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“ He sweetly lived ; yet sweetness did not save

His life from woes.
But, after death, out of his grave

There sprang twelve stalks of wheat,
Which, many wondering at, got some of those

To plant and set.
“It prospered strangely, and did soon disperse

Through all the earth :
For they that taste it do rehearse

That virtue lies therein
A secret virtue, bringing peace and mirth,

By flight of sin.
“ Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,

And grows for you ;
Make bread of it, and that repose

And peace, which everywhere
With so much earnestness you

do

pursue, Is only there."

GEORGE HERBERT.

» Perilous Situation.

N my return from the Upper Mississippi, I found

myself obliged to cross one of the wide prairies which, in that portion of the United States, vary the appearance of the country. The weather was fine : all around me was as fresh and blooming as if it had just issued from the bosom of nature. My knap

sack, my gun, my dog, were all I had for baggage and company.

The track which I followed was only an old Indian trail ; and as darkness overshadowed the prairie, I felt some desire at least to reach a copse, in which I might lie down to rest. The night hawks were skimming over and around me, attracted by the buzzing wings of the beetles which form their food ; and the distant howlings of wolves gave me some hope that I should soon arrive at the skirts of some woodland.

I did so, and almost at the same instant a firelight attracted my eye. I moved towards it, full of confidence that it proceeded from the camp of some wandering Indians. I was mistaken. I

a

discovered by its glare that it was from the hearth of a small log.cabin, and that a tall figure passed and repassed between it and -me, as if busily engaged in household arrangements.

I reached the spot, and, presenting myself at the door, asked the tall figure, which proved to be a woman, if I might take shelter under her roof for the night. Her voice was gruff, and her attire negligently thrown about her. She answered in the affirmative. I walked in, took a stool, and quietly seated myself by the fire. The next object which attracted my attention was a finely-formed young Indian, resting his head between his hands, with his elbows on his knees. A long bow rested against the log wall near him, while a quantity of arrows, and two or three racoon skins, lay at his feet. He moved not; he apparently breathed not.

Accustomed to the habits of the Indians, and knowing that they pay little attention to the approach of civilised strangers—a circumstance which, in some countries, is considered as evincing the apathy of their character-I addressed him in French, a language not unfrequently partially known to the people in the neighbourhood. He raised his head, pointed to one of his eyes with his finger, and gave me a significant glance with the other. His face was covered with blood. The fact was that about an hour before this, as he was in the act of discharging an arrow at a racoon at the top of a tree, the arrow had split upon the cord, and sprung back with such violence into his right eye as to destroy it for ever.

Feeling hungry, I inquired what sort of fare I might expect. Such a thing as a bed was not to be seen ; but many large untanned bear and buffalo hides lay piled in a corner.

I drew a fine timepiece from my breast, and told the woman that it was late and that I was fatigued. She had espied my watch, the richness of which seemed to work upon her feelings with electric quickness. She told me that there was plenty of venison and jerked buffalo meat, and that on removing the ashes I should find a cake.

But my watch had struck her fancy, and her curiosity had to be satisfied by an immediate sight of it. I took off the gold chain that secured it from around my neck, and handed it to her. She was all ecstasy--spoke of its beauty; asked me its value, and

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put the chain round her brawny neck, saying how happy the possession of such a watch would make her! Thoughtless, and, as I fancied myself, in so retired a spot secure, I paid little attention to her talk or her movements. I helped my dog to a good supper of venison, and was not long in satisfying the demands of my own appetite.

The Indian rose from his seat as if in extreme suffering. He passed and repassed me several times, and once pinched me on the side so violently that the pain nearly brought forth, an exclamation of anger. I looked at him. His eye met mine ; but his look was so forbidding that it struck a chill into the more nervous part of my system. He again seated himself, drew his butcher-knife from its greasy scabbard, examined its edge, as I would do that of a razor suspected to be dull, replaced it, and, again taking his toma awk from his back, filled the pipe of it with tobacco, and sent me expressive glances whenever our hostess chanced to have her back towards us.

Never until that moment had my senses been awakened to the danger which I now suspected to be about me. I returned glance for glance to my companion, and rested well assured that whatever enemies I might have, he was not of their number. I asked the woman for my watch, wound it up, and, under pretence of wishing to see how the weather might probably be on the morrow, took up my gun and walked out of the cabin.

I slipped a ball into each barrel, scraped the edges of my flints, renewed the primings, and, returning to the hut, gave a favourable account of my observations. I took a few bear skins, made a pallet of them, and, calling my faithful dog to my side, lay down, with my gun close to my body, and in a few minutes was, to all appearance, fast asleep.

A short time had elapsed when some voices were heard, and, from the corner of my eyes, I saw two athletic youths making their entrance, bearing a dead stag on a pole. They disposed of their burden, and asking for whisky, they helped themselves freely to it. Observing me and the wounded Indian, they asked who I was, and why that rascal-meaning the Indian, who they knew understood not a word of English-was in the house. The mother, for so she proved to be, bade them speak less loudly, made mention of my watch, and took them to

corner, where a

corner.

conversation took place, the purport of which it required little shrewdness in me to guess. I tapped my dog gently. He moved his fine eyes, and with indescribable pleasure I saw them first fixed on me, and then raised towards the three persons in the

I felt that he perceived danger in my situation. The Indian exchanged a last glance with me.

The two young men had eaten and drunk themselves into such a condition that I did not anticipate much danger from them ; and the frequent visits of the whisky bottle to the ugly mouth of their dam I hoped would render her equally insensible. Judge of my astonishment, reader, when I saw this incarnate fiend take a large carving-knife, and go to the grindstone to whet its edge. I saw her

pour the water on the turning machine, and watched her working away with the dangerous instrument until the co sweat covered every part of my body, in spite of my determination to defend myself to the last. Her task being finished, she walked to her reeling sons, and said, “There, that'll soon settle him! Kill him, boys ! and then for the watch !” I turned, and cocked my gunlocks silently, touched

my

faithful companion, and lay ready to start up and shoot the first who might attempt my life. The moment was fast approaching, and that night might have been my last in this world had not Providence made preparations for my rescue. All was ready. The infernal hag was advancing slowly, probably contemplating the best

way of despatching me, whilst her sons should be engaged with the Indian. I was several times on the eve of rising, and shooting her on the spot; but she was not to be punished thus. The door was suddenly opened, and there entered two stout travellers, each with a long rifle on his shoulder. I bounced up on my feet, and, making them most heartily welcome, told them how well it was for me that they had arrived at that moment. The tale was told in a minute. The drunken men were secured, and the woman, in spite of her defence and vociferations, shared the same fate.

The Indian fairly danced with joy, and gave us to understand that, as he could not sleep for pain, he would watch over us. You may suppose

we slept much less than we talked. The two strangers gave me an account of their once having been themselves in a somewhat similar situation..

Day came, fair and rosy, and with it the punishment of our captives.

They were now quite sobered. Their feet were unbound, but their arms were still securely tied. We marched them into the woods off the roads, and having used them as Regulators were wont to use such delinquents, we set fire to the cabin, gave all their skins and implements to the young Indian warrior, and proceeded, well pleased, towards the settlements.

During upwards of twenty-five years, when my wanderings extended to all parts of our country, this was the only time at which my life was in danger from my fellow-creatures. Probably the inhabitants of the cabin were not Americans,

AUDUBON.

The Village Schoolmaster.

B

ESIDE yon straggling fence that skirts the way

With blossomed furze unprofitably gay,
There in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,

The village master taught his little school.
A man severe he was, and stern to view.
I knew him well, and every truant knew :
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace
The day's disasters in the morning face ;
Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes—for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper circling round,
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned.
Yet he was kind; or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
The village all declared how much he knew-
'Twas certain he could write, and cypher too ;
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And even the story ran that he could gauge.
In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill ;
For e'en though vanquished, he could argue still ;
While words of learnéd length and thundering sound
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around;
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew.

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

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