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rose embarrassed and dismayed, and stammered in opening my cause. I went on from bad to worse, and felt as if I was going down hill. Just then the public prosecutor, a man of talents, but somewhat rough in his practice, made a sarcastic remark on something I had said. It was like an electric spark, and ran tingling through every vein in my body. In an instant my diffidence was gone. My whole spirit was in arms.
I answered with promptness and bitterness, for 1 felt the cruelty of such an attack upon a novice in my situation. The public prosecutor made a kind of apology: this, from a man of his redoubted powers, was a vast concession. I renewed my argument with a fearless glow; carried the case through triumphantly, and the man was acquitted.
* This was the making of me. Every body was curious to know who this new lawyer was, that had thus suddenly risen among them, and bearded the attorney-general at the very outset. The story of my début at the inn, on the preceding evening, when I had knocked down a bully, and kicked him out of doors, for striking an old man, was circulated, with favorable exaggerations. Even my very beardless chin and juvenile countenance were in my favor, for people gave me far more credit than I really deserved. The chance business which occurs in our country courts came thronging upon me.
I was repeatedly employed in other causes; and by Saturday night, when the court closed, and I had paid my bill at the inn, I found myself with an hundred and fifty dollars in silver, three hundred dollars in notes, and a horse that I afterward sold for two hundred dollars more.
• Never did miser gloat on his money with more delight. I locked the door of my room; piled the money in a heap upon the table ; walked round it; sat with my elbows on the table, and my chin upon my hands, and gazed upon it. Was I thinking of the money ? NO! I was thinking of my little wife at home. Another sleepless night ensued; but what a night of golden fancies, and splendid air-castles ! As soon as morning dawned, I was up, nounted the borrowed horse with which I had come to court, and led the other, which I had received as a fee. All the way I was delighting myself with the thoughts of the surprise I had in store for my little wife ; for both of us had expected nothing but that I should spend all the money I had borrowed, and should return in debt.
Our meeting was joyous, as you may suppose : but I played the part of the Indian hunter, who, when he returns from the chase, never for a time speaks of his success. She had prepared a snug little rustic meal for me, and while it was getting ready, I seated myself at an old-fashioned desk in one corner, and began to count over my money, and put it away. She came to me before I had finished, and asked who I had collected the money for.
• For myself, to be sure,' replied I, with affected coolness ; 'I made it at court.'
She looked me for a moment in the face, incredulously. I tried to keep my countenance, and to play Indian, but it would not do. My muscles began to twitch; my feelings all at once gave way. I caught her in my arms; laughed, cried, and danced about the room, like a crazy man. From that time forward, we never wanted for money.
* I had not been long in successful practice, when I was surprised one day by a visit from my woodland patron, old Miller. The lidings of my prosperity had reached him in the wilderness, and he had walked one hundred and fifty miles on foot to see me. By that time I had improved my domestic establishment, and had all things comfortable about me. He looked around him with a wondering eye, at what he considered luxuries and superfluities; but supposed they were all right, in my altered circumstances. He said he did not know, upon the whole, but that I had acted for the best. It is true, if game had continued plenty, it would have been a folly for me to quit a hunter's life; but hunting was pretty nigh done up in Kentucky. The buffalo had gone to Missouri; the elk were nearly gone also; deer, too, were growing scarce ; they might last out his time, as he was growing old, but they were not worth setting up life upon. He had once lived on the borders of Virginia. Game grew scarce there; he followed it up across Kentucky, and now it was again giving him the slip; but he was too old to follow it farther.
He remained with us three days. My wife did every thing in her power to make him comfortable ; but at the end of that time, he said he must be off again to the woods. He was tired of the village, and of having so many people about him. He accordingly returned to the wilderness, and to hunting life. But I fear he did not make a good end of it; for I understand that a few years before his death, he married Sukey Thomas, who lived at the White Oak Run.'
GREYSLAER: A ROMANCE OF THE MOHAWK. By the Author of 'A Winter in the
West,' etc. In two volumes. pp. 503. New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.
IN 'Greyslaer,' the author of 'A Winter in the West' has attempted a different and higher walk, in which the merit of even moderate success is not a little enhanced by the difficulties incident to the subject, and the ingenuous diffidence with which a novice ventures upon a path illumined by the brilliancy of Scott, JAMES, and our own Cooper and KENNEDY. We congratulate our author, therefore, on his marked success in producing an historical novel worthy to take rank with those of his countrymen, and on the accession to his reputation which this 'Romance of the Mohawk'can scarcely fail to bring, nay, has already brought, him. The story opens at the commencement of our revolutionary struggle, and involves, of course, the incidents of savage life, and the ferocity of guerilla warfare. The plot, though ingenious and intricate in its details, has the simplicity of historical truth. 'Greyslaer,' the hero, one of those zealous young patriots whom the cause of their country called early to the field, is ardently attached to Alida de Roos, the high-souled and beautiful daughter of an aged whig, in the valley of the Mohawk. A mystery hangs over her early life, which prevents her from giving that encouragement to the suit of her lover, which his high and generous character would entitle him to claim; and the noble and impassioned student for some time loves without requital. This secret is not unfolded to the reader until the story has somewhat advanced, when it transpires that she had some years before been carried off at the suggestion and through the connivance of an unsuccessful suitor, named Bradshawe, an influential officer among the tories. The agent employed in the abduction of the heroine, is a bold and burly ruffian; and between him and the tory captain, with the assistance of a depraved son of Brant, a deep and damnable contrivance forces Alida to consent that the marriage ceremony shall be performed, which is to unite her to Bradshawe. The lady, however, is immediately after the ceremonial restored to the house of her father, in safety and honor; and the farther designs of her treacherous husband are deferred for the time, by the breaking out of the war.
The stirring events of an exciting contest enables the author to bring his hero and Bradshawe into contrast, with partisan leaders on opposite sides, and presents the opportunity of portraying many scenes of savage life and border warfare, in the graphic descriptions of which, in our judgment, Mr. Hoffman is surpassed by few existing novelists. In one of these Indian incursions, an attack is made upon the Hawksnest, the residence of the father of our heroine, and she becomes at once an orphan and the prisoner of the celebrated sachem, Thayendanegea, or Brant, who figures prominently in the story. 'Greyslaer,' also, is wounded in an affray with a detachment of Brant's warriors, and conveyed to the mountain fastness where Alida is retained as a hostage. Here an interview takes place between them, when, in answer to the avowal of his pagsion, she acquaints him with her marriage with one as vile, sordid, faithless, and malignant, as he is gentle, generous, and noble. This interview, however, is abruptly terminated by the entrance of the ruffian agent of Bradshawe, who bears off Alida; her
energetic lover, enfeebled by his recent wounds, being struck down in the struggle. We are next introduced to the celebrated cave of Waneonda, whither the heroine is borne, and where a scene with the villain Bradshawe unfolds the meshes he has endeavored to wind around his victim. The description of this remarkable cavern is one of the most graphic pictures in the whole work:
* Earth bath her wondrous scenes, but few like this.' From this place she is rescued by Brant; and Bradshawe, foiled in his schemes, becomes involved in the active duties of a partisan leader. At length 'Greyslaer succeeds in unravelling the mystery of the marriage, which proves to have been but a sham ceremony, by a sham priest; and her lover's devotion to her service is rewarded by their mutual betrothal. This is followed by an attempt on the part of Bradshawe to blacken the fair fame of Alida, in which he partially triumphs; but his designs finally recoil upon himself, with fearful rëaction; and the tale concludes, after the approved model, with the death of Bradshawe, and the union of the lovers.
The foregoing is little more than a skeleton of the story, which is interwoven throughout with fine episodes, illustrative of the characters of Brant, Herkimer, and other renowned chieftains of that day. The hunter Balt is sketched in a masterly manner. Like Cooper's Leather-Stocking, his is a bold and striking portrait; but here the resem. blances ceases; for in the humble adherent of 'Greyslaer,' we think we recognise the portrait of John Cheney, a real character, whose peculiarities are minutely described in Mr. Hoffman's Wild Scenes of the Forest and Prairie.' Balt is a genuine woodsman, and only a mere woodsman; and not, like Mr. Cooper's fine creation of LeatherStocking, a poet of the woods. The gallant Derrick de Roos, the brother of Alida, and a beautiful Indian girl, the 'Spreading-Dew,' are marked and interesting characters; the one a gay, mercurial young partisan, and the other a lovely, elfish creature, and one of our author's happiest creations.
We must conclude this brief and hurried notice of Greyslaer,' with a commendation of the taste, as well as patriotism, which has led our author to American legends and American scenes for the matériel of his romance; and by advising all our readers to judge for themselves of the correctness of the estimate we have placed upon his perforinance.
Heads of the People: OR PORTRAITS OF THE ENGLISH. London: Robert Tyas.
New-York: WILEY AND PUTNAM.
The seventh number of the new series of this popular publication reached us by the last steam-packet from England. We perceive no falling off, either in the literary or illustrative character of the work. We have here 'The Tory,' The Collegian,' "The Capitalist,' and 'The Waiter ;' and it would be difficult to say which is the most felicitously drawn, each one is so faithfully executed. In the sketch of the Collegian, an affecting isolated picture, like that of Sterne's prisoner, is drawn of the son of an illpaid curate, struggling against poverty in the toilsome acquisition of academic honors. * The Waiter,' by Paul PENDEGRAST is capital. The condensation of orders, after the manner of YELLOWPLUSH, evinces the close observation of the author : ‘Bilemutnancapesauce,''aunchamutn,''breastavealanoystus,' standing for boiled mutton and caper sauce,'haunch of mutton,' and 'breast of veal and oysters.' Here is one scene from "The Capitalist :
“Behold him in close divan with his brother kings in Leadenhall Street : the fate and welfare of millions rests on his decision ; the integrity of our ludian Empire' requires that the barbarous states of the eastern frontier should be crushed ; and war, with all her ferocities is determined on. How many a goodly youth did that vote give to the jungle fever, and the poisonod cress. By those few words, how inany yawuing graves were opened? what tides of blood were set flowing! -- then rapine had her license, and avarice her warrant."
The companion picture, however, exhibits the capitalist as a benefactor, subduing fertile wastes yet untrod, and enhancing the comforts and luxuries of life.
SCENERY OF LAKE SUPERIOR. — We would invite the reader's attention to the chapters of Mr. SCHOOLCRAFT's Trip to Lake Superior,' in preceding pages. They will be found to present a lively picture of the scenery of that noble inland sea; a region far better worth the attention of Americans, than the hackneyed scenes of foreign travel, to prosing descriptions of which we have been treated, ad nauseam, any time these ten years. We have been favored with the private correspondence of a young genileman, in the Michigan state service, dated a few weeks since, 'In camp, Grand Marais, Lake Superior,' in which we find the following vivid sketch of the Grandes Sablés :'
'Just beyond our present encampment, are the Grandes Sablés, one of the wonders of this distant region, and one of the most truly 'grand' sights I ever beheld. Here steep sand-cliffs were observed, rising from the water with a very uniform smooth face, about two hundred feet; and barren dunes are seen in the distance, rising still higher. On our approach, the whole appeared like lofty hills enveloped in fog. This fog proved to be nothing less than clouds of sand, which the winds were sweeping over toward the lake, and which formed a seeming mist, so dense as completely to conceal the real cha. racter of the coast. On ascending these steep, wasting cliffs, a scene opens which has no parallel, except in such a region of wide waters and wild winds. For an extent of many miles, nothing is visible but a waste of sand; herbless, except a few grass roots and small shrubs, which in places have found sustenance. Still it by no means presents to view a monotonous desert plain, but rises into lofty cones, sweeps in most graceful curves, is hurled into eddying hollows, and spreads out in long extended valleys. Occasionally are seen the tops of half-buried pines, barkless, and worn dry and ragged by the drifting sand. They look like the time-worn columns of some antique temple, whose main structure has long since tumbled to the dust. They stand amidst the waste, like the ruins of Persepolis, the city of the desert. The surface.sand is mostly packed quite hard, and may be trodden, as on a floor, with perfect ease. This floor is in many places strewed thickly with pebbles, so that deep hollows and vast plains present a smooth bed of them. Among these, are a great variety of the precious stones, common to the primary rocks of this region; agates, chalcedony, jasper, quartz, of every shade of color and transparency, trap, hornstone, etc. All these are worn smooth, and are beautifully polished by the sharp drifting sand, and many rich specimens may be obtained at this singular depository. They remind one of the Valley of Diamonds in the Arabian tales, which it was the fortune of Sinbad to find, in a region scarcely more wild and inhospitable. · · · In the rear of this desert tract, about two miles from the coast, timber is again met with; and here, just at the edge of the woodland, a small and beautiful lake lies embosomed; a rich tract of maple forest on the one side; on the other barren dunes of shifting sands. In this realm of desolation, it breaks upon the view as did the unexpected fountain to which Saladin led the weary cavalier, Sir Kenneth, over the sandy plains of Palestine, and may be quite as aptly named 'The Diamond of the Desert.' About this sheet of water, snow was found in large quantities, buried beneath a few inches of sand. This protection will suffice to keep it half the summer. This lake has an elevation above Lake Superior of from one to two hundred feet. A