« PreviousContinue »
We cannot forbear expressing our plea. It is, we believe, principally through this sure to find with us this additional, and gentleman that Americans get their noalso influential, instance of enlightened tions of the current literature and authors appreciation and critical candor towards of France, and there is no doubt that he George Sand. If only for the contrast, has been the cause of much of the misit ought however, to be mentioned, that apprehension and prejudice respecting the well known Paris Correspondent of both the character and writings of George the National Intelligencer has taken the Sand, that prevail in this country. He British writer to task for his impartiality, is evidently a man of strong prepossesin the premises-thinks his article a poor sions; but his hostility to this writer in affair; his praise of George Sand but puf- particular (occasioned, possibly, by some fing; and undertakes to say that even personal slight,) breaks into a morbid the commendation of her style is sheer virulence, and resembles the reckless imposture, to decoy readers. All this rancor of the bigot, rather than the clear he asserts, as usual in his frequent and, and conscientious judgment of the intelwe had almost said, fanatical vituperation ligent and even liberal critic, that he orof this author, without a word of proof. dinarily is, both in Letters and Politics.
THE DEATH OF WIND-FOOT.
THREE hundred years ago—so heard I was led into the dwelling by him who the tale, not long since, from the mouth had given the first notice of his arrival. of one educated like a white man, but You are welcome, my brother,” said born of the race of whom Logan and Te. the Unrelenting. cumseh sprang,--three hundred years The person to whom this kind salute ago, there lived on lands now forming an was addressed was an athletic Indian, eastern county of the most powerful of apparently of middle age, and habited in the American stales, a petty Indian tribe the scant attire of his species. He had governed by a brave and wise chieftain. the war-tuft on his forehead, under which This chieftain was called by a name flashed a pair of brilliant eyes. His rewhich in our language signities Unrelent. joinder was friendly and brief. ing. His deeds of courage and subtlety " The chief's tent is lonesome-his made him renowned through no small people are away?" continued the stranger, portion of the northern continent. There after a pause, casting a glance of inquiry were only two dwellers in his lodge— around. himself and his youthful son; for twenty My brother says true that it is lonemoons had filled and waned since his some," the other answered. “Twelve seawife, following four of her offspring, was sons ago, the Unrelenting saw fivechildren placed in the burial ground.
in the shadow of his wigwam, and their As the Unrelenting sat alone one eve
mother was dear to him. He was strong, ning in his rude hut, one of his people like a cord of many fibres. Then the came to inform him that a traveler from breath of Manito snapped the fibres one a distant tribe had entered the village, by one asunder. He looked with a pleaand desired food and repose. Such a pe- sant eye on my sons and daughters, and tition was never slighted by the red man; wished them for himself. Behold all and the messenger was sent back with an that is left to brighten my heart!" invitation for the stranger to abide in the The Unrelenting turned as he spoke, lodge of the chief himself. Among that and pointed to an object just inside the simple race, no duties were considered opening of the tent. more honorable than arranging the house- A moment or two before, the figure of hold comforts of a guest : those duties a boy had glided noiselessly in, and were now performed by the host's own taken his station back of the chief. hand, his son having not yet returned Hardly twelve years seemed the age of from the hunt on which he had started the new-comer. He was a noble child ! with a few young companions at early His limbs, never distorted with the ligadawn. In a little while, the wayfarer tures of civilized life, were graceful as
the ash, and symmetrical and springy as tone, fearful that they had almost broken the bounding stag's. It was the last and the slumber of their guest. loveliest of the chieftain's sons—the “ Listen!” said he: “you know a soft-lipped, nimble Wind-Foot.
part, but not all the cause of hatred there With the youth's assistance, the pre- is between our nation and the abhorred parations for their frugal meal were soon enemies whose name I mentioned.completed. After finishing it, as the Longer back than I can remember, they stranger appeared to be weary, a heap did mortal wrong to your fathers. The of skins was arranged for him in one scalps of two of your near kindred hang corner of the lodge, and he laid himself in Kansi lodges, and I have sworn, my down to sleep.
son, to bear them a never-ending hatred. It was a lovely summer evening. The “On the morning of which I spoke, I moon shone, the stars twinkled, and the started with fresh limbs and a light heart thousand voices of a forest night sounded to search for game. Hour after hour, I in every direction. The chief and his roamed the forest with no success; and son reclined at the opening of the tent, at the setting of the sun, I found myself enjoying the cool breeze which blew weary, and many miles from my father's freshly upon them, and flapped the piece lodge. I laid down at the foot of a tree, of deer-hide that served for their door, and sleep came over me. In the depth sometimes flinging it down so as to of the night, a voice seemed whispering darken the apartment, then raising it sud- in my ears; it called me to rise quickly denly up again, as if to let in the bright to look around. I started to my feet, moonbeams.
and found no one there but myself: then I Wind-Foot spoke of his hunt that knew that the Dream-Spirit had been day. He had met with no success, and, with me. As I cast my eyes about in in a boy's impatient spirit, wondered the gloom, I saw a distant brightness. why it was that others' arrows should Treading softly, I approached. The light hit the mark, and failure be reserved for was that of a fire, and by the fire lay two him alone. The chief heard him with a sleeping figures. 0, I laughed the quiet sad smile, as he remembered his own laugh of a deathly mind, asl saw who youthful traits; he soothed the child they were—a Kansi warrior, and a child, with gentle words, telling him that brave like you, my son, in age. I felt the edge warriors sometimes went whole days of my tomahawk-it was keen as my with the same perverse fortune.
hate. I crept toward them as the snake “ Many years since,” said the chief, crawls through the grass. I bent over “when my cheek was soft, and my arms the slumbering boy; I raised my weapon felt the numbness of but few winters, to strike. But I thought that were they I myself vainly traversed our hunting both slain no one would carry the tale to grounds, as you have done to-day. The the Kansi tribe. My vengeance would Dark Influence was around me, and not be tasteless to me if they knew it nota single shaft would do my bidding.” and I spared the child. Then I glided
“And my father brought home nothing to the other ; his face was of the same to his lodge ?” asked the boy.
cast as the first, which gladdened me, for “The Ŭnrelenting came back without then I knew they were of close kindred. any game,” the other answered ; “ but I raised my arm--1 gathered my strength he brought what was dearer to him and I struck, and cleft the warrior's brain in his people than the fattest deer or the quivering halves !" sweetest bird-meat-he brought the scalp The chief had gradually wrought himof an accursed Kansi !"
self up to a pitch of loudness and rage, The voice of the chief was deep and and his hoarse tones at the last part of sharp in its tone of hatred.
his narration, rang croakingly through “ Will my father,” said Wind-Foot, the lodge. “ tell-"
At that moment, the deer-hide curtain The child started, and paused. An kept all within in darkness; the next, it exclamation, a sudden guttural noise, was lifted up, and a flood of the moon. came from that part of the tent where light filled the apartment. A startling the stranger was sleeping. The dry sight was back there, then! The strange skins which formed the bed rustled, as Indian was sitting up on his couch, his if he who lay there was changing his distorted features glaring toward the unposition, and then all continued silent. conscious ones in front, with a look like The Unrelenting proceeded in a lower that of Satan to his antagonist angel. His lips were parted, his teeth clenched, blood, that blood loses more than half its his arm raised, and his hand doubled- sweetness.” every nerve and sinew in bold relief. The Unrelenting started as if a scorpion This spectacle of fear lasted only for a had stung him. His lip trembled, and his moment; the Indian at once sank noise- band involuntarily moved to the handle of lessly back, and lay with the skins his tomahawk. Did his ears perform their wrapped round him as before.
office truly? Those sounds were not It was now an advanced hour of the new to him. Like a floating míst, the night. Wind-Foot felt exhausted by his gloom of past years rolled away in his day's travel; the father and son arose memory, and he recollected that the from their seat at the door, and retired to words the woman spake were the very rest. In a little while, all was silence in ones he himself had uttered to the Kansi the tent; but from the darkness which child whose father he slew long, long ago, surrounded the bed of the stranger, in the forest! And this stranger? Ah, flashed two fiery orbs, rolling about in- now he saw it all. He remembered the cessantly like the eyes of an angry wild dark looks of his guest-and carrying beast. The lids of those orbs closed not his mind back again, traced the features in slumber during the night.
of the Kansi in their matured counterAmong the former inhabitants of this part. And the chief felt too conscious continent, it was considered rudeness, of for what terrible purpose Wind-Foot was the highest degree, to annoy a traveler in the hands of this man. He sallied or a guest with questions about himself, forth, gathered together a few of his warhis last abode or his future destination. riors, and started swiftly to seek his child. Until he saw fit to go, he was made wel- About the same hour that the Unrelent. come to stay, whether for a short time or ing returned from his journey, Winda long one. Thus, on the morrow, when Foot, several miles from home, was just the strange Indian showed no signs of coming up to his companion, who had departing, the chief expressed not the least gone on a few rods ahead of him, and was surprise, but felt indeed a compliment at that moment seated on the body of a indirectly paid to his powers of entertain. fallen tree, a mighty giant of the woods ment.
that some whirlwind had tumbled to the Early the succeeding day, the Unre- earth. The child had roamed about with lenting called his son to him, while the his new acquaintance through one path stranger was standing at the tent-door. and another with the heedlessness of his He told Wind-Foot that he was going on age; and now while the latter sat in pera short journey, to perform which and re- fect silence for several minutes, Windturn, would probably take him till night- Foot idly sported near him. It was a fall. He enjoined the boy to remit no solemn spot; in every direction around duties of hospitality toward his guest, and were towering patriarchs of the wilderbade him be ready at evening with a ness, growing and decaying in solitude. welcome for his father.
At length the stranger spoke: The sun had marked the middle of the “ Wind-Foot!" afternoon--when the chief, finishing what The child, who was but a few yards he had to do sooner than he expected, came off, approached at the call. As he came back to his own dwelling, and threw near, he stopped in alarm; his companhimself on the floor to obtain rest,-for ion's eyes had that dreadfully bright glitthe day though pleasant, had been a ter again-and while they looked at each
Wind-Foot was not there, other, terrible forebodings arose in the and after a little interval the chief stepped boy's soul. to a lodge near by to make inquiry after Young chieftain,” said the stranger, him.
'you must die!" “ The young brave,” said a woman, s. The brave is in play,” was the rewho appeared to answer his questions, sponse, “ Wind-Foot is a little boy.” “ went away with the chief's strange Serpents are small at first,” replied guest many hours since.”
the savage, “but in a few moons, they The Unrelenting turned to go back to have fangs and deadly poison. Hearken, his tent.
branch from an evil root !-I am a Kan“I cannot tell the meaning of it,” added si !—The youth your parent spared in the the woman, “but he of the fiery eye, forest has now become a man. Warriors bade me, should the father of Wind-Foot of his tribe point to him and say, “His ask about him, say to the chief these father's scalp adorns the lodge of the Unwords, . Unless your foe sees you drink his relenting, but the wgiwam of the Kansi is
bare!-Wind-Foot! it must be bare no ed Wind-Foot by the shoulder, and ran longer!"
toward the boat, holding the boy's person The boy's heart beat quickly—but beat as a shield from any weapons the purtrue to the stern courage of his ancestors, suers might attempt to launch after him.
“lam the son of a chief,” he answered, He possessed still the advantage. It was “ my cheeks cannot be wet with tears.” a fearful race; and the Unrelenting felt
The Kansi looked at him a few se- his heart grow sick, as the Indian, dragconds with admiration, which soon gave ging his child, approached nearer to the way to malignant scowls. Then pro- water's edge. ducing from an inner part of his dress a "Turn, whelp of a Kansi !" the chief withe of some tough bark, he stepped to madly cried. Turn, thou whose coward Wind-Foot, and began binding his hands. arm warrest against children! Turn, if It was useless to attempt resistance, for thou darest, and meet the eye of a fullbesides the disparity of their strength, grown brave !" the boy was unarmed, while the savage A loud taunting laugh was borne back had at his waist a hatchet, and a rude from his flying enemy to the ears of the stone weapon resembling a poniard. He furious father. The savage did not look pointed to Wind-Foot the direction he round, but twisted his left arm, and pointmust take, gave a significant touch at his ed with his finger to Wind-Foot's throat. girdle, and followed close on behind. At that moment, he was within twice his
When the Unrelenting and his people length of the canoe. The boy heard his started to seek for the child and that fear- father's voice, and gathered his energies, ful stranger, they were lucky enough to faint and bruised as he was, for a last find the trail which the absent ones had struggle. Vain his efforts! for a moment made. None except an Indian's eye could only he loosened himself from the grip of have tracked them by so slight and de- his foe, and fell upon the ground. That vious a guide. But the chief's sight was moment, however, was a fatal one to the sharp with paternal love: they followed Kansi. With the speed of lightning, the on--winding, and on again-at length chief's bow was up at his shoulder-the coming to the fallen tree. The train was cord twanged sharply and a poison-tipnow less irregular, and they traversed it ped arrow sped through the air. Faithwith greater rapidity. Its direction seem- ful to its mission, it cleft the Indian's side, ed towards the shores of a long narrow just as he was stooping to lift Wind-Foot lake which lay adjacent to their territory. in the boat. He gave a wild shriek; his Onward went they, and as the sun sank blood spouted from the wound, and he in the west, they saw his last flitting staggered down upon the sand. His gleams reflected from the waters of the strength, however, was not yetgone. Hate lake. The grounds here were almost and measureless revenge--the stronger clear of trees; and as they came out, the that they were baffled—raged within him, Unrelenting and his warriors swept the and shot through his eyes, glassy as they range with their keen eyes.
were beginning to be with death-damps. Was it so indeed ? — There, on the Twisting his body like a bruised snake, he grass not twenty rods from the shore, worked himself close up to the bandaged were the persons they sought-and fast- Wind-Foot. He felt to his waistband, ened near by was a canoe. They saw and drew forth the weapon of stone. from his posture that the captive was He laughed a laugh of horrid triumph-bound; they saw, too, that if the Kansi he shouted aloud —he raised the weapon should once get him in the boat, and in the air--and just as the death-rattle gain a start for the opposite side, where sounded in his throat, the instrument very likely some of his tribe were wait- (the shuddering eyes of the child saw it, ing for him, release would be almost im- and shut their lids in intense agony,) possible. For a moment only they paus- came down, driven too surely to the heart ed. Then the Unrelenting sprang off, of the hapless boy: uttering the battle cry of his tribe, and When the Unrelenting came up to his the rest joined in the terrible chorus and son, the last signs of life were fading in followed him.
the boy's countenance. His eyes opened As the sudden sound was swept along and turned to the chief; his beautiful lips by the breeze to the Kansi's ear, he jump- parted in a smile, the last effort of expired to his feet, and with that wonderful ing fondness. On his features flitted a self-possession which distinguishes his lovely look, transient as the ripple athwart species, determined at once what was the wave, a slight tremor shook him, and safest and surest for him to do. He seize the next minute Wind-Foot was dead.
OPINIONS OF NICHOLAS MACHIAVEL,
CONCERNING POPULAR GOVERNMENT.*
NICHOLAS MACHIAVEL, Secretary of citizens, beeame Princes of Florence, and Florence under the Medici, and celebrated the death of Julian, which happened by as the author of a treatise of despotism, the unsuccessful conspiracy of the Pazzi entitled the “ Prince,” composed a series family, in 1478, when Machiavel was of discourses, or commentaries, on the nine years of age, left Lorenzo, sirnamed Roman History of Titus Livius, in which Magnificent, the sole master of the city. he professes to give the sum of his ex- Under this master Machiavel entered the perience concerning Republics.
service of his country, and was soon after These commentaries seem to have been chosen to be Secretary of the Repubtic. as carefully composed, and are as excel- From that period until his death, which lent, in their kind, as the “ Prince;" and happened in the fisty-eighth year of his being offered as the fruit of long experi- age, he continued to be the advocate and ence and mature reflection, might be ex. guardian of its liberties and the reformer pected to unfold a perfect theory of of its civil and military constitutions, and popular government. Nor do they dis- was employed, on several important ocappoint that expectation ; nor is it pro- casions, as the ambassador of its princes. bable that any language of Europe con- Though at once a courtier and a lover tains a richer treasure of political wisdom. of liberty, the instructor of despots and Their perusal cannot fail to convince as the adviser of republics, he lived an exwell of the wisdom of the author, as of ample of consistency. Careless of rethe darkness and confusion of his age. proach and poverty, often neglected, and
The Republic of which he was the at one time tortured and imprisoned by servant, had sunk, under the power of bis prince, he persisted in open enmity the Medici, from a democratical state to to the church of Rome and the petty desa principality, and a despotism. The pots of Italy.* His writings force us to causes of its decline are recounted in a believe, that if opinions like his own had history of Florence, written by Machia- prevailed in Italy, the Reformation would vel himself
. By the pride and violence uot have been limited to Northern Euof a wealthy aristocracy, the peace of rope ; and that Italy would have become the city was disturbed for a course of a united nation, composed of free cities centuries, at every turn in its affairs; the and limited principalities, under one people, demoralized by superstition, and sovereignty. injured by too rapid an increase of wealth, The union of their jarring provinces were gradually corrupted in their man- under one name and one power, had, for ners, and became spiritless through vice centuries, been hoped for by Italian and luxury; bloody conspiracies by the statesmen; but ng one of their princes rich against families more popular than had shown the character, or possessed themselves, had gradually weakened and the power to effect it. Machiavel, lookunseated the authority of decrees, and ing to the pacification of Italy under a taught the powerful to rely
on terror for monarch, as an end of paramount necesthe efficacy of the law. The Popes of sity, composed the “ Prince”- theory Rome and the Princes of Italy, the natu- of conquest, and of arbitrary power--a ral enemies of freedom, continually book of instruction for the use of any pressed the city from without, maiming potentate who might attempt the gradual its territory by war, and weakening its subjugation and consolidation of the influence by intrigue, until Forence be. Italian States. It is a treatise of expecame a principality in name, and a des- diency, and of civil and strategic warfare, potism by force.
to be conducted indifferently by fraud In the year 1466, Lorenzo and Julian or violence, and in the bosom of society de Medici, from the condition of wealthy as well as abroad. It teaches to rule a
*“ Discourses of Nicholas Machiavel, citizen and Secretary of Florence, upon the First Decade of Titus Livius; in three Books,” (faithfully Englished). London, 1680. (Works.)
† See his vindication of himself, “ Letter to Zanobius Buondelmontius.” (Works.)