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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol XIX No. 4 October 1841

Date of first publication: 1841

Author: George Rex Graham (1813-1894), Editor

Date first posted: Feb. 6, 2021

Date last updated: Feb. 6, 2021

Faded Page eBook #20210240

This eBook was produced by: Mardi Desjardins & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net


Vol. XIX.      October, 1841.      No. 4.


Fiction, Literature and Articles
Brother and Sister
Kate Beverly
Lame for Life, Or Leslie Pierpoint
The Rowsevillers.—No. I.
Shakspeare.—No. II.
The Roman Bride
The Vagrant
The Reefer of ’76
Sports and Pastimes.—The Fowling-Piece
Review of New Books
Secret Writing
Poetry, Music and Fashion
We Were Boys Together
The Christian’s Dream of the Future
A Forest Scene
The Baptism of Pocahontas
Bye-Gone Hours
Latest Fashions, October, 1841

Transcriber’s Notes can be found at the end of this eBook.

A young brother and sister sit under a tree with their dog

Painted by Vinterhalter.           Engraved by J. Sartain.

Brother & Sister

people on a hillside overlooking a valley

W. H. Bartlett.           A. L. Dick.



Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine


Vol. XIX.    PHILADELPHIA: OCTOBER, 1841.    No. 4.


What is so beautiful as childhood? Where can we find such purity and frankness, such an absence of all selfishness, as in the love of children? And where does that love exist, deeper or sweeter or more like that of heaven than when between a brother and a sister?

Brother and sister! what a spell in the very words! How they bring up to our mind visions of days long past, and such, alas! as we shall never see again; when, with that dear one who is now in heaven, singing among the white-robed choir around the throne of God, we wandered over hill and dale, through fields of waving corn and meadows of the freshest grass—and all the while drinking into our souls sensations we could not then understand, but which we now know sprung from that sympathy which exists between us and every beautiful thing in nature, and which, beginning at the humblest flower, links together all inanimate and animate creation, ascending step by step from tree to breathing thing, from breathing thing to man, from man to the angels, and so through cherubim and seraphim and archangel, up to the highest intelligence who veils his face before the effulgence of the great I am. We little knew the reason then, but we felt how sweet it was to wander thus—often from morning until night—threading the old wood, or gathering flowers on the lea, or playing merrily beneath some shady grove, or loitering perchance at noon-day beside the stream, to gaze at the silvery trout glancing far down in the cool depths, or hanging like a motionless statue close under the mossy rocky caves that skirted the banks. Oh! those were delicious hours. Arm in arm would we sit, scarce speaking a word for hours, but with a thousand sweet though indescribable emotions at our hearts, until a dreamy quiet would creep over our souls like that which lapped the poet into Elysium. The very soughing of the wind among the trees would become lower and softer, until it died away with a tone as mellow as that of a flute at midnight. The current would sweep noiselessly at our feet, save when it whirled by some projecting rock, or babbled over a pebbly bar on the bosom of the stream. Now the whirr of a woodcock might be heard, and now the whistle of a wild pigeon broke clear and silvery on the silence. Often the long tresses of the overhanging willows drooped down around us until they slept upon the waters, while ever and anon the noon-tide breeze would rustle the neighboring trees, and a sound would go up like the whispers of a company of angels. How often have we thought that in these low mysterious tones might exist a meaning of which we little dream, a language as full of adoration as it is of harmony. But be that as it may, is not all nature an instrument from which the fingers of God are drawing perpetual music? The roar of the surf, the whisper of the zephyr, the rustling of the forest, the gurgling of the stream, the song of the bird, the low of the kine, the rain gently pattering among the forest leaves, and the thunder wheeling and rattling among the hills, are all notes in that great anthem of praise which continually goes up from earth—an anthem which is swelled by the music of satellites and worlds, aye! of a revolving universe, sweeping sphere on sphere beyond the ken of man. All creation is but one vast whole, engaged day and night in hymning Jehovah’s praise.

Brother and sister! Alas! we are alone. Manhood has left us of that happy time only these emotions—first felt in the companionship of that now sainted being. But never shall we forget those days. They are linked in with our very being. How many sweet emotions, how many lasting impressions, how many glimpses of the beautiful and true were drawn into our souls in that joyous time of innocence and youth. And how all seem the sweeter, and holier, and more enduring from the associations connected with them. Oh! tell us not of other’s love, it cannot surpass that of a sister. What can be purer than her little caresses, what can be more heavenly than her smile? Years have passed since the days when we thus wandered together, and the cares of the world have eaten like a canker into our heart, but the memory of that sister’s kindness and the consciousness of her affection, have been a balm to our hearts in every ill. They have cheered us in sickness, and sorrow, and absence; they have been to us beacons of hope and happiness. And they will continue with us, thank God! until we too shall have done with the toils of life.

J. S.






Do you see that landscape?” said the old man to me, as we paused on the edge of the mountain road, and looked down into the valley of Wyoming beneath us. “Well, that spot, calm and beautiful as it now is, was once the scene of massacre. God help me! the agonies of that day almost wring my heart to think of them, even after the lapse of fifty years.”

“I have heard it was a fearful time, and you have often promised to tell me the tale of your own connection with it. Yet, if the subject be so painful to you, I dare scarcely make the request.”

“No, boy, no,” said the old man, sadly, “I will tell it, for the promise is of long standing, and I feel to-day as if I could narrate that tragedy with less emotion than usual. Sit down on this rock, and give me a moment to rest; I will then commence my story.”

While the old man wiped the perspiration from his brow, and sat fanning himself with his broad-rimmed summer hat, I took the place pointed out by him near his side, and spent the moments that elapsed before he began his narration in gazing at the landscape before me.

Sitting on a huge boulder, at the edge of the mountain, just where the hill began to slope down into the valley, we commanded a view of one of the most unrivalled landscapes in the world. To our left rose up the mountain, bold, rugged and barren, like the back of some vast monster reared against the sky—but on the right nothing interposed to destroy the view: whose loveliness so far exceeded even my expectations, that for some minutes I gazed on the scene in mute admiration. Beneath me stretched the valley, diversified with gently sloping elevations, and sprinkled with fields of waving golden grain; while here and there a patch of woodland, with its dark green hue, lay slumbering on the landscape—the surface of the forest ever and anon varying to a lighter tint as the wind swept over the tree-tops. Right through the centre of the valley meandered the river, now rolling betwixt bluff banks, and now stealing gently among the rich meadow lands in the distance, until at length it turned to the left, and, skirting the foot of the far off hills, was lost behind the profile of the mountain before us. In the centre of the vale was the village, with its white houses and airy church steeple, smiling over the scene. Far away on the horizon stretched a line of hills, their dark blue summits, half hid by the clouds, which wrapped them as in a veil of gauze. No sound came up from the valley. Occasionally the twitter of a bird would be heard from the surrounding trees—while the low tinkle of a tiny waterfall on our left kept monotonously sounding in our ears. The morning rays of a summer’s sun poured down upon the landscape, and every thing around was bright, and gay, and beautiful. I was still lost in admiration at the loveliness of the scene, when the old man signified his readiness to commence his tale.

“It is now fifty years ago,” he began, “since I came to this valley a young frontier-man, with a hardy constitution, a love of adventure, and the reputation of being the best shot on the border: the place was, at that time, settled principally by families from Connecticut, and even then bore traces of its present luxuriant cultivation. Many of the families were in good circumstances, others had seen better days—and altogether the society was more refined than was usual on the frontier. Among all the families, however, in the valley, none pleased me so much as that of Mr. Beverly—and, of his fireside circle his second daughter, Kate, was, in my eyes, the gem. How shall I describe her beauty? Lovely, without being beautiful, with a sylph-like form, a laugh as joyous as the carol of a bird, a step lighter than that of a young fawn in sportive play, and a disposition so amiable as to win, irresistibly, the love of all who met her. Kate Beverly was scarcely seventeen before she had a host of admirers, and might have won any youth in the valley. Why it was that she preferred me over all the rest, I cannot say: perhaps it was the consciousness of some mysterious sympathy linking us together, or perhaps it was that we both came from the same town in Connecticut, and had been school-mates in childhood—so it was, however. It soon began to be known throughout the valley that before another season should elapse, Kate Beverly would become my wife.

“Oh! how happy were those days—too happy, indeed, to last. I will not dwell upon them, for they fill my soul with agony. Suffice it to say, that while dreaming of bliss such as mortal never before experienced, the war of the revolution broke out—and, after a hard struggle between my passion and my duty, the latter conquered, and I joined the army. Kate did not attempt to dissuade me from the act—she rather loved me the more for it. Though her woman nature caused her to shed tears at my departure, her reason told her I was right, and she bid me God speed.

“ ‘Heaven bless you, Harry,’ she said, ‘and bring this unnatural war to a conclusion. I cannot bid you stay, but I pray that the necessity for your absence may soon cease.’

“Time rolled by—the American cause was still doubtful, and the war bid fair to be protracted into years. I had risen to be a captain in the —— regiment, when I received information that the tories and Indians intended making a descent on the valley of the Wyoming. I knew the unprotected situation of my adopted district, and I trembled for the lives of those I held most dear. At first I discredited the rumor—chance, however, threw in my way an opportunity of ascertaining the reality of the reported descent, and I became convinced that not a moment was to be lost if I would save the lives of those I loved at home. My determination was at once taken—I solicited for leave of absence—it was refused: I then resigned my commission, and set forth to Wyoming.

“I never shall forget my emotions when I drew near that ill-fated place; it was on the very day of the massacre—and the first intimation I had of the calamity was the mangled body of one of the inhabitants, whom I had known, floating down the stream. A cold shiver ran through every vein as I gazed on the terrible sight, and a thousand fears agitated my bosom; but my worst surmises fell far short of the truth. When, hours after, I met some of the fugitives, and they rehearsed to me that tale of horror, I stood for a moment thunderstruck, refusing to believe that beings in human form could perpetrate such deeds—but it was all too true.

“Almost my first inquiry was for Kate. No one knew, alas! what had become of her. One of those who had escaped the fight, told me that her father had been killed at the beginning of the conflict—and that, deprived of a protector, she had probably fallen a victim to the infuriate savages, while the other inhabitants were severally engaged in protecting themselves. How I cursed them for this selfishness! And yet could I expect aught else of human nature, than that each one should protect those dearest to them, even to the desertion of others?

“But my mind was soon made up. I resolved, come what might, to ascertain clearly the fate of Kate—so that if dead I might revenge her, and if, living, I might rescue her. Bidding farewell to the flying group, I shouldered my rifle and struck boldly into the forest, trusting in the guidance of that God who never deserts us in our extremities.

“I will not tire you with a protracted narrative; I will only say that, after numerous inquiries from the fugitives I met, I learned that Kate had been last seen in the hands of a party of savages,—this was sufficient for a clue,—I once more began to hope. I waited until night-fall, when I sought the spot which had been described to me as the one where Kate had been last seen—and, never shall I forget my feelings of almost rapturous pleasure, when I found in the neighboring forest a fragment of her dress sticking on a bush, by which it had, doubtless, been torn from her in passing. I was now satisfied that Kate had been carried off captive. Fortunately I had met, in the group of fugitives, a hunter who had been under some obligations to her family, and he was easily persuaded to join me in my search. Together we now began a pursuit of the savages. He was an adept in forest warfare—could follow a trail as a hound the chase—knew the course which would be most likely to be chosen by a flying party of Indians, and withal, was one of the keenest shots who had carried a rifle on the border.

“ ‘It’s my opinion,’ said he, ‘that these varmint did not belong to the regular body of Indians who followed Butler, though even they were bad enough. I think, however, he wouldn’t suffer a deed like this. These villains seem to have acted on their own behalf—and, if so, they would fly to the back country as soon as possible. You may depend upon it we shall overtake them if we pursue that way.’

“I felt the truth of these remarks, and assented to them at once. In less than a quarter of an hour after first discovering the trail, we were threading the forest in pursuit of the savages.

“Let me hasten to the close. Hour after hour, all through the livelong day, we pursued the flying Indians—crossing swamps, clambering over rocks, fording streams, and picking our way through the labyrinthine woods, until, towards night-fall, we reached the edge of an open space—or, as it were, a meadow, shut in by gently sloping hills.

“ ‘Hist,’ said my companion, ‘we are upon them. Do you not see that thin thread of smoke curling upward over the top of yonder aged hemlock?’

“ ‘Ay—it must be them—let us on.’

“ ‘Softly, or we lose all. We know not, certainly, that this is the party we seek; let us reconnoitre.’

“Slowly and stealthily, trembling lest even a twig should crackle under our feet, we crept up towards the edge of the meadow—and peeping cautiously through the underwood, beheld the objects of our search in six tall swarthy savages, sitting smoking around the remains of a fire. At a little distance knelt, with her hands bound, but her eyes upraised to heaven, my own Kate. Oh! how my heart leaped at the sight. I raised my rifle convulsively, and was about to fire, when my companion caught my hand, and said:

“ ‘Softly, or you spoil all. Let us get the varmint in range, and then we shall fire with some effect. Hist!’

“This last exclamation was occasioned by the sudden rising of one of the savages. He gazed a moment cautiously around, and then advanced towards the thicket where we lay concealed. I drew my breath in, and trembled at the beating of my own heart. The savage still approached. My companion laid his hand on my arm, and pointed from my rifle to one of the Indians. I understood him. At this juncture the advancing savage, warned of our presence by the crackling of an unlucky twig beneath my companion’s foot, sprang back, with a loud yell, towards the fire.

“ ‘Now,’ said my companion, sternly.

“Quick as lightning I raised my piece and fired. My companion did the same. The retreating savage and one of his companions fell dead on the ground: each of us then sprang to a tree, loading as we ran. It was well we did it, for in an instant the enemy was on us. Shall I describe that dreadful fight? My emotion forbids it. A few minutes decided it. Fighting from tree to tree—dodging, loading, and endeavoring to get sight on a foe, we kept up the conflict for nearly five minutes—at the end of which time I found myself wounded, while four out of the six savages lay prostrate on the ground. The other two, finding their companions dead, and despairing of being able to carry off their prisoner, suddenly rushed on her, and before we could interpose, had seized their hapless victim. I had only been prevented, hitherto, from rescuing Kate by the knowledge that an attempt of the kind, while the savages were still numerically superior to us, would end in the certain ruin of us both,—but now, worlds could not have restrained me, and, clubbing my rifle, for the piece was unloaded, I dashed out from my covert, shouting to my companion—

“ ‘On—on, in God’s name, on.’

“ ‘Take care of the taller varmint,’ thundered my companion.

“The warning was too late. In the tumult of my feelings I had not observed that the savage furthest from me had his piece loaded, and before I could avail myself of my companion’s cooler observation, I received the ball in my right arm, and my rifle dropped powerless by my side; had I not sprung involuntarily aside at my companion’s cry, I should have been shot through the heart.

“ ‘On—on,’ I groaned in agony, as I seized my tomahawk in my almost useless left hand.

“ ‘Stoop,’ said my companion, ‘stoop lower;’ and as I did so, his rifle cracked on the still air, and the Indian fell dead.

“All this had not occupied an instant. I was now within a few feet of her I loved, who was struggling in the grasp of the other Indian. He had already entwined his hands in her long hair—his tomahawk was already gleaming in the setting sun. Never shall I forget the look of demoniac fury with which the wretch glared on his victim. A second only was left for hope. My companion was far behind, with his rifle unloaded. I made a desperate spring forward, and hurled my tomahawk at the savage’s head. God of my fathers! the weapon whizzed harmlessly by the wretch, and buried itself, quivering, in the trunk of a neighboring tree. I groaned aloud in agony,—there was a yell of triumph on the air—a sudden flashing in the sun, like a glancing knife, and—but I cannot go on. She I loved as my own life; she who was the purest and loveliest of her sex; she with whom I had promised myself a long life of happiness—oh! must I say it—she lay a mangled corpse at my feet! But her murderer, aye!—he was cloven to the breast by a blow from his own tomahawk, which I had wrenched from him with the strength of a dozen men.”

The old man ceased,—big tears rolled down his furrowed face, and his frame shook with emotion. I saw the remembrance of the past was too much for him, and I sat by his side in silence.

I subsequently heard his sad tale from others, and then learned the manner in which Kate had been carried off. The old man’s companion was right—she had been made a prisoner by a predatory band of Indians, who had followed Butler, and deserted him directly after the massacre.

Beautiful as the Valley of the Wyoming is, I never have seen it, from that day to this, without thinking of the sad fate of Kate Beverly.





We were boys together,

  And never can forget,

The school-house on the heather,

  In childhood where we met:

Nor the green home to memory dear,

  Its sorrows or its joys,

Which called the transient smile or tear,

  When you and I were boys.


We were youths together,

  And castles built in air!

Your heart was like a feather,

  While mine was dash’d with care!

To you came wealth with manhood’s prime,

  To me it brought alloys

Ne’er dreamed of in the primrose time

  When you and I were boys.


We’re old men together—

  The friends we loved of yore,

Like leaves of autumn weather,

  Are gone for evermore!—

How blest to age the impulse given,

  The hope time ne’er destroys,

Which led our thoughts from earth to heaven,

  When you and I were boys.







“Love knows no rank—beauty

Is aristocracy—birth, lineage and blood.”


“Love ne’er broke a heart, love ne’er could mend.”


It was on a cold, bleak evening in autumn, that Leslie Pierpoint, as described in Part First of our tale, sat in his arm-chair in his comfortable library, with his feet buried in a thick rug of Angola fleece; a cheerful fire glowing in the grate; a round stand with the tea-tray at his left elbow; and a large table covered with magazines, papers, books, &c. &c., on his right hand. He was alone. The rich, crimson curtains drawn closely across the deep windows with the comfortable air of the whole room, gave indication that the occupant loved his ease, and was that evening disposed to enjoy it.

Twenty years had passed since Leslie’s affaire du cœur with Clara Clayton. With her treachery expired his confidence in the sex. In vain had the lovely, gay and fashionable women thrown their gilded nets. In every one of the fair fishers he but saw a cousin german to Clara, and warily shunned the danger. Thus had he reached forty-one years of age with the full consent of all his friends, male and female, that he should remain a bachelor for life. And to all appearances such seemed to be the settled destiny of Leslie Pierpoint. He himself had no more thoughts of committing matrimony than suicide. He never spake to any woman save his washerwoman and linen sempstress. His mother had been several years dead, and he lived alone—a bachelor! the victim of a heartless woman’s treachery.

He now sat gazing into the fire with a cup of tea in his hand, and which he seemed to have forgotten that he held. The state house clock tolled seven and he started, laid down his cup and saucer, and rang the bell. It was immediately answered by a very gentlemanly African servant in grey clothes with bright steel buttons, red cravat, and shoes with old fashioned paste buckles in them.


“Sar, massa?”

“Have my new linens come home yet?”

“No, massa, not yit.”

“They were to be here at six. Go and see that they are sent in time to pack into my trunks to-night, for we must start for New York early.”

“Yes, massa,” said Cato, with a graceful bow, and was in the act of leaving the room to obey his master’s orders, when a ringing at the street door bell arrested him.

“I guess dem is de sharts now, massa.”

“Go and see, and show the woman up.”

Cato left the room, while Leslie took up the evening paper. Directly the servant reappeared, ushering in a very modest young girl, coarse in her dress, but of extraordinary beauty. She was scarcely seventeen, yet the womanly outline and youthful roundness of her sylph-like figure were perfect. Her complexion was very brilliant; her cheeks blushed with diffidence and beauty; her eyes were large, blue, and melting in their own cerulean heaven; her lips ripe and full, and her chin voluptuously rounded, yet most exquisitely turned. Native grace was in every movement she made. Her dress was of very plain calico, and she wore a common straw hat with a long green veil. In her hands she carried two bundles, very neatly done up in white paper.

“De sharts come,” said Cato, making a low bow to Leslie’s back. “Here de young woman wid ’em.”

“Very well, Cato; remove the tea-tray. I will ring for you to show the woman out soon as I have settled with her.”

“Yes, massa;” and the black, taking the tray in his hands, cast a glance, first at the beautiful face of the young girl, then over his shoulder at his master, and, gravely shaking his grey pate, left the library. Leslie completed the paragraph he was reading, and then, lifting his face and looking into the fire, but without turning round, said in the low, pleasant tone natural to him:

“So, my good woman, you have brought the shirts. They have come an hour later than you promised them, but I suppose you are very much hurried with work. They are in plenty time, however. Be so kind as to undo the package and let me see one of them.”

For a few moments there was no sound in the room but the snapping of strings, as they were untied by the busy fingers of the linen-draper’s maid, and the rattling of the strong paper covering the linens. At length a shirt, white as the drifted snow and beautifully done up, was hesitatingly advanced over his shoulder, so as to intercept his vision.

He took it, and after carefully examining it (old bachelors are very particular in this matter) with an appearance of satisfaction, admiring the stitching of the wristbands, the French style of the sleeves, and the neatness of the bosom folds, he laid it down beside him where the tea tray had stood.

“Well, my good woman, I am very much pleased with them. They are very neatly made. Please let me see your bill.” And he turned his head slightly back to receive it.

The young girl, embarrassed by his mode of addressing her, and abashed at his presence, timidly stretched forth her hand containing the bill.

“Nearer, woman, nearer. I cannot reach it.”

Agitated by his voice, she thrust her arm forward so quickly that he received in his grasp her hand as well as her bill. The sight and touch of the soft, white member, thrilled through him. He started, blushed, rose from his chair, and to his surprise discovered that he had been all the while talking to one of the loveliest girls of seventeen he had ever seen, instead of an old woman, whom he supposed was the bearer of his linens.

“Pardon me, miss—I beg pardon,” said the Major embarrassed, “I thought you were your mother.”

“I have no mother, sir,” answered the pretty maiden, with a drooping eyelid.

“I beg pardon! Sit down! No, you may stand! Upon my word you are very beautiful.” The Major hardly knew what he said.

“Sir, the bill if you please,” said the maiden confused, her bright intelligent face suffused with crimson.

“Oh, ah! sit down if you please! no—stand up; no, no, no! sit down!” Poor Major Pierpoint!

“No, I thank you, sir.”

“What a sweet voice,” soliloquized the Major to himself. “No mother?”

“No, sir,” with a musical sadness in her voice, touching as it was natural.

“No father?” asked the Major with as much delicacy as he could put the question.

“No, sir.”

“No brothers, neither, I dare say.”

“No, sir.”

“Nor sisters, either?”

“No, sir.”

“Ho! hah, hem!”

And the Major, having finished catechising her, put his hands behind his back and looked steadily in the grate for full a minute, his lips compressed, his brow set and thoughtful.

“If you please, sir, the bill is waiting.”

The Major started at the sound of the sweet voice as if he had been clapped on the shoulder.

“Oh, ah! I beg your pardon. Let me see—six linen shirts—five dollars each—thirty dollars—all right.” And the Major looked up from the bill into her face. He felt a delight he could not account for in gazing upon its sweet beauty. She was confused by his ardent look, and became still more beautiful from her sweet confusion. With instinctive delicacy he withdrew his gaze, and a sigh, the first he had felt for twenty years, escaped him. A gentle sadness at the same time overspread his fine features. Again he looked into her face, but with an expression that she did not shrink from, and said kindly, touchingly,

“So then, sweet child, you are an orphan.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Your name?”

“Mary Lee.”

“A pretty name.”

“Sir, I have another errand to go—if you will please pay the bill for my mistress.”

“Oh, ah! yes, the bill. Thirty dollars. Here is a check for the amount.”

“I thank you, sir,” said Mary, curtseying with a grace that charmed him, and turning to leave.

“Stay, Mary—that is, Miss Lee,” said Leslie, following her a step and speaking with amusing hesitation. The linen-draper maiden had, however, reached the door and placed her hand upon the lock. She was evidently alarmed and surprised, and seemed uncertain whether to take the gentleman’s manner as rudeness or as an uncommon degree of civility. She appeared to be a sensible, good natured girl, however, with all her charms, and probably with woman’s ready tact divined the true cause of his singular conduct. Yet with all a woman’s tact she pretended to be blind to the impression her beauty had made upon him. She could not help thinking that he was a very handsome man, if he was an old bachelor, and she felt pleased rather than offended at this evidence of the triumph of beauty. For Mary Lee well knew she had beauty, and what pretty miss of seventeen is ignorant of this possession?

“Stay, if you please, one moment, Miss Lee,” said Leslie.

“Indeed, sir, it is late.”

“But one moment. Are you an apprentice with Miss Phelps, the linen-draper?”

“Yes, sir;” and Mary turned the lock of the door.

The Major laid his hand lightly upon her wrist.

“Excuse me, Miss Lee! One more question!” But the maiden, with a pleasant laugh, threw off his hand and bounded through the open door into the hall. Cato was in waiting.

“Ah, Cato,” said the Major, with as much coolness as he could summon at this crisis, “you save me the trouble of ringing. Show this young woman out.”

“Yes, sar,” said Cato.

Major Pierpoint lingered an instant in his door to follow with his eye the receding form of the maiden, as with a light, graceful trip she followed the dignified Cato to the street door. He then re-entered his library, and after pacing his room two or three times as if his thoughts were in a tumult, he suddenly stopped before his mirror and looked at himself. After a brief and satisfied survey of his fine face and person he walked to the fire, folded his hands behind his back, and stood and looked into the grate with a very thoughtful brow.

“Well, Leslie Pierpoint, after remaining bachelor twenty years, thou art made captive by a linen-draper’s ’prentice! ’Tis true, and pity ’tis, ’tis true! Leslie Pierpoint, thou art false to thyself! But what a soft, sweet hand! How could I help taking it if she would thrust it into mine? But, poor child, I suppose I had frightened her by calling her an old woman, and she scarcely knew what she was about! Old woman? A youthful divinity! What heavenly blue eyes! What a sweet round bust! What an exquisite waist, the charms of which even her coarse dress could not conceal! And her foot, so petite and delicately turned! How rich were the tones of her voice! How enchanting her smile! Ah, Leslie Pierpoint, thou art in love with a ’prentice maiden! At forty years thou art become a fool! Yes, I am a fool! What have I to do with the sex? Have I not a lasting feud with it? Ah, let me not forget Clara Clayton! Remember her, and so forget this pretty maiden, for she belongs to the same false hearted sex!”

Thus soliloquized Major Pierpoint, and, turning from the fire, he walked his room some time with a thoughtful brow. All at once he stopped and pulled his bell with an emphasis. Cato made his instant appearance.

“Sar, massa.”

“Bring me my boots.”

“What massa say?”

“Bring me my boots,” repeated Leslie, more decidedly.

The black left the room with an inquiring look, as much as to ask what could take his master out in such an evening.

“Yes, I will do it. I will learn all about her! Such beautiful teeth! Such a bright, intelligent, sensible face! Such innate high breeding!”

Cato brought the boots, and in a few minutes afterwards the Major had exchanged his evening home costume for boots, overcoat and hat.

“My stick, Cato.”

“Yes, sar,” answered the black with dilating eyes, as he handed the gold headed Indian cane.

“I shall return in an hour, Cato,” he said, as his wondering servant showed him out of the street door.

“Yes, sar,” and Cato closed the door on his master.

“Now, if massa Peerpount hant a loss his sebenteen senses, den heabenly marcy nebber gave Cato any. De firs’ time I ebber know him go out after him once take his boot off! Someting ’ticklar be goin’ to happ’n for sartain! No disordinary circumcasion take massa Peerpoun’ out dis col’ ebening. I mus’ feel werry pertickler distress if as how any ting surreptitious occur.”

Thus commented honest Cato upon this unusual step of his master’s, whose general habits were so regular that each day he went through the same routine of eating, sleeping, smoking, reading, and walking or riding. He had never gone out in an evening before. Cato had cause, therefore, for marvel; and leaving him to his conjectures on the motive for this strange movement on the part of his master, we will follow him on his expedition. The evening was clear but cold and windy, and he wrapped his coat closer about his person as he entered Chesnut street from Sixth, and took his way past the hotel and theatre which were brilliant with lamps, and gay and lively with the moving things about their doors. Heedless of these, he kept on until he came to Third street, which he followed north for a few doors, where he stopped beneath a lamp and turned back the cape of his surtout, arranged his slightly awry cravat, and made such other little toilet reparations as young gentlemen are accustomed to do before going into a house to pay a visit to ladies. Having fixed himself to his satisfaction, though without a mirror, (men of taste are a glass to themselves!) he walked more deliberately onward and entered a door over which hung a sign reading “Mrs. Phelps’ Gentlemen’s Linen Store.”

A very pleasant looking widow-like person presided in the brilliantly lighted shop behind the counter, while there were glimpses of two or three girls at their work in the rear room, and a little old woman in spectacles tying up bundles—doubtless the identical “old woman” whom the Major had imagined he was talking to as the bearer of his package.

“Good evening, Mrs. Phelps,” said the Major politely.

“Ah, Major Pierpoint, good evening, sir,” said Mrs. Phelps with very great respect, for the Major was a monied customer and never disputed bills! “Lord me! I hope you haven’t come after the shirts!” she said with apologetic volubility; “they have been gone this half hour! I was so hurried, Major, I couldn’t get them done at the precise hour you ordered them, though I know you are so very particular. But soon as they came into the shop, lest you should get impatient, as your black man said you were going out of town early in the morning, I despatched one of my apprentices right off with ’em, knowing she would go quicker than aunt Dolly here, who is always mighty slow in cold weather. If you come right from home you ought to had ’em there! If Mary has taken that bundle of hemmed handkerchiefs to Miss Clayton’s first, I shall give her a good scolding; for I told her, Major, pertickerlaly, to go and leave your package first.”

“Never mind all this, my good woman,” exclaimed the Major as soon as he could find an opening in her speech; “I have received the shirts, and am very well satisfied with them! They do you credit.”

“Oh, I am glad to hear it. I thought the child wouldn’t disobey me, for she is always so correct! Here she comes in now! Ah, Mary,” said Mrs. Phelps with a good natured smile, “you like to have had a scolding. So you took Major Pierpoint’s linens home safe?”

“Yes, aunt,” answered Mary, blushing and stammering at seeing Major Pierpoint in the shop, while the Major himself, taken by surprise at her sudden appearance, colored like a school-boy; and scarce conscious of what he did, respectfully lifted his hat, as with downcast eyes she tripped past him to the rear of the shop. She had let her bonnet fall carelessly back from her head as she entered the shop, and the bright light of the gas-burners flashing upon her forehead, revealed more clearly the radiant beauty of her complexion, and the exquisite loveliness of her features. Her hair, which was the richest shade of dark brown, was parted upon her smooth forehead and lay on either cheek, after the fashion of young maidens of her age; behind, it was gathered by her tasteful fingers into a neat braid, the number of whose silken folds showed the opulence and great length of this glorious ornament of woman.

She bent her head and blushed between pleasure and shame at this distinguished notice from Major Pierpoint, while Mrs. Phelps looked from one to the other, with a face on which wonder, curiosity and suspicion were as plainly written as they ever were on the face of woman. Leslie saw instantly the position in which he had placed himself, and with great presence of mind said, as if to excuse himself, while he pursued at the same time the main object he had in view—

“She is, I am told, an orphan, Mrs. Phelps. I feel deep sympathy for orphans, particularly for young unprotected females.”

Mrs. Phelps’ face immediately parted with its combined expression, which was replaced by that peculiar one which talkative women always put on when they have an opportunity of indulging their propensity. “Ah, yes,” she sighed, “ah, dear yes, Major Pierpoint, she is indeed an orphan. She is a good child, and has a face that will be either the making or the breaking of her. I feel towards her just as if she was my own flesh and blood; though, between you and I, Major, I am neither kith nor kin to her or hers, though I lets her call me aunt for affection-like.”

“Who were her parents?” asked Major Pierpoint, becoming deeply interested.

“Ah, me, it is a sad story! I never tell it but it makes me cry like a child;” and here Mrs. Phelps, in anticipation, applied the corner of her apron to her dry eyes.

“Be so kind as to relate it, madam, if you please. I shall listen to it with great interest.”

“Well, you must know when I was younger than I am now, and before dear Fritz, my husband, died, we were living in Boston, in quite respectable society, Fritz keeping a thriving store, and I living a lady, as it were, at home. But times is changed since then; ah, me! Major Pierpoint. Well, don’t you think, as I was waiting tea one winter’s night for Fritz, the bell rung, and, instead of my husband, a man left a basket of champaigne, as he said, telling the girl it was a present for our wedding day, which was to be on Saturday of the next week, sure enough, Major; we having then been married seven years. Well, I told her to set the champaigne basket down in the tea room, and soon afterwards Fritz came in. He was delighted when I showed him the present, and we both puzzled our heads to guess what friend it came from; but we sat down to the table intending to open it after we had finished tea. Mr. Phelps was taking his second cup when we both thought we heard a child cry right in the room. We started, and both asked ‘what is that?’ ‘It must be the cat,’ said Fritz, and so we sat down again. We had not taken two bites of toast before we were startled by the loud shrill scream of an infant. ‘The champaigne basket,’ exclaimed Fritz: ‘it is in the champaigne basket,’ I cried. ‘It is a baby in the champaigne basket,’ yelled the girl, letting fall the tea-kettle.

“Fritz sprung to the basket and cut the cord with the table-knife, and sure enough, Major Pierpoint, there lay in the bottom the beautifullest little female baby eyes ever looked upon—the very same Mary Lee you just now took off your hat to! Well, to cut the story short, Fritz and I concluded, after making all inquiries, and advertising it in vain, to adopt it, seeing as how Providence had never blessed us with any children, neither before nor since. So we took the dear infant as our own, and to this day I have been as its own mother to it, and she has been as an own child to me. Ah me! the cruel parents that could desert such a sweet cherub. I have never been sorry to this hour we took the dear child. Oh, she has been a blessing to me!”

“She would be a blessing to any body,” said the Major warmly, his heart overrunning with emotion at her narration; and his eyes unconsciously wandered to the rear of the shop, where Mary sat quietly sewing. He sighed, and then turning to Mrs. Phelps, thanked her for her trouble in narrating Mary’s story.

“Not the least, Major, not the least! I could tell it fifty times a day if I had such a listener as you.”

“You may send me half a dozen pairs of gloves, handkerchiefs, and—and—” Leslie hesitated, and then hastily added, “any thing else in your shop you think I would like.”

“Oh, you are such a good customer, Major Pierpoint,” said the pleased landlady; “I have just got in some new style India cravats which I think will suit you. Shall I send them to-night?”

“No, to-morrow at twelve.”

“But you leave town to-morrow.”

“Oh, true—true, I had forgotten. But never mind, madam, send them up, I think I shall be at home—yes, I am sure, quite sure I shall be at home! I have postponed my departure till the next day.”

“I will certainly send them.”

The Major lingered an instant over the glass case, and then buttoning up his overcoat, prepared to go.

“Good evening, Mrs. Phelps.”

“Good evening, sir.”

“You will be sure and send them?”

“You shall not be disappointed, Major.”

“Very well.”

Major Pierpoint took three decided steps towards the door and then turned.

“Twelve o’clock, Mrs. Phelps.”

“Yes sir, they shall be there precisely.”

The Major still did not move. There was evidently something he wished to say more, but was at a loss how to say it. All at once he turned back to the counter.

“By-the-bye, Mrs. Phelps, you may, if you please, let the same young person bring them that took the linens. That old woman, the last time she came, like to have broke her neck by catching her foot in the brass stair band. Besides, she is deaf as a post.”

“I will send Mary, then,” said Mrs. Phelps, smiling.

“You are very obliging, my dear madam. Good evening.” And Major Pierpoint walked out of the shop with a free, light step, and a bland smile illumining his handsome features.

Mrs. Phelps followed him with her eyes, and then put on a very thoughtful look, and for a few moments seemed to be communing with her own mind. Suddenly she laid one fore-finger down upon the other with emphasis.

“Yes, ’tis clear as that gas-light! I can see as deep as some folks can. He is not above forty, rich, respectable, and kind and pleasant-hearted as a child, and Mary’s beauty has evidently made an impression upon him. He is a bachelor, and old bachelors often fall in love with young girls! I do believe, now I think it all over, he is in love with her. But then, he is so rich and respectable! But Mary isn’t my daughter; how does he or any body know but she is respectable as he is himself? Plainly, there is something at the bottom of all this. Major Pierpoint is too honorable and moral for me to apprehend any evil coming out of it. Mary shall go up to-morrow, looking her best. Who knows what may happen? The poor child is not mine, but then I wish her to do as well as she can. I wonder what he said to her this evening. Mary, dear, come here child.”

Mary came forward with a half finished linen collar in her hands.

“Well, dear, what did Miss Clayton say to the handkerchiefs you took to her?”

“She said they were very neatly done, but that the price was too high—and told me she could not pay the bill unless you took off the ‘nineteen cents!’ ”

“How close some people are, especially rich old maids that have once been beauties! They have no children or husband to pick or peck at, and so they must pick and peck on those that have to do work for um. She don’t care about the nineteen cents—its only to have something to find fault with. To-morrow, at half past eleven, you call there for the seventeen dollars, and let her have the nineteen cents, if it will do her temper any good. Did Major Pierpoint appear displeased because I didn’t get the shirts there by six o’clock?”

Mary blushed, she knew not why, at this common-place question, and looking up and seeing her ‘aunt’s’ eyes fixed inquiringly upon her face, she became too confused to speak in reply—and, after one or two attempts to answer, dropped her head over the collar in her hand, as if sewing it.

“What is the matter with the child? What did Major Pierpoint say to you?”



“Yes, m’m, here is the check he gave me.” Mrs. Phelps glanced at it.

“It’s all right! Prompt pay—no nineteen cents to be cut off. But didn’t he say any thing to you?”

Mary appeared still more confused. Her adopted mother looked at her steadily though without displeasure for a few seconds, then shook her head affirmatively, with a slight smile of self-satisfaction. “Humph,” she said to herself, “I see how it is! It has gone further than I thought. He came here to-night for nothing else in the world! Well, Mary, to-morrow, at twelve precisely, you must be at Major Pierpoint’s with them gloves, and handkerchiefs, and silk stockings. You must start at half past eleven, so as to call on the way on Miss Clayton for the money for her bill. Why do you blush so—are you afraid of Miss Clayton?”

“No, aunt.”

“Are you afraid of Major Pierpoint?”

“No, aunt.”

“Very well, child, go to your sewing.”

Mary bounded away lightly, and Mrs. Phelps looked after her with a prideful glance; “yes, if she is not foolish she has her fortune made. I will say nothing to her of my suspicions, but let her have her own way. To talk to young girls on such a subject and try to guide and advise them, only makes puppets of them, and destroys the natural character. Leave Mary to her own native good sense and unbiassed feelings and she will be more likely to please such a man as Major Pierpoint than if she practised the most consummate artifices.”

With these sensible reflections, Mrs. Phelps dropped the subject for that night.

At a few minutes before half past eleven, Mary Lee made her appearance in the shop from her little chamber over it, arrayed in a neat black silk dress, with a pretty straw cottage, trimmed with delicate blue ribbon, and her beautiful brown hair arranged with elegant simplicity. It had not been ten minutes since she left the shop to make this change in her appearance. Yet it was as complete as if five hours had been wasted before her little mirror. Can any female reader tell me why Mary paid such attention to her appearance? Mrs. Phelps on seeing her, lifted up both hands, and an exclamation of surprise and displeasure was on the tip of her tongue! But some sudden reflection checked it on the verge of utterance, and dropping her hands, she said quietly and as if not noticing it—

“So, Mary, you are ready. Take the bundle and stop on the way at Miss Clayton’s. Be sure you are at Major Pierpoint’s when the clock strikes twelve.”

“Yes, aunt,” said Mary, hastening from the shop on her two-fold errand. As she passed up Chesnut street with her little bundle, the sparkling beauty of her face, her buoyant step and graceful motion, drew after her many admiring eyes. It so chanced that Leslie was returning from the Exchange reading-room, whither he walked every morning, and was standing on the corner of Sixth and Chesnut, conversing with several bachelor gentlemen, when Mary passed. She looked up, and seeing him, coloured and dropped her head. Leslie did the same.

“A lovely creature,” said one of the gentlemen; “I seldom have seen a sweeter face or figure. You know her, Major, by your mutual blushes,” added he, smiling.

“I, gentlemen? oh, no,” said the Major, confused.

“She is certainly extremely beautiful. See how free and light her step is!”

“Some pretty milliner, I dare say,” said the Major, laughing. “Good morning, gentlemen;” and Leslie took his way home more than ever enchanted, deeper than ever in love! The quick, bright, eloquent, yet unintended glance he had received from her as she passed, kindled an imperishable flame in his bosom. He hastened homeward with anticipations of the delightful visit he was to receive at twelve o’clock.

Was Leslie Pierpoint really in love? did he resolve to pay his addresses to this beautiful girl? did he intend to ask her hand in marriage? did she fill the place in his heart which Clara Clayton had left void?


Mary soon reached Miss Clayton’s door in the upper part of Chesnut street, near Ninth. It was one of the most imposing mansions in the street. Miss Clayton lived there with her old father—the two alone! For several years after freeing herself from Leslie, she lived in hopes of marriage, but in vain. The men were afraid of her. Her mortification when she found Leslie restored to perfect health, knew no bounds. She had a secret hope that he would yet re-address her; but from that period she never received more than a cold and civil bow from him. She could have poisoned herself with vexation. But as years passed away, and she saw that he still remained unmarried, she consoled herself with the idea that she was the cause—and that he could never love any one as he had loved her. This devoted bachelorism was Clara’s only and greatest consolation. It was a healing balm to her wounded spirit. So he married not, she felt she could forgive herself for her folly in not marrying him. It is true, she watched his course to forty with some anxiety, lest he might yet marry; but when he had passed that climax, she gave herself no farther uneasiness, and rested in the conscious assurance of his eternal celibacy. This idea was the rainbow that spanned her darkened skies—the sweet in her bitter cup of life. But, alas! she was soon to see the rainbow disappear, and her horizon become dark with storms! Alas! she was to drink the remainder of the cup with additional bitterness mingled with its dregs.

She was seated in her usual sitting room when Mary arrived. Her hair was drawn back above her ears and tied untidily with a dirty yellow ribbon; she wore a loose wrapper, and her stocking feet were thrust into red slippers. Her fingers were loaded with rings, and ear drops hung from her ears. Her complexion was something coarser for the wear and tear of time, and had very plain traces of being now indebted to white paint and rouge, for whatever pretensions it claimed. Her forehead was crossed by horizontal impatient wrinkles, and a deep frown was cut between her eyebrows. She was thin about the breast and shoulders, and very slender in the waist, more so than in her youthful prime. The general expression of her face was querulous and sour—precisely such an expression as she might have been expected to wear. As Mary was shown in she looked up with a sharp, impatient gesture.

“So, Miss, you have come for the amount of your bill!”

“Yes, m’m, if you please.”

“Don’t mem me as if I was fifty, Miss.”

“No, m’m.”

“Did I not forbid your saying marm to me—what is the amount of the bill?”

“You have it, m’—— I mean Miss.”

“That is better. Ah, yes, here it is, $17 19, What did your mistress say about the 19 cents?”

“That she would take it off.”

“Very well; here is seventeen dollars. Receipt it.” Mary took a pen from an inkstand on the table and acknowledged the payment.

“Humph, you write too pretty a hand for an apprentice girl,” said Miss Clayton, glancing contemptuously at Mary’s beautiful chirography. “I dare say you can dance too?”

“Yes, Miss,” said Mary slightly smiling.

“And sing and play,” more contemptuously still.

“Yes, Miss.”

“Humph. Read Byron, Moore, Scott, doubtless, and perhaps the French poets?” she continued with a contemptuous smile of incredulity.

“Yes, Miss.”

“Yes, Miss. I suppose if I should ask you if you read French and sung Italian, you would reply with your parrot phrase, ‘yes, Miss.’ ”

“Yes, Miss.”

“Upon my word! Ha, ha, ha! here’s a linen-draper’s apprentice for you! I suppose you look to marry some nobleman at the least, with all them accomplishments, if you can! What package is that beneath your arm, my pretty minx,” for Miss Clayton had conceived a sudden and unaccountable (save that her youth and beauty were the cause,) dislike for Mary. And without waiting for a reply she snatched it from her.


For Major Leslie Pierpoint,

                   No. 27, South Sixth St.”


“You are sent with this to Major Pierpoint’s, are you?” she asked sharply and with a suspicious look at the young and guileless girl.

“Yes m’m,” answered Mary quietly.

Miss Clayton let her eyes rest on the superscription for a few moments, and then lifted them steadily to the face of the maiden.

“You had best return directly to your shop with the amount of your mistress’ bill, lest you lose it on the way. I will dispatch my footman with this package to his lodgings.”

“I thank you, but I am ordered to take it there myself,” said Mary firmly.

“Indeed; but it would not be prudent for so young a person as you to go to a bachelor’s rooms alone. I will send it for you. Do you know Major Pierpoint?”

“No, m’m,” answered Mary with embarrassment.

“Have you never seen him?”

“He was in the shop last evening,” answered Mary evasively.

“Did he speak to you?”

“If you please I will take the package and go,” said Mary, half angry at this singular inquisition upon her affairs.

“Take it, trollop,” said Miss Clayton, flinging it towards her, “and tell your mistress when she has occasion to send any one to me again, she will oblige me by sending some civil person.”

Mary stared with surprise, at a loss to account for the lady’s humor, and gladly took her departure.

The heavy tocsin of the State House had struck the last stroke of twelve, as Mary timidly pulled the bell at Major Pierpoint’s handsome residence. It was opened by Cato.

“Massa says de young woman will please walk up and wait,” said Cato, as Mary offered to leave the bundle in his hand. Mary hesitated an instant, and then, trembling, (she could not tell why,) she followed him to the library. The door was opened, and Cato ushered her in with one of his best bows. Leslie pretended to be very busily engaged in a book as she entered, though he had been walking his room, or watching through the blinds with ill-concealed impatience till he heard the street door bell. He permitted Cato to leave the room, and Mary to advance half way to the table, before he gave signs of her presence. He then suddenly rose up and turned round.

“Ah, Miss Lee,” he said, with tender respect, “you have brought the gloves.”

“Yes, sir,” said Mary, without lifting her eyes.

“Sit down, if you please, while I examine the package.”

Mary quietly took a seat, and Major Pierpoint began to look over the parcels. But evidently his thoughts were not with this pursuit. His fingers trembled—he shockingly rent several pairs of gloves; put six of the handkerchiefs, one after another, into his pocket; blew his nose on a pair of silk hose, and at length sprung from the table in the most admirable confusion of mind in which a bachelor, at such a moment, could well be. After thrice striding the room to gather courage, he approached the surprised, embarrassed, yet not unexpecting Mary. No woman of any sense, or feeling, or mind, could be blind at such a time. He approached and seated himself beside her.

“Miss Lee——”

Mary trembled and remained silent. The Major gazed upon her tell-tale face, and then furtively sought her hand. She withdrew it instinctively, and half rose.

“Nay, my dear Miss Lee! pardon me! I meant no injury to your delicacy. Pray be seated!” and he took her hand and gently drew her to the chair which she had left. “I beg you to listen to me one moment. I have conceived for you a deep and respectful passion. Your beauty, grace and intelligence have made an impression upon my heart no time can ever efface. It is true you are young and full of life and beauty—I have passed half the allotted life of man. But the disparity is in years only. My heart is as young as your own, my feelings as buoyant, my hopes as bright. I have sought to meet you to-day to make a confession of the sentiments with which you have inspired me, to tell you how intimately my happiness is involved in your existence, to throw myself upon your generosity. You are an orphan, alas! and a cold, unpitying world is before you! Your loveliness and helplessness claim protection. Permit me to fill that delightful position near you while life lasts. I offer you my heart, my hand, my fortune, and promise to devote my life to the promotion of your happiness.”

The Major, after ending his eloquent appeal, gazed upon her downcast face several moments in silence. She made no reply! He still continued to hold her hand. Slowly he lifted it to his lips. There was no resistance. He again sought her eyes. Tears were silently gushing from them, and rolling in sparkling globules down her lovely cheeks.

“Good God, Miss Lee, have I offended you?”

“No, sir,” said Mary, lifting her eyes, the lashes dewy with tears, and sweetly smiling.

“Why these tears, then?”

“I do not know, indeed, unless it be that they flow from gratitude,” she answered, looking into his face with a radiant smile, like sunshine in an April shower.

The Major’s eyes filled also, and the next moment he pressed the happy girl to his heart.

Yes, Mary Lee became Major Leslie’s wife through gratitude. They were married, for he well knew gratitude would grow to love, and a brief time proved that he judged rightly. One month from the day on which he confessed his passion he led to the altar his charming bride. They were married publicly in church.

“Ah, Major, so you—don’t know her—some milliner’s apprentice, eh?” laughingly said a gentleman present, after the ceremony was over.

Clara Clayton, hearing that Leslie Pierpoint was to be married, went to the church, disguised in a strange bonnet and long green veil—but Leslie recognised her by her taper waist, and felt that his triumph and (if such a feeling really existed in his breast) his revenge were complete. Yes, Clara Clayton witnessed the ceremony, and when she saw it and recognised the bride’s face as she turned from the altar, she could scarcely suppress a shriek of mingled anger and disappointed malice. She went home and died the same year, the victim of her own selfishness.

Leslie Pierpoint and his beautiful lady are now travelling in Europe. Mary makes him an excellent wife, proving to be as good as she is beautiful.





How brief our earthly span! Youth, Manhood, Age—

We creep—we walk—we totter off life’s stage,

A thin, weak voice—a fuller, stronger tone,

A peevish, child-like cry, and then a groan!

How quick yon star shoots down the illumined sky—

’Tis gone! And yet we see not where on high,

Its bright lamp shone! ’Tis thus with feeble man—

He twinkles here a moment, and, is gone!

On rolls the world! Each evanescent year

Bears on its current to some distant sphere,

Myriads of mortal forms—vain things of time,

Youth in its hour of hope—and Manhood’s prime—

Beauty, and all its fading hues of clay,

The tints that are not, but were yesterday!

The eyes whose light enkindled many a flame—

The lips that breathed in love some cherished name—

The fair slight hand—the cheek so like the rose,

The form where Grace herself had sought repose—

The music voice—the shadowy locks and all

That touched the heart—or glittered in the ball;

These all have been—but Death has claimed them now—

The look of scorn—the proud and lofty brow—

Vice, with its heartless sneer, and Wealth and Pride,

Lifeless and still, now slumber side by side!

And is there then no grace to mortals given,—

No hope to brighten here and lead to Heaven?

No faith to lift the soul from worldly ties,

And point the way to Joy and Paradise!

Look to thy heart, vain mortal, question there,

Of life and death—of glory and despair—

Ask, if within a spirit may not dwell—

A viewless tenant of thy bosom’s cell—

Whose thin small voice, in accents soft and sweet,

May oft be heard to warn thy erring feet—

“Beware—avoid—beyond is Heaven’s high road,

Where knees are bent, and souls commune with God—

There, where the meek of heart, the pure and mild,

Walk hand in hand with Virtue’s dove-eyed child—

There, where the widow gives her liberal mite,

And points the orphan in the way aright—

There, where soft Feeling sheds the heart-wrung tear,

And bends in sorrow o’er the sinner’s bier—

Where patient Grief leans on her thin white hand,

And smiling, dreams of the unshadowed land—

Look—mortal look—the pathway is not bright—

But mark, it closes in a world of light—

The clouds that hang above its troubled way,

Melt in the distance into perfect day!

Such is the Christian’s Future! There are seen

Eternal sunshine—vales of softest green,

Grottos, savannahs, deep and flowery glades,

Clear sparkling streams and rainbow-lit cascades,

Thick shadowy woods, where many a voice of song

Gladdens the hours, as fast they flit along;

No care to mar their brightness, and no gloom

To whisper “onward, onward to the tomb”—

Bright Youth and Hope, by Grace and Beauty’s side,

No look of scorn—no air of worm-like pride,

No voice of woe, to pain the spirit ear—

No orphan’s cry—no widow’s heart-wrung tear—

No secret fear, to chill the hour of bliss,

No hollow heart—no false or Judas kiss—

No wan Disease, to steal the rose away!

And write at Beauty’s door, “Decay, Decay”—

Oh! no—the Future, Virtue’s happy clime—

The land beyond the grave, untouched by time,

Where the worn soul throws off its mortal clay—

And, god-like, springs to Heaven’s eternal day—

The realm of bliss—where, with a joy half wild,

The mother clasps and cherishes her child—

The widow claims her long lost son—the maid

Her plighted lover, years to her a shade—

Where friends embrace, and souls again unite,

Fond faces greet, and gladden on the sight—

The buried sire once more his idol boy

Clasps to his breast with more than human joy—

And well remembered voices—looks of love—

Kind words that sweeten every lip above;

Where, as we downward gaze, and distant far,

The world appears a faint and feeble star,

Where Life and Bliss their arms together twine,

And Nature’s charms are added, Heaven, to thine—

Where “moth nor rust,” nor chance nor change may come,

Forever wandering and forever home;

Joys brightening in our footsteps as we pass,

And Hope before us with his magic glass—

Each sound and song, each object, every thought,

With some new pleasure, some fresh feeling fraught—

Where one pure Spirit animates the whole,

One thrill excites the universal soul!

’Tis these, and joys like these, the Future brings,

When ’midst her depths we soar on Virtue’s wings—

When from the Past the light of hope we borrow,

And throw its brightness o’er the coming morrow,—

When, as we wander through life’s devious way,

The realm beyond this mere domain of clay

Shall, like some beacon on a rocky strand,

Win the strained gaze and nerve the feeble hand—

Shall point where danger lies, and where at last

Our bark may ride in safety from the blast!

Such is the Christian’s dream of time to come,

The land of light and love—the happy home—

Where the worn spirit, freed from earthly ties,

Above the things of dust and time shall rise,

And mount on angel pinions to the skies!



“To be plain with you,” said the barber, shaking his head, “I can scarce believe what you say.” Gil Blas.

When I was in the dragoons, we were quartered, for a while, not far from Rowseville, and it was my lot to receive a general invitation to the dinners of the club. A jollier set of fellows never drew cork or emptied a decanter—heaven be merciful to them for their sins! They always had the best a-going; could tell north from south side Madeira,—and tossed off their bumpers, hour in and hour out, as easily as an old spinster drinks her tea. As for their president, Captain Humphreys, he was a paragon of a good fellow. Short, square, deep chested, and muscular as Hercules, he was just the man to keep a set of such spirits in order; and, I verily believe, if any of the youngsters had ventured to dispute his will, he would have tossed them over the marquee as easily as I could hurl a racket ball. He had spent most of his life at sea, having seen service in every latitude. He could tell a good story, and danced a jig to perfection. He was, moreover, something of a gourmand; always presided over our culinary rites; and made the best chowder of any man in the States, or, for that matter, as the old cook said, “in the ’varsal world.”

There is nothing like fishing, and a table on the green sward, to give one an appetite; and it would have done your heart good to have seen us on the day I first dined with the club—but especially to have beheld Humphrey’s jovial face, when he announced the opening toast. And then such a time as followed. Sherry, Port, Madeira, Jamaica and Cogniac!—why they chased each other from the table faster than the witches did old Tam O’Shanter, in the road by Ayr. Some of the youngsters soon began to grow noisy; and even one or two of their seniors winked a good deal unnecessarily; but Humphreys, and a set of the older stagers at the head of the table, kept it up, without drawing a rein, until I began to think they could fag down even Bacchus himself. And all this time their jests would have made a hermit die with laughter! Yet Humphreys never suffered his youngsters to indulge beyond a certain point, and he had a story to account for this circumspection which made my ribs sore for a week after hearing it.

“Silence, you addle-heads,” he thundered, as soon as he saw they were getting beyond their depths—“can’t one of you sing at a time, without keeping up such an infernal clatter of Dutch, French, English and Congo songs? You remind me of a set of chaps I had the honor to dine with in Boston—no, not the honor, for they all drank to excess—and a man in that state” (and here the worthy speaker, by way of corollary, tossed off a bumper) “is a shock to my moral feelings. Keep in soundings if you can’t sail safely out of them; but, for heaven’s sake, don’t disgrace our table with a set of indecent inebriates.

“But, to come back to my story—you must know that the Governor’s Guards, in Boston, are a gay set of youngsters, and, at their annual dinner at the State House, they make the corks fly as I’ve seen only grape shot showering from a battery. Well—no disrespect to the cloth—their dinner is always opened and closed by a parson; and a good rule it is; for when the governor sees that his youngsters are getting heady, he has but to give a nod—the benediction is pronounced, and they are forced to break up. When I was there, however, his excellency postponed the dismissal rather too long, so that when he gave the signal to the parson, there wasn’t a chap, at the lower end of the table, who could carry his wine to his mouth without spilling half of the liquid. A blessed sight it was to see them then—as proper a set of youngsters, in general, as you’d wish to look upon—shouting, laughing, singing, standing in chairs, waving their glasses on high, and altogether cutting a figure not the most pleasant for a moral man like me to behold. They saw the parson get up and they heard him begin to speak, but they were too far gone to distinguish either his person or his words.

“ ‘Hilloo, Bill,’ said one to his neighbor, ‘is that a new toast? What does he say?’

“ ‘Can’t—make—it out,’ hiccuped Bill, with drunken gravity, ‘but I guess—it’s—it’s—something con—found—ed fine. Let’s give the old cock three cheers,’ and the whole set sprang to their feet and huzzaed ’til the very roof above us seemed to tremble with the din. The poor parson hesitated, stopped, and looked in bewilderment at his excellency—who could only keep himself from laughing, so inexpressibly ludicrous was the whole scene, by hanging his head down and cramming his handkerchief into his mouth. As for the rest of us, there was no resisting it—we laid back in our chairs and laughed until the tears ran out of our eyes,—while the ladies in the gallery, the dear creatures, almost burst their boddice strings.

“His excellency explained all to the parson the next day, and made a thousand apologies—but the good man never could be got again to ask a benediction over the Governor’s Guards.”

“I suppose you tell that for the morals of your table, eh!” said one of the party.

“Exactly,” answered the president, laughing, “and I never saw one yet whom it didn’t cure of excess at table, except a fellow who used to say it was hereditary in him, by the mother’s side, to have the cholic, and that brandy was the only cure. That chap was a character: I’ve a story I’ll tell you about him some of these days.”

“Why not now?” asked a dozen in a breath.

“Well, I suppose if I must I must,—but first pass us the bottle, and let us drink to his memory—he died, poor fellow, in Florida, where many a brave man has laid his bones. Here’s to Tim O’Donnell.”

A silence of a few moments having elapsed, during which all eyes were turned on the president, that personage, after hemming twice, thus began.

“Never was a handsomer fellow than Tim O’Donnell, lieutenant in the ——. Tall, well shaped, with the eye of a young eagle, and a pair of jet black whiskers, that were worth, to a fortune-hunter, fifty thousand dollars, Tim was the perfect picture of a soldier—and, to use his own phrase, ‘a divil of a chap among the girls.’ He made more conquests in a week than I would in a year; and, as you may see,” and here he stroked his chin complacently, “there are few fellows as good looking as I am. But Tim was after money, and used to flirt with the dear creatures only to keep his hand in for an heiress, when one should present. At length he was introduced to a lovely creature at a ball,—blue eyes, auburn hair, the shape of a goddess, and lips that would make your mouth water, even if you were as dry as old mahogany—and, for a while, he scarcely knew whether he was standing on his head or on his feet. He even paid court, so much was he smitten, to a long, scraggy, hatchet-shouldered spinster of an aunt, who attended his charmer as a sort of chaperon. The next day he was somewhat cooled down—at least he determined to check his raptures until he inquired after the fortunes of Miss Wheeler, for so his charmer was called. He left me for this purpose about noon, and in an hour rushed into my room perfectly insane with joy.

“ ‘Och—give me your hand—shower the blessings on my head,’ he exclaimed, dancing round the room, ‘sure and I’m in heaven the day—ouch, ullabaloo, was there iver such luck?—ten thousand acres, the dear sowl, and a rint roll as long as a rigiment’s line: I’m a made man—hurrah!’ and throwing his cap up he caught it again, and then capered around the room, even carrying his antics so far as to leap over sundry chairs. I was nearly dying with laughter—and as yet I was totally ignorant of the cause of this joy.

“ ‘What do you mean?’ said I, ‘you haven’t told me what all this congratulation is to be about.’

“Never did I see a fellow look more astonished than Tim. He stopped still, stared at me incredulously, and then gave vent to his wonder.

“ ‘Blood and ages, and is the man drunk? Don’t ye know it’s all about Miss Araminta Wheeler, and the immense fortune she’s to bring me? The only living child—all the rest dead of scarlet fever, praise to the saints! and her owld father expected to kick the bucket everyday. Ouch, ullaloo-o-o, ain’t I the happy man? It’s marry the girl I will, this blessed week.’

“ ‘But will the ‘owld father’ consent—eh! Tim?’

“ ‘Divil a bit do I care whether he consents or not, if the daughter says ‘yes’—oh! such a jewel of a woman,—and what an iligant pattern the young O’Donnells will be!’

“ ‘Suppose the father guards her too well to permit an elopement? That dragon of an aunt looks as if she was kept to play the duenna.’

“ ‘Arrah, my lad,’ said Tim, with a knowing wink, ‘I’ll soon fix that, or my name isn’t Timothy O’Donnell, of Ballywhangle, of the county of Clare, standing six feet two in my stockings. Can’t I pretend to make love to the owld hag when the niece isn’t by? Oh! trust me for brushing the dew into her eyes.’

“I saw no more of Tim for nearly a week, except occasional glimpses caught of him at balls and concerts, where he was in attendance on his charmer and a spectral looking spinster, whom I recognised as the aunt. As I wanted to give him a fair field—keep the bottle lively—I did not approach them; so I had no opportunity of judging his success, until one morning he burst into my room vociferating that he had got a note from his charmer, in answer to one he had sent the day before, in which she consented to elope with him that very night. He called on me to ask me to get a post-chaise; for, in order to avoid the publication of banns, they would have to be united in another state. Tim was in such raptures that he couldn’t attend to any matter-o’-fact business, so I promised all he asked, and he left me, singing as he went, ‘Come, haste to the wedding,’ and cutting all sorts of extravagant antics.

“Midnight was the hour fixed on for the affaire, and, punctual to the minute, Tim’s post-chaise drew up a few rods from his charmer’s door, while the gallant lieutenant himself, springing out, made all haste to the rendezvous. The night was black as pitch—you could have cut the darkness out in slices—and a wild wind blew over the fields, roaring away down in the woods, like a gale in the rigging of a line-of-battle ship. Tim could scarcely pick his way along through the garden, but at length, after sundry tacks, he gained the front of the house,—yet not a sign of a living being could he see. He began to fear that his charmer’s heart had failed her, but at that instant he perceived a dark moving object just ahead of him, and hurrying forward, he soon recognised his future bride, muffled and cloaked for the journey.

“ ‘Shure, and ye’re as welcome as the birds in spring,’ said Tim, catching her in his arms, ‘and it’s mighty proud I am to see ye, my darlin.’

“The trembling bride clung closer to Tim as he spoke, and murmured something in reply, but what it was, the whistle of the wind prevented him from hearing distinctly. Tim knew there was no time to lose, however, so, without waiting for a repetition of the words, he bore his prize off, and never stopped till he had placed her in the chaise, stowed her maid opposite, and was himself seated by her side.

“ ‘And now,’ said he, as the post-boy put up the steps, ‘don’t spare the horse-flesh—do ye hear, ye blackguard?’

“The boy nodded, and, the next instant, they were thrashing along as fast as four posters could carry them.

“If Tim had been in raptures before, he was now fairly mad with his success. Up to the last moment, he had been tormented with a fear lest something should occur by which this rich prize should slip through his fingers; but now his charmer was actually beside him, and they were being whirled over the ground at a rate which would soon defy pursuit. ‘Was ever fellow in such good luck?’ thought Tim. Thousands of acres, an only daughter, and she as clean in her run as a Baltimore clipper. How he cursed the presence of the maid, which prevented him from being as tender as he thought the occasion demanded. However, he could take his charmer’s hand, without shocking her modesty, and he went through pretty quick, all the variations of which squeezing is liable. He would have stolen his arm around the bride’s waist, but the envious cloak prevented this. Tim could scarcely endure the probation. On they rattled, all this while, with the tempest roaring at their heels, and, as the night without grew stormier, the agitation of the bride increased, she almost sobbed, and clung closer and closer every minute to Tim. It made his heart, as he said, ‘leap into his mouth intirely,’ to feel her arms around his neck in the extremity of her fright.

“ ‘Whist, darlin,’ he said, ‘don’t be alarmed—it’s only a little bit of a storm, to keep our bloody pursuers from hearing us. Before mornin we’ll be in York, and then the praist will make you my own. Speak, and tell me, ye’re not frightened? Shure, and ain’t I by your side, mavourneen?’

“The answer of the bride was delivered in such a low and tremulous voice, and interrupted by so many sobbings, that Tim, though he listened his best, couldn’t for the life of him make out more than a word here and there. However, he thought he distinguished enough to fill him with more rapture than ever, and, forgetting all about the maid, he drew his bride still closer to his bosom, and, nestling her head on his shoulder, poured forth his vows in torrents of eloquence. The Lord only knows what he said—Irishmen are proverbial for hyperbole.

“ ‘And is it that I wont love ye intirely, my princess?’ said Tim, by way of a grand wind up. ‘Shure, and I’ll worship ye as the heathens do the sun, and so will my five brothers, and the tenantry on my estate—though it’s more than I know,’ muttered Tim to himself, ‘where to find them—and won’t I be proud to shew ye off to my friends as the handsomest and sweetest woman in the rigiment? There, now, be aisy, my jewel—your father won’t catch us. Oh! isn’t it iligantly I’ve outwitted him, and that owld hag of an aunt, your namesake?’

“ ‘Old hag of an aunt,’ screamed the bride, starting back from Tim’s shoulder as if an adder had stung her, ‘why—who—do you take me for?’

“ ‘For Miss Araminta Wheeler, and divil a one else—shure, and I have not offended ye, my darlin, by that same thrifle of a remark?’ and he drew his bride again toward him.

“ ‘Murder—off—help—oh! you vile, deceiving, wicked monster,’ shrieked the bride, pushing away Tim with both her hands, ‘you’ve ruined me forever. And to call me a hag—oh! oh!’ and she went off almost into hysterics.

“ ‘Blood and ages—who have we here indeed?’ thundered Tim, all at once recognizing the now shrill tones of his companion, and kicking open the coach door, he saw, for the first time, by the faint light of the chaise-lamps, the face of the speaker, ‘it’s the aunt herself—the owld serpent take her! A pretty mess I’m in, running off with ye, ye apology for a skeleton, instead of with the niece. Pray, madam,’ and he bowed sarcastically, ‘was it ye I honored with my proposal?’

“ ‘Didn’t you send me a note—a—asking me to elope?’ hysterically sobbed the aunt. ‘Oh! you vile wretch.’

“ ‘Ou—u—h! I see it all,’ whistled Tim. ‘The dumb baste of a messenger gave it to ye instead of to the other.’

“ ‘You said before, too,’ sobbed the aunt, ‘that you a—a—dored me.’

“ ‘The Lord forgive my sins,’ muttered Tim betwixt his teeth. ‘But may-be,’ he said coaxingly, as a new thought struck him, ‘ye’re the heiress after all.’

“Tim got no answer but a new burst of hysteric tears, mingled with ejaculations, among which he could distinguish a whole dictionary of reproaches.

“ ‘I’m thinking,’ said Tim, after awhile, ‘ye’d better be getting home as soon as convanient. This is a bit of a mistake,’ and then, in an under tone he groaned, ‘oh! but it’s ruined I am with the chaise hire intirely.’

“The horses’ heads were soon turned, and just as morning dawned, the runaways drove up to the lane leading to Mr. Wheeler’s residence, where the bride expectant alighted, and Tim, cursing his blunder, kept on to his quarters. What became of the aunt, I never cared to inquire. As for Tim, he had sense enough to know that the game was up for him in that quarter. Though he strove to keep his elopement a secret, the joke soon leaked out, and he was the banter of the whole regiment. An order to repair to Florida was hailed as a God-send, as it saved him from the quizzing of his mess, which to this day has for a standing toast, O’Donnell’s Prize.”

Many a burst of laughter interrupted the President during the recital of this story, which loses half of its effect when deprived of his inimitable mimicry of the conversations.

We adjourned, at a late hour, for the stars were already twinkling in the sky when we turned our horses’ heads homewards. The cool evening breeze, and the exhilaration of a rapid pace, kept up the flow of our spirits until we parted for the night—though we did not separate until we had drunk a parting cup at the house of that most hospitable of hosts, Deacon Green.

The next meeting of the club found me again amongst them. But the incidents of the second dinner must be reserved for another paper.

H. P.





I wandered out in summer time,

  One pleasant afternoon,

Amid the green and cooling woods—

  The leafy woods of June;

As through its temple’s shadowy aisles

  In mournfulness I walked,

I listened to the breezy trees

  As friend with friend they talked!


And gazing upwards in my face,

  Each meek wood-flower drew back,

Nor did a single blade of grass

  Impede my onward track;

And ever on my listening ear

  There came a lulling sound,

As of a multitude in prayer—

  Methought ’twas holy ground!


I rested on a mossy bank,

  And cast my eyes above;

The lithe green branches arch’d o’erhead,

  And twined their arms in love;

And nought was seen of the blue sky

  Save islets here and there,

Which seemed like some fair summer lakes

  That smiled in upper air!


A twilight, rich and tender light,

  Came stealing from the skies,

And, oh! ’twas like the light that rests

  In a young mother’s eyes!

I saw the gentle flowrets wave

  Their urns, still filled with dew,

And by my side the dark-fringed fir—

  The “tree of Heaven,” grew!


Oh! all was fair and beautiful,

  In these bright forest bowers,

A region of perpetual green—

  A paradise of flowers!

Though all was very beautiful,

  So free from woe and sin,

I turned from the bright world without,

  To darker worlds within:


I closed my eyes, and pressed my hand

  Upon my burning brow,

And many were the busy thoughts

  That crowded round me now!

For, oh! the memories of years,

  With all their clouds o’ercast,

Rose up from that vast charnel-house,

  The dim, sepulchral past!


And like a train of spectres wan

  They passed in my review,

And each faint shadow as it came,

  Still pale and paler grew!

On, onward yet, they came—a throng

  Of white and ghastly things,

As if stern Memory had stirred

  Oblivion’s darkest springs!


And still the tears fell thick and fast,

  For nought could then control

The passion and the agony

  That swept across my soul!

Oh! many light and careless words

  Were ringing on the air,

And thoughtless things I said or did—

  All seemed embodied there!


And mingling with accusing sins,

  Faint-shadowed forms swept by,

And glanced upon me as they passed,

  With mild, yet grieving eye!

At length a sweet, reproachful face

  Looked in upon my dream,

It spake—and, oh! the tones were those

  Of some sweet, mournful stream!


And words came flowing from its lips,

  That bade me cease to weep,

So that the dead within their graves

  In peacefulness might sleep!

I started from this heavy trance,

  The breeze came sweeping by,

It had no knowledge of my grief,

  Yet gave me sigh for sigh;


And there where I had madly wept,

  Unheeding sky and earth,

With all their light and loveliness—

  Their gladness and their mirth,

I knelt me down and humbly asked

  My sins might be forgiven,

And that the incense of my heart

  Might float with peace to heaven!


          •    •    •    •    •    •    •


I turned me from that forest scene,

  And Hope her radiance shed

About a heart that ceased to mourn

  The pale, rejoicing dead!






Whoever has once stood upon the summit of Mount Holyoke, will never forget the rich scene spread out before him. For miles—as far as the eye can reach on every side—may be seen Nature in her most imposing forms. Vales clad in their rich vesture of green, watered by the limpid streams, cool, pure, and refreshing; gently sloping hills, crowned with fields of waving grain, and spotted here and there with the fleecy herds; and yet farther on, rising peak upon peak, and summit upon summit, the “huge pillars” which “prop the heavens” rear their craggy heads on high, bidding defiance to storm and tempest, and scarcely trembling even at the peals of “living thunder” which “leap” from crag to crag. Occasionally, peering above the tall trees that surround them, the spires of numerous churches point out the villages, and form agreeable pictures on which the delighted eye may rest. Sweeping the very base of Holyoke the broad Connecticut rolls its calm tide along, and winding away into the distance far to the south, may be traced on a clear day, circling its way through the verdant meadows almost to its very mouth. Directly across the river from Holyoke, Mount Tom rises in sullen majesty, as if disdaining to hold fellowship with the humble yet beautiful objects around. Northampton—with its snow-white dwellings, its spires and turrets, its hill—the sides of which are occupied with delightful mansions—and its top surmounted with a lovely grove, forms a panorama, the beauty of which must be seen to be realized. Between it and the river is a broad valley, chequered with fields of various colors, spotted with trees, and giving rich promise of the harvest. Nearly at the foot of the mountain—a little to the northward, rising not far above the surface of the river—is a small and fertile island, of a diamond form, like an emerald set in silver. This island we will call Hockanum, a name given to it years and years ago. Still further north, on a broad peninsula formed by a bend of the river, stands the town of Hadley, with the history of which is associated many a thrilling tradition. One of these it will be our object now to present to the reader.

The town of Hadley was settled in the year 1659, by emigrants from the Colony of Connecticut, who removed on account of differences in religious opinions. The principal man of these emigrants was Mr. John Webster, accompanied by the Rev. John Russell, formerly minister of Wethersfield. Although Whites and Indians were mingled in close contact here, it is believed that there was no disturbance of any kind until after the breaking out of King Philip’s war in 1675. A perfectly amicable disposition was manifested on either side, and danger and fear of the aborigines were scarcely entertained.

At the southern extremity of the beautiful street on which the town is principally built, close upon the bank of the majestic Connecticut, or as it was formerly, and perhaps more properly called, the Quonnecticut, stood, at the period of our tale, the residence of the Rev. John Russell—mentioned above as one of the first settlers of the town. A few rods lower down, and on the opposite side of the street, lived Mr. Webster, his friend and companion in emigration. William, the oldest son of Mr. Russell, was a young man about twenty-three years of age, of a bold and fearless disposition, with a heart generally open and confiding. Yet there was enough of cautiousness in his disposition, to render him capable of keeping secret his designs, and of acting silently yet effectually. He was finely formed, and remarkably well gifted by nature. There was, indeed, but one trait that marred the general harmony of his natural constitution, and that was, at times, a slight want of amiability, a haughtiness of spirit that could not brook restraint or opposition. As it was, he was the pride of his father’s family, and the object of admiration to the blooming maidens round. But there was one whom he esteemed far above all others—the daughter of his father’s friend. Eliza Webster was one of those beings whom one would love without exactly knowing why. Not really beautiful—indeed, rather ordinary looking than otherwise—it was impossible for any sensible young man to enjoy her society for any length of time, without finding himself fast yielding to the impression which he could not prevent her from making on his heart. Always lively and cheerful, with a rich fund of humor, and a shrewd and penetrating mind, she determined to enjoy, and to make the most of life, and to render all about her as happy as herself. She was the simple and unaffected, the true child of nature, and yet nature’s adorer. Never was she happier than when rambling along the course of the river on whose banks she had always lived, or climbing the craggy heights which towered at a short distance below.

On the little island of Hockanum lived an old man who had formerly been a chief at Nonotuck, now Northampton. His name was Shaomet. He subsisted on the fish he drew from the clear waters, and the deer and other game which he found in the fastnesses of Holyoke. The solace of his declining years was his daughter, Tahattawa, a sprightly lass of eighteen summers. Her step was light as that of the young fawn, and her merry laugh rang out upon the clear air, and danced like music over the broad bosom of the river.

With this girl, Eliza Webster had formed an intimate attachment. Often had Tahattawa paddled her across in her light canoe to the little island on which was her home. For hours had they sat under the shade of its green trees, and laughed and conversed together, instructing each other the while in many of the little arts with which each was familiar.

Now, Tahattawa had a lover—a young warrior belonging to the fort which the whites had allowed the natives to build within a few rods of the most populous street of Nonotuck. Eliza had often met him at the tent of Shaomet, and frequently accompanied him and Tahattawa in his fishing excursions down the river. The thought of danger to herself never entered her mind; she reposed perfect confidence in the integrity of her friends—even though their skins were tawny; and the youth appeared to be almost as fond of the society of his pale-faced friend as he was of that of Tahattawa herself.

One fine morning in the month of May, 1676, a deer was seen swimming swiftly down the Quonnecticut. William Russell snatched his rifle, and, springing into a light canoe, started in pursuit. At length, as they neared the little island of Hockanum, the huntsman had gained so far on his game that he was just raising his gun to his shoulder to fire upon him, when suddenly the deer sprang more than a foot clear of the water—and the sharp crack of a rifle came ringing on the ear.

A canoe immediately shot out from a small cove on the shore of the island, and a young Indian, paddling up to the deer, seized him by the horns and lifted him into the boat. By this time William had come up. Whether the Indian had seen him in chase of the deer before he fired or not, he certainly laid claim to it as his own. The other was no less strenuous in asserting his own right to the game; and, drawing up his canoe along side of the Indian, was about to place it in his own boat. The other also seized it, and declared he would not surrender it but with life.

The fiery spirit of young Russell now began to chafe, and the flash of his eyes told plainly that he would not tamely brook such a wrong. The blood rose to his face, and his heart beat quick and violently with anger. He stood for a moment hesitating what course to pursue. Give up the deer he would not—yet he shuddered at what might be the consequences of an open rupture, at a time when Philip was in arms, and the name of that mighty chieftain was inspiring many of the Indians with courage, and striking terror to the hearts of the whites.

Wawhillowa—for it was he, the lover of Tahattawa—with an air which seemed to challenge his antagonist to its removal, placed his foot on the game, and rising to his full height regarded the other with a look of calm defiance. Not a muscle moved, but his teeth were firmly clenched, and the heavy frown that slowly settled on his brow, told of the storm that was gathering within his breast.

We know not what might have been the result of this controversy—for there was equal resolution and courage, and perhaps strength on both sides—had it not been for a third person. At the instant that William grasped his rifle, and the other his tomahawk, Shaomet, the old man of the island, sprang between them and called on both to desist from their useless strife. He had watched the whole proceeding from the door of his tent, and, fearful of a dispute, had launched his canoe and approached them without their perceiving him, so absorbed were both the young men in the feelings of the moment. They seemed at first somewhat angry at his interference; but when Wawhillowa remembered that Shaomet was the father of his intended bride; and William, that he had often manifested his friendship for Eliza, their resentment towards the old man instantly began to cool.

Their animosity towards each other, however, was not at all diminished. They stood over the game like two young lions; and each of them, perhaps, exercising about as much reason. The old man quietly proceeded to skin the deer, and to cut it into equal parts. This was quickly done. He then tried to induce them to accept each a part. It would have been, perhaps, a difficult matter to decide which was the rightful owner of the game—but each of the two opponents was resolved to have it all or none—William threw into the river the half which Shaomet had placed in his canoe, while the young Indian dropped his tomahawk and hastily paddled towards the island. The old chief having secured the game in his own boat, slowly followed him, and the Englishman sullenly worked his way up the current, muttering revenge.

It was the morning of the 12th of June, 1676. Day had hardly dawned. The bright star of morning had not yet melted away; but the dark clouds that had obscured the sky broke in pieces, and rolled away in huge masses far into the distance, disclosing the bright full moon—her radiance not yet dimmed by the presence of the king of brightness. Under cover of the night a powerful body of Indians had advanced near to the town of Hadley, and at the southern extremity of the street on which it was—and still is—principally built, had proceeded to dispose among the thick trees and underwood, a strong band of faithful warriors as an ambuscade. There they lay, still and motionless as the trees that concealed them. There was many a stout heart beating eagerly for the fray that would soon cease to beat for ever. Many a strong arm firmly grasped the rifle or the tomahawk, soon itself to be in the grasp of an all-powerful foe. Many a fiery eye rolled round in its socket which was soon to be covered with the film of death.

How calmly and soundly slept the inhabitants of that village, even whilst the chafed savage was prowling for his prey. All, unsuspecting, their slumbers were deep and unbroken, while the hungry lions about them were awaiting, impatiently, the moment of attack. How often while we sleep are our destinies decided for us! Wealth—fame—happiness—the rewards of toil—the requiters of virtue—good and evil—little circumstances and great—are all hovering above and about us, while we are unconscious of their presence. Life and death may hang upon a single hair, while we cannot raise a hand or bend a thought to avert or secure either.

The eastern sky had just begun to be tinged with red, and a few straggling rays of the sun, still far below the horizon, were dancing in fairy shapes towards the zenith, when the work of death and of cruelty began. Stealthily and silently the savages crept on. Yet let us not call them savages: they were but redressing their wrongs—but avenging the life blood of their race; and though blood was that morning poured out like water; and though the tomahawk and scalping knife were the instruments of death, and the sleeping and the helpless were the victims;—yet their destroyers were but doing with their enemies as they did with each other: they were not doing violence to their own natures: they were even exercising far more humanity than those who, with the Gospel of Peace in their hand, and the light of civilization around them, had sapped the very foundations of the Red Man’s race. Swiftly the work went on. A stifled groan—a scream of anguish occasionally broke the stillness of the hour. Save that, all was wrapped in deep, dread, ominous silence. At length, by accident, a rifle was discharged. On that little circumstance hung the life of hundreds. The sound echoes through the long street—a window is raised—a door is opened—the alarm is given—and armed men pour forth, and prepare to resist the foe.

All was confusion and dismay. Rifles were fired—loaded, and discharged again. Tomahawks gleamed—swords flashed—occasionally a small piece of ordnance rolled its infant thunder over the plain, and the smoke and din of the contest rose up together to the heavens. Men ran hither and thither. Some commanded, and none obeyed.

Suddenly, “a man of venerable aspect” appeared among the scattered and nearly discomfited inhabitants. He collected them in a body, and, assuming the command, arrayed them in the best manner for defence. He seemed experienced and skilful in the art of war. And now the tide was changed; the Indians in their turn were routed and fled in confusion. In vain the chiefs attempted to rally them. A sudden panic seized the savages; and they, precipitately, fled. After the danger was over, all eyes were looking for the man who had so wonderfully assisted them, but in vain—he had gone, none knew whither. Many conjectures were formed as to who the stranger could be; some supposed it was the guardian angel of the town—but no; it was Goffe, the Regicide!

His seemingly miraculous appearance at that time may be easily accounted for. Goffe and Whalley, two of the Judges of Charles the First, were then both secreted in the house of the Rev. Mr. Russell. Seeing the inhabitants in danger, Goffe determined to hazard his life for those who had so generously afforded him refuge at the risk of their own.

Amongst those of the Indians who had lain in ambush, the most eager of all was Wawhillowa, the young chief of Nonotuck. With a disposition naturally fierce, his intercourse with the whites had done little to soften it, or to influence him in their favor; and since the dispute with William Russell, over the carcass of the deer, he had been burning with indignation and resentment. He had joined the expedition against Hadley with his warriors, partly in the hope of meeting Russell in the fray, and thus gratifying his revenge; and partly because his spirit could not bear to be inactive, whilst the name of Philip was spreading terror through New England. Emulous of the rising fame and fortunes of the Narragansett King, he hoped, ere long, to raise for himself a name among the tribes that should eclipse the reputation of all before him. The English, he thought, were fit objects on which to exercise his ambition; and, having lately conceived a strong aversion to the whole race, he had determined to embrace the present opportunity of signalizing himself, and venting on his enemies his hearty dislike.

The ambuscade laid for the purpose of cutting off the expected retreat of the English, of course, utterly failed of its object; and when those who formed it saw the ill success of their coadjutors, they began to seek safety—each for himself as best he might. Wawhillowa disdained to leave the field without some trophy of his valor; and, while his associates were fleeing in every direction, he was bent on executing a plan which would at once satisfy his animosity, and establish his celebrity among the warriors of his tribe.

Just back of the house in which Mr. Webster resided was a small eminence, from the top of which could be obtained a fine view of the whole plain of Hadley. The sides of this little hill were thickly covered with bushes, through which a narrow foot path led from the house to its summit. To this hill had Eliza Webster repaired to witness the contest that was raging on the plain. Wawhillowa having cautiously approached the house, at length caught the flutter of Eliza’s white garments through the bushes, and hastily but silently approached her. Suddenly she was grasped by a strong and unseen hand, and her handkerchief being pressed into her mouth effectually prevented her screaming. The strength of the young chief was that of a giant, and scarcely hindered by the slender form of the fair girl he bore, he bounded like a tiger after his comrades.

Swiftly they fled, nor paused till the sun was within an hour or two of high noon. And still Wawhillowa pressed on, bearing his fair charge, not left far behind even by his unencumbered associates. When he considered that there was no longer danger of pursuit, he set the poor girl on her feet, and, removing the handkerchief from her mouth, ordered her to walk on before him. In vain she asked him why he treated her thus—why he had torn her from her friends and was bringing her to a cruel death—or to a captivity worse than death. In vain she pleaded her friendship with Tahattawa—her former intimacy even with himself; he walked on in stern silence, and now and then by an impatient gesture, gave her to understand that he wished her to be as taciturn as himself. With the eye of one accustomed to the forest, the chief bent his course directly towards the place of their encampment. Bushes and thorns often obstructed their way; and although Eliza was wearied and sadly torn by the briars, she even dared to threaten her foe. Not aware of the difficulty that existed between them, and which had been the cause of her own seizure, she warned Wawhillowa to beware of the vengeance of her lover.

At the mention of the name of his deadly foe, the fiery savage sprang to the side of his victim and was about to plunge his knife to her heart, but calming the transport of his passion he spared her for a more perfect revenge. His eye glared fiercely on her, and triumph shone in every lineament of his features as he replied,

“I hate him! I will have his blood; his scalp shall hang up and dry in the smoke of Wawhillowa’s wigwam. The fair Flower that loves him shall never again see his face except it be in death. She shall never be his wife; she shall be the Red Man’s slave—aye, a captive to the Red Man’s bride.

In the mean time, all was consternation at the house of Mr. Webster. No one had seen Eliza when she left the house, and her absence could be accounted for only by the supposition that she had been slain, or carried away captive by the Indians. The alarm spread from house to house. The whole village was ready to pursue the enemy, and to recover the lost one, or to revenge her death. Ah! revenge! as if the lives of ten or of fifty of the foe could bring back one spirit that had gone!

A small but ardent band was soon organized, and ready for pursuit, with Young Russell at its head. They struck at once upon the trail of the Indians, and kept it without difficulty till they came to the bank of the river at the foot of Mount Holyoke. Here all traces of their course vanished. They had evidently entered the river; but whether they had crossed it, or only proceeded along its margin and left it again on the same side at a distance below could not be determined. The company here separated, and one party crossed the river to search for the trail on the other side, while the remaining party scoured the eastern shores, but all in vain—no traces of the enemy could be discovered. It was finally conjectured that they had concealed their canoes in the bushes and trees on the side and at the foot of the mountain—and that after their defeat they had hastened thither and embarked on the river, and were by this time at such a distance as to defy pursuit or discovery. Hour after hour did that little band search the country round. Some climbed to the summit of the mountain—some went far down the broad river—here—there—and everywhere the closest search was made—but still without success. William now began to despair of the safety or rescue of his betrothed. His heart grew sick—his cheek paled—and he felt that it would be a boon to sit down and die, if he could but be buried by the side of his lost bride. And then, as he remembered the dispute with Wawhillowa, and the truth flashed upon him, his face flushed with anger, his teeth became firmly set, and his breathing hard and laborious. Again he started on—retraced the steps he had taken, and hurried towards the island on which stood Shaomet’s tent. When he arrived opposite the spot, not seeing a canoe at hand, he threw himself into the river, and soon found himself, breathless and exhausted, at the door of the old man’s wigwam. He entered abruptly—Shaomet sat alone, quietly smoking his pipe.

“Your daughter—where is she? Where is Tahattawa?” cried William.

“I know not,” answered the old chief; “when I awoke this morning, roused by the firing on the plain, she had already left the wigwam, and I have not seen her since.”

“Where is Wawhillowa, the Nonotuck prince?”

“I have not seen him these many days; and yet I think he has been about here, for Tahattawa has seen him and had a long talk with him not longer ago than yesterday.”

“Have you heard that the Fair Flower, who used so often to visit your tent, is lost?” asked William.

“Yes—some of your people came here to search for her,” replied the Chief, shrugging his shoulders, “but they might have known better than that. Shaomet is old now—his hair has turned white—his step is no longer light and swift, or he would help you to find your poor lost one. She was a beautiful Flower, and she and Tahattawa were the delight of Shaomet’s old heart; but she is stolen now, and love has proved stronger too in Tahattawa’s heart, than her affection for her poor old father. She has left me, I fear, to follow the young chief. But he is a brave warrior, and worthy of her love. Many of his enemies shall fall before his eye. He has a strong arm and a steady hand, and—but here is Tahattawa! She has not forsaken me”—and a flash of joy for a moment kindled his sunken eye, as the light form of his daughter bounded into the tent.

She stood for a moment panting from the effect of recent and violent exercise. Oh! she was beautiful! The rich, red blood could clearly be seen through the dark skin,—her eye beamed, and her swelling breast heaved with the excitement.

“Have you seen Eliza?” eagerly asked Russell.

“Ay, she is a captive to the Nonotuck chief. I saw him seize her, and bear her away in his arms. How bravely it was done! But she was my sister. I would not have her die. I followed them—my step was light—he saw me not—heard me not; I followed them to the encampment, and now I am come to tell you where you may find her.”

“But why did you not give the alarm when you saw him seize her?” impatiently demanded William.

The girl turned her rich dark eye full upon the speaker, as she said,

“Wawhillowa is the betrothed of Tahattawa, and should she betray the life of her lover? No! my sister shall be safe, but the brave chief must not die! And now promise me that you will not seek his life, and I will lead you to your bride.”

“I promise you,” said William.

“Nay, but the promise of a pale-face is easily broken; you must swear it!”

William did as he was required, and the two immediately started to recover the captive.

Let us return to Wawhillowa and his companions. Some six or eight miles down the river from Hockanum island, on the east side of the range of hills abruptly terminated by Mount Tom, and renewed again on the other side of the Quonnecticut by Holyoke and the peaks with which it is connected, is a sort of natural amphitheatre, enclosed on three sides by steep and precipitous hills, and on the other, towards the river, closely shut in by a belt of dense forest. This was the spot selected by the Indians as a place of retreat should retreat be necessary; and thither they had fled after the defeat at Hadley. The spot was admirably calculated for the purpose of concealment and security. The huge grey rocks lifting their shaggy crests far above the little plain at their base, seemed to bid defiance to all the world around. The only way of access to the Indian encampment was by striking through the forest that separated it from the river.

The sun had already gone down behind those rough peaks, and the twinkling stars, one by one appearing in the blue vault above, told that the night had come. The pale moon was not looking on—yet it was a bright and lovely night; too bright—oh! far too beautiful for the many scenes of wickedness and crime that were, all over the earth, about to be transacted under its shades!

In the amphitheatre which we have described sat the chiefs, who had that day been in the action, in grave and solemn council. The causes of their defeat were discussed, and it was determined that a conciliatory offering must be made to the Great Spirit, and that the captive maid must be the sacrifice. Wawhillowa arose, and long, and earnestly, and even eloquently pleaded for her life. He claimed her as his own; he wished not for her death, but chose to keep her for his slave. His suit was unsuccessful; and when he sat down, a murmur of disapprobation was all that he heard. The voice was unanimous against him, and he was at last obliged to acquiesce.

New fagots were thrown upon the council fire. The dance began with slow and measured tread. The fires blazed, and glared on the painted and hideous countenances of the revellers, giving them an unearthly and demon-like appearance. The march quickened, and the wild song rose up in deep and deadly tones, and was echoed back from those high rocky hills. The stake was driven, and Wawhillowa ordered the guard to bring forth the victim. The man stirred not—answered not; and the chief himself flew to the spot, burning with rage. He soon came back with inflamed countenance, and muttering curses deep and loud. The prisoner had fled—the savage that had been left to guard her lay weltering in his own gore! A wild, unearthly shout of fury rent the air as the maddened savages learned their disappointment.

We left William Russell and the Indian maid, Tahattawa, just leaving the wigwam of her father for the rescue of Eliza Webster. They entered a light canoe and glided swiftly down with the current of the river. As they approached the place where the Indians were encamped, the two travellers kept close under the western bank, to be more secure against the observation of any one who might have been stationed as a look-out. By six o’clock they were within a mile of the encampment, and here, by the advice of the girl, Russell moored the canoe, and they struck into the woods. Tahattawa, taking the lead, glided through the dense bushes with surprising facility—so swiftly indeed, that her companion found some difficulty in keeping her in sight, although his heart was continually prompting him to put forth every effort. At length, just as the shades of night began to appear, they caught a glimpse of the council fire. They now proceeded with the utmost caution till they came in sight of the wigwam in which the prisoner was bound. Fortunately, it was placed on that side of the opening which was nearest them, just in the edge of the forest. Tahattawa crept along—keeping the tent between herself and the Indians, till she could look through a small hole in the rear. She now motioned Russell to approach. He did so, and looking through the opening, he saw, sitting, his lost bride, her face buried in her hands. At the door of the tent sat a brawny Indian, who, confident of the security of his prisoner, was gazing towards the fire and quietly smoking his pipe.

Tahattawa quickly drew William’s knife from his belt, and, without the least noise, cut a large piece from the thin bark-covering of the hut; then placing the knife in Russell’s hand, she directed him by signs, to enter, and despatch the savage. As he was passing Eliza, she raised her head, and would have screamed, had not Tahattawa been already at her side, and covered her mouth with her hand. At that moment the Indian turned his head; he grasped his tomahawk, but before he could give a blow the hot blood spurted from his heart, and he fell back and died without a groan.

The fugitives now began, as rapidly as possible, to retrace their steps towards the canoe, which had been left concealed about a mile up the river. Their progress, however, was slow, and the underwood was very thick, and all three of the party were already wearied with the toils of the day. Still they struggled on, and, at length, succeeded in reaching the spot where the canoe had been left, before the hideous yell that came sweeping up the river warned them but too surely that the escape of the prisoner, and the death of the Indian in the wigwam, had been discovered.

Notwithstanding the fatigue of its occupants, the light bark swiftly stemmed the broad current, its sharp prow gracefully cutting the tiny waves as it darted on, curling the water from its path as if it disdained to touch them. And well might it be! for that light craft held a bold heart and a strong arm—and one too, that, had it not already been worn out by exercise, would have laughed at pursuit. About one half the distance between Hockanum Island, and the place from which they started, had been gained, when they heard anew the shouts of the Indians, and looking round they saw two canoes about a quarter of a mile below them in active pursuit. This was but an incentive to fresh effort, for they well knew that if they should be overtaken, instant death or cruel tortures would be the fate awaiting two at least, perhaps all three of the party. The Indian girl seized a paddle and applied her strength in assisting the young man, whose own was well nigh exhausted. This aid was not inconsiderable, for though the girl was not near as muscular as her companion, yet her skill in managing the canoe was but little inferior to his. They were now enabled to keep on without losing ground, though safety was far from certain, as several miles yet remained to be passed over, before they could hope to find assistance.

Directly in the gorge between Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom is a short bend in the river, forming a peninsula, now familiarly called “The Bellows,” from its supposed resemblance to that article. The distance around this peninsula is perhaps two or three miles, while the direct course of the river is only about fifty rods. The isthmus, connecting the bellows with the main land, does not now exist as it did then; for, a year or two since, the ice collecting in the river just below, the water swept over the narrow barrier, and washing away the earth, formed for itself a new channel many feet in depth. When the fugitives reached this isthmus they turned the canoe towards the shore, and William, springing out, directed the two girls to walk across the narrow strip of land, while he should drag the light boat over to the other bank. This was but an easy task, compared with that of impelling it against the current, for two or three miles—while the whole distance was as effectually gained as if they had kept the river. Fortunate was it for them that they adopted this stratagem, and fortunate, too, that there was no moon, and that the bushes from the foot of Holyoke here swept to the very shore; for they had hardly crossed half way over the isthmus before their pursuers were opposite to them, close under the western shore. As it was they were not discovered, and the canoes in chase went sweeping round the whole length of the stream.

Again the little party embarked, and hope began to beat strong in their breasts. They pushed on with renewed energy, and at length their eyes rested on the little island of Hockanum. It is always a sweet spot to look upon, but never did it appear so beautiful to any eye as it did to them on that night when they could just discern its dim outline.

“You are safe, Eliza, you are safe!” cried William.

But the savages below, growing fearful of being baffled in their pursuit, were pressing on with all their strength; and the furious Wawhillowa, in the foremost canoe, was continually urging on his men, while he stood in the prow with his eyes eagerly strained into the dim distance beyond.

“We are safe!” cried William; but at the moment a bullet whistled close by his head and gave the lie to his exclamation.

As soon as the canoe touched the southern extremity of the island, William sprang on shore, and hurrying out the females, all three hastened to the tent of Shaomet. The old man had been in waiting for them, and, as soon as they entered, pointed to a corner of the wigwam, where lay a heap of fagots and a number of skins which he had prepared as a means of concealment should concealment become necessary. William quickly led Eliza to the spot, and placing her behind the fagots threw the skins over the top. While he was doing this, the yells of the Indians grew louder and more terrific, for they had now gained the island, and were certain of their prey. William had scarcely turned away from the corner where Eliza was concealed, when the door was thrown violently open, and the savage features of the Nonotuck chief glared full upon his face. Quick as thought the rifle of Shaomet was in Russell’s hand and levelled full at the Indian’s breast.

“Hold, hold!” cried Tahattawa, “your promise—your oath!” and she snatched at the rifle. It was too late. William had already fired, and the tall form of Wawhillowa fell heavily to the ground. The poor girl turned mournfully away, and, covering her face with her hands, burst into a flood of tears.

By this time the other canoe had come up, and six or eight stout Indians were surrounding the wigwam. They immediately drew away the body of their chief; and, as it fell outwards, those within were uncertain whether or not the wound was mortal. A council was now held by the besiegers as to what mode of action should be adopted. Some proposed to fire through the sides of the hut; others to burn it; but both of these plans were rejected, as it would endanger the lives of Shaomet and his daughter, which was far from being their object; for Shaomet had been a bold and renowned chief, and still possessed much influence among the neighboring tribes; while the beauty of the girl obtained for her an influence and celebrity, but little less extensive than her father’s, though of an entirely different kind. At last it was decided to burst into the wigwam, and secure the fugitives, doing no harm to the old man or his daughter, even though they had endeavored to give protection to their enemy.

Whilst they were hesitating what course to pursue, William reloaded the rifle, together with an old musket which he found hanging in the tent. As soon as the door opened, and an Indian appeared, he fired. The shot was effectual, but still the odds were fearful. Another and another savage entered, and the foremost had already levelled his rifle at William’s heart. The musket was in Shaomet’s hand; with the quickness of his youth he brought the piece to his shoulder. It missed fire. In another instant William Russell lay a bleeding corpse.

They immediately advanced to secure his scalp, but the old man would not permit them.

“You have killed my friend,” said he, “in my own wigwam, and now I will protect his body while I live. Shaomet is old now—he will soon be buried with his fathers; you may shoot me if you will, but never shall you take his scalp.”

All this time Tahattawa sat upon the bundle of fagots in the corner of the tent. She spoke not—moved not. For the sake of her friend—her sister as she familiarly called her—she had perilled her own life; nay, what was far more, the life of her betrothed. She had seen her “sister’s” lover shot down—she had seen her own young chief fall, and of course supposed him dead. Poor girl! A victim to her own benevolence and to the evil passions of others!

The savages, casting a glance round the apartment, and perceiving no other inmate besides Shaomet and his daughter, immediately left the wigwam, and, taking their canoes, went silently down the river.

On the afternoon following the events above related, the little island of Hockanum looked as bright and as beautiful as ever. It was as lovely as if it had not witnessed the tragic scenes of the preceding night. The bright sun shone gaily upon it; the birds warbled their sweet notes; the soft breeze played among the bright green leaves; and the whole spot looked like a little paradise;—a sad contrast to two hearts that were even then in its bosom.

The friends of William Russell had already assembled to perform the last sad duties to his remains. He was to be interred here, in accordance with the request of her who was to have been his bride.

“Here,” said she, “here on this little island he was slain, and here let him be buried. Here I will spend many of my hours; I will plant flowers around his grave. Here I can come and weep, away from all eyes but the eye of Him who has seen fit to afflict me thus.”

The ceremony had just been performed and they were just turning away from the grave, when all eyes were directed to a canoe which was slowly moving up the river. It had two occupants. One sat motionless in the stern—the other was gently using the paddle. As it approached the island, Tahattawa regarded it with a fixed and earnest gaze. As she did so her heart beat quick and her eyes darted with joy.

“It is—it is he,” cried she, “Wawhillowa;” and away she bounded to the shore. As the canoe touched the bank, the Indian, who sat in the stern, stepped on shore. The next instant his companion pushed off, turned down the stream, and quickly disappeared from view.

Wawhillowa—for it was he—advanced with a few staggering, uncertain steps towards the girl, but before they met, he fell headlong on the ground. Those who had been standing around the grave now approached. The girl sat holding his head, and chafing his temples with her hands. He had fainted. The blood was slowly oozing from a wound by a rifle ball in the right breast. It appeared to have bled considerably, for it had run down even to his ankle, and the right leggin was deeply stained. Tahattawa looked the very image of despair. Hope had been kindled in her breast only to be destroyed, and her poor heart could hardly contain its grief.

Shaomet ran to his tent, and brought a calabash full of water from the river, and some being sprinkled on the face of the young warrior, he slowly revived. Turning a melancholy glance on those around them, his eye brightened for a moment, and the sternness of his features relaxed as his look rested on the face of his betrothed.

“Tahattawa,” said he, in a feeble voice, “I am dying. Bury me—here—on the island. I am going—to the—happy—hunting grounds. See!—the spirit—of my father—calls me.—Ha! It grows dark—Tahattawa!”

The poor girl bent over him till her face rested on his bosom. When she again raised her eyes, the spirit of the Nonotuck chief had departed, and she looked on the cold, fixed features of the dead.

Another grave was dug close by the side of the one which had just been filled. Some of the friends of the “pale-face” objected to the burial of an Indian so near the body of their own kindred, but the sisters wished it, and their feelings were regarded. He was buried, after the manner of his people—his face towards the rising sun. His hunting weapons were buried with him. There they lay—two fierce and haughty spirits. They would not hold fellowship in life, but in death they sleep side by side.

From that hour the hearts of the two survivors were as one. Theirs had been a sad and mournful fate. Their destinies were similar. They lived—lived long—and as happily as two could live whose first dream of bliss had been thus cruelly broken. They lived to atone for the faults of those whom they had loved. They were never separated during their lives, and nearly at the same time the summons came to both to go and meet their Judge. They have long since passed away. Their clay has “returned to earth as it was, and their spirits have gone to the God who gave them.”

Unionville, Mass.






None of Shakspeare’s characters are insignificant. If I had been Garrick or Mrs. Siddons, I should have tried sometimes, as an experiment, the most apparently trifling of his personages. I believe they would give room for striking development, only there is this objection—neither Siddons nor Garrick, nor any other of the great actors could take parts promiscuously from the crowd. They are too unlike each other. They are too essentially different identities to permit of being represented by one. Garrick might take Macbeth in the play—and Scrub in the after-piece, and do them both well; but he could not play equally well with two such opposite characters by Shakspeare. No actor has appeared capable of playing all his principal tragic rôles well. It is sufficient honor to attain to the height of illustrating one or two. Kean, for example, was very great in Lear and Richard. He was fine, by starts, in Othello, but not equally so. He wanted sustained simplicity and calm grandeur. Othello was a hero of nature: he had the quiet self respect of a long successful soldier. Kean did not satisfy me, as a whole, in Othello. I like Forrest, in many respects, better. I saw Forrest play the part at Drury Lane one night far beyond what I had ever seen before; particularly the first half of the play was perfect; the last I thought wanted, although in a slight degree, that mellowing and chastening which time gives to a painting, and will, doubtless, perhaps has given, to this part of that dignified and impressive portraiture. He carried with him a crowded and intellectual audience—and, at certain points, profound and unbreathing silence—the highest applause—indicated the grasp this distinguished tragedian had on the minds of the people who have beheld the character so often and so grandly given—and so often and ably criticised. Cassio’s drunken scene was full of the thrilling strokes of a master.

Of the characters in these plays we may always speak as of historical characters—as if they had lived—just as the poet drew them. Men always do speak of them so. The opinions, even of these Shakspearian men and women, have authority in the senate and the field—at the bar and in the pulpit. Many a statesman—many an editor has struck at his antagonist with a citation, not from Shakspeare, but from his men and women. By a common consent of two centuries, Othello and Macbeth, Lear and Coriolanus, have lived—they have been substantial beings—their real historical individuality has passed into their dramatic being—and they appeal to our minds from the scenes where Shakspeare left them. So with all his vast crowd of people. A young man who has made himself really acquainted with this assemblage, will have formed valuable friends and advisers; and should he select properly the persons whose opinions he means to act on, he will live a happier and a wiser life than he could without them.

I have said there is no insignificant character in Shakspeare; so I may say there is scarcely one which would not make the subject of an interesting volume. As classes of men, scores of volumes might yet be written on the kings, the queens, the generals, the rebels, the usurpers—on the mothers, the children, the self-murderers, the assassins—on the poor and the rich, the innocent and the guilty—on the supernatural characters—on the noblemen and the peasants—on the fools and drunkards—on the spirits—on justices and physicians, landlords and servants—on sea captains, lawyers and executioners—on mobs and fairies—on Spaniards, Italians, English and Frenchmen—on Romans, Jews, shepherds, shepherdesses and wenches, courtiers, pages, etc., etc., etc. Indeed, there is scarcely an end to the various relations in which his characters may be considered; each one may be performed with effect. Nature has made, or will make, some particular mortals gifted with a distinct capacity to represent one of each of them—as Mrs. Siddons was for Lady Macbeth, and Kean for Lear. The greatest actors seem but prophets fitted to illustrate one or two of his creations. Some of them have never yet been represented as they may be. Probably Lady Macbeth, and Queen Catharine, in Henry VIII. will never be better given—as also Richard, Lear, and several others; but I suspect many of the subordinate rôles are yet to be filled.

There really are many indications which bear out the praise of the commentators, that this world was not large enough for his genius. His spirits, magicians, monsters, and ghosts, are evidences of it. Other writers have resorted to these materials before him, but only as a mode of acting on human feelings. It was reserved for Shakspeare to make us as well acquainted with the secret heart of a ghost as of a mortal. Hamlet’s spectre not only frightens and startles us—he touches our feelings. We see into that unearthly mind—that solitary, disembodied being—revisiting the scene of its mortal life, but indicating, fearfully, by its stealthy dim night walks—the solemn march with which it goes slow and stately by—its allusions to things too frightful for human ears—its guilty starting at the crowing of the cock, and its hurrying back to its nameless and awful task—its anguish-stricken bewailings over the earthly state of peace and happiness from which it was so ruthlessly hurled—indicating by all these and many more expressive tokens, the dark and sublime load of woe it bears, and appealing to our sympathy with terrible power. Ulrici may have found, in this scene, grounds for his theory.

The character of the unhappy exile from earth to the secret and impenetrable abode of spirits, is drawn with as much reality as that of Hamlet or the grave digger. There are two or three touches of individuality which invest it with a singular attraction. It is not only a ghost; it is the ghost of a particular individual—of a majestic, noble, benevolent, affectionate king, overwhelmed by a mighty calamity: the victim of the most shameful lewdness—the blackest treachery that ever was seen—and deploring, “in fire,” the “foul crimes” done in his “days of nature.” We are not to presume he had been a peculiarly wicked man, but he was suddenly called to his account before he could prepare himself to die.

What a sublime hint of Christianity is this, and how fraught with a tremendous lesson to all mankind. Death itself is not the misfortune; it is death to an unprepared spirit. That he was

“Sleeping, by a brother’s hand

Of life, of crown, of queen, at once despatched,”

is not so terrible as that he was cut off even in the blossoms of his sins

“Unhousel’d, disappointed, unaneal’d:

No reckoning made, but sent to my account

With all my imperfections on my head.”

I have always thought this one of the sublimest and most terrible reaches of our author’s genius. All earthly misfortunes, regarded in their temporary consequences are, of course, unworthy to be placed in comparison with the misfortune of the immortal disembodied soul. The wreck of old Lear’s mind, the agonizing fall of Othello from bliss, the banishment and murder of Coriolanus, the stern fate of the sweet Juliet and her tender Romeo—all fall short of the horror of this spectral lamentation, coming up from the central caves of the earth, or the yet more unimaginable caverns of hell itself, and deploring in the “dead waste and middle of the night,” the vast, dire and unnameable wo it suffers from its unreflecting manner of living while yet a mortal tenant of the globe, and when the means of making its reckoning were yet within its power, and had been so unwisely neglected. Had this unhappy creature been a thinking and pious person, the sudden blow would not have found it unprepared. It would not have been wasting the precious hours of age in the blossoms of its sin. It would not have deferred the imperative duty of making its peace with the creator, and of endeavoring, (before the condemnation “to fast in fire”) to purify itself from earthliness—from the enervating and selfish tendencies of luxury and royal power, and from the soils and weaknesses of youthful passions, uncurbed, and the follies—perhaps we may also with justice term them “foul crimes”—which all mortals commit in a greater or less degree.

In these few words is a grave lesson to the men of the present living world. Many of the most prominent characters in history have felt, in time, the importance of the mighty truth which this “poor ghost” had neglected—and, by withdrawing from active life, as old age came on, and devoting themselves to reflection, to self-examination and self-purification, to thoughts of death and communion with their Maker, have endeavored to prepare themselves for the closing scene. Men require this process. We are all heated with the cares and passions of life, and cherish in our breasts flames which ought to be extinguished before we enter the presence of our Maker. Some abandon themselves to such unworthy wishes, to such mean, selfish and ridiculous opinions and determinations, that the years of ordinary old age cannot be too long to enable us to regain our balance, and to recover (or if we have never had it, to acquire) the dignity of a moral being. What a picture is presented to the imagination by the thought of a miser standing before the throne of God. How would a profligate feel, restored, as he will be by death, to a true estimation of himself, on being thrust suddenly before the dread tribunal; or, what would be the sensations of an arrogant, presumptuous man, going through life with no thought but himself and his own greatness, on being, like the ghost of Hamlet, “cut off” even in the blossoms of his sins, no reckoning made, “but sent to his account” with all his imperfections on his head? What would be the feelings of any mere worldly man—one who had been a cruel persecutor and oppressor—who had taken the bread from the widow and orphan?

All men have not sinned equally, but all men have sinned. It is not likely any one has gone through the world without having an opportunity of feeling, with a most bitter humiliation, the innate depravity and woful weakness of human nature, unless sustained by the creating hand. Trusted to themselves the stoutest will faint, the purest will be soiled. The events of life act upon the heart with a kind of chemical power, extracting from it baseness and weakness, as poison may be extracted from flowers. Perhaps this is capable of being turned to good, if read aright. For the heart which has looked in upon itself, with distrust and shame, is wiser and purer than any other: it is stronger also. To come to the feet of the Creator with a true trust in him, is almost impossible, till we have seen the shipwreck of self confidence, and felt that by ourselves we are less than nothing.

After a life, then, of action, and of temptation, of false hopes, ill placed affections, frivolous desires and enjoyments, and perhaps impious and guilty occupations, how happy he who has the wisdom to break away from them himself, before inexorable fate calls him, and who cleanses and prepares his spirit for the great change it is destined to undergo. I will not enter here upon the graver tenets of religion, but surely we may believe that he who sees in time the nature of sin, and disentangles himself from its snares—who spends the latter years of his life in a sincere endeavor to become what he ought to be, and to release his spirit from the world before his body is called away, if he cannot wholly efface the traces of sin, may soften them.

For my part, although not an old man, I begin already to look upon human life more as a spectator than an actor, and to feel myself within the sublime and mysterious attraction of another world. I distrust the effect upon me of the collisions, temptations and pleasures which I may yet have to encounter—and I feel a hesitation even in wishing for wealth or worldly honors. The idea of a hereafter—of the actual visible presence of my Maker—is becoming every day less remote and more familiar to me. It hushes the voice of indignation, and checks the impulse of contempt—which, when I keep my eyes on this world alone, I cannot always master. It teaches me that my mortal part, as far as related to earthly things, is a brief, passing shadow—that the world is but the reflection of one point in the career of the soul—that human vice and folly are but mysteries of nature, and that human passions were given us as our slaves—not our masters. No medicine—no magnetism can have a more striking influence than this thought, upon the physical as well as the moral part of me; and when I enter the chamber where a dead man is lying, I feel all that is bad within me so rebuked, silenced and destroyed—and all that is good so awakened, so pure, sustaining and holy, that I have little enthusiasm to search after the vain phantoms of mere earthly philosophy, or earthly happiness. I see only the form of religion, ever calm, ever young, standing above the wreck of the mortal universe, and pointing to another and a better one.

What a powerful stroke of dramatic art is it then in our great poet to throw this idea, not into the voice of a sage or a preacher, but to announce it to startled generations from the dim faded lips of a suffering spirit.

It has been a custom with many great characters, both of ancient and modern times, to devote the latter part of their lives to this moral preparation. It seems as if a kind Providence had conceived old age on purpose for this process. If we have lived properly, our minds will then have become cultivated in proportion as the body, that great tempter, has been weakened; and we are called upon to retire from the active world just when we are become unfit for it. Yet how many old men do we see clinging to its gilded toys, empty hopes, and frivolous amusements, without a thought of any thing beyond; or, how many a grey head is at this moment working schemes which might better become the imagination of the thoughtless school-boy, or the grovelling nature of the brute. In how many a heart, which should be the altar only for the pure, silent, undying flame of piety, do we see the unholy passions of earth burning beneath a hand which ever feeds with the impurest food their vain fires. How few are there among aged men who have thought of letting loose their hold on earth, of slackening their pursuit after wealth or vain distinctions, of turning their minds to the period (which to-morrow may bring) when all things not connected with their future career shall seem to them like infant toys.

I often think of that poor ghost’s touching lament, and hope that death may not find me thus unprepared. I take a profound lesson from this profoundest of mortal teachers, and learn to go through the earth like a passing traveller, paying but a brief visit of curiosity and instruction to its beautiful wonders, but who does not mean to build, even in the fairest of its bowers, or by the most tempting of its streams—because his home is in another country, to which all that he has and all that he loves is either gone or going.

How deeply Shakspeare—even the laughter-loving, etherial, sunshiny Shakspeare, was impressed with the same thought, you may gather from his works. It is not the night-walking spirit alone who utters to mankind this sublime truth, but the most high climbing and successful of his living personages also proclaim it. Prospero, among others, in a solemn and touching remark, betrays how full he is of the nothingness of mere human life. After having given utterance to that most magnificent of all the sublime breathings of a thoughtful mind—

“And like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,

And, like this unsubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind.”

He invites his companions to his cell:

        “Where you shall take your rest

For this one night; which (part of it) I’ll waste

With such discourse, as I no doubt, shall make it

Go quick away: the story of my life,

And the particular accidents gone by,

Since I came to this isle: and in the morn

I’ll bring you to your ship, and so to Naples,

Where I have hope to see the nuptial

Of these, our dear belov’d, solemnized;

And thence, retire me to my Milan, where

Every third thought shall be my grave.”

It is true this man has made himself a magician for the purposes of the poem; yet the reflection is that of a Christian turning away from the most splendid paths of this world to prepare himself for the next. Of the Tempest it may be said, in passing, that over it hangs a beautiful mystery which has not, that I am aware of, yet been explained. There is some deeper meaning in the extraordinary contrast of characters, in the delicate and harshly used Ariel—in the brutish and diabolical Caliban,

“Which any print of goodness will not take,

Being capable of all ill;”

and yet, by a mysterious exercise of power, obliged to obey an art sufficiently strong to control his “dam’s god Setebos.” I am so accustomed, in the works of Shakspeare, as in those of nature, to look for meaning where all seems most capricious, that I dwell with a kind of delightful curiosity over the grand and not yet all explained lessons of this fascinating creation. What a delightful amusement for an old age of leisure to relieve its graver moments by a habitual study of Shakspeare!

To return a moment to the spirit of Hamlet. The human traces found in this pale spectre are great heighteners of our interest in it, and of the probabilities of its existence. The return to Elsinore, and to the platform before the castle, in the night, when the sentinels are on guard—its appearance first to the soldiers on the watch—then to Horatio, who has been induced to watch by the report of it—its sudden appearance, and equally abrupt disappearance—giving an idea of capricious impulses and laws not within the reach of mortal conjecture—its seeking out its son as the confidant of the amazing secret, are all ghost-like, and yet show the shadow of mortality. Its dismal, half-breathed, mysterious revelations of what it is undergoing in its new abode, are spectral to the last degree; but there is nothing which elevates it to a higher and nobler place in our commiseration, than the exquisitely tender allusion to the guilty queen. This is the mortal, always majestic, superior, merciful and refined—but now enlightened and subdued by the influences of its new state.

    “But, how-so-ever thou pursu’st this act,

Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive

Against thy mother aught; leave her to heaven,

And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge

To prick and sting her.”

And then the startled, reluctant, yet abrupt and compelled return.

            “Fare thee well at once!

The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,

And ’gins to pale his uneffectual fire;

Adieu, adieu, adieu. Remember me.”

Again, in the scene where Hamlet kills Polonius, and reveals to his mother his full knowledge of her crime, the spirit wo-stricken, and bringing with it always the terrible cold breath of the other world—yet still, with the fingerings of human affection, is touched with pity at the terror and suffering of her whom it had once loved:

“But, look! amazement on thy mother sits:

Oh, step between her and her fighting soul;

Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.

Speak to her Hamlet.”





Gloomily the river floweth,

  Close by her bower door,

And drearily the nightwind bloweth

  Across the barren moor.


It rustles through the withered leaves

  Upon the poplars tall,

And mutters wildly ’neath the eaves

  Of the unlighted hall.


The waning moon above the hill

  Is rising strange and red,

And fills her soul, against her will,

  With fancies lone and dread.


The stream all night will flow as drearful,

  The wind will shriek forlorn,

She fears—she knows that something fearful

  Is coming ere the morn.


The curtains in that lonely place

  Wave like a heavy pall,

And her dead mother’s pale, pale face

  Doth flicker on the wall.


And all the rising moon about

  Her fear did shape the clouds,

And saw dead faces staring out

  From coffins and from shrouds.


A screech-owl now, for three nights past,

  Housed in some hollow tree,

Sends struggling up against the blast

  His long shriek fearfully.


Strange shadows waver to and fro,

  In the uncertain light,

And the scared dog hath howled below

  All through the weary night.


She only feels that she is weak

  And fears some ill unknown,

She longs, and yet she dreads to shriek

  It is so very lone.


Her eyeballs in their sockets strain,

  Till the nerves seem to snap,

When blasts against the window-pane

  Like lean, dead fingers tap.


And still the river floweth by

  With the same lonely sound,

And the gusts seem to sob and sigh,

  And wring their hands around.


Is that a footstep on the stair,

  And on the entry-floor?

What sound is that, like breathing, there?

  There, close beside the door!


Hush! hark! that was a dreadful sigh!

  So full of woe, so near!

It were an easier thing to die

  Than feel this deadly fear.


One of her ancestors she knew

  A bloody man had been,

They found him here, stabb’d through and through,

  Murdered in all his sin.


The nurse had often silenced her,

  With fearful tales of him—

God shield her! did not something stir

  Within that corner dim?


A gleam across the chamber floor—

  A white thing in the river—

One long, shrill, shivering scream, no more,

  And all is still forever!






The might and glory which had of yore reared the imperial city to its throne of universal domination, had long ago departed from the degenerate and weak posterity of the world’s conquerors! The name of Roman was but the lucid meteor of the charnel imparting a faint lustre to corruption and decay! The bold hordes of the hardy north had oftentimes already avenged the wrongs done by the elder Cæsar, while the frail silken puppets, who had succeeded to his style and station, trembled in the unguarded capital at every rumor from beyond the Danube. For, to the limits of that mighty river had they extended, years before the time of which we write, their arms, their arts, their sciences, and their religion—the pure and holy doctrines of the crucified Redeemer. All the Dalmatian coast of the bright gulf of Venice, now little more known than the wilds of central Asia, was studded with fair towns, and gorgeous palaces, and gay suburban villas; and all the wide spread plains of Thrace and Thessaly, now forest-clad and pathless, save to the untamed klepht or barbarous tartar, waved white with crops of grain, and blushed with teeming vineyards, and nurtured a dense happy population. At times indeed the overwhelming deluge of barbarian warfare had burst upon those fertile regions; and, wheresoever it burst,

                      “With sweepy sway

Their arms, their arts, their gods were whirled away—”

yet ever, when the refluent billows ebbed, the grass had sprung up green and copious even in the horse tramps of the innumerable cavalry that swelled the armies of the north, and the succeeding summer had smiled on meads and vineyards abundant as before, and on a population careless and free and jocund.

But now a mightier name was on the wind—a wilder terror was abroad—Attila!—Attila—the dread Hun! Still all as yet was peace; and, although rumors were abroad of meetings beyond the Danube; of the bent bow—emblem of instant warfare—sent with the speed of horse o’er moor, morass, and mountain—although the tribute, paid yearly by the degenerate Cæsars, had been refused indignantly by the bold Marcian—bold, and wise, and worthy the best days of the republic!—although from all these tokens prudent men had foreseen the wrath to come, and brave men armed to meet it, and cowards fled before it; still careless and improvident the crowd maintained their usual demeanor, and toiled, and laughed, and bought, and sold, and feasted, and slept sound o’ nights, as though there were no such things on earth as rapine, and revenge, and merciless unmitigated war.

It was as sweet and beautiful an evening in the early autumn as ever looked down with bright and cheerful smile from the calm heavens upon man’s hour of rest, what time the labor and the burthen of the day all past and over, he gathers round him his blythe household, and no more dreaming of anxiety or toil or sorrow, looks confidently forward to a secure night and happy morrow. And never did the eye of day, rising or sitting, look down from his height upon a brighter or a happier assemblage than was gathered on that evening in a sweet rural villa, scarce a mile distant from the gates of Singidurum one of the frontier towns of Masia on the Danube.

It was a wedding eve—the wedding of two beings both young and beautiful and loving. Julia, the fairest of the province, the bright and noble daughter of its grave proconsul, famed for her charms, her arts, her wit and elegance, even in the great Rome itself before her father had taken on himself—alas! in an evil hour—the duties and the honors of that remote provincial government—and brave Aurelius, the patrician—Aurelius, who, though not yet had he reached his thirtieth summer, had fought in nine pitched battles, besides affairs of posts and skirmishes past counting—won no less than five civic crowns, for the lives saved of Romans on the field, and collars, and horse trappings, and gold bracelets, as numerous as were awarded to the deeds of Marius, when valor was a common virtue in Rome’s martial offspring.

They were a noble pair, and beautiful, as noble—well-matched—she, light as the summer cloud and airy as its zephyr and graceful as the vine that waves at every breath—he vigorous and tall as the young oak before the blight of eld has gnarled one giant limb or scathed one wreath of its dark foliage.

Delicate, fair, and slender and tall beyond the middle height of woman with a waist ‘shaped to love’s wish’ and every graceful outline full of rich rounded symmetry, young Julia was a thing to dream of as the inhabitant of some far bright Elysian, rather than to behold as an inmate of the rude heartless world. It seemed as though it were a sin that the sun’s ardent kiss should visit her transparent cheek too warmly, that any breath but that of the softest summer gale should wanton in the luxuriant ringlets of her long silky auburn hair—her eyes were blue and clear as the bosom of some pure moonlit fountain, and there was in them a wild, yet not unquiet gaze, half languor and half tenderness. She was indeed a creature but little fitted to battle with the cares and sorrows of this pilgrimage, and as she leaned on the stalwart arm of her warrior lover, hanging upon him as if confident in his vast strength and relying absolutely on his protection, and fixing the soft yearning gaze of those blue eyes full on his broad brow and expressive lineaments, no one could doubt that she had chosen well the partner who should support and guide her through this vale of tears and sin and sorrow.

But who thought then of tears—who ever dreamed of sorrow? The day had been passed happily—alas! how happily!—in innocent and pure festivity—the blythe dance on the velvet greensward, the joyous ramble amid the trelliced vines, the shadowy cypresses, the laurelled mazes of the garden; with lyre and lute and song, and rich peals of the mellow flute and melancholy horn blent with the livelier clashing of the cymbals, waking at intervals the far and slumbering echoes of the dark wilderness beyond the Danube. Oh! had they but known what ears were listening to their mirthful music, what eyes were gloating with the fierce lust of barbarous anticipation on their fair forms and radiant faces, what hearts were panting amid the dense and tangled forests for the approaching nightfall—how would their careless mirth have been converted into despair and dread and anguish, their languishing and graceful gait into precipitate and breathless flight—those blythe light hearted beings!

The sun set glowing in the west—glowing with the bright promise of a lovely morrow—and many an eye dwelt on his waning glories, and drew bright augeries from the rich flood of lustre, which streamed in hues of varying rose and gold up to the purpled zenith; while on the opposite verge of heaven, the full orbed moon had hung already her broad shield of virgin silver, with Lucifer the star of love kindling his diamond lamp beside her.

“Farewell, great sun—and blessings be upon thy course”—whispered Aurelius to his lovely bride, as hanging fondly on his arm, she watched from the Ionic porticoes of spotless Parian marble, the last sun of her maiden days—“that thou hast set so calm and bright, and with such promise of a glorious future—Hail, Julia, Hail with me the happy omen!”

“To-morrow”—she replied in tones of eloquent music, half blushing as she spoke even at the intensity of her own feelings—“To-morrow, my Aurelius, I shall be thine, all thine!”—

“And art thou not all mine, even now, beloved—By the bright heavens above us—for long—long years!—my heart with all its hopes and fears and aspirations, my life with its whole crime and purpose—my soul with its very essence and existence have been thine—all! all thine—my Julia—and art not thou mine, now!—why what save death should sever us?—”

“Talk not of death!”—she answered with a slight shiver running through all her frame—“Talk not of death, Aurelius—I feel even now as if his icy breath was blowing on my spirit, his dim and awful shadow reflecting darkness on my every thought—dost thou believe, Aurelius, that passing shades like these, which will at times sadden and chill the soul, are true presentiments of coming evil?”

“That do I not—sweet love”—he answered—“that do I not believe; when by chance or some strain of highly wrought and thrilling sentiment the heart-strings of us mortals are attuned too high beyond their wont, like harp chords, they will harmonize to any sound or sentiment that accords to their own spirit pitch; and, neither sad nor joyous in themselves, will respond readily to either grief or sorrow: that, feeling no cause for mirth or gloom, we fancy them prophetic feelings, when they are but reflected tones, and so disquiet ourselves often with a vain shadow!”

“Well,”—she replied, still sadly—“I wish it may be so, as I suppose it is. Yet—yet—I would it were to-morrow!”

“Come, come! I must not have thee thus sad on an eve like this, my Julia—lo! they have lighted up the hall—and the banquet is spread, and the wine poured—the queen of the feast must not be absent!”

And shaking off the gloom which had, she knew not why, oppressed her, she turned with one long lingering last glance to the sun as he disappeared behind the dark tree tops which seemed to swallow him up in an unnatural gloom, and entered the vast hall which, hung with tapestries of silk and gold, and garlanded with wreaths of choice flowers, and reeking with unnumbered perfumes, lighted with lamps of gold pouring their soft illumination over the gorgeous boards, shewed like a very palace of the senses.

The bridal strains burst forth harmonious at the first, and slow and solemn, but quickening and thrilling as they rose, till every ear that heard them responded to their enlivening impulse, and every bosom glowed and panted to their expressive cadences. The wine went round, and laughter circled with it, and many a tender glance was interchanged, and many a whisper that called up burning blushes, and many a pressure of young hands betwixt those, who hoped that as this night to Julia and Aurelius, so should one be for them at no far distant!—and many prayed that such might be their lot—and many envied them!—Oh God, what blinded worms we be—when left to our own guidance!

The bridal feast was over—the bridal hymns were hushed—the banquet hall was left deserted—for in an inner chamber all hung with spotless white at a small altar placed beneath a cross gorgeous with gold and jewels stood Julia and Aurelius—the tender and solicitous mother and the gray headed noble father at her side—the priest of God before them, and all the joyous company hushed in mute awe, that arose not from fear—and the faith of that bright pair was plighted, and the gold ring set on the slender finger, and the last blessing was pronounced, and they two were made one.

Just in that breathless pause as the words of the priest ceased to sound, although their cadences were still ringing in the ears of all who heard them—there was a sudden rustle heard without, and a dread cry. “The city!—the city!—Singidurum!” So piercing was the cry, that not one of all those who heard it, but felt that something dreadful was in progress—in an instant the whole company rushed out into the portico—and lo! one flood of crimson flame was soaring up the sky from what an hour before had been a beauteous and a happy town—and a confused din of roars and howls burst with the shrill yells of despairing women, the clash of arms, and the thundering downfall of towns, palaces, and temples, filled the whole atmosphere with fiendish uproar. Scarce had they time to mark, or comprehend what they beheld, before, about them, and around, on every side came the thick beating hoofs—and in another moment they might see the myriads of the Hunish horsemen circling them in on every side, and cutting off all hope of flight or rescue with a dark living rampart. “Romans,” Aurelius shouted—“Romans to arms—for life, and liberty, and vengeance!”

His words were obeyed instantly, for all perceived their truth—but what availed it? To hew down a dozen trees and batter down the village gates was but a moment’s work for the blood-thirsty hordes who swarmed around the building. The outer gate was shattered in a moment—the inner, frailer yet, gave at the first assault, and now no bulwark was left any longer to the Romans save in their own good swords and stalwart sinews! Bravely they fought—aye, desperately—heaping the marble floors with mangled carcasses, and dying, each man where he stood, where the sword smote or javelin pierced him, dauntless and undismayed. Long they fought, for each Roman slain cutting down ten barbarians—but by degrees they were borne back—back at the sword’s point, foot by foot—and marking every step by their own streaming gore. At the hour’s end but five were left—five, and all wounded, and one old: the father of the wretched Julia, Aurelius and his brother, and two young nobles of the province. Retreating, step by step, they were at last driven back into the bridal chamber—the altar stood there yet, and the great cross above it, and the priest clinging to the cross, and at his feet the bride, with her fair tresses all dishevelled and all her lovely comrades prostrate upon the ground around her. The door was barred within—brief respite, no defence—and the strong men leaned upon their weapons in despair and gazed on one another, and then from one another to the women. It was a sad and awful scene. A rush of heavy feet was heard without—a halt, and then a rustling sound, with now a clang of steel and now the clatter of a grounded spear, as if the multitude was getting silently into array and order—a pause, and a loud cry!—“Attila!—Attila!—the king!”

Then came a slow and measured footstep striding up to the door—one short and heavy blow upon the pannel, as with a sword’s hilt—and a stern, grave voice exclaimed “Open!”

“I will,” answered Aurelius, “they would destroy it in an instant—it is but one chance in a myriad, but best trust to his mercy.” With the words he drew back bar after bar, and threw the door wide open—and there! there on the very threshold, with his swart cicatrized features, and short, square, athletic form, sheathed in scale armor of a strange device, with the hideous Charntean head gleaming out grim and awful from his breastplate, and the strange sword—all iron, hilt and blade, and guard and scabbard—his weapon and his God, firmly grasped in his right hand, but as yet bloodless—there stood the dreadful Hun!

“Death,” he exclaimed—“Death to all who resist,” in tones singularly deep and stern and solemn—“Mercy to those who yield them!”

“Do with us as thou wilt, great king,” returned Aurelius steadily, lowering as he spoke his sword’s point—“but spare our women’s honour!”

“Down with thy weapon, or die, Roman!” thundered the monarch, striding forward as he spoke and raising his sword high.

“The terms, great Attila?”

“Death for resistance!—Mercy for surrender!—A king’s love for fair women!” shouted the Hun, enraged at finding opposition where he dreamed not of meeting any, and his blood fired almost beyond endurance by the exquisite charms of the women, whom he could clearly see beyond their few defenders.

“Then die, Aurelius! die as becomes a Roman—and by the Heavens above us both, I will die with you,” exclaimed Julia, nerved by despair to courage.

“Ha! wilt thou?” exclaimed Attila; “Onegisus, reserve that girl who spoke so boldly, and that black-haired maid with the jewelled collar, for the king’s pleasure! Make in, Huns,” he added in an appalling shout—“kill, win, enjoy—but leave this dog to me!” and with the word he assailed, sword in hand, the new-made husband. One deadly close charge, and the four defenders were hewn down—yea! hewn limb from limb, by a hundred weapons—and then what followed was too terrible for words—enough! all that war has most horrible—murder and agony and violation, in their worst, most accursed shapes, reigned there and revelled fiends incarnate.

Onegisus had seized the bride and the other wretched girl indicated by the king, and they were for the moment safe among the tumult—and still Aurelius and Attila fought hand to hand, unwounded, and well paired, a perilous and deadly duel. And ever as she stood there, unconscious of the hellish deeds that were in progress round her, she gazed with a calm, fearless eye upon her bridegroom. Onegisus had her grasped firmly by the left arm, and as she neither strove, nor shrieked, nor struggled, but stood still as a marble statue, he thought no more about it, but gazed himself with all his eyes upon the combat. At last, as if by mutual consent, the champions paused for breath.

“Thou art brave, Roman,” said the Hun, in his deep, stern, low tones, not seeming in the least degree disturbed or out of wind—“Attila loves the brave!—Live and be free!”

“Her honour, mighty Attila—my young bride’s honour—be merciful and generous as thou art brave and noble.”

“Choose—fool!” the king exclaimed in a voice resembling more the growl of a famished tiger than any human sound—“choose between life or death!”

“Death or her honor!”

“Then die—idiot—Roman!” sneered the other, and with a fearful cry, grinding his teeth till the foam flew from them as from the tusks of a hunted boar, he leaped upon Aurelius. Three deadly blows were interchanged, and at each blow a wound—but at the fourth, Attila’s sword descending like a thunderbolt, shivered the Roman’s blade into a thousand pieces, and, glancing from his helmet, alighted on his shoulder, and clove deep into his chest!—he staggered forward, and at the next instant met the sword’s point, driven home by a tremendous thrust into his very vitals. Headlong he fell backward; but, as he fell, his glazing eyes turned fearfully toward his loved Julia—they glazed fast—but he saw, and smiled in dying, and died happy! For, as the last blow fell, she saw the fight was over—and by a sudden movement, the less expected from her complete and passive quietude, she snatched a long knife from the girdle of Onegisus, and before he well knew what she had done, much less had time to prevent it, had stabbed herself three times—each time mortally—into her virgin bosom.

“Husband,” she cried, “I come!—true to my word—Aurelius—I am thine now—all thine!” and, as the horror-stricken Hun released his hold upon her arm, she darted forward, and threw herself upon the bosom of her brave lord. Convulsively, in the death spasm, his arms closed about her,

              And in that act

And agony her happy spirit fled.






Their roar is round me. I am on the brink

Of the great waters—and their anthem voice

Goes up amid the rainbow and the mist.

Their chorus shakes the ground. I feel the rock

On which my feet hang idly—as they hung

O’er babbling brooks in boyhood—quivering

Under the burst of music. Awful voice!

And strong, triumphant waters! Do I stand

Indeed amid your shoutings? Is it mine

To shout upon this grey cliff, where the bird,

The cloudy monarch-bird, shrieks from his crag,

O’er which he’s wheel’d for cent’ries. I lift up

My cry in echo. But no sound is there—

And my shout seems but whisper. I’m afraid

To gaze or listen! Yet my eye and ear

Are servants to a necromance that God

Alone can hold o’er Nature! Ministers,

At this immortal shrine of the Great King!

Ye never tiring waters! Let me pass

Into your presence—and within the veil

That has no holy like it—a great veil,

Within which the omnipotent outspeaks

In thunder and in majesty—within

The shadow of a leaping sea—where He

Opens His lips in wonder—and His brow

Bends ’neath a crown of glory from the skies!

My prayer has speeded to the fount of power—

The veil has lifted—and I’ve entered in!

I feel like one whose visage has been bar’d

In presence of the Father of all earth—

Like one transported to another sphere,

Of the far company that walks the sky,

Who, in the stern confronting of a God

Has scann’d his own dimensions, and fall’n back

From an archangel’s reaching, to a man—

I feel like one on whom eternity

Has graven its large language, in the lines

Which mem’ry may not pass—nor can send back!

I am as one admitted to the door

That bars me from the future—the black port

Where clust’ring worlds come round, of spirits dim

Beckon’d to mysteries of another land.

Tell not of other portals—tell me not

Of other power or awfulness. If you’ve stood

Within that curtain of Charybdis—if

You’ve seen and heard the far-voiced flood above,

Clapping its thousand hands, and heralding

Seas to a new abyss—you have seen all

The earth has of magnificent, like this—

You’ve stood within a gate that leads to God;

Where the strong beings of his mercy bend

And do his will with power—while they uphold

Our steps that grope the footstool.

                                  O! go in

Say not that to your gaze has been unbar’d

The mightiness of majesty, until

You’ve stood within the shadow of that sea

And heard it call unto you—until eye

And ear have stood the terrible rebuke

That rolls from those great caverns—till your blood

Flies to its citadel, and you grow white

Within the whirlpool presence of a flood

That leapt thus when on soaring Ararat

Rested the broad bark of a world! say not

The front of glory has been yet reveal’d

Until you’ve felt the tempest in that cloud

And heard, ’mid rock and roar, that harmony

That finds no echo like it in the sea!

                                  O! go in

All ye who view not earth as monuments

And men as things but built to—to decay;

Pass ye within—ye will take lesson there.

How passing is the littleness of Earth—

How broad the empyrean reach of Heaven—

How fading is the brilliance of a world—

How beautiful the majesty of God!





A man was lying at the further end of a dismal cell, in the prison of Versailles, when one of the jailors, thrusting a huge key into the lock of a small but massive door, roused him with the unwelcome salutation, “come, get up—the time is come, and the gentlemen are waiting for you.”

“What, already!” replied the unhappy wretch to whom these words were addressed, and stretching his muscular limbs, he added, “what a pity, I was so sound asleep!”

He rose, shook the bits of straw from his hair and beard, and putting on the remains of an old hat, which had once been white, calmly said, “well, I am ready—the sooner it is over the better.”

The executioner, who was waiting with one of his assistants in the outer vestibule of the prison, threw an oblique glance upon the prisoner, then, looking at his watch, exclaimed, “come, make haste! we are already after our time—the market is nearly over.”

“Oh, but you have not far to go,” replied the turnkey; then addressing the prisoner—“old one,” said he, “it will soon be over, and the weather is fine. Here, take this, it will keep up your spirits.” And he handed him a glass of brandy, which the prisoner drank off with evident delight.

“Thanks, good master,” he replied, returning the glass to the good natured turnkey, “I shall never forget your kindness.”

“Well, well,” said the latter, “that is settled. Never mind what I do for you, man—it is little enough, God knows—only behave well—dost hear?”

The executioner’s man drew from his pocket a long and strong cord, with a slip knot at the end, and tightly tied the hands of the convict, who calmly looked at him, and said not a word. The executioner himself carried a board, on which was a sort of notice, partly printed and partly written; and all three proceeded slowly towards the market place, where the prisoner was to be placed in the pillory for one hour, and exposed to the gibes and taunts of an almost ferocious populace.

From the scaffold to which he was fastened, the old mendicant cast a look of pity upon the crowd, and said—

“Well, and what are you looking at? am I an object of such intense curiosity? But you are right; look at me well, for you shall never more behold me. I shall not return from the place to which they are going to take me—not that I fear a dungeon, for I have been too long accustomed to have no other bed than the cold ground. No, I shall return hither no more; and I should have done well had I not returned this time. But I could not help it. I was born here, though I never told any body so; and I love the spot where I first drew breath. ’Tis natural enough; yet why should I love it? I never knew either home or parents—the latter left me, when an infant, upon the steps of the church of St. Louis.”

Here the sun-burnt countenance of the old mendicant assumed an expression of bitterness.

“Who knows,” he continued, “but I may have among you some uncles or cousins—perhaps even nearer relatives.”

The crowd gathered round the scaffold, listening to the words of the mendicant.

“And my excellent father,” said the latter, “what a pity he is not here to own me! Perhaps he would be delighted at the elevation to which I have attained. For my own part, I never had a son; but if I had, I could not have deserted him. He should never have been able to reproach me with being the author of his misery. The other day I was hungry—I asked for a morsel of bread—everybody refused to give it me; and that is the reason why I am here.”

As the old man uttered the last sentence, his head fell upon his chest, and he wept.

At length the executioner returned, accompanied by his assistant, who carried upon his shoulders a furnace, in which was an iron instrument, with a long wooden handle. Both ascended the scaffold, and placed themselves behind the mendicant. The crowd drew nearer. The executioner’s man laid the mendicant’s shoulder bare, whilst the executioner himself stooped and took up the instrument. The poor convict shuddered, uttered a plaintive cry, a light smoke arose, and the ignominious letter was imprinted for ever.

The poor man, scarcely able to stand, was helped from the scaffold, and conveyed back to his prison through the crowd, who pressed upon his passage to glut upon his sufferings.

Old Philippe—such was the mendicant’s name, was well known in the department of Seine and Oise; but nobody could tell who he was, whence he came, or who his parents were. About fifteen years previous, just after the restoration, he had appeared in the country for the first time. He then asked questions, and seemed in pursuit of information on secret matters, of which nobody could penetrate the motive. After some time, he appeared to suffer much, as if from disappointment, and then disappeared. About two years before the period of our narrative, he again made his appearance at Versailles, very much altered, and looking much older. Fortune had not smiled upon him during his absence, for he went away a poor man, and returned a mendicant.

No one knew where he had been, or how he had lived during this interval. It was supposed, that, previous to his first appearance at Versailles, he had travelled a great deal, and even borne arms; for of late years, whenever he obtained the favor of a night’s lodging in a barn, he would repay this hospitality by descriptions of foreign countries, and accounts of bloody conflicts.

On the day after his exposure in the pillory, as above related, the following particulars concerning him were made known:—

One evening, faint with hunger and fatigue, after having begged through the environs of Versailles, without once obtaining alms, and his wallet having been empty for the two preceding days, he had stopped at the door of one of those elegant habitations which overlook the heights of Rocquencourt.

He begged a shelter for the night, and a morsel of bread, but both were refused him, and he was rudely driven from the door. Leaning upon his stick, he slowly quitted the inhospitable mansion, and with difficulty gained a part of the demesne laid out in the English style of landscape gardening. Taking shelter under a thick clump of trees, he laid himself upon the grass, to die with the least possible pain.

The autumn had already begun. The grass was wet—the wind whistled through the trees, already in part stripped of their leaves—all around was pitchy dark, and every thing seemed to announce an inclement night. Cramped with cold, he felt the most unconquerable gnawings of hunger. Could he but sleep, he thought, perhaps the next day might prove less unfavorable than the two preceding ones. But sleep refused the call, and the poor mendicant suffered the most cruel pangs. Unable to bear them any longer, he rose, took his stick, and returned to the mansion.

He had observed an angle of the wall which could be easily escaladed, and a window badly closed. It was late, the night was dark, and he might perhaps find a bit of bread. At least, he determined to try.

The house was inhabited by an old man of more than eighty—a rich miser, who lived alone, like many of those who go to spend their last days at Versailles. He had perceived the mendicant, and had seen him take refuge under the clump of trees. He ordered his servants to watch him, and scarcely had poor Philippe opened the window, when he was seized, handcuffed, and taken to Versailles, where he was thrown into prison. There, at least, he found shelter, and a bit of bread to eat, which the turnkey gave him from humanity.

At the expiration of six months, the mendicant was convicted at the assizes of the department of Seine et Oise. His sentence was the gallies for fifteen years, and to be previously exposed and branded. He had entered a house at night for the purpose of theft, and with deadly weapons—the possession of the knife, which he usually carried in his pocket, and was found there, being thus interpreted.

A month had already elapsed since he had been publicly branded, and poor Philippe seemed patiently waiting for the time when he was to be sent to his destination at Toulon. He always said that he would not go, and the turnkey did not contradict him.

One evening a small iron lamp upon a shelf, suspended from the wall by a cord on each side, threw a weak and vacillating light upon the gloom of a cell in the prison of Versailles.

Upon a straw matress, half covered with an old patched blanket, lay a man apparently overcome with weakness and despair. His face was turned towards the wall. An earthen jug without a spout was near him, and close to it a wooden bowl filled with soup.

“Poor Philippe will never get over it,” said the turnkey in the corridor, speaking to some one to whom he was showing the way. “But it is his own fault; he would not remain in the infirmary. The fact is, Monsieur le Curé, ever since he exhibited upon the little stage, about a month ago—curse this lock, it would sprain the wrist of the devil himself—”

“Peace my friend,” replied a mild voice, “do not swear—it is an offence against God.”

The door of the prison was at length opened, and the turnkey ushered in a venerable priest, the chaplain of the prison.

“Hollo, old one!” cried the jailor, “take heart, man, here is a visitor. Here is Monsieur le Curé come to see you.”

The mendicant made no reply.

“My friend,” said the minister of the Gospel, “I am one of your brethren in Christ, and I bring you words of peace and consolation. Hear me, in the name of our Lord Jesus, who died on the cross to atone for our sins—He suffered more than you; and it depends upon yourself to be one day happy, and to dwell with him in eternal life.”

Still the prisoner spoke not.

“He sleeps,” said the kind-hearted turnkey. “If your reverence will but wait a moment I will awake him.” And he shook the mendicant, but in vain—the latter stirred not. “Oh! oh!” said the jailor, leaning over him; “but it is all over with him; he has slipped his wind—the poor fellow’s as dead as a door post.”

And, in fact, the unfortunate Philippe had ceased to live a few moments after he had been removed, that very morning, at his own request, from the infirmary to his old cell.

“Is the poor man really dead?” inquired the priest.

“Dead as a pickled herring, your reverence.”

“And without confession!—unhappy man!”

And the good priest knelt upon the cold flag stones and prayed with fervour for the soul of the deceased mendicant.

Next day the wealthy owner of the mansion was reclining in an easy chair, his tortured limbs writhing with agony on the cushions of down by which they were supported. His physician in attendance was seated near him.

“I find myself worse to-day, doctor: I am weaker than I have yet been, and I feel something which I cannot well define.”

“At your age, my dear sir, and in your state of health,” the physician replied, “you must seek amusement for your mind. I have always told you that solitude is baneful to you. You should send for some members of your own family, or get some devoted friend to come and live with you.”

“Family! devoted friend! Why, you well know, doctor, that collaterals are mere heirs; you are in their way whilst you live: they only wait to prey upon your soil after your death.”

“But had you never any children?” the doctor asked.

“Never,” replied his patient, after some hesitation. “And I have no relations.”

Here the unhappy old man sighed, his brow became clouded, and he seemed to writhe in mental agony. Suddenly, by an apparent effort, changing the conversation, and assuming a tone of unconcern—

“Well, doctor,” he said, “and so this scoundrel of a mendicant, who, you may be assured, wanted to murder, and afterwards rob me, died yesterday in the prison hospital.”

“No, not in the hospital,” replied the physician. “I did all I could to induce him to remain in the infirmary; but he refused, and even solicited, as a favour, to be taken back to the cell he occupied before his trial.”

“You see then, doctor, what a villain he was. I suppose he felt remorse for the crime he intended to commit in this house. Did he make any avowal? Is any thing known of his family?”

“Nothing, except that he was an illegitimate child, and was found, shortly after his birth, under the peristyle of St. Louis’ church.”

“St. Louis’ church?”

“Yes: and he was taken to the Foundling Hospital in the Rue du Plessis.”

“The Rue du Plessis?”

“Yes: he told me the whole story the day before yesterday, at my evening visit to the prison infirmary. He had carefully preserved an old card, upon which were traced some strange characters, and an engraved stone belonging to a seal. He requested me to take charge of them. I believe they are still in my pocket-book. Yes, here they are. This stone must have belonged to a valuable trinket—he probably sold the setting. Here is the card.”

The old invalid, whose increasing agitation had not been observed by the doctor, threw a rapid glance over these objects,—then, with a shriek of horror, sunk back upon his chair.

“Great God,” he exclaimed, “the mendicant was my son!”

A few minutes after, this unnatural parent had ceased to breathe.



Sweet, gentle girl! in holy meekness bending,

  Though of a wilder race and darker hue;

Etherial light is on thy soul descending,

  Loveliest of wild flowers! like thy native dew.

Seen in the struggling of that heaving breast,

  The quivering lip—the downward, fawn-like eye,

The strange, deep penitence that will not rest,

  That gushes tears, and vents the swelling sigh.


From thy dark shades of superstitious lore,

  Thou com’st arrayed in purest vestal white,

That he, the man of God, might on thee pour

  Jordan’s still wave, to give thy blindness sight;

And to that heart, where hath been deeply stealing,

  The fading bloom of earth’s bright flowery way,

A brighter—far enduring bliss revealing,

  In the pure path of Truth’s eternal ray.


Bound in the rapture that thy beauty lendeth,

  Thy pale-face lover at thy lonely side,

Holdeth with silent joy the book that blendeth

  Life and life’s hope—its comfort and its guide.

Breathing in his warm look the bliss that springing—

  The pure, bright thoughts that thrill his yearning breast,

The golden visions that around are flinging,

  Their airy spells of future love and rest.


But there is one upon the ground reposing,

  With curious gaze, yet wild, irreverent air,

Whose fallen deer-skin her full charms disclosing,

  With beaded arms, and crimson braided hair,

Declares her kindred to thy own wild race,

  The swift-foot wanderer of thy early day;

When by Powhatan’s stream thy footstep’s trace

  Told, where like fawns ye frolick’d in your play.


And one, in beauty of majestic form,

  Who stands erect, with scorn like lightning’s gleam

Darting from eyes as black as ebon-storm,

  When midnight revels with its vivid beam—

Who will not brook a sister’s sacred vow,

  The solemn faith, the strange baptismal rite—

Who will not bend in holy praise, or bow,

  When in deep prayer the list’ning throng unite.


Oh! in this hour, while angels’ harps are swelling,

  The rich rejoicing of the upper skies,

While the sweet anthem of the earth is telling

  That one crush’d wild flower ’neath the altar lies.

Would that a ray, from that pure shrine descending,

  Might pierce the darkness of thy forest kind—

Lighting a pathway that to thee is lending

  Thy surest hope the spirit-home to find.

                                   A. F. H.






The time sped merrily away in la belle France, and months passed, leaving us still in port. In fact, when our craft came to be surveyed, it was found that her hull was so rotten, as to make it dangerous for us to put to sea in her, until she had been thoroughly overhauled. This occasioned some delay. Having but little to do, and finding society thrown freely open to them, the officers spent most of their time in the interchange of courtesies with their affable entertainers. There was beside a good number of French naval officers in the place, and many a wild meeting took place betwixt our mess and them. At length, however, I tired of this, and hearing that Paul Jones was in Paris, I set off for the capital.

That singular individual was, at this time, engaged in fitting out the Bon Homme Richard and her accompanying squadron, preparatory to a cruise off the English coasts. He was all enthusiasm as to the success of the expedition, but found great difficulty in procuring a fitting crew. He received me warmly, recognizing me at once, and flatteringly calling to mind several of the affairs in which I had been engaged, and my conduct in which he thought proper to commend. I was gratified by his notice, and spoke in reply something, I know not what, respecting his own career. His eye kindled as he answered—

“Aye! but that is not all—we will make our name a terror to the whole English coast. Had it not been for some knavish foes of ours here, who throw every impediment they can in our way, we should have done deeds before this at which the cheeks of his majesty of England would have blanched. But our time has come. We have the ‘Good-man Richard,’ a sturdy old Indiaman, for our own craft, beside the Pallas, a smart ship, the Vengeance brig, and the Cerf, a cutter of metal. They tell me the Alliance is to go with me, under the command of that fellow Landais. So at least Franklin has said—God help his knowledge of naval warfare! However,” he continued, with a shrug of his shoulders, “there is no help for it, and the frigate would be quite a God-send if it were not for the commander.”

“I understand you have some difficulty in getting a crew—is it so?”

“Yes! And, by the bye, why can’t you join me? Come, you are the very man I want.”

Flattered as I was by this offer, I could not persuade myself to leave the Fire-Fly; beside, as the officers in the squadron were to take precedence according to the dates of their commission in the American service, and as I had always served under the commonwealth of New York, I foresaw that my acceptance of this offer would either place me under those who were really my juniors in service, or else occasion jealousies among the parties I should supplant. Moreover, I knew not what might be the eventual determination respecting my craft, and I felt unwilling, in case she should again go to sea, to desert her. I stated my objections frankly to the commodore. He hesitated a moment, and then replied,

“I believe you are right. Yet I am sorry I cannot have you. We sail in a week from L’Orient. Come, at least, and see us off.”

I accepted his invitation, and it was with a heavy heart I saw them put to sea. By the end of the month, however, I heard at Paris that the squadron had returned to the roads at Groix, and that difficulties had already occurred between the commodore and Landais. I hurried down at once to L’Orient, and found both the Richard and Alliance undergoing repairs. The commodore gladly received me, and renewed again his offer, telling me that he had heard that my craft was to be dismantled; and, sure enough, that afternoon I received a letter from my captain, informing me that the schooner had been found unworthy of repair, and been condemned. There was now nothing to detain me, except the difficulty respecting my rank in the squadron. This I soon removed by going as a volunteer. I accordingly wrote to my captain, obtained leave of absence, and on the 14th of August, 1779, went with my traps on board the Bon Homme Richard. The same day we put to sea.

The events of that extraordinary cruise are matter of history, and I need not dwell on them at length in this hurried autobiography. We soon parted company with our consorts, and were forced to seek them at the rendezvous; but, during the whole voyage, our plans were continually frustrated by occurrences of this character, sometimes accidental, and sometimes, I believe, designed, especially on the part of Captain Landais. After taking three or four prizes, we bore up for the north of Scotland, when having been at sea about a month, we made the Cheviot Hills, vast blue landmarks, lying, like a thunder-cloud, along the western horizon.

Learning that two or three armed cutters, together with a twenty gun ship, were lying off Leith, the commodore planned a descent on that place; but in consequence of the absence of the Alliance, was forced to delay his project for several days. At length we beat into the Frith of Forth; and when just out of gun-shot of the town, the boats were ordered out and manned. But at this critical moment a squall struck our squadron, and we soon had enough on our hands, for the puff settling down into a regular North Sea gale, we had to fill away, and bear up under a press of canvass for an offing. The storm lasted so long that we were forced to give over our attempt, as the country had now become alarmed, and beacon lights, to rouse the yeomanry, were burning on every headland. We bore away, therefore, for the south.

We had kept on this course for several days, until one calm evening, off Flamborough head, when, the sea being nearly as smooth as a lake, and a light southwardly wind dallying playfully with our sails, we discerned the headmost vessels of a fleet of merchant ships, stretching out on a bowline from behind the promontory. Every man of us was instantly on the qui vive. The commodore’s eye kindled, and he shouted,

“Signal the squadron for a general chase.”

“Aye! aye!” answered the signal officer, and the next moment the order was passed through our fleet. It had scarcely been done, however, before the merchant ships hurriedly tacked, fired alarm-guns, let fly their top-gallant sheets, and, huddling together like a flock of frightened partridges, went off to leeward.

“There’s a frigate in yonder, convoying, with a smaller man-of-war,” hailed the look-out, as the hostile ships shewed their head-sails around the promontory. “They haul up, sir, and are coming out.”

“Let them come,” said the commodore enthusiastically, “and we’ll have them for our own before midnight. Shew the signal to form a line—cross royal-yards—keep boldly on.”

“There goes the Alliance,” said the first lieutenant, at my side, “see how gallantly she passes the Pallas—but in God’s name what does she mean? Surely she is not flying.”

“Curses on the craven Landais,” muttered Paul Jones betwixt his teeth, as he saw his consort haul suddenly off from the enemy, and then turning to the helmsman, he thundered, “keep her on her course—steady, steady.”

Meanwhile the crew had been ordered to quarters, and the tap of the drum brought every man to his station at once. Unmoved by the cowardice of our consort, the men appeared to long for the unequal conflict as eagerly as their daring commander. Silently they stood at the guns, awaiting the order to open their fire, and endeavouring to pierce through the fast gathering gloom, in order to detect the manœuvres of the foe. Paul Jones stood on the quarter deck watching the enemy with a night-glass. As we drew nearer, we detected, in our antagonists, a frigate of fifty guns, attended by a twenty gun ship a little to leeward. The sight would have appalled any hearts but those on board our daring craft,—for our armament, all told, did not exceed forty-two guns, only six of which were eighteens; while, from the lower gun deck of the frigate alone, might be seen frowning through her lighted ports, a battery of ten eighteens to a side. Yet not an eye quailed, not a cheek blanched, as we drew up towards the foe; but each man stood calmly at his post, confident in his leader and in the righteousness of his cause. My own station was near the commodore. We were now near enough to hail.

“What ship is that?” came slowly sailing on the night wind, from a dark form on the quarter of the frigate.

“You shall soon know,” answered Paul Jones, and on the instant the word was given simultaneously by both commanders to fire, and the two ships poured in their batteries with scarcely the delay of an instant betwixt the broadsides. I had no time to observe the effect of our discharge, for scarcely had the commodore spoken, when I heard a tremendous explosion in the direction of our gun-room; the deck above it was blown bodily up, and as the smoke swept away from the spot, I beheld two of the eighteens shattered and dismounted, and surrounded by a crowd of wretches, maimed and dying from the accident. I rushed to the place, and a more awful sight never before or since have I beheld. There lay our poor fellows, dismembered and bleeding, groaning in agony such as no pen can picture, and crying aloud, with their dying breath, for “water—water—water.” Here one, horribly mangled, hung over a gun that had burst—there another was stretched on the deck, with no marks on him except a black spot by the eye, from which the blood was trickling slowly. I shuddered and turned away. It would have been madness to have attempted to work the other eighteens, so the men were called away, and we began anew the action, with our chances one-third lessened by this horrible calamity. But the death of their messmates fired the rest of the crew with a thirst for revenge, which soon told in the murderous fire we poured in upon the enemy. For nearly an hour we kept up the conflict, working our lighter guns with the utmost vigor, and attempting to manœuvre so as to rake the enemy, but at every new endeavor we were foiled by the superior working qualities of our opponent. Meantime the moon had risen, and we could see that the Pallas had got alongside of the enemy’s consort, and was gallantly engaged yard-arm to yard-arm with her—the Alliance hovering out of range in the distance, and occasionally discharging a random broadside which did no execution. How our brave fellows cursed the cowardice of her captain!

“Ay! there she is,” said one, “afraid to come within range even of a twenty gun ship, lest the lace of her coxcomb captain’s uniform might be ruffled. But never mind—we’ll win the battle without her—bowse away, my hearties, and give it to the Englisher with a will.”

Meanwhile the enemy’s frigate doggedly kept her luff, and her masts were now seen, for the hull was completely shrouded in a thick canopy of smoke, shooting ahead, as if it was her intention to pay broad off across our forefoot. Paul Jones saw the manœuvre, and determined to avail himself of it to run afoul of his antagonist; for, with our vast inferiority of metal, there was not the remotest chance of success in a regular combat. The attempt, however, was in itself almost as desperate; but it afforded a hope, though a slight one, of victory. Whatever might be the fate of this daring proceeding, however, we were all actuated by but one impulse, and that was, a determination to conquer or die. When, therefore, the frigate forged ahead, we kept our sails trimmed and bore steadily on. The result was as we had expected. Finding that she could not effect her purpose, the frigate put her helm hard down, making a desperate attempt to clear us. It was in vain. With a crash that shook both vessels to their centre, we ran aboard of the foe, bows on, a little on her weather quarter. With chagrin, we saw that it was impossible to board our antagonist—an intention so well understood among our men, that they had ceased firing on the moment. At this instant the smoke swept partially away, and the English captain was seen near the mizen rigging, shouting to know whether we had struck. The inquiry brought the red blood in volumes into the face of Paul Jones, as he thundered hoarsely,

“I have not yet begun to fight;” and then turning to his men, he said, “out with your guns and have at them. Will you, by your silence, be thought to have surrendered?”

“Never,” answered back the captain of a gun before him; “Huzza for the brave thirteen—down with the tyrants—give it to ’em one and all—huzza.”

An answering shout rose up from the crew, the guns that could be brought to bear were jerked out, and simultaneously the whole of our forward larboard side was a sheet of flame, while the old craft trembled from kelson to cross-trees, and heeled back with the recoil, till the yard-arms almost touched the water.

“Brace back the yards,” shouted the commodore, as soon as his voice could be heard above the din, and obedient to the press of the wind, our vessel fell slowly astern.

“They are laying aback their forward, and shivering their after sails, on board the frigate,” said Dale.

“Box-hauling her, by St. Andrew,” said the commodore; “the knaves are for luffing up athwart our bows, in order to rake us. But it takes two to play at that game—we’ll drop astern a little more, fill on the opposite tack, and luff up against her as she comes to the wind. Let us once lay her athwart hawse, and the battle’s won.”

Rapidly and steadily our daring leader gave his orders to execute this manœuvre, but the smoke had settled down so thick around us, shrouding the moon almost entirely from sight, that we could only now and then catch a glimpse of the approaching enemy, and miscalculating our distance, instead of meeting her as we had expected, we were run into by the frigate, her bowsprit crashing over our high towerlike poop.

“Parker,” said Paul Jones, quickly, “get some lashings and help me to fasten her head-gear to the mizzen mast. That’s it—we have her now.”

“Aye, and the frigate feels the strain already,” said I, as we finished our hasty work; “see how she swings around by our side—something has given way on board of her, by that crash.”[1]

“You’re right, but lash fast yonder anchor that’s hooked in our quarter—we’ll not let them escape now—but yonder come their fellows as if to board us. Boarders ahoy! beat back the villains,” and springing from my side, our ever ready leader, himself led the party to repulse the foe. I followed. Dark masses of seamen, clustered on the sides of the frigate, were endeavoring to effect an entrance on our deck; thrusting with their long pikes, cutting and slashing with their cutlasses, and cheering each other on to the attack, with shouts and imprecations. For an instant, our crew, fearfully outnumbered, seemed to waver; but at this moment Paul Jones leaped into the midst of the fray, and, with one stroke of his weapon bringing a foe to the deck, shouted, “Down with the miscreants—strike home one and all—bravely my lads,” and accompanying each word with a blow, he cleared a space before him in less time than I have taken to narrate the event. For an instant the enemy faltered, but a huge boatswain the next moment rallied them, and aiming a pistol at Paul Jones, the fellow shouted,

“Hurl the pirates to perdition—come on, hearts of oak—”

I was luckily by, and as the villain spoke, I struck up his arm, and his ball glanced harmlessly over the Commodore’s head. The boatswain did not live to take vengeance on me for my interposition—he did not even survive to finish his sentence; for scarcely had the words left his mouth, before Paul Jones drove his boarding pike deep into the Englishman’s heart. There was a dull gurgling sound, as he fell back without a groan, dropped heavily to the water, and sank like lead. His companions were aghast, and struck with a sudden panic, retreated. The next moment not one was left attempting to board.

During the last few minutes, my attention had been so occupied by the sharp conflict, in which I was personally engaged with the boarders, that I had lost sight altogether of the general battle; and I now cast a hurried glance around to see what other advantages, if any, we had gained over the enemy.

The sight that met my eye, almost blanched my cheek with apprehension. Crowds of our men from the main deck were hurrying up the gangways, and the thought instantly flashed across my mind that they had mutinied. The guns, too, below, were all silenced, and only three or four twelves, with a couple of pieces on the quarter deck, were being worked; while the fire of the enemy was still kept up with unremitting fury. At this juncture, a midshipman from the main deck passed me hurriedly.

I caught him by the arm.

“In God’s name,” I said, “what is the matter?”

“They are ripping us to pieces below, with their cursed eighteens,” was the hurried response. “We kept it up as long as we could, often thrusting our rammers into their ports, as we loaded, so close were we to them. But it’s no use. They’re beating in our timbers as if our good stout oak was no better than pasteboard. I am taking my men forward and aloft, it is sheer murder to keep them below; they must fight now with muskets and hand grenades,” and hurrying breathlessly away, he was the next instant engaged in directing his men with an energy only second to that of the Commodore, and which seemed to have diffused itself amongst all.

The combat, which had paused a moment, now raged again with redoubled fury. Crowding into the tops, and thronging on the forecastle, our brave fellows kept up such a galling contest, with musketry and grenades, that, in less than five minutes, every man of the enemy was driven below, and his quarter deck was left tenanted only by the dead. But fearfully did the foe return our fire from his heavy guns on the main deck. Broadside after broadside was poured into us without intermission—the old craft quivering like wounded flesh, at every discharge, until it seemed as if each successive fire would end the contest, by sending us to the bottom. Yet our men never flinched. No cry for quarter, no murmur even, was heard. Manfully they stuck to their new posts, keeping up their deadly warfare through the ports of the foe, and though now and then an eye was turned around the horizon, to see whether the Alliance was not coming to our aid, not a man displayed any signs of fear. One of our fellows, even bolder than the rest, provided with a bucket of grenades and a match, lay out on the yard, and coolly dropped his combustibles on the deck of the frigate. One he threw with such precision, that it went down the main hatchway. In an instant a slight explosion took place, and we could hear, notwithstanding the uproar of the guns, a whizzing sound running aft on board the enemy—while almost simultaneously, the most thrilling shrieks of anguish rose up on the air, succeeded by a stunning explosion, which drowned every other sound in its fierce uproar.

“Their loose cartridges must have been fired,” I exclaimed, “God help the poor wretches.”

“The day’s our own—huzza!” sung out a warrant officer beside me, “but, in the name of heaven,” he said suddenly, “what means the Alliance?—she is firing into us.”

I looked to windward, and no words can express my astonishment, when I saw, in the hazy distance, the ship which ought to have been engaged at our side with the foe, now heading to the westward, and firing hotly in our direction, at the very moment that she was crossing our larboard quarter, and when her shot could not reach the foe without passing directly through us. The discharge, indeed, dismounted two of our guns, beside damaging us aloft. She was by this time nearing us fast, and directly abeam.

“You’re firing into a friend,” shouted fifty voices in a breath.

“What does he mean?” said Dale, “surely he can see that we haven’t yellow sides like the foe—shew him the signal of recognition.”

The three lanterns, in a line, were instantly let down on the off side, when the Alliance ceased firing.

“Lay the enemy aboard,” shouted the officer of the deck.

No answer was returned, and our consort kept coolly on her course.

“Did you hear the order?” thundered the now exasperated commodore; “lay the enemy aboard, I say.”

“Ay, ay, sir.”

“Perdition take the cowardly traitor,” muttered Paul Jones betwixt his teeth, as he turned from the recreant ship.

I watched, however, the course of the frigate until she had hauled off some distance, and was almost lost in the shadowy gloom to larboard, when suddenly a cry of “fire” startled me, and turning hastily around I saw that the lower deck was a mass of flame. The confusion, for a moment, baffled description. Men were hastening to and fro for buckets; some shouted one thing and some another; a general consternation seemed to be spreading among the crew, and all discipline, for an interval of several minutes, was lost. To add to the disorder, the ship was perceptibly settling, and a rumour spread through the decks that we would sink in less than ten minutes. While everything was still plunged in chaos, the Alliance again appeared, edging down on our larboard beam, and hauling up athwart our bows, she poured in a fire of grape, which took effect on our crowded forecastle, instead of on the enemy—if indeed it was ever intended for the foe—and killed several of our own men. Never shall I forget the fate of one of our best officers—poor Creswell! who fell a victim to this discharge. I held his head in his last moments, and with his eye already glazing in death, and his tongue faltering in its accents, he prayed God to forgive his countrymen for his wanton murder. My blood boiled with indignation against the scoundrel who commanded the gallant Alliance, and, at that moment, I would have given ten years of my life to have crossed swords with Landais.

But I had no time for thoughts of revenge. Louder and louder swelled the cry ‘that we were sinking,’ and, as I laid the dead man’s head on the deck, I saw the carpenter hurry to the commodore with consternation depicted on every feature of his face. Instantly the cry arose, that he had sounded the pump-wells, and that all was over. The wildest confusion followed. More than a hundred of our prisoners were let loose by the master-at-arms, who imagined that all was over, and in a few minutes the deck was crowded with them. Had they then known their power, we should have been overpowered with ease, and, as I looked on their fierce faces, I trembled for the first time. To add to all, the gunner rushed, at this crisis, on deck, and not perceiving the commodore or the lieutenant, would have hauled down our flag, and failing in this—for the staff had been shot away—he cried out for quarter. Another second would have decided our fate, but springing aft, I shouted that we had not surrendered, and, at the same instant, the commodore re-appeared, and confirming my assertion, rallied his men hastily around him, and led them to repel a party of boarders, which taking advantage of our disorder, was, at this moment, clustering on our gunwale. The conflict here was short, but decisive. Fired anew by the words and example of their commodore, our brave fellows redeemed their momentary vacillation, and, aided by the men in the tops, hurled back the foemen, as if an avalanche had struck them, on the decks of their frigate. Meantime, the first lieutenant, availing himself of the fears of the prisoners, had mustered them at the pumps, and, arming another party with buckets, had succeeded in extinguishing the fire. The re-action, on the part of our crew, was decisive. The men now fought with a fury that nothing could suppress, for they knew over what a mine they hung, and that victory must be soon theirs, or they would lose all. Several guns were dragged over to the side against the foe, and the fire of our battery re-commenced with treble vigor. The top-men hailed down grenades on the frigate’s decks, and deafening volleys of musketry incessantly rattled from our forecastle. The enemy could hold out no longer. A man darted up the frigate’s hatchway, dashed aft, and the next moment the cross of Britain was at our feet. A cheer, that shook the very welkin, and which, dying away, was renewed and renewed again, burst from our brave tars, and rolling down to leeward announced our hard bought victory.

The jib boom of the Serapis gave way, somewhere about this time. Perhaps this was the moment.    Ed.





In Heaven a spirit doth dwell,

  “Whose heart-strings are a lute;”

None sing so wildly well

As the angel Israfel,

And the giddy stars (so legends tell)

Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell

  Of his voice, all mute.


Tottering above

  In her highest noon

  The enamoured moon

Blushes with love,

  While, to listen, the red levin

  Pauses in Heaven,

  With the rapid Pleiads, even,

  Which were seven.


And they say (the starry choir

  And the other listening things)

That Israfeli’s fire

Is due unto that lyre

  By which he sits and sings—

That trembling living lyre

  With those unusual strings.


But the Heavens that angel trod,

  Where deep thoughts are a duty—

Where Love is a grown God—

  Where Houri glances are

Imbued with all the beauty

  Which we worship in the star—

  The more lovely, the more far!


Thou art not, therefore, wrong,

  Israfeli, who despisest

An unimpassioned song.

To thee the laurels belong,

  Best bard, because the wisest.

Merrily live, and long!


The ecstasies above

  With thy burning measures suit—

Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,

  With the fervor of thy lute.

  Well may the stars be mute!


Yes, Heaven is thine; but this

  Is a world of sweets and sours—

  Our flowers are merely—flowers;

And the shadow of thy bliss

  Is the sunshine of ours.


If I did dwell

Where Israfel

  Hath dwelt, and he where I,

He might not sing one half so well,

  One half so passionately,

While a bolder note than this might swell

  From my lyre within the sky!

And the angel Israfel, or Israfeli, whose heart-strings are a lute, and who is the most musical of all God’s creatures.—Koran.







Philadelphia: John F. Nunns, 184 Chesnut Street.


musical score

’Tis sad, ’tis sad to think upon

The joyous days of old—

When ev’ry year that wearies on,

Is number’d by some friendship gone!


musical score

kindly heart grown cold!

Could those days but come again

With their thorns and flowers!

I would give the hopes of years!

For those by-gone hours!


’Tis sad—’tis sad to number o’er

  The faces glad and gay,

Which we have loved! Some smile no more,

  Around us as they did of yore!

And some have turn’d away!

        Could those days, &c.


’Tis sad—’tis sad to come again,

  With changed heart and brow,

To our youth’s home, where none remain

Of those who made it blessed then—

Who leave it lonely now!

        Could those days, &c.


Oh! little things bring back to me

  The thoughts of by-gone hours.

The breath of kine upon the lea,

  The murmur of the mountain bee,

The scent of hawthorn flow’rs!

        Could those days, &c.

Sports and Pastimes.—THE FOWLING-PIECE.

A book presents to the shot an elastic body, like down, through which large shot does not penetrate much farther than small, because it has to displace and carry with it a larger mass of paper. Fur and feathers of game do not present such a resisting body to the shot as the leaves of a book do; therefore, although large shot will bear the above test, a much fairer way of trying it would be to fire at thin pieces of wood fixed upright, (a pile of cigar boxes would answer the purpose). The latter trial would, we think, convince any one of the great difference in momentum between the two charges. At forty yards, not more than three No. 7 pellets could be calculated on to strike a partridge, and those from a light gun would necessarily be weak; whereas, at that distance, with our charge, two No. 2 pellets might be calculated upon, and with what effect we leave the experimentalist to decide, when he has tried it at a target composed of pieces of wood one eighth, one third, and one half of an inch thick.

It is not so much the velocity as the momentum of a shot that renders it effective. The momentum of a shot increases in a direct ratio with its weight. The momentum of a No. 2 shot much more than compensates for the diminished weight of powder and additional weight of lead that we have recommended.

The structure of a bird or quadruped not protected by feathers or fur—and we contend that game is very slightly so protected as against shot—may be compared with that of a ship. It is a well ascertained fact that a 64 lb. ball, moving with only half the velocity of a 32 lb. ball, would produce more than double the effect; the larger, but slowly-flying ball, would split a much thicker mast or beam, and do more damage to the frame-work of a ship, than the small one. Upon the same principle, we think large shot is more effective for shooting the stronger species of game.

But assuming that game is right well fortified with a covering of fur, feathers or down, that circumstance would not induce us to resort to small shot; quite the reverse, because we know that small shot cannot be fired through down effectively from a large gun at thirty yards, much less from a light fowling-piece. No stanchion-gun will shoot No. 7 effectively at ducks, geese, and the larger wild-fowl—the birds killed would be chiefly such as were struck in the head; not one would be stopped by a body blow. Yet large shot from the stanchion-gun, after passing through down, strikes an effective body blow. No doubt No. 7 may be shot through down, but after overcoming the resistance, it would scarcely injure the bird, certainly not break a bone.

Thus we find that small shot, fired from any gun, is totally inadequate to kill birds protected with down by a body blow; but that large shot, flying from a large gun with not half the velocity of the ineffectual small shot, achieves what is desired. It is the momentum that effects the object.

A collateral advantage arising from the use of large shot should not be overlooked. In order to kill in good style with small shot, the aim must be such that the bird fired at shall be near the centre of the charge as thrown; for if the bird be near the outer circle of the charge, it is ten to one that it is only slightly wounded; but if near the outer circle of a charge of large shot, it is ten to one that it is brought down; for it must not be lost sight of, that when large shot is used, a single pellet will mostly be sufficient to bring a bird down. There is a stunning effect produced by large shot, which throws the bird off its balance at once. Small shot has not the same immediate effect. Hares, rabbits, grouse, pheasants, and full-grown partridges, will carry it off, though they fall within a hundred yards. It is very seldom, indeed, that a bird towers after being fired at with large shot.

The term friction implies a gradual contraction of the barrel towards the muzzle, which retards the progress of the shot, that more time may be allowed to the powder to burn. Relief accelerates the progress of shot through the barrels. What is the proper degree of relief or friction for different descriptions of barrels, is a subject fruitful of controversy; as is also the form of the breech. The best breech is that which will cause the greatest quantity of powder to consume in the barrel, and give the least recoil. The percussion system of firing has simplified the boring of guns. We think that short barrels intended to be fired by percussion, should be bored perfect cylinders, and the breech should be conical or nearly so, and capable of holding a little more than half a charge of powder. Long barrels should be bored true cylinders throughout the greater part of their length, a little relief being allowed near the muzzle.

A barrel, which recoils from being light, or from not being held firmly when fired, throws shot very weakly. So, on the other hand, barrels which have sufficient weight to break the recoil, or which are placed against something solid when fired, have their shooting power amazingly increased. The reason is, that when the gun is allowed to recoil, a portion of that power which should be employed in expelling the shot is uselessly expended on a yielding surface in a contrary direction: whereas, when the barrel is firmly fixed, or is of sufficient weight to break the recoil, that portion of the explosive force which strikes against the breech rebounds and is forced back upon the shot, and consequently becomes a portion of the available strength of the charge. This explains why the weight of the gun rather than a difference in length or bore regulates the shooting power. In what follows, Mr. Greener,[3] whose book contains a lucid exposition of the nature of projectile force, shows this more clearly:—

“The fact that the shooting powers of a gun are increased by its being fixed in an immoveable frame, is proved with the practice of mortars. Mortars on iron beds, and these firmly embedded in the earth, will throw a shell farther when on the ground than when placed on a platform, or on board a ship. It is for the purpose of destroying the recoil, that mortars for sea service, though of the same calibre as those intended for land-service, are made three times the weight. Dr. Hutton states, that he found no advantage by retarding the recoil in practice with artillery. He means, that no advantage is gained by stopping at three feet a gun accustomed to recoil to the distance of six. The statement is perfectly true. If he were to allow a gun to recoil only an inch, and then to strike against a solid substance, he would gain nothing. For if it recoil ever so little, the shooting force is as much weakened as if it recoiled twice as far.

“To increase that force, a steady fixed resistance is required. The velocity of the projectile depends on the force of the immediate impulse. Before a gun, suffered to recoil, could rebound from striking some solid substance in its recoil, the charge would be gone, and could, therefore, receive no additional impetus from that rebound. The truth of this fact may be illustrated by throwing a hand-ball against any loose body with sufficient force to displace it. However hard or elastic that body might be, the ball would not rebound from it, but would fall perpendicularly down. Fix and secure that same body, and then the ball will rebound with little less force than that with which it was thrown against it. So it is with gunpowder. If it meet with a firm resistance, it will rebound and project the ball or shot with additional force.”

The Gun, by William Greener. London, 1835.



There is a proverb current among sportsmen, that to kill a woodcock is to perform a day’s work, which doubtlessly originated in the circumstance of a woodcock being seldom found until a large extent of wood has been closely beaten. When, however, woodcocks are most abundant, it would not be a difficult task, according to that standard of labor, to do the work of a week in a day, in any noted cover; for every cover frequented by cocks acquires a notoriety which it seldom loses, since any wood well frequented with cocks one year, has generally a fair supply the next. But whether the same cocks that frequent a wood this year return the next, with their offspring, or whether an entirely new set of occupants take possession, we leave the ornithologist to decide. A certain description of woods are seldom known to fail of woodcocks during the winter months; these woods or plantations are such as are swampy, or have a stream of water running through them, or woods abounding in springs—or where, from the nature of the ground, or want of draining, the top water encourages the growth of moss. The woodcock is rarely found in woods where moss is not abundant. During a frost, cocks are found near fresh water springs; at other times they are most commonly flushed in the open glades of the densest woods, or rather in those parts of the woods not choked up at the bottom with fern, rushes, or brambles, but where they can freely run about, and in those parts where willows, oziers, hazel-trees, or crate-wood is plentiful. In such places it will readily be ascertained whether there are cocks or not, by the borings in the moss or dead leaves, and by the chalkings. A cock will often be found near its feeding place, after a dark night.

A cock will seldom fly far until it has been fired at several times: it should, therefore, when practicable, be marked down. By a judicious system of marking, many successive shots may be obtained at the same bird. It is seldom that the skilful shooter flushes a cock, which, with the aid of markers, he does not eventually kill. The difficulty of woodcock shooting arises, for the most part, from the birds being flushed in the thickest part of woods, and contriving to wing their flight through the trees in such a manner as to baffle the sportsman’s aim. After being fired at in a wood, cocks will frequently alight amongst hedge-rows on the outskirts, especially under a hedge running close to and parallel with a water-course, when they are easily killed, as they will not rise until the shooter is close upon them; and their flight is not difficult to master when there are no trees to obstruct the aim.

A shooter, who has not opportunities of grouse-shooting, deems cock-shooting the perfection of his art; but he considers himself more than repaid for his toil, if he bag a couple or two. Combined with pheasant shooting, it is glorious sport.

As cocks are birds of passage, and their tarriance in our covers is of uncertain duration, permission to shoot them is often given to persons whose honour can be depended upon not to kill pheasants. To any but a real sportsman this is a tantalizing employment; the pheasants rise before him every fifty yards, and he may perhaps not meet with more than a couple of cocks in a day.

Spaniels are the best dogs for this sport: they give tongue when close upon game, and so allow the shooter notice, in a situation where he could not see a pointer or setter.

Formerly any one who was an adept at bringing down a woodcock, was certain of the enjoyment of a considerable local reputation as a shot, and he deserved it. Place one of their long, heavy, single-barrelled pieces, furnished with an ancient lock, flint of course, in the hands of a modern shooter, let him charge with powder similar to that used in the early days, and take his chance in a tangled brake, where the cock can make play among the branches for its life, and he will readily believe that killing a cock in those days was a real trial of skill. A short light detonator is thrown upon the bird, the trigger is drawn, and the shot reaches the mark in an instant; so speedy is the whole process, that it is scarcely necessary to make any allowance for the motion of the object, when attempting snap shots at short distances; but, with the fowling-piece and ammunition of the period we are speaking of, it was necessary to take aim half a yard above or before the object moving, for a bird would fly that distance at least, after the trigger was drawn, and before the shot reached it; or if it made a sudden turn, the shot swept past it. Besides the less chance of killing with one of those long heavy guns, the shooter would not fire half so often as with a light one; so much more time being necessary to bring up the piece and calculate the requisite allowance, the bird would generally be behind the next tree before the gun would be at the shoulder. Such was the slowness of ignition, that wild-fowl would take alarm at the flash from the pan, and dive out of harm’s way ere the shot reached the water. In all shooting, whether in the open or in cover, a deal depends upon where the shooter places himself,—a knowledge of this part of his art will enable him to obtain twice as many fair shots as his uninitiated companion. When shooting in high covers, the sportsman should push on hastily through those parts where, though very likely for game, he cannot command a view of it should it rise; but whenever he comes to a glade that commands a view in several directions, he should wait some time while his dogs beat around him, and his companions, buried in brambles and brushwood, pass him. It is often advisable to follow a footpath in a wood, particularly where ground shots are expected.

In our next, we shall pursue this subject, and give some remarks upon the lock, the percussion system, triggers, wadding, ammunition, etc., and shall then proceed with remarks upon Snipe Shooting, etc. We are determined to make this department a perfect vade mecum to the sportsman.


Owing to the temporary absence of Mr. Poe, the reviews in this number are from another hand. That department is exclusively under the control of Mr. Poe. C. J. Peterson, his coadjutor, has the charge of the other departments of the work.

The Life and Times of Red Jacket, or Sa-go-ye-wat-ha; being a sequel to the History of the Six Nations. By William L. Stone. 1 vol. Wiley and Putnam, New York and London, 1841.

The first settlers of this country found it tenanted by a people totally different from the effeminate races of Hispaniola and Cuba. Bold, patient and sagacious; sinewy in form and inured to fatigues; warlike in character, wise in council, and hospitable to a proverb, the savages of North America approached more nearly to an equality with the Anglo-Saxon race, than any people whom the rage for discovery had then made known to Europe. Nor was their progress in civilization to be despised. Their wigwams, though not luxurious, were comfortable; their women cultivated maize, tobacco, and numerous vegetables; pillows of wood were used in common by them and by the English peasantry; and, in the comforts of every day life, the savages of this continent fell little behind the mass of the European population. Women were held in high respect; their persons never violated in war, and their opinions consulted in cases of difficulty. The form of government in use among the Indians was singularly adapted to their condition. Like the ancient Germanic leader, the Indian chief was usually chosen for his wisdom, strength, and bravery—we say usually, because in nothing has more ignorance been shown than in describing the Indian polity as everywhere the same. No general rule can be laid down respecting it. In most of the tribes the government was that of a democracy; in some that of an aristocracy; and, in a few instances, that of a nearly absolute despotism. Sometimes there was one chief in war and another in peace: now he was ruled by a council of old men, and now he had delegated powers equal to those of a dictator; but, on the whole, the usual polity appears to have been democratic, each brave having a chance of attaining the leadership by his eloquence, wisdom, or courage. Often these qualities preserved the supreme power in a family for generations, the son succeeding the father, unless a more worthy leader was chosen by the people. Where there was both a war chief and a civil ruler, the latter office was the more likely to be hereditary. In short, what Tacitus said of the ancient Germans, may be pronounced of the Indians: “Reges ex nobilitate, duces ex virtute sumunt: nec regibus infinita, nec libera potestas; et duces exemplo potius quam imperio præsunt.” “They took their kings on account of nobility, and their generals on account of valor: nor was the power of their kings absolute and unlimited; and their generals commanded by the authority which their example rather than their power gave them.” And, in another place, “de minoribus principes; de majoribus omnes”—“the principal men consulted and decided about the least, the whole body of the people about the greatest affairs.” Nor did the resemblance stop here. The same forest life, the same habit of recounting their deeds in chaunts, the same warlike character, the same wild and yet spiritual religion, and the same haughtiness of spirit, arising from the consciousness of independence, characterised alike our Teuton ancestors, whose freedom we inherit, and our predecessors on this continent, whose liberty we have destroyed. And to this day, if we may credit Catlin, the Western Indian remains the same proud being. The Sioux, glittering in his showy costume, and careering along the prairie with his spear and steed, reminds us of the ancient Pole, flashing with jewels, galloping to the diet at Warsaw, and seeming to justify the haughty boast of his order, “that if the sky were to fall they would support it on the points of their lances.”

At the period of its settlement by the whites, the two most powerful nations of what now forms the Northeastern section of the United States, were the Lenni-Lenape and Mengwe—the former occupying the shores of the Delaware river, and extending into Connecticut—and the latter living chiefly in the Valley of the Mohawk and its vicinity. Neither of these people were the original occupiers of the land; but who their predecessors were, or whence they came, no man can tell. Their language, customs and laws are as unknown to us as those of the Antediluvian world. They have passed away and left no sign. Now and then the traveller, through some primeval forest, will come across the ruins of their forts—rude, vague and vast—but he can gather nothing from these silent mounds, except the single fact, that a race once peopled this continent superior in civilization to the Indians. The Alligewi gave name to our mountains,[5] and that is all we know.

Betwixt the Lenni-Lenape and Mengwe there raged continual wars, in which the former nation generally came off victorious. At length, however, the several tribes of the Mengwe united into a confederacy known as that of the Five Nations; and, being supplied with fire-arms by the Dutch, succeeded in subduing the Delawares, and forcing them to assume the character of WOMEN. This singular ceremony was performed at Albany, in the presence of the Dutch, in 1617. From that time the Iroquois have been the dominant nation. A work recording their history, explaining their governmental polity, and discussing their manners and customs would throw great light on the whole Indian race, and prove invaluable to the student; and it is as one of a series, intended to carry out such an idea, that the present volume has been published. The author has divided his subject into four periods: the first of which will contain the history of the Six Nations, up to the arrival of Sir William Johnson—the second will be occupied by the life and times of that remarkable individual—the third carries on the history through the life of Brandt—and the fourth, the present work, brings the subject up to the sale of the last Seneca lands in 1838. Only the last two eras of this history have as yet seen the light.

The life of Red Jacket is the least important portion of this subject, affording little more than a narrative of treaties for the sale of lands, with an occasional glimpse at the polity of the Six Nations, and the Senecas in particular. The period is not one calculated to display the powers which the early history and origin of the Six Nations might call forth. Industry and research are nearly all that is required. Both of these qualities Colonel Stone has evinced. There is little that is positively new in the book, but many doubtful questions have been settled, and a clearer insight given into the Indian character and customs than we had been led to expect. As an instance of the latter, we notice the fact mentioned of the women and war-chiefs in the Canandaigua council, who took the business of the treaty out of the sachems’ hands, asserting that the latter had no right to refuse the sale of lands, against the opinion of the women and braves. We are also made more fully acquainted, in this volume, with the subjection, in general, of the military to the civil power among the Indians. Perhaps the style is objectionable in one or two particulars, and there are too many speeches given “in extenso;” while events of little importance sometimes occupy as much space as those of greater moment, and tend to give an occasional prolixity to the work, which would be well worth the author’s revision when a second edition comes to be demanded. The anecdotes which intersperse the volume are highly characteristic. On the whole, in collecting and arranging so many undigested facts, and in preserving from oblivion the oral traditions of the actors in the scenes he relates, Colonel Stone has shown a commendable industry. But his work is only begun. The mere record of a chieftain’s life, however celebrated the individual may be, is secondary to the history of a mighty people and the inquiry into its origin. We care little, comparatively, when or how Red Jacket spoke, but we do care whence his people came. Our object is to learn the polity and customs of his nation, to analyze its language—in short, thoroughly to understand its history and character. To do this is what constitutes Colonel Stone’s design, but as yet he has only incidentally carried out his plan. Neither the life of Brandt nor that of Red Jacket does more than skim over the great question our author has proposed to discuss. Biography is not history: the narrative of a few land treaties is not the account of a nation’s glory. As the greatest people of the Indian race, and as the conquerors of the Alligewi, we feel an interest in dissipating the obscurity which attends the origin of the Six Nations. It is in vain to say such an attempt would be fruitless. Has it ever been methodically, analytically, perseveringly tried? Why does Colonel Stone avoid this portion of his subject—the portion which should naturally claim his attention first? We tell him frankly that he would gain ten times more reputation, and prove himself possessed of ten times more talent, if he would come up to this matter gallantly, and not scour around and around it, like a frightened hound.

Red Jacket was a sachem or civil chief among the Senecas. He seems to have been of no family, and to have won his way to the first place in the councils of his people, by his tact, his patriotism, and, more than all his eloquence. Few men have ever lived who surpassed him in oratory, if we may judge his proficiency in that art by the effect he produced on his hearers. All that has been related of Demosthenes and Cicero among the ancients, or of Bolingbroke and Chatham among the moderns, may be applied with equal truth to this great orator of the Senecas. When he rose to speak not a word was heard—when he took his seat his enthusiasm infected all. He was even able to carry his point when superstition, in its darkest guise, was arrayed against him. Some specimens, at least, of such wonderful powers of eloquence may naturally be expected to have come down to us; yet, with but one or two exceptions, his printed speeches are tame to mediocrity. Much of this, no doubt, is to be attributed to incompetent translations: indeed, our author lays the whole fault at this door. But there is another and simpler reason, to which Colonel Stone has not alluded.

Every nation has its distinctive spirit, or, to speak more plainly, its peculiar mode of thought. To this the orator must accommodate himself. The same style of eloquence which affects an Englishman, falls cold on the ear of an Italian. Even the Philippics of Demosthenes, or the orations of Cicero, were unrivalled, only so far forth as they were adapted to the peculiarities of an Athenian or Roman audience; and, had the situation of either of these orators been changed, there is great chance that, unless they altered their style, they would have been hooted from the forum, or at least listened to in silence. So with the oriental orators, whose most celebrated passages seem turgid to us. We take it, then, that one of the great secrets of this apparent tameness in Red Jacket’s orations, arises, as much from our different appreciation of his style, as from the inadequacy of the translations. We admit that there exists no perfect transcript of a harangue by him, but could one of his speeches be handed down to us, word for word, we predict that it would seem to us little better than turgid bombast or inflated allegory. Yet that Red Jacket was a great Seneca orator, we have the concurrent testimony of more than fifty years—to say nothing of the evidence, in the book before us, of his vigorous intellect and grace of manner, the two most important requisites for oral eloquence.

The character of this celebrated chieftain was an odd mixture of “dirt and divinity.” He was great as a whole, but mean in the detail. He ruled over warriors, and was an arrant coward. He professed to be frank, and lived on intrigue. His constant struggle was to retain the lands of his people, and yet more than once he would have sold them for his personal emolument. He was a hypocrite, a drunkard, and devoured by vanity; but he was also an orator, a statesman, and devoted to his country. He sometimes was capable of the loftiest generosity, and at other times he would stoop to cheat the government out of a coat. But in one thing his character is above reproach—he never ceased asserting the rights of his country; and from the treaty at Canandaigua, down to the latest hour of his life, he opposed manfully every alienation of the Seneca soil. He was often unsuccessful, and always misrepresented; but he did not relax his efforts. On the size of their domain, he said, depended the importance of his people; and that people it was his ambition to preserve an entire nation. For this he would have built up a wall of separation betwixt them and the whites—for this he excluded missionaries—for this he opposed schools—for this he denounced intermarriages—for this he lived and died a pagan. Yet he survived to see all his efforts in vain. He survived to behold the Senecas dwindled to half their numbers, to see their forests cut down, and to witness their lands slip piecemeal from their hands. How melancholy to contemplate the poor old chief, when, returning to hunt in the beautiful valley of the Gennesee, he found the ravages which the white men had made in the forest so great, that he sat down and wept.

We have said that Red Jacket was intemperate; and the vice grew on him as he grew older. When a council was to be held, however, he abstained from indulgence until the deliberations were past, but then his excesses were often frightful. An anecdote is related by Colonel Stone, which shows the old chiefs propensity in rather a ludicrous light. Colonel Snelling was a great favorite with him. When that officer was given the command of Governor’s Island, Red Jacket bade him farewell in the following words:

Brother:—I hear you are going to a place called Governor’s Island. I hope you will be a governor yourself. I understand that you white people think children a blessing. I hope you may have a thousand. And above all, I hope, wherever you go, you may never find whiskey above two shillings a quart.

Red Jacket died in 1830, and with him perished the glory of the once powerful Six Nations. Their subsequent history is well known. Their last rood of land in New York has now passed into the hands of the white man; the places which knew them shall know them no more, and in a few years the Iroquois will be numbered with the dead.

The short sketches of the lives of Cornplanter, Farmer’s Brother, and Harry O’Bail, in the conclusion of the work, are unusually interesting.

The volume is printed well, on paper of the finest quality, but disfigured, here and there, with typographical mistakes.


The Ancient Régime: A Novel. By G. P. R. James, Esq. 2 vols. Harper and Brothers.

“Stale, flat, and unprofitable” are the novels of Mr. James, and of all his novels the Ancient Régime is the most flat. We have just flung down the book, wondering how any man could, “sanâ mente,” in a sane mind, publish two volumes so very common-place. Yet Mr. James has done it, once and again, and yet again, and—God help us—seems determined to do it, so long as he can find a publisher.

We do not say that the novels of James are unreadable, paradoxical as it may seem, after what we have written. They are, on the contrary, pleasant, often instructive. In some respects they are even well written: if they were not so written, we should pass them in silence; but when a man of talent persists in writing such common-place affairs as Corse de Leon and the Ancient Régime, we feel bound to caution the public against reading them.

In reviewing the last novel of this author, we took occasion to comment on his repetition of himself; and had not but a bare six months elapsed since the publication of that article, we should have thought, that he had commenced this work with our criticism before him; for the whole conception of the Ancient Régime—according to the preface—is essentially different from that of Mr. James’ former romances. To do him justice, he seems to have set out intending to write something really new. But a dog that has once tasted blood is forever killing sheep,—and our novelist, after the first few chapters of the work, runs into all his old habits. Indeed, had he not told us in set phrases that his object was to show the gradual changes of a female mind from infancy to womanhood, and that too while she was in the peculiar position of a ward of a man to whom she bore no relationship: had he not told us this—we say—and added that he had in the Ancient Régime attempted a new and more gentle style, we should have divined neither the one fact nor the other.

There is too much clap-trap in the work before us. Most novelists are contented if their hero saves the life of his mistress once in the space of two orthodox volumes. But James thinks this entirely too little. His heroine seems put up like a ten-pin, only to be bowled at; for her life is preserved once from a wolf—once from a robber—and once from an assassin—and beside this, her honour is kept in jeopardy, as a kind of running commentary, through the whole book. We are tempted to say with Titmouse, “ ’Pon honour—most uncommon luck.” Then, too, everything happens, not as it would in life, but just as it ought to happen. Such a chain of fortuitous circumstances, following each other link by link, we venture to say, author never imagined, since the old romances of chivalry gave up the ghost. The deserted babe passes into the very hands to which it should go—the supposed father gets a place in the police, the very thing for all hands—the young lady when grown up falls in love with the son of the only man living who knows her parentage—the king is frustrated in meeting Annette, until after Du Barry has given him a new object of pursuit—the Baron de Cajore is arrested at the very instant he is arresting the hero—Ernest de Nogent is rescued in the park at Maupay just as he is about to be stabbed from behind—and last of all, the assassin de Cajore is killed off at the end, in the very nick of time, and when all the actors are conveniently assembled to look on, at a nice little tea-party in the forest. Nothing, indeed, is done naturally: everything is brought about by luck.

In the second place, the characters of the Ancient Régime are only new editions—by no means improved ones—of the dramatis personæ of James’ former novels. Some wicked wag said that the old dramatists wanted only a king, a fool, a woman, and a villain, to make a tragedy, and Mr. James seems to have taken up the joke as serious. He is like a wax-work keeper: he has one figure, which, by dint of changing the dress, passes for everything under the sun. His heroes and heroines are never dissimilar: he has always one noble and one poorer rogue: he never forgets to bring in a king or a queen, or both; and he fills up the by-play with a few supernumeraries, who talk a great deal and do a very little. If you read one of his novels, you read, in fact, all. Then there are perils, rescues, a duel or two, generally a trial, and now and then a sprinkling of battles, ambuscades, and the like. Sometimes the hobby is one thing and sometimes another, but he never mixes the draught without putting in a little of all the ingredients. In his last novel his fancy ran on battles—in this one, trials appear to rule the roost. To sum up this head, Mr. James seems to be like a horse in a mill, who, though every time he goes his rounds, may kick up his heels after a new variety, never gets out of the same beaten track, or rises above the same humdrum pace.

In the third place, there is no ingenuity in the plot of the Ancient Régime. You see, at once, not only how all is to end, but you penetrate into every detail of the plot. By the time you have read thirty pages, you know that Annette is not Pierre Morin’s daughter—that the Abbé is the unknown companion of the murderers—that Pierre Morin is the person who warns Castelneau to leave Paris—and that the sign which induces the Abbé to obey, is the discovery of his own seal, which had been lost at the door of Fiteau’s shop, impressed on the letter of warning. A plot, so loosely contrived, wants interest; and if you go through the book at all, it is with labor.

But even that very respectable gentleman, who unfortunately is provided with a tail, is not, according to the popular rumour, without his good qualities; and Mr. James, despite all we have said, is yet a writer of talent—talent running a muck, we contend—but still talent. More than this—he is a historian; not a mere chronicler, but a historian. He knows the manners, costume, and general spirit of the ages of which he writes, and his novels may, so far forth as they embody this knowledge, be read with interest. This, too, is the secret of his continued success in despite of his many faults. This, too, is why he is called the great historical novelist of the age, though in painting accurately the characters of his leading personages, such as Richelieu, Philip Augustus, &c., he is far beneath Grattan—a writer, by the bye, less known in this country than he deserves to be. In another thing James is deficient as a writer of historical romance—he does not enter, as fully as he ought, into the spirit of the age. Here Bulwer, in his Rienzi, has shown himself superior to the author of Richelieu; to say nothing of Scott, who, whatever license he took with particular personages, always depicted vividly the spirit of the age of which he wrote.

We take leave of this novel with a brief prophesy respecting its author: he will, in fifty years, be of no more note than any one of the thousand and one imitators of whose class he is the head.

America, Historical, Statistical and Descriptive: with numerous engravings. By J. Silk Buckingham. 2 vols. Harper and Brothers.

If ever there was an inane author—if ever there was an arrant egotist—if ever there was a traveller ignorant of his subject, that author, egotist, and traveller, is J. Silk Buckingham, late missionary in the cause of morals, to the world in general and to this land in particular, and now the author of a romance which he entitles “America, historical, statistical, and descriptive.” How could a man suffer himself to be so egregiously gulled, as Mr. Buckingham has proved himself to have been, in these volumes? If his lectures on the Holy Land contained a tithe of the exaggeration of this journal, what a precious mess of stuff his audiences must have swallowed!

Mr. Buckingham opens with a sweeping condemnation of all former writers on America, and then adroitly insinuates that his work is the “ne plus ultra” of all works. No one who heard him lecture can doubt his egotism or vanity. We were not, therefore, much surprised at this exordium. The text, however, keeps up the farce, and whether describing the emoluments of the bar, the genius and productions of our poets, the statistics of the States or Union, the conduct of political parties, or the advance of taste, morals, or religion, he is sure to drag in something respecting himself, and to misrepresent, more or less, the subject under discussion. Did the book merit the time and space, we would quote some of its remarks to shew what an arrant block-head, or else what a wilful libeller, this J. Silk Buckingham is.

This want of truth in Mr. Buckingham is unpardonable. While here, he was feasted, huzzaed, followed by crowds, in short made a lion of,—and, as he himself says, he had every opportunity to gain correct information. But he seems to have slighted them all. His exaggerations out-romance Amadis de Gaul. He is beside painfully dull, prosing away, page after page, just as he used to dilute his twaddle, when retailing it, by the hour, at a shilling a head. His work scarcely lays claim to mediocrity. Although ushered in by a flourish of trumpets from presses on both sides of the Atlantic, and attended by a pompous dedication to His Royal Highness Prince Albert, the volumes are inferior in every respect to the unpretending work, on this country, lately published by Mr. Combe. As Brougham said of Sheridan’s statesmanship, “it is neither a bad book, nor a good book, nor an indifferent book—the fact is, it is no book at all.”

Lectures on the History of Literature, Ancient and Modern: from the German of Frederick Schlegel: 1 vol. J. and H. G. Langley: New York, 1841.

This work is already extensively known, through the medium of foreign editions; but the present imprint of it will be none the less welcome on that account. We rejoice to see our publishers begin to make head against the reprint of worthless novels, by issuing, instead of such trash, works of a standard character like this. Let the press second them in so noble an effort.

The object of Schlegel, in this volume, has been to give a general view of the development and spirit of literature, and to show its influence on the character of successive ages, from ancient to modern times. We cannot appreciate, and cannot therefore be expected to praise, the German fondness for reducing everything to a theory, and we must consequently protest against the attempt made by our author to give his subject such a character. Nevertheless the book is full of profound reflections, and displays great research. It is the result of a full mind, and not the idle rhapsody of a visionary.

The present edition is a reprint from the last Edinburgh one. The translation is attributed to J. G. Lockhart, whose scholarship is a guarantee for excellence and fidelity.

The Secretary of Machiavelli, or the Siege of Florence. By D. M’Carthy. 2 vols. Lea and Blanchard.

A very common-place book, too bad to praise, yet too good absolutely to condemn. It will find its place on the shelves of circulating libraries.

The Secret Foe. By Ellen Pickering, 2 vols. Carey and Hart.

This is scarcely equal to Miss Pickering’s earlier production, “Nan Darrell.” Indeed, the present novel is, by no means, a work which will increase her reputation. Portions of it are written well, we admit; but the character of the book, considered as a whole, is but little above a desperate mediocrity. There is no individuality in the actors—no novelty in the plot—many incidents extravagant and unnatural; and a forced interest, if we may so speak, in the whole of the second volume. It is true, many of the scenes are drawn vividly, but they do not suffice to redeem the work. Worse than all, the introduction of the fugitive, Charles the Second, together with the whole conception of the character of the boy Jackson, is a plagiarism from Woodstock of the worst kind, because one where the spirit and not the language is stolen. We cannot forgive the author, even though a woman, for such an act.

The Deerslayer, or, the First War-Path: A Tale: By J. F. Cooper. 2 vols. Lea and Blanchard.

Little can be said of this tale which has not been said of the former novels, by Mr. Cooper, in which “Leather Stocking” appears. The story is one of thrilling interest, full of perils and of hair-breadth escapes. The reader, unable to lay down the book, peruses it with painful and breathless eagerness; but, with the exception of Natty Bumpo, there is no character worthy of the name. Here is the great difference betwixt Cooper and Scott. No one will deny, that the former is nearly, if not quite, as successful as the latter in the interest his story awakens in the reader’s mind, yet we look back in vain, through the whole series of the Red Rover tales, for such inimitable characters as those of Balfour of Burley, and the other actors in the Waverley Novels. Mr. Cooper paints only the outside, he cannot reach into the soul. Yet, as an author, skilful in the management of incident, or capable of whirling away the reader in the breathless interest of a story, no writer of the day, at least no American, can, at all, compare with Mr. Cooper.

In the present tale there is an unusual unity of person, place and time. The whole action is confined to three days; the principal characters are not more than six; and the scene is the lake at Cooperstown, with its surrounding shores. The story is placed as far back as the early French war, and is one of Indian siege and ambuscade. Some of the night scenes, where the beleagured whites, uncertain of the time or mode of the enemy’s attack, wander up and down the lake in the ark, listening for the dip of a paddle or the crackling of a twig, to announce the approach of the foe, are unsurpassed even by the earliest efforts of Mr. Cooper. The rescue of Hist from the hostile camp is a scene of great power—so is the surprise of the whites at the castle—and so is the death of the Panther from Deerslayer’s hands, and the latter’s temporary escape from the savages. The closing scene, however, in which the torture of Deerslayer is going on, seems to us not only painfully, but unnaturally protracted—so that, long before the dénouement, we begin to lose our interest in the finale, under the feeling that the author has overworked his scene.

We are not captious in these few objections, for they are but specks on a sunny sky. No one can question Mr. Cooper’s powers as a novelist of his particular school. We dismiss his work with high praise, hoping that he may long live to adorn the literature of his country, and that he may never write a worse story than the Deerslayer.

The Leather Stocking tales are now complete in ten volumes, by Messrs. Lea and Blanchard.

A Practical Description of Herron’s Patent Trellis Railway Structure, etc., etc. By James Herron, Civil Engineer. 1 vol. Carey and Hart, and J. Dobson, Philadelphia, 1841.

This is an able treatise. The main object of the author is to explain his Patent Trellis Railway Structure—an invention which is peculiarly adapted to the frosty climates of the middle and northern states; but, as collateral to this, he has discussed the subject of mineralizing wood, of an improved method of joining the ends of railway bars, and of the defective nature of railway structures in use.

The length to which we have extended some of the preceding reviews, forbids us to go at large into the contents of this volume; but we recommend it to the attention of the public, and to that of rail-road companies in particular. The volume is accompanied by four large plates of working plans to illustrate the author’s remarks. The invention of Mr. Herron has received the sanction of the very highest authorities, and will, in our opinion, supercede all other modes of railway structure.

Mr. Strickland, so well known as an architect and engineer, speaks of it as follows:

“Among the various methods now used for the super-structure of railways in this country and in Europe, I know of none to compare with Mr. Herron’s patent horizontal truss, or diagonal braced floor. It has the great advantages of surface-bearing lateral connection, and longitudinal combination of strength, and evenness of level. It is calculated to rest secure in all the various characters of soil . . . . will be found to resist with the utmost degree of permanency all the vicissitudes of the caved and washed embankments which undermine the present mud-sills and cross-ties of the road-beds now in use.”

The Franklin Institute says of it:

“Mr. Herron has fully understood and appreciated the evils inseparably connected with the plans of railway super-structure so much in use here and in Europe, in which the rails are supported upon isolated blocks of stone or sleepers of timber . . . . His object has been to devise a plan in which all the parts forming the structure shall be adequately supported; while, at the same time, they shall be so connected that no portion will be liable to independent displacement, either laterally or vertically.”

Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home. By the author of “The Linwoods,” etc. 2 vols. Harper and Brothers: New York, 1841.

Miss Sedgwick has given us, in these volumes, her notes of travel through England, Italy, and other parts of Europe. The book is written in an easy, almost conversational style; it abounds in anecdote and what we should call allowable gossip; and, if it were only a little racier, would be a model for tourists. We like particularly the little details of persons and manners, in which our author has indulged—one gets, in perusing them, an excellent idea of the society in other countries. This is what we want, and where the author does not intrude on privacy, we cannot see that he or she is to be condemned. Miss Sedgwick’s choice of words might—to our minds—be purer: her style is often disfigured by provincial phrases of the worst kind.

The Life and Adventures of Valentine Vox, the Ventriloquist. By H. Cockton. With numerous illustrations, by Phiz. 1 vol. Carey and Hart.

This is a work of considerable humor—one of that class, which, without much originality, manages to become popular, as much from the fun it contains, as from the style in which the story is told. The illustrations are not as happy as those of Phiz in general. The book is neatly printed, in the style of the Nickleby series.


On the tenth of August, a letter addressed to us by some gentleman who had assumed the nom de guerre of Timotheus Whackemwell, was received at this office, from Baltimore. It enclosed a cypher, and says, “if you succeed with it I will set you down as perfect in the art.” Thinking that in the chirography we recognized the hand of our friend, Mr. J. N. McJilton, of Baltimore, we addressed him by return of mail, with the solution desired. Mr. McJilton, it appears, however, was not the correspondent. The solution ran thus—

“This specimen of secret writing is sent you for explanation. If you succeed in divining its meaning, I will believe that you are some kin to Old Nick.”

Mr. Whackemwell, whoever or wherever he is, will acknowledge this reading to be correct.

The cypher submitted through Mr. F. W. Thomas, by Dr. Frailey, of Washington, and decyphered by us, also in return of mail, as stated in our August number, has not yet been read by any of our innumerable readers. We now append its solution, together with the whole of that letter of the Doctor’s, of which we gave only a portion in the August number.


In one of those peripatetic circumrotations I obviated a rustic whom I subjected to catachetical interrogation respecting the nosocomical characteristics of the edifice to which I was approximate. With a volubility uncongealed by the frigorific powers of villatic bashfulness, he ejaculated a voluminous replication from the universal tenor of whose contents I deduce the subsequent amalgamation of heterogeneous facts. Without dubiety incipient pretension is apt to terminate in final vulgarity, as parturient mountains have been fabulated to produce muscupular abortions. The institution the subject of my remarks, has not been without cause the theme of the ephemeral columns of quotidian journals, and enthusiastic encomiations in conversational intercourse.

The key to this cipher is as follows—But find this out and I give it up.

The appended letter, however, from Dr. Frailey, will show the means used by him to embarrass the reading. Arbitrary characters were made to stand for whole words. When we take this circumstance into consideration, with other facts mentioned in the letter, and regard also the nonsensical character of the phraseology employed, we shall be the better enabled to appreciate the extreme difficulty of the puzzle.

Washington, July 6, 1841.

Dear Sir,

It gives me pleasure to state, that the reading by Mr. Poe, of the cryptograph which I gave you a few days since for transmission to him, is correct.

I am the more astonished at this, since for various words of two, three and four letters, a distinct character was used for each, in order to prevent the discovery of some of those words, by their frequent repetition in a cryptograph of any length and applying them to other words. I also used a distinct character for the terminations tion and sion, and substituted in every word where it was possible, some of the characters above alluded to. Where the same word of two of those letters occurred frequently, the letters of the key phrase and the characters were alternately used, to increase the difficulty.

As ever, yours, &c.


To F. W. Thomas, Esq.


Transcriber’s Notes:

Table of Contents has been added for reader convenience. Available scans of the fashion plate were missing a caption so caption was added in the style of the fashion plates of the previous issues of this volume. Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Obvious punctuation and typesetting errors have been corrected without note.


[The end of Graham's Magazine Vol XIX No. 4 October 1841 edited by George Rex Graham]