Слике страница

2. Every thicket, bush and tree

Swelled the grateful harmony;
As it mildly swept along,
Echo seemed to catch the song;
But the plain was wide and clear
(Echo never whispered here);
From a neighboring mocking-bird

Came the answering notes I heard. 3. Soft and low the song began;

I scarcely caught it as it ran
Through the inelancholy trill
Of the plaintive whip-poor-will,
Through the ringdove's gentle wail --
Chattering jay and whistling quail,
Sparrow's twitter, catbird's cry,
Redbird's whistle, robin's sigh:
Blackbird, bluebird, swallow, lark,

Each his native note might mark. 4. Oft he tried the lesson o'er,

Each time louder than before.
Burst at length the finished song;
Loud and clear it poured along;
All the choir in silence heard ;
Hushed before this wondrous bird,
All transported and amazed,

Scarcely breathing, long I gazed.
5. Now it reached the loudest swell;

Lower, lower, now it fell,
Lower, lower, lower still;
Scarce it sounded o’er the rill.
Now the warbler ceased to sing,
Then he spread his russet wing,
And I saw him take his flight
Other regions to delight.


XLVI.—THE AMERICAN INDIAN. 1. Not many generations ago, where you now sit, circled with all that exalts and embellishes civilized life, the rank thistle nodded in the wind, and the wild fox dug his hole unscared. Here lived and loved another race of beings. Beneath the same sun that rolls over your heads, the Indian hunter pursued the panting deer; gazing on the same moon that smiles for you, the Indian lover wooed his dusky mate.

2. Here the wigwam blaze beamed on the tender and helpless; the council fire glared on the wise and daring. Now they dipped their noble linibs in your sedgy lakes, and now they paddled the light canoe along your rocky shores. Here they warred; the echoing whoop, the bloody grapple, the defying death-song, all were here; and when the tiger strife was over, here curled the smoke

of peace.

3. Here, too, they worshiped ; and from many a dark bosom went up a pure prayer to the Great Spirit. He had not written his laws for them on tables of stone, but he had traced them on the tables of their hearts. The poor child of nature knew not the God of revelation, but the God of the universe he acknowledged in every thing around.

4. He beheld him in the star that sunk in beauty behind his lonely dwelling; in the sacred orb that flamed on him from his mid-day throne; in the flower that snapped in the morning breeze; in the lofty pine that defied a thousand whirlwinds; in the timid warbler that never left its native grove; in the fearless eagle whose untired pinion was wet in clouds; in the worm that crawled at his feet; and in his own matchless form, glowing with a spark of that Light to whose mysterious source he bent in humble though blind adoration.

5. And all this has passed away. Across the ocean came a pilgrim bark, bearing the seeds of life and death. The former were sown for you; the latter sprang up in the path of the simple native. Two hundred years have changed the character of a great continent, and blotted forever from its face a whole peculiar people. Art has usurped the bowers of nature, and the children of education have been too powerful for the tribes of the ignorant. 6. Here and there a stricken few remain ; but how

1 unlike their bold, untamed, untamable progenitors! The Indian of falcon glance and lion bearing, the theme of the touching ballad, the hero of the pathetic tale, is gone, and his degraded offspring crawl upon the soil where he walked in majesty, to remind us how miserable is man when the foot of the conqueror is on his neck.

7. As a race, they have withered from the land. Their arrows are broken, their springs are dried up, their cabins are in the dust. Their council-fire has long since gone out on the shore, and their war-cry is fast dying to the untrodden west. Slowly and sadly they climb the distant mountains, and read their doom in the setting sun. They are shrinking before the mighty tide which is pressing them away; they must soon hear the roar of the last wave which will settle over them forever.




MR. GREGSBURY in want of a secretary. NICHOLAS NICKLEBY in

want of employment. 1. Nicholas. I brought this card, sir, from the general agency office, wishing to offer myself as your secretary.

2. Mr. Gregsbury. You have no connection with any of those rascally newspapers, have you ?

3. N. I have no connection, I am sorry to say, with any thing at present.

4. Mr. G. Well, what can you do?

5. N. I suppose I can do what usually falls to the lot of other secretaries.

6. Mr. G. What's that?

7. N. A secretary's duties are rather hard to define, perhaps. They include, I presume, correspondence ?

8. Mr. G. Good.
9. N. The arrangement of


and documents. 10. Mr. G. Very good.

11. N. Occasionally, perhaps, the writing from your dictation, and possibly the copying of your speech for some public journal, when you have made one of more than usual importance.

12. Mr. G. Certainly. What else? ?

13. N. Really, I am not able at this moment to recapitulate any other duty of a secretary, beyond the general one of making himself as agreeable and useful to his employer as he can, consistently with his own respectability, and without overstepping that line of duties which he undertakes to perform, and which the designation of his office is usually understood to imply. 14. Mr. G. This is all very well, Mr.What is


your name?

15. N. Nickleby. .

16. Mr. G. This is all very well, Mr. Nickleby, and very proper so far as it goes,— but it does not go far enough. There are other duties, Mr. Nickleby, which a secretary to a parliamentary gentleman must never lose sight of. I should require to be "crammed,” sir.

17. N. I beg your pardon,-what? 18. Mr. G. To be crammed, sir.

19. N. I beg your pardon again. May I ask what yon mean?

20. Mr. G. My meaning, sir, is perfectly plain. My secretary would have to make himself master of the foreign policy of the world, as it is mirrored in the newspapers; to run his eye over all accounts of public meetings, all leading articles, and reports of the proceed. ings of public bodies; and to make notes of any thing which appeared to him might be made a point of, in any little speech upon the question of some petition lying on the table, or any thing of that kind. Do you understand ?

21. N. I think I do, sir.

22. Mr. G. Then it would be necessary for him to make himself acquainted, from day to day, with newspaper paragraphs on passing events, such as “Mysterious disappearances and supposed suicide of a pot-boy,” or any thing of that sort, upon which I might found a question to the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Then he would have to copy the question and as much as I remembered of the answer (including a little compliment about my independence and good sense), and to send the manuscript, properly franked, to the local paper, with perhaps half a dozen lines as a leader, to the effect that I was always to be found in my place in parliament and never shrunk from the discharge of my responsible and arduous duties, and so forth, and so forth. You see?

23. N. Yes, I comprehend you.

24. Mr. G. Besides which, I should expect him, now and then, to go through a few figures in the printed tables, and to pick out a few results, so that I might come out pretty well on timber-duty questions and finance questions, and so on. And I should like him to get up a few little arguments about the disastrous effects of a return to cash payments and a metallic currency, with a touch, now and then, about the exportation of bullion, and the Emperor of Russia, and bank notes, and all that kind of thing,

« ПретходнаНастави »