« PreviousContinue »
Then soon, with the emblem of truth overflowing,
The old oaken bucket--the iron-bound bucket
How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it,
As poised on the curb, it inclined to my lips ! Not a full, blushing goblet could tempt me to leave it,
Though filled with the nectar that Jupiter sips. And now, far removed from that loved situation,
The tear of regret will intrusively swell,
The old oaken bucket-the iron-bound bucket-
PARTIALITY OF AUTHORS.
Dr. Taylor. Have you read my Key to the Romans ?
Mr. Newton. I have turned it over.
Dr. Taylor. You have turned it over! And is this the treatment a book must meet with, which has cost me many years of hard study ? Must I be told at last that you have “ turned it over," and then thrown it aside? You ought to have read it carefully, and weighed deliberately what comes forward on so serious a subject.
Mr. Newton. Hold! You have cut me out full employment, if my life were to be as long as Methuselah's. I have somewhat else to do in the short
day allotted me, than to read whatever any one may think it his duty to write. When I read, I wish to read to good purpose ; and there are some books, which contradict on the very face of them what appear to me to be first principles. You surely will not say I am bound to read such books. If a man tells me he has a very elaborate argument to prove that two and two make five, I have something else to do than to attend to this argument. If I find the first mouthful of meat which I take from a fine looking joint on my table is tainted, I need not eat through it to be convinced I ought to throw it away.
THE LIFE BOAT.
'Tis sweet to behold, when the billows are sleeping,
Some gay coloured bark moving gracefully by, No damp on her deck, but the eventide's weeping,
No breath in her sails but the summer wind's sigh. Yet who would not turn, with a fonder emotion,
To gaze on the life-boat, though rugged and worn, Which often hath wafted, o'er hills of the ocean,
The lost light of hope to the seaman forlorn ?
Oh! grant that of those who, in life's sunny slumber;
Around us like summer barks idly have played, When stornis are abroad we may find in the number
One friend like the life-boat to fly to our aid !
THE RED SQUIRREL.
The pretty red squirrel lives up in a tree,
But small as he is, he knows he may want In the bleak winter weather when food is so scant, So he finds a hole in an old tree's core, And there makes his nest, and lays up his store; Then when cold winter comes and the trees are bare, When the white snow is falling and keen is the air ; He heeds it not as he sits by himself In his warm little nest, with his nuts on the shelf. Oh! wise little squirrel ! no wonder that he In the green summer woods is as blithe as can be.
THE CHARACTER OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN.
In the fate of the Aborigines of our country--the American Indians—there is, my friends, much to
awaken our sympathy, and much to disturb the sobriety of our judgment; much which may be urged to excuse their own atrocities; much in their characters, which betrays us into an involuntary admiration. What can be more melancholy than their history? Two centuries ago, the smoke of their wigwams, and the fires of their councils rose in every valley, from Hudson's Bay to the farthest Florida, from the ocean to the Mississippi and the Lakes. The shouts of victory and the war-dance rung through the mountains and the glades. The thick arrows and the deadly tomahawk whistled through the forests ; and the hunter's trace, and the dark encampment startled the wild beasts in their lairs. The warriors stood forth in their glory. The young listened to the songs of other days. The mothers played with their infants, and gazed on the scene with warm hopes of the future. Braver men never lived ; truer men never drew the bow. They had courage, and fortitude, and sagacity, and perseverance, beyond most of the human race. They shrunk from no dangers, and they feared no hardships.
If they had the vices of savage life, they had the virtues also. They were true to their country, their friends, and their homes. If they forgave not injury, neither did they forget kindness. If their vengeance was terrible, their fidelity and generosity were unconquerable also. Their love, like their hate, stopped not on this side of the grave. But where are they? Where are the villages and warriors, and youth ? The sachems and the tribes ? The hunters and their families? They have perished. They are consumed. The wasting pestilence has not alone done the mighty work. No,-nor famine, nor war. There has been a mightier power, a moral canker,
which hath eaten into their heart-cores-aplague, which the touch of the white man communicated-a poison, which betrayed them into a lingering ruin. The winds of the Atlantic fan not a single region which they may now call their own. Already the last feeble remnants of the race are preparing for their journey beyond the Mississippi. I see them leave their miserable homes, the aged, the helpless, the women, and the warriors, 6 few and faint, yet fearless still.” The ashes are cold on their native hearths. The smoke no longer curls round their lowly cabins. They move on with a slow, unsteady step. The white man is upon their heels, for terror or despatch; but they heed him not. They turn to take a last look of their deserted villages. They cast a last glance upon the graves of their fathers. They shed no tears ; they utter no cries; they heave no groans. There is something in their hearts which passes speech. There is something in their looks, not of vengeance or submission; but of hard necessity, which stifles both; which chokes all utterance; which has no aim or method. It is courage absorbed in despair. They linger but for a moment. Their look is onward. They have passed the fatal stream. It shall never be repassed by them,—no, never. Yet there lies not between us and them an impassable gulf. They know, and feel, that there is for them still one remove farther, not distant nor unseen. It is to the general burial-ground of their race.