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'Those reasons have now,' said the Greek, 'lost much or all of their force' Zabdas smiled triumphantly—'yet still I would advocate delay.'
'Let it be so, then,' said the queen; and in the meanwhile, let the ambassadors of Aurelian not refuse the hospitalities of the eastern queen. Our palace is yours, while it shall please you to remain.'
For the night and the morning, queen, we accept your offers; then, as strangers in this region, we would return to the city, to see better than we have yet done the objects which it presents. It seemed to us, on a hasty glance, surrounded by its luxuriant plains, like the habitation of gods. We would dwell there a space.'
'It shall be as you will. Let me now conduct you to the palace.' So saying, and putting spurs to her horse, Zenobia led the way to the palace, followed by a long train of Romans and Palmyrenes. The generous hospitality of the tables-while seated at which the night insensibly wore away-closed the day.
ELKSWATAWA: OR THE PROPHET OF THE WEST. A Tale of the Frontier. In two volumes. pp. 500. HARPER AND BROTHERS.
THIS is an historical novel, written, as we are given to understand, by a young gentleman of Virginia, already known by a previous work delineating western scenes and manners, which obtained much success. In the volumes before us, the author has given a full account of the lives and policy of the celebrated Tecumseh, and his brother Elkswatawa, or, as he has been more commonly called, the Prophet, beginning with the period which succeeded the general pacification of the western tribes, after the victory of General Wayne, at Presque Isle, in 1794, and ending with the battle of the Thames, and the death of Tecumseh, in 1813. This epoch offers a mine of incidents of an interesting character, whether we contemplate the political or the domestic changes which were constantly taking place, as the aborigines slowly and reluctantly retreated from their long-cherished hunting grounds, and loved abodes, and the tide of emigration rushed in and overspread the land, filling the loneliness of the wilderness far and wide with the trophies of art, and the comforts of civilized life. The spirit of collision, which the opposing interests of the two races would naturally engender, is fully and impartially described in the opening chapter of the work, and its effects, as shown in the well-known attempt of the brothers, Elkswatawa and Tecumseh, to unite all their countrymen, of whatever tribe, in one common plan of resistance to the encroachments of the whites, are forcibly and justly depicted. The details of this enterprise are purely historical, and as such, need not here be repeated. Suffice it to say, that the author professes to have followed the authentic records of the times, and seems to have examined the histories of that period with much care. The specimens of Indian eloquence introduced, as uttered by Tecumseh and his brother, are striking, and give an idea of the powers of these extraordinary men. The dispositions of the two brothers, Elks watawa and Tecumseh, are well contrasted-the one exhibiting all the sterner and repulsive, and the other the nobler and attractive, traits of the Indian character. The battle of the Thames, which terminated the career of Tecumseh, is more vividly described than we recollect to have seen it in any contemporary history.
To the historical portion of the work, the author has added a fictitious narrative, by which the whole is more closely bound together, and the interest in the main personages better sustained. The heroine, as for form's sake we must call her, emigrates with her family from Virginia, and while descending the Ohio in a flat-boat, is made prisoner by a party of Indians, who murder the rest of the family. This deed is witnessed by two hunters, from the river bank-one of them, Rolfe, a lover of the lady, who had himself some time before left Virginia to settle in the West, and the other, who bears the sonorous appellation of Earthquake, a veritable back-woodsman, of the Nimrod Wildfire genus, whose odd sayings and eccentricities contribute not a little to the interest of the story. Of course, the hunters endeavour to rescue the unfortunate maiden, and their various wanderings and unsuccessful attempts to affect her liberation, form the principal thread of the narrative. These are finally crowned with success,
owing to the devoted heroism of an Indian, Oloompa, whose life had been saved by the hunters, and who returns the obligation by restoring the heroine to her lover, In the course of their endeavors to find the abducted girl, the hunters are brought in contact with the Prophet, whose professions of good will and peace to them are well set off by his private declarations to his brother, and furnish a clear insight into his dark and tortuous policy. The work has one singular feature, which consists in the introduction of individuals, such as Colonel Johnson and General Harrison, now living, and occupying a prominent situation before the public. But such has been the caution with which the author has trod upon the dangerous ground of bringing forward living characters, that the most fastidious reader cannot be offended with the infraction of the well known canon of criticism, which directs that the dead alone shall be admitted into works of fiction. The western hunter, Earthquake, will prove a favorite character with the public, and is, we more than suspect, the beloved of the author. Possessing many of the finest feelings and warmest sympathies of the heart, he is perpetually conversant with scenes of bloodshed and carnage; and though the mere narration of the troubles of his friend will bring tears into his eyes, he thinks it proper to kill'Ingens,' upon all occasions, whether in peace or war. The character of Rolfe has not much individuality, but is a sample of thousands of young men who have gone, and are now going, to try their fortunes in the West.
As to the style of the book, we must say that it strikes us as crude and irregular. The periods do not flow so smoothly as they might, neither is the language always felicitous. Still, in consideration of the matériel of the work, we are disposed to overlook these defects. A second edition will probably give the author an opportunity of making such corrections and amendments as his judgment may dictate. Meanwhile we commend the work, for many merits, to favorable acceptance.
THIRTY YEARS AGO: OR THE MEMOIRS OF A WATER-DRINKER. In two volumes, 12mo. New-York: BANCROFT AND HOLLEY.
MR. DUNLAP has heretofore given several volumes to the public, all of which have been received with very general favor; and the work whose title is given above evinces, that although the author is declining into the vale of years, his natural force is still unabated, and that his mind has a sufficient strength of soil to bear repeated crops. To the 'old 'uns,' who remember, thirty years ago, the prominent characters here introduced, the scenes and events recorded in the volumes will be peculiarly acceptable; while those who are now 'on hand' will derive from them entertainment, as well as salutary inculcation. Our author has a pleasing faculty of bringing agreeable correlatives to his main purpose, and a happy tact in arranging them naturally; and although it must be confessed he sometimes amplificates overmuch, and suffers the spirit which attends him in most places to desert him in others, yet he seldom falls into mere tameness, and never degenerates into twattle, as too many do who attempt the agreeably-miscellaneous style, of which he is a recognised master. Mr. Dunlap's manner of composition seems unpremeditated; he avoids studied descriptions and useless ornaments; and in this way he wins more attention than half the writers of the petrifying school, who are for ever on stilts, or at the least, in very high-heeled shoes.
We make a brief extract, embodying several condensed passages in the life of George Federick Cooke. We had pencilled for insertion, but have not room for, the graphic chapter descriptive of the death-bed scene of the great tragedian-a most striking comment upon the life led by this gifted and infatuated man. Mr. Dunlap
corrects an important error of Kean's late biographer: it was not the bones of Cooke's great toe that Kean carried to England with him, and reverenced so highly, and would have others worship: 'It was the bones of that fore-finger with which George Federick enforced the words of his author in a manner never to be forgotten by those who saw him on the stage:'
"Cooke had been married to a Miss Daniels, and divorced from her legally, and was at the height of his celebrity, when it was the ill fate of a Miss Lamb to be thrown into his society. He, in common with General Williams, and Richard the Third, had a wheedling tongue: and the young lady was flattered by the attentions of the man whom the people 'delighted to honor.' She was told that his habits had long been of the worst kind, but, as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature, in love, mortal in folly.' She considered all these tales as 'weak inventions of the enemy;' and, like many other young ladies, preferred her own inclinations to the advice of her friends.
"Miss Lamb,' as the London witlings of 1808 said, 'was basted by the Cooke:' she like many young people of both sexes, formed erroneous ideas of the stage, and those who tread it. She had seen and admired Cooke at Covent Garden, before she had met him in private company. She had witnessed the enthusiastic admiration of others. To be the admired of the admired, turned the head of the young and artless girl. In vain she was fore-warned: his fame, and his bewitching manners, when sober, (as he could continue long to be, for any subordinate purpose, though not to preserve health, reputation, and well-being,) surmounted all opposition: the lady became Mrs. Cooke.
"But long before this sacrifice of the Lamb, say in the year 1790 or '91, for nobody ever knew the exact date, a similar sacrifice had been made at the same altar. Indeed, we have reason to believe that George Federick was as little scrupulous in forming matrimonial engagements, as he was in entering into theatrical ones, and broke them as easily. This early engagement was with the lady whom we know as Mrs. Johnson. Cooke was then the hero of Manchester, Liverpool, Bath, and Bristol; and even then was noted for long-continued, and oft-repeated seasons of intemperance. However, the lady thought love would cure all faults, and she married him. Of this marriage Í can find no record; certain it is, he married twice in England, and once in America afterward.
"With some little outbreakings, now and then, we may suppose that months passed almost happily. George was fond of reading, and really loved his wife — for a time. It was impossible that any creature, possessing human feelings, could do otherwise. Attractive in personal appearance, though no beauty-with all the good habits rendered permanent by a tender domestic education-with love and admiration of her husband, approaching to idolatry-in short, with every, qualification to render a retired matrimonial life happy-how could a man, endowed by nature with good sense and good feeling, fail to love such a being?
"But habit that devil, or that angel, as it is good or evil- the habit which in this unhappy man had weakened the best feelings of our nature, and proved the worst of devils, resumed that sway, which the desire to gain a fine young girl, and the novelty of a happy marriage, had interrupted. The bottle, and the riot, and the madness of intoxication, increased by the waning of love, and perfected by former associations, prevailed over every consideration which ought to guide a rational creature.
"The sufferings of the wife were beyond the power of pen to portray. Long she pined in solitude, for she only saw her husband when he required a nurse or a servant. No reproach, by word or look, escaped her. Her tears were unseen; her smiles and tenderness unappreciated. She became a mother, and saw that her child had no father. From bad to worse- from insensibility to brutality-down-down, sunk the victim of vice; and lower and lower in misery, the victim's victim.
"The friends of the lady interfered; but the pride of the conscious criminal was roused, and defiance to them, and reproach to his wife, was the consequence.
"Let us draw a veil over the scenes which could induce such a woman as Mrs. Johnson to adopt the resolution of flying, with her child, from their native country, to seek a refuge from the husband and the father. To mitigate her own sufferings, might have proved a sufficient motive for assuming another name, and crossing the seas; but she had another to remove her boy from such a parent, and hide from him the knowledge of a being, whose example might cause ruin, and whose conduct must cause shame.
"She was assisted by sympathizing friends; and the measures taken for her flight were so judiciousiy planned, and carefully executed, that she was placed in safety, with the means of present support, on the shores of the new world.
"Cooke never knew where she had gone, or how she had been enabled to accomplish a retreat which left no traces behind. The event awakened him to remorse. pride too, was hurt. But every voice that cried shame! was drowned by the voice of intemperance. In time, the wife and child appeared to be forgotten, as though they had never been. But although he married again, and again, they visited his dreams; and
in those moments when images of the past come unbidden; the moments of feverish and unquiet sleep; moments appropriated to themselves by the intemperate; in those moments when the present is shrouded in clouds and darkness, then would a flash from awakening conscience illumine the figures of his wife and child. She, holding the boy up, as if to invite the father's hand, and suddenly snatching the infant away when within his grasp. Sometimes in bodily torture, his own groans would sound as those of his dying wife; and he would see her and her boy sinking amidst waves. But to the world he appeared as if he had never had wife or child; and of his early marriage the world never knew. Much-dreaded solitude could not be avoided. Then came the pangs of wakeful conscience, or the visions of troubled sleep, with physical suffering and mental anguish, intolerable.
"Such was George Federick Cooke in England, and in the sick chamber of his longlost wife in New-York."
With the above general commentarics and brief extract, we commend this agreeable performance to our readers-not without a regret that our space is insufficient to permit us to follow the author, at greater length, in his irregular but animated excursions into the realms of romance in real life.
NARRATIVE OF THE ARCTIC LAND EXPEDITION to the mouth of the Great Fish River, and along the shores of the Arctic Ocean, in the years 1833, 1834, and 1835. By CAPTAIN BACK, R. N., commander of the expedition. In one volume. pp. 456. Philadelphia: É. L. CAREY AND A. HART.
THE nature of the interesting expedition, of which the volume under notice contains a full and complete history, is familiar to our readers. The hair-breadth 'scapes and moving accidents encountered by the author, his officers and crew, in the 'thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice' which they explored, furnish a fund of exciting adventure; while the importance of the discoveries made, and information gained, imparts to the whole an added value. There is abundant matter for edification in the successive events of the expedition; and the animated tone, and hearty, homespun style of the narrative, give to the sketches an air of entire truth; although, in reality, some of the exploits recorded are so surprising, that the reader might well be pardoned for supposing, that at times the work fluctuated between fact and romance. An obvious fault against taste, common to most works of this description, is here less apparent; we mean a certain extra minuteness of detail, which, instead of furnishing plain pictures, darkens that which less art and more nature would have left sufficiently clear.
The adventures contained in the annexed paragraphs afford a fair sample of the perils of the expedition :
"JULY 25th. The weather was raw and cold, though the wind was southerly, and the thermometer 48°. The banks on either side were low, but curiously paved with round stones, probably forced in by ledges of grounded ice. The next reach turned to the northward, and became so wide that it might well have been called a lake. Such expansions always occasioned us some perplexity, from the uncertainty and difficulty there was in tracing the run of the current. In this instance, however, it was less inconstant than usual, and for a few miles continued nearly in the same course; when, after gradually contracting, it was broken by a mile of heavy and dangerous rapids. The boat was lightened, and every care taken to avoid accidents; but so overwhelming was the rush and whirl of the water, that she, and consequently those in her, were twice in the most imminent danger of perishing by being plunged into one of the gulfs formed in the rocks and hollows of the rapid. It was in one of those singular and dangerous spots, which partake of the triple character of a fall, rapid, and eddy in the short space of a few yards, that the crew owed their safety solely to an unintentional disobedience of the steersman's directions. The power of the water so far exceeded whatever had been witnessed in any of the other rivers of the country, that the same precautions successfully used elsewhere were weak and unavailing here. The steersman was endeavoring to clear a fall and some sunken rocks on the left, but the man to whom he spoke misunderstood him, and did exactly the reverse; and now, seeing the danger, the