4. Now rested on the solid earth, And sober was her vesture; She seldom either grief or mirth Expressed, by word or gesture; Composed, sedate, and firm she stood, And looked industrious, calm, and good.
5. Then sang a wild, fantastic song, Light as the gale she flies on, Still stretching, as she sailed along, Toward the far horizon, Where clouds of radiance, fringed with gold, O'er hills of emerald beauty rolled.
6. Now rarely raised her sober eye To view that golden distance; Nor let one idle minute fly In hope of Then's assistance; But still with busy hands she stood, Intent on doing present good.
7. She ate the sweet, but homely fare, That passing moments brought her; While Then, expecting dainties rare, Despised such bread and water; And waited for the fruits and flowers Of future, still receding hours.
8. Now, venturing once to ask her why, She answered with invective; And pointed, as she made reply, Toward that long perspective Of years to come,—in distant blue, Wherein she meant to live and do,
9. "Alas!" says she, "how hard you toil! With undiverted sadness; Behold yon land of wine and oil! Those sunny hills of gladness! Those joys I wait, with eager brow," "And so you always will!" said Now.
10. "That fairy land that looks so real, Recedes as you pursue it; Thus, while you wait for time's ideal, I take my work and do it; Intent to form, when time is gone, A pleasant past to look upon."
11. "Ah, well," said Then, "I envy not Your dull, fatiguing labors,— Aspiring to a brighter lot, With thousands of my neighbors; Soon as I reach that golden hill,"— "But that," says Now, "you never will!"
12. "And e'en suppose you should," said she, "(Though mortal ne'er attained it,) Your nature you must change with me, The moment you have gained it; Since hope fulfilled, (you must allow,) Turns NOW to Then, and THEN to Now."
[Footnote 1: The reference is to Orpheus, (or' fuse,) an ancient poet and musician of Greece. The skill of Orpheus on the lyre, was fabled to have been such as to move the very trees and rocks, and to assemble the beasts around him as he touched its chords.]
QUESTIONS.—1. What two words are represented as holding a controversy? 2. Describe the appearance of each. 3. When did Then propose to do something? 4. How did Now act? 5. What answer did Then make, when Now asked her why she waited? 6. What was Now's reply? 7. What did Now finally say to Then? 8. How should passages, within a parenthesis, be read? See SANDERS' UNION READER, NUMBER THREE, page 20.
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IN GEN' IOUS, artful; skillful. STRAT' A GEM, trick; artifice. EX CEED' ED, surpassed. SIG' NALS, signs. AM' I CA BLE, friendly; peaceable. RE PEL', (RE, back; PEL, to drive,)drive back. MU' TU AL, reciprocal. EX TRAOR' DI NA RY, uncommon. IN VET' ER ATE, obstinate; violent. HARANGUE', declamatory speech. EN TER TAIN' ED, held; had. SUS PI' CION, mistrust. EN COUN' TER ED, met face to face. EX' E CU TED, carried out. FOR' MI DA BLE, fearful; dreadful. PER FID' I OUS, treacherous. PRE CIP' ITATELY, headlong. IN AN' I MATE, dead; lifeless.
AN INGENIOUS STRATAGEM.
DAYS OF WASHINGTON.
1. In the early part of the war, a sergeant and twelve armed men undertook a journey through the wilderness, in the State of New Hampshire. Their route was remote from any settlement, and they were under the necessity of encamping over night in the woods. Nothing material happened the first day of their excursion; but, early in the afternoon of the second, they, from an eminence, discovered a body of armed Indians advancing toward them, whose number rather exceeded their own.
2. As soon as the whites were perceived by their red brethren, the latter made signals, and the two parties approached each other in an amicable manner. The Indians appeared to be much gratified with meeting the sergeant and his men, whom, they observed, they considered as their protectors. They said they belonged to a tribe which had raised the hatchet with zeal in the cause of liberty, and were determined to do all in their power to repel the common enemy.
3. They shook hands in friendship. When they had conversed with each other for some time, and exchanged mutual good wishes, they, at length, separated, and each party traveled in a different direction. After proceeding to the distance of a mile or more, the sergeant, who was acquainted with all the different tribes, and knew on which side of the contest they were respectively ranked, halted his men, and addressed them in the following words:
4. "My brave companions, we must use the utmost caution, or this night may be our last. Should we not make some extraordinary exertions to defend ourselves, to-morrow's sun may find us sleeping, never to wake. You are surprised, comrades, at my words, and your anxiety will not be lessened, when I inform you that we have just passed our most inveterate foe, who, under the mask of pretended friendship, which you have witnessed, would lull us to security, and, by such means, in the unguarded moments of our midnight slumber, without resistance, seal our fate."
5. The men with astonishment listened to this short harangue; and their surprise was greater, as not one of them had entertained the suspicion but that they had just encountered friends. They all immediately resolved to enter into some scheme for their mutual preservation, and the destruction of their enemies. By the proposal of their leader, the following plan was adopted and executed.
6. The spot selected for their night's encampment, was near a stream of water, which served to cover their rear. They felled a large tree, before which, on the approach of night, a brilliant fire was lighted. Each individual cut a log of wood, about the size of his body, rolled it nicely in his blanket, placed his hat upon one end, and laid it before the fire, that the enemy might be deceived, and mistake it for a man.
7. After they had thus fitted out logs, equal in number to the sergeant's party, and had so artfully arranged them, that they might be easily mistaken for so many soldiers, the men with loaded muskets placed themselves behind the fallen tree, by which time the shades of evening began to close around. The fire was kept burning brilliantly until late in the evening, when it was suffered to decline.
8. The critical time was now approaching, when an attack might be expected from the Indians; but the sergeant's men rested in their place of concealment with great anxiety, till near midnight, without perceiving any movement of the enemy. At length, a tall Indian was discovered, through the glimmering of the fire, cautiously moving toward them, making no noise, and apparently using every means in his power to conceal himself from any one about the camp.
9. For a time, his actions showed him to be suspicious that a guard might be stationed to watch any unusual appearance, who would give the alarm in case of danger; but, all appearing quiet, he ventured forward more boldly, rested upon his toes, and was distinctly seen to move his finger as he numbered each log of wood, or what he supposed to be a human being quietly enjoying repose.
10. To satisfy himself more fully, as to the number, he counted them over a second time, and cautiously retired. He was succeeded by another Indian, who went through the same movements, and retired in the same manner. Soon after, the whole party, sixteen in number, were discovered approaching, and greedily eyeing their supposed victims.
11. The feelings of the sergeant's men can be better imagined than described, when they saw the base and cruel purpose of their enemies, who were now so near that they could scarcely be restrained from firing upon them. The plan, however, of the sergeant, was to have his men remain silent in their places of concealment, till the muskets of the savages were discharged, that their own fire might be effectual, and opposition less formidable.
12. Their suspense was not of long duration. The Indians, in a body, cautiously approached till within a short distance: they then halted, took deliberate aim, discharged their pieces upon inanimate logs, gave a dreadful war-whoop, and instantly rushed forward, with tomahawk and scalping knife in hand, to dispatch the living, and obtain the scalps of the dead.
13. As soon as they had collected in close order, more effectually to execute their horrid intentions, the sergeant's party discharged their pieces, not on logs of wood, but perfidious savages,—many of whom fell under the hot fire of the little band, and the rest precipitately fled. But for this ingenious scheme, it is probable that not one of these twelve men would have escaped the tomahawk of the savages.
QUESTIONS.—1. What did the sergeant say to his men, after parting with the Indians? 2. What plan did the sergeant propose for their preservation? 3. Did the plan succeed? 4. Describe the closing scene.
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VEN' ER A BLE, worthy of reverence. IN VA' SION, irruption; inroad. EX CIT' ED, roused; stirred up. IRE, wrath; indignation. VENGE' ANCE, retaliation. RE LEAS' ED, set free; liberated. TRO PHIES, memorials of victory. BE REFT', deprived. VULT' URE, rapacious bird. TRAV' ERS ED, crossed over. DE SCRIP' TION, representation. MA TER' NAL, motherly. FIL' IAL, becoming a child. CON SAN GUIN' I TY, blood relationship. IN TEL' LI GENCE, news; information. I DEN' TI TY, sameness. SUR VIV' ED, remained alive. AS CER TAIN' ED, found out. IN TER' PRET ER, explainer. LIN' E A MENTS, features.
FRANCES SLOCUM, THE YOUNG CAPTIVE.
[Footnote: The great massacre at Wyoming was, perhaps, the most bloody and terrible chapter of the Revolution. A combined Indian and Tory force had flung itself upon the peaceful valley, and murdered or made captive nearly all its unoffending inhabitants; its old and its young,—men, women, and children alike,—were either indiscriminately butchered or made prisoners. Among the prisoners taken on that occasion, was an infant child by the name of Frances Slocum. The story is a very strange one; we copy it from Lossing's very excellent work, "The Field Book of the Revolution."]
1. I passed the evening with the venerable Joseph Slocum, whose family was among the sufferers, in Wyoming Valley. He related to me all the particulars of the capture and final discovery of his sister Frances, and other incidents connected with the sufferings of his family.
2. His father was a Quaker, and was distinguished for his kindness to the Indians. He remained unharmed at the time of the invasion, and, while the torch was applied to the dwellings of others, his was left untouched. But his son Giles was in the battle. This, doubtless, excited the ire of the Indians, and they resolved on vengeance. 3. Late in the autumn, they were seen prowling about the house, which was situated about one hundred rods from the Wilkesbarre Fort. A neighbor, named Kingsley, had been made prisoner, and his wife and two sons had a welcome home in Mr. Slocum's family. One morning, the boys were grinding a knife near the house, when a rifle-shot and a shriek brought Mrs. Slocum to the door. An Indian was scalping the eldest boy, a lad of fifteen, with the knife he had been grinding.
4. The savage then went into the house, and caught up a little son of Mrs. Slocum. "See!" exclaimed the frightened mother, "he can do thee no good; he is lame." The Indian released the boy, took up her little daughter Frances, aged five years, gently in his arms, and, seizing the younger Kingsley, hastened to the mountains.
5. Two Indians who were with him, carried off a black girl, about seventeen years of age. Mr. Slocum's daughter caught up her brother Joseph, (my informant,) two and a half years old, and fled in safety to the fort, where an alarm was given; but the savages were beyond successful pursuit.
6. About six weeks afterward, Mr. Slocum and his father-in-law Ira Tripp, were shot and scalped by some Indians while foddering cattle near the house. Again the savages escaped with their horrid trophies. Mrs. Slocum, bereft of father, husband, and child, and stripped of all possessions but the house that sheltered her, could not leave the valley, for nine helpless children were yet in her household.
7. She trusted in the God of Elijah; and, if she was not fed by the ravens, she was spared by the vultures. She mourned not for the dead; for they were at rest: but little Frances, her lost darling, where was she? The lamp of hope kept on burning; but years rolled by, and no tidings of the little one came.
8. When peace returned, and friendly intercourse with Canada was established, two of the little captive's brothers started in search of her. They traversed the wilderness to Niagara, offering rewards for her recovery; but all in vain. They returned to Wyoming, convinced that the child was dead. But the mother's heart was still the shrine of hope, and she felt assured that Frances was not in the grave.
9. Her soul appeared to commune with that of her child, and she often said, "I know Frances is still living." At length, the mother's heart was cheered: a woman (for many years had now passed, and Frances, if living, must have arrived to womanhood) was found among the Indians, answering the description of the lost one. She only remembered being carried away from the Susquehanna.
10. Mrs. Slocum took her home, and cherished her with a mother's tenderness. Yet the mysterious link of sympathy which binds the maternal spirit to its offspring, was unfelt, and the bereaved mother was bereaved still. "It may be Frances, but it does not seem so; yet the woman shall ever be welcome," said Mrs. Slocum. The foundling, also, felt no filial yearnings; and, both becoming convinced that no consanguinity existed, the orphan returned to her Indian friends.
11. From time to time, the hope of the mother would be revived, and journeys were made to distant Indian settlements in search of the lost sister; but in vain. The mother went "down into the grave, mourning," and little Frances was almost forgotten. Her brothers had become aged men, and their grandchildren were playing upon the very spot, whence she had been taken.
12. In the summer of 1837, fifty-nine years after her capture, intelligence of Frances was received. Colonel Ewing, an Indian agent and trader, in a letter from Logansport, Indiana, to the editor of the Lancaster Intelligencer, gave such information, that all doubts respecting her identity were removed; and Joseph Slocum, with the sister who carried him to the fort, and yet survived, immediately journeyed to Ohio, where they were joined by their younger brother Isaac.
13. They proceeded to Logansport, where they found Mr. Ewing, and ascertained that the woman spoken of by him, lived about twelve miles from the village. She was immediately sent for; and, toward evening the next day, she came into the town, riding a spirited young horse, accompanied by her two daughters, and the husband of one of them,—all dressed in full Indian costume.
14. An interpreter was procured, (for she could not speak or understand English,) and she listened seriously to what her brothers had to say. She answered but little, and, at sunset, departed for her home, promising to return the next morning. The brother and sister were quite sure that it was indeed Frances, though in her face nothing but Indian lineaments were seen, her color alone revealing her origin.
15. True to her appointment, she appeared the following morning, accompanied as before. Mr. Joseph Slocum then mentioned a mark of recognition, which, his mother had said, was a sure test. While playing, one day, with a hammer in a blacksmith's shop, Joseph, then a child two and a half years old, gave Frances a blow upon the middle finger of the left hand, which crushed the bone, and deprived the finger of its nail.
16. This test Mr. Slocum had withheld until others should fail. When he mentioned it, the aged woman was greatly agitated; and, while tears filled the furrows of her face, she held out the wounded finger. There was no longer a doubt, and a scene of great interest ensued. Her affections for her kindred, that had slumbered half a century, were aroused, and she made earnest inquiries after her father, mother, brothers, and sisters. Her full heart—full with the cherished secrets of her history—was opened, and the story of her life freely given.
17. She said the savages, who were Delawares, after taking her to a rocky cave in the mountains, departed to the Indian country. The first night was the unhappiest of her life. She was kindly treated,—being carried tenderly in their arms when she was weary. She was adopted in an Indian family, and brought up as their daughter. For years she lived a roving life, and loved it. She was taught the use of the bow and arrow, and became expert in all the employments of savage existence.
18. When she was grown to womanhood, both her Indian parents died, and she soon afterward married a young chief of the nation, and removed to the Ohio country. She was treated with more respect than the Indian women generally; and so happy was she in her domestic relations, that the chance of being discovered, and compelled to return among the whites, was the greatest evil that she feared; for she had been taught that they were the implacable enemies of the Indians, whom she loved.
19. Her husband died; and, her people having joined the Miamies, she went with them, and married one of that tribe. The last husband was also dead, and she had been a widow many years. Children and grandchildren were around her, and her life was passing pleasantly away. When she concluded the narrative, she lifted her right hand in a solemn manner, and said, "All this is as true as that there is a Great Spirit in the heavens!" she had entirely forgotten her native language, and was a pagan.
20. On the day after the second interview, the brothers and sisters, with the interpreter, rode out to her dwelling. It was a well-built log-house, in the midst of cultivation. A large herd of cattle and sixty horses were grazing in the pasture. Everything betokened plenty and comfort; for she was wealthy, when her wants and her means were compared. Her annuity from government, which she received as one of the Miami tribe, had been saved, and she had about one thousand dollars in specie.
21. Her white friends passed several days very agreeably with her; and subsequently her brother Joseph, with his daughter, the wife of the Hon. Mr. Bennet, of Wyoming, made her another visit, and bade her a last farewell. She died a few years ago, and was buried with considerable pomp; for she was regarded as a queen among her tribe.
QUESTIONS.—1. Where is the Wyoming Valley? 2. Relate the incidents connected with the capture of little Frances. 3. What efforts were made to find her? 4. How many years after her capture before she was found? 5. Where did they find her? 6. By what test did Mr. Slocum prove that she was his sister? 7. What history did she relate of herself? 8. Describe her home.
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FRING' ING, bordering; edging. LEDGE, layer; ridge. DAI SY, (literally day's eye,) a little wild flower very common in summer. RI' OT OUS, noisy; reveling. BOIS' TER OUS, tumultuous; violent. CULL' ING, selecting; picking. BOU QUETS', (boo kas,) bunches of flowers. SULK' Y, morose. BOTH' ER ING, perplexing. UN WONT' ED, rare: uncommon. TE' DI OUS, tiresome; wearisome.
DELIA LOUISE COLTON.
1. The silver rain, the golden rain, The tripping, dancing, laughing rain! Stringing its pearls on the green leaf's edge, Fringing with gems the brown rock's ledge, Spinning a vail for the water-fall, And building an amber-colored wall Across the West where the sun-beams fall: The gentle rain, in the shady lane, The pattering, peering, winning rain!
2. The noisy rain, the marching rain, The rushing tread of the heavy rain! Pouring its rivers from out the blue, Down on the grass where the daisies grew, Darting in clouds of angry drops Across the hills and the green tree-tops, And kissing, at last, in its giant glee, The foaming lips of the great green sea: The fierce, wild rain, the riotous rain, The boisterous, dashing, shouting rain!
3. The still night rain, the solemn rain! The soldier-step of the midnight rain! With its measured beat on the roof o'erhead, With its tidings sweet of the faithful dead, Whispers from loves who are laid asleep Under the sod where the myrtles creep, Culling bouquets from the sun-lit past, Of flowers too sweet, too fair to last: The faithful rain, the untiring rain, The cooing, sobbing, weeping rain!
4. The sulky rain, the spiteful rain, The bothering, pilfering, thieving rain! Creeping so lazily over the sky, A leaden mask o'er a bright blue eye, And shutting in, with its damp, strong hands, The rosy faces in curls, and bands Of girls who think, with unwonted frown Of the charming laces and things down-town, That might as well for this tiresome rain, Be in the rose land of Almahain: The horrid rain, the tedious rain, The never-ending, dingy rain!
QUESTIONS.—1. What is the meaning of the suffix ing, in such words as tripping, dancing, laughing, &c.? See SANDERS & McELLIGOTT'S ANALYSIS, page 153, Ex. 206. 2. What is the use of the hyphen in such words as water-fall, amber-colored, &c.? See SANDERS' NEW SPELLER, page l65.
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LAV' ISH, liberal; profuse. PER' FUMES, pleasant odors. HAR MO' NI OUS, concordant. RAPT' URE, extreme joyousness. GERMS, seed-buds; beginnings. PAR'TICLES, minute parts; atoms. MOTES, very small particles. VENT' URE, dare; have courage. COL' UMNS, pillars. DOME, arched roof; cupola. TI' NY, very small. ES' SENCE, perfume.
1. Who dares to scorn the meanest thing, The humblest weed that grows, While pleasure spreads its joyous wing On every breeze that blows? The simplest flower that, hidden, blooms The lowest on the ground, Is lavish of its rare perfumes, And scatters sweetness round.
2. The poorest friend upholds a part Of life's harmonious plan; The weakest hand may have the art To serve the strongest man. The bird that highest, clearest sings, To greet the morning's birth, Falls down to drink, with folded wings, Love's rapture on the earth.
3. From germs too small for mortal sight Grow all things that are seen, Their floating particles of light Weave Nature's robe of green. The motes that fill the sunny rays Build ocean, earth, and sky,— The wondrous orbs that round us blaze Are motes to Deity!
4. Life, love, devotion, closely twine, Like tree, and flower, and fruit; They ripen by a power divine, Though fed by leaf and root. And he who would be truly great, Must venture to be small; On airy columns rests the dome That, shining, circles all.
5. Small duties grow to mighty deeds; Small words to thoughts of power; Great forests spring from tiny seeds, As moments make the hour. And life, howe'er it lowly grows, The essence to it given, Like odor from the breathing rose, Floats evermore to Heaven.
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EX TINCT', extinguished. IN COR' PO RA TED, united. TAC' IT, silent; implied. SUB SIST' ED, existed. HOS PI TAL' I TY, kind treatment. IN POR' TU NATE, urgent; pressing. EN CROACH' MENT, intrusion. IR' RI TA TED, provoked; exasperated. MAS' SA CRE, (mas' sa ker,) slaughter. GRAV' I TY, seriousness. DE LIB' ER ATE, take council. TREA' SON, treachery; disloyalty. AP PRIS' ING, informing. BE TRAY', expose. IN VIN CI BLE, unconquerable. WAX' ED, became, grew. BE SOUGHT', entreated; implored. SUF FICE, (c like z,) prove sufficient.
[Footnote: In Orange County, New York.]
JAMES K. PAULDING.
1. Little more than a century ago, the beautiful region watered by this stream, was possessed by a small tribe of Indians, which has long since become extinct, or incorporated with some other savage nation of the West. Three or four hundred yards from where the stream discharges itself into the Hudson, a white family, of the name of Stacy, had established itself in a log-house, by tacit permission of the tribe, to whom Stacy had made himself useful by his skill in a variety of little arts, highly estimated by the savages.
2. In particular, a friendship subsisted between him and an old Indian, called Naoman, who often came to his house, and partook of his hospitality. The Indians never forgive injuries, nor forget benefits. The family consisted of Stacy, his wife, and two children, a boy and a girl, the former five, the latter three years old.
3. One day, Naoman came to Stacy's log-hut, in his absence, lighted his pipe, and sat down. He looked very serious, sometimes sighed deeply, but said not a word. Stacy's wife asked him what was the matter,—if he was sick. He shook his head, sighed, but said nothing, and soon went away. The next day, he came again and behaved in the same manner. Stacy's wife began to think strange of this, and related it to her husband, who advised her to urge the old man to an explanation the next time he came.
4. Accordingly, when he repeated his visit the day after, she was more importunate than usual. At last, the old Indian said. "I am a red man, and the pale faces are our enemies: why should I speak?"—"But my husband and I are your friends: you have eaten salt with us a thousand times, and my children have sat on your knees as often. If you have anything on your mind, tell it me."—"It will cost me my life if it is known, and the white-faced women are not good at keeping secrets," replied Naoman.
5. "Try me, and see."—"Will you swear by your Great Spirit that you will tell none but your husband?"—"I have none else to tell."—"But will you swear?"—"I do swear by our Great Spirit, I will tell none but my husband."—"Not if my tribe should kill you for not telling?"—"Not if your tribe should kill me for not telling."
6. Naoman then proceeded to tell her that, owing to some encroachments of the white people below the mountains, his tribe had become irritated, and were resolved that night to massacre all the white settlers within their reach; that she must send for her husband, inform him of the danger, and, as secretly and speedily as possible, take their canoe and paddle, with all haste, over the river to Fishkill for safety. "Be quick, and do nothing that may excite suspicion," said Naoman, as he departed.
7. The good wife sought her husband, who was down on the river fishing, told him the story, and, as no time was to be lost, they proceeded to their boat, which was unluckily filled with water. It took some time to clear it out, and, meanwhile, Stacy recollected his gun, which had been left behind. He proceeded to the house, and returned with it. All this took up considerable time, and precious time it proved to this poor family.
8. The daily visits of old Naoman, and his more than ordinary gravity, had excited suspicion in some of the tribe, who had, accordingly, paid particular attention to the movements of Stacy. One of the young Indians, who had been kept on the watch, seeing the whole family about to take to the boat, ran to the little Indian village, about a mile off, and gave the alarm. Five Indians collected, ran down to the river, where their canoes were moored, jumped in, and paddled after Stacy, who, by this time, had got some distance out into the stream.
9. They gained on him so fast, that twice he dropped his paddle, and took up his gun. But his wife prevented his shooting by telling him that, if he fired, and they were afterwards overtaken, they would meet with no mercy from the Indians. He accordingly refrained, and plied his paddle till the sweat rolled in big drops down his forehead. All would not do; they were overtaken within a hundred yards from the shore, and carried back with shouts of yelling triumph.
10. When they got ashore, the Indians set fire to Stacy's house, and dragged himself, his wife, and children, to their village. Here the principal old men, and Naoman among them, assembled to deliberate on the affair. The chief men of the council stated that some of the tribe had, undoubtedly, been guilty of treason, in apprising Stacy, the white man, of the designs of the tribe, whereby they took the alarm, and well-nigh escaped.
11. He proposed to examine the prisoners, to learn who gave the information. The old men assented to this, and Naoman among the rest. Stacy was first interrogated by one of the old men, who spoke English and interpreted to the others. Stacy refused to betray his informant. His wife was then questioned; while, at the same moment, two Indians stood threatening the two children, with tomahawks, in case she did not confess.
12. She attempted to evade the truth, by declaring she had a dream the night before, which alarmed her, and that she had persuaded her husband to fly. "The Great Spirit never deigns to talk in dreams to a white face," said the old Indian. "Woman, thou hast two tongues, and two faces. Speak the truth, or thy children shall surely die." The little boy and girl were then brought close to her, and the two savages stood over them, ready to execute their bloody orders.
13. "Wilt thou name," said the old Indian, "the red man who betrayed his tribe? I will ask thee three times." The mother answered not. "Wilt thou name the traitor? This is the second time." The poor mother looked at her husband, and then at her children, and stole a glance at Naoman, who sat smoking his pipe with invincible gravity.
14. She wrung her hands, and wept; but remained silent. "Wilt thou name the traitor? 'Tis the third and last time." The agony of the mother waxed more bitter; again she sought the eye of Naoman; but it was cold and motionless. A pause of a moment awaited her reply, and the tomahawks were raised over the heads of the children, who besought their mother not to let them be murdered.
15. "Stop!" cried Naoman. All eyes were turned upon him. "Stop!" repeated he, in a tone of authority. "White woman, thou hast kept thy word with me to the last moment. I am the traitor. I have eaten of the salt, warmed myself at the fire, shared the kindness, of these Christian white people, and it was I that told them of their danger. I am a withered, leafless, branchless trunk. Cut me down, if you will: I am ready."
16. A yell of indignation sounded on all sides. Naoman descended from the little bank where he sat, shrouded his face with his mantle of skins, and submitted to his fate. He fell dead at the feet of the white woman by a blow of the tomahawk.
17. But the sacrifice of Naoman, and the firmness of the Christian white woman, did not suffice to save the lives of the other victims. They perished,—how, it is needless to say; and the memory of their fate has been preserved in the name of the pleasant stream, on whose banks they lived and died, which, to this day, is called MURDERER'S CREEK.
QUESTIONS.—1. Where is Murderer's Creek? 2. What is said of Naoman and Stacy's family? 3. Why did Naoman, at first, refuse to tell Mrs. Stacy of her danger? 4. Did Stacy's family make their escape? 5. Where were they taken? 6. Did Mrs. Stacy tell who had informed her? 7. What measures did the Indians adopt, to make her tell? What did Naoman say? 9. What did the Indians do with Naoman and Stacy's family?
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PER' IL OUS, hazardous; dangerous. DE FILES', narrow passages. PREC' I PIC ES, steep descents. SOL'I TUDE, lonely places. AM MU NI' TION, military stores, as powder, balls, &c. DRA GOONS, mounted soldiers. SUM' MIT, top; highest point. AV A LANCHE', snow-slip. CROUCH' ED, cringed. AD VANCE', forward; proceed. BE NUMB' ED, deprived of feeling. EX PLOITS', heroic deeds. IL LUS' TRATES, explains; makes clear. HE RO'IC, brave; fearless. UN FLINCH'ING, determined; resolute.
BAY' O NET, a short, pointed instrument of iron, or broad dagger, fitted to the barrel of a gun. It is so called, because the first bayonets were made at Bayonne, in France.
NAPOLEON'S ARMY CROSSING THE ALPS.
1. When Napoleon was carrying war into Italy, he ordered one of his officers, Marshal Macdonald, to cross the Splugen with fifteen thousand soldiers, and join him on the plains below. The Splugen is one of the four great roads which cross the Alps from Switzerland to Italy.
2. When Macdonald received the order, it was about the last of November, and the winter storms were raging among the mountain passes. It was a perilous undertaking, yet he must obey; and the men began their terrible march through narrow defiles and overhanging precipices, six thousand feet up, up among the gloomy solitudes of the Alps.
3. The cannon were placed on sleds drawn by oxen, and the ammunition was packed on mules. First came the guides, sticking their long poles in the snow, in order to find the path; then came workmen to clear away the drifts; then the dragoons, mounted on their most powerful horses, to beat down the track; after which followed the main body of the army.
4. They encountered severe storms and piercing cold. When half-way up the summit, a rumbling noise was heard among the cliffs. The guides looked at each other in alarm; for they knew well what it meant. It grew louder and louder. "An avalanche! an avalanche!" they shrieked, and the next moment a field of ice and snow came leaping down the mountain, striking the line of march, and sweeping thirty dragoons in a wild plunge below. The black forms of the horses and their riders were seen for an instant struggling for life, and then they disappeared forever.
5. The sight struck the soldiers with horror; they crouched and shivered in the blast. Their enemy was not now flesh and blood, but wild winter storms; swords and bayonets could not defend them from the desolating avalanche. Flight or retreat was hopeless; for all around lay the drifted snow, like a vast winding-sheet. On they must go, or death was certain, and the brave men struggled forward.
6. "Soldiers!" exclaimed their commander, "you are called to Italy; your general needs you. Advance and conquer, first the mountain and the snow, then the plains and the enemy!" Blinded by the winds, benumbed with the cold, and far beyond the reach of aid, Macdonald and his men pressed on. Sometimes a whole company of soldiers were suddenly swept away by an avalanche.
7. On one occasion, a poor drummer, crawling out from the mass of snow, which had torn him from his comrades, began to beat his drum for relief. The muffled sound came up from his gloomy resting-place, and was heard by his brother soldiers; but none could go to his rescue. For an hour, he beat rapidly, then the strokes grew fainter, until they were heard no more, and the poor drummer laid himself down to die. Two weeks were occupied in this perilous march, and two hundred men perished in the undertaking.
8. This passage of the Splugen is one of the bravest exploits in the history of Napoleon's generals, and illustrates the truth of the proverb, "Where there is a will there is a way." No one can read the heroic deeds of brave men grappling with danger and death, without a feeling of respect and admiration; but heroic deeds are always the fruit of toil and self-sacrifice. No one can accomplish great things, unless he aims at great things, and pursues that aim with unflinching courage and perseverance.
QUESTIONS.—1. What orders had Napoleon given to Marshal Macdonald? 2. What time of year was it? 3. Describe the march of the army over the Alps. 4. What disaster occurred to them? 5. How did their commander address the army? 6 Describe the drummer boy's fate. 7. How many men perished? 8. What does this exploit of the army illustrate? 9. What is said of heroic deeds?
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PROV' ERBS, sayings; maxims. TRAC' ED, shown; marked out. WOO ERS, suitors; lovers. DENSE, close; thick. STRIV' ING, making efforts. CON TROL', restraint; government. COPE, strive; contend. DE FY' ING, daring; outbraving. GHOST, specter; apparition. RE LY' ING, trusting; depending. WIN' NING, getting; gaining. BRAM' BLES, prickly shrubs.
WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY.
1. We have faith in old proverbs full surely, For wisdom has traced what they tell, And truth may be drawn up as purely From them, as it may from a "well." Let us question the thinkers and doers, And hear what they honestly say, And you'll find they believe, like bold wooers, In "Where there's a WILL there's a WAY."
2. The hills have been high for man's mounting, The woods have been dense for his ax, The stars have been thick for his counting, The sands have been wide for his tracks. The sea has been deep for his diving, The poles have been broad for his sway, But bravely he's proved by his striving, That "Where there's a WILL there's a WAY."
3. Have ye vices that ask a destroyer, Or passions that need your control? Let Reason become your employer, And your body be ruled by your soul. Fight on, though ye bleed at the trial, Resist with all strength that ye may, Ye may conquer Sin's host by denial, For, "Where there's a WILL there's a WAY."
4. Have ye poverty's pinching to cope with'? Does suffering weigh down your might'? Only call up a spirit to hope with, And dawn may come out of the night. Oh! much may be done by defying The ghost of Despair and Dismay, And much may be gained by relying On "Where there's a WILL there's a WAY."
5. Should ye see afar off that worth winning, Set out on a journey with trust, And ne'er heed though your path at beginning Should be among brambles and dust. Though it is by footsteps ye do it, And hardships may hinder and stay, Keep a heart and be sure ye go through it, For, "Where there's a WILL there's a WAY."
QUESTIONS.—1. What is the meaning of this proverb, "Where there's a WILL there's a WAY?" 2. What instances can you mention in which its truth has been realized? 3. Do you apply this proverb in getting your lessons?
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TAL' IS MAN, charm; amulet. VAN, front or head of an army. FI' ER Y, ardent; passionate. PLUMES, supplies with feathers. TENSE' LY, tightly. SWERVES, deviates. DAUNT, frighten; terrify. BAN' ISH, expel; drive away.
TEL EGRAPH,(TELE,far off; GRAPH, writing or marking,) a machine to convey news far off. See SANDERS' NEW SPELLER, p. 161, Ex. 419.
1. "I CAN!" oh yes,—we know you can! We read it in your eye; There is a mystic talisman Flashing all gloriously! Speak it out boldly, let it ring, There is a volume there, There's meaning in the eagle's wing Then soar, and do, and dare!
2. "I CAN!" climbs to the mountain top, And plows the billowy main; He lifts the hammer in the shop, And drives the saw and plane; He's fearless in the battle shock, And always leads the van Of young America's brave sons,— They never quailed nor ran.
3. "I CAN!" He is a fiery youth, And WILL a brother twin, And, arm in arm, in love and truth. They'll either die or win. Shoulder to shoulder, ever ready, All firm and fearless still These brothers labor,—true and steady,— "I CAN," and brave "I WILL."
4. "I CAN," e'en on his pleasure trips, Travels by telegraph; He plumes the snowy wing of ships, And never works by half; His music is the humming loom, And shuttles are his dancers., Then clear the way, and quick give room For the noble-souled "I CAN," sirs!
5. "I CAN!" Indeed, we know you can! 'Tis lithe in every limb, To your blood 'tis a busy fan, How can the flame burn dim? It tensely draws your sturdy nerves,— No bow's without a string, And when nor bow nor bow-string swerves, An arrow's on the wing.
6. There is a magic in the power Of an unbending will, That makes us stronger every hour, For greater efforts still. Then banish from you every CAN'T, And show yourself a MAN, And nothing will your purpose daunt, Led by the brave "I CAN!"
QUESTIONS.—1. What does "I can" do? 2. Who is called his twin brother? 3. What is said of an unbending will?
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CAS' ED, invested. ARM' OR, defensive arms. STORM' ING, taking by assault. AIR' Y, fanciful; visionary. FOR' TRESS, fort; strong-hold. DE TAIN', hinder; keep back. WEAP' ONS, instruments for defense, or offense. UN WOR' THY, undeserving. RE GRET', sorrow for the past. PHAN' TOM, specter; ghost-like. SCARCE' LY, hardly.
ADELAIDE A. PROCTER.
1. ARISE'! for the day is passing, And you lie dreaming on; Your brothers are cased in armor, And forth to the fight are gone! A place in the ranks awaits you; Each man has some part to play; The Past and the Future are nothing In the face of stern TO-DAY.
2. ARISE from your dreams of the Future,— Of gaining some hard-fought field, Of storming some airy fortress, Or bidding some giant yield; Your Future has deeds of glory, Of honor, (God grant it may!) But your arm will never be stronger, Or needed as now,—TO-DAY.
3. ARISE'! if the Past detain you, Her sunshine and storms forget; No chains so unworthy to hold you As those of a vain regret; Sad or bright, she is lifeless ever; Cast her phantom arms away, Nor look back, save to learn the lesson Of a nobler strife TO-DAY.
4. ARISE'! for the day is passing; The sound that you scarcely hear, Is the enemy marching to battle! (f.) Rise'! RISE'! for the foe is near! Stay not to sharpen your weapons, Or the hour will strike at last, When, from dreams of a coming battle, You may wake to find it past!
QUESTIONS.—1. What reasons are assigned why we should arouse to effort now, to-day? 2. What rule for the falling inflection on arise? See Rule VIII., page 33. 3. How, according to the notation mark, should the last verse be read?
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REV O LU' TION, change of government. FAN' CI ED, thought; imagined, UN GEN' ER OUS, mean; ignoble. AC KNOWL' EDG ED, owned. PLOT' TING, planning; contriving. DE SIGN', purpose; intention. COR RE SPOND' ENCE, intercourse by letters. CON' QUEST, victory. IN' TER VIEW, meeting; conference. SOL' I TA RY, lonely; retired. CON GRAT' U LA TING, rejoicing with. IS' SU ED, started up; come forth. SUS PECT' ING, mistrusting. DE TECT' ED, exposed; found out. A' MI A BLE, lovely; agreeable. FEL' ON, criminal. CON' SE QUENCE, (CON, with; SEQUENCE, a following,) a following with, as an effect, or result. IM PRESS' IVE, (IM, in; PRESS, to bear upon; IVE, tending to,) tending to press in, or upon; producing an effect. IN VOLV' ED, (IN, in; VOLVED, rolled,) rolled in; enveloped.
THE CAPTURE OF MAJOR ANDRE.
1. One of the saddest events in the history of the American Revolution is the treason of Arnold, and, in consequence of it, the death of Major Andre. Arnold was an officer in the American army, who, though brave, had a proud and impatient spirit.
2. He fancied he had not all the honor and the pay due for his services, and, having plunged himself into debt by his expensive style of living, these things soured his heart; and, as is the case with ungenerous minds, he never acknowledged a fault, or forgave an injury. More than this, he sought revenge against his countrymen by plotting treason against his country.
3. Soon after forming this bad design, he opened a secret correspondence with the English General, Henry Clinton, and, at the same time, asked General Washington to give him the command of West Point, an important post on the Hudson river. Washington let him have it, and this he determined to betray into the hands of the enemy, provided he could make out of it a good bargain for himself.
4. He wrote to General Clinton what he would do, and asked to have a secret interview with some English officer, in order to agree upon the terms. General Clinton was delighted; for he thought an army divided against itself, must prove an easy conquest; and he asked Major Andre, a gallant young officer, to meet Arnold, and settle the price of his treason.
5. Andre did not wish to engage in such business; but he obeyed, and went up the Hudson in an English sloop-of-war for this purpose. Arnold agreed to meet him at a certain spot, and when night came on, sent a little boat to bring him ashore. He landed at the foot of a mountain called the Long Clove, on the western side of the river, a few miles from Haverstraw, where he found the traitor hid in a clump of bushes.
6. Little did poor Andre foresee the fatal consequences of this step. All that still star-light night they sat and talked; daylight came, and the business was not concluded. Arnold dismissed the boatmen, and led his companion to a solitary farm-house on the river's bank, where the papers were finally drawn up, and hid in one of Andre's stockings. Andre felt how exposed he was to danger in the enemy's country, and heartily wished himself back to the sloop.
7. Forced now, however, to go by land, Arnold gave him a pass to go through the American lines; and, at sunset, he set off, on horseback, with a guide. They crossed the river, and, getting along on their dangerous journey with but few alarms, the guide left the next morning, and Andre rode briskly on, congratulating himself upon leaving all dangers behind, for he was rapidly nearing the English lines, when there was a loud shout, "Stand! HALT!" and three men [Footnote: Paulding, Williams, and Van Wart.] issued from the woods, one seizing the bridle, and the others presenting their guns.
8. Andre told them he had a pass to White Plains, on urgent business from General Arnold, and begged them not to detain him; but the men, suspecting that all was not right, began to search him; and, hauling off his boots, they discovered his papers in his stockings.
9. Finding himself detected, he offered them any sum of money, if they would let him go. "No;" answered the sturdy men, "not if you would give us ten thousand guineas;" for, though poor, they were above selling their country at any price. Andre was sent a prisoner to General Washington's camp. Arnold, on learning the news of his capture, immediately fled from West Point, and made his escape to the English sloop.
10. According to the rules of war, poor Andre was sentenced to the death of a spy. Great efforts were made to save him. General Clinton offered a large sum to redeem him. So young, so amiable, so gallant, and to meet a felon's doom! but, in ten days he was hung.
11. Arnold lived; but, with the thirty thousand dollars—the price of his treachery—he lived a miserable man, despised even by those who bought him. And one impressive lesson which the story teaches, is, that the consequences of guilt do not fall alone on the guilty man; others are often involved in distress, disgrace, and ruin.
QUESTIONS.—1. What is one of the saddest events in the history of the American Revolution? 2. Who was Arnold? 3. What reason is assigned why he plotted treason against his country? 4. What measures did he adopt to do this? 5. With whom, and where did he make the agreement? 6. By whom was Andre detected? 7. What became of Andre and Arnold?
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SE CUR' ED, obtained. HES' I TA TED, paused. MIS' ER A BLE, wretched. SUP' PLI ANT, petitioner; beggar. PECUL' IAR, singular; remarkable. IN DIC' A TIVE, showing; intimating. SO LIC' IT ED, asked; requested. COS TUME', mode of dress. VIG' OR OUS, stout; strong. SYN' O NYM, a word meaning the same as some other word. IN' FA MY, utter disgrace.
[Headnote 1: TAL' LEY RAND, a distinguished French statesman, was born Feb. 13th, 1754. He died May 20th, 1838.]
1. There was a day when Talleyrand [Headnote 1] arrived in Havre, direct from Paris. It was the darkest hour of the French Revolution. Pursued by the blood-hounds of the Reign of Terror, stripped of every wreck of property or power, Talleyrand secured a passage to America, in a ship about to sail. He was a beggar and a wanderer in a strange land, to earn his bread by daily labor.
2. "Is there an American staying at your house?" he asked the landlord of the hotel. "I am bound to cross the water, and should like a letter to a person of influence in the New World." The landlord hesitated a moment, then replied: "There is a gentleman up-stairs, either from America or Britain; but whether an American or an Englishman, I can not tell."
3. He pointed the way, and Talleyrand, who, in his life, was Bishop, Prince, and Prime Minister, ascended the stairs. A miserable suppliant, he stood before the stranger's door, knocked, and entered. In the far corner of the dimly-lighted room, sat a man of some fifty years, his arms folded, and his head bowed on his breast. From a window directly opposite, a faint light rested on his forehead.
4. His eyes looked from beneath the downcast brows, and gazed on Talleyrand's face with a peculiar and searching expression. His face was striking in outline,—the mouth and chin indicative of an iron will. His form, vigorous, even with the snows of fifty winters, was clad in a dark, but rich and distinguished costume.
5. Talleyrand advanced, stated that he was a fugitive; and, under the impression that the gentleman before him was an American, he solicited his kind and generous offices. He related his history in eloquent French and broken English.
6. "I am a wanderer, and an exile. I am forced to flee to the New World, without a friend or home. You are an American! Give me, then, I beseech you, a letter of yours, so that I may be able to earn my bread. I am willing to toil in any manner; the scenes of Paris have seized me with such horror, that a life of labor would be a paradise to a career of luxury in France. You will give me a letter to one of your friends? A gentleman like yourself has, doubtless, many friends."
7. The strange gentleman rose. With a look that Talleyrand never forgot, he retreated to the door of the next chamber,—his eyes looking still from beneath his darkened brow. He spoke as he retreated backward,—his voice was full of meaning. "I am the only man born in the New World, who can raise his hand to God and say, I have not a friend, not one, in all America!" Talleyrand never forgot the overwhelming sadness of that look which accompanied these words.
8. "Who are you?" he cried, as the strange man retreated to the next room: "your name?" "My name," he replied, with a smile that had more of mockery than joy in its convulsive expression,—"my name is Benedict Arnold!" He was gone: Talleyrand sank into his chair, gasping the words, "ARNOLD, THE TRAITOR!"
9. Thus, you see, he wandered over the earth another Cain, with the wanderer's mark upon his brow. Even in that secluded room, in that inn at Havre, his crimes found him out, and forced him to tell his name: that name the synonym of infamy. The last twenty years of his life are covered with a cloud, from whose darkness but a few gleams of light flash out upon the page of history.
10. The manner of his death is not exactly known; but we can not doubt that he died utterly friendless,—that remorse pursued him to the grave, whispering "John Andre" in his ear,—and that the memory of his course of infamy gnawed like a canker at his heart, murmuring forever, "True to your country, what might you have been, O ARNOLD, THE TRAITOR!"
QUESTIONS.—1. Who was Talleyrand? 2. Why was he obliged to flee from Paris? 3. Whom did he seek at Havre? 4. Why did he wish to see the stranger? 5. Describe the appearance of this stranger. 6. What did he say to Talleyrand? 7. Who did the stranger prove to be? 8. What is said of Arnold? 9. Where is Havre? 10. Where is Paris? 11. What is meant by New World?
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LO CO MO' TIVE, steam-engine to propel rail-cars. COL LIS' ION, (s like zh,) shock; violent contact. EN GIN EER', one who manages an engine. PRE CIP' I TA TED, thrown headlong. RE-EN FORCE' MENTS, additional forces. OB' STI NATE, unyielding. CORPS, (kore,) body of troops. BANK' RUPT CY, insolvency. E NOR' MOUS, immense; very large. AS' SETS, amounts due. RE MIT' TANCE, money remitted. PRE SERV' ED, secured; saved. MA TU' RI TY, time of payment. RE PRIEVE', respite. IN SOLV' ENT, one unable to pay his debts. PROV O CA' TION, incitement to anger. IG NO MIN' I OUS, disgraceful. SAC RI FIC' ED, (c like z,) thrown away.
1. A railroad train was rushing along at almost lightning speed. A curve was just ahead, beyond which was a station, at which the cars usually passed each other. The conductor was late,—so late that the period during which the down train was to wait, had nearly elapsed: but he hoped yet to pass the curve safely. Suddenly, a locomotive dashed into sight right ahead. In an instant, there was a collision. A shriek, a shock, and fifty souls were in eternity; and all because an engineer had been behind time.
2. A great battle was going on. Column after column had been precipitated for eight mortal hours on the enemy posted along the ridge of a hill. The summer sun was sinking to the west; re-enforcements for the obstinate defenders were already in sight; it was necessary to carry the position with one final charge, or every thing would be lost. A powerful corps had been summoned from across the country, and, if it came up in season, all would yet be right. The great conqueror, confident in its arrival, formed his reserve into an attacking column, and led them down the hill. The whole world knows the result. Grouchy [Footnote: Pronounced Groo' shee.] failed to appear; the imperial guard was beaten back; Waterloo was lost. Napoleon died a prisoner at St. Helena, because one of his marshals was behind time.
3. A leading firm, in commercial circles had long struggled against bankruptcy. As it had enormous assets in California, it expected remittances by a certain day; and if the sums promised arrived, its credit, its honor, and its future prosperity would be preserved. But week after week elapsed without bringing the gold. At last, came the fatal day on which the firm had bills maturing to enormous amounts. The steamer was telegraphed at daybreak; but it was found on inquiry that she brought no funds; and the house failed. The next arrival brought nearly half a million to the insolvents, but it was too late; they were ruined, because their agent, in remitting, had been behind time.
4. A condemned man was led out for execution, he had taken human life, but under circumstances of the greatest provocation, and public sympathy was active in his behalf. Thousands had signed petitions for a reprieve, a favorable answer had been expected the night before, and, though it had not come, even the sheriff felt confident that it would yet arrive in season. Thus the morning passed without the appearance of the messenger. The last moment was up. The prisoner took his place on the drop, the cap was drawn over his eyes, the bolt was drawn, and a lifeless body hung suspended in the air. Just at that moment a horseman came into sight, galloping down the hill, his steed covered with foam. He carried a packet in his right hand, which he waved to the crowd. He was the express rider with the reprieve. But he had come too late. A comparatively innocent man had died an ignominious death, because a watch had been five minutes too slow, making its bearer arrive behind time.
5. It is continually so in life. The best laid plans, the most important affairs, the fortunes of individuals, the wealth of nations, honor, happiness, life itself, are daily sacrificed because somebody is "behind time." There are men who always fail in whatever they undertake, simply because they are "behind time." Five minutes in a crisis are worth years. It is but a little period, yet it has often saved a fortune, or redeemed a people. If there is one virtue that should be cultivated more than another by him who would succeed in life, it is punctuality; if there is one error that should be avoided, it is being behind time.
QUESTIONS.—1. What sad results are mentioned, in consequence of being behind time? 2. What virtue should be cultivated, and what error avoided? 3. What is the use of the hyphen in the word re-enforcements? See SANDERS' NEW SPELLER, page 165.
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TWIN' ED, interwoven. GAR' LAND, wreath of flowers. MUS' ED, thought; meditated. AN TIQUE', (an teek',) ancient. MOLD, shape; form. RARE, scarce; seldom seen. SOOTH ED, calmed; quieted. THROB' BED, beat; palpitated. CO' ZY, snug; comfortable. EBB' ED, flowed back. JOUR' NEY, travel. LONG' ING, earnestly desiring. TIE, bond of affection. RIV' EN, torn asunder.
"HOW HAPPY I'LL BE."
1. A little girl sat amid the flowers, In the blush and bloom of childhood's hours; She twined the buds in a garland fair, And bound them up in her shining hair: "Ah, me!" said she, "how happy I'll be, When ten years more have gone over me, And I am a maiden with youth's bright glow Flushing my cheek, and lighting my brow!"
2. A maiden mused in a pleasant room, Where the air was filled with a soft perfume; Vases were near of antique mold, And beautiful pictures, rare and old; And she, amid all the beauty there, Was by far the loveliest and most fair. "Ah, me!" said she, "how happy I'll be, When my heart's own choice comes back to me, When I proudly stand by my dear one's side, With the thrilling joy of a youthful bride!"
3. A mother bent o'er the cradle nest Where she soothed her babe to his smiling rest; She watched the sleep of her cherub-boy, And her spirit throbbed with exulting joy. "Ah, me!" said she, "how happy I'll be, When he reaches manhood, proud and free, And the world bows down, in its rapture wild, It the earnest words of my darling child!"
4. An aged one sat by the cozy hearth, Counting life's sands as they ebbed from earth; Feeble and frail; the race she run Had borne her along to the setting sun. "Ah, me!" said she, "how happy I'll be, When from time's long fever my soul is free, When the world fades out with its weary strife, And I soar away to a better life!"
5. 'Tis thus we journey from youth to age, Longing to turn to another page, Striving to hasten the years away, Lighting our hearts with the future's ray, Hoping on earth till its visions fade, Wishing and waiting, through sun and shade, But turning, when earth's last tie is riven, To the beautiful rest of a fadeless Heaven.
QUESTIONS.—1. When did the little girl think she would be happy? 2. What did she say when she became old? 3. What are we constantly expecting from youth to age? 4. What is the meaning of the suffix ing, in such words as longing, striving, lighting, &c.? See SANDERS & McELLIGOTT'S ANALYSIS, page 134, Ex. 176.
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VET' ER AN, old soldier. GRASP' ED, seized hold of. AN' CIENT, old. MUR' MUR, ED, uttered in a low voice. IM MOR' TAL, imperishable. RAG' ED, was furious. RE MAIN', still exists. SIRE, father. LIGHT' EN ED, (EN, make; ED, did,) did make light.
THE SWORD OF BUNKER HILL.
WILLIAM R. WALLACE.
1. He lay upon his dying bed, (pl.) His eye was growing dim, When, with a feeble voice, he called His weeping son to him: "Weep not, my boy," the veteran said, "I bow to Heaven's high will; But quickly from yon antlers bring, The sword of Bunker Hill."
2. The sword was brought; the soldier's eye Lit with a sudden flame; And, as he grasped the ancient blade, He murmured Warren's name; Then said, "My boy, I leave you gold, But what is richer still, I leave you, mark me, mark me, now, The sword of Bunker Hill.
3. "'Twas on that dread, immortal day, I dared the Briton's band, A captain raised his blade on me, I tore it from his hand; And while the glorious battle raged, It lightened Freedom's will; For, boy, the God of Freedom blessed The sword of Bunker Hill.
4. "Oh! keep this sword," his accents broke,— A smile—and he was dead; But his wrinkled hand still grasped the blade, Upon that dying bed. The son remains, the sword remains, Its glory growing still, And twenty millions bless the sire And sword of Bunker Hill.
[Footnote 1: General Warren, a brave and valuable officer, fell by a musket-ball, while fighting the British at Bunker's Hill, June 17th, 1775.]
QUESTIONS.—1. What request did the old veteran make of his son? 2. What bequest did he make to him? 3. How did he obtain that sword? 4. What did he say to his son? 5. Who was Warren?
* * * * *
LE' GEND, fictitious narrative. MOR' TAL, deadly. COM' BAT, battle; conflict. PRI ME' VAL, first; primitive. MUS' CU LAR, strong; vigorous. CA DAV' ER OUS, pale; sickly. REF U GEE', runaway; fugitive. QUAR' TER, mercy; indulgence. PIN' ION ED, confined; shackled. A BYSS', yawning gulf. PRO POS' AL, offer; proposition. DI SHEV' EL ED, disordered. IM BO' SOM ED, surrounded; inclosed. CON FESS' ED, owned; acknowledged. RE LENT' ING, pitying; compassionate. RAN' DOM, venture. SU PER STI' TION, false religious belief. A VENGE', take satisfaction for. UN CON' SCIOUS, unaware. SUB LIM' I TY, grandeur.
THE BIBLE LEGEND OF THE WIS SA HI' KON.
1. It was here in the wilds of the Wis sa hi' kon, on the day of battle, as the noonday sun came shining through the thickly clustered leaves, that two men met in mortal combat. They grappled in deadly conflict near a rock that rose, like the huge wreck of some primeval world, at least one hundred feet above the dark waters of the Wis sa hi'kon.
2. That man with the dark brow and the darker gray eye,—with the muscular form, clad in the blue hunting-frock of the Revolution,—is a Continental, named Warner. His brother was murdered at the massacre of Pao'li. That other man, with long black hair drooping along his cadaverous face, is clad in the half-military costume of a Tory refugee. That is the murderer of Pao'li, named Dabney.
3. They had met there in the woods by accident; and now they fought, not with sword or rifle, but with long and deadly hunting-knives, that flash in the light as they go turning, and twining, and twisting over the green-sward. At last, the Tory is down!—down on the green-sward, with the knee of the Continental upon his breast,—that up-raised knife quivering in the light,—that dark-gray eye flashing death into his face!
4. "Quarter! I yield!" gasped the Tory, as the knee was pressed upon his breast. "Spare me!—I yield!"
5. "My brother," said the patriot soldier, in a low tone of deadly hate,—"My brother cried for quarter on the night of Pa o' li, and, even as he clung to your knees, you struck that knife into his heart. Oh, I will give you the quarter of Pa o' li!" And his hand was raised for the blow, and his teeth were clinched in deadly hate. He paused for a moment, and then pinioned the Tory's arms, and, with one rapid stride, dragged him to the verge of the rock, and held him quivering over the abyss.
6. "Mercy!" gasped the Tory, turning black and ashy by turns, as that awful gulf yawned below. "Mercy! I have a wife! a child! spare me!"
7. Then the Continental, with his muscular strength gathered for the effort, shook the murderer once more over the abyss, and then hissed this bitter sneer between his teeth,—"My brother had a wife and two children. The morning after the night of Pa o' li, that wife was a widow,—those children were orphans! Would not you like to go and beg your life of that widow and her children?"
8. The proposal, made by the Continental in the mere mockery of hate, was taken in serious earnest by the horror-stricken Tory. He begged to be taken to the widow and her children, to have the pitiful privilege of begging his life. After a moment's serious thought, the patriot soldier consented. He bound the Tory's arms yet tighter, placed him on the rock again, and then led him up the woods. A quiet cottage, imbosomed among the trees, broke on their eyes.
9. They entered that cottage. There, beside the desolate hearth-stone, sat the widow and her children. She was a matronly woman of about thirty years, with a face faded by care, a deep, dark eye, and long, disheveled hair about her shoulder. On one side was a dark-haired boy, of some six years; on the other, a little girl, one year younger, with light hair and blue eyes. The Bible, an old, venerable volume, lay open on that mother's lap.
10. And then that pale-faced Tory flung himself on his knees, confessed that he had butchered her husband on the night of Pa o'li, but begged his life at her hands! "Spare me, for the sake of my wife—my child!" He had expected that his pitiful moan would touch the widow's heart; but not one relenting gleam softened her pale face.
11. "The Lord shall judge between us!" she said in a cold, icy tone, that froze the murderer's heart. "Look! The Bible lies open before me. I will close that volume, and then this boy shall open it, and place his finger at random upon a line, and by that line you shall live or die!" This was a strange proposal, made in full faith of a wild and dark superstition of the olden time. For a moment, the Tory, kneeling there, livid as ashes, was wrapt in thought. Then, in a faltering voice, he signified his consent.
12. Raising her dark eyes to heaven, the mother prayed the Great Father to direct the finger of her son. She closed the book, and handed it to that boy, whose young cheek reddened with loathing as he gazed upon his father's murderer. He took the Bible, opened its holy pages at random, and placed his fingers upon a verse.
13. Then there was a silence. That Continental soldier, who had sworn to avenge his brother's death, stood there with dilating eyes and parted lips. Then the culprit, kneeling on the floor, with a face like discolored clay, felt his heart leap to his throat. Then, in a clear, bold voice, the widow read this line from the Old Testament. It was short, yet terrible: "That man shall die!"
14. Look! The brother springs forward to plunge a knife into the murderer's heart; but the Tory, pinioned as he is, begs that one more trial may be made by the little girl,—that child of five years, with golden hair and laughing eyes. The widow consents. There is an awful pause. With a smile in her eye, without knowing what she does, the little girl opens the Bible,—she turns her laughing face away,—she places her fingers upon the page.
15. That awful silence grows deeper. The deep-drawn breath of the brother, and the broken gasps of the murderer, alone disturb the stillness. The widow and dark-eyed boy are breathless. That little girl, unconscious as she was, caught a feeling of awe from the countenances around her, and stood breathless, her face turned aside, and her tiny fingers resting on that line of life or death. At last, gathering courage, the widow bent her eyes on the page, and read. It was a line from the New Testament: "LOVE YOUR ENEMIES." Ah! that moment was sublime!
16. Oh, awful Book of God! in whose dread pages we see Job talking face to face with Jehovah, or Jesus waiting by Samaria's well, or wandering by the waves of dark Galilee! Oh, awful Book! shining to-night, as I speak, the light of that widow's home,—the glory of the mechanic's shop,—shining where the world comes not, to look on the last night of the convict in his cell, lightening the way to God, even over that dread gibbet!
17. Oh, Book of terrible majesty and child-like love,—for sublimity that crushes the soul into awe,—of beauty that melts the heart with rapture! you never shone more strangely beautiful than there in the lonely cot of the Wissa hi'kon, where you saved the murderer's life. For,—need I tell you?—that murderer's life was saved. That widow recognized the finger of God, and even the stern brother was awed into silence. The murderer went his way.
18. Now look ye, how wonderful are the ways of Heaven! That very night, as the widow sat by her lonely hearth, her orphans by her side,—sat there with a crushed heart and hot eye-balls, thinking of her husband, who, she supposed, now lay moldering on the blood-drenched soil of Pa o' li,—there was a tap at the door. She opened it, and that husband, living, though covered with wounds, was in her arms! He had fallen at Pa o' li, but not in death. He was alive,—his wife lay panting on his breast. That night there was a prayer in that wood-embowered cot of the Wis sa hi' kon.
QUESTIONS.—1. What two men are said to have engaged in deadly combat? 2. Which gained the mastery? 3. What did the patriot soldier say to the Tory, when he cried, Quarter? 4. What, when the Tory told him he had a wife and child? 5. What proposal was made to him? 6. How was his fate to be decided? 7. Was his life spared? 8. What proved the justice of the decision?
* * * * *
VES' TI BULE, porch, entrance. VI' BRATE, move to and fro. IM MOR' TALS, undying creatures. MON' U MENTS, memorials. A CHIEVE', accomplish. MU TA BLE, changeable. IM MOR TAL' I TY, deathless existence. IL LU' MIN ATE, enlighten. UN DER STAND' ING, intellect. RE AL' I TIES, truths; facts. AS SAULTS', violent attacks. DE SER' TION, abandonment. IN EX HAUST' I BLE, never-failing. CHAR' TER, title; deed.
ADVICE TO THE YOUNG.
1. Young friends', in whatever pursuits you may engage, you must not forget that the lawful objects of human efforts, are but means to higher results and nobler ends. Start not forward in life with the idea of becoming mere seekers of pleasure,—sportive butterflies searching for gaudy flowers. Consider and act with reference to the true ends of existence.
2. This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of your life touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. These thoughts and motives within you, stir the pulses of a deathless spirit. Act not, then, as mere creatures of this life, who, for a little while, are to walk the valleys and the hills, to enjoy the sunshine and to breathe the air, and then pass away and be no more; but act as immortals, with an aim and a purpose worthy of your high nature.
3. Set before you, as the chief object to be obtained, an end that is superior to any on earth,—a desirable end, A PERFECT END. Labor to accomplish a work which shall survive unchanged and beautiful, when time shall have withered the garland of youth, when thrones of power and monuments of art shall have crumbled into ashes; and, finally, aim to achieve something, which, when these our mutable and perishing voices are hushed forever, shall live amid the songs and triumphs of IMMORTALITY.
4. Well will it be for you, if you have a guide within, which will aid you in every issue which will arm you in every temptation, and comfort you in every sorrow. Consult, then, that Volume whose precepts will never fail you. Consult it with a deep aspiration after the true and good, and it shall illuminate your understanding with divine realities.
5. Open your soul, and it shall breathe into it a holy influence, and fill all its wants. Bind it close to your heart; it will be a shield against all the assaults of evil. Read it in the lonely hour of desertion; it will be the best of companions. Open it when the voyage of life is troubled'; it is a sure chart. Study it in poverty'; it will unhoard to you inexhaustible riches. Commune with it in sickness'; it contains the medicine of the soul. Clasp it when dying'; IT IS THE CHARTER OF IMMORTALITY.
QUESTIONS.—1. What ought we not to forget? 2. How ought the world to be regarded? 3. How ought we to act and labor? 4. What ought we to consult?
* * * * *
IN TREP' ID, brave; heroic. BE TO' KEN ED, showed; indicated. E LAS' TIC, springy; agile. AT' TI TUDE, posture; position. UN' DER GROWTH, shrubbery. CON FRONT', stand before. CA TAS' TRO PHE, disaster; calamity. DE TER' RED, hindered; prevented. HUR' RI CANE, violent tempest. BUF' FET ING, beating with the hands. ATH LET' IC, strong; powerful. MI RAC' U LOUS, wonderful. TRE MEN DOUS, terrible; frightful. DES' PE RATE, rash; furious. IN VOL' UN TA RY, spontaneous. CAT' A RACT, waterfall. RE SUS' CI TATE, revive; bring to life. CH AR' AC TER IZ ED, distinguished.
THE INTREPID YOUTH.
1. It was a calm, sunny day in the year 1750; the scene, a piece of forest land in the north of Virginia, near a noble stream of water. Implements of surveying were lying about, and several men reclining under the trees, betokened, by their dress and appearance, that they composed a party engaged in laying out the wild lands of the country.
2. These persons had apparently just finished their dinner. Apart from the group, walked a young man of a tall and compact frame, and moved with the elastic tread of one accustomed to constant exercise in the open air. His countenance wore a look of decision and manliness not usually found in one so young, for he was apparently little over eighteen years of age. His hat had been cast off, as if for comfort, and he had paused, with one foot advanced, in a graceful and natural attitude.
3. Suddenly there was a shriek, then another, and several in rapid succession. The voice was that of a woman, and seemed to proceed from the other side of a dense thicket. At the first scream, the youth turned his head in the direction of the sound; but when it was repeated, he pushed aside the undergrowth which separated him from it, and, quickening his footsteps, as the cries succeeded each other in alarming rapidity, he soon dashed into an open space on the banks of the stream, where stood a rude log-cabin.
4. As the young man broke from the undergrowth, he saw his companions crowded together on the banks of the river, while in the midst stood the woman, from whom proceeded the shrieks, held back by two of the men, but struggling vigorously for freedom. It was but the work of a moment for the young man to make his way through the crowd and confront the female. The instant her eye fell on him, she exclaimed, "Oh! sir, you will do something for me. Make them release me,—for the love of God! My boy,—my poor boy is drowning, and they will not let me go!" "It would be madness; she will jump into the river," said one, "and the rapids would dash her to pieces in a moment!"
5. The youth had scarcely waited for these words, for he recollected the child, a bold little boy of four years old, whose beautiful blue eyes and flaxen ringlets made him a favorite with all who knew him. He had been accustomed to play in the little inclosure before the cabin, but the gate having been left open, he had stolen incautiously out, reached the edge of the bank, and was in the act of looking over, when his mother saw him.
6. The shriek she uttered only hastened the catastrophe she feared; for the child, frightened at the cry of its mother, lost its balance, and fell into the stream, which here went foaming and roaring along amid innumerable rocks, constituting the most dangerous rapids known in that section of the country. Scream now followed scream in rapid succession, as the agonized mother rushed to the bank.
7. The party we left reclining in the shade within a few steps of the accident, were immediately on the spot. Fortunate it was that they were so near, else the mother would have jumped in after her child, and both been lost. Several of the men approached the brink, and were on the point of springing in after the child, when the sight of the sharp rocks crowding the channel, the rush and whirl of the waters, and the want of any knowledge where to look for the boy, deterred them, and they gave up the enterprise.
8. Not so with the noble youth. His first work was to throw off his coat; next to spring to the edge of the bank. Here he stood for a moment, running his eyes rapidly over the scene below, taking with a glance the different currents and the most dangerous of the rocks, in order to shape his course when in the stream. He had scarcely formed his conclusion, when he saw in the water a white object, which he knew to be the boy's dress, and he plunged into the wild and roaring rapids.
9. "Thank God, he will save my child," cried the mother; "there he is!—oh! my boy, my darling boy, how could I leave you!" Every one had rushed to the brink of the precipice, and was now following with eager eyes the progress of the youth, as the current bore him onward, like a feather in the embrace of the hurricane. Now it seemed as if he would be dashed against a jutting rock, over which the water flew in foam, and a whirlpool would drag him in, from whose grasp escape would appear impossible.
10. At times, the current bore him under, and he would be lost to sight; then, just as the spectators gave him up, he would appear, though far from where he vanished, still buffeting amid the vortex. Oh, how that mother's straining eyes followed him in his perilous career! how her heart sunk when he went under,—and with what a gush of joy when she saw him emerge again from the waters, and, flinging the waves aside with his athletic arms, struggle on in pursuit of her boy!
11. But it seemed as if his generous efforts were not to avail; for, though the current was bearing off the boy before his eyes, scarcely ten feet distant, he could not, despite his gigantic efforts, overtake the drowning child. On flew the youth and child; and it was miraculous how each escaped being dashed in pieces against the rocks. Twice the boy went out of sight, and a suppressed shriek escaped the mother's lips; but twice he reappeared, and then, with hands wrung wildly together, and breathless anxiety, she followed his progress, as his unresisting form was hurried with the onward current.
12. The youth now appeared to redouble his exertions, for they were approaching the most dangerous part of the river, where the rapids, contracting between the narrow shores, shot almost perpendicularly down a declivity of fifteen feet. The rush of the waters at this spot was tremendous, and no one ventured to approach its vicinity, even in a canoe, lest he should be dashed in pieces. What, then, would be the youth's fate, unless he soon overtook the child? He seemed fully sensible of the increasing peril, and now urged his way through the foaming current with a desperate strength.
13. Three times he was on the point of grasping the child, when the waters whirled the prize from him. The third effort was made just as they were entering within the influence of the current above the fall; and when it failed, the mother's heart sunk within her, and she groaned, fully expecting the youth to give up his task. But no; he only pressed forward the more eagerly; and, as they breathlessly watched amid the boiling waters, they saw the form of the brave youth following close after that of the boy.
14. And now, like an arrow from the bow, pursuer and pursued shot to the brink of the precipice. An instant they hung there, distinctly visible amid the foaming waters. Every brain grew dizzy at the sight. But a shout of involuntary exultation burst from the spectators, when they saw the boy held aloft by the right arm of the youth,—a shout that was suddenly checked with horror, when they both vanished into the abyss below!
15. A moment elapsed before a word was spoken, or a breath drawn. The mother ran forward, and then stood gazing with fixed eyes at the foot of the cataract, as if her all depended upon what the next moment should reveal. Suddenly she gave the glad cry, (f.) "There they are! See! they are safe!—Great God, I thank thee!" And, sure enough, there was the youth still unharmed, and still buffeting the waters. He had just emerged from the boiling vortex below the cataract. With one hand he held aloft the child, and with the other he was making for the shore.
16. They ran, they shouted, they scarcely knew what they did, until they reached his side, just as he was struggling to the bank. They drew him out almost exhausted. The boy was senseless; but his mother declared that he still lived, as she pressed him frantically to her bosom. The youth could scarcely stand, so faint was he from his exertions.
17. Who can describe the scene that followed,—the mother's calmness while she strove to resuscitate her boy, and her wild gratitude to his preserver, when the child was out of danger, and sweetly sleeping in her arms? Our pen shrinks at the task. But her words, pronounced then, were remembered afterwards by more than one who heard them.
18. "God will reward you," said she, "as I can not. He will do great things for you in return for this day's work, and the blessings of thousands besides mine will attend you." And so it was; for, to the hero of that hour, were subsequently confided the destinies of a mighty nation. But, throughout his long career, what tended to make him more honored and respected beyond all men, was the self-sacrificing spirit, which, in the rescue of that mother's child, as in the more august events of his life, characterized OUR BELOVED WASHINGTON.
QUESTIONS.—1. Describe the scene where this accident took place. 2. What did the woman say to the young man? 3. Why would not the men release the woman? 4. What did the young man do? 5. Did he finally succeed in saving the child? 6. What did the mother say to him? 7. Who did this youth prove to be?
* * * * *
RAB' BI, teacher or doctor. HEA' THEN, pagan; gentile. BOUND' A RIES, limits. WAN' DER ED, strayed. SUB MIS' SIVE, resigned; humble. PIL' GRIM, wanderer. RE PEL' LED, drove off. IN HOS' PI TA BLE, unkind to strangers. MAN' TLE, garment, cloak. CON SOL' ING, comforting. RE POS' ING, lying down; resting. CA LAM' I TY, misfortune. POUN' CED, fell or jumped suddenly. IM PLOR' ING, begging; entreating. DE SPOIL' ED, robbed. CHURL' ISH, surly; rude.
THE FOUR MISFORTUNES.
JOHN G. SANE.
1. A pious Rabbi, forced by heathen hate, To quit the boundaries of his native land, Wandered abroad, submissive to his fate, Through pathless woods and wastes of burning sand.
2. A patient ass, to bear him in his flight, A dog, to guard him from the robber's stealth, A lamp, by which to read the law at night,— Was all the pilgrim's store of worldly wealth.
3. At set of sun he reached a little town, And asked for shelter and a crumb of food; But every face repelled him with a frown, And so he sought a lodging in the wood.
4. "'Tis very hard," the weary traveler said, "And most inhospitable, I protest, To send me fasting to this forest bed; But God is good, and means it for the best!"
5. He lit his lamp to read the sacred law, Before he spread his mantle for the night; But the wind rising with a sudden flaw, He read no more,—the gust put out the light.
6. "'Tis strange," he said, "'tis very strange, indeed, That ere I lay me down to take my rest, A chapter of the law I may not read,— But God is good, and all is for the best!"
7. With these consoling words the Rabbi tries To sleep,—his head reposing on a log,— But, ere he fairly shut his drowsy eyes, A wolf came up and killed his faithful dog.
8. "What new calamity is this?" he cried; "My honest dog—a friend who stood the test When others failed—lies murdered at my side! Well,—God is good, and means it for the best."
9. Scarce had the Rabbi spoken, when, alas!— As if, at once, to crown his wretched lot, A hungry lion pounced upon the ass, And killed the faithful donkey on the spot.
10. "Alas!—alas!" the weeping Rabbi said, "Misfortune haunts me like a hateful guest; My dog is gone, and now my ass is dead,— Well, God is good, and all is for the best!"
11. At dawn of day, imploring heavenly grace, Once more he sought the town, but all in vain; A band of robbers had despoiled the place, And all the churlish citizens were slain.
12. "Now God be praised!" the grateful Rabbi cried, "If I had tarried in the town to rest, I too, with these poor villagers had died,— Sure, God is good, and all is for the best!"
13. "Had not the saucy wind put out my lamp, By which the sacred law I would have read, The light had shown the robbers to my camp, And here the villains would have left me dead.
14. "Had not my faithful animals been slain, Their noise, no doubt, had drawn the robbers near, And so their master, it is very plain, Instead of them, had fallen murdered here.
15. "Full well I see that this hath happened so To put my faith and patience to the test; Thanks to His name! for now I surely know That God is good, and all is for the best!"
* * * * *
FU TU' RI TY, events to come. CON SULT', counsel with. PRE TEN' SIONS, claims; assumptions. FOR' TI TUDE, patience; endurance. MOD' EL, pattern; example. RES IG NA' TION, submissiveness. O VER WHELMS', overcomes. IN GRAT' I TUDE, unthankfulness. VAG' A BOND, vagrant; worthless. IM' PU DENCE, sauciness. DES' TI NY, fate; final lot. DE CEAS' ED, dead. DE PRIV' ED, robbed. IN CUR' RED, brought on; caused. CON SUL TA' TIONS, couselings. CAL CU LA' TIONS, reckonings. PRE TER NAT' U RAL, (PRETER, beyond;) beyond what is natural; miraculous. IN VOLV' ED, (IN, in; VOLVED, rolled;) rolled in; enveloped. IN TER RUPT', (INTER, in, between; RUPT, to break;) break in between; stop; hinder.
[Headnote 1: JOB, a patriarch, celebrated for his patience, constancy, and piety. For note on DAVID, see page 138.]
NOTE.—The dash at the end of a remark denotes that the speaker is interrupted by the one with whom he is conversing.
MRS. CREDULOUS AND THE FORTUNE-TELLER.
Mrs. Credulous. Are you the fortune-teller, sir, that knows every thing?
Fortune-Teller. I sometimes consult futurity, madam; but I make no pretensions to any supernatural knowledge.
Mrs. C. Ay, so you say; but every body else says you know every thing; and I have come all the way from Boston to consult you; for you must know I have met with a dreadful loss.
F. T. We are liable to losses in this world, madam.
Mrs. C. Yes; and I have had my share of them, though I shall be only fifty, come Thanksgiving.
F. T. You must have learned to bear misfortunes with fortitude, by this time.
Mrs. C. I don't know how that is, though my dear husband, rest his soul, used to say, "Molly, you are as patient as Job,[Headnote 1] though you never had any children to lose, as he had."
F. T. Job was a model of patience, madam, and few could lose their all with so much resignation.
Mrs. C. Ah, sir', that is too true'; for even the small loss I have suffered, overwhelms me!
F. T. The loss of property, madam, comes home to the bosom of the best of us.
Mrs. C. Yes, sir; and when the thing lost can not be replaced, it is doubly distressing. When my poor, good man, on our wedding day, gave me the ring, "Keep it, Molly," said he, "till you die, for my sake." And now, that I should have lost it, after keeping it thirty years, and locking it up so carefully all the time, as I did—
F. T. We can not be too careful in this world, madam; our best friends often deceive us.
Mrs. C. True, sir, true,—but who would have thought that the child I took, as it were, out of the street, and brought up as my own, could have been guilty of such ingratitude? She never would have touched what was not her own, if her vagabond lover had not put her up to it.
F. T. Ah, madam, ingratitude is the basest of all crimes!
Mrs. C. Yes; but to think that the impudent creature should deny she took it, when I saw it in the possession of that wretch myself.
F. T. Impudence, madam, usually accompanies crime. But my time is precious, and the star that rules your destiny will set, and your fate be involved in darkness, unless I proceed to business immediately. The star informs me, madam, that you are a widow.
Mrs. C. La! sir, were you acquainted with my deceased husband?
F. T. No, madam; we do not receive our knowledge by such means. Thy name is Mary, and thy dwelling-place is Boston.
Mrs. C. Some spirit must have told you this, for certain.
F. T. This is not all, madam. You were married at the age of twenty years, and were the sole heir of your deceased husband.
Mrs. C. I perceive, sir, you know every thing.
F. T. Madam, I can not help knowing what I do know; I must therefore inform you that your adopted daughter, in the dead of night—
Mrs. C. No, sir; it was in the day-time.
F. T. Do not interrupt me, madam. In the dead of night, your adopted daughter planned the robbery which deprived you of your wedding-ring.
Mrs. C. No earthly being could have told you this, for I never let my right hand know that I possessed it, lest some evil should happen to it.
F. T. Hear me, madam; you have come all this distance to consult the fates, and find your ring.
Mrs. C. You have guessed my intention exactly, sir.
F. T. Guessed'! madam'. I know this is your object; and I know, moreover, that your ungrateful daughter has incurred your displeasure, by receiving the addresses of a worthless man.
Mrs. C. Every word is gospel truth.
F. T. This man has persuaded your daughter—
Mrs. C. I knew he did, I told her so. But good sir, can you tell me who has the ring?
F. T. This young man has it.
Mrs. C. But he denies it.
F. T. No matter, madam, he has it.
Mrs. C. But how shall I obtain it again?
F. T. The law points out the way, madam,—it is my business to point out the rogue,—you must catch him.
Mrs. C. You are right, sir,—and if there is law to be had, I will spend every cent I own, but I will have it. I knew he was the robber, and I thank you for the information. [Going.]