Page images
PDF
EPUB

rooma Alitted towards us with the rooma — what is she but a' silly cocoa bowl. I retained her hand in flower, which will be too highly mine, and gazed upon her with an honoured by being transplanted into expression in my glances, that suffi- the gardens of the mighty Quinciently betrayed the interest she ex- molla? cited in my heart. She did not seem “ In pursuance of this resolution, displeased with my admiration, but the noble Sisquo Dumfki assumed hung down her head and blushed, every appearance of total inebriety ; with such bewitching innocence and he hiccuped, sang, roared, and beauty, as rendered her a thousand finally sank down in a state of appatimes more enchanting in my eyes rent insensibility. I confess I was than ever. When we had now drank astonished at the absence of Nemunceasingly for three days, I said to rooma on this interesting occasion. my opponent, It grieves me, 0 She came not near to cover her faSisquo Dumfki, that this contest ther with skins or leaves, and the must be carried on to the death. duty was left to me of casting over Even if you are victorious in this him the royal mantle, and turning trial, as sixteen years ago you were his feet towards the fire. With an with my illustrious parent, you have expressive grasp of the hand, I left no chance of escaping with your life. him to provide for his safety; for my I myself, till I became acquainted mother, I was well aware, would with your noble sentiments, thirsted take every means in her power to for your blood; and now that I know put him to death in revenge for his you all that a chief should be, my victory over her husband. On issusoul is tortured with regret that it ing from the tent, I was bailed victor will be impossible to save you.' by ten thousand voices; the whole With an unmoved countenance the combined nations which owned my hero heard me declare, as it were, 'sway, seemed delirious with the his condemnation to certain death. triumph I had achieved. No conHe drained off the bowl which he queror returning from a successful happened to have in his hand, and expedition, with the imperial robe replied, 'Death comes only once- purpled to a deeper die with the the Great Spirit rejoices in the ac- blood of thousands of bis subjects, tions of majestic men. There are was ever received with such an encasine and tobacco in Elysium. thusiasm of attachment. Calling But I was resolved, if possible, to pre- aside the captain of my guard, I serve my friend from the destruc- gave him the strictest injunctions to tion prepared for him by my mo- allow no one to enter the tent in ther. Sisquo,' I said, let us delay which my illustrious competitor rethe conclusion of our contest till posed, and proceeded to the wigwam some fitter opportunity. If you of the queen. She was smoking would save your life, and make me when I entered; and the clouds the happiest of kings and of mortals, which circled round her head, gave pretend to be overcome by the ca. to her piercing black eyes the likeBine, and ask to be left in this tent to ness of two brilliant stars shining in sleep. I will place round it a body a lowering heaven. of my own guards, with orders to “He is dead ? she said; 'my son prevent all emissaries from the would scarcely venture into the prequeen from entering it under pain sence of his mother if the murderer of death. In the mean time I will of his father was left aliye.' wed your daughter, if it seems good “. No, my mother,' I replied, 'he to you; and when by this means you is sunk in deep sleep, and we are are connected with the royal house, sufficiently revenged by having conyour life will become sacred, even quered at his own weapons the hero from the vengeance of an offended of the Chicasaws.' woman.' ' It seems good to me,' “' He sleeps!—'tis well. It shall he replied, O mightiest potentate be my care to see that he never on Alatamaha's banks; and well awakes — the tomahawk in a wopleased shall I resign the victory to man's hand, is as sure as a poisonous you, in hopes of concluding a whole drug in the bowl-for, mark me, week with you on soine future op- Quinmolla, no powers can persuade portunity. With regard to Nem- me, that the glorious Atta-kull-kulla met with fair treatment at the hand cruelty, you shall dearly pay for of his rival at the feast. Have I not. this. Ere the palm-trees are gilded seen him often and often drink not seven times with the morning and only for five days, but for weeks and evening suns, expect my return, and months together, and start up from to suffer for your crimes.' his debauch as fresh as if he had been “I rushed into the open air as I bathing in the warrior's streams in spoke, and leaving tents, wigwarns, the shadowy land ? Tell me, my son, friends, and subjects far behind me, that Sisquo Dumfki has for the last I darted into the thickest of the time seen the light of day.

forest, and pursued my way to a " I cannot,' I replied; it goes winding of the river, where I kept a against my soul. He trusts me- canoe constantly prepared for my why should I be faithless as the fishing expeditions. In it I found a hyena or the white men !-No, mo- supply of provisions, my rods, and ther, let him live, for my spirit burns lines; my war-club, and my bow with admiration of the beautiful with poisoned arrows. I embarked, Nemrooma.'

and pushing out into the middle of “The feather in thy hair was torn the stream, I pursued my way as surely from the pigeon's wing, and raidly as I could, in hopes of overnot the eagle's. What! hast thou no taking the beautiful Nemrooma, or fear of the wrath of your father, perhaps of seeing her on the bank, if whose form I often see gloomily re- she should have been fortunate posing beneath the shadow of the enough to swim to land. I kept my stately palm-tree which he loved the eyes intently fixed on every bend of most-fearest thou not, that rushing the stream, in case her canoe should from the land of spirits, he blasts thee have been stranded, but in vain. All to the earth, with the sight of those that day I kept on my course, and befrowning brows, which no mortal gan to fear that ere I could overtake can look upon and live ? Away! thou her, she would be carried down to a art unworthy of the blood of a thou- bluff in the river, which we had callsand forest kings, who, long ere we ed Crocodile Island, and in that case removed to these plains, reigned on I knew there was no hope of her safethe shores of the eternal Sire of Ri. ty. How peacefully, 0 Alatamaha, vers;* and unworthier still, since you glided thy glorious expanse of waprefer your love to your revenge, of ters, bearing the vast shadows of the the ancestry of the Milesian jords, umbrageous oaks upon their boson, the O'Flaherties of the Tipperary while thy banks were made vocal by wilds.'- I stood astonished at this the music of unnumbered birds! torrent of indignation, but my rage Little did such a scene of placid was at length roused as she proceed. beauty accord with the tumultuous ed,– Nemrooma! and what seest throbbings of Nemrooma's agonized tbou in that paltry girl to wean thee breast. I thought what must have from the nobler passion of venge- been her feelings while floating ance ? But cease to cherish fantastic past those magniticent scenes, clothhopes-the setting sun of yesterday ed with all the verdure of luxuriant went down upon her death.'

nature, and enlivened with the glit“What! hast thou dared to blight tering plumage of the various people the lily which I intended to carry in of the skies, wbich glanced for a momy bosom-how? when? where ? ment across her like glimpses of

«• The Alatamaba is broad and sunshine, and then flitted once more deep,' replied my mother, 'a canoe into the shadows of the woods. The is trail and slight-ill may a maiden's banks were also ornamented with arm contend with an impetuous banging garlands and bowers, formriver. Alone in a fragile bark-un- ed, as it were, for the retreat of the used to the paddle-she was floated river divinities, of the most beautiful down the stream.'

shrubs and plants. And here and “• Wretch,'l exclaimed, losing all there the eye was delighted with the respect for her dignity, in the rage large white flowers of the ipomea, surthat seized me on account of her rounded with its dark-green leares.

• Mississippi— Father of Rivers.

“ But all these enchanting sights sedges at the shore. The conqueror were insufficient todivert my thoughts now directed his course to the cafrom the probable fate of the beauti- noe. He raised his head and shoulful Nemrooma. All night I plied my ders out of the water, and putting course, and, on the morning, could his little short paws into the boat, he still discover no trace either of the overturned it in an instant, and, in a girl or her canoe. About noon, I was few moments, fragments of it were made aware, by the extraordinary swimming about in all directions. sounds which saluted my ears from When Neinrooma saw the horrid a distance, that I was approaching scene, she clung convulsively to my the Crocodile lagoon. Inspired by arm, and in some degree impeded fresh anxiety to overtake her, if pos- my efforts to effect our escape. I sible, before entering on that fear cautioned her to be still, and pushed ful scene, I plied my utmost strength, with all my force towards the enand, at a bending of the river, was trance of the river out of the lagoon. rewarded for all my labours and But, alas ! fortune was here against anxiety, by a view of the tender us. It was the time at which myriads bark only a short way in front. Be- upon myriads of fish take their course fore I could place myself at her side up the river; and, as the stream is we had entered the dreadful lake, shallowest at this place, the crocoand the placid water was broken into diles had chosen it as their position a thousand ripples by the countless to intercept their prey. The whole multitudes of the alligators which water, for miles on each side, seeminhabited the place. The noise they ed alive with fish. The line of crocomade was of the most appalling de- diles extended from shore to shore; scription. Terrified at the perilous and it was the most horrific sight I situation in which she was placed, ever witnessed, to see them dash the lovely girl uttered a scream of into the broken ranks of the fish, joy when she saw me, and had only and grind in their prodigious jaws a self-possession enough to step from multitude of the largest trouts, whose her own canoe into mine, when she tails flapped about their mouths and fell down in a state of insensibility, eyes, ere they had swallowed them. from the violence of her contending The horrid noise of their closing feelings. No sooner was her frail jaws-their rising with their prey, bark deserted, than it became the some feet upright above the waterobject of a fearful battle to the mon- the floods of foam and blood rushing sters of the deep. A crocodile of out of their mouths, and the clouds prodigious size rushed towards the of vapour issuing from their discanoe from the reeds and high grass tended nostrils, were truly horrifyat the bank. His enormous body ing. Anxious to escape, I now beswelled; his plaited tail, brandished gan to paddle towards the shore of high, floated upon the lagoon. The the lagoon, in order to land and wait waters, like a cataract, descended till the army of fish had forced their from his open jaws. Clouds of smoke passage, after which, I concluded, it issued from his nostrils. The earth would be easier for us to elude the trembled with his thunder. But im- satiated monsters; but ere we had mediately from the opposite side a got half way across the lake, I perrival champion emerged from the ceived we were pursued by two of deep. They suddenly darted upon an unusual size. From these escape each other. The boiling surface of by flight was impossible. They ra. the lake marked their rapid course, pidly gained upon us, and at last one and a terrific conflict commenced. of them, raising himself out of the Sometimes they sank to the bottom, water, was just preparing to lay his folded together in horrid wreaths. paw upon the canoe, when I disThe water became thick and disco charged an arrow, which luckily loured. Again they rose to the sur pierced his eye. With a roar of minface, and their jaws clapt together gled rage and pain, he sank below with a noise that echoed through the water, and left me to prepare the surrounding forest. Again they for the assault of his companion. sank, and the contest ended at the With a tremendous cry, he came up, bottom of the lake; the vanquished and darted as swift as an arrow unmonster making bis escape to the der my boat, emerging upright on

my lee-quarter, with open jaws, and I assist you ?” said the traveller, belching water and smoke, that fell “ how is that possible ?” upon me like rain in a hurricane. “ Coach is quite ready, sir," interLeaving the bow to the skilful Nem- rupted the waiter. rooma, I seized my club, and beat « The fact is,” rejoined the young him about the head, and kept him for man, “ I have just got to that point, a few minutes at a distance. I saw, in a tale I ain writing for next however, he was making prepara- month's Blackwood, and curse me if tions for his final spring, his mouth I know how to get naturally away was opened to a fearful width, when from the Crocodile Island." an arrow struck him directly on the “ Coach can't wait another motongue, and pinned it to his jaw. ment, sir," said the waiter; supHe shouted as he felt the pain, and per, two and sixpence.darted off, no doubt, in quest of Supper !” exclaimed the travelassistance. I shot to the bank with ler, “ this d-d fellow with his cockthe speed of lightning, lifted the al- and-a-bull story, about being king of most fainting Nemrooma from the the jackdaws, or kickshaws, or Lord canoe, and led her to the foot of an knows what, has kept me from eatimmense magnolia, which I perceived ing a morsel.” at no great distance. Before we left " Coachman can't wait a moment, the river, however, we saw a prodi- sir." gious number of crocodiles gathered “ I tell you I haven't tasted a round the boat, and one of them even mouthful since I left Birmingham.” crawled into it, and we heard our “ You can't help me to a plan for last hope of safety take its leave in getting the young people off the the crash of its breaking sides, as it island ?” said the youth. crumbled into fragments beneath the “ May the devil catch both of unwieldy monster's weight. The them, and a hundred crocodiles eat shore, I was aware, was also the re every bone in their skins !” sort of incredible multitudes of “ Two and sixpence for supper, bears. Our provisions were exhaust- sir," said the waiter. ed, our arrows left in the canoe, and “ Two bundred and sixty devils we could see no possibility of avoid- first,” cried the traveller in a proing an excruciating death." The digious passion, buttoning up bis narrator here stopt for a moment, cloak and preparing to resume his and the traveller, breathless with in- journey—“let that infernal Indian terest, said to him, " For God's sake, king, who is only some lying scribtell me, sir, how you got safe off ?” bler in a magazine, pay for it him.

Whilst the stranger prepared to re- self, for l’m hanged if he hasn't ply, I took advantage of the pause to cheated me out of my cold beef, and look round the room. The supper drank every drop of my porter to table was deserted. The passengers the bargain.” had all paid their reckoning, and the All right, gentlemen,” said the waiter was standing expectingly at coachman in the yard. the corner of the sideboard.

“ All right,” replied the guard; “ How we got safe off?” replied “ tsh! tsh ya! hip--ts! ts !:—and the Indian chief; “ that's just the the half-famished outside passenger thing that puzzles me, and I thought was whirled along Corn Market, and you might perhaps be able to assist over Magdalen Bridge, at the rate of me.”

eleven miles an hour.

THE SIEGE OF ANTWERP.

BY LADY EMMELINE STUART WORTLEY.

Once more the fierce artillery
Shakes the pale earth and rends the sky;
The howitzers their harvests reap-
Their jubilee tbe cannon keep.
The sulphurous gloom-the thunderous crash,
Burst round-while warrior: weapons clash!
Still rooted to their guns they stand,
They of the unswerving heart and hand;
Those heroes of a parrow'd field,
Who cannot quail -- who will not yield !
Well may ye stand as mountains there,
Ye lions, on your frowning lair;
Ye proud defenders of a trust,
That shall not crumble into dust;
Or if ye stand-or if you fall-
Famous ye must be, and ye shall;
For if ye fall--that citadel,
Your arms defended long and well,
Shall give to ye—the True and Brave,
The Soldiers most Majestic Grave!
Ye shall be honour'd, glorious band!
Breathing Palladium of your land.
But may ye fall not !-though before
Your walls streams forth the Tricolor!
(Which still retains its rainbow'd hues,
Though steep'd so oft in crimsoning dews
Which still its ray of white retains,
Though darken’d by so many stains !)
Though France's leaguering hosts be there,
Where is their conquering Eagle? Where!
Who led them in all triumph on
From shore to shore-from throne to throne ?
That Eagle's stormward flight is done!
And set for him is Victory's Sun!

Where England's winged leviathans,
And England's ocean-veterans ?
The hurricanes against them rose,
As erst against their scattered foes,
When the Armada of proud Spain
Threaten'd the Sea-Kings with the chain,
Like Xerxes' fetters, doom'd to prove
Vain, as of flax and frost-work wove ;
Then gird ye for the lengthen'd fight,
And Victory, Victory be with right!
Though pent in your bastion'd den of war,
Scanning your armed foes from afar,
Ye! whose stern bosoms proudly beat,
Those foes with clashing swords to greet!
But though the sword be sheath'd, the shell
Can do its work of slaughter well.
Hark! how the city's ribs of stone,
And old foundations seem to groan,-
As on the thickening tempest sweeps,

With sound of heavy-rushing deeps.
VOL. XXXIII. NO. CCIII.

« PreviousContinue »