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ting his telescope, to take a closer survey of their apparent hilarity, when the thunder and smoke of a broadside from the vessel shook the hill, and he dropped like a log to the earth. He screamed, and affirmed that he was a dead man; but found, on stirring himself, that he was yet the same old wrecker, as wicked and as well as ever.
This appeared, on examination, to be nothing more than the signal of the captain to suspend the festivities, and form themselves in order for the duty which was about to follow. When Harley arose, the songs were hushed
the wine had disappeared — and all the crew vanished, save a couple of sentinels, who were solemnly pacing back and forth, amid the chequered shadows of the ship.
Another broadside ensued, when the wrecker observed a man of giant stature, armed to the teeth, preceding a single file of about fifty
What particularly arrested his attention, was the great contrast in the costume of the former, which was to the full as black as that of the latter was blood-red. They were paraded across the ship in double columns, and down a wide plank, the outer end of which rested upon
the beach. The chief stationed himself at the head of his band, and giving a signal, they all commenced passing small bars of gold and silver, and laying them nicely in a pile on the shore. Next in order came a quantity of small kegs, bound strongly with iron hoops; and last of all, a varied collection of silver plate, with pitchers and goblets of the most exquisite workmanship. The yellow heaps of the pure metal, shining in the moonbeams, had such a magical influence
upon the wrecker, that he was nigh to faint, and was only prevented from that foolish act by his overwhelming fear. He however determined to ascend a noble tree which stood near him, and trust to its beavy foliage to screen him from this company
of spirits. So up he mounted, and sat quietly awaiting the issue.
But what was his surprise, on beholding the very crew themselves moving along in couples, each carrying on a barrow a portion of the gold and other treasure which lay upon the beach! how much more was he surprised, as they all rested their burthens in a circle around the very tree to which he had fled for safety!
His hair stood on end, like quills upon the fretful porcupine,' and his knees trembled as do the aspen leaves in the forest.
Not a word was spoken by the band who had so mysteriously assembled. The chief soon arrived, and by a wave of his sword, disposed his men in a still wider circle around the spoils. He then walked into the centre of the ring, lifted his sword again, when two of his band stepped forth and commenced digging a pit in the earth. This being accomplished, the gold was deposited within it, and a Blight covering of moist loam was sprinkled over it.
Harley's spirits now began to rise rapidly, and he was quite confident that, if not discovered, he would be the richest man on the island before another twelvemonth had rolled over his head. Still, his situation was an uncommonly disagreeable one, and he would gladly have relinquished a small fortune, to have been liberated from his bondage.
His musings were all at once disturbed by the sharp crack of a pistol, and the sudden start it effected among his ideas, gave the foliage of the tree a very injudicious motion, considering the pecu
and yet liar situation in which he was placed. He cast his eyes below, and there beheld one of the spirit crew apparently lifeless upon the earth; and what caused him to look with yet more wonder, was the fact, that the corpse had been cast, just as it was shot, into the pit, among the bars of gold. The earth was then replaced, and the ground so nicely and delicately sodded over, that no eye, save the wrecker's, could ever detect any thing unnatural in the soil.
After all was complete, the whole crew locked hands, and danced around the spot, muttering a long, low chant, in unintelligible language, that rather amused Harley, than otherwise. Each one then described some strange characters over the spot, and this appeared to be the concluding scene of this tragedy and comedy; for immediately afterward, they formed themselves again in order, raised their barrows, and took up their march for the vessel.
Harley thought it would perhaps be advisable to retreat from his eyrie, as he did not wish to be inquisitive nor curious in other men's matters ; and it was quite possible the blood-red crew might make the tree another visit for the same special purpose. He therefore very quietly descended, and crept cautiously toward the beach, that he might see the vessel safely off to sea again ; for he had taken a very sudden affection for the captain and his men, and really wished within himself that no harm might befall them, or the snug
little ves. sel which so gallantly wafted them through the tempest.
But the success of their escape was rendered quite doubtful. Many ships and brigs were lying out at sea, in a dead calm, which would undoubtedly be attending to the movements of the strange vessel. The wrecker disposed himself quietly in the shadow of a large sycamore, and watched with intense interest the operations which were in progress below. There the craft lay, as easy as a swan upon the waters, with all her sails closely reefed, and her delicate rope-rigging thrown into silver and ebony, by the lights and shades that fell upon it. A solitary sentinel, with his gun firmly braced against his shoulder, paced with a regular and solemn tread the narrow deck, and his footsteps echoed back from the curves and bays that scalloped along the beach. Harley had just relapsed into one of those delightful reveries which so calm the soul, when another broadside burst upon the serenity of the scene, and scattered his splendid creations to the winds.
The vessel immediately rounded off, under bare poles - without a rag of canvass spread — and cut her way through the breakers before her, leaving in her track a long line which shone like fire. Without wind or towing — in the dead calm of the night — like a spirit of life, she 'walked the waters,' and made off into the open sea. The wrecker watched her as long as a speck was visible, and with such astonishment and wonder depicted in his countenance and demeanor, that he was indeed a model of fear and doubt. When, at last, he recovered, and ascertained beyond doubt that he was yet in his sublunary abode, he thought again how short would be the time before he - James Harley, Esq., — could pronounce himself the richest man on all Long-Island.
Upon mature consideration, he came to the conclusion that he would not disturb the bars of gold until the subsequent evening, when the mineral-rod, steel-rod, spades, etc., should all be prepared. Another thing, indispensable on such occasions, was a suitable person who could work the rods, which was no common gift.' Sam Rowe was the seventh son, and born, moreover, with a veil over his face. He was a gentleman whom the wrecker thought might answer his purpose exactly, and he therefore concluded to invite him on the occasion.
Let the reader imagine, if he pleases, Sam and Harley all armed and equipped,' and wending their way toward the tree where the strange characters deposited their treasure. Let him conceive also — which was the fact that both were absolutely trembling with fear; for all who are in the least acquainted with the history of money-diggers, know them to be the most superstitious of all men. The rustling of a bush — the quiver of a leaf - the wind — in fact, every object which they beheld or heard, threw them into convulsions, and sent the cold sweat in beaded drops to their foreheads.
At last, they arrived at the fearful spot. Preparations were made, and the mineral-rod was put in motion, to ascertain if the gold had moved or not. Finding all right, the steel-rod was run down above it, to keep it in its place. A few strange sayings for such occasions were made use of, to intimidate Satan, who often makes it convenient to visit such spots when they are molested by any one. All being arranged, Sam pushed down his slender rod into the loose soil, and had the gratification to hear it chink among the yellow bars of gold. Harley commenced digging, cautioning his companion to bear hard upon the rod, lest the whole, in a moment, should move. Matters proceeded exceedingly well, until they were almost down, when they overheard such a rushing of wind among the trees such a fall and roar of waters such a thundering and trembling of the whole earth — that they both shook like the leaves above them. But Sam, who had witnessed such scenes before, remained unmoved, and clung still closer to his rod; as he had always heard it declared, that it was not in the power of the spirits to inflict any actual harm. He told the wrecker, as well as he was able, not to be frightened, but to stand firm to his work, cool and composed, as HE DID! They finally resumed their labors, but had only cast up a few more shovels-full of earth, when countless numbers of blue balls arose from out the pit, and after soaring afar in the quiet sky, burst with a loud explosion, showering down sparks upon them, and filling the whole air with a flavor much like brimstone. Harley then thought of Satan and as he had no disposition to encounter his august majesty, he dropped his spade, and glided off through the moonlight with inconceivable rapidity; and it was not without much eloquent persuasion, that Sam induced him to return again to his labor.
The third attempt was now made, and matters proceeded quite smoothly for a few moments ; but what was their astonishment, when, on casting their eyes upward, they beheld a large round mill-stone suspended from a limb of the tree by a mere thread, that threatened every instant to snap in sunder. Neither looked twice, but both fled as if their lives depended upon their celerity, while the rod, which Sam had held so long, flew like a flash into the heavens, and disappeared forever. Their fears having in some measure died away, they halted on a gentle slope, and while yet trembling in their garments, a loud swell of vocal music burst forth on the night air from beneatht he sycamore that shadowed the haunted spot, and the words, which were distinctly audible, were these :
My name was Robert Kidd,
As I sailed, as I sailed;
As I sailed! The whole mystery was at once explained. The strange vessel, and the yet stranger crew, were now identified ; and had the wrecker only sooner known the nature of the beings with whom he had been dealing, he could have saved himself all his trouble : for all LongIsland well knew that it was utterly impossible ever to disturb the buried treasures of Robert Kidd. By him alone, or some one of his pirate crew, could they be recovered.
H. H. R.
SUGGESTED BY A VISIT TO THE SHAKER SETTLEMENT, NEAR ALBANY.
MYSTERIOUS worshippers !
From all that stirs
Are the gay visions gone,
And battled on;
Does memory never roam
Your early homes ?
Has not ambition's pæan
The camp — the council — all
Have ye forgot your youth,
Seeming all truth
Man, in the exercise of those native powers of speech bestowed upon him by his Creator, after passing out of that state of ignorance and savagism in which he could utter only those interjections and exclamations, which are mere natural cries, significant of the passions and emotions which occupied his mind, and in which he is equalled, if not surpassed, by inferior animals, would proceed to designate, by articulate sounds and modifications of voice, the objects around him, together with their actions or operations upon each other. Hence the evident soundness of Aristotle's opinion, that the nouns or names of things, and the verbs expressive of their actions and passions, would be the first parts of speech used by our race in the transmission of their thoughts, as they continue ever afterward the most important constituents in the machinery of language. To these all the other elementary parts are added in the progress of human improvement, and language attains a perfection and refinement, which render it a finished vehicle for the conveyance of the profoundest demonstrations of reason, the most remote discoveries of science, the sublimest flights of imagination, and the most delicate shades of thought and perception. Nor need we wonder, that commencing from such few and simple materials and scanty supplies, amidst the interminable progression of civilized nations in knowledge and the arts, we should at last find it, in its most finished state, exhibiting a consummate skill and contrivance in its construction, reducible to precise and established rules and analogies, and while retaining a similarity of outline among all nations, so as to lay a foundation for the principles of general grammar, yet so flexible in its minuter parts