Page images

fore you can kill him. What good man will ever come again under my roof, if I let my floor be stained with a good man's blood?

6. The negroes seeing his resolution, and being convinced by his discourse that they were wrong, went away ashamed. In a few days Murray ventured abroad again with his friend Cudjoe, when several of them took him by the hand, and told him they were glad they had not killed him; for as he was a good meaning, innocent man, their god would have been very angry, and would have spoiled their fishing.


The following poem is founded on a traditionary story which is common on the borders of the great falls of Niagara, although differing in some unimportant particulars.

THE rain fell in torrents, the thunder roll'd deep,

And silenc'd the cataract's roar;

But neither the night, nor the tempest could keep
The warriour chieftain on shore.

2. The war shout has sounded, the stream must be cross'd; Why lingers the leader afar!

"Twere better his life than his glory be lost;
He never came late to the war.

3. He seiz'd a canoe, as he sprang from the rock, But fast as the shore fled his reach,

[ocr errors]

The mountain wave seem'd all his efforts to mock,
And dash'd the canoe on the beach.

4. Great Spirit, he cried, shall the battle be given, And all but their leader be there!

May this struggle land me with them or in heaven!
And he push'd with the strength of despair.

5. He has quitted the shore, he has gained the deep,
His guide is the lightning alone;

But he felt not with fast, irresistible sweep,

O what is the meaning of this!

The rapids were bearing him down.

6. But the cataract's roar with the thunder now vied:

He spoke, and just turn'd to the cataract's side,
As the lightning flash'd down the abyss.
7. All the might of his arm to one effort was given,
At self-preservation's command;

But the treacherous oar with the effort was riven,
And the fragment remain'd in his hand.
8. Be it so, cried the warriour, taking his seat,
And folding his bow to his breast;

Let the cataract shroud my pale corse with its sheet,
And its roar lull my spirit to rest.

9. The prospect of death with the brave I have borne,
I shrink not to bear it alone;

I have often fac'd death when the hope was forlorn,
But I shrink not to face him with none.

10. The thunder was hush'd and the battle field stain'd,
When the sun met the war-wearied eye,
But no trace of the boat, or the chieftain remain❜d,
Though his bow was still seen in the sky.


How are you, Dick? why, what's the mat

George. ter, boy? whose sins are you lamenting now?

Richard. Yours, George. I cannot but tremble for you, when I consider what must be the inevitable consequence of your present line of conduct.

G. Pshaw, Dick! now don't, my good fellow, distress yourself on my account, for I am determined to enjoy life, and I should be sorry to have my enjoyment the source of pain to an old friend.

R. What do you mean by enjoyment?

G. Enjoyment! Why plenty of all the good things of this world, and a comfortable sit down now and then with one's friends.

R. But do you not recollect that your resources are by no means equal to your dress and other extraordinary expenses ?

G. We bloods look to our dress for resources, and not to our resources for dress, as you do.

[ocr errors]

R. Can you do this honestly?

G. Hon-est-ly, (drawling it out) we have no such word in our vocabulary.

R. So it should seem. But tell me, how do you contrive to keep up such an appearance of wealth and fashion, when I can barely subsist? What is the chief requisite ?

G. Assurance, my dear. Lay in a good stock of assurance, and you have a mine at your disposal.

R. But will assurance clothe me?

G. Yes, and feed you too. Hark ye, Dick, if your clothes are worn out, or unfashionable, go to a tailor, and order a suit of the best cloth to be sent to your lodgings. Say nothing about the price, mind you, say nothing about that; none but the vulgar, who intend to pay, ever say any thing about the price.

R. Well, but must not I pay for them?

G. Pay for them, no, mau. When pricklouse calls for his money, order another suit. Try this expedient till he refuses to work for you, then swear at him for a troublesome puppy, and forbid him your house.

R. Clothes, however, are not all I shall need.

G. That's true, Dick, but they will procure every thing else. What's a man without clothes? A smooth shilling, that hardly passes for what it really weighs, while every body gives currency to one fresh from the mint. Clothes, Dick, are a sine qua non with us bloods.

R. How so? every body appears to laugh at your fashionable trim, and wonder how you dare appear so ridicu lous.

G. Yes, and yet the same people do us homage. No door is closed against a fine coat; few tradesinen inquire how we came by it; and where is the lady who does not prefer it to an old, unfashionable one, let who will be in it? R. But still I should appear awkward in company.

G. Not if you have assurance. An impudent fellow may do a thousand awkward things, which would ruin a modest man. Nay, Dick, we sometimes have our blunders imitated. You recollect the story of Lord Spencer, who, losing the skirts of his coat accidentally, had assurance enough to wear what was left on his shoulders, and obtained the honour of introducing the garment which bears his name.

R. He was more successful than the fox we read of in the fable, who, having lost his tail, wished to persuade his brethren of the inutility of that appendage.

G. He was ashamed of his loss, Dick. Depend upon it, that fox wanted assurance. But my principles are gaining ground fast, or how else can you account for the fact that men of three score are turning fops, and most of the rising generation attend to nothing but dress. Time was when the long coat and surtout were the peculiar garb of manhood; now, no boy is without them.

R. You might add that drinking and tobacco, gaming and debt, were once the vices of men, but now every fashionable urchin can drink his bottle, smoke his cigar, and bet like a gamester. Of debts I have nothing to add to the description you have just given me.

G. You have omitted one accomplishment, however.The lad of fashion must swear a little. Nothing will show one's consequence like a volley of oaths now and then. But dress is the remote cause of all this. I am sorry to own it, but you seldom see a man of sense who is a fop. When you dress a calf's head, you must always take out the brains. R. But how do all these consequences proceed from dress? G. I will tell you, since I have begun to reveal our secrets. The time was, Dick, when modesty was considered an accomplishment in children, and deference to their superiours a duty. But now, almost as soon as they can walk, children are sent to the dancing academy, to get rid of their modesty, and learn to disregard the presence of their elders and superiours.

R. How does this affect their dress?

G. The competition commences at school, and then, as the tuition will all be lost without practice, and there is some fear of the lad's relapsing into his former modesty, he must be introduced into company, and frequent balls and assemblies, where dress is indispensable. And as with a genteel coat, and a thorough knowledge of the capacity of his heels, he meets with a better reception than real worth does in a plain garb, it is no wonder that so many of our young men decorate their persons instead of adorning their minds, and parade at the corners of our streets, instead of attending to their business or studies.

R. But is not all this an argument against dress? G. Yes, Dick; but what has argument to do with fashion? You might as well talk of reason to the idiot, who is not a subject of it.

R. Do you ever consider what the end of all this folly must necessarily be?

G. O no! futurity is another word we have nothing to do with. But I have made my confessions, and have no idea of hearing a lecture upon them. So good bye to you; the first glass I drink shall be to your health and reformation.

R. You had better continue thirsty, and promote your own. I thank you, however, for the hints you have given me; and I trust in future I shall remain contented with my obscurity, and no longer envy those whose exterior is their only recommendation.


THAT you may not be unapprized, soldiers,

of what sort of enemies you are about to encounter, or what is to be feared from them, I tell you they are the very same whom, in a former war, you vanquished both by land and sea; the same from whom you took Sicily and Sardinia; and who have been these twenty years your tributaries.

2. You will not, I presume, match against these men with only that courage with which you are wont to face other enemies; but with a certain anger and indignation, such as you would feel if you saw your slaves on a sudden rise up in arms against you.

3 But you have heard, perhaps, that, though they are few in number, they are men of stout hearts and robust bodies; heroes of such strength and vigour as nothing is able to resist. Mere effigies! nay, shadows of men! wretches, emaciated with hunger and benumbed with cold! bruised

« PreviousContinue »