Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

himself for the night, and he would awake him early in the morning, and conduct him on his way.

6. Accordingly in the morning they set off, and the Indian led him out of the forest, and put him into the road which he was to pursue; but, just as they were taking leave, he stepped before the planter, and, turning round, staring full in his face, asked him whether he recollected his features. The planter was now struck with shame and confusion, when he rec'ognised in his kind protector the Indian whom he had so harshly treated.

7. He confessed that he knew him, and was full of excuses for his brutal behaviour; to which the Indian only replied; "When you see poor Indians fainting for a cup of cold water, don't say again, Get you gone, you Indian dog.' The Indian then wished him well on his journey, and left him. It is not difficult to say which of these two had the best claim to the name of Christian.



Of all the quadrupeds which have hitherto been describ

ed, the Mammoth is undoubtedly much the largest. This animal is not known to have an existence any where at present. We judge of it only from its bones and skeletons, which are of an unparalleled size, and are found in Siberia, Russia, Germany and North America.

2. On the Ohio, and in many places farther north, tusks, grinders and skeletons, which admit of no comparison with any other animal at present known, are found in vast numbers; some lying on the surface of the earth, and some a little below it.

3. A Mr. Stanley, taken prisoner by the Indians near the mouth of the Tennessee, relates, that, after being transferred from one tribe to another, he was at length carried over the mountains west of the Missouri to a river which runs westwardly; that these bones abounded there; and that the natives said the animal was still existing in the northern parts of their country.

4. Notwithstanding the great number of bones which have been found, the living animal has never been discovered. There is, however, one instance on record of the preservation of the carcass. In the year 1799, a fisherman observed a strange mass projecting from an ice-bank in Siberia, the nature of which he did not understand, and which was so high in the bank as to be beyond his reach.

5. He watched it for several years, and, in the spring of the fifth, the enormous carcass became entirely disengaged from the ice, and fell down upon a sand-bank forming part of the coast of the Arctic or Frozen Ocean.

6. In 1806, the whole skeleton remained upon the sandbank, although the carcass had been greatly mutilated by the white bears, dogs and other animals, which had feasted upon it about two years. The skin was extremely thick and heavy, and so much remained as required the exertions of ten men to carry it away.

7. As the natives in the vicinity have no traditional history of this enormous animal, the conclusion is, that it was imbedded in the ice many ages ago, and, from its perfect preservation, this probably took place at the very moment of its death.

8. A delegation of warriours from the Delaware tribe having visited the governour of Virginia, during the late revolution, on matters of business, after these had been discussed and settled in council, the governour asked them some questions relative to their country, and, among others, what they knew or had heard of the animal whose bones were found at the Salt-licks on the Ohio.

9. The chief speaker immediately put himself into an attitude of oratory, and, with a pomp suited to what he conceived the elevation of his subject, informed him, “That it was a tradition handed down from their fathers, that, in an-· cient times, a herd of these tremendous animals came to the Big-bone-licks, and began a universal destruction of the bears, deer, elks, buffaloes, and other animals, which had been created for the use of the Indians.

10. "That the Great Man above, looking down, and seeing this, was so enraged, that he seized his lightning, descended to the earth, seated himself on a neighbouring mountain, on a rock, on which his seat and the print of his

feet are still to be seen, and hurled his bolts among them, till the whole were slaughtered, except the big bull, who, presenting his forehead to the shafts, shook them off as they fell; but, missing one at length, it wounded him in the side; whereupon, springing round, he bounded over the Wabash, the Illinois, and finally over the great lakes, where he is living at this day."


DAME GREENFIELD made her appearance about half a century ago: her parents were honest, plain, homely people, and the occupation of a farmer had not been changed in the family for several generations. She was particularly thrifty, and retired in her habits, for which reason she was not married until nearly thirty-five, and her sole offspring was a daughter.

2. Matters throve so well with the industrious couple, that Miss was looked up to as a sort of heiress, and the most valuable property in their whole stock and crop. Mrs. Greenfield's name was Margery, and her honest husband called her Madge; but this was thought too vulgar for the pearl of the family, and she was accordingly called Margaret, which swelled itself, in time, into Margaretta.

3. Worthy Mrs. Greenfield could milk, make butter and puddings, spin and cook, but all these occupations were beneath Miss Greenfield. They were calculated to spoil her white hands, and Pa, as Miss called him, was determined to make a lady of her.

4. Now Ma had no accomplishments: her writing was cramped, and not very legible; she read with an up-country tone, and generally sung through her nose. A travelling actress, however, taught Miss to play on the piano forte, to dance reels and cotillons, and speak barbarous French. Beside this, she embroidered on satin, and wrote an affected taper hand. 5. About this time, Ma quitted the stage of life, but Miss Margaret did not mourn for her very violently. Some natural

tears, to be sure, she shed, but the world was all before her, and she did not permit her affliction to unfit her for entering, upon it.

6. Very unluckily, the flour trade flourished to an unnatural extent about this time, and the farmer's pride rose with the price of grain; so that Miss Margaret's earnest request was granted, and she was sent to a most extravagant boardingschool in the city, where the daughters of the richest citizens were sent.

7. Her companions looked down upon her at first, but she soon excelled in accomplishments, and played the girl of fashion so naturally, that she soon ingratiated herself with the females in high life, and used to lend her pocket money, and dress at such an extravagant rate, that the farmer's stacks would often shrink into a bonnet, or a shawl.

8. The period of her education being concluded, she returned in sullen misery to the farm, and turned up her nose at every object she saw, from the barn door chicken to the family cat, and from Doll, the dairy maid, up to the worthy parson of the parish.

9. Of Pa she got desperately ashamed, and cousin Nathan was directed, with the most ineffable contempt, never to presume to call her Peggy again as long as he lived. Pa was ordered out of the parlour to smoke his pipe, and forced every day to dress for dinner; for Miss Margaretta's superiority was so evident, that she became absolute mistress over the whole establishment.

10. The old family side-board was sold for a trifle, and three hundred dollars given for a piano forte. Reels and country dances were exploded for waltzes, and barbarous French was deserted for softer Italian. Even painting on satin was superseded by the more sentimental employment of writing poetry.

11. Margaretta next sold four cows and a yoke of oxen, to purchase a pair of blood horses, and had a desperate quarrel with Pa, because he would not give Joe, the stable boy, a crimson liv'ery to rrde after her. Tea was served to her in bed, and she excused herself from going to church, because Pa's pew was less conspicuous than one or two others.

12. Whilst at the boarding-school, she had not been with

out admirers. A gentleman in a curricle had dropped a billet at her feet, and she had received a proposal to elope with a young rake; but her heart leaned towards an officer in the army, who had challenged the youthful prodigal on her account. With this undefined sentiment, she came down to the country, and had the advantage of being in love, which, with a melancholy cast of countenance, added greatly to the rest of her irresistibility.

13 She now, therefore, vegetated, as she called it, at Pa's, for six months, with the sole consolation of giving her sighs to the gale, reading novels all night, lying in bed all day, composing a sonnet to a butterfly, and occasionally corresponding with some of her devoted friends in the city.

14. In the course of the summer, she had sufficient influence over Pa's mind to induce him to leave his business, and take her to the Springs, where she had the mingled delight of seeing herself admired, and poor Pa heartily laughed at. She now adopted the more romantic name of Margaretta Rosetta Greville, the first and last being thus metamorphosed, and the middle name adopted from a novel.

15. About this time, Pa's affairs were getting into disor der, and, since his wife's death, he had taken to drinking, and intrusted every thing to his servants. Finally, he had the misfortune to be thrown from his horse in a state of intoxication, and died soon after the accident.

16. On investigation, his effects were found insufficient to cover his debts, when honest Nathan offered to pay them, and marry cousin Peg into the bargain; which proposal was rejected with scorn. While visiting her city friends, whose affection was wonderfully cool, and fell far below the degree of warmth she had been led to expect from their letters, she incurred expenses which she was unable to pay or to prevent.

17. At last, after shifting from one lodging to another, as her landlady became clamorous for pay, her credit gone, and too proud to return to her native town, or ask relief of her formerly despised cousin, she welcomed the poor-house as a retreat from what she considered an ungrateful world, and soon became the maniack whose shrieks attracted my attention, and led me to inquire into her history.

18. Parents, whose overweening fondness leads you to

« AnteriorContinuar »