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cretion, therefore, is considered the better played was painting his face black. Yet he part of valor. The war-chief who conquers abandoned his usual occupations, and purthe enemy does well; but he who conquers sued the enemy till he had taken life for without loss to himself does infinitely better. life. "This,' said he, 'is the best way of It is thought honorable to avoid risk as mourning for the dead.' much as possible, and the decision of quar- "Indian hospitality and charity have no rels by single combat is called folly and limit. No stranger enters their tents to madness. But when they have resolved on whom they do not give meat; no person battle, no people strive more valiantly. Our goes to them in need whom they do not history bears witness to the furious energy relieve to the extent of their ability, and of their valor. Their ideas of moral courage often to their great inconvenience. They might be adopted with advantage by all will not look upon an execution; they will who call them savages. They think it weak not suffer a person who has wronged them and cowardly to yield to grief or anger; to be whipped for it; and the idea of immisfortune and pain they scorn, and death prisoning a man for debt, or for a petty they endure not only without a murmur, violation of the rights of property, fills them but with cheerfulness. Suicide under any with horror. circumstances they brand as the strongest “Some years ago, the old chief of a Dahevidence of lack of courage.
coath band was robbed by a drunken soldier “Of the cruelty of Indians to conquered of eighteen ducks, which he had killed for enemies, this only can be said : that it is the the use of his family. The offender was vice of all barbarians; that they know not detected, compelled to make restitution, and what they do; that it is only exercised on fastened to the whipping-post. When the their avowed foes, and that it is almost old man comprehended the nature of the always perpetrated in the heat of blood. punishment about to be inflicted, he burst Captives, once spared, fare no worse than into tears, and threw down half his game their conquerors. The sense of honor among before the commanding officer. 'I will give Indians is, in some respects, very strong; you these,' said he, 'if you will spare this in others, not so. It will not prevent an
man. Of what consequence are a few ducks ? individual from falsehood, treachery, promise- The man had committed violence on the breaking, flattery, beggary, and a multitude chief's person. Which of the two best deof other offenses. It will deter him from served to be called a savage ? labor, which he considers the exclusive busi- “In short, to end our remarks on the ness of women; it forbids him to shun death; | Dahcotah character, which is, with some it commands him to requite a disgraceful trivial alterations, the character of most blow with a stab; it forbids him to boast of Indian tribes, we may say that their moral deeds he never achieved; it commands him code is grievously defective, but that, such to sacrifice himself for the good of his tribe. as it is they adhere rigidly to it. ConsiderIts scope is not very extensive; but where ing their ignorance, their extreme necessiit operates, it operates effectually.
ties, and their wrongs, it is wonderful that "In their domestic relations, they are their moral degradation is not deeper than essentially, but not ostensibly kind. They it is. Their code is adapted to their mode provide for their families, they love their of life; and it is only by applying it to others, wives and children; but, thinking it woman- who have more to lose and less to gain than ish to manifest the affections, they are not themselves, that they become disagreeable fond husbands or fathers. Tatunkah Nazhee, and dangerous neighbors to the whites. An the best hunter of the Dahcotahs, lost his incessant irritation is the consequence, hatred wife and five children by the hands of the succeeds, mutual wrong follows, and war Chippeways. The only sign of grief he dis- consummates the drama."
A MOTHER'S LOVE.
How precious indeed is a mother's love, prohibit any social enjoyment for the purand how great are the benefits we derive pose of abolishing an evil or crushing a stubfrom a proper remembrance of it! We born will, we should remember that when should delight in preserving so valuable a she is enabled to behold the pride of her possession, and by good conduct continue to family emerged, as it were, from an humble merit that guidance or advice which few station to one of honor, profit, or responsibibut her can willingly bestow.
lity, to find in his associates a pure regard To estimate properly the warnings and for the most sacred attributes, and to discowishes of a faithful mother, we should reflect ver from the opinions of others how useful upon the constant anxiety she has for our he may have become in the various walks happiness and welfare. We should measure of life, her gratitude is increased alike with the extent of her toils, and reward her with her hopes, her joys, and her affection. How tokens of sincerity and esteem.
then can we offer any excuse for a lack of We should bear in mind also, says a phi- love, or the avoidance of any claim of right losophical writer, " that domestic peace con- or assistance that may be due to so generous stitutes a great portion of our pleasure, and a guardian, so good a counsellor, or so lovely every circumstance that can affect it should a friend ? be carefully attended to. Relations, if they In truth, we should cheerfully respond to would live happily, should make it their her wishes, the halcyon hours of life being study to promote concord among themselves, made more plentiful by obedience, even and by a proper conduct reflect honor on though they fly, each other.” Advice so important is applicable to us all; and to prove our appreciation
And then in darkness fades away." of it, we should first regard a mother's love; as from her we most assuredly obtain a We know that she is ever ready to consweet promise of being cared for, when ac- tribute her influence to free us from error, quaintances or companions may seem un- and to elevate us among men; therefore we mindful of our condition. The simplicity cannot deny that her watchfulness is unof the parent is thus made advantageous to diminished, either in the morning of our the child, commanding a friend or protector days, or when the mantle of age is wrapped whose aid or influence may be of great ser
around us. vice to it in after years.
If then we possess a proper ambition, her It cannot be denied that, in the approving examples, her precepts, or her warning, will smile of a mother's tenderness, we enjoy the be our guide. So few instances, however, most refined and gratifying reward; for it are exhibited of that conscientiousness which is her pride to implant among us a peculiar marks the obedient child, that a strict adhefriendship, such as has been described as the rence to a mother's advice excites at once union of souls by means of virtue; the com- our admiration. Let those who have erred mon object and cement of their mutual af- in this way, in future guard with prudence fection.
and veneration a mother's love. Let them In order, therefore, to avoid the anguish appreciate it in the hour of trial, and as they which might be inflicted upon her by our advance in years and experience, openly extravagance or indiscretion; to save her acknowledge its importance, its value, and from substituting a frown for a smile, or to its power.
“Just like the meteor's dazzling ray,
Which gleams a moment 'mid the sky,
Alas! I am a man of many miseries ; as she said, doubly sure. There was, as I fated to disappointment, sorrow, and dis- have been informed, every indication that grace. I say fated, because my evil genius her prophecy would be fulfilled; but still has beset me from a date anterior to the the day wore away by degrees, and yet no shriek of terror that I uttered on the auspi- consummation. Night arrived before my cious occasion of drawing my first breath. father was dispatched to summon that imMy mother has often told me that she had portant auxiliary on such occasions, the prefixed the time of my birth on the 28th M.D. of the family; and he, poor soul! had day of February, in the year 18–. By already two cases of the same nature on his what mysterious calculation she arrived at tablet for that very evening; and being a this estimate of my anticipated advent, I man who acted upon the principle of “ first know not, nor is it a matter of any impor- come, first served,” would not deviate from tance to the reader; suffice it to say, my his rule; in consequence of which, my mother mother had fixed her heart on that day, as asserts, two promising youths got the start
, one that should mark upon the calendar of of me in the race of life. He came at last, time the setting forth of a soul and body on however, just as the clock on the mantel their pilgrimage of mortality.
struck twelve; and I was ushered into the Unhappily for me, the particular month world exactly ten minutes too late to fulfil of February that my mother had fixed upon, the prediction of my mother. occurred upon a leap year. Now, had she My mother urged that the time was so said the last day of February, instead of fix- near, it ought to be considered as occurring ing the numeral with such rigid pertinacity, on the day that she had named; but my every thing would have gone well enough; father was rigidly conscientious in such but although frequently urged to change the matters, and down I went on the Family phraseology of her prediction to that effect, Record,“ Dionysius Dolores : born February she persisted that, having said the twenty- 29th, 184,"in a large staring text. This was eighth, she would not alter the almanac, and my first misfortune; and since I have been the twenty-eighth it should be.
old enough to realize my misery, I have In due course of time, the morning of never had the heart to read a chapter in that that fatal day arrived. I shall never forget old Bible, between whose rusty covers the it; for, although I was not then present, its event stands chronicled. I may not be acdisappointments have followed me like ogres counted very old myself, it is true, having to the present time; and I verily believe they not yet seen my eighth birth-day; but, n'imwill continue to haunt me till, by the delay porte pas, as the Frenchmen say; I
for of either parson or undertaker, I shall be all that, old enough to know myself miserburied at last, ten minutes too late. There able. was a harvest of mishaps sown on that day Before I had cut my first teeth, I was subthat I shall never be able to garner, in this jected to innumerable inconveniences and life at least. The morning came, and with perils, in consequence of the tardiness of it, the prognostic of my mother was made, those about me. Every thing done on my
behalf came on behind time; and ten minutes Half past 8, and still no dress; a servant to the stomach of a hungry baby, is no was sent half a mile to inquire the cause of small grievance, I can assure you. I remem- the delay. He returned, saying the dress Ι
, ber distinctly that on the first Christmas would be sent in a few minutes. Nine morning of which I had any conception of o'clock came, and with it the dress. I the visitations of Santa Claus, my brothers jumped into it and hastened to the school, and sisters got ten minutes the start of me arriving ten minutes too late. Another had before I awoke, during which time my sus- been substituted in my place, and, seeing me pended stocking was rifled of its precious enter, he very coolly sent to me, to ask the contents, and I became a dependent upon loan of a copy of my speech! Vexed beyond those who had stolen my portion of the an- endurance, I told him in reply that he might nual sweets of the season, and received what make his own speeches and be hanged; they were pleased to bestow, with a sensa- and, with tears streaming from my eyes, I tion of ill-satisfied humility. At school, I sneaked out of the room, and hid myself at fared no better; my evil genius clung to home the remainder of the day. me, in spite of all my efforts to shake it off; As I grew up towards manhood, it was that eternal “ ten minutes too late” made me my luck to become enamored of a lovely the scape-goat of my class; and if there was girl, whom my better fate threw in my a flogging to come off, it was sure to fall on way—at least so I thought at the time; my shoulders.
but even that eventually proved to be only I remember that on one occasion a grand another source of torment, invented by my festivity was in preparation among the accursed star. Having succeeded in ingrateacher and scholars, girls and boys. I tiating myself completely in her good esteem, think it was about the holidays, and, in a rival presented himself: he provoked me; consequence of an extraordinary run of good I insulted him; he challenged me; I acluck, I had outstripped my classmates in cepted; the time and place of meeting were our studies, and was therefore chosen to act, arranged, and every thing was going on finein concert with the smartest young lady in ly, when, through the laziness of my second, the female department, as the juvenile dig- we were ten minutes too late in arriving nitaries, or presiding magnates of the oc- at the ground. My rival had been there, casion. My young heart was full of exulta- waited five minutes, and left; and I had the tion, and I looked forward to the hour of satisfaction of seeing myself posted as my distinction and authority with all the coward. The young lady heard of it, repalpitating eagerness of a Meccaän devotee fused to see me again, and soon after married on his pilgrimage. I had written a short my rival. but grandiloquent speech to be delivered on To say that I felt like the “wandering the occasion, and spent hour after hour with Jew," or the “last man,” would be supermy beautiful consort, rehearsing our several fuous. I could have prayed for blessings and conjunctive duties. The morning of on the blow that would have taken away the auspicious day arrived ; at 9 o'clock the my life; but even in this my fixed and queen of the festivity was to receive a crown, evil destiny was against me.
I resolved to composed of pasteboard, wire, and artificial leave the place where I had been both de
, flowers, from my hands; the juniors of the feated in my love and disgraced in the locality were all astir at an early hour, defeat; so, packing up my duds, I called a dressed in their best suits, and my heart cab, and directed the driver to convey me was palpitating with triumphant throes. to a steamboat that was about to leave for
At 8 o'clock my dress for the occasion a distant city. On the road, our vehicle had not arrived from the tailor's. I felt was brought to a stand-still by the loss of a uneasy, but there was time enough yet. wheel, and, in consequence of the delay
occasioned in finding another conveyance, I in business, I had fondly looked forward was ten minutes too late for the boat; a to the expected bequest of my aunt as the mile from the wharf, I could see her steam- means of fortifying myself against the most ing away in grand style; and, to add to my vindictive animosity, even of fate itself. ,
I mortification, the next morning's gazettes became desperate, surly, morose. I could announced that she had burst her boilers, have drunk molten lead to quench my pasand killed almost every person on board. sion, or torn an elephant piecemeal, like a I could only mourn over the opportunity chicken. I had been robbed of my misthus lost of escaping from life without the tress, my fortune, and every thing essential
, disagreeable necessity of committing suicide. to happiness, by an accursed evil genius
Not long after this event, the two-penny which, having fastened upon me like a vampostman handed in the following laconic pire at my birth, was pertinaciously follownote from a superannuated maiden aunt: ing me to my grave. I resolved to endure “Dear NEPHEW:
it no longer; to shake off the incubus ; to " The doctors say I can't live long. I shall make my will to-morrow morning; and I want
rid myself of my tormentor by some desyou to be here at ten o'clock, that you may be re- perate measures, or perish in the attempt, membered.
and thus at one stroke rid myself of my From your loving aunt Jerusha.
“ By Attorney. LYTTLETON BLACKSTONE. misery, and cheat the demon of his victim, “Tuesday morning.”
What was to be done? Ah! that was It was precisely ten o'clock on Wednes- the question which puzzled me; and while day morning when I received this note. The cogitating over it, my brain became cool old lady, who was as rich as Cresus, had again. What an arrant fool was to think often said that she would make me her heir, of contending with fate! I might as well and the moment had already arrived at have attempted to blow out the north star which my presence at her bedside was de
with a blank cartridge. So I concluded to manded, for the purpose of consummating grin and bear it; take the world as it goes, this important intention. Clapping my hat wind up my watch regularly, set it ten
, on my head wrong side foremost, and up- minutes ahead, and act up to time. setting a boy in my haste, I rushed into Ridiculous! There is no use in trying. the street, and flew toward the residence of Ten years have I struggled under this last my dying aunt. I had a mile and a half to resolution, and yet there is no change in my go, and at length arrived, almost breathless, favor. It is destiny, fate, or whatever you at her princely mansion up town. The will choose to call it. Industry has failed to had been signed and sealed ten minutes avert it; resolution is futile; philosophy before, and, in consequence of my apparent cannot solve it; and time brings no relief. indifference and slight, the old lady had Therefore I resolve to strive no more. I given the bulk of her fortune to some tenth am in the hands of evil angels, who, unseen, cousin, who lived somewhere in the region Ait about me, and cast their diabolical shadof the north pole; and on my arrival she ows in my path. I am a nonentity; a had sunk into a state of imbecility, which passive, soulless, powerless thing, useless rendered it impossible to obtain a recog- alike to others and myself; a mere bramble nition, much less an alteration of the will; in the fair fields of nature. I have tried to and in the course of the same day, the poor, live like other men, and find it impossible. foolish old woman was gathered to her I have longed for death, but in vain; and I fathers. My evil genius had evidently beset am now firmly fixed in the belief that when the path of the postman, and so cheated me the appointed hour for the grim messenger's out of a fortune, by bringing the missive ten approach arrives, he will be ten minutes too minutes too late.
late, and I shall be compelled to live on This was a sad blow to my anticipations, until the final dissolution of the great globe because, as every thing went wrong with me itself.