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A marine who preceded him leveled his musket within a fuv feet of the head of the American commander, and was about to fire, when Merry glided among the combatants and passed his uirk into the body of the man, who fell at the blow; shaking his piece, with horrid imprecations, the wounded soldier prepared to deal his vengeance on his youthful assailant, when the fearless boy leaped within its muzzle and buried his own keen weapon in his heart.
“Hurrah!” shouted the unconscious Barnstable from the edge of the quarter-deck, where, attended by a few men, he was driving all before him. “Revenge-Long Tom and victory!"
“We have them !” exclaimed the Englishman; “handle your pikes ! we have them between two fires.”
The battle would probably have terminated very differently from what previous circumstances had indicated had not a wildlooking figure appeared in the cutter's channels at that moment, issuing from the sea and gaining the deck at the same instant. It was Long Tom, with his iron visage rendered fierce by his previous discomfiture, and his grizzled locks drenched with the briny element from which he had risen, looking like Neptune with his trident. Without speaking, he poised his harpoon, and with a powerful effort pinned the unfortunate Englishman to the mast of his own vessel,
“Starn all !” cried Tom, by a sort of instinct, when the blow was struck; and, catching up the musket of the fallen marine, he dealt out terrible and fatal blows with its butt on all who approached him, utterly disregarding the use of the bayonet on its muzzle.
The unfortunate commander of the Alacrity brandished his sword with frantic gestures, while his eyes rolled in horrid wildness when he writhed for an instant in his passing agonies, and then, as his head drooped lifeless upon his gored breast, he hung against the spar, a spectacle of dismay to his crew. A few of the Englishmen stood chained to the spot in silent horror at the sight, but most of them fled to their lower deck, or hastened to conceal themselves in the secret parts of the vessel, leaving to the Americans the undisputed possession of the Alacrity.
Lionel Lincoln, a second attempt in the revolutionary field, and The Last of the Mohicans: a Narrative of 1753, made their appearance in the same year with the above work.
About this time Cooper visited Europe and passed severai years abroad. The very general and favorable acquaintance, through translations, with his principal works, every. where secured him a hearty greeting. Indeed, it is claimed that many of the educated class of German emigrants owed their earliest knowledge of this country to Cooper's novels. / In 1827, The Prairie was published. Here “Leatherstocking” appears before us once more, this time as a trapper of the wilds of the Great West. This is regarded as one of Cooper's most successful efforts in descriptive and animated composition.
Fully equalling The Pilot in lively, thrilling incident, and excelling it in romantic interest, appeared, in 1827, The Red Rover, a second sea-story. Of a similar character with this, though of a more marvelous nature, was Water Witch, which next followed. In 1832 and 1833, Cooper published not less than five volumes, all, for the most part, of a political character, the incidents of three of them being laid in foreign parts. The best of them is The Bravo, a dramatic story, whose scene of action is Venice. His most perfect delineation of female character is to be found in this novel. / Homeward Bound and Home as Found were published in 1838. The introduction into these works of an elaborate portraiture of a newspaper editor provoked numerous caustic and personal comments from certain influential journals of the day, and these proved the occasion of divers and celebrated suits for libel, brought by our author.
Cooper's Naval History of the United States, issued in 1839, is regarded as a generally accurate and a truly brilliant record, “and from the finish and vigor of its battle pieces, an American classic.”* Four distinct works, three of them foreign, were the fruits of as many years following 1836. The most important of them is The Pathfinder, a tale re. introducing us to the scenes and personages of the Last of the Mohicans.
* Duyckinck's Cyclopædia of American Literature
In 1841, The Deerslayer was published. Again, in the preparation of this work, has Cooper drawn upon the fond and all but inexhaustible resources of his youthful experience in the region of Otsego Lake, and we are presented with rare and energetic pencillings of primeval scenery and backwoods life./ Deerslayer" is the author's ideal of a chivalresque manhood, of the grace which is the natural flower of purity and virtue; not the stoic, but the Christian of the woods, the man of honorable act and sentiment, of courage and truth. . . . In point of style it is Cooper's purest composition. There are passages of Saxon in the dialogues and speeches which would do honor to the most admired pages of the romantic old Chroniclers. The language is as noble as the thought." * '
The next nine years of Cooper's life, the closing ones, were characterized by truly wonderful literary activity; he having published in that time seventeen separate works. He died, September 14, 1851, at his country estate at Cooperstown, on the eve of his sixty-second birthday.
Cooper was the first American author who attained a wide popular reputation beyond the limits of his own language. His novels were translated, as soon as they appeared, in the principal countries of Europe, where the Indian tales especially were universal favorites. His delineation of the aboriginal character was a novelty which gained hini a hearing, and the attention thus obtained was secured and extended by his vivid pictures of the forest and the frontier. ... Cooper wisely chose a new path, which he could make and hold as his own. He tried and succeeded."*
“What Cooper had the bold invention to undertake, he had the firmness of purpose and the elasticity of spirii to pursue with unflinching zeal. Indeed, his most characteristi, trait was self-reliance. He commenced the arduous career of an author in a new country, and with fresh materials: at first, the tone of criticism was somewhat discouraging; but his appeal had been to the popular mind,
Duyckinck's Cyclope.lia of American Literature.
and not to a literary clique, and the response was universal and sincere.
" His faculty of description, and his sense of the adventurous, were the great sources of his triumph. Refinement of style, poetic sensibility, and melodramatic intensity, were elements that he ignored; but when he pictured the scenes of the forest and prairie, the incidents of Indian warfare, the vicissitudes of border life, and the phenomena of the ocean and nautical experience, he displayed a familiarity with the subjects, a keen sympathy with the characters, and a thorough reality in the delineation, which at once stamped him as a writer of original and great capacity.
"It is true that in some of the requisites of the novelist he was inferior to many subsequent authors in the same department. His female characters want individuality and interest, and his dialogue is sometimes forced and ineffective; but, on the other hand, he seized with a bold grasp the tangible and characteristic in his own land, and not only stirred the hearts of his countrymen with vivid pictures of colonial, revolutionary, and emigrant life, with the vast ocean and forest for its scenes, but opened to the gaze of Europe phases of human existence at once novel and exciting."*
" In his personal character Cooper presents to us a manly resolute nature, of an independent mood, aggressive, fond of the attack; conscious of the strength which had led him to choose his own path in the world and triumph, He never exerted his power, however, but in some chivalrous cause." +
* H. T. Tuckerman: Sketch of American Literature.
NATAANIEL HAWTHORNE was born at Salem, Massachusctts, on the 4th of July, 1804, and was descended from Puritan ancestors. He was graduated from Bowdoin College, Maine, in 1825, where he was a fellow-student with Henry W. Longfellow and Franklin Pierce. /His first volume, entitled Twice-Told Tales, appeared in 1837, and a second series of these Tales followed after an interval of five years. The following sketch, necessarily and largely abridged, is one of the sunniest and simplest of these Tales:
LITTLE ANNIE'S RAMBLE. DING-DONG! ding-dong! ding-dong!
The town-crier has rung his beli at a distant corner, and little , Annie stands on her father's door-steps, trying to hear what the man with the loud voice is talking about. Let me listen, too. Oh! he is telling the people that an elephant, and a lion, and a royal tiger, and a horse with horns, and other strange beasts from foreign countries, have come to town, and will receive all visitors who choose to wait upon them. .
Smooth back your brown curls, Annie; and let me tie on your bonnet, and we will set forth! What a strange couple to go on this ramble together! One walks in black attire, with a measured step, and a heavy brow, and his thoughtful eyes bent down, while the gay little girl trips lightly along; as if she were forced to kecp hold of my hand, lest her feet should dance away from the eirth.
Now we turn the corner. Now her eyes brighten wit'! pleasure! A street musician has seated himself on the steps of yonder church, and pours forth his strains to the busy town, a melody that has gone astray among the tramp of footsteps, the nuzz of voices, and the roar of passing wheels. Who heeds the poor organ-grinder? None but myself and little Annie, whose