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mirthful sally or good-natured evasion, al- a syllable for a distance of at least two long
ways leaving the door of hope wide open, and tedious miles. and, as I thought, rather encouraging than It
may be that I had become less careful repelling my desires. Still, I made no visi- than usual of my duties as a driver ; very ble progress in her affections, and was still, likely that was the case, for I confess that again and again, left to hope on and trust in my mind was in no small degree mystified, Providence.
and I had little conception of where we were I have already told you that on this event- going, whether up hill, down hill, over a gully, ful night she looked prettier than ever ; and or round a corner ; or it may have been that I may add that, with the combined effects both my horse and myself were traversing a of the cold, bracing air and the excitement road, with the various windings and turnings of the ride, as we bounced over the unbroken of which we were unfamiliar. Be that as it and unequal road, as she appeared in the may, certain it is that, in the midst of a most broad moonlight, her beauty was increased ill-natured reverie, I suddenly found myself to a perfect loveliness. I could have devoured and my companion flying in the air over a her with kisses ; but my earnest looks found short precipice, and the vehicle in which we no response in her coquettish eyes, and I had been riding, broadside uppermost, gliding dared not venture. My soul, however, was away at the rate of ten knots an hour. In too full to be thus restrained ; again it plain parlance, our cutter was upset, and we spoke the story of my love in a strain of were thrown neck and heels from a promonearnest pleading, and again received the tory. usual non-committal reply, with no recom- True to the instincts of nature, prompted pense.
by its first law, the lady, on discovering the Half vexed at her coyness, which I began eccentric motion of the vehicle, had thrown to attribute to either affectation or genuine a delicate arm about my neck, with which coquetry, my heart grew heavy, my spirits she clung to me for dear life. Of course, I suddenly fell down to the freezing-point, and lost no time in returning the compliment I said but little. Earnestly wishing that our with interest, and, clasping her gentle form ride was ended, and resolved to shorten it, I in both my arms, in this posture we went struck into a bye-road, which, by a cross-cut, together down a flight of some ten feet, full would lead us nearer home than the road length, into an accommodating snow-bank. first contemplated. My patience had been The slight exclamation of fright that escaped drawn to its full tension, my spirit was mor- the lips of the lady was smothered, balf tified, and I thought I had made up my uttered, by a mouthful of the frigid moisture ; mind that, after leaving Mercy at her father's for, be it understood, our descent was not house that night, I never would seek her ended until we had penetrated a distance of presence more.
at least two feet into the very lowels of the An exclamation of surprise arose from our companions in the rear as they saw me leave I satisfied myself in an instant that neither the high road; but I heeded them not, and of us had received bodily injury, and then drove on; they followed. My partner in and there, under that bank of snow, clasped the ride knew too well the cause, to question as we were in each other's arms, face to face, me on the subject, and we continued in and quite secure from the prying eyes of the silence. Mercy grew evidently uneasy, from outer world, I first yielded to temptation, what cause I cannot pretend to say, because and inflicted on her rosy and unresisting lips I never after questioned her upon the sub- a kiss, warm and ardent enough to melt a ject; but, from certain unequivocal demon snow-bank as tall as Vesuvius. I will not strations, it was plain she was conscious that tell how many times the process was resomething was wrong. Neither of us uttered peated, nor how I wished that the snow might
cover us for an indefinite period; but, in less never, once for all; and, without waiting for than one minute, we were interrupted, and reflection to cool my resolve, I at once infour stout pairs of hands were busily engaged sisted, tenderly and respectfully, yet earin the unthankful employment of digging us nestly, on a categorical answer to my offer out. In less than five minutes we were all of marriage. Mercy hesitated a moment, again safely on the road. My pony, like a but at length, in a timid voice, expressed the well-bred fellow as he was, stopped, accord- opinion that matters had gone too far now ing to custom, whenever he discovered any to recede; and on the whole, she was sorry thing wrong; and the cutter having been that she hadn't said so before, for she had placed once more on its runners, we blew the long wanted to, but didn't know how to go snow out of our mouths, and resumed our about it.” seats and journey.
Reader, you may as well take it for granted I need not say that the accident was the that we were not long in making up a wedding means of restoring the faculty of speech, party after that; for I can state, without the which a transient taciturnity had interrupted. fear of contradiction, that there are four Moreover, I felt within me a renewed soul; bouncing witnesses of the fact ; and I can the sweets of a daring indulgence were burn- further assure you that I never behold a ing on my lips, and I determined at once to regular down-east snow-storm without thinkplace my destiny on the hazard of a die. ing with gratitude of my “first kiss and last The work must be done, thought I, now or time of asking." God bless the snow !
THE S U N N Y SOUTH.
BY C. D. STUART.
I Love the North, the snowy North-was born and nurtured there;
I would not leave my mountain home, its altars old and drear,
No stain is on our Northern hills, our valleys broad and green,
The snowy North, the sunny South-the oak tree and the vine-
THE ABORIGINALS OF NORTH AMERICA.
UTHENTIC records and “Two great families of Indians seem, descriptions of the race from time immemorial, to have occupied the of men who alone in country between the Rocky Mountains and habited this portion of the Atlantic, viz.: the Dahcotahs, and the the American continent Chippeway or Algonquin race. The former at the time of the dis- are divided into a great number of indepencovery by Columbus, dent tribes, whose origin may be traced by are so rare, that we are similarity of language, habits, and manners.
induced to present the The parent stock is divided into several A following interesting septs, which are again subdivided into a article on that subject. It was originally great many minor hordes. The principal written for Mellen's Book of the United divisions are these: Munday Wawkantons, States, by a gentleman whose statements Sussetons, Wakhpaytons, Wawkhpaykooare not drawn from hearsay, nor brief and tays, Yanktows, and Tetons. These last transient glimpses of the people he describes, live high up on the Missouri, and have little but from the experience of several years of intercourse with the rest. The Assinneboins, intimate association with various tribes. As a numerous and powerful tribe, who roam the race of Red Men declines, our interest over the prairies between the Missouri and towards it increases.
the Saskatchawayn, seceded from the Dah“There are few topics on which so much cotahs little more than a century ago, and a has been written, and to so little purpose, as bloody war was long waged between them the character, manners, habits, and origin of and the parent race. A woman was the the aborigines of North America. Novelists, canse of quarrel. The Winnebagoes and poets, travelers, and philosophers, have all Otoes, renowned for desperate bravery, the failed to convey an adequate idea of them. Ioways, the Osages, the Omahaws, and This arises, in our opinion, in a great meas- many other western tribes, claim affinity ure from the modern propensity to general- with the Dahcotahs, and speak dialects of ization. A writer who has been present at their tongue. The tradition concerning their an Indian council, has seen the nonchalant origin, to which we give most credit, says, demeanor of the chiefs, and has heard the that they all came from Mexico at the time tropes and metaphors with which they gar- of the invasion of Cortez. The Winnebanish their discourse, gravely states that the goes hold the Spaniards in abhorrence to self-possession of all Indians can never be this day. Such of these tribes as inhabit disturbed by any circumstances, and that the prairie region are vagrant, and live the refinements of poetry and oratory are as mainly by hunting the buffalo. A descripfamiliar in their mouths as household words. tion of one will be a description of all of Another, who sees the women performing them. They are, generally, of the middle the hard labor of their families, while the stature of mankind, and it is rare to see a men stand idly by, pronounces that squaws Dahcotah who much exceeds or falls short are regarded as slaves. Now our experience of it, or who is in any wise deformed. They assures us that the premises on which such are beautifully formed; it is as rare to see general conclusions are based are almost an ill-made Dahcotah as a well-made white always fallacious.
man. They are not muscular, nor are they
so agile as whites commonly are; but in them no harm. They people all animated recompense,
of endurance are nature with inferior spirits, and to these they very great. They seem utterly insensible of offer prayers and sacrifices. Their superstifatigue, and patient of hunger, pain, and all tions are numberless. They believe in a other hardships.
future state, and the world of spirits is, in “ Neither these, nor any other Indians their opinion, a fine hunting-ground, where with whom we are acquainted, are at all re- the vexations and sufferings of this life will markable for gravity in their social inter- be unknown. Each man has what he calls course. They are more taciturn, indeed, his medicine; that is, he thinks fit to conthan the whites; but this is the result, sider his fate and fortunes dependent on rather of circumstance than of education. some animal, and that animal he will Spending much time alone, they acquire a neither kill, eat, nor treat with disrespect. In habit of silence; having fewer ideas than short, they have an infinite variety of such civilized men, they have fewer inducements observances, and there is little uniformity in to discourse. The conversation that does the belief of individuals. take place among them, however, is by no “ Their priests are mere jugglers, who means characterized by reserve or by the practise various mummeries, and are also, as absence of hilarity. In councils and on is common among savages, physicians and solemn occasions, it is judged decorous and surgeons, and, indeed, they mix medicine proper to give no indication of feeling, and and religion together. A cure is effected by hence an apathetic gravity has long been songs and superstitious rites as well as by the thought a distinguishing attribute of the use of simples. The juggler's voice and Indian character. Even were the assump- rattle are seldom still near the couch of a tion just, the aborigines would be no more
We are yet to learn that these remarkable in this respect than most modern quacks are much respected in their sacerdotal Asiatic nations.
character, or that any great importance is “The character of Indians in general attached to their ceremonies by the majority seems to have been viewed by most writers of the laity. One merit they have, and that through a false medium, and their qualities is their skill in rough surgery. We have seen have been inferred from the nature of their them effect astonishing cures. It may not intercourse with white men. This is a false be amiss to mention one, by way of example. standard; to know them, one should live A hunter was grappled by a bear that he long among them and watch their social re- had wounded, and dreadfully lacerated. lations. Thus seen, they appear to much His arm was broken in several places, and greater advantage than when hanging upon all who saw it thought he must die or subthe frontiers, doing or suffering wrong, and mit to amputation. An Indian surgeon, debasing themselves by theft, beggary, and however, undertook the cure and effected it. intemperance.
It is true that he was three years about it, “ It will not be denied by any who know and perhaps the abstemious babits of the them, that those Indians who have not been patient were a main cause of his
recovery. corrupted by the whites are sincerely pious. "As to government, the Dahcotah race They universally believe in one all-wise, have no king, and every man does what benevolent, and powerful God, to whom, seems right in his own eyes. They have however, they never pray; for, they say, he chiefs, indeed, who have, by tacit consent, knows better what is good for them than the power of making treaties, and of tranthey do themselves. Nothing shocks them sacting the business of their followers. more than to hear his name mentioned with Sometimes they lead in war, but, save on irreverence by the whites. They also believe such occasions, authority they have none. in an evil principle, whom they pray to do They may advise, but cannot command.
They receive no reward for their services, belong to him or his family. Those tribes nor do they wear any badge of their rank. who hold the right of property in most Indeed, they are usually worse dressed and esteem, as, for example, the Saques and provided than other individuals, because it Foxes, have made the greatest advances in is considered peculiarly the duty of chiefs to civilization. be generous. The office is hereditary in “Another obstacle to the civilization of families, but not in the direct line of descent. our aborigines is their unconquerable indoIf the heir-apparent be notoriously ineligible, lence. The savage is content with the bare he is set aside, and a more worthy kinsman necessaries of life ; he neither knows nor takes his place. Highly distinguished war- cares for its luxuries and superfluities. riors become war-chiefs through the respect Necessity only will compel him to exertion. paid to their valor. Each village has one Tribes whose limits have been so circumof these, who is called the war-chief, to dis- scribed by the whites that they cannot live tinguished him from the hereditary leader. by the chase, have resorted to labor for subHe rules in war, but not in civil affairs. sistence; but we think no other force of Sometimes a chief acquires absolute power, reason or circumstance will bring about such but of that kind which strong minds gain a result. orer weak ones, and it behooves every leader “ However strange such an assertion may to bear his faculties meekly,
appear, we confidently affirm that Indians “ Laws the Dahcotahs have none; but are not more revengeful than other people. they have customs which have the force of They have the same feelings and passions as laws, and which are seldom broken. Thus other men, neither stronger nor weaker. a man may have as many wives as he can They are kind to each other. Every offense maintain. Adultery is punished by cutting but murder is readily forgiven, and even off the nose of the offending wife; the wife that crime seldom finds its due punishment. cuts the clothes of the offending husband to Nine murderers out of ten among them, go pieces. Life is taken for life, unless the down to the grave in peace. An Indian homicide can appease the friends of the dead rarely goes much out of his revenge. by the payment of a ransom. The mur- Time and opportunity being ministered, an derer invariably gives himself up to punish individual will wreak a long-smothered rement, for to fear death is considered the sentment, and so, we presume, would any acme of dishonor. When minor offenses other man, if freed from the restraints of are committed, the injured party kills the law. We take it upon us to say, that murdogs and horses of his enemy, or destroys ders are not so frequent among them as his tent before his eyes, and in such cases with ourselves, and that these, as well as all no resistance is offered. Divorces are at the minor injuries, are not so often or so fearoption of the husband. Theft is not re-fully avenged by Indians as by white men. garded as a crime; indeed, property is As it regards wrongs committed by enemies nearly in common among them, so that no of the tribe, the case is different. Thesc, theft can be committed. They apply this the savage is taught, it is his duty to requite standard of morals to the whites, and so get upon any member of the hostile nation. the reputation of thieves, while themselves Such vengeance it is his glory to take, and are unconscious of wrong-doing. It is, in it is one of the first requisitions of his moral our opinion, this very community of goods code. that is the principal obstacle to their civili- “ The courage of Indians is not to be zation and improvement; for it cannot be measured by our standard. In a mere clan, expected that one man will sow for all the the loss of an individual is severely felt. It world to reap, or that he will weary his subtracts largely from the strength of the limbs in the chase to obtain what will not band and the happiness of his family. Dis