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reviving its energies—like an infuriated giant, shaking off the trammels of sleep—to rush forth to renewed and greater acts of violence. The sun ceased to emit its splendid and inspiring beams, or but occasionally darted forth its speary rays from behind the heavy clouds which were fast collecting, and rolling between it and the earth. Loud gusts of wind roared fearfully, at intervals, or broke in fitful blasts, ruffling afresh the recently placid surface of Erie, when lo! two solitary beings were seen traversing the shores of the Lake,-a woman and her infant son,-like another Hagar and Ishmael, when they turned away from the door of Abraham,--they journeyed on alone.
Nature has, in most cases, made up what art has not furnished, in those countries where all the ease and convenience of polished society are not known. There, native hardihood braces the nerves, and renders robust the constitution of the inhabitants; and even the delicate nature of the female constitution loses much of its feminine imbecility; and the fear of danger, which would crush beneath its influence the ladies of England and France, is, by the intrepid and dauntless females of wilder regions, scarcely known. In the present case, the statements which I have made were proved to be correct. The lonely female who now travelled the the margin of Erie, was by birth an Indian ; one of those hardy race of beings
Whose birth-place is a forest's shade,
A desert, or a dell ;-
With wild beasts rove or dwell.
The tribe to which she belonged, lay encamped some distance beyond a dark wood, which rose like a speck on the vision in the distance. Thither, with her beloved boy, a lad of about seven years of age, she journeyed. She heeded not the portentous gusts of wind which swept along the waters of the Lake ; for she had often before heard them, and they had died quietly away.
The partial eclipse of the sun's rays, she did not regard; its heat was thereby less oppressive. She grasped firmly, the little hand of her child, and listening, with all the fond feelings of a mother, to his inquisitive converse, or joining with him in one of their native songs, rendered the place vocal with gladness; and so beguiling the length and dreariness of the way, pushed onwards.
On one of the mountain heights which rose above their heads, several branches of large wild grapes hung temptingly. They looked as if placed there to invite the passing traveller, whose thirst might have been excited by heat or fatigue. The eye of young Onedia was attracted, and with all the importunity of nature's eloquence, such as strong desire after enjoyment alone could have given birth to, he requested Chia, his mother, to procure him some. This was a task of no small
magnitude; but Onedia saw not the difficulty, nor once thought of the danger which stood in the way of obtaining the object of his wishes.
With whatever degree of impropriety Onedia may be charged, for pressing so earnestly as he did his request, his was not an uncommon case; older and better instructed individuals have been equally unyielding in their desires : personal gratification has absorbed every other emotion, although the things they have petitioned for, when possessed, formed no greater equality with the danger incurred, or loss sustained, than did the Indian boy's. Even David proved his weakness, by yielding to a desire which he felt, to gratify his appetite, although at the exposure of the lives of some as valiant men as his army possessed, when he longed for a draught of water, and exclaimed, “O that one would give me drink of the water of the well at Bethlehem, that is at the gate." 1 Chron. ii. 17.
Like a fond but inconsiderate mother, anxiously desirous to gratify the wish of her son, Chia sought for, and soon discovered a way by which she might ascend to the top of the mount, and procure the desired fruit. A deep excavation, or ravine, which the recent dashing waves had formed, made a tolerably easy passage; and having charged Onedia to remain where he was, she sprang up the bank, like a bounding Morse-deer, regardless of the trembling fragments which occasionally gave way beneath her feet, and threatened to precipitate her
into a fearful abyss. She gained the heights, and hastened to procure some of the clustering grapes which had been the object of her enterprise.
The point of land upon which Chia had obtained a standing, presented a dark wood, closely skirting the edge of the eminence which overhung the Lake. Amidst the branches of some of the trees, the tendrils of the vines had wound themselves most fantastically, and presented, naturally, all the charms of a rich vineyard. Allured by the beauty of the scenery, as well as urged by a strong desire to obtain some of the finest of the fruit, she wandered further into the wood than she intended, and before she was aware of it, found herself at a considerable distance from the edge of the precipice, surrounded by the beautiful flowers and foliage of the magnificent aloe and laurel-magnolia; and, from the large-leaved vines, which depended in airy festoons from their branches, was plucking some of the largest grapes. The wind, which had only at fitful periods before been heard, now became more continued, and the waters of Erie heaved tumultuously. The Lake became dark and gloomy, while occasionally a frothy snow-white crest danced on the surface of the waters.
Onedia had amused himself with gathering shells, which the late storm had thrown up, and, in his pursuit after which, he had strolled some distance from the spot on which his mother had left him. The wind continued to gain strength-it blew heavily—the waters of the lake rose rapidly; and when his attention was roused from the object of his search, by the dashing of the waters, he found all the attempts he could make to regain the station he had left, would be in vain. Alarmed for his safety, and fearing the anger of his mother, he struggled hard to gain the spot where he had received her command,--and where, had he continued, all would have been safe. His danger became every moment more and more evident: he called with all his might to his mother, and the wind and waves hoarsely answered to his voice : again he shouted for help, and his cries caught the ears of Chia, who was hastening back to him with her treasure. The voice of her son gave wings to her speed, and rushing towards the precipice, whence the cry seemed to proceed, she saw him wrestling with the waves, and striving hard, but in vain, to climb the almost perpendicular bank, which rose fifty feet above him, now rendered slippery by the dashing spray. The Lake looked like a devouring animal, to the soul-smitten mother, rushing forward to seize and destroy her beloved child. Now she saw him ascend a few yards, and then, the crumbling earth gave way, and he was thrown back to the waters below.