrate his height; but now that I stood up beside him, I found, that, like the big sergeant’s, his was also colossal. As I made the comparison, it struck me that notwithstanding the years that had passed over him, and his own disparaging reflection, he would still make a troublesome antagonist. When I associated the scenes through which he had passed with his manly make and martial bearing, I could not help thinking that there was something in him of the old Spanish cavalier, nor drawing the conclusion, that if we were to seek in modern Spain for men capable of emulating the deeds of a Cid, a Guzman, a Ponce de Leon, or a Cortes, it must not be among the heirs of their estates and honors, the titular chivalry of the day; it must rather be among the yeomanry of these mountains, among the peasants and contrabandistas of the Sierrania of Ronda.

[p. 106]



As we look back through life,

In our moments of sadness,

How few and how brief

Are its gleamings of gladness!

Yet we find, midst the gloom

That our pathway o’ershaded,

A few spots of sunshine

Still lingering unfaded.

And memory still hoards

As her richest of treasures,

Some few blissful moments,

Some soul thrilling pleasures:

An hour of such rapture

Is a life ere it closes,

’T is one drop of fragrance

From thousands of roses!


a robed woman wearing a wreath of flowers and holding paper and a feather pen looks off-page; nearby are the pipes of an organ and two children
Painted by Dominichino.      Engraved by E. Gallaudet.

[p. 107]



Spirit of Heaven! that bowed, of old,

A Presence from on high,

And when the dewy world was young,

Over its gardens and its waves

Thy many voices flung,

Till all the whispery woods and murmuring caves

Thy coming told!

Then how the wondering earth awoke

To the mingled strains that round it broke!

And, answering to the sphery sky,

Whose fabled Music then went pealing by,

With sounds still varied, rich and rare,

The new creation rung!

Spirit of Melody! that first

O’er sinless Man held sway,

And on his solitude didst burst

In one resistless stream,

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Bearing his ravished soul away!

Fain would I sing

From early time thy power.

But lo! as comes the classic dream

Of thee, in that young hour,

When Echo first awoke on Eden’s bower,

There seems a spell on harp and string,

And my hand roams idly as they ring!

All earth was then enchanted ground,

And the Spirit, then to Time unknown,

Could mar the sacred harmony of Sound:

Nor e’en did Nature dare to frown

On proud and chartered Man;

But Joy, sweet Music’s sister, o’er him bent

Perpetual from the firmament,

While she,

With artless fingers, fast and free,

Through all her thousand changes ran,

Still ministering to his ear

The endless wonder of her voice,

Till he felt his leaping heart rejoice,

’T was such deep luxury to hear!

But ah! a sword of flame,

The sword and sign of wrath—

O’er Paradise is waved;

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And he, who God and Heaven hath braved,

Goes cowering forth in shame,

And a voice from a ruined world is there,

Like the voices of despair!

Then first fell Discord came,

In the sound that swept his path!

But Mercy still was left

To the exiled and bereft;

And Music still swept o’er his heart,

A sweet and gentle thing,

Making of all his life a part,

Mid all his wandering;

Though lost was half its melody,

And that last magic gone,

Mid which its earliest strains were born,

When a spirit from the sky

It came to listening Man,

Ere yet he felt that he might die,

Or Guilt a blasting shadow fling

O’er Glory thus began!

It breathed around the world!

And on each teeming element

In one unceasing symphony it went,

With its sounding wings unfurled.

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He heard it on the air,

When all the winds were out,

And clouds against the sun did bear,

and to the breezy music fast

Went trampling on their route!

When a shade upon the mountains cast

Told of bannered things above,

And the deep-toned thunder spoke,

Till all its shaking bass awoke,

and the plumed forest seemed to move!

He heard it mid the trees!

When forth in though he hied

Under the eventide,

When flowers were closing on the drowsy bees.

Then, as in dreamy mood he turned

His linked fancies wild,

He heard, far up, as one afraid,

The music by the shrill leaves made—

Then shouted, as a child,

To that lone harping of the wind!

He heard it from the earth!

When in the silent heat of day,

Like pilgrim, pantingly he lay

Beside the bubbling fount

Of streams, that had their dewy birth,

On some untrodden mount,

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Leaping and lost among the hills,

Ten thousand tuned and tinkling rills!

He heard it by the Sea!

The old and the magnificent!

Where God’s sublimest wonders be,

All power with glory blent!

There, on the warrior waves

That rode the battling storm,

He heard the anthem of its roar

Passing from shore to shore,

And saw the tempest’s cloudy form

Above its gathering thunder bent.

Again, when listening laid

In some green grotto’s shade,

He heard the voices of the deep,

Like those which stir us in our sleep,

Come mellow through the hidden caves!

And O what noble harmonies,

Were voices such as these,

To a spirit fine and free,

When Ocean his responses made,

And Music walked the sea!

But circling Time has sped,

And o’er the living and the dead,

As through her morning years,

Sweet Nature pours her chorus round

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From sea and air and peopled ground,

A fount of Music still!

Flushed brow and burning tears

Attest the wonder of her will,

O’er every heart of every clime,

Made captive to that magic chime!

’T is bursting all around!

The summer birds about us go,

Those prodigals of sound,

Scattering their untaught melody

In one perpetual flow,

Out of the wakened sky!

And Woman’s voice! O who shall tell,

When the weary heart is bowed,

And a veil is round it like a cloud,

How many blessed thoughts of comfort well

From its deepest fountain-home,

When the strains of her low-breathed Music come,

As some o’erwaving wand,

And Sorrow’s long eclipse

Retires before her thrilling lips,

In their quiet, strange command!

O Music! though to thee

Hath bright-eyed art from yonder skies

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Come in the ceaseless ministry

Of new, yet wild and winning, harmonies,—

Still let me dwell

With thee by solitude of wooded well,

And hear thee in thy voices, as they go

From all above, around, below!

I care not for the organ’s shout

’Neath St Cecilia’s wildering hand,

When in the fulness of a band

Seems Music’s wealth poured out,

And maddening thoughts are born!

I care not for the trumpet’s swell,

Nor yet the volumed horn.

Give me but Ocean’s ringing shell

And chorded minstrelsy,

Or the city’s solemn bell

On midnight’s pinions floating by!

Nor trump, nor lute, nor lyre,

Nor harp with thousand strings,

Can me inspire

Like that first harmony which rode

On Nature’s freer wings,

When green Creation sprung

Upon the teeming air,

And winds and waves their anthem sung

Around the blooming blest abode

Of Eden’s breathless pair!

[p. 114]



‘Yet, do you know that my sleeping have a very different set of companions from my waking hours?’

The loved, the lost, the beautiful!

I meet them in my dreams,

I wander with them far away,

By well known bowers and streams.

The starry sky is blue above,

The earth beneath our feet

Sends forth from thousand folded buds

An incense fresh and sweet;

The wind that stirs the forest leaves,

And the water’s bubbling sound,

These only break the quiet spell,

Wherein the scene is bound.

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I meet them in my dreams by night,

Though we never meet by day,

For their home is over field and flood,

Their smile is far away,

And the busy hours of daylight chain

My thoughts amid the cold,

The selfish and the passionless,

Where Romance has grown old,

Where the fire of Genius kindles not,

Nor the glow of Poetry dwells,

Where the finer chords of the soul, unstruck,

Lie tuneless in their cells.

We list to Nature’s melody

At her midnight hour revealed,

The beauty and the mystery

To Poetry’s touch unsealed;

The star-lit sky, the wind, the wave,

Our thoughts encompass all,

And the spirits of their bidding,

send Music to our call;

For ’tis their hour of roving

Throughout the realms afar,

And at times they wander earthward

By the light of a falling star.

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There ’s ever one, the loveliest,

Among this lovely few,

With locks so brown and beautiful

And eyes so soft and blue!

On her brow are bridal roses,

On her cheek a glow so rare,

The moonlight on a folded rose

Forms not a tint more fair.

Her beauty is the orb that lit

A stormy sky for me—

Her farewell is the evening cloud

That darkens memory!

The chainless spirit loves to soar,

When sleep enthrals the frame;

No fetters wrought of human skill,

Its eagle flight may tame,

As, rising to its native stars,

Or with the things of earth,

Where its holiest revealings

And fondest, have had birth,

It holds its glad career—

Forgetting daylight brings

A weight of common care, to call

To earth its rising wings.

p. 117]



In the summer of 18—, I made an excursion to Niagara. At Schenectady, finding the roads nearly impassable, I took passage in a canal boat for Utica. The weather was dull and lowering. There were but few passengers on board; and of those few, none were sufficiently inviting in appearance, to induce me to make any overtures to a travelling acquaintance. A stupid answer, or a surely monosyllable, were all that I got in return for the few simple questions I hazarded. An occasional drizzling rain, and the wet and slippery condition of the tow path, along which the lazy beasts that dragged the vessel travelled, rendered it impossible to vary the monotony of the scene by walking. I had neglected to provide myself with books, and as we crept along at the dull rate of four miles per hour, I soon

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felt the foul fiend Ennui coming upon me with all her horrors.

‘Time and the hour,’ however, ‘runs through the roughest day,’ and night at length approached. By degrees the passengers, seemingly tired of each others’ company, began to creep slowly away to their births; most of them fortifying themselves with a potation, before resigning themselves to the embrace of Morpheus. One called for a glass of hot whiskey punch, because he felt cold; another took some brandy toddy to prevent his taking cold; some took mint julaps; some gin-slings, and some rum and water. One took his dram because he felt sick; another to make him sleep well; and a third because he had nothing else to do. The last who retired from the cabin, was an old gentleman who had been deeply engaged in a well thumbed volume all day, and whose mental abstraction I had more than once envied. He now laid down his book, and, pulling out a red nightcap, called for a pint of beer, to take the vapors out of his head.

As soon as he had left the cabin, I took up the volume, and found it to be Glanville’s marvellous book, entitled the History of Witches, or the Wonders of the Invisible World Displayed. I began to peruse it, and soon got to deeply interested in some of his wonderful narrations, that the hours slipped unconsciously away, and midnight found me poring half

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asleep over the pages. From this dreamy state I was suddenly aroused by a muttering, as of a suppressed voice, broken by groans and sounds of distress. Upon looking round, I saw that they proceeded from the figure of a man enveloped in a cloak, who was lying asleep upon one of the benches of the cabin, whom I had not previously noticed. I recognised him to be a young man, with whose singular appearance and behaviour during the day, I had been struck. He was tall and thin in person, rather shabbily dressed, with long, lank, black hair, and large grey eyes, which gave a visionary character to one of the most pallid, and cadaverous countenances I had ever beheld. Since he had come on board, he had appeared restless and unquiet, keeping away from the table at meal times, and seeming averse from entering into conversation with the passengers. Once or twice, on catching my eye, he had slunk away as if, conscience smitten by the remembrance of some crime, he dreaded to meet the gaze of a fellow mortal. From this behaviour I suspected that he was either a fugitive from justice, or else a little disordered in mind; and had resolved to keep my eye on him and observe what course he should take when we reached Utica.

Supposing that the poor fellow was now under the influence of nightmare, I got up with the intention of giving him a shake to rouse him, when the words,

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‘murder,’ ‘poison,’ and others of extraordinary import, dropping unconnectedly from his lips, induced me to stay my hand. ‘Go away, go away,’ exclaimed he, as if conscious of my approach, but mistaking me for another. ‘Why do you continue to torment me? If I did poison you, I did’nt mean to do it, and they can’t make that out more than manslaughter. Besides, what ’s the use of haunting me now? An’t I going to give myself up, and tell all? Begone! I say, you bloody old hag, begone!’ Here the bands of slumber were broken by the intensity of his feelings, and with a wild expression of countenance and a frame shaking with emotion, he started from the bench, and stood trembling before me.

Though convinced that he was a criminal, I could not help pitying him from the forlorn appearance he now exhibited. As soon as he had collected his wandering ideas, it seemed as if he read in my countenance, the mingled sentiments of pity and abhorrence, with which I regarded him. Looking anxiously around, and seeing that we were alone, he drew the corner of the bench towards me, and sitting down, with an apparent effort to command his feelings, thus addressed me. His tone of voice was calm, and distinct; and his countenance, though deadly pale, was composed.

‘I see, Sir, that from what I am conscious of having

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uttered in my disturbed sleep, you suspect me of some horrid crime. You are right. My conscience convicts me, and an awful nightly visitation, worse than the waking pangs of remorse, compels me to confess it. Yes, I am a murderer. I have been the unhappy cause of blotting out the life of a fellow being from the page of human existence. In these pallid features, you may read enstamped, in the same characters which the first murderer bore upon his brow, Guilt—guilt—guilt!’

Here the poor young man paused, evidently agitated by strong internal emotion. Collecting himself however in a few moments, he thus continued.

‘Yet still, when you have heard my sad story, I think you will bestow upon me your pity. I feel that there is no peace for me, until I have disburthened my mind. Your countenance promises sympathy. Will you listen to my unhappy narrative?’

My curiosity being strongly excited by this strange exordium, I told him I was ready to hear whatever he had to communicate. Upon this, he proceeded as follows.

‘My name is Hippocrates Jenkins. I was born in Nantucket, but my father emigrated to these parts when I was young. I grew up in one of the most flourishing villages on the borders of the canal. My father and mother both dying of the lake fever, I was

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bound apprentice to an eminent operative in the boot and shoe making line, who had lately come from New York. Would that I had remained content with this simple and useful profession. Would that I had stuck to my waxed ends and awl, and never undertaken to cobble up people’s bodies. But my legs grew tired of being trussed beneath my haunches; my elbows wearied with their monotonous motion; my eyes became dim with gazing forever upon the dull brick wall which faced our shop window; and my whole heart was sick of my sedentary, and, as I foolishly deemed it, particularly mean occupation. My time was nearly expired, and I had long resolved, should any opportunity offer of getting into any other employment, I would speedily embrace it.

‘I had always entertained a predilection for the study of medicine. What had given my mind this bias, I know not. Perhaps it was the perusal of an old volume of Doctor Buchan, over whose pages it was the delight of my youthful fancy to pore. Perhaps it was the oddness of my christian cognomen, which surely was given me by my parents in a prophetic hour. Be this as it may, the summit of my earthly happiness was to be a doctor. Conceive then my delight and surprise, one Saturday evening, after having carried home a pair of new white-topped boots for Doctor Ephraim Ramshorne, who made the cure

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of bodies his care, in the village, to hear him ask me, how I should like to be a doctor. He then very generously offered to take me as a student. From my earliest recollections, the person and character of Doctor Ramshorne, had been regarded by me with the most profound and awful admiration. Time out of mind the successful practitioner for many miles around, I had looked upon him as the beau idéal of a doctor—a very Apollo in the healing art. When I speak of him, however, as the successful practitioner, I mean it not to be inferred that death was less busy in his doings, or funerals scarcer during his dynasty; but only that he had, by some means or other, contrived to force all those who had ventured to contest the palm with him, to quit the field. He was large and robust in person, and his ruby visage showed that if he grew fat upon drugs, it was not by swallowing them himself. It was never exactly ascertained from what college the Doctor had received his diploma; nor was he very forward to exhibit his credentials. When hard pressed however, he would produce a musty old roll of parchment, with a red seal as broad as the palm of his hand, which looked as if it might have been the identical diploma of the great Boerhaave himself, and some cramp manuscript of a dozen pages, in an unknown tongue, said by the Doctor to be his Greek thesis. These documents

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were enough to satisfy the doubts of the most sceptical. By the simple country people, far and near, the Doctor was regarded, in point of occult knowledge and skill, as a second Faustus. It is true the village lawyer, a rival in popularity, used to whisper, that the Doctor’s Greek thesis was nothing but a bundle of prescriptions for the bots, wind-galls, spavins, and other veterinary complaints, written in high Dutch by a Hessian horse doctor; that the diploma was all a sham, and that Ephraim was no more a doctor than his jack-ass. But these assertions were all put down to the score of envy on the part of the lawyer. Be this as it may, on the strength of one or two remarkable cures, which he was said to have performed, and by dint of wheedling some and bullying others, it was certain that Ramshorne had worked himself into very good practice. The doctor united in his own person, the attributes of apothecary and physician; and as he vended, as well as prescribed his own drugs, it was not his interest to stint his patients in their enormous boluses, or nauseous draughts. His former medical student had been worried into a consumption over the mortar and pestle; in consequence of which, he had pitched upon me for his successor.

‘By the kindness of a few friends, I was fitted out with the necessary requisitions for my metamorphosis. The doctor required no fee, and, in consideration of

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certain little services to be rendered him, such as taking care of his horse, cleaning his boots, running errands, and doing little jobs about the house, had promised to board and lodge me, besides giving me my professional education. So with a rusty suit of black, and an old plaid cloak, behold equipped the disciple of Esculapius.

‘I cannot describe my elation of mind, when I found myself fairly installed in the Doctor’s office. Golden visions floated before my eyes. I fancied my fortune already made, and blessed my happy star, that I had fallen under the benign influence of so munificent a patron.

‘The Doctor’s office, as it was called par excellence, was a little nook of a room, communicating with a larger apartment denominated the shop. The paraphernalia of this latter place had gotten somewhat into disorder since the last student had gone away, and I soon learnt that it was to be my task to arrange the heterogeneous mass of bottles, boxes, and gallipots, that were strewed about in promiscuous confusion. In the office, there was a greater appearance of order. a small regiment of musty looking books, were drawn up in line upon a couple of shelves, where, to judge from the superincumbent strata of dust, they appeared to have peacefully reposed for many years. A ricketty wooden clock, which the Doctor had taken in

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part payment from a pedlar, and the vital functions of which, to use his own expression, had long since ceased to act, stood in one corner. A mouldy plaster bust of some unknown worthy, a few bottles of pickled, and one or two dried specimens of morbid anatomy, a small chest of drawers, a table, and a couple of chairs, completed the furniture of this sanctum. The single window commanded a view of the church-yard, in which, it was said, many of the Doctor’s former patients were quietly slumbering. With a feeling of reverence I ventured to dislodge one of the dusty tomes, and began to try to puzzle out the hard words with which it abounded; when suddenly, as if he had been conjured back, like the evil one by Cornelius Agrippa’s book, the Doctor made his appearance. With a gruff air, he snatched the volume from my hands, and telling me not to meddle with what I could not understand, bade me go and take care of his horse, and make haste back, as he wanted me to spread a pitch plaster, and carry the same, with a bottle of his patent catholicon, to farmer Van Pelt, who had the rheumatism. On my return, I was ordered by Mrs Ramshorne to split some wood, and kindle a fire in the parlour, as she expected company; after which Miss Euphemia Ramshorne, a sentimental young lady, who was as crooked in person and crabbed in temper as her own name,

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despatched me to the village circulating library, in quest of the Mysteries of Udolpho. I soon found out that my place was no sinecure. The greater part of my time was occupied in compounding certain quack medicines of Ramshorne’s own invention, from which he derived great celebrity, and no inconsiderable profit. Besides his patent catholicon, and universal panacea, there was his anti-pertusso-balsamico drops, his patent calorific refrigerating anodyne, and his golden restorative of nature. Into the business of compounding these, and other articles with similar high-sounding titles, I was gradually initiated, and soon acquired so much skill in their manipulation, that my services became indispensable to my master; so much so, that he was obliged to hire a little negro to take care of his horse, and clean his boots. What chiefly reconciled me to the drudgery of the shop, was the seeing how well the Doctor got paid for his villainous compounds. A mixture of a little brick dust, rosin, and treacle, dignified with the title of the anthelminthic amalgam, he sold for half a dollar; and a bottle of vinegar and alum, with a little rose water to give it a flavor, yclept the antiscrofulous abstergent lotion, brought twice that sum. I longed for the day when I should dispense my own medicines, and in my hours of castle-building, looked forward to fortunes far beyond those of the renowned

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Dr Solomon. Alas! my fond hopes have been blighted in their bud. I have drunk deeply of the nauseous draught of adversity, and been forced to swallow many bitter pills of disappointment. But I find I am beginning to smell of the shop. I must return to my sad tale. The same accident, which not unfrequently before had put a sudden stop to the Doctor’s patients’ taking any more of his nostrums, at length prevented him from reaping any longer their golden harvest. One afternoon, after having dined with his friend, Squire Gobbledown, he came home, and complained of not feeling very well. By his directions, I prepared for him some of his elixir sanitatis, composed of brandy and bitters, of which he took an inordinate dose. Shortly after, he was seized with a fit of apoplexy, and before bedtime, in spite of all the drugs in the shop, which I poured down with unsparing hand, he had breathed his last. In three days, Ramshorne was quietly deposited in the church-yard, in the midst of those he had sent there before him.

‘Having resided with the Doctor for several years, I had become pretty well known throughout the neighbourhood, particularly among the old ladies, whose good graces I had always sedulously cultivated. I accordingly resolved to commence quacking—I mean practising—on my own account. Having obtained my late master’s stock of drugs from his

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widow at an easy rate, and displaying my own name in golden letters as his successor, to work I went, with the internal resolve that where Ramshorne had given one dose, I would give six.

‘For a time, Fortune seemed to smile upon me, and everything went on well. All the old women were loud in sounding my praises, far and near. The medicaments of my master continued to be in demand, and treacle, brick dust, and alum came to a good market. Some drawbacks, however, I occasionally met with. Having purchased the patent right of one of Thompson’s steam baths, in my first experiment I came near flaying alive a rheumatic tanner, who had submitted himself to the operation. By an unfortunate mistake in regulating the steam, he was nearly parboiled; and it was supposed that the thickness of his hide alone preserved his vitals uninjured. I was myself threatened with the fate of Marsyas, by the enraged sufferer; which he was happily prevented from attempting to inflict, by a return of his malady, which has never since left him. I however after this gave up steaming, and confined myself to regular practice. At length, either the charm of novelty wearing off, or people beginning to discover the inefficacy of the old nostrums, I was obliged to exert my wit to invent new ones. These I generally took the precaution to try upon cats or dogs,

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before using them upon the human system. They were however mostly of an innocent nature, and I satisfied my conscience with the reflection, that if they did no good, they could at least do no harm. Happy would it have been for me, could I always have done thus. Meeting with success in my first efforts, I by degrees ventured upon more active ingredients. At length, in an evil hour, I invented a curious mixture, composed of fortynine different articles. This I dubbed in high flowing terms, “The Antidote to Death, or the Eternal Elixir of Longevity;” knowing full well, that though

“A rose might smell as sweet by any other name,”

yet would not my drugs find as good a sale under a more humble title. This cursed compound proved the antidote to all my hopes of success. Besides forcing me to quit the village in a confounded hurry, it has embittered my life ever since, and reduced me to the ragged and miserable plight in which you see me.

‘I dare say you have met with that species of old women, so frequent in all country towns, who, seeming to have outlived the common enjoyments of life, and outworn the ordinary sources of excitement, seek fresh stimulus in scenes of distress, and appear to take a morbid pleasure in beholding the varieties of

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human suffering, and misery. One of the most noted characters in the village was an old beldame of this description. Granny Gordon, so she was familiarly denominated, was the rib of the village Vulcan, and the din of her eternal tongue, was only equalled by the ringing of her husband’s anvil. Thin and withered away in person and redolent with snuff, she bore no small resemblance to a newly exhumed mummy, and to all appearance promised to last as long as one of those ancient dames of Egypt. Not a death, a burial, a fit of sickness, a casualty, nor any of the common calamities of life ever occurred in the vicinity, but Granny Gordon made it her especial business to be present. Wrapped in an old scarlet cloak—that hideous cloak! the thought of it makes me shudder—she might be seen hovering about the dwelling of the sick. Watching her opportunity, she would make her way into the patient’s chamber, and disturb his repose with long dismal stories and ill-boding predictions; and if turned from the house, which was not unfrequently the case, she would depart, muttering threats and abuse.

‘As the Indians propitiate the favor of the devil, so had I, in my eagerness to acquire popularity, made a firm friend and ally, though rather a troublesome one, of this old woman. She was one of my best customers, and, provided it was something new, and

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had a high-sounding name to recommend it, would take my most nauseous compounds with the greatest relish. Indeed the more disgusting was the dose, the greater in her opinion was its virtue.

‘I had just corked the last bottle of my antidote, when a message came to tell me, that Granny Gordon had one of her old fits, and wanted some new doctor-stuff, as the old physic did n’t do her any more good. Not having yet given my new pharmaceutic preparation a trial, I felt a little doubtful about its effects; but trusting to the toughness of the old woman’s system, I ventured to send a potion, with directions to take it cautiously. Not many minutes had elapsed, before the messenger returned, in breathless haste, to say that Mrs Gordon was much worse, and that though she had taken all the stuff, they believed she was dying. With a vague foreboding of evil, I seized my hat, and hastened to the blacksmith’s. On entering the chamber my eyes were greeted with a sad spectacle. Granny Gordon, bolstered up in the bed, holding in her hand the bottle I had sent her, drained of its contents, sate gasping for breath, and occasionally agitated by strong convulsions. A cold sweat rested on her forehead, her eyes seemed dim and glazed, her nose, which was usually of a ruby hue, was purple and peaked, and her whole appearance evidently betokened approaching dissolution.

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‘Around the bed were collected some half dozen withered beldames, who scowled upon me, as I entered, with ill omened visages. Her husband, a drunken brute, who used to beat his better half six times a week, immediately began to load me with abuse, accusing me of having poisoned his dear, dear wife, and threatening to be the death of me, if she died.

‘My conscience smote me. I felt stupified and bewildered, and knew not which way to turn. At this moment, the patient perceiving me, with a hideous contortion of countenance, the expression of which I shall carry to my dying hour, and a voice between a scream and a groan, held up the empty bottle, and exclaimed, “This is your doing, you villanous [sic] quack you” (here she was seized with hiccup);—“you have poisoned me, you have” (here fearful spasms shook her whole frame);—“but I ’ll be revenged; day and night my ghost shall haunt”—here her voice became inarticulate, and shaking her withered arm at me, she fell back, and, to my extreme horror, gave up the ghost. This was too much for my nerves. I rushed from the house, and ran home with the dying curse ringing in my ears, fancying that I saw her hideous physiognomy, grinning from every bush and tree that I passed. Knowing that as soon as the noise of this affair should get abroad, the village would be too hot to hold me, I resolved to decamp as silently as

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possible. First throwing all my recently manufactured anodyne into the canal, that it should not rise in judgment against me, I made up a little bundle of clothes, and taking my seat in the mail stage, which was passing at the time and fortunately empty, in a couple of days I found myself in the great city of New York. Having a little money with me, I hired a mean apartment in an obscure part of the city, in the hope that I might remain concealed till all search after me should be over, when I might find some opportunity of getting employment, or of resuming my old profession, under happier auspices. By degrees the few dollars I brought with me were expended, and after pawning my watch and some of my clothes, I found myself reduced to the last shilling. But not the fear of impending starvation, nor the dread of a jail, are to be compared to the horrors I nightly suffer. Granny Gordon has been as good as her word. Every night, at the solemn hour of twelve’ (here he looked fearfully around—‘her ghost appears to me, wrapped in a red cloak, with her grey hairs streaming from beneath an old nightcap of the same color, brandishing the vial, and accusing me of having poisoned her. These visitations have at length become so insupportable, that I have resolved to return and give myself up to justice; for I feel that hanging itself is better than this state of torment.’

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Here the young man ceased. I plainly saw that he was a little disordered in his intellect. To comfort him, however, I told him, that if he had killed fifty old women, they could do nothing to him, if he had done it professionally. And as for the ghost, we would take means to have that put at rest, when we reached Utica.

About the grey of the morning, we arrived at the place of our destination. My protégee having unburthened his mind, seemed more at his ease, and taking a mint julap, prepared to accompany me on shore. As we were leaving the boat, several persons in a wagon drove down to the wharf. As soon as my companion observed them, he exclaimed with a start of surprise, ‘Hang me, if there is n’t old Graham the sheriff, with lawyer Dickson, and Bill Gordon come to take me.’ As he spoke, his foot slipping, he lost his balance, and fell backwards into the canal. We drew him from the water, and as soon as the persons in the wagon perceived him, they one and all sprang out, and ran up with the greatest expressions of joyful surprise. ‘Why Hippy, my lad,’ exclaimed the sheriff, ‘where have you been? All our town has been in a snarl about you. We all supposed you had been forcibly abducted. Judge Bates offered a reward of twenty dollars for your corpse. We have dragged the canal for more than a mile, and found a mess of

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bottles, which made us think you had been spirited away. Betsey Wilkins made her affadavit, that she heard Bill Gordon swear that he would take your life, and here you see we have brought him down to have his trial. But come, come, jump in the wagon, we ’ll take you up to the tavern, to get your duds dried, and tell you all about it.’

Here a brawny fellow with a smutty face, who I found was Gordon the blacksmith, came up, and shaking Hippocrates by the hand, said, ‘By goles, Doctor, I am glad to see you. If you had n’t come back, I believe it would have gone hard with me. Come, man, you must forgive the hard words I gave you. My old woman soon got well of her fit, after you went away, and says she thinks the stuff did her a mortal sight o’ good.’

It is impossible to describe the singular expression the countenance of the young man now exhibited. For some time he stood in mute amazement, shaking with cold, and gazing alternately at each of his friends as they addressed him; and it required their reiterated assurances to convince him, that Granny Gordon was still in the land of the living, and that he had not been haunted by a veritable ghost.

Wishing to obtain a further explanation of this strange scene, I accompanied them to the tavern. A plain looking man in a farmer’s dress, who was of the

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party, confirmed what the blacksmith had said, as to the supposed death of his wife, and her subsequent recovery. ‘She was only in a swoond,’ said he, ‘but came too, soon after the Doctor had left her.’ he added that it was his private opinion, that she would now last forever. He spoke of Hippocrates as a ‘nation smart doctor, who had a power of larning, but gave severe doses.’

After discussing a good breakfast, my young friend thanked me for the sympathy and interest I had taken in his behalf. He told me he intended returning to the practice of his profession. I admonished him to be more careful in the exhibition of his patent medicines, telling him that all old women had not nine lives. He shook hands with me, and, gaily jumping into the wagon, rode off with his friends.

[p. 138]



’T is midnight—all is peace profound!

But lo! upon the murmuring ground,

The lonely, swelling, hurrying sound

Of distant wheels is heard!

They come! they pause a moment—when,

Their charge resigned, they start, and then

Are gone, and all is hushed again

As not a leaf had stirred.

Hast thou a parent far away—

A beauteous child, to be thy stay

In life’s decline—or sisters, they

Who shared thine infant glee?

A brother on a foreign shore?

Is he whose breast thy token bore,

Or are thy treasures wandering o’er

A wide, tumultuous sea?

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If aught like these, then thou must feel

The rattling of that reckless wheel,

That brings the bright, or boding seal,

On every trembling thread

That strings thy heart, till morn appears

To crown thy hopes, or end thy fears—

To light thy smile, or draw thy tears,

As line on line is read.

Perhaps thy treasure ’s in the deep—

Thy lover in a dreamless sleep—

Thy brother where thou canst not weep

Upon his distant grave!

Thy parent’s hoary head no more

May shed a silver lustre o’er

His children grouped—nor death restore

Thy son from out the wave!

Thy prattler’s tongue, perhaps, is stilled—

Thy sister’s lip is pale and chilled—

Thy blooming bride, perchance, has filled

Her corner of the tomb.

May be, the home where all thy sweet

And tender recollections meet,

Has shown its flaming winding sheet,

In midnight’s awful gloom!

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And while, alternate, o’er my soul,

Those cold, or burning wheels will roll

Their light or shade, beyond control,

Till morn shall bring relief,

Father in heaven, whate’er may be

The cup which thou has sent for me,

i know ’t is good, prepared by thee,

Though filled with joy or grief!


The brightest star of eventide

Was burning on the brow of night,

When the cold mist arose to hide

Its path of beauty from my sight.

And thus the friend to me most dear,

Whose face I soon no more shall see,

Within her own superior sphere

Shall shine, but shine no more for me.


a young white woman gazes out at you
Painted by Sir Thos. Lawrence PRA.      Engraved by J. Olney.

[p. 141]


Her picture hangs before you there—

A maiden with a dreamy eye,

Perusing in the empty air,

The shapes that sometimes hurry by

Upon its viewless wing;

A long forgotten dream, perhaps,

Returning on its breezy lapse,

Or some half whispered thing

Welling anew from Memory’s silent spring.

Just seventeen! yet in her face

A ripeness of expression lies;

And something, a maturer grace

Is in her form; and in her eyes

A brightness dashed with tears.

She has matured as a flower will do,

Whose golden chalice rears

Its bloom beneath the forest dew;

And such tell not by years

The measure in which their ripeness grew.

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Didst ever in thy childhood hear

A story of a nymph of old,

Who, threading by a mirror clear,

Her fingers in her locks of gold,

Did seem so lovely to the eye

Of the wild boy-god passing by,

He bade the image stay,

When from the mirror she should glide away?

I think of it whene’er I pass

The features pencilled there so well,

For Love still looks on Memory’s glass,

And still exerts his fixing spell;

And though I scorn his art,

I have no power to meet, I ween,

So fair a face, just seventeen,

And feel not when we part,

‘Cydippe’s mirror’ in my pensive heart.

[p. 143]



The River St Peters makes a great bend at the mouth of its tributary, the Terre Bleu. The form of it, is something like a horseshoe, and the Indians are wont to cut across by land, having some vague idea, that a right line is the shortest distance between two points. In ascending, the path they have worn, terminates at a low prairie of a few acres, just opposite the embouchure of the River Aux Liards. We have forgotten the Indian name of this plain; but we can state with confidence, that it means, The Field of the Unfortunate Battle.

It is seldom, now, that a lodge is pitched there; but in the year seventeen hundred ninetyfive, late in October, the field was full of life and motion. Te Zahpahtah, and fifteen tents of the Susseton band, lined the shore. Te Zahpahtah signifies, The Five Lodges, the sept never having occupied more than

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that number of wigwams, since the memory of man. At the date of our tale, it numbered thirty warriors, then and since the most restless and sanguinary of all the lower Dahcotahs; and its population is neither increased nor diminished since.

The cause of this congregation of savage chivalry was as follows. The trading boats had not arrived as early as usual. The Sussetons could not leave the river for their hunting grounds without their accustomed supplies, and the inmates of Te Zahpahtah, had left their haunts, and come down the river, that they might earlier meet some trading boat, and be furnished with arms and ammunition. After remaining a month encamped with the Sussetons, news came that Henri La Roque might be soon expected, with his boat.

He arrived in the afternoon, and in obedience to the command announced by the Indian guns, fired with ball, he landed. He had scarcely set foot on shore, when a boy, since called Kinnehahpee, or the Respectable, pulled the skirt of his blue capot, to attract his attention, and told the trader that his father, Chundopah, the chief of Te Zahpahtah, invited him to discuss the carcass of a singed and boiled dog, in his lodge.

The man of beaver and muskrat entered Chundopah’s lodge, which was a princely habitation in comparison with the others. It was of well dressed

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leather, stretched upon a conical frame of slender poles, forty feet in diameter at the base, and painted with the emblems of barbaric freemasonry. The fire was in the centre, and the smoke escaped through a hole left open at the top.

With immovable gravity, without stirring from his seat, the chief shook hands with La Roque, and bade him be seated. The dog was distributed to the guests, who did ample justice to it, as well as to a quantity of parched wild rice, and raccoon tallow. The feast over, and the pipe smoked, the chief spoke, still sitting.

‘Henri, there were formerly many wise men in this country. First, myself; and next, my brother, the Yellow Spider; but he is now dead. Your father too was no fool. Sometimes I almost thought him a Dahcotah. He used always to give us a great deal of merchandise, without asking any return. Specially, he never came into my country, without bestowing on me a gun and a blanket. But the race is now passed away, and I am the only one left; I see none but young fools around me.’

‘Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Haychee! haytoo! haycheetoo!’* grunted the auditors.

La Roque made a suitable reply. He informed the chief that a gun, and other articles, were very

* ‘Just so! that is it! that is right!’

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much at his service; but added, that though he wished to emulate his father’s wisdom, he could not give away all his goods, as he should have to pay for them himself.

‘The Dahcotah blood does not run in your veins for nothing. In time you will know as much as your father. While we have been waiting here for you, we have collected some beaver and muskrats and martins. If you give us good credit, you will be well paid in the spring.’

La Roque now stated, that knowing what would be most acceptable to the people of Te Zahpahtah and the Sussetons, he had brought with him two great kegs of alcohol, one of which he would give, and the other sell.

‘No, no, Henri,’ cried Chundopah; ‘keep your kegs. I love my body too well to pour dirt into it. We never got into any trouble, but liquor was at the bottom. Do not give these young men any. If you do, there will be quarrelling, and perhaps murder before morning.’

‘Hear him, hear him,’ cried the surrounding Indians. ‘How like a fool he talks. Just now he was bragging of his own wisdom. Give us minnee wawkon.* Give us minnee wawkon. We will have it.’

*Supernatural water.

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The government of the Dahcotahs, is like that of the Hebrews when Israel had no king, and every man did what was right in his own eyes. So, notwithstanding the groans and remonstrances of Chundopah, the whiskey was delivered, and the women secreted the guns and knives, but forgot the bows and arrows.

As soon as the liquor given gratis was drunk, the drinkers demanded more, but were steadily denied by La Roque. He had proved his liberality, he said, and if they wanted more, they must expect to pay for it. Accordingly they brought forth their furs and sold them good bargains. When he had gotten all he could from them, La Roque embarked, and departed.

The Te Zahpahtah and the Sussetons, now mixed together in boisterous merriment. Some boasted of the deeds they had done, and others of those they meant to do. All spoke, and none listened. Here sat one on a stump, making maudlin love to a maiden, whose volubility was, from the same cause, equal to his own. There stood another, the fountains of whose tears, the evil spirit had opened, cutting his arms, and weeping for his father, who had been dead only twenty years. Some quarrelled; but as there were no deadly weapons at hand, they were soon pacified.

Chundopah walked over the field in great distress, trying all he could to prevent the consequences he

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foreboded. Tired at last, and disgusted, he turned to one of the least inebriated; ‘Did I talk like a fool, do you think?’ said he.

‘Whiskey is a god,’ returned the other. ‘I am a god myself all over. My heart is strong. I will strike the Chippeways. Hoh! young men, let us dance round the post, and then go to war.’

This proposal was unanimously approved. A post was set in the earth, and the warriors danced round it, alternately singing their exploits. At last a Susseton describing a conflict with the Saques and Foxes, in which he had distinguished himself, said, ‘We routed and pursued them half a day; but the Te Zahpahtah fled at the outset.’

‘Liar, liar,’ cried a nephew of Chundopah, called Punkhay, or the Crane; at the same time smiting the singer on the head with a pipe stem, which he had taken to strike the post with. The Susseton fell, but instantly recovering, ran to his lodge, and seized his bow and arrow. Confronting Punkhay, he fixed a shaft to the string, and while the other stood with his arms folded, regarding him with mingled wrath and scorn, he loosed the dart, and the feather was wetted in the heart’s blood of Punkhay.

Before he had time to fix another arrow, a brother of the slain warrior rushed upon him, and they came to the ground together. Biting, striking, and foam-

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ing, they rolled off the bank into the water, but not even the certainty of immediate fate, could unlock their death grapple. The river splashed and closed over them. Three times they rose to the surface, and were each time seen striving for the mastery. At last they sank, and the current swept them downward.

Both parties were now raising the war whoop, and running to their lodges for weapons, which were too readily procured. Then was heard the twang of the bow, and the hissing of the shaft. Five of the Te Zahpahtah fell, and double that number of Sussetons. The damage would have been greater, but that intoxication had taken away the steadiness of the combatants, though not their courage or ferocity. Chundopah strode over the field, regardless of the arrows that where whizzing around him, exerting his voice and his limbs to the utmost, to restore peace. Seeing one of his nephews about to transfix a Susseton, he stood before him just as the weapon parted. the point entered his breast, and passed out behind his back. He fell, but still raised his voice, entreating and commanding a cessation of hostilities.

The fall of this good man, who was loved and respected by both parties, astounded the warriors. They dropped their weapons and gathered round him. While he reproached them with their folly, he

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persuaded them to forget and forgive. He told them that not they, but the liquor had sinned; that a drunken man was not accountable for what he might do. He said that he knew he must die, but if his death should bring his tribe to a just sense of the sin and folly of intemperance, he rejoiced in having been the victim. Then he sung his death song, and the next morning expired.

Contrition had completely taken the place of hate and fury, in the breasts of the Dahcotahs. They remembered no other instance of civil strife in their nation since their separation from the Hohays. They placed the dead upon scaffolds at the Lake of Swans, a short distance from the field of battle, and mourned long and bitterly for them. Yet, as an Indian can never suffer loss or wrong without thinking of revenge, they resolved that La Roque should suffer for the mischief he had occasioned, on the very spot where he had offended.

Hearing that the Indians had assembled on the Field of the Unfortunate Battle, he surmised their intentions at once, and took measures to counteract them. He might have escaped in another direction very easily, but in that case he would have lost his boat, and could never have traded with them again. Perhaps too, for he was a bois brulé, he shared the Indian principle of honor, and scorned to shun his

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fate. He bought a canoe, and taking one man only with him, floated down the river, a little in advance of his boat.

When within a mile of the camp, he went on shore, stripped, and painted his face and body black. Then, reembarking, he ordered his men to follow in a quarter of an hour. Standing upright in the prow of his canoe, he began to sing his death song, and his man paddling directly to the camp, he landed and walked into the midst of his armed and scowling foes, without faltering.

‘I am onsheekah (worthy of pity),’ he said; ‘I am a dog, and I have caused the death of my kin and brethren. I am come to die;’ and, sitting on the ground, he added, as he covered his face, and turned his back to them, ‘Strike me now, I cannot see, and I make no resistance.’

They could not strike; by casting himself on their mercy, he evaded the fate that would otherwise have been inevitable. They washed the black of revenge from their faces, shook hands with, and feasted him. When his boat came up, he ‘showed charity to the dead;’ that is, he gave blankets, and other articles, to be placed on their scaffolds.

He died several years after, and his children are now all Indian Traders.

[p. 152]



Hail, native earth!—from brighter climes returning,

From richer scenes the ravished eye that cheer,

From palace roofs, and skies with glory burning,

Where changeless Summer decks the joyous year

With golden fruits, and verdure never sere,

Still leaps my heart to mark thy rugged crest,

Thy village spires, and mansions rude though dear;

Still to my lip thy sprinkled sod is pressed,

As the weaned infant clings close to its mother’s breast.

Thou hast no mountain peering to the cloud,

No boundless river for the poet’s lyre,

Nor mighty cataract thundering far and loud,

Nor red volcano opening through its pyre

A safety-valve to earth’s deep, central fire,

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Nor dread glacier, nor forest’s awful frown.

Yet turn thy sons to thee with fond desire,

And from Niagara’s pride, or Andes’ crown,

In thy scant, noteless vales delight to lay them down.

Thou art a Spartan mother, and thy sons

From their sweet sleep at early dawn dost call,

Mindless of wintry blast or sultry suns,

Some goodly task proportioning to all—

Warning to fly from sloth and folly’s thrall,

And patient meet the tempest or the thorn,—

Nor ermine robe thou givest, nor silken pall,

Nor gilded boon of bloated luxury born,

To bid the pampered soul its lowly brother scorn.

Yet hath bold Science in thy sterile bed

Struck a deep root; and, though wild blasts recoil,

The Arts their winged and feathery seeds have spread,

For hardened hands, embrowned with peasant toil,

To pluck their delicate flowers; and, while the soil

Their plough hath broken, some the Muses have hailed,

Smit with her love ’mid poverty’s turmoil—

And, like the Seer by angel might assailed,

Wrestled till break of day, and then like him prevailed.

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Yet humbler virtues throw their guard around

Thy rocky coast; and, ’mid the autumn leaves

That, falling, rustle with a solemn sound,

His magic spell a hidden spirit weaves.

Nursed ’neath the peaceful shade of cottage eaves,

By chime of sabbath-bell from hallowed dome,

And breath of household prayer which Heaven receives,

It binds around the heart of those who roam

The patriot’s stainless shield, the sacred love of home.

Blessed love of home!—that plant of fearless birth!

From arid Afric’s burning soil it springs,

’Mid icy Labrador’s uncultured earth,

Or tropic Asia, where the serpent stings;—

To naked hordes it gives the wealth of kings;

Though lava flames, or earthquakes threaten loud,

Still to its bed that plant undaunted clings,

Makes the child glad, the toiling father proud,

And decks like Eden’s wreath the white-haired grandsire’s shroud.

[p. 155]


Some years ago it was my destiny to reside in a New England village. Nothing can be pleasanter than its situation. All that nature ever did for a place, she has done for this. It is sheltered on the north by high hills, and fringed on the south with forests of oaks and elms; it has its waterfalls and cascades, and, what is more surprising, they are suffered to flow on through meadow and valley, without being condemned to the tread-mill. In this country everything is compelled to do duty. Our forests are cut down for fire wood; our rocks hewn into state prisons, and some of our modern speculators mean to make old Niagara, that has roared and bellowed so many hundred years for its own amusement, actually work for its living, and support cotton and woollen manufactures.

But to return to my village. It is not called a flourishing one, for there is no distillery, and no jail in it. But they have straw bonnet manufactories, working societies, and reading societies, and the

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females actually raised ten dollars fiftytwo cents, for the emancipation of the Greeks.

While I resided there, I became intimately acquainted with the clergyman, and it was my constant habit to call on him every evening for a stroll. He was just such a man as the ladies call a marrying man, yet, strange to tell, he was still a bachelor. There was a village legend that he had been crossed in love; but disappointments of the heart generate suspicion and misanthropy, and no one could be more confiding and guileless than he was. His sensibilities seemed to be in their first spring. His fair smooth forehead, his broad chest and Boanerges voice, gave no evidence that he had wasted his health in scientific or theological pursuits; yet he was well read in scripture, and could quote chapter and verse on every contested point. For many years he had made no use of a Concordance, for he was a living one himself. The practical part of his profession formed its beauty in him. He might well teach temperance, for necessary articles of food were all he coveted; he could talk of charity with the ‘tongue of an angel,’ for it was not with him tinkling brass or empty sound; from his five hundred dollars salary there was always an overplus, that brought upon him ‘the blessing of those that were ready to perish.’ Perhaps there was a little too much minuteness about world-

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ly affairs, and yet it was an excellent example for others. There was likewise a little too much of the parish register in his cast of mind; he could tell how many he had married, how many he had christened, and how many he had buried; how many prayers he had made, and how many sermons he had written. All this was very well; but when he undertook to know people’s ages better than they did themselves, it would have been intolerably provoking, if he had not always been able to prove he was right by parish records. He had a love for agriculture that contributed to his health, and agreeably diversified his employments. The piece of land that was set off to the parsonage, was always in excellent order, and the invalids of his parish might count upon the first mess of peas, and the first plate of strawberries from his garden.

Our walk often led by a farm that had once been the summer residence of an opulent family. The grounds were laid out originally with much taste; but it had passed into the hands of various owners. They had cut down the trees that they might not obstruct the view of the road, and suffered the buildings to go to decay, because it cost money to repair them. There was an air of desolate grandeur about the house, that inspired sensations wholly unlike the trim square houses of the village. It was too far

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from the road, and too large to be tenanted. Besides, the farm was run out. In short, it was unpopular, and nobody would live on it. It was said that it might be ‘bought for a song,’ but it was so out of repair and so comfortless, that nobody appeared to purchase it. It had gone through the ‘pitiless pelting’ of a severe winter uninhabited, and nothing could be more dreary than it looked, half buried in snow; but when spring came on, and the grass grew green, and the wild roses blossomed, and the creepers hung clustering about the doors and windows, it was a place that might have tempted any lover of solitude and nature.

In a small country village, however, there are few who come under this class. All have a practical love of nature, but not many a sentimental one; and it was with a degree of contempt that it was discovered, in the month of June, that the house was actually inhabited. Much speculation was excited, and the place that had stood in desolate neglect, became at once an object of curiosity and interest.

I had had some thoughts of purchasing the place, and tried to persuade myself that it would be a good way of investing a small sum, when I learnt that a Mr Forester had been beforehand with me, and had taken possession of the house. I felt a degree of disappointment that the previously irresolute state of

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my mind by no means authorised. Soon after this occurrence, I quitted the village, and removed to a different part of the country.

Ten years passed away, and I made no effort to renew my intercourse with my old friend the clergyman. In consequence of indisposition, I found it actually necessary last year to journey. My recollections immediately turned to the village where I had before found health, and I once more directed my course towards it.

It was on Sunday morning that I entered the town of H—, about ten miles from the village. I knew too well the primitive habits of my friend the clergyman, to break in upon his Sabbath morning, and I determined to remain where I was till the next day.

It is a church going place. When I saw couple after couple pass the window of the tavern at which I had stationed myself in mere idleness, I began to feel an inclination to go to church too.

I entered the nearest one, and when the minister arose, found to my surprise that it was my old friend. He did not appear to have altered since I last saw him; his voice was equally powerful, his person rather fuller. I recognised in his prayers and sermon, the same expressions he had used ten years ago—and why not? They were drawn from his book of knowledge. There was still the same simplicity and the

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same fervor that had first interested me, and when the services were over, and I shook hands with him, it seemed even to me, who am not given to illusion, that we had parted but yesterday. I tried to make out by his appearance whether he had married, but I was baffled—the outer man had undergone no change. He told me that he should return home after the evening service, and invited me to take a seat in his chaise with him. I readily accepted the invitation. When he called for me, he said, ‘Do n’t forget your portmanteau, for I must keep you at my house a few days.’

As we jogged along, for his horse never departed from his Sunday pace even on week days, I asked him what had become of the Foresters. ‘Do they still retain the farm that ought to have been mine?’ said I. A color like the mellow tint of a russetine apple that had been perfectly preserved through the winter, rose in his cheek as he replied;—‘Part of the family are there; if you like, I will give you an account of them.’ I assented; but when I found he was settling himself as if for a long story, my heart died within me. I knew his minuteness on every subject, and that to have added or diminished an iota, would have been to him palpable fraud and injustice. By degrees, however, I became interested in his narrative.

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‘Soon after you left me, I became intimate with Mr Forester. He was a sensible, intelligent man, and his wife was a very worthy woman. They had two children, who were full of health and gaiety. Mr Forester entered upon farming with great zeal, and the place soon wore a different aspect. The venerable trees that had been cut down, could not be restored, but repairs were made, the stone walls rebuilt, and all indicated that the new tenant was a man of order and good habits. He had not been accustomed to farming, but he was assiduous in finding out the best and most approved methods of ploughing, planting, and managing his land. Nothing could be more successful than his industry. The third year his crops were abundant, and his wife began to talk of her dairy, and exhibit her butter and cheese in the country style. The inhabitants of the village found they managed their affairs so well, that they were content to let them go on without interfering. Mrs Forester accommodated herself to the habits and customs of those around her with wonderful facility, and was a general favorite.

‘Instead of passing the house as you and I used to in our walk, I now every evening turned up the avenue, and spent half an hour with them. The children called me uncle, and ran to meet me; their mother, too, would follow them with a step almost as

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light. She played upon the guitar, and though I was not acquainted with the instrument, and thought it feeble compared to the bass-viol, yet I loved to hear it chiming with her sweet voice.

‘When I looked at this happy family, I felt new sympathies springing in my heart, and began to be almost dissatisfied with my solitary home. I sometimes thought Mr Forester was not as tranquil and contented as his wife; but he had lived in the world, and it was natural that he should feel the want of that society to which he had been accustomed.

‘It was on the third year of their residence in the village, that I was invited to visit them with more form than usual. Mrs Forester said, that she and the children were going to celebrate the fifth anniversary of her marriage. She had many of the fanciful contrivances of her sex to give interest to the daily routine of life. She had placed her table under an arbor, covered with honeysuckles and sweet-briar, and loaded it with fruit and the abundance of her good housewifery. The grass that had been newly mown, was distributed round us in heaps. At a little distance from the arbor, and behind it, stood the large barn, with the huge folding doors open at each end. Through this we had a view of the house, and beyond it the country round, with its fields waving with grain, its peaceful streams, its green valleys, its distant hills,

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and, what in my opinion added greatly to the beauty of the prospect, the spire of my own church rising from a grove of trees. I must not forget to mention the Merrimack that was in front of us, moving on in the majesty of its deep, blue waters, and bearing on its bosom the various craft of inland navigation. It was a glorious scene, and we all felt it such. “Here at least,” said I, “we may worship God in the temple of his own beauty!” I looked at Mrs Forester. Women have quick sensibilities. I saw the tears were coursing each other down her cheeks; but they were like the rain drops of summer, and her smiles returned more gaily. The children had taken many a trip from the house to the arbor, with their baskets and aprons loaded with cakes and fruits. We all gathered round the table. Mrs Forester was as gay as her children. She played upon her guitar, and sung modern songs, which I am sorry to say had more music than sense in them. In the midst of one of these, we heard footsteps. A man stood at the entrance of the arbor, and laid his hand on Mr Forester’s shoulder. He started, and turned round; then, taking the man by the arm, walked away. “I wish,” said Mrs Forester impatiently, “he had not interrupted us just as we were so happy.”

‘ “Do you know him?” said I. “No,” she replied, “I can’t say I do, and yet I remember seeing him,

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soon after we were married. I believe,” added she, coloring and laughing, “I never told you that ours was a runaway match. It has turned out so well, and our troubles have terminated so happily, that I am not afraid to confess my imprudence to you. I was an orphan, and lived with my grandmother, who was as different from me in her habits and opinions as old people usually are from young ones. She thought singing was bad for the lungs, that dancing would throw me into a fever, and the night air into a consumption. I differed from her in all these opinions, and yet was obliged to conform. After I became acquainted with Mr Forester, we differed still more. She said he was a stranger that nobody knew; I said I knew him perfectly. In short, she told me if I intended to marry him, she would forbid the banns. I thought it best to save her the trouble, and so I tied up a little bundle, and walked off with my husband that is now.

‘ “The good old lady lived to see him well established in business as a lawyer, and became quite reconciled. I loved her sincerely, and now that I was independent, willingly accommodated myself to her habits. She died soon after the birth of my first child Ellen, who was named for her. She left me five thousand dollars, which is now invested in this farm, and I trust will be the inheritance of my children.”

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‘ “May I ask,” said I, “why you left your native place?” “I hardly know,” said she; “my husband thought the air did not agree with him. He grew melancholy and abstracted, and then I began to dislike it too, and was quite ready to quit it. We removed to B—. My husband carried his reputation and talents with him, and was again successful in the practice of law. In the course of a few months his complaints returned, and he then thought it was country air he wanted, and an entire change of life. The event has proved so. We quitted the languid and enervating climate of the South, and travelled North. We gave up all our former associations, and to make the change more complete, my husband took the name of an uncle who brought him up, and relinquished his own. It is now three years since we have resided here, and I do n’t know that he has had any return of ill health, or nervous affections since.”

‘At that moment Mr Forester returned, accompanied by the stranger. He approached his wife, and said, “Here is an old acquaintance, Mary; you must make him welcome.” There was an expression in the countenance of the guest that appalled us. It seemed to communicate its baleful influence to the whole circle. Mr Forester looked pale and anxious; the gaiety was gone; nobody sung or laughed; we

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scarcely spoke. All was changed. The stranger seemed to have had a blighting effect on the master of the house; for from this time his health and spirits gradually forsook him. Signs of poverty appeared, and he announced to his wife that he must move elsewhere. She was thunder-struck. The legacy of her aunt had been invested in the purchase of the farm. To give up that, was relinquishing the inheritance of her children. She remonstrated, but without effect; he declined all explanation. With deep regret I saw them quit the village.

‘Mrs Forester had promised to write me when they were again fixed in any permanent situation. It was nearly two years before I received a letter. That letter I have now in my pocketbook. It has remained there since I first received it. Here it is!’

I knew too well his exact habits to be surprised at the perfect state of preservation in which I saw it. It was as follows.

‘I rejoice that I can give you cheerful accounts, my much respected friend, of my husband and myself. After we left you, we removed to a remote town in the West, and here we are. We have given up farming, and my husband has opened an office. As he is the only lawyer in the place, he has made his way extremely well. I wish I could say I am as happy as you once saw me; but this mode of life is not

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to my taste, nor do I think it agrees with my husband. I have never seen him so tranquil as the three short years we passed at N—. There is something in the life of a farmer peculiarly soothing. The sun never rose so bright to me as at that period. I do not think Eve was as happy in her paradise, as I was in mine; for her fruits grew spontaneously, but mine were produced by the united efforts of head and hands, and gave exercise to all my powers. My children are well. My husband’s health is not very good; this plodding life does not agree with him; he is subject to low spirits. I sometimes have sad forebodings of the future; if I could only get back to N—, I think all would go well.’

This was the purport of the letter. I returned it to my friend, and he resumed his narrative.

‘About a year from the time I received the letter, I took a journey to Montreal to visit a sister who was settled there. In passing one of the streets I recognised Mr Forester; but he was so altered in his appearance that I doubted if it could be he. He held out his hand, and I found, upon inquiring, that they had made another remove to Montreal. He was emaciated in his person, and there was a nervous agitation in his manner that alarmed me. I begged him to conduct me to his wife. “With all my heart,” said he, “but you will be surprised at our ménage.”

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I accompanied him to a low dilapidated building, in which everything bespoke poverty. Mrs Forester gave me a mournful welcome. She, too, was greatly changed; but her children were still blooming and healthy, and appeared unconscious of the cloud that hung over their parents.

‘My visit was short; I perceived it was an embarrassing one; but in taking leave, I said, “If you have any commands to your old friends at N—, here is my address.” I had not been home long, before William Forester brought me a note from his mother, requesting to see me. I immediately returned with him, and found her alone. She was free and undisguised in her communication; said there was some dreadful mystery hung over them, and that whatever it was, it was hurrying her husband to the grave. “I should not have spoken,” added she, “had not this conviction made all scruples weigh light in the balance. I think it possible he may reveal to you what he will not to me. At least, see him before you quit Montreal. If we could once more return to N—, we might yet be happy.”

‘I again called to see him. Never was there a human being more changed. He was dull, abstracted, and silent; and I began to think his mind was impaired. I used every argument in my power to persuade him to return to N—, and tried to convince him

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it was a duty he owed his wife and children. He only replied that it would do no good; neither they nor he would be happier; that there was nothing I could say to him with regard to himself that his own mind had not suggested. He acknowledged that he had a secret source of calamity, but said it was beyond human power to mitigate it; that the kindest part would be to let him alone; that he had never intruded his sorrows on others, and he asked no participation; that happily there was a termination to all things here, and his sufferings could not last forever. I told him, that if he was alone in the world, he might reason justly; but he must feel that there was one human being at least, that was doomed to participate in his good or bad fortune, and who was made wretched by his mysterious conduct.

‘ “Has she spoken to you?” said he fiercely.

‘ “There needs no other language,” replied I, “than her pale cheek and wasted form. You, who see her daily, cannot realize the change that has taken place; but I, who saw her last at N—, blooming, and happy, full of health and gaiety, alive to all that was beautiful in creation—can I agree with you that you alone are the sufferer?” I found I had touched the chord to which his heart vibrated; I pursued the subject, and finally obtained the victory. He promised me solemnly to return in the course of a few weeks.

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‘It was with heartfelt pleasure I set about preparing for them. I had the old shattered mansion put into comfortable repair, and took half a year’s salary in pork, grain and live stock, much to the satisfaction of my parishioners, who had rather pay in produce than money, and it was all cheerfully transferred to the desolate building. It was the last day of November when they arrived, and the snow lay three feet deep on the ground. The old trees that remained with their dry straggling branches, stood on each side of the avenue like a procession of mourners. In winter there is but little for a farmer to do, except foddering his cattle and preparing for the coming spring. Mr Forester had no stock or materials, and his life was an idle one. I could not but think Providence had wonderfully marked its bounty to the other sex, when I saw how cheerfully and constantly Mrs Forester found employment. Her color and spirits returned, and again I heard her singing songs that seemed only made for summer.

‘I have hitherto said but little of myself. I had dwindled into a kind of insignificance in my own mind, and was thought to be a confirmed old bachelor. Even my neighbour, Miss Keziah Spinney, no longer attempted to pour in the oil and the wine, but passed on to the other side. I confess, however, that I sometimes looked back with lingering regret on the

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years I had loitered away. I could count up to fiftytwo. After twentyfive, they were all dull, cheerless blanks except in the way of duty, and every faithful minister knows how many omissions must press upon his recollection. March had arrived, and we had reasonable expectations that the severity of winter was over; but it did not prove so. There came a violent driving snow storm, and I did not visit the Foresters for several days. At length I received a message from them requesting to see me. Mrs Forester met me at the door. “My husband,” said she, “is very ill. Do you remember our visitor on the fifth anniversary of our marriage? Twice since he has come. God knows what malignant power he has over us; but it is terrible in its effects. Yesterday he came suddenly upon us; his visit was short, but immediately after his departure, my husband complained of great oppression upon the lungs, and this morning he has been seized with a hemorrhage. O my dear friend,” continued she, wringing my hand, “go to him, tell him there is nothing he can reveal so dreadful as this suspense. I am endure it no longer; my reason will be the sacrifice.”

‘I hastened to his apartment. He was in bed; his countenance was pale, but calm. “I am glad you have come,” said he, “I have a confession to make.” At that moment his wife entered. He called her to his

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bed-side, and, as she knelt down, he looked earnestly at her, and his courage appeared to fail. But in a few moments he resumed. “I had hoped that I might die with my secret unrevealed; but now that I believe myself on my death bed, the judgment of my fellow creatures loses its importance. And yet,” said he, turning to his wife, “to voluntarily relinquish your esteem, to be remembered by you only with horror! O, if suffering could expiate guilt, these pangs would atone!”

‘Never shall I forget the expression of her countenance, the noble, the sublime expression, as she leaned over him. “My friend, my husband,” said she, “fear nothing from me. Whatever may be the circumstances to which you allude, they cannot now influence my affection. The years we have passed together are all that identify you with me. Speak without hesitation.”

‘ “I will be brief,” said he, “for my strength is failing.—My early life was one of dissipation and profligacy. My father gave me all the opportunities of a good education, and a lucrative profession. He died, and left my mother destitute. I persuaded myself it was a duty to run all risks to place her in an independent situation. Frequently I returned from the gaming table, and poured money into her lap. The poor deceived parent blessed and applauded me.

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I went through all the changes of a gamester, and at length found myself deeply in debt. A horrible chance presented—it was one of fraud and treachery. I purloined a sum intrusted to me—was detected!“—He seemed unable to proceed. “I was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment,” continued he, in a low voice. “Though sunk and degraded, I was not lost. I loathed the vices that had undone me. I turned with horror from the profligacy by which I was surrounded. My conduct was such that the term of my imprisonment was shortened. I received a pardon. My poor mother had died broken-hearted. I quitted Havana; for this was the scene of my guilt and disgrace. At Richmond, I by degrees gained access to good society. I was persevering and industrious. You know, my dear Mary, how I became acquainted with you, and you now perceive that when I married you, I added a new crime, that of deception, to my catalogue of sins. I truly loved you, and I could not resist temptation. My business was lucrative, everything around me prosperous, and if vice had left no sting, I might have been the happiest of mortals. But not all the rivers of Damascus, nor the waters of Jordan can wash out the stains of the soul. I was haunted by remembrance of the past. There was something so unlike retributive justice in my prosperity, that I felt as if even this

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success portended some dreadful reverse. Fool that I was, not to perceive that the terror and anxiety that consumed my hours, was retributive justice! When I pressed her whom I loved best to my bosom, I thought what would become of her if she knew she was the wife of a felon!

‘ “Such was the state of my mind while every body congratulated me on my happiness. I was nominated for an office of trust. A few days after the election had taken place, I received a note, requesting me to come to a particular place if I would avoid public disgrace. I went to the spot with a beating heart, and found, to my horror, a fellow convict! When I quitted the prison, I had left him there. He had staid out his term, and accident brought him to Richmond. His object was to extort money. I gave him what he asked, as the bribe of secrecy. Again and again he came. My anxiety grew insupportable. Horrible thoughts crossed my mind. I sometimes felt that either he or I must be sacrificed. I gave up all but my wife and children, and left Richmond in hopes of concealment from my persecutor. The rest you know. As soon as I began to acquire credit and property, my tormentor appeared, and nearly stripped me. For three years, I lived on this spot unmolested; and I began to think he was dead. You know how, in the midst of apparent

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security and happiness, he came upon me. Twice he has visited me since. Yesterday he arrived. But Heaven is merciful. The disorder that for months has been undermining my life, is brought to a crisis. With the near prospect of death, I have gained fortitude. I might say something in extenuation of my guilt. But why should I?—There is a Judge, and he is merciful.”

‘Such was the unhappy man’s story. He was mistaken in believing his end so near. He lingered on for months. His confession had rendered the scourge of his persecutor powerless. His decay was gradual, and he lived till June. His wife and myself were his constant attendants. He saw that her affection was undiminished; that it was the labor of love, and not of compassion, that bound her to his side. He died, trusting in divine mercy, and commending to any care his wife and children.’

‘And you have performed this dying injunction most faithfully, I doubt not,’ said I to the good man.

Again the color rose in his cheek. ‘I have,’ said he, ‘to the best of my power. At the end of two years, Mrs Forester kindly consented to marry me. Her children are as dear to me as if they were my own.’ We had now entered the little village of N—. It was still flourishing in its native beauty. The green banks, with their footpaths, still bordered the

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carriage road, and clusters of dandelions, purple thistles and mallows were scattered by the way side with their former profusion. The low school-house with its tall chimney stood where I left it. The paths that led through the pastures still remained the same. We were now near the parsonage-house. I asked no questions, for I was willing to wait the developement of circumstances. I was not much surprised when we turned up the avenue that led to the old fashioned house.

‘This is my residence,’ said the clergyman, ‘and I let out the parsonage.’ We stopped. The lady came to the door to meet us. She seemed to have gone along with all things else. Her hair, when I last saw her, was glossy and brown; it was now covered with a white muslin cap, and was parted upon her forehead in a matron-like manner.

I passed a few days with them, and took leave with the novel conclusion, that if there was any happiness in this world, it was to be found in a country village, where there were no ‘improvements,’ and at the house of a country minister.

[p. 177]



Twentyeight miles from the Big Stone Lake, near the sources of the St Peter’s River, is a cluster of small lakes, or ponds, lying much below the level of the surrounding prairie, and ornamented with an oak wood. The Dahcotahs call this place The Nest of Thunder, and say that here Thunder was born. As soon as the infant spirit could go alone, he set out to see the world, and at the first step placed his foot upon a hill twentyfive miles distant; a rock on the top of which actually seems to bear the print of a gigantic human foot. The Indian’s call the hill Thunder’s Tracks. The Nest of Thunder is, to this day, visited by the being whose birth it witnessed. He comes clad in a mantle of storms, and lightnings play round his head.

‘Look, white man, well on all around,

These hoary oaks, those boundless plains;

Tread lightly; this is holy ground—

Here Thunder, awful spirit! reigns.

Look on those waters far below,

So deep beneath the prairie sleeping,

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The summer sun’s meridian glow

Scarce warms the sands their waves are heaping;

And scarce the bitter blast can blow

In winter on their icy cover;

the Wind Sprite may not stoop so low,

But bows his head and passes over.

Perched on the top of yonder pine,

The heron’s billow-searching eye

Can scarce his finny prey descry,

Glad leaping where their colors shine.

Those lakes, whose shores but now we trod,

Scars deeply on Earth’s bosom dinted,

Are the strong impress of a god,

By Thunder’s giant foot imprinted.

Nay, stranger, as I live, ’t is truth!

The lips of those who never lied

Repeat it daily to our youth.

Famed heroes, erst my nation’s pride,

Beheld the wonder; and our sages

Gave down the tale to after ages.

Dost not believe? though blooming fair

The flowrets court the breezes coy,

Though now the sweet-grass* scents the air,

And sunny nature basks in joy,

It is not ever so.

*Sweet-grass is found in the prairies, and has an exceedingly fragrant odor.

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Come when the lightning flashes,

Come when the forest crashes,

When shrieks of pain and wo,

Break on thine ear’drum thick and fast,

From ghosts that shiver in the blast;—

Then shalt thou know, and bend the knee

Before the angry deity.

‘But now attend, while I unfold

The lore my brave forefathers taught.—

As yet the storm, the heat, the cold,

The changing seasons had not brought.

Famine was not; each tree and grot

Grew greener for the rain;

The wanton doe, the buffalo

Blithe bounded on the plain.

In mirth did man the hours employ

Of that eternal spring;

With song and dance and shouts of joy

Did hill and valley ring.

No death shot pealed upon the ear,

No painted warrior poised the spear,

No stake-doomed captive shook for fear;

No arrow left the string,

Save when the wolf to earth was borne;

From foeman’s head no scalp was torn;

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Nor did the pangs of hate and scorn

The red man’s bosom wring.

Then waving fields of yellow corn

Did our blessed villages adorn.

‘Alas! that man will never learn

His good from evil to discern.

At length, by furious passions driven,

The Indian left his babes and wife,

And every blessing God had given,

To mingle in the deadly strife.

Fierce Wrath and haggard Envy soon

Achieved the work that War begun;

He left unsought the beast of chase,

And preyed upon his kindred race.

‘But He who rules the earth and skies,

Who watches every bolt that flies;

From whom all gifts, all blessings flow,

With grief beheld the scene below.

He wept; and, as the balmy shower

Refreshing to the ground descended,

Each drop gave being to a flower,

And all the hills in homage bended.

“Alas!” the good Great Spirit said,

“Man merits not the climes I gave;

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Where’er a hillock rears its head

He digs his brother’s timeless grave:

To every crystal rill of water

He gives the crimson stain of slaughter.

No more for him my brow shall wear

A constant, glad, approving smile;

Ah no! my eyes must withering glare

On bloody hands and deeds of guile.

Henceforth shall my lost children know

The piercing wind, the blinding snow;

The storm shall drench, the sun shall burn,

The winter freeze them, each in turn.

Henceforth their feeble frames shall feel

A climate like their hearts of steel.”

‘The moon that night withheld her light.

By fits, instead, a lurid glare

Illumed the skies; while mortal eyes

Were closed, and voices rose in prayer.

While the revolving sun

Three times his course might run,

The dreadful darkness lasted.

And all that time the red man’s eye

A sleeping spirit might espy,

Upon a tree top cradled high,

Whose trunk his breath had blasted.

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So long he slept, he grew so fast,

Beneath his weight the gnarled oak

Snapt, as the tempest snaps the mast.

It fell, and Thunder woke!

The world to its foundations shook,

The grisly bear his prey forsook,

The scowling heaven an aspect bore,

That man had never seen before;

The wolf in terror fled away,

And shone at last the light of day.

‘ ’T was here he stood; these lakes attest

Where first Waw-kee-an’s footsteps prest.

About his burning brow a cloud,

Black as the raven’s wing, he wore;

Thick tempests wrapt him like a shroud,

Red lightnings in his hand he bore;

Like two bright suns his eyeballs shone,

His voice was like the cannon’s tone;

And, where he breathed, the land became,

Prairie and wood, one sheet of flame.

Not long upon this mountain height

The first and worst of storms abode,

For, moving in his fearful might,

Abroad the God-begotten strode.

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‘Afar, on yonder faint blue mound

In the horizon’s utmost bound,

At the first stride his foot he set;

The jarring world confessed the shock.

Stranger! the track of Thunder yet

Remains upon the living rock.

The second step, he gained the sand

On far Superior’s storm-beat strand:

Then with his shout the concave rung,

As up to heaven the giant sprung

On high, beside his sire to dwell;

But still, of all the spots on earth,

He loves the woods that gave him birth.

Such is the tale our fathers tell.’

[p. 184]



‘Among some of the ruder tribes of North American Indians, if a mother dies during the period of nursing her child, it is buried in the same grave, with the breast that nourished it.’

Malthus, Vol. I.

Go to thy bed of earth,

My little wailing boy,

Thy life-stream perished at thy birth,

Haste to that source of joy.

Ere Famine’s blight is shed,

Upon thy withered breast,

Go, with the health-flush o’er thee spread,

Down to thy quiet rest.

How could I see thee pine,

And yet no aid bestow?

Nor flock, nor cultured field are mine,

How could I bear thy wo?

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Fate bids me wander wide,

Far from my home and thee;

Where’er the wild deer seeks to hide,

There must my covert be.

Hoarse winter’s rugged sway,

Strong blasts and driving rain,

Will sweep my cabin walls away,

Ere I return again.

Yet well my eye shall trace,

Poor babe! thy low abode;

There ’ll be a greenness on the place

Where thus my tears have flowed.

Boy! ’t would have been my pride

To rear thy growing power,

And see thee towering by my side

In battle’s glorious hour.

O be not thus distressed!

Spring to thy mother’s arms;

She hath a refuge in her breast,

For all thy wild alarms.

Lo! to the spirit-land

She beckons thee away!

Unclasp, my babe, thy father’s hand,

Thou canst not with him stay.

[p. 186]

There! last of all my race,

Sleep tranquilly and blest,

Cradled in that most holy place,

A faithful mother’s breast.


Mysterious plant! whose golden tresses wave

With a sad beauty in the dying year,

Blooming amid November’s frost severe,

Like the pale corpse-light o’er the recent grave!

If shepherds tell us true, thy wand hath power,

With gracious influence, to avert the harm

Of ominous planets, and the fatal charm

Of spirits wandering at the midnight hour;

And thou canst point where buried treasures lie.

But yet to me, thou art an emblem high

Of patient virtue, to the Christian given,

Unchanged and bright, when all is dark beside;

Our shield from wild temptations, and our guide

To treasures for the just laid up in heaven.


a young white woman helps an elderly white woman across a ricketty wooden bridge
Lescot. Pinxt.      J. Andrews Sc.

[p. 187]


Gently, dear mother, here

The bridge is broken near thee, and below

The waters with a rapid current flow—

Gently, and do not fear.

Lean on me, mother—plant thy staff before thee,

For she who loves thee most is watching o’er thee.

The green leaves, as we pass,

Lay their light fingers on thee unaware,

And by thy side the hazels cluster fair,

And the low forest grass

Grows green and lovely where the woodpaths wind—

Alas, for thee, dear mother, thou art blind!

And nature is all bright;

And the faint gray and crimson of the dawn,

Like folded curtains from the day are drawn;

And evening’s dewy light

Quivers in tremulous softness on the sky—

Alas, dear mother, for thy clouded eye!

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The moon’s new silver shell

Trembles above thee, and the stars float up

In the blue air, and the rich tulip’s cup

Is pencilled passing well,

And the swift birds on brilliant pinions flee—

Alas, dear mother, that thou canst not see!

And the kind looks of friends

Peruse the sad expression in thy face,

And the child stops amid his bounding race,

And the tall stripling bends

Low to thine ear with duty unforgot—

Alas, dear mother, that thou sees them not!

But thou canst hear—and love

May richly on a human tone be poured,

And the slight cadence of a whispered word

A daughter’s love may prove;

And while I speak thou knowest if I smile,

Albeit thou dost not see my face the while.

Yes—thou canst hear—and He,

Who on thy sightless eye its darkness hung,

To the attentive ear, like harps, hath strung

Heaven, and earth, and sea!

And ’t is a lesson in our hearts to know,

With but one sense the soul may overflow!

[p. 189]


We give the following article as it was received. Whether it is a genuine piece of autobiography from the pen of John Dunn Hunter himself, or only a probable sketch of his life by some one who knew him well, we leave to the reader’s decision. It came to us in a handwriting much resembling that of our friend J. Neal. Should it prove to have been written by him, that would, in our opinion, contribute rather to strengthen, than diminish its authority, as he has had better opportunities than any other man, to learn the real history of the singular individual to which it refers. Ed..

‘Murder will out,’ they say; and I believe it. The truth must be told by somebody or other, be the consequences what they may. For more than a twelvemonth, I have had no peace of my life, no appetite, no sleep, for the Accusing Spirit, which is now at my elbow, urging me with a perpetual whisper to undeceive the world about my Narrative. And if I am so wrought with, I, who have nothing very terrible to avow, what must they suffer who are haunted all their lives long, by shadows that will not

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be driven away, and by whispers that will not be soothed—shadows that are cast by no earthly sunshine, whispers that have no sound but to the ear of the manslayer?

And why should I strive longer with the Angel of Truth? What have I to fear? The law has no punishment for me, and if it had, I am altogether beyond the reach of the law. Who would ever suspect the good-natured fellow he may now see from Monday morning till Saturday night, with his shirt sleeves rolled up, hammering away at a tin comb, or a pewter gun lock, to be the individual who made such a noise but the other day among the chief dignitaries of the British empire? Who would ever be able to trace me, now that I have married by my true name, settled down for life in the workshop of my father, and got into good business, where my Narrative was never heard of?

Beside the motive above suggested, I do not see how I could better repay my numberless admirers and believers, than by publishing the facts of my history, just as they are. They will be the wiser, if not the happier for it, the longest day they have to live. Napoleon did so from his workshop, after he had done raffling for immortality; and straightway all the biographers and historians, and all the memoir writers of the age, whether political, military, or

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religious, who had ventured to portray his character, or to meddle with his motives—those invisible serpents of the human heart which are engendered in fever and wrath—were put to shame; the wisest and the greatest convicted of sheer fatuity, wherever they had gone aside from the pathway of the million, or sought to pass the triple outworks of the man, or to interrogate face to face the awful mystery of his nature; and this, not so much with the majesty, as with the simplicity of truth. When he laid his own heart bare with his own hands, looking steadily upon the future the while, as the nations passed in review before him, like his own household troops, what was discovered by those who had known him best? This—that his true motives had always been overlooked; not merely misunderstood and misrepresented, but overlooked. They were of no such unearthly stature as men believed. They had lifted their gaze too high, while searching for the chamber of power, the secret and source of all that made him what he was—

‘A desolator desolate,

A victor overthrown.—’

But now for my true history. I was born July 25th 1794, at —, a small village in the outskirts of old Massachusetts proper. I should give the name of this village as well as my own, but for the fact that

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I am now settled in it for life, under the name I was baptized with. One circumstance, however, I must mention here—so very singular is it, and so much influence has it had on my strange wayward life. My father’s house is not far from the Connecticut river. When I was not higher than a ‘six penny worth o’ ha’pence’—to borrow the language of my facetious friend, his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, whenever we dined together at the beef steak club—I used to fish in that same river from a rock, which allowed me to sit in Massachusetts, and cast my line either into Vermont, or New Hampshire. That single fact made me an adventurer and a dreamer, in spite of my teeth. Having the power to do either, I used to sit by the hour on that same rock, overtopped with glittering birch, and a blasted hemlock of two centuries old, that grew in the uppermost cleft and overshadowed the deep still water, with a blackness which nothing was ever able to scatter, not even the brightness of a starry night in the depth of winter—trying to choose between the two, and wondering to myself, whether there was in fact a material difference in the flavor of the Vermont and the New Hampshire fish. I had frequently heard such a thing suggested in the way of trade by my father, who was an extempore dealer in fish, whenever horn combs, tin ware, and other notions were a drug. A desire to

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ascertain the real truth of this matter had a strange effect on me. First it made me watch my father somewhat narrowly; and next it set me weighing, measuring, and finally tasting all his fish in pairs and triplets, whenever his back was turned—for which I was heartily drubbed more times than I choose to remember. That kept me awake o’ nights, and having read Robinson Crusoe, Hubbard’s Indian Wars, and some other works of a similar nature, they put me upon several other cheap experiments. For example, I played truant regularly twice a week, and twice a week I had a regular flogging at the shop for my pains. Of course I hated the shop, the schoolhouse, and everything therein.

From this period until I was fourteen, I do not remember anything very particular that happened to me, save what happens to every boy of an amiable temper and active mind, who is brought up to believe, that, in the way of trade, there is no such thing as a lie, or a trick worthy of reproach. But about this time, having a brother who had turned a pretty penny, one Fourth-of-July afternoon, by selling a piece of plain cloth to the best judge in the country, for twilled or waled, as they called it then—a process which he explained to father and me, after he had got home, by pulling a bit of the same cloth cornerwise, thereby giving it a very fair twill—I took it into my head

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that if such games were abroad, I was a fool not to know something of them—at least so far as to trust nobody, and protect myself. Within five minutes of the time when this idea struck me, I was hard at it, in father’s back shop, trying to put a tin blade to the handle of a jack-knife, which I had found a twelvemonth before in the snow. I succeeded pretty well, and having rubbed off the white metal, and furbished up the other, and pointed it with a parrot beak, and cut a place in it for my thumb-nail, I cheated a school-fellow with it, and took my pay in almanacs, which turned out, upon examination, to be five years old, with a new titlepage. This put a stop to our friendship forever, and to our intimacy for about a month. After this I began to meditate rather seriously upon a trade for myself, and, to oblige my father, finally consented to help him in the shop. My proficiency was but slow for a long while. But at last, happening to see the bottom of a teapot come off, by pouring hot water into it—a teapot which father had repaired the very day before with his own hands, to oblige a customer, taking for the job only eighteen pence lawful money, the idea flashed through my mind, that this was what he meant by soft soder. ‘Boy,’ he used to say to me, with his venerable hands resting on the bench—‘boy’—fingering the rosin as he spoke, or rubbing the copper on the edge of the cloth, and

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eyeing me in a way I never shall forget—I can see him now—‘boy, you will never be anything worth mentioning, till you know how to use the soft soder.’ ‘What is that, father?’ To this I never could obtain a reply, or no other reply than a slow shake of the head—a more deliberate fingering of the powdered rosin, or a more forcible clenching of the shears—the effect of all which was to satisfy me, that soft soder meant a secret worth knowing. But now I had it; I was master of it, and I had not another question to ask. The first thing I tried was to qualify myself for the wages of a journeyman; which I soon did by turning out more pint dippers, punching more ladles, dredgers, pepperboxes, graters, skimmers, and foot stoves, knocking off more milkpans, with less expense of wire, pewter, and labor, than any other hand in the shop. This done, I threatened to leave, as we call it here—to pull up stakes and be off on my own hook, as they have it in the North—if he did n’t hire me as he did the others, and pay so much by the piece. we soon struck a bargain, and the result was, that before three months were over, I was the only workman left in the shop. My soft soder had spoilt the trade of my father in tin ware—the noses and the bottoms of our coffeepots dropped off at a touch. A slight misunderstanding ensued, my excellent father gave me a sound thrashing, and

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packed me off without paying me my wages. I threatened the law; but he talked about minors, apprentices, guardians by nature, and a multitude of other cattle, about which I knew nothing and cared less, and concluded by snapping his fingers at me through the shop window with one hand, while he shook a horsewhip after me with the other. ‘By George, then, father,’ said I, ‘if I do n’t set up for myself!’

‘Set up for yourself, you young dog you,’ said he,—‘why, there is not a soul within fifty miles of you that would trust you to patch a milkpan.’

‘Father,’ said I, ‘as sure as I stand here, if you do n’t pay up, I ’ll ruin your trade.’

‘Ruin my trade? You have done that already, and ruined your father into the bargain.’

a farewell shot I was determined to have, cost what it would. So buttoning up to the chin, I looked right at the window, and fetching a lurch, with one of my best bows, ‘Father,’ said I, ‘what d’ ye think about soft soder now?’

Whiz!—I never saw the old gentleman in a passion before. Such a storm of old crockery you never heard in your life. Bang through the window came two or three oilcloth umbrellas, sent to be mended, a pestle and mortar which I had just begun to hoop, a pair of bellows, the clapper and nose

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to which, were both under way. Thereupon I departed; and we saw each other no more, till I returned in 1826, and found the old gentleman at the head of a factory, where razorstraps, pennyroyal, and peppermint water, cough drops, and macassar oil, were manufactured in sufficient quantities to keep three of my brothers and a hired man regularly employed in peddling through the Western States.

But what was I now to do? I never was half so much puzzled in my life, as in trying to settle that question. My perplexity when I used to sit hour after hour on the boundary line of three States, and throw my hook into neither, simply because I knew not which would be the best bargain, was not half so hard for me. At last, however, I took a hint for my behaviour from that very case; and giving my hat a farewell slouch at my father, off I started due West, and never halted nor breathed, save where I was obliged by accident or stress of weather to lie by, till I found myself seated at my trade as a journeyman tinplate worker in the service of a Scotchman at Pittsburg, in Pennsylvania. Here I staid long enough to amaze my employer at my readiness in learning how to planish with butter instead of oil, how to make pudding dishes in the shape of a muskmelon, and half-pint dippers by the wheelbarrow load. But my soft soder was too much for him at last, and he turned

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me adrift. From that moment I determined to have nothing more to do with tin ware; and betook myself forthwith to a brace of saddlebags, a starved horse and a secondhand sulky, wherewith I soon acquired a considerable reputation for surgery, soothsaying, and dyestuffs. I had no diploma to be sure; nor had I any very clear idea of the difference between the small pox and a slow fever, a parenthesis and a paralysis; but then I physicked the poor for nothing, drew teeth for a shilling apiece, or ten for a dollar, grew devout, and made friends of all the old women I knew. In short, I prospered, and was in a fair way to make a fortune. But one day, on taking up a newspaper from Massachusetts, I happened to see the trial of a self-initiated physician for his life, in consequence of what happens to every thoroughbred practitioner—the death of a patient. Upon this I began to feel rather so-so-ish—I cannot deny it. What, said I, after so many years of trial, experiment and suffering—on the part of others, I mean—to be obliged to plead for his life, when the worst medicine he ever used, was, doubtless, lobelia, rain water, vinegar, and burdock leaves! Talk about this being a liberal profession! Pho—fudge—I am sick of it. It is no better than the law—a confounded monopoly, the rules for practising which, are made by those who are in practice, against those who are out. Here am

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I, just where I was when I took up the trade, not a penny the richer, though no doubt the wiser. And now—now—when I have just got so far as to understand what soft soder means in this profession, to find, that if a doctor in good practice drops a patient—a technical phrase, which may be understood by sportsmen as well as by the faculty—the fault is the patient’s—whereas if a beginner does so, it is all up with him; that one cannot well go wrong, nor the other right, till his reputation is agog—to have to throw it up now, is too bad! Nevertheless I did throw it up; and my next—no, not the next, but the next but one, of the trades I followed, was that of a—yet no, I will not shame the honest creatures I associated with during the winter of 1813-14, by acknowledging that I was a hypocrite and a false brother. Something happened—something—no matter what, which drove me out from living with those who now pitied, and loved, and fostered me. Strange—but such is the simple truth. So long as I played the hypocrite, the liar, and the knave, I lacked for nothing. But the moment I grew honest, why even then, as now, the wide world were in array against me; poverty threw her chill upon my heart and her shadow about my path, and I was half ready to betake myself to the last refuge of the weak and the worthless—to suicide, ,or the rum-bottle. At this moment,

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most providentially for me—as I stood with a tumbler of the accursed preparation foaming and whizzing in my clutch—the window was suddenly darkened with a huge flag, and the noise of many drums rattled past the door. I looked up, and lo! the magnificent banner of my country afloat over a multitude of cheerful-looking, proudly-stepping men, with officers on horseback, and two or three pieces of artillery arrayed before the house. The music, the uproar, the lighted matches, and the sudden burst of the spectacle, so wrought with me, that instantly, and before I well knew where I was, I had presented myself to a recruiting-officer who stood in the door, pocketed my bounty of eighty dollars in hard cash, paid off my grog score, thrown a dollar to the boys, and heard myself proclaimed a member of captain E. B. Clemson’s company, enlisted for five years. This was in the fall of 1814. That night, for the first time in my life, I went to sleep with a pretty good opinion of myself, and of my courage. But when I awoke in the morning, and heard the drums beat, and counted over my money—I had but fortyfive dollars left—I began to have my misgivings; and was actually employed in rummaging an old copy of Morse’s geography, with a view to ascertain the nearest way—as the crow flies—to some place where no questions would be asked, when a sergeant

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entered my room without a word of apology, and began swearing at me, and switching the bedpost with a little trumpery rattan, which I did not precisely understand the use of till about a week afterwards, when happening somehow or other to be on parade, at the hour when the rest of the men were playing at ‘Hold up your head, and—,’ I got two or three pretty smart raps over the knuckles, for which, if I ever come across that fellow—but he ’s dead now—so no matter.

Well, after this, to make a long story short, I was marched off; and where, think you, of all the savage unheard of places on our earth for a tinplateworker to go?—Why to Fort Osage on the Missouri river, where I remained till the year 1818, at the risk of being shot or scalped every time I poked my nose beyond the shadow of my country’s war-flag. At last, I could bear it no longer, and having got some reputation among the Kansa chiefs by a cure which I effected, I know not how—all that I do know is, that I was never so astonished in all my life, as when I saw a poor fellow, who was brought in for dead, get up and walk away, after I had prescribed a tumbler of wormwood tea, and a roll over the parapet—I contrived to escape to their hunting grounds, where I lived and flourished as a regular professor of the black art, empowered from Above to control the issues

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of life and death. And here I might have remained to this day, but for a war which broke out with the Osages. The great and little Osages are slow of anger, but unappeasable as death after they once take the field. They were now coming forth in battle array, to decide a long standing quarrel, when it occurred to me, that they were six thousand strong at least, without reckoning the Osages of the Arkansa. As this power considerably exceeded that of our own tribe, I thought it might be good policy for me to go over to their party. No sooner said than done. That very night I was on my way to the Osages of the Arkansa river; and twelve days after—that is, on the sixteenth of September, 1818, I was in safety among the bravest and most accomplished of all our North American Indians. Here I remained habited like them, hunting with them, and living with them on beans, fish, pumpkins, and game, like the more civilized of their white brethren, till the year 1820, when, being satisfied that spies were on the watch, who, if they once caught my brave protectors napping, would leave neither hide nor hair of me, I thought proper to jump on a raft, which I had previously prepared of twigs and matted grass, furnished with arms and clothing, and victualled for the voyage, and let myself down the smooth current of the Grand River till I came to the Falls—where I had a narrow

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escape—exchanged my raft for a sort of canoe, which I found fastened to the shore just below the rapids, without troubling myself to find the swappee, or to tell him where to look for the prize I had left—such in fact was my horror when I considered how providentially I had been wakened by the roar, just in time to save myself by leaping into the eddy and swimming for my life. What became of my raft and cargo I never knew—but I had shifted the risk to another, according to maritime law, and my sense of propriety was no longer troublesome. After a tedious voyage, not a few laughable, and one pretty serious, adventure—when I came pretty near being scalped by the owner of the canoe I had borrowed, after a pursuit down the Arkansa and the Mississippi of more than five hundred miles, a part of which way was through the very heart of two or three hostile tribes—I arrived at Natches, and soon after, at New Orleans.

At New Orleans, finding myself destitute of money, it occurred to me, as I stood waiting for a ship to be dragged out of the mud, by one of the huge steamboats that plied between the balize and the city, that if I took advantage of my escape from the savages in a general way, without entering into particulars, it might help me to a night’s lodging and a mouthful of victuals. At first I had no other object in view;

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but the thing took, and I was beset on all sides for the particulars. To particulars therefore I was obliged to descend, and as my imagination was always better than my memory, the result was, that I received a pretty considerable share of praise, fiftythree dollars and some odd cents in cash, pity enough to load a seventyfour, and a passage to New York in the very ship I had been looking at, when the idea flashed into my mind.

At New York I was no sooner ashore, than my story was in everybody’s mouth—so altered however, so aggravated and so bettered in all its material parts, I hardly knew it for my own—so that if I had undertaken to set people right, I should have had enough to do for the rest of my life. Under such circumstances, I had nothing left, but to sit still, and hear about my captivity among the Indians at a very early age, commented upon with such particularity, that, upon my word, I began almost to believe it myself, though, between friends, that was no story of my hatching. I had merely happened to let fall a word or two about the difficulty I found in making myself understood, after so long a use of the Osage and Kansa languages; adding, as it were in the progress of conversation, that the former was a sort of mother-tongue to me. I was not very particular, to be sure, in stating the precise length of time referred to. I merely

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threw out the idea now and then, as my friends of the British parliament would say, letting it go for what it was worth, and leaving it to the conscience of others to infer whatever was most agreeable to them. The result astonished me. Out of an occasional story which I repeated, as near as I could, in the very language of my Kansa, Kickapoo, and Osage friends, with here and there an occasional mention of Tshut-che-man,* a slight, and, as it were, a collateral reference to the Missouri, the Waco, the Shawnee, the Paunee Loups, the Paunee republics, and the Paunees of the plain, the Weas, the Peotna, the Piankasaw, and a few other tribes, most of which it is said are findable on the map; of their religious belief, the land of souls, the great lake, the wampum-belt, the hatchet of war, and the chain of peace, the trip to the Pacific—a tradition I had, if I recollect rightly, out of the mouth of a Kansa chief—and Col. Watkins.†

*Not being able to trust to my memory, I would refer to my book here, as it came out of the hands of my amiable and interesting friend the compiler, Mr Edward Clarke, of New York, for the orthography of Tshut-che-nan—a worthy old gentleman, whose very existence the North American Review has had the impudence to deny, on the authority of one General Clark, and one Governor Cass—the real author.

†Another name, about the orthography of which I am not very sure; but my friend Clarke is, I dare say, as well as about the manner in which I saved the Colonel’s life according to my book, [p. 206] to which I beg leave to refer again, as my memory is none of the best.

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Out of these hints and a few more of similar texture, was made that very volume which has gone forth to the world as my Narrative. But by whom was it made? Not by me. By whom then? By the good people of New York—the believers, the proselytes, the professors, and the critics. They contrived the story for me, they put it together—and what could I do but swear to it, after my silence, which I meant for nothing more than a reasonable courtesy and discretion, had been, much to my amazement, construed into an assent to the truth of all that was repeated of me. What choice had I left? Much of my story was true, or would have been if published as I told it. To be sure I had occasionally substituted the name of John Dunn Hunter for that of somebody else; and, for aught I know, I may have dated and located a few of the incidents a little differently from the original. But what of that? The stories I told were substantially true. But as to those that were published—I have nothing more to say than that they who can believe them, are welcome to do so, and much good may their faith do them. But the result of my accidental hints and surmises, let fall in conversation, astonished me, I have said. And well it might. For, instead of finding anybody prepared to doubt my

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story, the greatest difficulty I found was the same that troubled Mahomet himself—it was to keep up with my believers,—they were always ahead of me. Instead of exposing myself to enquiry, or doubt, or cross-examination at every step, as they who know little of the world might expect—for these things occur only at the outset of an imposter’s career—I had nothing to do but hold still, and suffer the story to grow into shape like a snow-ball, before my very face and eyes. If I suffered at all, it was on account of a bashfulness that I could never entirely get the better of, even while breathing the atmosphere of palaces. I never liked being stared at, nor even to this day can I bear to have my story alluded to in my presence. My story indeed! It was never a fiftieth part so much my story, as it was that of the people I associated with at New York; where, if I showed my nose in company, it was only to hear it repeated on every side of me, like a Scotch air with variations—variations, which leave little or nothing of the original to know it by, hardly enough indeed to be guessed at by a lover of simple truth—growing more and more circumstantial every day, and gradually absorbing, not only every chance anecdote I had mentioned of other ages or of other people, but everything that touched upon the character of the red men.

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At last, being entirely destitute of cash, I yielded to the arguments of Dr M—, Dr H—, and about fifty more of the literati of New York, whose influence by the way did not go far enough in that city to obtain a purchaser of my story, and removed to Philadelphia, where, by the help of their letters, I succeeded in finding a publisher. Early in 1823, after having paid Mr Jefferson, Mr Madison, the cities of Baltimore, Washington, and a few other persons and things of considerable notoriety, a friendly visit, and obtained ever-so-many promises, which resulted in nothing but a plenty of advice about trying my fortune with the British public, and about half a peck of letters from my friends in this country, to their friends in that, including several from our president and ex-presidents to Mr Rush, our minister at St James’s, and others of equal condition, my story was printed at Philadelphia; and without waiting for it to be published, I started for England, being assured, as I left the wharf, that if I managed well, and had pretty good luck, I should beat Washington Irving all hollow. I cannot say that I understood all this at the time; but I did soon after my arrival in London, where I was actually lodged in the same room where he wrote the chief part of his Sketch Book; that is, at a house occupied by the widow H—, in Warwick Street, Pall-Mall, next to the back-door of Carleton House.

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But to my book—for there lies the pith of my story now. Having found out the publisher of Mr Irving’s Bracebridge Hall, for which he was paid, not merely promised, but paid, above a thousand guineas, I offered him the narrative in sheets to republish. He demurred—hesitated—asked time—and finally bowed me off, in spite of all my friend Leslie could do, or my particular friend Newton, who was hand and glove with Murray in the literary way. I then applied to Mr Miller of New Bridge Street, Black Friars—the very man who had published for Irving (on account of the author) after his Sketch Book had been refused by Murray, to whom it was first offered. But Miller was too polite by half—instead of coming down with a bushel or two of guineas, which the philosophers of New York had made me promise to stand out for, on the strength of their letters, he merely offered to look about for a publisher. A whole week passed—another—and another—before he succeeded so far as to engage a house to bring out the work at the risk of the author; during all which time I grew more and more weary of the tricks and principles and judgments of white men, taking care to say as much on every proper occasion, and making up for my loss of appetite, loss of sleep, and mortified self-love, by playing the misanthrope and the savage up to the hilt. But the moment

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Mr Miller had found me a publisher, I began to have another, and a different, though still a conditional, opinion of matters and things in general.

Need I go further? Need I relate how my book, having been favorably reviewed, the publishers gave me about one thousand dollars for the copyright; how Mr Murray himself grew courteous and particular in his attentions, whenever I fell in his way; how I rose, step by step, from the society of engravers and hack authors, up—up—through every grade of society; how I became the companion of the Duke of Sussex, and dined every week at Kensington Palace; how I grew to be the Lion of fashionable society; how my visits at Almack’s, and at dinners, soirées, and conversazioni, came to be esteemed matters of rare favor by lords and ladies of the first rank; how I attracted the particular regard of Canning, Brougham, and Herries; how I spent several weeks at the country residence of Mr Coke, and became so much a favorite that he made me a valuable present; how I went to Scotland, and produced a sensation among such men as Dugald Stewart and Francis Jeffries; how I came back to London, and bagged, powdered, and ruffled, was set face to face with the Majesty of Great Britain, by the American Ambassador; and how I never held up my head afterwards—whatever I might be to others, I saw by

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the monarch’s clear eye and stately brow, that I was no great wonder to him; how I got away as quietly as I could; how I packed up my things in the month of May, 1824; how I fobbed all the cash that fell in my way, a trifle at best, considering the opportunities I had lost—not a fiftieth part as much, after all, as had been offered to me, over and over again, but a month before; how I turned my back forever upon London; how I arrived at Liverpool; how I did my friend Elias Norgate out of the small matter of fifty pounds, to pay duties with on the agricultural implements furnished me by Mr Coke—I having a fixed intention to refund it, the moment I had brought about the coalition we had talked of, among all the Western Indians; how I waited at New York but just long enough to enjoy the stare of the natives, while I passed about the presents and the letters of His Royal Highness, and particularly his magnificent contribution to my album of page after page from authors like Milton, Shakspeare, &c.; how I received one hundred pounds more from the liberal-hearted Mr John Smith, banker of London, with a view to relieve me from any embarrassment on account of the pretended failure of my banker at New York; how I started for the great object of my mission, passing through Baltimore, Philadelphia, and a good many other places, and gathering contributions by the cartload, if not

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of money, at least of wonder and admiration, meeting with no doubters now of anything I might choose to say, and trying to make up my mind whether I should cut a canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific, revolutionize Texas, or bring about a confederation of the tribes mentioned above—an event which the philanthropists and philosophers of England had begun to calculate on from my operations, as a check for the incredible growth of the United States, and a proper balance of power in the New World; how, after a variety of adventures, among which a second visit to Mr Jefferson ought to be remembered, I got back among the natives that wear feathers and scalps? Or would you have me relate, how, after a world of expostulation, I got four chiefs of some notoriety to sign a paper which I prepared for them, according to my best knowledge of what a proclamation should be; or how we kicked up a little revolutionary dust, which ended in my being taken prisoner by the government of Mexico, and put to death? I shall do no such thing. All these details may be found in the newspapers of the day. And here I throw aside the pen forever—appealing once more from the unjust and cruel judgment of this age, to that of posterity.

J. D. H.

April 1, 1830.

[p. 213]

TO ——.


Too lovely and too early lost!

My memory clings to thee,

For thou wast once my guiding-star

Amid the treacherous sea;

But doubly cold and cheerless now,

The wave too dark before,

Since every beacon-light is quenched

Along the midnight shore.

I saw thee first, when hope arose

On youth’s triumphant wing,

And thou wast lovelier than the light

Of early dawning spring.

Who then could dream, that health and joy

Would e’er desert the brow,

So bright with varying lustre once,

So chill and changeless now?

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That brow! how proudly o’er it then,

Thy kingly beauty hung,

When wit, or eloquence or mirth

Came burning from the tongue;

Or when upon that glowing cheek

The kindling smile was spread,

Or tears, to thine own woes denied,

For others’ griefs were shed.

Thy mind! it ever was the home

Of high and holy thought;

Thy life, an emblem of the truths

Thy pure example taught;

When blended in thine eye of light,

As from a royal throne,

Kindness, and peace and virtue there,

In mingled radiance shone.

One evening, when the autumn dew

Upon the hills was shed,

And Hesperus far down the west

His starry host had led,

Thou saidst, how sadly and how oft

To that prophetic eye,

Visions of darkness and decline,

And early death were nigh.

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It was a voice from other worlds,

Which none beside might hear;—

Like the night breeze’s plaintive lyre,

Breathed faintly on the ear;

It was the warning kindly given,

When blessed spirits come,

From their bright paradise above,

To call a sister home.

How sadly on my spirit then,

That fatal warning fell!

But oh! the dark reality

Another voice may tell;

The quick decline—the parting sigh—

The slowly moving bier—

The lifted sod—the sculptured stone—

The unavailing tear!—

The amaranth flowers that bloom in heaven,

Entwine thy temples now;

The crown that shines immortally,

Is beaming on thy brow;

The seraphs round the burning throne

Have borne thee to thy rest,

To dwell among the saints on high,

Companion of the blest.

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The sun hath set in folded clouds—

Its twilight rays are gone,

And gathered in the shades of night,

The storm is rolling on.

Alas! how ill that bursting storm

The fainting spirit braves,

When they, the lovely and the lost,

Are gone to early graves.


Lady! on thee may all life’s blessings rest,

And all its storms fall lightly! If thou art,

By sorrow sometimes, or misfortune pressed,

Thine is the promise to the pure in heart.

Though time thy earliest flowers of youth has left,

Thou hast no sorrow for the vanished scene,

No fears to meet the coming. Thou hast left

The careless throng, to walk in pastures green,

And by the living waters; and the way

Of pleasantness is thine, the path of peace.

Thy light shall brighten to the perfect day,

When earth, with all that is therein, shall cease,

And the dread hour of visitation come:—

Enter thou then the faithful servant’s home.

[p. 217]


’T is morning, yet I am not gay—

’T is spring, and yet I only sigh—

My pleasures all are flown away—

Oh! who can tell me where or why?

It was not so before—for bright

As summer clouds were all my dreams—

No mist could high the rosy light,

That seemed on all to pour its beams.

In autumn, when the chill winds blew,

My playmate birds all went away—

I did not weep, for well I knew,

They ’d come again some happy day.

And when the flowers to me so dear,

Grew deadly pale, I did not mourn,

For Fancy whispered in my ear,

With freshened bloom they ’d all return.

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And they have come, the birds and flowers,

And music bursts from every tree—

But they have lost those magic powers

That once so strangely cheated me.

How idly then, I deemed the day

Would never pass with heavy wing,

While such companions shared my play,

And life was in its golden spring.

But I am weary of them all,

And vaguely dream—I know not why—

Of music softer than the call

Of birds at evening, whispered nigh.

And forms come teeming from the leaves

Of flowers, more beautiful than they—

And then my wayward bosom grieves,

That dreams so fleeting will not stay.

Would Edward were not far away

Upon the sea, these two long years—

For he might tell, why, once so gay,

I now can scarcely hide my tears.

[p. 219]



The reader who has ever been in the pleasant town of Herkimer in New York, may know something of Johnny Vanderbocker, a neat, square built Dutch lad, who was a great favorite among the ladies of that place, a few years back. The reason of his popularity with the fair, I could never exactly learn; for he was the most uncomely youth that a traveller could meet between Albany and Buffalo. Perhaps it might have been in consequence of his expectations; for his father, who was a baker, was said to have several hundreds of silver dollars, locked up in an oaken chest which stood by his bedside; and as he had always permitted John to roam about the village, without paying the least attention to his education or conduct, it seemed very evident, that he intended to make him his heir. Perhaps it might have been owing to his good nature; for to tell the truth, there was not a better tempered lad in the

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whole country. Whatever else might be said in disparagement of John, all admitted that he was a well conditioned creature, and had not the least harm in him. He would lie for hours, under the shade of a great willow which stood before his father’s door, looking at the sky, or crawl about the grass, hunting for four-leafed clover; and no change in the weather, nor other cross accident, was ever known to disturb his serenity. In this respect he was a fair example of the influence of circumstances; for having been raised—as we say in the Westx2by a baker, it was naturally to be expected that his heart should be light.

After all, he might owe his favor with the female public to his musical abilities, which were certainly remarkable. When quite small he was an adept at playing on the Jews-harp, and the boys and girls would crowd around him to listen to his melody, as if he had been another Orpheus. As he grew older, he took to the violin, and his services began to be in request. A man may always fiddle his way through this world; no matter whether he play for love or money, whether he is a hired musician, or an amateur, fiddling is a genteel, popular, and profitable employment. Johnny was now a regular and an acceptable visiter at all the tea parties, quiltings, and house raisings, in and around the town, and never

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did any human being fill a station with more propriety, than he did the responsible post of fiddler. By nature he was taciturn, a lover of sleep, a healthy eater, and fond of an inspiring beverage; qualifications, which, if they be not proofs of musical genius, may at least be set down as the appropriate accomplishments of a connoisseur in the science of sweet sounds. Seated in an easy chair, for he loved a comfortable position, he would throw back his head, close his eyes, open his huge mouth, and fiddle away for a whole night, without exhibiting the least sign of vitality, except in his elbow and his fingers. Often when a dance was ended, he would continue to play on until admonished that his labors were unnecessary; but when a new set took the floor, it was only requisite to give Johnny a smart jog, and off he went again like a machine set in motion. When refreshments were brought him, he poured into the vast crater which performed the function of a mouth, whatever was offered, and more than once has he swallowed the contents of an inkstand, smacked his lips over a dose of Peruvian bark, or pronounced a glass of sharp vinegar ‘humming stuff.’

Thus passed the halcyon days of Johnny Vanderbocker, until the completion of his twentyfirst year, when an event occurred which entirely changed the tenor of his life. This was no other than the de-

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cease of his worthy parent the baker, who was suddenly gathered to his fathers, on a cold winter evening while Johnny was fiddling at a neighbouring fair. The news startled our hero like the snapping of a fiddle-string. He returned with a heavy heart to his paternal mansion, and retired to rest somewhat consoled by the reflection, that although he had lost a parent, he had become master of the rolls. He laid aside his amusements to follow the remains of the honest baker to their last receptacle. For a wonder, he remained wide awake the whole day, and slept quietly in his bed the whole of the ensuing night. On the following morning he unlocked the oaken chest, emptied the contents of several greasy bags on the floor, counted them over eagerly, and then determined—to buy a new violin.

In his new situation, many cares pressed upon the attention of our hero. Letters of administration had to be taken out, the stock in trade and the implements of his ancestor to be sold, debts to be collected, and debts to be paid; and before a week elapsed the heir at law acknowledged, that the gifts of fortune are not worth the trouble they bring. His new suit of black imposed an unwonted constraint upon him. He could no longer roll upon the grass, for fear of soiling his clothes, and he was told that it would be wrong to fiddle at the dances while he was in mourning.

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When an old man gets into trouble, he is apt to betake himself to the bottle; when a young one becomes perplexed, he generally turns his attention to matrimony. Thus it was with Johnny, who, in those golden and joyous days when he had nothing to do but to sleep and eat and play the fiddle, never dreamt of the silken fetter. But when care and trouble, and leather bags, and silver dollars, and black broadcloth, came upon him, he thought it high time to shift a portion of the burthen of his existence upon some other shoulders.

I must now apprise the reader, that although my hero had never thought of marriage, it was only because he was too single-minded to think of two things at once. He had not reached the mature age of one and twenty, untouched by the arrows of the gentle god. In love he had been, and at the precise point of time to which we have brought this veracious history, the tender passion was blazing in his bosom, as kindly and as cheerfully as a christmas fire. Its object was a beautiful girl of nineteen, who really did great credit to the taste of the enamoured musician. She was the daughter of a widow lady of respectable connexions, but decayed fortune—the damaged relic of a fashionable spendthrift. Lucy Atherton, the young lady in question, had beauty enough to compensate for the absence of wealth, and a sufficient

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portion of the family inheritance of pride, to enable her to hold her head quite as high as any belle in the village. Indeed she made it a point to take precedence wherever she went, and as she did this without the least appearance of ill nature, and without displaying any self-important airs, but rather as a matter of course, it seemed to be universally conceded to her. She was the reigning beauty of the village—the prettiest, the gayest, and the most graceful of the maiden train who danced to the music of Johnny Vanderbocker’s violin. In the dance she was grace personified. It was a treat to behold her laughing face, her lovely form, and her light step, as she flew with joyous heart and noiseless foot through the mazes of the contra-dance. Now it happened to Johnny occasionally, to shut his mouth and open his eyes, just at the dangerous moment when Miss Atherton was engaged in these captivating performances, and he must have been the most churlish of all Dutchmen, not to have been fascinated. She was in the habit too of leading off the sets, and the choice of the air was generally dictated by her taste. On such occasions she would address our hero with the most winning grace, and in tones of the sweetest euphony, ask Mr Vanderbocker for ‘that delightful tune which he played so charmingly.’ Accustomed to the appellation of plain ‘Johnny’ from every other

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tongue, the title of Mister, conveyed in such honied accents, fell pleasantly upon his ear, and whether the fair lady was actuated by self-respect or by a respect for Johnny, the effect was to make him her fast friend. The fact was, that Miss Atherton had an art, which some ladies exercise as skilfully as some gentlemen, and which is found among distinguished belles as often as among ambitious men;—I mean that universal courtesy which gains for its possessor the good will of all ranks—that ready smile, like a panacea, suits all occasions. In statesmen this desirable accomplishment is the result of judicious training; in handsome women it is an instinct, connected with that love of applause, which is almost inseparable from beauty.

Often would Johnny surprise the company, by keeping his eyes open for whole minutes together, as the lovely vision of Lucy Atherton flitted before him. The fire would flash from his eye, and the blood rush from his heart to his elbow, as he gazed in ecstasy at the loveliest dancer in the village—his fingers fell with renewed vivacity upon the tuneful strings, and the very violin itself, seemed to melt in sympathy, and gave forth softer, and mellower, and gayer tones. Then would he close his eyes, and having laid in an agreeable idea, feed upon it in secrecy, as a stingy boy devours a dainty morsel in

p. 226

some hidden corner. With his stringed instrument rattling away like a locomotive engine, apparently unconscious of any animal propulsion, his mouth wide open, his visage devoid of expression, and the whole outward man reposing in death-like torpidity, he was dreaming of Lucy Atherton—his heart was beating time to the imaginary motion of her feet, as her form floated and whirled, up the sides and down the middle, cross over and right and left, through every nook and corner of his bosom. But either because this image was too dearly cherished to be shared with another, or too faintly shadowed out to be altogether intelligible to himself, he kept his own counsel so closely, that none could have suspected the object of his thoughts, or have pronounced with the slightest shadow of reason, that he had any thoughts at all—except upon one occasion, when Miss Lucy Atherton having gone through a scamper down with uncommon spirit, he exclaimed with great emotion, that she was ‘a dreadful nice danger.’

Yet with all this devotion of heart, and with feelings that vibrated to every echo of Lucy’s feet, there was not a single chord of association in the mind of Johnny Vanderbocker, which connected the image of Miss Atherton with the idea of wedlock. On the contrary, having seldom seen her except on high days and holidays, when she shone as a bright

p. 227

peculiar star in the constellation of village beauty, her name was engraven on the same tablet on which was recorded his agreeable recollections of in-fairs, quiltings, fiddle-strings, minced pies, egg-flip, and hot spiced ginger-bread. All these good things came together, and with them always came—Lucy Atherton. When therefore the notion of a wife came into his head, it was like the intrusion of a comet into the solar system, disturbing the regular economy of nature, and eclipsing the other orbs by its brilliancy. It entirely unsettled the well ordered succession of his thoughts, which commonly moved on from point to point as regularly as the hands of a watch. ‘A wife!’—quoth he, casting a look of silly bashfulness all around, as if afraid of detection—‘A wife!’—exclaimed he a second time, laughing aloud as at the absurdity of such a proposition—‘A wife!’—muttered he again,—and then the image of Lucy Atherton came dancing before him. The greatest discoveries have been the result of accident, the happiest invention is but the felicitous application of a known power to a novel purpose; and equally fortuitous was that train of thought in the mind of our hero, which united his own destiny with that of the fashionable and admired Lucy Atherton. The thought was ecstatic; it brought a glow to the heart of Johnny, such as seldom beams upon the high latitude of a Dutchman’s

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breast, and he resolved to become, forthwith, a candidate for the hand of the village belle.

Great designs give unwonted energy to the character. Idle and timid as our hero usually was, the idea of marrying Lucy Atherton awakened him to a new being. His conceptions were enlarged, his resolution quickened, and all his senses strung anew, and he was as different a man from what he was an hour before, as a stringless violin is, from the same instrument properly attired and screwed into tune. He felt his importance increased, his notions of happiness expanded, and his whole sphere of existence extended and beautiful. He considered the matter settled. ‘Me and Lucy will just suit,’ said he to himself. ‘She dances prime, and I take it, I can out-fiddle the world.’ It never occurred to him that the lady would make any objection to the arrangement.

How could she? for Johnny was possessed of the only two things which he considered absolutely necessary to enjoyment; music and money. What more could a lady want? ‘And then,’ thought he, ‘I ’m not the worst-looking fellow in the country, and this is not such a bad house neither, and three hundred dollars, and the bake-shop, is no trifle.’ Johnny capered round the room in great glee, and one of his companions coming in at this moment, he embraced him, and said, ‘Do n’t you wish me joy?’

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‘For what?’ inquired his friend.

‘O I ’m so happy!’

‘Is it your father’s death that pleases you so much?’

‘O no! I ’m going to be married.’

‘Indeed! Who to?’

‘Ah, that ’s a secret; I ha n’t told her about it yet, but I know she ’ll have no objection.’

The next morning found her hero at a neighbouring shop, purchasing a variety of trinkets and clothing, for the decoration of his ungainly person. A purple watch-ribbon, a pink silk neck-cloth, and a huge breast-pin which struck him as peculiarly tasty and appropriate, were borne off in triumph; and these, together with a scarlet velvet waistcoat, of the proper goods and chattels of the late Herman Vanderbocker deceased, which came to the hands of the said John to be administered, were severally arranged in their respective stations; and the worthy amateur, adorned with a dazzling elegance, to which he had until that time been a stranger, placed his fiddle triumphantly under his arm, and marched boldly to the dwelling of the widow Atherton.

It is necessary to explain in this place, that in calling our hero a fiddler, we have never meant to insinuate that he played for money. He was as much above such mercenary considerations, as any other lover of the fine arts. He was an amateur.

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That delicate discrimination of sounds, which enables its happy possessor to arrange the vibrations of coarse strings and fine ones into harmony, and that love of melodious tones and skilful combinations, which distinguish the musician, and of which the writer of this history has not the faintest conception, all belonged to Johnny. He was a welcome visiter at all the parties in the village, because he played cotillions and contra-dances with ‘accuracy and despatch,’ and moreover not only rendered such services gratuitously, but with the utmost good humour. Whoever else was omitted, on any such occasion, Mr Vanderbocker was sure to receive a formal card, or a hearty invitation, as the case might require. Of course he was received as an equal in every circle, and had access to the best society in the village; a privilege which he seldom used, but which permitted him on the present occasion to tap at the door of Mrs Atherton with the air of a familiar friend.

‘Good morning, Mrs Atheron,’ said our hero, as he entered the widow’s parlour; ‘Good morning. How ’s Lucy?’

The lady, surprised at this unwonted familiarity in the son of the village baker, raised her spectacles, and having gazed at him for a moment in mute astonishment, haughtily replied that Miss Atherton was well. Johnny was glad to hear it; but before he

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could express his joy, the offended parent stalked out, and the young lady herself glided in. ‘She do n’t know what I came for, or she ’d be more civil,’ thought Johnny, as he looked after the proud widow—but the entrance of the daughter changed the current of his reflections.

‘How d’ ye do, Lucy?’ said the amateur.

Lucy was thunderstruck. The young man had never before addressed her in such a strain; but she had too much self-possession to betray the least embarrassment; for a reigning belle can generally command her feelings with as much success as a veteran politician. She returned his salutation, therefore, with the utmost sweetness and ease of manner, and took her seat, inwardly resolving to penetrate into the cause of the strange revolution which a few hours had made in the dress and address of her visiter. Arrayed in the simple elegance of a morning dress, and adorned with youth, health, and beauty, she bent gracefully over her work, and never looked prettier than at this moment, when an inquisitive archness was added to the usually intelligent expression of her countenance. For the present, however, her curiosity was balked; for Johnny, who really meant only to show his tenderness, and had already advanced to the utmost bounds of his assurance, began to falter. The courage, which had

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sustained him thus far, and which some have insinuated was borrowed from a source that our temperance societies would hardly approve, was fast evaporating; and after sitting some time in silence, playing with his purple watch-ribbon, he drew his violin from its green bag, and inquired whether miss Atherton would ‘fancy a tune.’

The young lady declared that it always afforded her infinite pleasure to listen to Mr Vanderbocker’s delightful music; and in an instant the musical machine started into action—the head fell back, the mouth yawned, the eye-lids closed, and Johnny, the best and drowsiest of fiddlers, added a new proof, that even the tender passion is not sufficiently powerful to overcome inveterate habit. But love did not entirely quit the field, or abandon his votary, who opened his eyes at intervals, and bowed and smirked upon his fair auditress in a manner not to be mistaken, while between the different airs he would inquire if the last tune was not ‘cruel purty,’ or ‘desparate fine,’ or ‘eleganter than all the rest.’

Music, which has charms to ‘soothe the savage breast,’ seems to have operated differently on that of the young lady, on this occasion; for the antique velvet vest, the pink neck-cloth, the smirking, the bowing, and above all, the short naps which her visiter seemed to enjoy with such complacency, were

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altogether so irresistibly ludicrous, that in spite of her endeavours to suppress it, she was compelled to burst into a fit of laughter. Johnny, who very properly considered this as an unequivocal expression of delight, was overjoyed at his success, and adding his own bass to the melodious tenor of his fair companion, shook the room with peals of obstreperous mirth.

Thus ended the first act of this comedy. The second commences with a sprightly dialogue. Johnny, who had now found his tongue, opened the conversation by asking ‘Lucy’ if she did not think he ought to be married?

‘Undoubtedly, Mr Vanderbocker,’ was the reply; ‘nothing could be more proper; provided you believe that marriage would conduce to your happiness.’

‘I do n’t know as I should be any happier, but somehow I think I should be better contented.’

‘Then you ought certainly to marry, for contentment is the chief ingredient in the cup of happiness.’

‘I shall quit drinking entirely,’ continued the lover, who misunderstood the last position of the lady.

‘I am glad to hear it. Sobriety is very becoming; particularly in married men.’

‘And who do you think I ought to have?’

‘O dear! I cannot tell, indeed. That is a delicate question; and perhaps it might be necessary to determine first who would have you.’

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‘I guess, a’most any of ’em would be glad to catch at me,’ replied the swain; ‘for father ’s left me a snug house, and three hundred dollars in silver, besides the bake-shop.’

‘Quite a fortune, I declare!’ exclaimed Lucy.

‘To be sure there ’s some that ’s richer than me, and some better looking,’ continued Johnny, glancing at the mirror which hung opposite to him; ‘but then you know, Miss Lucy—’

—‘That half a loaf is better than no bread,’ added the young lady, ironically.

‘Yes—just so—that ’s my idee to a notch, a half bread, as you say, is better than no loaf, and so—three hundred dollars and a house and lot—’

‘And gentle Mr Vanderbocker into the bargain, would be a comfortable lot for any lady. Surely the girls in Herkimer ought not to hesitate, for the temptation is very great!’

‘A n’t it?’ exclaimed Johnny, in a tone of exultation. ‘I guess it is!’ he added, answering his own question. ‘It is n’t every gal that gets such a chance. Now I ’ll tell you a secret,’ continued he, lowering his voice—‘if you ’ll have me, it ’s all your own, me and the fiddle, the three hundred dollars, the bake-shop, and all!’

‘The impudent fellow!’ thought Lucy; but she had the politeness and good sense to suppress that thought.

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A lady is never seriously offended with the swain who offers to marry her; for however humble may be the source from which the proposition emanates, it is still a compliment. Lucy’s list of conquests was tolerably long for blooming nineteen, and the name of Johnny would add but little dignity to the train; yet truth obliges me to record that a slight blush, and a very slight toss of the head, with a glance at the mirror, showed that the tribute of admiration was not unwelcome even from our hero. She civilly, but peremptorily declined the honor which he had intended for her, and adding ‘You must excuse me now, sir, I have other engagements,’ left the room.

‘ “Other engagements!” ’ thought Johnny, ‘that means that she is going to be married to somebody else. What a dunce was I not to speak first!’ and he retired, deeply chagrined, and not a little puzzled, that a young lady of marriageable age and sound discretion, who was not worth a cent, should refuse a neat cottage, a bake-shop, and three hundred dollars, with the slight incumbrance of himself and a violin, for no better reason than that she had made a previous engagement with another gentleman!

Had there been a mill-pond at Mrs Atherton’s front door, our hero would undoubtedly have drowned himself; and it is altogether probable that he would even have gone out of his way to seek the means of

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self-destruction, had he not prudently reflected that the estate of Herman Vanderbocker, deceased, was not yet fully administered, nor the leather bags emptied. To leave this treasure vacant, and the bake-shop unoccupied, would have been rashness. But he felt unhappy. His heart, which had been as light as a hot roll, was now as heavy as dough; and being little disposed to mingle in company, he determined to mount his horse, and take a short ride. How far he went, or what he thought of, I am unable to say, as I dined that day with Mrs Atherton, and spent the afternoon in assisting her lovely daughter to draw patterns, a fact which will account for my intimate knowledge of the events of the morning.

It was nearly night, when johnny, who was trotting briskly homewards, overtook a stranger within a mile or two of the village. He was a tall, slim man, mounted on a high, strong, bony horse; but he was so muffled up, from top to toe, that our hero could not tell whether he was old or young, gentle or simple. His hat was covered with an oil-cloth, his legs were enveloped in ample wrappers of coarse cloth, he was booted and spurred, and over all he wore one of those uncouth but comfortable coats, fabricated out of a green Mackinaw blanket, which are so common on the Mississippi. His horse was covered with mud, and evidently tired. His own appearance

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was way-worn, and weather-beaten. He seemed to have travelled far, and faced many a storm. Before him were a pair of large holster pistols; behind him, a roll containing his surtout and umbrella; and across the saddle, a pair of immense saddle-bags, fastened with a brass padlock.

Johnny, who had all the fiddler’s wonted love of company, and was particularly averse to riding alone in the dark, trotted up alongside of the stranger, and accosted him with a cheerful ‘Good evening.’

The traveller nodded stiffly, without deigning to turn his head.

Johnny gazed wistfully at the jaded rider, the tired nag, the Mackinaw blanket, the leggins, and other fixens, as we say in the West, and wondered who this could be, that was so strangely accoutred, and was too proud to return a civil salutation. Determined to satisfy his curiosity, he tried to commence a conversation, by making some commonplace remark about the weather; but, as this elicited no other reply than a cold monosyllable, he resolved to make a bold push, and come to the point at once.

‘You seem to be travelling, mister,’ said he.

‘You have guessed right,’ replied the traveller.

‘Have you travelled far, if it ’s a fair question?’


Now this reply seemed to our hero most perplexing-

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ly inexplicit. ‘Tolerably’ might comprise ten miles, or twenty, or a hundred, but it could not apply to a long journey. He took another look at the leggins, the pistols, and the green blanket coat, and, edging up to the stranger, thought he would try it again.

‘Well, mister,’ said he, ‘if I mought make so bold, where did you come from?’

‘Just back here,’ was the laconic reply.

‘From Oneida?’

‘No; further back.’

Johnny considered a moment—for his stock of geographical knowledge was but slender—and again pushed his inquiries.

‘I guess, may be, you came all the way from Buffalo?’

‘No; further back.’

Johnny scratched his head, in some amazement, and edged off from the stranger, as if fearful he had fallen into bad company; but his curiosity overcoming every other feeling, he continued;—‘Why, I do n’t know as anybody lives any further off than that. If I mought make so free, what ’s back of Buffalo?’


‘O—o—h! yes! sure enough! So you live in Ohio?’

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‘No; further back.’

‘Well, what ’s back of that?’


‘And do you live there?’

‘No; further back.’

‘And what ’s back of that?’


‘Oh! you live in Illinois.’

‘No I do n’t.’

‘Where do you live?’

‘Further back.’

‘I guess you do n’t live at all!’ exclaimed Johnny, trembling all over, for it was now growing dark, and the tall stranger, who seemed to have ridden so hard and so far, appeared to deny being an inhabitant of this world. But Johnny thought he would try another question.

‘Well, mister, if it ’s no harm, what ’s back of Illinois.’


‘Do you live there?’


Johnny absolutely started, and stood up in his stirrups, and a cold chill ran over him; for the conversation was brought to a dead stand by this reply, with a shock resembling that with which a steam-boat, under rapid way, is checked by a snag.

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But he had located the stranger; and, after drawing a long breath, he exclaimed—

‘Well, I ’m glad on ’t. I am almost out of breath in finding it out. I do n’t know how you stood it to travel so far; it must be a long way off. How far is it, sir, it ’s a fair question?’

‘Something over a thousand miles. And now,’ said the stranger, ‘as I have answered all your inquiries, I hope you will allow me to put a few questions to you.’

‘O certainly.’

‘Do you live in this village?’

‘Yes—I was born here.’

‘What ’s your business?’

‘I ’m a gentleman.’

‘What does your father do for a living?’


‘What is he?’

‘He is a dead man.’

‘Do you know Mrs Atherton?’

‘Yes—do you?’

‘Is her daughter married?’

‘No indeed, far from it.’

‘Why “far from it?” ’

‘She refused an excellent offer this morning.’

‘From whom?’

‘That ’s a secret.’

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‘How do you know this, if it is a secret?’

‘I had it from herself. But here is the hotel, I ’ll bid you a good evening.’

‘Stay. Have you any objection to carry a note to Miss Atherton?’

‘I can’t say as I have.’

‘Well, then, as she seems to have made you her confidant, I will entrust you with one.’ So saying, he stepped into the tavern, and in a few minutes returned with a neat billet, which he put into the hands of Johnny, requesting him to be particularly careful to deliver it to Lucy herself.

Proud of an office which would introduce him into the presence of her who had occupied so large a share of his thoughts, he departed with alacrity, but meeting with some of his companions, who detained him, sorely against his will, more than an hour elapsed before he reached the dwelling of Mrs Atherton. That lady and her fair daughter were seated, tête à tête, at their work-stand, when a modest knock was heard at the door, and in a few moments the crest-fallen Johnny Vanderbocker stood before them. Bowing reverently to both ladies, he advanced in silence, and laid the note before Lucy, who at first took it up with hesitation, supposing that it contained an effusion of the bearer’s own hopeless passion; but no sooner had the superscription caught her eye,

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than she tore it open, and exclaimed, ‘He is come, he is come! Mother, mother! he is come!’

‘Who is come?’ inquired Johnny, whose feelings were too much excited to permit him to remain silent. But Lucy’s head had fallen upon her mother’s shoulder, and the tears were rolling down her cheeks, while the good lady’s eyes were also filled.

‘Never mind,’ said Johnny, in a soothing tone; ‘do n’t be scared, ladies. If he does carry horse-pistols, he is not a going to do as he pleases in Herkimer. Do n’t, do n’t cry, Miss Lucy—I ’ll fight for you as long as I can stand.’ At this juncture, the door again opened, and the stranger stood before them. The blanket-coat fell from his shoulders, and Lucy Atherton rushed into his arms. ‘Dear Lucy!’ ‘Dear Charles!’ was all they could utter. Mrs Atherton glided out of the room. ‘The old lady does not like you either,’ thought Johnny; ‘she served me just so.’

‘Three are poor company,’ continued Johnny to himself, and he too retired; but he had the consolation of believing that he had found a complete solution of the mystery of the young lady’s conduct in the morning. ‘She would never,’ he argued, ‘have refused me, and three hundred dollars, and the bake-shop, if she had n’t been engaged already. She was sorry about it, no doubt, though she did pretend not to mind it. Dear me, what a pity! the poor thing

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laughed so, and was so overjoyed when I went there a-courting to-day, and now this great backwoodsman has come from nobody knows where, to carry her off. Well, she knows her own business best. Three hundred dollars wont [sic] go a begging long in Herkimer. So good-by to Lucy Atherton.’

But manfully as our hero strove against his disappointment, it preyed upon him, and for two days he remained in his own house quite disconsolate, moping about like a hypocondriac, and poking the fire with the petulance of a bachelor who is past hope, or—past forty. At the end of that time he received an unexpected visit from the stranger. Stripped of his blanket coat and leggins, and disarmed of those ferocious weapons which had excited our hero’s curiosity so strongly, he seemed another person. Although somewhat above the ordinary stature, his person was slender and genteel, his face, which was browned by exposure to the weather, was remarkably handsome, and his address frank and easy. His age might have been two or three and twenty, but having already mixed with the world, and felt the touch of care, he had the manners of an older man. ‘Mr Vanderbocker,’ said he, ‘you guided me into the village the other evening, when I was tired and perhaps less sociable than I ought to have been, and I have called to thank you for your civility, and to

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request the pleasure of your company on to-morrow evening at Mrs Atherton’s.’ Johnny pleaded his black coat, and tried to beg off; for he had heard it whispered that Lucy was to give her hand to the handsome stranger, and felt but little inclination to be present at the wedding. His visiter, however, pressed him, adding, ‘Miss Atherton esteems you as one of her earliest friends, and will have it so.’ ‘I will go, then,’ said Johnny, greatly soothed by this compliment. ‘And now, Mr Wilkinson,’ for such he had learned was the stranger’s name, ‘will you be kind enough to tell me how you managed to court one of our Herkimer ladies, without ever setting your foot in the village—our belle, too, that has had so many good offers at home?’ Mr Wilkinson smiled, and replied, ‘Lucy and myself met at Schenectady, where we were both going to school, and were well enough pleased with each other to agree to unite our destinies. Her father was but recently deceased, and she was supposed to have inherited a fortune, while my own circumstances were such that it was with difficulty I completed my education. Mrs Atherton might possibly have taken these things into consideration; at all events, her views differed from ours, and she no sooner heard of our attachment than she took Lucy home, and, rather haughtily as I thought, forbade my visiting at her house. Poor Lucy! her

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fortune turned out to be illusory. Her father had died a bankrupt, and left his family so destitute, that Mrs Atherton had to struggle with many difficulties. Though they have kept up a genteel appearance, I fear they have sometimes wanted even the necessaries of life. But Lucy lived through it all with a gay heart, and a noble spirit, and refused, as you remark, many a good offer. As for me, I went to the West, mortified at having been spurned from the door of a proud woman, and determined to earn that wealth and distinction, which I saw could alone procure my admittance into the bosom of Lucy’s family. I went, friendless and pennyless, to the shores of the Mississippi, where not a heart beat responsive to my own, and where I was exposed to many hardships and dangers. But I was so eminently successful in business, that I am already independent, and able to claim the fulfilment of our promise. There is no objection now on the part of either mother or daughter, and, on to-morrow evening, I shall become the happy possessor of Lucy’s hand.’

‘You deserve it,’ said Johnny, sobbing, ‘indeed you do—for, simple as I seem, and simple as I be, I ’m not the lad to envy a true lover and a generous-hearted girl their happiness. But do you intend to take her “further back?” ’ added he, pointing significantly to the West.

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‘Yes, that is my home now.’

‘Good luck to you both, then. I will certainly attend the wedding; and if father had been dead a little longer, I would play the fiddle, that I might see Miss Lucy dance for the last time. Yes, it would be the last time. Never will I see such another figure on the floor. And never shall any other woman dance to the music of mine. I have hung up my violin. There will be nobody in the village fit to play for when she is gone. I have played my last tune, and I shall now do as my father did—bake bread, and lock up my dollars in the old oak chest.’

Johnny kept his word. Several years have passed, and he may now be seen any summer’s day, seated at the door of his cottage, with a red night cap on his head, and a short black pipe in his mouth, chuckling over the idea that he has more hard dollars under lock and key than any man in the village. He bakes excellent bread, gives good weight, and drinks nothing but his own beer, while the sound of a violin, or the smile of a woman, never gladdens his roof, and

‘The harp that once in Tara’s halls

The soul of music shed,

Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls,

As if that soul were fled!’


a white man carrying bundles down a narrow road is startled by his shadow cast on an embankment as a little owl looks on
A. Fisher.      J. Andrews.

[p. 247]


Patrick M’Gruger had been incarcerated for six years in Simsbury Mines, for some crime against the strict laws of the quiet State of Connecticut. It was four o’clock in the afternoon, when, having finished his education, and served out his time, he turned his back upon the place which had so long been his home. With a light step he descended into the beautiful valley of Farmington River, casting a few backward glances at the edifice which rose over the gloomy cavern in which he had been confined.

We cannot stay to trace the operations of his mind or his hand. It is enough to say that he parted pennyless and portionless from the prison, at four in the afternoon; and at ten at night, a house was blazing in his rear, while he was flying rapidly from the scene, laden with two well-stuffed bags of plunder.

The house we must leave to its fate; our tale is of Patrick M’Gruger. He soon arrived at an angle in the road, on the side of which lay a sloping rock. The light of the moon shone fairly upon it. At the moment that the figure of the fugitive came between

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the moon and the rock, an owl, that sat close to the trunk of a large chestnut tree growing by the path, set up his lone and startling cry.

Patrick’s eye was instantly turned towards the point whence the ominous sound seemed to proceed. The object that there met his sight was the guide-board, which ran thus:‘hand pointing rightSIMSBURY MINES.’ Patrick could read, but to his excited imagination the dumb alphabet seemed to speak. At this critical moment, too, his eye caught the moving shadow upon the rock. Our hero was a brave fellow to the face of mortal man; but he was no match for the devil. Never doubting that he was dealing with the prince of Jugglers, the poor fellow shrieked outright; the bags fell from his hands, and, shivering as if touched with ague, he stood for some moments riveted to the spot. At length, hearing a human voice and human footsteps behind, he woke from his trance, and fled like a startled deer. Turning rapidly aside from the road, he plunged into the river, swam across the stream, and successfully eluded pursuit. It was not till some time after, that he told this story to his confessor, who took advantage of his superstition to influence his mind aright, and he afterwards became a sober and honest man.

Such is the brief story which suggested Mr Fisher’s picture entitled ‘The Shadow.’

[p. 249]


Lord Vapourcourt was the lineal representative of an English family of rank and fortune; and to this accidental advantage he united the natural gifts of a good person, a vigorous constitution, and respectable intellectual endowments. The last had been cultivated by the process usually employed in the education of a British nobleman of the present day. His Lordship had devoted his regular seven years to the study of Greek and Latin prosody at Eton College, and by virtue of his privilege, had taken the usual degrees at oxford without keeping his terms. After quitting the university, he had passed three years in making the grand tour upon the Continent, and had brought back from his travels a competent knowledge of French cookery, and a correct notion of the comparative merits of Champagne and Rhenish. His father, the old Earl, had died during his absence, and the son was called home rather suddenly, to assist in

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arranging the succession, and to take his seat in the House of Peers. As the estate was wholly unincumbered, the necessary forms were soon despatched, and his Lordship entered quietly into possession of a clear income of ten thousand pounds a year. Such was the situation of this young nobleman at his first appearance upon the stage of active life, at the age of five and twenty; and his friends and connexions, as may well be supposed, formed the most brilliant anticipations of his future success, and of the figure that he would make in the world.

It was soon perceived, however, with surprise, that Lord Vapourcourt took but little interest in the occupations and amusements that ordinarily engage the attention of a young British Peer. He did not show himself above once or twice at the Fives Court, and was never known to assist at a regular set-to. He had a capital stud of horses, and a famous pack of hounds, but seldom took them out; and was not a regular attendant upon the races, either at Ascot or Newmarket. What was still more extraordinary, he frequented none of the fashionable gaming houses, rarely betted, and when he did, not more than four or five hundred guineas at a time. These circumstances gave his character a strong tinge of singularity; and that part of the public whose business consists in attending to that of other people, were pretty soon in

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deep speculation upon the causes of this strange conduct. It was conjectured at first, that his Lordship was in love; but this supposition proved to be erroneous. It was speedily ascertained that he never saw any female society, and had kept himself wholly aloof from the overtures of sundry mammas, who had indirectly laid siege to him soon after he came to his title. Finding this theory untenable, a few persons took upon them to imagine, that Vapourcourt had come to the resolution of attending to business or to study; and that he would turn out a politician, a poet, or some other odd animal of the same genus. But here again speculation appeared to be at fault, for it was pretty soon discovered, that his Lordship had never been in the House of Peers, excepting to take his seat, and that he had not opened a book since he left Eton College.

While these different and groundless rumors succeeded each other, respecting the causes of Lord Vapourcourt’s uncommon mode of life, the real truth after a while came out; and it was at length generally known in the circle of his friends and connexions, that his Lordship was violently attacked with the spleen. It was then recollected that this malady was hereditary in the family. The same anxious persons who had before been so active in discovering the nature of the disease, were now equally busy in recommending

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remedies. A young clergyman, connected with the family, who had just taken orders, and was dying to see the world, advised a repetition of the grand tour, under the direction of a lively and intelligent tutor; and offered his services in this capacity. A leading ministerial Peer attributed his Lordship’s illness to want of occupation, and intimated that there would be no great difficulty in procuring for him a respectable appointment in one of the Departments of State or foreign Embassies, it being understood that his Lordship’s four votes in the house of Commons should in that case regularly strengthen the hands of His Majesty’s ministers. Lady Lookabout, who had a pretty, marriageable daughter on her hands, extolled the happy effects that had resulted in various cases of this description, from the free use of curtain lectures; and earnestly recommended a loquacious and spirited young wife.

Vapourcourt, as the reader will easily imagine, gave no heed to any of these good-natured hints, and grew gradually worse from year to year, until he might be said at last to vegetate, rather than to live. The malady finally reached such a height, that in the year 18—, after yawning away the summer at the old family castle in the country, he resolved, from mere fatigue, not to stay for the Christmas holidays, and returned to town about the last of October, when the cold weather was

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just setting in, and the hunting season opening in all its beauty. The neighbouring gentry considered this desperate measure, as a certain proof that his Lordship’s complaint had now reached a degree of intensity, which was equivalent to actual madness; and concluded unanimously that it must soon terminate in a crisis of one kind or another. Having settled this point, wit various others of equal importance, one night over the bottle, a company of thirty or forty of them, all in high and buoyant spirits, took the field the next morning at daylight, superbly mounted, and uniformly dressed in scarlet coats and jockey caps, the hounds in full cry, the weather clear, fresh, and frosty, and scoured the country for thirty miles round in quest of a fox. Meanwhile Lord Vapourcourt, at about the same hour, got into his travelling chariot, drawn by four post horses, where he soon fell into a languid and uneasy sort of slumber, and hardly opened his eyes wide enough to take notice of anything without the carriage, until it stopped, late at night, at the door of his house in Pall-Mall.

the next morning, Lord Vapourcourt rang for his valet-de-chambre at about half past eleven, having slept somewhat later than usual, in consequence of the fatigue of the preceding day’s journey. The servant made his appearance, and proceeded to open

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the shutters; but the rays of the sun showed little or not disposition to take advantage of the circumstance. The air was filled with one of those murky and impenetrable fogs, which sometimes envelope the city of London, and which can be distinctly imagined by those only who have seen and felt them. A sort of dim and smothered twilight gleamed faintly through the windows, but was not sufficient for the usual operations of domestic life, and the servant had accordingly brought in lights to aid his master in the business of dressing.

‘What ’s this?’ exclaimed the Peer, struck with astonishment at the unusual circumstance, and terrified at the thought that he had rung four or five hours too soon. ‘What o’ clock is it, Johnson?’

‘Half past eleven, my Lord,’ replied the servant; ‘but the fog is so thick that your Lordship would not be able to see to dress, and I thought it best to bring in lights.’

A deep sigh, succeeded by a wide and almost interminable yawn, expressed the feelings of Vapourcourt, whose habitual malady weighed down his spirits with more than usual oppressiveness, at this piece of news. The disgust occasioned by the state of the weather, was, however, slightly tempered by a gleam fo satisfaction, at the idea that the day was further advanced than he had feared; and after a few more

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long yawns, his Lordship at last determined to rise. The servant assisted him in dressing, and then withdrew to order his master’s breakfast, having placed lights in a small adjoining cabinet, where Lord Vapourcourt usually passed the morning.

There are few things more oppressive to feeble nerves, than the effect of artificial light in the daytime. There is something rich and cheerful in the clear flame of a wax taper, or a well ordered lamp, when we see them in the evening, illuminating a group of happy faces collected around them; but, in the daytime, they produce a different impression. Their little paltry glare, placing itself in comparison with the clear, transparent beauty of the solar rays, has a sombre, and, in the language of Shakspeare, an ‘ineffectual’ aspect. The morbid feelings of Vapourcourt sickened at the view, and on entering his cabinet he moved instinctively towards the window, in the hope of discovering something more attractive. The prospect without corresponded completely with the gloomy appearance of the apartment. A dense and dingy mass of vapour brooded heavily over the tops of the houses; and although it was now high noon, the rays of the sun produced no other effect upon the fog, than to give it a sort of brassy hue, and to design through it, in a dim and uncertain manner, the outlines of the objects it

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covered. Another long and dreary yawn indicated the sensations of the hypocondriac Peer, at this enlivening spectacle. It was difficult to say whether the aspect of things without, or within, was the more inviting. In the uncertainty which he felt upon this question, Vapourcourt remained for several minutes gazing listlessly at the movements of the fog, which sometimes undulated in large white volumes like the waves of the sea in a storm, and then cleared away for a moment, and permitted the sun to exhibit a glimpse of his broad, rayless, yellow disk, which, from its strange appearance, rather increased than diminished the gloom while it was visible, and was scarcely seen before it was clouded in again by new mountains of vapor, that swelled in successive exhalations from the river. Fatigued at length with standing, his Lordship mechanically moved towards a well-stuffed sofa, that was placed near the chimney, and stretching himself upon it at his length, with his head supported by a couple of large cushions, he prepared, after another fit of yawning not less long and dreary than the last, to await the arrival of Johnson and the tea.

The servant soon appeared, bringing with him the breakfast apparatus, and the morning paper. In a large family, breakfast is commonly a gay repast. If the spirits are at all elastic, they move with fresh

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vigor at the opening of a new day. The appetite, after an abstinence of several hours, is keen and active, and the view of a table covered with preparations to satisfy it, diffuses hilarity and sprightliness through the circle. The hissing of the tea urn, a sound not very musical in itself, appears agreeable, when it is felt to be the indication of a refreshing beverage. The hot rolls, the muffins, the sliced ham, the eggs, and the conserves, present an ensemble, which, though not to be compared, in the opinion of an epicure, with a real déjeuner à la fourchette, has no small charm for a plain unsophisticated appetite. The morning papers, in the various articles of intelligence and entertainment which they always contain, furnish innumerable topics of conversation, and open inviting prospects for entertainment or occupation during the day. There is doubtless something more grand and imposing in a regular dinner, but for mere gaiety and light-heartedness, perhaps no meal in the four and twenty hours, can be compared with breakfast, considered in its best and proper state. That of a solitary hypocondriac like Vapourcourt, presented, of course, none of these attractions. The hissing of the tea urn disturbed his nerves; the rolls were burned, the muffins cold, the eggs too much boiled, and the formal countenance of Johnson diffused a sort of tiresome solemnity over the table. Vapour-

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court, after drinking two or three cups of tea, sent away the breakfast with a feeling of disgust, and mechanically took up the Morning Chronicle.

The political science and patriotic feeling of Mr Perry were, however, wholly lost upon our here, who never looked at any part of the paper but the court news and the movements of the world of fashion. Under the head of arrivals, he remarked the following article.

‘At his residence in Pall-Mall, the Right Honorable the Earl of Vapourcourt, from Vapourcourt Castle.’

The least ambitious minds are not wholly insensible to the charms of public notice and attention. Vapourcourt experienced a momentary sentiment of satisfaction, at seeing his name thus presented to the view of the world, and his movements recorded almost as fast as they were made. But the feeling was soon chastened, by a recollection of the gloom that surrounded him. ‘Had I known that the morning would have been so foggy in London,’ quoth he, extending his jaws into another boundless yawn, ‘I should have been tempted to stay another day at the Castle. But what matters it,’ he added, after musing a few moments, ‘where life passes? Town or country, at home or abroad, ’tis all of a piece. We pass ten or twelve hours in restless and interrupted slumber, rise with a heart-felt languor,

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and a secret wish that the day were over, before it is well begun; we sip two or three cups of weak tea; we read in the papers that the King went to Brighton yesterday, and that the Duke of York will hold a levée to-day; we yawn away the morning on the sofa, ride out at three, and, like a blind mill-horse, go over once more in the park, the same track which we have gone over a hundred times before; look in at the coffee-house or the club, and meet the same originals, engaged for the hundredth time in the same eternal contest whether my Lord A. or Mr B. ought to sign the public despatches; dine at the same hour upon the same dishes, read again in the evening paper the same news which we had read before in the morning one, and then to bed, to recover strength and spirits to pursue the same course again the following day. Such, forsooth, is life!’

At the close of this philosophical soliloquy, Lord Vapourcourt rose from the couch, and returned to the window, to look again upon the neighbouring streets. The fog was now still more dense and gloomy than before, and had evidently settled down for the day upon the city. The volumes of vapor that rolled over the tops of the houses, were thicker and more frequent, and their color still more sombre and brassy than it had been. It was with some difficulty that the houses on the opposite side of the

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street, or the carriages and walkers that passed below, could be discerned at all. At times, when the mist cleared away a little, they were seen looming up into more than their usual dimensions from the effect of the density of the intervening medium, and to an observer of a livelier fancy, would have offered a scene of amusing contemplation. A young girl with a white gown and bonnet, had the look of a schooner-rigged small craft seen at a distance under full sail; and the black Lincolnshire horses drawing their loaded carts, appeared like huge elephants, with armed castles towering up from their backs. But these, and other such imaginary likenesses, were lost upon Vapourcourt, who perceived nothing but the undiminished gloom of the fog, and was musing with dismay upon the long and dreary hours that were opening before him. At this fatal crisis, the weariness of life, which he had so long experienced, pressed upon his mind with a weight which he had never known before. The whole question seemed to come to a point at once. To stand at the window and gaze forever at the fog was evidently impossible; to return to the sofa and yawn away the rest of the day, was not less so. And yet the present moment was an epitome of life. Every day, every hour brought with it, like this, a recurrence of successive alternatives, either side of which was equally intolerable.

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Under the influence of these gloomy reflexions, the combined result of a morbid state of mind, and an uncommonly foggy day, it suddenly occurred to our unfortunate hero, that it was possible to pursue a middle course, which would clear him at once and forever from both the horns of this perpetual dilemma. ‘Why,’ exclaimed he, ‘submit to this insufferable burden, when we are at liberty to shake it off at any moment? Why not manfully turn at once to the rope, or the river? Why not put a voluntary end to this dreary succession of weary nights and wearier days, called life? Let others drag it out to the last hour, and drain the cup of ennui to the dregs. I have had enough of it already, and will finish it this very night, in the old Roman fashion.’

Vapourcourt had a naturally vigorous and resolute character, and, with a better education, would have played a very different part in the world. Such as he was, he was still capable of acting with promptitude and firmness, when driven by extraordinary motives, imaginary or real, to feel the necessity of it. Having taken the violent resolution just mentioned, he was not deterred from executing it, by any merely mechanical or constitutional apprehensions. He deliberated coolly with himself upon the best manner of carrying it into effect, and finally concluded that the easiest and least scandalous process, would be to

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wait till evening, and then walk quietly down to the bridge, and throw himself into the river. ‘The night,’ said he to himself, ‘will be dark and foggy, the thing will not be observed at the moment, may perhaps never be discovered, and at any rate will create little or no immediate scandal. If I go to blowing my brains out, à la Werther, the whole street will be in an uproar for the night, and the old women of the neighbourhood will talk the matter over for at least a month to come.’

Having settled this question, our hero rang the bell, and ordered dinner at five o’ clock, which was three hours earlier than usual. The rigid aspect of Johnson expanded, and his dull narrow eyes brightened with a gleam of surprise at this extraordinary command; but accustomed to obey in all cases without explanation, he retired in silence to give the necessary directions. Vapourcourt then proceeded to make some little arrangements in regard to his affairs, and wrote one or two short letters of business, after which he proceeded, very tranquilly, to put on a walking dress, that he might be ready to go out after dinner, and execute his project. These preliminary matters being adjusted, he employed himself, during the short interval of leisure that remained, in traversing his cabinet, and reflecting on the prospect before him. His spirits were now in a finer

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flow than they had been in at any time for years preceding. The little occupation in which he had been engaged, and the vigorous resolution that had been the fruit of his previous meditations, had given a stir to the stagnant current of his feelings, and diffused over them a momentary coloring, not wholly unlike that of cheerfulness. The sun, meanwhile, had partly dissipated the thick vapor that filled the air in the morning, and poured through the windows a rich yellow radiance, like the golden lights in the paintings of Rembrandt, which harmonized finely with the bright colors of the Turkey carpet. The change of weather contributed, with his late uncommon exertion, to relieve the oppression of our hero’s spirits. He walked gaily up and down the room, satisfied with himself, and secretly proud of the firmness and promptitude with which he had come to his decision. ‘Why this,’ said he, ‘is as it should be. As Kean says, “Richard’s himself again.” I now feel the truth of a remark which I met with at Eton, in an old Latin book called Seneca, purporting that a man of sense is always the master of his own fortune. It is but showing a little firmness, and you may put to flight an army of blue devils, were they as numerous as those which beset St Anthony. What says the poet?

‘ “Throw but a stone—the giant dies.”

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‘My tormentor is half frightened to death, before I have well taken up the pebble; a few hours more, and I finish him forever.’

Could his Lordship have pursued this train of lively reflexion for any length of time, he might perhaps have realized the truth of the poet’s assurance in a more rational way, than that which he now contemplated. But the short November day was now drawing ast to a close; the sun set before five, and the fog collected again, and hung with deeper gloom than before upon the city. Johnson now appeared to announce that dinner was on the table, and Vapourcourt repaired to the dining room to enjoy for the last time his splendid, though solitary repast. Under the excitement of the moment, he ate with more than ordinary appetite; and the attendants, connecting this circumstance with that of the uncommonly early hour, concluded that some event of a singular, but highly agreeable kind, had occurred to enliven the languid tenor of their master’s life. They all anticipated that the close of dinner would be followed by an order for the carriage, and that his Lordship would go out upon some important and interesting expedition. Johnson, with the political feeling natural to a freeborn British subject, thought it probable, that his master meant to make his début in the house of Peers, where there was to

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be that evening a debate upon the foreign policy of the country. A French footman decided that Vapourcourt was going to the opera, where Catalani was to make her first appearance for the winter; and a young jockey, fresh from the country, who had not yet had opportunity to gratify his curiosity in regard to the wonders of the metropolis, was sure that our hero intended to indulge himself with the spectacle of the feeding of the wild beasts at Exeter Change, which is regularly exhibited every night at nine o’clock. To the surprise of all, Lord Vapourcourt, after eating heartily of various dishes, drinking a bottle of Bordeaux, and reading with uncommon care and attention the fashionable news in the Courier, rang for his hat and cloak, and left the house on foot and alone, for the first time that he had done such a thing of an evening, since he came to his title. The servants looked on for a time in mute astonishment, and then, after agreeing that their lord was a queer one, sagely added, that it was after all none of their business whether he went out on foot, or in the carriage, and adjourned, by unanimous vote, to dinner.

Lord Vapourcourt, bent on his gloomy purpose, took his way, upon leaving his house, towards Westminster Bridge. The fog, which, as I remarked above, had been dissipated for an hour or two during the warmest part of the day, had collected again,

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and assumed a still greater degree of density than before. It was now of such a consistency that it might almost, in the common phrase, have been cut with a knife. Immense masses of a dank, unwholesome mixture of coal-smoke, and heavy exhalations from the river, filled up the streets, and made it impossible to discern objects at the smallest distance, or to recognise the most familiar places. The lamps were lighted, but produced little or no effect, their rays being choked up within a foot or two of the flame; and they presented the appearance of nebulous stars twinkling feebly through the mist, but affording no means of distinguishing the objects and persons below them. As it was still pretty early in the evening, the streets were full of carriages and walkers, and the noise and tumult which naturally ensued, were truly terrible. With all the care and circumspection of the guides, who moved along as slowly as the could, the wheels of the different vehicles were continually interlocking with a tremendous crash, which was regularly followed by an explosion of oaths and curses from the drivers, and agonizing shrieks of terror from the women and children within, whose lives were endangered by the accident. The confused trampling of horses and creaking of carriages, were mingled with the hurried exclamations of the unwary walkers who had come

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unluckily within the vortex of the whirlpool. The side-walks presented a spectacle somewhat less dangerous, but still unpleasant and tiresome enough in its way. Here elbows contended with elbows, and canes and umbrellas essayed each others’ strength. Every now and then was heard the doleful groan of some unwary wight, who had dashed his nose against the projecting casement of a window, or the stifled imprecation of some unusually sensitive traveller, who regarded the violent contact of a foreign toe with the hinder part of his person as wounding, not only his feelings, but in some degree his honor. In the midst of this mingled uproar of human voices, were heard the various cries of the different animals who had in one shape or another, become entangled in the melée; dogs barking and howling; cats mewing and spitting; horses neighing; asses braying; cows lowing; monkies [sic] mowing; children bawling; nurses squalling. The whole scene, in short, reminded one of Smithfield on a market-day, or the door of Westminster Abbey at the Duke of York’s funeral.

Vapourcourt made his way slowly and painfully through this scene of confusion. The annoying interruptions of every kind, which continually checked his progress, would have been sufficient of themselves to prevent him from thinking too deeply on the plan he was about to execute, or from feeling

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any compunctious visitings of conscience in regard to its consistency with policy or principle. The minor miseries which he now encountered, were indeed substantially of the same nature with those which originally determined him to take the resolution, and tended strongly of course to confirm it. As he went on, therefore, he became every moment more and more satisfied, that a world of ennui within doors, and fog without, was not fit for an honorable man to live in. It was accordingly with a feeling of real relief, that he finally reached the bridge, where he mounted at once upon the parapet, and, without stopping for any further reflexion, prepared to take the decisive leap.

The fog that covered the bridge was so thick, that it was impossible to distinguish objects at arm’s length; but at this critical moment a sudden gust of wind swept it off temporarily from the spot where our hero stood, and he perceived, at a distance from him of less than three yards, another person evidently bent on the same object with himself. The stranger had already given his body an impulse, which had shifted the centre of gravity from within the base, and thrown the line of direction into an angle of about fortyfive degrees with the horizon. The delay of another second, would have made it perpendicular on the opposite side, and would probably have been

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fatal. Vapourcourt, seeing the movement, started aside by a sudden impulse, and grasping the other firmly by the upper part of the arm, drew him rapidly backward. The body oscillated from side to side for an instant, during which the final result was doubtful. The centre of gravity then returned within the base, and the man resumed his upright position on the parapet.

Vapourcourt gazed, with a mixture of surprise and curiosity, upon an individual whose fortunes appeared to coincide in so singular a manner with his own, but there was nothing attractive or remarkable in his outward appearance. He was, on the contrary, rather below the middle height, with an awkward person and a coarse expression of countenance. His cheeks were pale and wan, his eyes haggard, his forehead ploughed with furrows; and his black uncombed hair, staring out loosely in all directions, gave him a wild and ferocious aspect. His dress was of the meanest kind, and his whole ensemble indicated extreme wretchedness. He made no attempt to resist the salutary violence offered by Vapourcourt; but looked as if he felt that he had been detected in doing what he knew to be wrong, and had nothing left but to submit with dogged resignation to his destiny.

A spectator, who in passing accidentally had remarked the different appearance of these two

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persons thus standing together on the parapet, would have hardly imagined, that they had both mounted it for the same purpose. In the hurry and excitement of the moment, the circumstance had also apparently escaped the attention of Vapourcourt, who, not recollecting that it was hardly his cue to express much astonishment at the sort of proceeding which he had just been the cause of preventing, addressed the other in the tone of reproof and surprise, that any indifferent person would have naturally employed on the same occasion.

‘What ails thee, man? Has thou nine lives at thy disposal, that thou dealest thus freely with the cone now in thy possession?’

‘I have found one,’ replied the other, in a low and somewhat sullen voice, ‘a burden too heavy to be borne, and trust that I shall not be condemned, in this world at least, to sustain the weight of any other.’

‘What?’ said Vapourcourt, to whose recollection this reply brought back the thought of his own project, and of the load of care and weariness that had led him to adopt it, ‘what, my friend, have you too experienced, like me, the intolerable weight of existence, the dreary vacuity of days, and months, and years, following each other in the same dull, uninterrupted round, without occupation, without interest, without amusement? Have you passed

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long and sleepless nights in tossing and rolling from side to side, on a bed of down? turned with loathing and satiety, from sumptuous feasts, and delicious liquors? sunk with stupor at select conversations, and gay assemblies? perished with fatigue and ennui at enchanting operas, and interesting debates in Parliament? If you have experienced this—and I cannot doubt that you have, for what else but this could have brought a man to such a pass as that from which I have too hastily rescued you,—if you have in fact experienced all this, why then, my friend, I can only say, that I do not blame your resolution, and that to make amends for the questionable piece of service that I have done you in keeping you out of the river, I am now ready to push you into it, and by the same impulse to follow you myself to the bottom.’

Occupation and excitement were things so unusual with Vapourcourt, that they acted on his mind like a strong stimulant; and the occurrences of the day had given to his language an energy, which he had hardly ever known before. The above tirade was, however, in a great measure lost upon the person to whom it was addressed, who understood but partially the language, and still more imperfectly the train of thought conveyed by it.

‘Alas, sir!’ replied he, ‘I know not what you mean,

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and can hardly imagine how a life of leisure and continual enjoyment, can produce disgust. It has been my lot, sir, to work constantly, ten or twelve hours every day, in order to gain a living for myself and my family, and the greatest happiness I have ever known, was that of devoting occasionally a leisure hour to recreation in their company. You talk of turning with loathing from sumptuous dinners and tossing restlessly on a down bed. I have never had the means of enjoying any luxuries of this description; but in better days, when our table was regularly covered with a sufficiency of plain and wholesome food, we always ate it with a good appetite, and slept, without dreaming, on our comfortable feather-beds, from night till morning.’

‘What then brings thee here?’ cried Vapourcourt, in a rather discontented tone, and relapsing into his habitual train of ideas, as he heard the other talk of thoughts and feelings entirely foreign to his own experience. ‘If thou art well and happy at home, in the name of common sense, what urges thee to throw thyself into the river?’

‘Want and misery,’ replied the other, bursting into an agony of tears. ‘My poor wife and children are at this moment suffering for a morsel of bread.’

‘Bread!’ exclaimed Vapourcourt, in a tone of surprise, and wholly incapable of realizing the existence

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of actual distress—‘want of bread! Why, man, thou must be a dolt indeed, to take on in this way, at so simple an accident. If the baker did not leave bread enough this morning to last till to-morrow, why not send to his shop, or make up the deficiency with pastry?’

‘Nay, sir,’ answered the man, ‘do not mock at misfortunes which you never can have felt, and apparently can hardly think of as possible. I have been, sir, an honest and a hard-working man; and by keeping steadily to my business, I continued, as I told you before, to support my family, and all went well with me. But a few months ago I was seized with a severe fit of illness, which prevented me from working, and brought my earnings to a stand. Housekeeping, medicines, and rent, soon swept off our little hoard of previous savings, and we found ourselves reduced to very poor and scanty fare. We submitted cheerfully to this, as a temporary evil, and as I was fast recovering my health, we all hoped that I should soon be able to go to work again as usual. In the mean time, however, the rent of my house, which is hired by the week, must be regularly paid, for the landlord, who is a severe man, will not hear of such a thing as giving a day’s credit. Last Saturday night I paid him nearly the last shilling I had, and during this week, we have lived upon almost

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nothing. This evening he called as usual, and, finding me unable to settle the account, he declared that if I did not pay him in the morning, he would seize the furniture, and turn us all into the street. Exhausted as I was with illness and want, these terrible menaces, which I had no means of averting, for the moment unsettled my reason; a temporary fit of madness came over me, and I rushed out of the house, with the project of throwing myself into the river. You, sir, have been the instrument of Providence in saving me from this fatal catastrophe. The delirium has now passed away, and I see the guilt that I was about to incur, by depriving my wife and children of their natural protector. I shall return home with a feeling of gratitude to God, for his goodness in rescuing me from the commission of so great a crime. I shall apply to some charitable neighbour for a temporary relief. I am now nearly well, and shall soon be strong enough to go to work again. The good being, who has thus interposed in our favor, will not desert us; and we shall, I trust, after a while, be again easy and happy.’

‘Nay, man,’ said Lord Vapourcourt, whose heart was naturally kind, and who had been a good deal touched by this simple story of distress, ‘if all thou wantest be some temporary relief, thou needest not to go far to find the charitable neighbour that shall

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afford it thee. If a little, or even a good deal of money, will make thee happy, thou shalt not be long miserable. I will take it on myself to assist thee, were it only for the singularity of the case; for who ever heard before, of a family suffering in the heart of London for want of bread? A hundred pounds, more or less, will make but little difference in the Vapourcourt property. My heirs will not miss it. I may as well throw myself into the river two or three hours hence as now, and if by means of this delay I can make an industrious family happy for life, I assure thee, my good friend, that I will submit to it with cheerfulness, and even pleasure, however eager I may be to escape from this world of fog and ennui. So come along, my friend, and let us settle this business without more ado.’

So saying, and without waiting to listen to the acknowledgements which his protegé would have poured out from the fulness of his gratitude in a torrent of thanks and tears, Vapourcourt leapt lightly from the parapet, where they had both been standing during this conversation, to the floor of the bridge, and, accompanied by his new companion, returned with a rapid pace towards his own mansion. The sudden gust of wind, which had been the means of discovering to him the dangerous situation of the person whom he had thus rescued from destruction,

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proved to be the first breathing of a fresh breeze, which had now in a great measure swept off the fog, and displayed the bridge, the river, and the streets, silvered over with a fine yellow moonlight. Whether it was that the change of weather relieved his spirits, or whether he found himself agreeably excited by the work of benevolence in which he was now engaged, it is certain that Vapourcourt for several preceding years had rarely felt his blood circulate so freely, or, as Juliet says,

‘His bosom’s lord sit lightly on his throne,’

as at this moment. He pursued his way through the still crowded street, without experiencing any inconvenience or uneasiness from the little accidents that fall to the lot of the pedestrian traveller. He was conscious of a curiosity about the condition of his new acquaintance, which he would not have dreamed of in other circumstances, and which tales of distress, much deeper than his, generally failed to move. The man readily communicated the short history of his life, in which there was nothing in the least remarkable. He was a tailor, born, bred, and married, in the street in which he now lived. He had never been out of London, and his longest excursion was a walk to the Park. He had several children, the oldest of whom he represented as a fine girl just turned of fifteen,

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and he dwelt with a parent’s partiality on her goodness and beauty. After satisfying the curiosity of Vapourcourt, he inquired, in turn, with due respect, into his benefactor’s circumstances, and on hearing his name, burst out into new effusions of gratitude. The combinations of goodness with high rank, wealth, or celebrity, though not unnatural, nor even rare, is so delightful, that whenever it is perceived it excites a sort of rapture, especially in the person who is the object of it. The virtues of the great are like diamonds polished and fitly set; the gem is substantially the same as in its natural state, but the increase of lustre and effect is incalculable.

Upon reaching the house of Vapourcourt, which the tailor found to be at no great distance from his own, he requested permission of his Lordship to return home at once, in order to relieve the anxiety of his family, and to bring his children with him to join him in offering thanks to their generous benefactor. Vapourcourt, though not very agreeably struck with the latter part of the proposal, was now in a humor to consent to almost anything. He acceded at once to the request, and the tailor went his way, while his Lordship entered the house alone. The servants were rather surprised to see him come back so early, before he could well have accomplished either of the several objects, which, as they respec-

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tively supposed, had drawn him out; but passive and even silent obedience, was the rule of the house. Johnson made no remark, as he attended his lord with a light to his cabinet. The latter then took from a secretary, a pocket-book containing a hundred pounds, which he intended to present to his protegé, and placing it on a table, awaited his appearance. Though his frame of mind was unusually agreeable, he was nevertheless still bent on his original purpose, and felt some impatience to be relieved from the engagement which had thus obstructed its execution.

In about an hour, Johnson made his appearance at the door of the cabinet, with a look of considerable dismay, to announce that Mr Stitchcloth and his children were below, and desired to speak with his Lordship. A visit of this kind was a thing so entirely at variance with the long established usage of the house, that it appeared to Johnson like a sort of wonder, and although he could not pretend to form any notion of its meaning, it struck him on the whole as an occurrence that boded no good. He confined himself, as was his mood, to silent reflexion, and on receiving the order to admit the visiters, attended them to the door of his Lordship’s cabinet with his ordinary courtesy. The principal persons in the group were Stitchcloth and his daughter, mentioned above, the other children being still too young to

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attract notice, and their mother having been too much exhausted by her previous distress, and by the sudden shock of the present happy change in the condition of the family, to make her appearance. The tailor himself was greatly improved in his exterior since his late début on the bridge. He had arranged his dress, and his countenance no longer wearing the forlorn and haggard aspect of misery, had put on a placid and agreeable expression, and the man altogether had the air of a respectable mechanic, rather above the common level. His daughter corresponded, with some little deduction for parental partiality, to the description which he had given of her. She was a fair and blooming maiden, with the freshness belonging to her age, and although there was nothing decidedly distinguished either in her face or person, there was a natural ease in her manner, and sweetness in her countenance, which struck an observer very agreeably, and which were of course improved on this occasion, by the dominant feeling of the moment. The whole party crowded eagerly round their benefactor, and expressed their gratitude in the various tones and phrases natural to their different periods of life.

A scene of this kind was entirely new to our hero, and produced an excitement in his mind which it might not have done in one more accustomed to

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offices of kindness. The heartfelt acknowledgements of the father, and the lively prattling of the children, who partook the general satisfaction without well knowing what it meant, affected him deeply; but he was more particularly moved with the animated looks and gentle tones in which the pretty daughter expressed her gratitude. Vapourcourt, though for some time past estranged from the world of fashion, had formerly frequented the most brilliant of its circles; but whether from habitual apathy, or some original peculiarity of character, he had not been attracted by any of the reigning coquettes. The natural grace and beauty of this little damsel produced a stronger effect upon his feelings than all the artificial airs of the belles, or the sentimental phrases of the blues. It struck him, that a kind and gentle companion like this, would enliven his existence, and contribute to his happiness; or rather, without reasoning at all upon the subject, he felt himself, partly perhaps in consequence of the extraordinary excitement of the moment, irresistibly attracted by this seducing object. Like most other persons of similar habits, vapourcourt was much under the influence of impulse, and no sooner had the notion occurred to him, than, losing sight of the former project of the morning, he proceeded at once to act upon this new fancy.

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‘Stitchcloth,’ said he to the father, taking him aside a few steps, ‘Stitchcloth, what say you to a Peer of the Realm for a son-in-law?’

‘Your Lordship is jesting,’ replied the astonished tailor—‘I am sure you would not think of dishonoring a family, which you have so nobly rescued from despair.’

‘Jesting!’ returned our hero, ‘why, man, I was never so serious in my life. Dishonor your daughter, Stitchcloth! you mistake me quite. The worst fortune I wish her, is that of seeing her the true and lawful Countess of Vapourcourt before to-morrow morning. Stitchcloth, I like your daughter; I am pleased with her appearance and her manners. I find in her a natural grace and sweetness, which I have looked for in vain in the fashionable beauties of this metropolis. I am wholly independent of the world, and have nothing to consult but my own inclination in the management of my affairs. I have an unincumbered fortune of ten thousand pounds a year; and if you and your daughter consent, I am ready to place it this very evening at her disposal. Ay, Stitchcloth, and I view it in point of fortune as no unequal match, for your daughter, I see, is a good-humored girl; and a Scotchman, whose name I heard at Oxford, but have since forgotten, says, “that a naturally pleasant humor is equal to an estate

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of ten thousand pounds a year.” On that score we are therefore precisely on a level.’

To this proposal, there was no objection to be made. The tailor acquiesced with becoming expressions of thankfulness, but having a spice of humor in his character, and feeling himself now a little more at his ease with his future son-in-law, he ventured to inquire, whether a matrimonial project would not be in some degree inconsistent with the other resolution of the morning.

‘Good God!’ exclaimed Vapourcourt, ‘I had entirely forgotten. Stitchcloth, no more of that, if you love me; above all, not a word to the bride. Let us have as little as you please of the adventure of the bridge, for the honor of us both. The double suicide, Stitchcloth, would not tell very well, either upon your shop-board or at my dinner-table. But, Stitchcloth, instead of indulging in these reflexions, proceed rather, at once, and inform Mrs Stitchcloth, that her daughter is to be married this evening, while I despatch Johnson to procure a license. I will entertain the charming Elizabeth in your absence, and endeavour to obtain her consent to this sudden connexion.’

The reader will easily imagine, that this, like all the other preliminary points, was settled without much difficulty. The marriage was announced in

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the Morning Chronicle of the Monday following, in these terms;—

‘Married, at his residence in Pall-Mall, by special license, on Saturday evening last, the Right Honorable the Earl of Vapourcourt, to the amiable and accomplished Miss Elizabeth Stitchcloth, eldest daughter of Solomon Stitchcloth, Esq., the eminent habit-maker of Thread-needle Street. This alliance between the great agricultural and manufacturing interest of the country—which political causes have for some years past tended to alienate from each other—has been long in contemplation, and, as we fondly anticipate, will be attended with the happiest results. It has not only met the concurrence of the immediate friends of the parties, but has been cordially approved in the Highest Quarter. His Lordship had been for some weeks at his family residence in Cumberland, for the purpose of making suitable arrangements for the reception of his lovely bride, and arrived in town on Friday evening last, as was announced in our paper of the following day, to celebrate the union. The happy pair set off yesterday morning early, in his Lordship’s travelling carriage and four, for Vapourcourt Castle, where they intend to pass the honey moon.’

[p. 284]


Lady, farewell! The ready sail,

Impatient flutters on the gale,

And I, the sport of Fate’s decree,

Am bound to realms beyond the sea.

Farewell! The word that men bestow,

An idle sound on friend or foe,

That word for us to heaven shall bear

Our fervent wish, our mutual prayer.

But shall it be the only sign,

To cheer me o’er the wide sea brine?

Hath Love devised no better art

Than speech, for lovers as they part?

Say, hath the lip no other bliss

Than words to give? O yes, O yes,

For one more near than friend or brother!—

There, there!—Another, O another!—

Farewell!—But, lady, not to thee!

Farewell, thou dark and moody Sea!

O who would leave such joys as mine,

To brave the stormy ocean brine?


a sweet-faced Native American woman wrapped in furs holds a handwoven snow shoe
Lieut. Hood del.      O. Pelton sc.

[p. 285]



Go, go away, you foolish man;

You certainly had best

Give up all thoughts of marriage vows,

And let a body rest.

What need to ask for whom or what

This snow shoe I repair?

You poor old man, your tottering weight

This shoe will never bear.

And now I think of it, I say,

You need not come again,

To light a match at father’s lodge;

For that is toil in vain:

I ’ll be so deaf I will not wake

For whisper, song, or shout.

And if the match forever burns,

I will not blow it out.

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I ’d rather with Keskarrah live

In wigwams made of snow,

And eat raw fish all winter long,

Like savage Esquimaux,

Than dwell with you in leathern tents,

With scarlet all so fine,

And eat from copper kettles too,

For I should weep and pine.

What if your eye like lightning flashed,

When life was in it spring?

What if your drum and shrill war-whoop

Made all the village ring?

Those things all happened long ago—

No matter when or how—

Such, such, old man, as you were then,

Is my Keskarrah now.

Do n’t talk about your beaver packs

With such a calf and shin,

Your legs are dwindled down to straws;

And bearded is your chin,

Just like those ugly trader men,

And his is smooth as mine.

His face is like the rising sun,

His stature like the pine.

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Go tell my father what you want,

And boast your rank and birth.

Give him your horses and your guns,

And all that you are worth.

Your powder he may shoot away,

Your whiskey drink like water,

But then, be sure, if he consents,

That never will his daughter.

If father says I must and shall

Make shirts and coats for you—

I ’ll show you both, you pumpkin heads,

I know a thing or two.

Keskarrah’s coal-black horse can beat

A swallow on the wing;

And if the drifts should prove too deep,

This snow shoe is the thing.

I really think another wife

Would be one wife too many;

A man with hair as white as yours

Can have no need of any.

Remember I am just fifteen;

Think well of what you do.

So get away, you doting fool,

And let me mend my shoe.

[p. 288]




Ere yet the mountain peak hath caught the gleam

That streams afar before the rising day,

The eagle’s wing is flashing in the beam,

Up with the clouds, and glorious as they.

Far westward sweeps that meteor-bird away

O’er misty vales, and cities wrapt in sleep,

Spurning the haunts of men for forests gray—

As nature made them, sullen, wild and deep.

There in that land—o’er many a hill and stream,

The wild deer yet hath never heard the peal

Of deadly rifle; there the Indian’s dream

Hath ne’er been broken by the white man’s steel.

There, steepling rocks o’er dusky valleys rise,

And woo that prophet eagle from afar.—

There shall he close at night his weary eyes,

There fold his wing, no fear his rest to mar.

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No rattling wheel shall cross his midnight dream,

No lover’s viol tremble o’er the moor—

Soothed by the wolf’s lone howl, the panther’s scream,

The roaring fall—his sleep shall be secure.


And now ’t is night—that eagle’s wing

Reposes o’er the dusky wood,

And, far around, no living thing

Disturbs the holy solitude.

The streams are mute, the winds are dead,

No whispered sigh the forests breathe,

And, save the panther’s stealthy tread

Crushes perchance a leaf beneath,

You well might deem that Death had thrown

His shadow o’er the landscape lone.

But there a captive warrior lies

Encircled by his victor foes—

No shelter but the open skies,

No hope but death that warrior knows.

Beneath night’s mantle, dark and deep,

The swarthy band of conquerors sleep,

Or seem to sleep, upon the ground.

But well the captive’s practised sight

Can see from watchful eyes around,

Shot through the shadows of the night,

Rays such as fire the panther’s eye,

When hunger calls and blood is nigh.

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Why heeds he not these signs of death?

He knows and scorns their power.

With even pulse and quiet breath

He waits the appointed hour.

His tribe is now extinct—at morn

They met their fate in battle—now

Their gory scalps their foes adorn.

He hath no duty but to bow

To fate—the blistering flame to feel—

To bide, unmoved, the gashing steel—

To brave what savage arts avail

To make the lofty spirit quail—

To die in honor, and depart

To that far promised land of peace,

Where pleasures pure rejoice the heart,

And cares, like fainting billows, cease.


Such are the noble thoughts that stay

The captive’s bosom at this hour

Of desolation, and convey

To the deep soul a soothing power.

And now the pride upon his brow,

The scorn upon his lips, depart.

On the wet grass his form doth bow,

And gentle visions warm his heart.

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What beauty on his spirit beams,

In the far fairy land of dreams!—

High on a rock he seems to stand,

And wide survey the promised land.

How gloriously the sun doth rise,

As from a liquid sea of day,

And go all dripping to the skies,

Scattering around the rosy spray,

O’er mountains topped with spotless snow,

And thousand summer vales below!

There spreads the boundless forest, green

As ocean—and it gently heaves

Its bosom to the winds, unseen

Yet whispering to the conscious leaves.

Here flow a river, there is found,

The level prairie like a sea

Unrolled, the air its only bound—

And there, afar, in majesty

The ocean, rival of the skies,

Rolls in its own bright emerald dyes!


These are the golden scenes that fill

The dreamer’s first long gaze—but now

His eye reposes on the still,

Lone lake, that deeply sleeps below.

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How tranquil, beautiful and blue!

How smooth its glassy wave! how true

Each bordering leaf, and tree, and flower,

As pencilled in its holy rest!

How free the wild deer on the shore!

How white the swan that swims its breast!


Long long entranced the dreamer gazed

On this lone spot in verdure dressed,

And felt new dreams of beauty raised

Within his cold and haughty breast.

Up from that lonely lawn and lake,

A melting voice of love and peace,

Whispered, as if Manitto spake,

And bade each human passion cease.


Touched with these thoughts, the dreamer’s eye

Was lifted toward the bending sky,

And there, remote, yet clearly seen,

A glorious mountain reared its brow,

And, wreathed with clouds of golden sheen,

Seemed like a dazzling Alp of snow.

There on that pure and glittering throne

Manitto in his glory shone—

Shadowy and dim the awful form!

Yet peaceful, as the shining bow

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That writes its promise on the storm,

The Spirit’s high and holy brow!


Humbly to earth the savage bowed,

In tears, yet not, O not in grief!

But hark! what shout so wild and loud,

Breaks through his dream so sweet and brief?

He wakes, and sees the kindling fire!

He knows his doom, and nerves his soul,

He braves each pang, each torture dire,

And bows to Fortune’s stern control!


’T is morn, the wind is toying with the leaves,

And wild birds sing amid the forest bowers;

Streaked with the sun, the laughing ripple heaves

Its breast aloft to meet the o’erstooping flowers.

The silver mists are floating in the sky,

The rainbow trembles o’er the roaring fall;

The mountain robe hath caught a rosier dye,

And Love and Joy go hymning o’er them all.

The morn no memory of the midnight brings,

No lingering Echo whispers of the dead;

Life sporteth in the beam on joyous wings,

And o’er the forest-tomb forgetfulness is spread!

p. 294]



The subject of the following sketch, a Quaker Martyr, may appear to the fair holiday readers of souvenirs, a very unfit personage to be introduced into the romantic and glorious company of lords, and lady loves; of doomed brides; and all-achieving heroines, chivalric soldiers; suffering outlaws; and Ossianic sons of the forest. But of such, it is not now ‘our hint to speak.’ Neither have we selected the most romantic heroine that might have been found in the annals of the sober-suited sect. A startling tale might be wrought from the perilous adventures of Mary Fisher, the maiden missionary, who, after being cast into prison, for saying ‘thee’ instead of ‘you,’ was examined before a judicial tribunal, and ‘nothing found but innocence.’ Released from durance, she travelled over the continent of Europe, to communicate her faith; visited the court of Mahomet the Fourth, then held at Adrianople;

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was presented by the Grand Vizier to the Sultan, who listened to her with deference, and was, or affected to be, persuaded of her truth. A guard to Constantinople was gallantly offered her by Mahomet, which she refused; and safe and unmolested, in her armor of innocence, she proceeded to that city, receiving everywhere from the Turks the gentle usage that was denied her by those professing a more generous faith.

A tale of horrors, of cowled monks, and instruments of torture, might be framed from the ‘hair breadth scapes’ of Catharine Evans and Sarah Chevers, the Quakers; heroines who suffered with constancy, in the Inquisition at Malta. We have passed by these tempting themes, to present a character in its true and natural light, as it stands on the historic page, without the graces of fiction, or any of those aids, by which the romance writer composes his picture—exaggerating beauties, placing them in bright lights, and omitting or gracefully shading defects. There are manifestations of moral beauty so perfect that they do not require, and will not endure, the aids of fiction, as there are scenes in the material world, that no illusion of the imagination can improve.

Mary Dyre belonged to the religious society of ‘Friends;’ a society, that, after having long resisted the tempest of intolerance and persecution, is melting

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away under the genial sun of universal toleration, and the ignoble, but no less resistless influence, of the tailor’s shears, and the milliner’s craft. As Voltaire predicted some sixty years since, ‘Les enfans enrichis par l’industrie de leurs peres veulent jouir avoir des honneurs, des boutons, et des manchettes.’

Mary Dyre was among those, who, in 1657, sought in New England an asylum from the oppression of the mother country. But the persecuted had become persecutors; and, instead of an asylum, these harmless people found a prison, and were destined, for their glory and our shame, to suffer as martyrs in the cause of liberty of conscience.

Sewel, the historian ‘of the people called Quakers,’ to whom we are indebted for most of the following particulars, has given very slight notice of Mary Dyre’s private history. ‘She was,’ he says, ‘of a comely and grave countenance, of a good family and estate, and a mother of several children; but her husband, it seems, was of another persuasion.’ From another document, which we have been so fortunate as to obtain, it appears that this defect of religious as to obtain, it appears that this defect of religious sympathy, had, in no degree, abated the affection and confidence of her husband.

Thus she possessed whatever comes within the aspiration of a woman’s ambition or affections;—beauty, for this is no violent paraphrase of the

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Quaker historian’s stinted courtesy, rank, fortune, conjugal and maternal happiness; yet she counted all these but loss, when she believed, that her obedience to the inspirations of God, required their sacrifice.

The Pilgrims, finding the penalties of fine, imprisonment, scourging with the ‘three-corded whip,’ cutting off the ears, and boring the tongue with a red-hot iron, ineffectual in extirpating the ‘cursed heresy of the Quakers,’ or ‘preventing their pestilent errors and practices,’ proceeded to banish them from their jurisdiction, on pain of death.

This violence was done under a statue enacted in 1658. Mary Dyre, with many others, sought a refuge from the storm in Rhode-Island. Christian liberty, in its most generous sense, was the noble distinction of that Province; and there Mary might have enjoyed her inoffensive faith, and all the temporal distinctions it permitted, for her husband filled one of the highest offices in the Province. But she could not forget her suffering brethren in the Massachusetts Colony. She meditated on their wrongs till she ‘felt a call’ to return to Boston. Two persons, distinguished for zeal and integrity, accompanied her; William Robinson, and Marmaduke Stevenson. Their intention and hope was, to obtain a repeal or mitigation of the laws against their sect. Their

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return was in the autumn of 1659. On their appearance in Boston, they were immediately seized, and committed to prison, and a few days subsequent, after a summary and informal examination before Governor Endicot, and the associate Magistrates, they were sentenced to suffer the penalty of death, which had been already decreed to such as, after being banished, should return.

Mary’s companions replied to the annunciation of their sentence, in terms that savoured strongly of human resentment, which, alas for human weakness! is often betrayed in the anticipation of the judgments of Heaven. ‘Give ear, ye magistrates,’ said Stevenson, ‘and all ye who are guilty, for this the Lord hath said concerning you, and will perform his word upon you, that the same day ye put his servants to death shall the day of your visitation pass over you, and ye shall be cursed forevermore.’ The passions of our infirm nature are sometimes confounded with the religion that accompanies them, as the cloud is, to an ignorant eye, identified with the prismatic rays it reflects.

Mary’s pure and gentle spirit dwelt in eternal sunshine; its elements were at peace. When the fearful words were pronounced, ‘Mary Dyre, you shall go to the prison whence you came, thence to the place of execution, and be hanged there until

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you are dead,’ she folded her hands, and replied, with a serene aspect, ‘The will of the Lord be done.’

Her friends have described her demeanour at this moment, as almost supernatural, as if the outward temple were brightened by the communications of the Spirit within. They say, the world seemed to have vanished from her sight; her eyes were raised, and fixed in the rapture of devotion; her lips were moved by the ecstasy of her soul, though they uttered no articulate sound.

Governor Endicot seems to have felt an irritation at her tranquility, not more dignified than a child’s, when he vents his wrath in blows on an insensible and incorporeal substance.

‘Take her way, Marshal,’ he said, harshly.

‘I return joyfully to my prison,’ she replied; and then turning to the Marshal, she added, ‘You may leave me, Marshal, I will return alone.’

‘I believe you, Mrs Dyre,’ replied the Marshal; ‘but I must do as I am commanded.’

The prisoners were condemned on the twentieth of October. The twentyseventh was the day appointed for the execution of the sentence. With a self-command and equanimity of mind rare in such circumstances, Mary employed the interval in writing an ‘Appeal to the Rulers of Boston;’ an appeal, not in her own behalf, not for pardon, nor life, but for a re-

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dress of the wrongs of her persecuted brethren. ‘I have no self-ends, the Lord knoweth,’ she says, ‘for if life were freely granted by you, it would not avail me, so long as I should daily see or hear of the sufferings of my people, my dear brethren, and the seed with whom my life is bound up. Let my counsel and request be accepted with you to repeal all such laws, that the truth and servants of the Lord may have free passage among you, and you be kept from shedding innocent blood, which I know there be many among you would not do, if they knew it so to be.’—‘In love and in the spirit of meekness, for I have no enmity to the persons of any, I again beseech you.’ There is not, throughout this magnanimous appeal, the slightest intimation of a wish that her sentence should be remitted, no craven nor natural shrinking from death, no apologies for past offences, but the courage of an apostle contending for the truth, and the tenderness of a woman feeling for the sufferings of her people. Could it matter to so noble a creature, where, according to the quaint phrase of her sect, her ‘outward being dwelt,’ or how soon it should be dissolved?

On the evening of the twentysixth, William Dyre, Mary’s eldest son, arrived in Boston, and was admitted to her prison. He came in the hope of persuading his mother to make such concessions in regard to her faith, as to conciliate her judges, and procure a

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reprieve. All night he remained with her. The particulars of this interview have not been preserved. Mary’s enemies have not been scrupulous in the record of her virtues, and her friends appear to have considered the affections of nature scarcely worth a memorial, amidst the triumphs of her faith. we know the temper of woman, the tenderness and depth of a mother’s love. We may imagine the intense feelings of the son, on the eve of his mother’s threatened execution, pleading for the boon of her life; we may imagine the conflict between the yearnings of the mother, and the resistance of the saint; and we may be sure that we cannot exaggerate its violence, nor its suffering. The saint was triumphant, and on the following morning, Mary was led forth, between her two friends, to the place of execution. A strong guard escorted the prisoners, and, as if to infuse the last drop of bitterness in their cup, Mr Wilson, ‘the minister of Boston,’ attended them. There were coarse and malignant spirits among the spectators. ‘Are you not ashamed,’ said one of them tauntingly to Mary, ‘are you not ashamed to walk thus hand in hand between two young men?’

‘No,’ she replied, ‘this is to me an hour of the greatest joy I could have in the world. No eye can see, nor ear hear, nor tongue utter, nor heart understand the sweet incomes and refreshings of the

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spirit of the Lord, which I now feel.’ Death could not appal [sic] a mind, so lofty and serene. Man could not disturb a peace so profound. Her companions evinced a like composure. They all tenderly embraced at the foot of the scaffold. Robinson first mounted it, and called on the spectators to witness for him that he died, not as a malefactor, but for testifying to the light of Christ. Stevenson, the moment before the hangman performed the last act, said, ‘This day we shall be at rest with the Lord.’

Mary was of a temper, like the intrepid Madame Roland, to have inspired a faltering spirit by her example; far more difficult she must have found it, to behold the last quiverings and strugglings of mortality, in the persons of her friends. But even after this, she was steadfast, and ascended the scaffold with an unblenching step. Her dress was scrupulously adjusted about her feet, her face covered with a handkerchief, and the halter put around her neck.

The deep silence of this awful moment was broken by a piercing cry. ‘Stop! she is reprieved!’ was sent from mouth to mouth, till one glad shout announced the feeling of the gazing multitude. Was there one of all those gathered to this fearful spectacle, whose heart did not leap with joy?—Yes—the sufferer and victim, she, to whom the gates of death had been opened. ‘Her mind,’ says her historian, ‘was already

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to heaven, and when they loosed her feet and bade her come down, she stood still, and said she was willing to suffer as her brethren had, unless the magistrates would annul their cruel law.’

Her declaration was disregarded, she was forced from the scaffold, and reconducted to prison. There she was received in the arms of her son, and she learnt from him that she owed her life, not to any soft relenting of her judge, but to his prolonged intercession.

Fortitude, the merit of superior endurance, has often been conceded to women. One of our most celebrated surgeons had the magnanimity to say to a patient on whom he had just performed an excruciating operation, ‘Sir, you have borne it like a man, you have done better than that, you have borne it like a woman.’ But the most devoted champions of the weaker and timid sex, must concede, that they are inferior to man in courage to brave circumstances, and encounter danger; yet among all the valiant hearts in manly frames, that have illustrated our race, we know not where we shall find a more indomitable spirit, than Mary Dyre’s. The tribunal of her determined enemies; the prison; the scaffold; the actual presence of death; the joy of recovered life; and, more potent than all, the meltings of maternal love, did not abate one jot of her purpose. On the morning

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after her reprieve, she dispatched from her prison a letter to her judges, beginning in the following bold, and, if the circumstances are considered, sublime strain;—

‘One more to the General Court assembled in Boston, speaks Mary Dyre, even as before. My life is not accepted, neither availeth me, in comparison of the lives and liberty of the truth, and servants of the living God, for which, in the bowels of meekness and love I sought you.’ She proceeds to charge them, most justly, with having neglected the measure of light that was in them, and thus concludes; ‘When I heard your last order read, it was a disturbance unto me, that was freely offering up my life to Him that gave it me, and sent me hither so to do; which obedience being his own work, he gloriously accompanied with his presence, and peace, and love in me, in which I rested from my labor.’

The minds of the magistrates must have been wonderfully puffed up, and clouded with an imagined infallibility, and their hearts indurated by dogmatical controversy, or they would at once have perceived, that Mary Dyre was maintaining a righteous claim to the same privilege for which they had made their boasted efforts and sacrifices;—the privilege of private judgment.

Whatever intimations they may have received

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from their conscience, they were not made public; no answer was returned to Mary’s letters, and no concessions made to her sect; but it was thought prudent to commute Mary’s sentence into banishment, with penalty of death in case of her return, and she was accordingly sent, with a guard, to Rhode Island.

The sympathies of the good people of Boston had been awakened by the firmness of the prisoners in their extremity. The tide of feeling was setting in favor of their cause, murmurs of dissatisfaction with the proceedings of the magistrates were running through the little community, and it was thought best to allay the ferment, by a manifesto, which is throughout a lame defence, and which concludes in a manner worthy of the style of Cromwell and the school of the Jesuits. ‘The consideration of our gradual proceedings,’ say they, ‘will vindicate us from the clamorous accusations of severity; our own just and necessary defence calling upon us, other means failing, to offer the point which these persons have violently and wilfully rushed upon, and thereby become felones de se, which, might it have been prevented, and the sovereign law, salus populi, been preserved, our former proceedings, as well as the sparing Mary Dyre upon an inconsiderable intercession, will evidently evince we desire their lives absent, rather than their deaths present.’

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Would the tragedy had ended here! But the last and saddest scene was yet to be enacted. We who believe that woman’s duty as well as happiness lies in the obscure, and safe, and not very limited sphere of domestic life, may regret that Mary did not forego the glory of the champion, and the martyr, for the meek honors of the wife and mother. Still we must venerate the courage and energy of her soul, when, as she said, ‘moved by the spirit of God so to do,’ she again returned to finish, in her own words, ‘her sad and heavy experience, in the bloody town of Boston.’

She arrived there on the twentyfirst of May, 1660, and appears to have remained unmolested, till the thirtyfirst, when she was summoned before the General Court, which had cognizance of all civil and criminal offences. In this court, Governor Endicot was the presiding officer. He began her examination by asking her, if she were the same Mary Dyre that was there before.

It appears that another Mary Dyre had made some disturbance in the Colony, and the Governor, probably pitying the rashness of our heroine, was willing to allow her an opportunity of evasion, but she replied unhesitatingly, ‘I am the same Mary Dyre that was here at the last General Court.’

‘Then you own yourself a Quaker, do you not?’

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‘I own myself to be reproachfully called so.’

‘I must then repeat the sentence once before pronounced upon you.’

After he had spoken the words of doom, ‘This is no more,’ replied Mary calmly, ‘than thou saidst before.’

‘But now it is to be executed; therefore prepare yourself for nine o’ clock to-morrow.’

Still steadfast in what she believed her divinely authorised mission, she replied, ‘I came in obedience to the will of God, to the last General Court, praying you to repeal your unrighteous sentence of banishment, on pain of death, and that same is my work now, and earnest request, although I told you, that if you refused to repeal them, the Lord would send others of his servants to witness against them.’

‘Are you a prophetess?’ asked Endicot.

‘I spoke the words which the Lord spoke to me; and now the thing is come to pass.’

‘Away with her!’ cried the Governor; and Mary was reconducted to prison. We lament the imperfection of human intelligence, and the infirmity of human virtue, for ‘perfection easily bears with the imperfections of others;’ but we rejoice, that, in the providence of God, the vice of one party elicits the virtue of another; that bigotry and persecution bring forth the faith and heroic self-sacrifice of the martyr.

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The fire is kindled and burns fiercely, but the Phœnix rises; the furnace, heated with seven-fold heat, does not consume, but purifies.

Mary Dyre’s family was plunged into deep distress, by her again putting her life in jeopardy. As her husband’s religious faith did not accord with her own, he could not of course perfectly sympathize with her zeal in behalf of her persecuted sect, but the following letter, addressed to the Governor, which has not, we believe, before been published, bears ample testimony, that his conjugal affection had borne the hard test of religious disagreement.

‘Honored Sir—It is with no little grief of mind and sadness of heart, that I am necessitated to be so bould [sic] as to supplicate your honored self, with the honorable assembly of your General Court, to extend your mercy and favor once again, to me, and my children. Little did I dream, that I should have occasion to petition in a matter of this nature; but so it is, that through the divine providence and your benignity, my sonn obtayned so much pity and mercy at your hands, to enjoy the life of his mother. Now my supplication to your honors is, to begg affectionately the life of my dear wife. ’T is true, I have not seen her above this half yeare, and cannot tell how, in the frame of her spirit, she was moved thus againe to run so great a hazard to herself, and per-

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plexity to me and mine, and all her friends and well-wishers.

‘So it is, from Shelter Island, about by Peynod, Narragansett, &c., to the town of Providence, she secretly and speedily journeyed, and as secretly from thence came to your jurisdiction. Unhappy journey, may I say, and woe to that generation, say I, that gives occasion thus of grief (to those that desire to be quiett), by helping one another to hazard their lives to, I know not what end, nor for what purpose.

‘If her zeal be so great, as thus to adventure, oh! let your pitty and favor surmount it, and save her life. Let not your love and wonted compassion be conquered by her inconsiderate maddness, and how greatly will your renoune be spread, if by so conquering, you become victorious. What shall I say more! I know you are all sensible of my condition—you see what my petition is, and what will give me and mine peace.

‘Oh! let Mercy’s wings soar over Justice’s ballance, and then whilst I live, I shall exalt your goodness; but otherways ’t will be a languishing sorrow—yea, so great, that I should gladly suffer the blow at once, much rather. I shall forbear to trouble you with words, neither am I in a capacity to expatiate myself at present. I only say this, yourselves have been, and are, or may be husbands to wives; so am I, yea

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to one most dearly beloved. Oh! do not deprive me of her, but I pray give her me once again. I shall be so much obliged forever that I shall endeavor continually to utter my thanks and render you love and honour most renounced. Pitty me! I beg it with tears, and rest your humble suppliant,

‘W. Dyre

It does not appear what answer, or that any answer was vouchsafed to this touching appeal. It is enough to know that it was unavailing, and that on the very next day after her condemnation, the first of June, Mary Dyre was led forth to execution.

Some apprehensions seem to have been entertained that the mob might give inconvenient demonstrations of their pity for the prisoner, for she was strongly guarded, and during her whole progress from her prison to the place of execution, a mile’s distance, drums were beaten before and behind her.

The scaffold was erected on Boston Common. When she had mounted it, she was asked if she would have the Elders to pray for her?

‘I know never an Elder here,’ she replied.

‘Will you have none of the people to pray for you?’ persisted her attendant.

‘I would have all the people of God to pray for me,’ she replied.

‘Mary Dyre! O repent! O repent!’ cried out Mr

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Wilson the minister; ‘be not so deluded and carried away by the deceits of the devil.’

‘Nay, man,’ she answered, ‘I am not now to repent.’

She was reproached with having said she had already been in paradise.

To this she replied, ‘I have been in paradise many days.’

She spoke truly. Her mind was the paradise of God, sanctified by his peace. The executioner did his office. He could kill the body, demolish the temple, but the pure and glorious spirit of the martyr passed unharmed, untouched, into the visible presence of its Creator.

The scene of this tragedy was the Boston Common; that spot, so affluent in beauty, so graced by the peace, and teeming with the loveliness of nature, was desecrated by a scaffold! stained with innocent blood! We would not dishonor this magnificent scene by connecting with it, in a single mind, one painful association. But let those send back one thought to the Quaker Martyr, who delight to watch the morning light and the evening shadows stealing over it; to walk under the bountiful shadow of its elms; to see the herds of cattle banqueting there; the birds daintily gleaning their food; the boys driving their hoops, flying their kites, and launching their mimic

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vessels on the mimic lake; whilst the little fainéants, perhaps the busiest in thought among them, are idly stretched on the grass, seemingly satisfied with the bare consciousness of existence. The Boston Common, as it is, preserved and embellished, but not spoiled by art, still retaining its natural and graceful undulations, shaded by trees of a century’s growth, with its ample extent of uncovered surface, affording in the heart of a populous city, that first of luxuries, space; trodden by herds of its natural and chartered proprietors; encompassed by magnificent edifices, the homes of the gifted, cultivated, and liberal; with its beautiful view of water (Heaven forgive those who abated it!) and of the surrounding, cultured, and enjoyed country; crowned by Dorchester Heights, and the Blue Hills;—Boston Common, has always appeared to us one of the choicest of nature’s temples. The memory of the good is worthy such a temple; and we trust we shall be forgiven, for having attempted to fix there this slight monument to a noble sufferer in that great cause, that has stimulated the highest minds to the sublimest actions; that calls its devotees from the gifted, its martyrs from the moral heroes of mankind; the best cause, the fountain of all liberty—liberty of conscience!


music for the waltz
Boston, Published by Gray & Bowen 1831.

[p. 313]


In all parts of Germany, the Waltz is a national pastime. It is not confined to circles of fashion, but it is a favorite amusement of the hamlet and the village. In this country, no art can thoroughly teach it; the most graceful woman, here, always loses something of her dignity in attempting it. It is in fact an exotic—foreign to our fastidious manners. It never appears among us but as a tolerated thing of rather bad fame. For this and other reasons we participate in the feelings of satire which the authors of Salmagundi have bestowed upon it, and should be quite willing to see it banished from the land.

Whoever would form a just notion of the Waltz, must turn aside from the awkward pantomimes, which he may witness at almost every fashionable party, and go to the valleys of the Tyrol. There the untaught peasant and the simple maiden, may be seen whirling away in the innocent and thoughtless inspiration of their own passionate love of music and motion. To waltz, and do it with grace and feeling, is there the spontaneous gift of nature.

But here it is otherwise, and good taste would require us to leave this dance to its inventors. But we may be admirers of the music that is appropriated to it, for it is perhaps, of all musical compositions, the most piquant and lively. In offering a new Tyrolese Waltz to our fair readers, fresh from the German mind, therefore, we trust we may hope for their approbation, without compromising our principles as to the dance itself.—Ed.

[p. 314]


Thousands, with anxious care, have sought

The key of Nature’s wealth to find—

Strange these deep searchers never thought

The spell of power was in the MIND.

Wouldst be an Alchymist?—Behold!

The sun on yonder cloud has beamed!

Mark the rich purple, crimson, gold—

As seraph-robes o’er heaven had streamed.

And dost thou gaze with raptured eye?

Do angel fancies thrill thy breast,

And joy, that God has decked the sky

As ’t were a mansion for the blest?

Then scale some lofty mountain’s height,

And note the pleasant places round;

There dwell thy brothers! Doth the sight

Quicken thy pulse’s joyous bound?

Canst thou, with glad and grateful voice,

Bless Him who makes man dwell secure,

Nor covet aught thou seest?—Rejoice!

Thou hast the golden secret sure!

S. J. H.

[p. 315]


The following passage is translated from a German version of the Dschauhar Odsat, a Persian poem of the thirteenth century, and is here offered as a specimen of the mystic writings of the East,—a single sprig brought to town, from a distant and unfrequented garden. These writings are characterized by wildness of fancy, a philosophy extremely abstruse, and especially by a deep spiritual life. They prove, as will be seen in the lines which follow, that the human mind has strong religious instincts; which, however, unless guided by a higher wisdom, are liable to great perversion.—Extravagant as the conception of the passage here selected must appear to us, it has still its foundation in truth. That the ideas of infinite and divine things, which slumber in the mind, are often violently awakened by external objects, is what every one has experienced. Says a modern poet, in prospect of ‘clear, placid Leman,’

‘It is a thing

Which warns me, by its stillness, to forsake

Earth’s troubled waters for a purer spring.

And what is the story of Rudbari and Hassan, but an exhibition, a la mode orientale, of the same truth?

L. W.

In ancient days, as the old stories run,

Strange hap befell a father and his son.

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Rudbari was an old sea-faring man,

And loved the rough paths of the ocean.

And Hassan was his child,—a boy as bright,

As the keen moon, gleaming in the vault of night.

Rose-red his cheek, Narcissus-like his eye,

And his form might well with the slender cypress vie.

Godly Rudbari was, and just and true,

And Hassan pure, as a drop of early dew,—

Now because Rudbari loved this only child,

He was feign to take him o’er the waters wild.

The ship is on the strand—friends, brothers, parents, there

Take the last leave with mingled tears and prayer.

The sailor calls, the fair breeze chides delay,

The sails are spread, and all are under way.

But when the ship, like a strong-shot arrow, flew,

And the well known shore was fading from the view,

Hassan spake, as he gazed upon the land,

Such mystic words, as none could understand:—

‘On this troubled wave in vain we seek for rest.

Who builds his house on the sea, or his palace on its breast?

Let me but reach yon fixed and steadfast shore,

And the bounding wave shall never tempt me more.

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Then Rudbari spake: ‘And does my brave boy fear

The Ocean’s face to see, and his thundering voice to hear?

He will love, when home returned at last,

To tell in his native cot of dangers past.’

Then Hassan said: ‘Think not thy brave boy fears

When he sees the Ocean’s face, or his voice of thunder hears.

But on these waters I may not abide;

Hold me not back; I will not be denied.’

Rudbari now wept o’er his wildered child:

‘What mean these looks, and words so strangely wild?

Dearer, my boy, to me than all the gain

That I ’ve earned from the bounteous bosom of the main!

Nor heaven, nor earth could yield one joy to me,

Could I not, Hassan, share that joy with thee.’

But Hassan soon, in his wandering words, betrayed

The cause of the mystic air that round him played:

‘Soon as I saw these deep, wide waters roll,

A light from the Infinite broke in upon my soul!’

‘Thy words, my child, but ill become thine age,

And would better suit the mouth of some star-gazing sage.’

‘Thy words, my father, cannot turn away

Mine eye, now fixed on that supernal day.’

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‘Dost thou not, Hassan, lay these dreams aside,

I ’ll plunge thee headlong in this whelming tide.’

‘Do this, Rudbari, only not in ire,

’T is all I ask, and all I can desire.

For on the bosom of this rolling flood,

Slumbers an awful mystery of Good;

And he may solve it, who will self expunge,

And in the depths of boundless being plunge.’

He spake and plunged, and as quickly sunk beneath

As the flying snow-flake melts on a summer heath.

A moment Rudbari stood, as fixedly bound

As the pearl is, by the shell that clasps it round.

Then he followed his Hassan with a frantic leap,

And they slumber both on the bottom of the deep!

[p. 319]



Bury me by the Ocean’s side—

O give me a grave on the verge of the deep,

Where the noble tide,

When the sea-gales blow, my marble may sweep—

And the glistening surf

Shall burst on my turf,

And bathe my cold bosom, in death as I sleep!

Bury me by the sea—

That the vesper at eve-fall may sing o’er my grave,

Like the hymn of the bee,

Or the hum of the shell in the silent wave!

Or an anthem-roar

Shall be beat on the shore

By the storm and the surge-like march of the brave!

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Bury me by the deep—

Where a living footstep never may tread—

And come not to weep—

O wake not with sorrow the dream of the dead!

But leave me the dirge

Of the breaking surge,

And the silent tears of the sea on my head!

And grave no Parian praise—

Purple no turf for the heartless tomb—

And burn no holy blaze,

To flatter the awe of its solemn gloom!

For the holier light

Of the star-eyed night,

And the violet morning my rest will illume:

And honors, more dear

Than of sorrow and love, shall be strewn on my clay

By the young green year,

With its fragrant dews and its crimson array—

O leave me to sleep

On the verge of the deep,

Till the sky and the seas shall have passed away!

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