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MADAME LE NORMAND,
THE PARISIAN FORTUNE-TELLER.
AMONGST the many lions and noted persons with whom a year's residence in Paris brought us in contact, one of the most singular, and not the least interesting, was Madame le Normand, the celebrated fortune teller, "professor of the celestial science," predictor of the successes and reverses of Napoleon (so she declares), authoress of a life of the Empress Josephine, an autobiography, &c. &c., works of no great merit in themselves, yet indicative of her claims to education and ability.
On the mention of Madame le Normand's name we have heard many laugh, others have denounced her as an unequivocal impostor, whilst some, with considerable pretension to mental superiority, have looked grave during the discussion; and confessed them selves at a loss to form a correct judgment, and on rational grounds, of her prophetic powers. Reason and philosophy were in opposition; at the same time, personal experience set these aside, in cases where it was impossible for her to have been assisted by direct or indirect agency. Two circumstances related to the writer of these pages shall be detailed for the amusement, if not the instruction, of the reader. Our authority was most respectable, and corroborated by several individuals of the family. But, before doing so, we will give a slight account of a visit made in company with some friends, all bound to consult "the weird woman" on our future destinies.
We were a party of five, two of us English, and all decided sceptics as to the possibility of fortune-telling. We did allow that shrewdness, and a long study of physiognomy, might lead to a tolerably correct estimate as to character, and we agreed that we would be liberal, and allow the lady all the credit of a lucky guess, bespeaking, as it generally does, some quickness on the part of the guesser.
attempted an uneasy laugh on regaining the drawing-room, ren-"
In the short conversation that ensued, we found Madame courteous and intelligent. She expressed herself under great obligations to the Emperor Napoleon, and spoke of him with a veneration and feeling that were touching and becoming, signifying that had her warnings and advice been always relied upon, his fortune had been reversed, &c. &c.; but this, of course, was said in character. She informed us that she had formerly passed some time in London, and declared herself much pleased with her residence, and, in a tone of evident elation, added, that many of the highest classes there paid her the compliment of a professional call.
"Au moins nous serons bien amusés," (at least, we shall be well amused,) said a gallant young Frenchman, as he handed the ladies to the carriage. "Umph! one fool makes many,' was the characteristic remark of the Englishman, muttered apologetically, as a set-off against his present purpose, and the folly of being amused, for that was against his philosophy, theoretically speak-in ing; in practice he was like the rest of us.
The coachman received his orders to drive to the Faubourg St. Germain, rue de Tournon, numero cinq, where, in due time, we arrived at the bibliothèque of Madame le Normand, bookselling being her ostensible avocation, though, in fact, she has long left the concern; her dwelling was situated at the back of the shop, where she has resided for many years in great apparent comfort, and, we are told, affluence.
An old domestic in handsome livery answered our summons, and conducted us to a comfortably furnished drawing-room. The gravity of our Englishman fairly gave way on encountering two other parties on the same "fools' errand" as ourselves.
As some little time was necessarily to elapse before our turn of audience, we employed ourselves in a critical examination of the apartment and its contents. A full-length picture of Madame le Normand immediately arrested our attention. It was that of a woman "fair, fat, and forty," in a white satin dress, bordered with a gold fringe. To its fidelity as a portraiture we are unable to attest, the original being now nearly eighty years of age. There were, besides, engravings of the Great Sphinx, the Pyramids, Thebes, Palmyra, and modern Cairo. A bust of Napoleon graced the mantel-piece, and in the window was a splendid Camellia Japonica, of the variegated species, bending under its weight of flowers. Presently a side door was slowly unlocked, and Madame le Normand advanced towards us, greeting us, à la française, namely, with grace (even at her years), and bonhomie. In person she is little and stout, with no apparent infirmity, possessing a pair of most piercing black eyes, to which a portentous squint conveys a sinister expression: on meeting their glance one involuntarily turns away. A dingy red gown, and a curious black velvet hat or bêret of a circular form, placed on the back of her head, and to which coiffure she constantly adheres, composed her toilet. Once seen she is not to be forgotten: her eyes, independently of the extraordinary head-dress, are a passport to remembrance. "Vous voulez me consulter, n'est ce pas, Mesdames et Messieurs?" she inquired.. (You wish to consult me, do you not, ladies and gentlemen?) Replying affirmatively, we passed separately into the adjoining room, the door of which she immediately locked and bolted. We ourselyes were the last, and the perplexed, dissatisfied looks of the party, who nevertheless each
In the performance of an action, of the relative utility and wisdom of which we experience some mental misgivings, it is undoubtedly satisfactory to find that, if not as wise as we might or ought to be, still our neighbours are no more so than ourselves. We now pass on to the relation of two circumstances promised the commencentent. Of the first our informant was herself the principal, an elderly French comtesse, with whom we were a guest on our arrival in Paris. Would that the charm of her recital could be imparted! that consisted in a fascination of manner, and an animation of look and gesture, far surpassing description This lady-the wife of a French officer, who had received a General's commission from the unfortunate Louis XVI., and some appointment in the royal household, but of what nature we do not recollect-was left a widow at an early age; and, in common with many others, experienced much trial and anxiety during the unsettled state of public affairs in France, incident to the disastrous period of royal extinction. In an interview with Madame le Normand, amongst various predictions of a strictly domestic and confidential nature, the comtesse was told, "that in a foreign land she would have it in her power to oblige princes." • Such were the precise words. Now, at that time the Bourbons were in exile-the star of Napoleon, though on the horizon, was far from culmination-the comtesse a widow, limited in fortune, and with connexions for the most part amongst the proscribed class of aristocrats, had, indeed, slender chances of verifying the prediction. "As to obliging princes," she observed, "nothing could be less promising than my position. I thought of it merely as a romantic possibility. It so happened, however, that it became necessary for the comtesse to visit England, where she possessed relatives of fortune and interest considering their position. A few days before leaving Paris, the comtesse was earnestly and secretly requested to be the bearer of a packet of letters, addressed to the Comte de Provence, afterward Louis XVIII., who was then resident at Hartwell, not far from London. Though attended with some risk, the comtesse, was too loyal a Frenchwoman to hesitate. The letters were stitched in her stays, safely conveyed to England, and transmitted to the hands of the Duc de Berri, who returned a personal visit of thanks, delivering a most gracious message from his royal uncle, with an intimation to Madame to pay her court at Hartwell. This, for many reasons, was evaded. A first-rate introduction enabled her to enjoy a career of London gaiety of the highest caste, frequently visiting at Carlton House, where she obtained the particular notice and attention of the Prince Regent himself.
In giving the following story, a large draft must necessarily be made on the reader's credibility. To those who possess the
organ of wonder strongly developed, it may perhaps pass unchallenged. The person who related it attached the most implicit faith, affirming that it happened to a near and dear relation. The heroine was a French lady, not exactly one who desired "to pry into futurity," though closely bearing thereupon. She wished to see the crystal, as it was technically termed, or magical glass, in which, through some act of legerdemain, a pictorial illusion is presented of any specified person, living or dead. It is pretended that many have not the power to see in the crystal; that to them it presents nothing but a blank; whilst to others a different result is experienced.
As described to us, in shape and size the crystal resembled a swan's egg, inclosed in a circle of brass, engraved with the names of Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Samiel. This was inserted into a wooden frame of a diamond form, at the bottom of which was carved an anagram, and the mystical name of Tetragramathon. Accompanied by a friend, the lady signified her wishes; a considerable sum was demanded, and they were bid to come at an appointed time; for the performance of the ceremony depended upon a due observation of the planetary hour of a particular day, the moon also being in her third quarter. The lady desired to be Such was, at shown her parents, whom she had lost in infancy. least, the assertion of her aunt, with whom she had always lived, We were and such was, assuredly, the poor girl's own belief. given to understand that the scene was enacted with no incantation or display of jugglery. Strict silence was enjoined, and an invocation was read from a manuscript, with slow and solemn earnestness. It was in the French language, and at times Hebrew names were distinctly articulated. On a first survey, the crystal for some time presented nothing but a thick cloudy appearance, which was presently succeeded by a total blackness; then followed a small red speck, with a halo of something like smoke or vapour, which gradually enlarged, and formed itself into a beautiful moonlight scene, with trees and fields distinctly visible. Leaning near a gate stood a gentleman, and at some little distance a lady, instantly recognised by the beholder as her aunt, and a friend with whom she was on terms of great intimacy. "Compose yourself, my dear," was the warning charge, as the lady was on the point of breaking forth into a prompt denial as to the paternal claims of the parties there shadowed forth. In a few minutes the illusion vanished, the crystal resumed its usual appearance, and the pent-up feelings of the lady discharged themselves in a peal of exclamation and asseveration, rung through all the changes of French volubility. It was to no purpose she protested that it was her aunt and her aunt only, whose resemblance she had just beheld; that the gentleman was Monsieur, a distinguished military officer, well known to herself, and the intimate friend besides of the identical aunt. To this a deprecating answer was returned, and the priestess dismissed her guests with some precipitation, referring them to the aforesaid aunt for further information and interrogation. No doubt the reader anticipates the denouement. The military officer proved to be the father, and the soi-disant aunt the mother. The detection of the lady's illegitimacy led to much unhappiness and domestic dispersion; and to the day of her death, though never to be persuaded as to the possibility of Madame le Normand's knowledge being derived from a source anything less than superhuman, she regretted her application with a keenness and bitter
ness akin to remorse.
MAKING THE MOST OF AN EJECTMENT.
NIGH to Marburg, on the borders of a forest, rises a mountain called the Christenberg. On this mountain, in ancient times, a certain king dwelt, in a strong castle. The queen, his wife, had died, leaving an only child, a daughter, who possessed many marvellous gifts; on account of which her father, the king, became extremely fond of her. Now it came to pass that his neighbour, king Grünewald (Green wood), coveted his possessions, and came with a great army to besiege the castle on the Christenberg. Long the enemy lay before it; but the wise young princess was not at all dismayed herself, and her father took good heart when he beheld her courage, and held out against the foe. the morning sun of the 1st of May had risen upon the earth, behold the army of king Grünewald was seen advancing against the castle; and it seemed as if a great forest of living trees had been put in motion, for every soldier bore a large green bough in his hand. Then the maiden's courage quailed, for she now knew that all was lost; and she spake to the king these words:
"Father, nought avails us
When the wood assails us!"
Whereupon the king, who relied more upon his daughter's wisdom than his own, sent the wise princess into the enemy's camp, where she succeeded in obtaining from king Grunewald a safe passage for herself, and permission to carry with her as much as a single ass could bear. And what did the good daughter put upon her ass? her own father and her most precious jewels; and with these, her most precious possessions, she took her way to another country.-German Legends.
ADVENTURES OF TWO BROTHERS DURING THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.
NO. I.-ADVENTURES OF JOSEPH SAMMONS.
WHILE Canada belonged to France, and the United States were colonies of Great Britain, there was "a debateable land" between
the possessions of the rival colonists, in which many a cruel deed was done. This district is now partly included in the state of New York, and contained within it lakes George and Champlain, which are linked together by the river Chambly or Sorel, which falls into the St. Lawrence, running through that portion of Lower Canada which offered the most active resistance, and suffered severely, during the recent unhappy troubles. Lake Champlain divides for nearly a hundred miles the states of New York and Vermont, but its northern extremity is within Canada.
Amongst the officers who distinguished themselves in the border wars between the British and French colonists, in the middle of the last century, Sir William Johnson was famous. He was repeatedly engaged in battle; and after Wolfe had fallen, "in the hour of victory," at Quebec, he was of great service in bringing about the entire subjugation of the North American continent to British power. Sir William Johnson acquired large possessions in the "Mohawk valley,"-(a district in the state of New York through which the Mohawk flows,) founded.Johnson-town; and having obtained great influence over the Indians, as well as over the European settlers, Germans, Highlanders, &c., he reigned quite as a patriarchal king amongst his numerous subjects. The troubles which preceded the breaking out of the American war of independence gave him much distress; he saw clearly that a revolution was approaching: but he died suddenly at his house, Johnson Hall, in 1774-so suddenly, as to excite a suspicion that he had perished by his own hand; but it appears that he died from an apoplectic attack, brought on by anxiety.
He was succeeded in his title and possessions, though not in his After the war had fairly influence, by his son, Sir John Johnson. broken out, Sir John naturally took the British side; and it was deemed advisable by the United States' Congress to send General Schuyler to drive him from his property. This was done; Sir John fled into Canada; and the extensive possessions of the Johnson family were confiscated.
Four years after his flight, Sir John Johnson suddenly entered the Mohawk valley, with a force composed of Europeans and "On Sunday, the 21st of May, 1780, at dead of night," Indians. (we quote from Mr. Stone's life of Brant, a book to which we will return in a future number,) "Sir John Johnson entered the north part of Johnstown at the head of five hundred men, composed of some British troops, a detachment of his own regiment of Royal Greens, and about two hundred Indians and tories. Sir John had penetrated the country by way of lake Champlain to Crown Point, and thence through the woods to the Sacondaga river; and so entirely unawares had he stolen upon the sleeping inhabitants, that he arrived in the heart of the country undiscovered, except by resident royalists, who were probably in the secret. Before he reached the old baronial hall at Johnstown-the home of his youth, and for the recovery of which he made every exertion that courage and enterprise could put forth-Sir John divided his forces into two detachments, leading one in person, in the first instance, directly to the hall, and thence through the village of Johnstown; while the other was sent through a more eastern settlement, to strike the Mohawk river at or below Tripe's Hill, from whence it was directed to sweep up the river through the ancient Dutch village of Caughnawaga*, to the Cayadutta Creek-at which place a junction was to be formed with Sir John himself. This disposi
*More anciently still, the residence of the Caughnawaga clan of the Mohawk Indians, who at an early day moved into Canada, and established themselves on the St. Lawrence above the Lachine rapids.
tion of his forces was made at the still hour of midnight-at a time when the inhabitants were not only buried in slumber, but wholly unsuspicious of approaching danger. What officer was in command of the eastern division is not known, but it was one of the most stealthy and murderous expeditions-murderous in its character, though but few were killed-and the most disgraceful, too, that marked the progress of the war in that region."
Amongst the inhabitants were a family of Dutch descent, of the name of Sammons, of considerable wealth and respectability, but who, at an earlier period, had rendered themselves obnoxious to Sir John, by the bold and decided manner in which they had taken part with the revolutionary party. These were now all made prisoners, along with others. "While they were halting, on the next day, the elder Sammons applied to Sir John for an interview, which was granted in presence of his principal officers. On inquiring what he wanted, Mr. Sammons replied that he wished to be released. The baronet hesitated; but the old man pressed his suit, and reminded Sir John of former scenes, and of the efforts of friendship which he himself had made in his behalf. 'See what you have done, Sir John,' said the veteran whig: You have taken myself and my sons prisoners, burned my dwelling to ashes, and left the helpless members of my family with no covering but the heavens above, and no prospect but desolation around them. Did we treat you in this manner when you were in the power of the Tryon County Committee? Do you remember when we were consulted by General Schuyler, and you agreed to surrender your arms? Do you not remember that you then agreed to remain neutral, and that upon that condition General Schuyler left you at liberty on your parole? Those conditions you violated. You went off to Canada; enrolled yourself in the service of the king; raised a regiment of the disaffected, who abandoned their country with you; and you have now returned to wage a cruel war against us, by burning our dwellings and robbing us of our property. I was your friend in the Committee of Safety, and exerted myself to save your person from injury. And how am I requited? Your Indians have murdered and scalped old Mr. Fonda at the age of eighty years a man who, I have heard your father say, was like a father to him when he settled in Johnstown and Kingsborough. You cannot succeed, Sir John, in such a warfare, and you will never enjoy your property more!'
"The baronet made no reply; but the appeal was effectual, and the old gentleman was set at liberty. He then requested the restoration of a pair of horses. Sir John replied that this also should be done, if the horses were not in the possession of the Indians, from whom he could not safely take them. On making the inquiry a span of his horses were found and restored to him. A tory officer, named Doxstadter, was seen by Mr. Sammons to be in possession of one of his horses, but he would not relinquish it, pretending that he was merely entrusted with the animal by an Indian. The two sons, Jacob and Frederick, were carried into captivity, and suffered a protracted and severe imprisonment, interesting accounts of which will presently be given. Several of the aged prisoners, besides Mr. Sammons, were permitted to return, one of whom, Captain Abraham Veeder, was exchanged for Lieutenant Singleton, who had been taken at Fort Schuyler by Colonel Willett, and was then in Canada on his parole.
"The immediate object of this irruption by Sir John Johnson was to procure his plate, which had been buried at the time of his flight in 1776, and not recovered with the iron chest. This treasure was not indeed buried with the chest, but in the cellar, and the place of deposite was confided to a faithful slave. While Sir John was in the hall, in the afternoon, the slave, assisted by four soldiers, disinterred the silver, which filled two barrels, brought it to the baronet, and laid it down at his feet. It was then distributed among about forty soldiers, who placed it in their knapsacks a quarter-master taking an account of the names of the soldiers, and the articles confided to each-by whom it was to be carried to Montreal.
"Governor Clinton was at Kingston at the time of the invasion. Hastening to Albany on the first rumour of the intelligence, he collected such militia and other forces as he could obtain, and moved to lake George with a view to intercept Sir John. It was supposed that the course of the enemy might possibly lie in the direction of Oswegatchie, and for the purpose of striking him upon such a march, Colonel Van Schaick, with eight hundred men, followed him by the way of Johnstown. Descending Lake George to Ticonderoga, the Governor was joined by a body * After the war was over, Doxstadter returned from Canada upon some business, was arrested in an action-at-law by Mr. Sammons, and made to pay the value of the horse.
of militia from the New Hampshire grants. But all was of no use; the invaders escaped-taking to their batteaux, probably, at Crown Point, whence they proceeded down the lake to St. John's. The captives were thence transferred to the fortress of Chamblee.
"The prisoners at this fortress numbered about forty. On the day after their arrival Jacob Sammons, having taken an accurate survey of the garrison and the facilities of escape, conceived the project of inducing his fellow-prisoners to rise upon the guards and obtain their freedom. The garrison was weak in number, and the sentinels less vigilant than is usual among good soldiers. The prison doors were opened once a day, when the prisoners were visited by the proper officer, with four or five soldiers. Sammons had observed where the arms of the guards were stacked in the yard, and his plan was, that some of the prisoners should arrest and disarm the visiting guard on the opening of the door, while the residue were to rush forth, seize the arms, and fight their way out. The proposition was acceeded to by his brother Frederick, and one other man named Van Sluyck, but was considered too daring by the great body of the prisoners to be undertaken. It was therefore abandoned, and the brothers sought afterward only for a chance of escaping by themselves. Within three days the desired opportunity occurred, viz. on the 13th of June. The prisoners were supplied with an allowance of spruce beer, for which two of their number were detached daily, to bring the cask from the brew-house, under a guard of five men, with fixed bayonets. Having reason to suppose that the arms of the guards, though charged, were not primed, the brothers so contrived matters as to be taken together to the brewery on the day mentioned, with an understanding that at a given point they were to dart from the guard and run for their lives-believing that the confusion of the moment, and the consequent delay of priming their muskets by the guards, would enable them to escape beyond the ordinary range of musket-shot. The project was boldly executed. At the concerted moment the brothers sprang from their conductors, and stretched across the plain with great fleetness. The alarm was given, and the whole garrison was soon after them in hot pursuit. Unfortunately for Jacob, he fell into a ditch and sprained his ancle. Perceiving the accident, Frederick turned to his assistance; but the other generously admonished him to secure his own flight if possible, and leave him to the chances of war. Recovering from his fall, and regardless of the accident, Jacob sprang forward again with as much expedition as possible, but finding that his lameness impeded his progress, he plunged into a thick clump of shrubs and trees, and was fortunate enough to hide himself between two logs before the pursuers came up. Twenty or thirty shots had previously been fired upon them, but without effect. In consequence of the smoke of their fire, probably, the guards had not observed Jacob when he threw himself into the thicket, and supposing that, like his brother, he had passed round it, they followed on, until they were fairly distanced by Frederick, of whom they lost sight and trace. They returned in about half an hour, halting by the bushes in which the other fugitive was sheltered, and so near that he could distinctly hear their conversation. The officer in command was Captain Steel. On calling his men together, some were swearing, and others laughing, at the race and the speed of the long-legged Dutchmen,' as they called the flying prisoners. The pursuit being abandoned, the guards returned to the fort.
"The brothers had agreed, in case of separation, to meet at a certain spot at 10 o'clock that night. Of course Jacob lay ensconced in the bushes until night had dropped her sable curtains, and until he supposed the hour had arrived, when he sallied forth, according to the antecedent understanding. But time did not move as rapidly on that evening as he supposed. He waited upon the spot designated, and called aloud for Frederick, until he despaired of meeting him, and prudence forbade his remaining any longer. It subsequently appeared that he was too early on the ground, and that Frederick made good his appointment.
"Following the bank of the Sorel, Jacob passed Fort St. John's soon after day-break on the morning of the 14th. His purpose was to swim the river at that place, and pursue his course homeward through the wilderness on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain; but just as he was preparing to enter the water, he descried a boat approaching from below, filled with officers and soldiers of the enemy. They were already within twenty rods. Concealing himself again in the woods, he resumed his journey after their departure, but had not proceeded more than two or three miles before he came upon a party of several hundred men engaged in getting out timber for the public works at the fort. To avoid
a few of these, but having no means of striking a fire, after devouring one of them raw, the others were thrown away.
these he was obliged to describe a wide circuit, in the course of | birch-chewing the twigs as he went. On the fourth day, while which, at about 12 o'clock, he came to a small clearing. Within resting by a brook, he heard a rippling of the water caused by the the enclosure was a house, and in the field were a man and a boy fish as they were stemming its current. He succeeded in catching engaged in hoeing potatoes. They were at that moment called to dinner, and supposing them to be French, who he had heard were rather friendly to the American cause than otherwise-incited also by hunger and fatigue-he made bold to present himself, trusting that he might be invited to partake of their hospitality. But, instead of a friend, he found an enemy. On making known his character, he was roughly received. It is by such villains as you are,' replied the forester, that I was obliged to fly from Lake Champlain. The rebels, he added, had robbed him of all he possessed, and he would now deliver his self-invited guest to the guard, which, he said, was not more than a quarter of a mile distant. Sammons promptly answered him that that was more than he could do.' The refugee then said he would go for the guard himself; to which Sammons replied that he might act as he pleased, but that all the men in Canada should not make him again a prisoner.
"The man thereupon returned with his son to the potato field, and resumed his work; while his more compassionate wife gave him a bowl of bread and milk, which he ate sitting on the threshold of the door, to guard against surprise. While in the house he saw a musket, powder-horn, and bullet-pouch, hanging against the wall, of which he determined, if possible, to possess himself, that he might be able to procure food during the long and solitary march before him. On retiring, therefore, he travelled only far enough into the woods for concealment-returning to the woodman's house in the evening, for the purpose of obtaining the musket and ammunition. But he was again beset by imminent peril. Very soon after he entered the house, the sound of approaching voices was heard, and he took to the rude chamber for security, where he lay flat upon the irregular floor, and looking through the interstices, saw eleven soldiers enter, who, it soon appeared, came for milk. His situation was now exceedingly critical. The churlish proprietor might inform against him, or a single movement betray him. But neither circumstance occurred. The unwelcome visitors departed in due time, and the family all retired to bed, excepting the wife, who, as Jacob descended from the chamber, refreshed him with another bowl of bread and milk. The good woman now earnestly entreated her guest to surrender himself, and join the ranks of the king, assuring him that his majesty must certainly conquer in the end, in which case the rebels would lose all their property, and many of them be hanged into the bargain. But to such a proposition he of course would not listen. Finding all her efforts to convert a whig into a tory fruitless, she then told him, that if he would secrete himself two days longer in the woods she would furnish him with some provisions, for a supply of which her husband was going to the fort the next day, and she would likewise endeavour to provide him with a pair of shoes.
"Disinclined to linger so long in the country of the enemy, and in the neighbourhood of a British post, however, he took his departure forthwith. But such had been the kindness of the good woman, that he had it not in his heart to seize upon her husband's arms, and he left this wild scene of rustic hospitality without supplies, or the means of procuring them. Arriving once more at the water's edge at the lower end of Lake Champlain, he came upon a hut, within which, on cautiously approaching it for reconnoissance, he discovered a party of soldiers all sound asleep. Their canoe was moored by the shore, into which he sprang, and paddled himself up the lake under the most encouraging prospect of a speedy and comparatively easy voyage to its head, whence his return home would be unattended with either difficulty or danger. But his pleasing anticipations were extinguished on the night following, as he approached the Isle aux Noix, where he descried a fortification, and the glitter of bayonets bristling in the air as the moon-beams played upon the burnished arms of the sentinels, who were pacing their tedious rounds. The lake being very narrow at this point, and perceiving that both sides were fortified, he thought the attempt to shoot his canoe through between them rather too hazardous an experiment. His only course, therefore, was to run ashore, and resume his travels on foot. Nor on landing was his case in any respect enviable. Without shoes, without food, and without the means of obtaining either—a long journey before him through a deep and trackless wilderness-it may be well imagined that his mind was not cheered by the most agreeable anticipations. But without pausing to indulge unnecessarily his thick-coming fancies,' he commenced his solitary journey, directing his course along the eastern lake shore toward Albany. During the first four days of his progress he subsisted entirely upon the bark of the
His feet were by this time cruelly cut, bruised, and torn by thorns, briars, and stones; and while he could scarcely proceed by reason of their soreness, hunger and fatigue united to retard his cheerless march. On the fifth day his miseries were augmented by the hungry swarms of musquitoes, which settled upon him in clouds while traversing a swamp. On the same day he fell upon the nest of a black duck—the duck sitting quietly upon her eggs until he came up and caught her. The bird was no sooner deprived of her life and her feathers, than he devoured the whole, including the head and feet. The eggs were nine in number, which Sammons took with him; but on opening one, he found a little half-made duckling, already alive. Against such food his stomach revolted, and he was obliged to throw the eggs away.
"On the tenth day he came to a small lake. His feet were now in such a horrible state, that he could scarcely crawl along. Finding a mitigation of pain by bathing them in water, he plunged his feet into the lake, and lay down upon its margin. For a time it seemed as though he could never rise upon his feet again. Worn down by hunger and fatigue-bruised in body and wounded in spirit-in a lone wilderness, with no eye to pity and no human arm to protect-he felt as though he must remain in that spot until it should please God in his goodness to quench the dim spark of life that remained. Still he was comforted in some measure by the thought that he was in the hands of a being without whose knowledge not a sparrow falls to the ground.
"Refreshed, at length, though to a trifling degree, he resumed his weary way, when, on raising his right leg over the trunk of a fallen tree, he was bitten in the calf by a rattlesnake! Quick as a flash, with his pocket-knife he made an incision in his leg, removing the wounded flesh to a greater depth than the fangs of the serpent had penetrated. His next business was to kill the venomous reptile, and dress it for eating; thus appropriating the enemy that had sought to take his life to its prolongation. His first meal was made from the heart and fat of the serpent. Feeling somewhat strengthened by the repast, and finding, moreover, that he could not travel farther in his present condition, he determined to remain where he was for a few days, and by repose, and feeding upon the body of the snake, recruit his strength. Discovering, also, a dry fungus upon the trunk of a maple-tree, he succeeded in striking a fire, by which his comforts were essentially increased. Still he was obliged to creep upon his hands and knees to gather fuel, and on the third day he was yet in such a state of exhaustion as to be utterly unable to proceed. Supposing that death was inevitable and very near, he crawled to the foot of a tree, upon the bark of which he commenced inscribing his name-in the expectation that he should leave his bones there, and in the hope that, in some way, by the aid of the inscription, his family might ultimately be apprised of his fate. While engaged in this sad work, a cloud of painful thoughts crowded upon his mind; the tears involuntarily stole down his cheeks; and before he had completed the melancholy task, he fell asleep.
"On the fourth day of his residence at this place, he began to gain strength, and as a part of the serpent yet remained, he determined upon another effort to resume his journey. But he could not do so without devising some substitute for shoes. For this purpose he cut up his hat and waistcoat, binding them upon his feet-and thus he hobbled along. On the following night, while lying in the woods, he became strongly impressed with a belief that he was not far distant from a human habitation. He had seen no indications of proximity to the abode of man; but he was, nevertheless, so confident of the fact, that he wept for joy. Buoyed up and strengthened by this impression, he resumed his journey on the following morning; and in the afternoon, it being the 28th of June, he reached a house in the town of Pittsford, in the New Hampshire grants-now forming the state of Vermont. He remained there for several days, both to recruit his health, and, if possible, to gain intelligence of his brother. But no tidings came; and as he knew Frederick to be a capital woodsman, he of course concluded that sickness, death, or re-capture, must have interrupted his journey. Procuring a conveyance at Pittsford, Jacob travelled to Albany, and thence to Schenectady, where he had the happiness of finding his wife and family."
The adventures of his brother, Frederick Sammons, were even more varied and singular. They shall be given in our next Number.
THE SMUGGLER A TALE OF THE SEA.
"Mama, mama, the Seadrift's coming in! I see papa! exclaimed Harry in his sleep.
"Do you, my boy?" asked the smuggler, in the soft tone of a parent.
"Yes, that I do!' said the boy, stretching forth his arms; "look, mama-there he is!" and suddenly awoke by his energy, he started at the objects around him, for they were not familiar to his eye; but the paternal embrace of the smuggler soon restored the poor boy to the consciousness of the rock ng vessel in which he was cradled, and he again fell back on the bed, overcome by the dizzy sickness under which he was suffering.
THE morning which dawned with such singular brilliancy on the frigate found the little Seadrift rolling about in the Channel, a considerable distance from the land; for she had had what the smuggler called a glorious run during the night. Her sails, which had done her good service when the gale blew, now hung helplessly from the yards, flapping backward and forward with the reciprocal motion which the vessel gave them. The smuggler, who seldom took off his clothes from the time of his departure until he had run his cargo, had already plunged his head into a bucket of seawater, and was vigorously scrubbing himself with a very coarse canvas towel, when poor Harry made his appearance up the companion-hatch, looking as all people look, whether male or female, when under the infliction of sea-sickness, pitiably pale and wretchedly miserable. Harry made a desperate effort to grasp the tiller-enced in those matters. On the other hand, I once knew an rope; but the vessel at that moment gave a tremendous lurchthe poor little fellow lost his feeble hold, and rolled into the leescuppers, overcome by that horrid dizziness familiar to the minds of steam-packet voyagers.
"Hallo! Harry, my lad!" shouted the smuggler; "why you haven't got your sea-legs aboard this morning. Come, rouse up, you young dog; you'll be a man now afore your mother, if you do but look sharp. Nelson, they say, was always sea-sick when he first put out of port."
Ay, master," replied the old helmsman, who had lashed the tiller and hastened to Harry's relief; "but Nelson didn't lie in the lee-scuppers every time he put out on a cruise, with his precious skull fractured, like this poor boy."
The smuggler was at Harry's side in an instant, and bore him down to the cabin; for he was insensible. The application of restoratives soon recovered him; a little adhesive plaster covered the slight wound which the helmsman called a fracture; and the smuggler returned to his canvas towel and bucket of sea-water.
A light breeze had now sprung up, which the already wet canvas soon caught, and steadied the vessel as she crept gently through the water.
"Them 'ere men-of-war's men don't keep their skylights open," observed the helmsman, " or they'd have disturbed our rest last night, master."
"Ay, that they would," said the smuggler; "for they were closer to the little Seadrift than she bargained for."
"Closer!" responded the helmsman; "why, bless your heart, master, they were almost within boat-hook's length of us. could have jerked a biscuit on board as easy as I'd turn the quid in my mouth.'
"She was so close as that-was she?" inquired the smuggler. "Close!" echoed the helmsman; "why, the sleepy lubbers need only have put their helm down when first we saw them on our lee-bow, and they'd have shot aboard us afore you could have said Jack Robinson.'"
"Ay, but you kept all quiet, Jack-didn't you?" asked the smuggler.
"Very well," said the smuggler, ordering the helmsman a strong nor'wester. "Go you to your berth, and sleep that off. We sha'nt want you until the dogwatch; and as we near the land, we'll lower our sails for the night-the cruisers may be about."
"Well, master," observed the helmsman, as he hitched up his trousers over his hips, "only let's have fair play-a good rattling breeze, plenty of sea-room, and no favour-we'll show them what use the little Seadrift can make of her heels."
The smuggler then descended to his breakfast, and the helmsman to his hammock. The smuggler found Harry lying on his bed; his sleep was feverish, and in his unquiet slumber he spoke of home. The hardy smuggler bent over the sleeping boy with an anxious expression of sympathy. He lay partly on his left side, with his face towards the light; his left arm was bent under his cheek, and formed a substitute for a pillow, and his hair fell in ringlets over his pale forehead. The smuggler continued in the same position, gazing stedfastly on the face of the sleeping child.
Sailors are proverbial for the accuracy of their predictions respecting the weather, and well they may be, for it forms an essential feature in their nautical acquirements. I have known a pilot on the western coast of England foretel a storm, when there was but a single speck visible in the horizon, so small and insignificant as to escape the casual notice of persons less experiinstance-I rejoice to say, but one of the kind,-wherein a gallant young officer was dismissed from the naval service of his country, and thrown friendless on the sympathy of the world, at the moment he expected his well-earned promotion, because he miscalculated the force of a sudden gust of wind, which, unfortunately for him-poor fellow!-carried the foretop-mast over the vessel's side. In this casualty, as the result was unfavourable, the delinquency was punished.
The aspect of the weather had undergone a total change when the captain of the frigate, in all the majesty of his official dignity, ascended the companion-ladder that morning. The vapour which hung sullenly over the earth gradually melted away into a broad circle, and settled in the form of a dark impenetrable wall on the extreme verge of the horizon. The distant objects which nature had before so distinctly pencilled in the wild landscape, were now. obscured by the heavy fog bank, whilst the sky overhead was as bright and as clear as the brilliant sun could make it; so that the vessel lay, as it were, in a large basin surrounded by a circular barrier, which, closing in gradually upon all sides, soon united into a cold drizzling mist, which was not dispelled until the sun had crossed the meridian.
The mist had scarcely dispersed when the captain again made his appearance on deck, and as he anxiously swept the horizon with one of Dollond's best telescopes, he called for the youngster of the watch, and sent him for the first lieutenant and the master, both of whom were discussing the merits of a glass of grog, when the squeaking voice of the little middy summoned them to the august presence of their commander.
In those days a captain of a frigate was a great man. "Well, Mr. Logship," asked the captain, addressing the master," what think you of the weather?"
"Fine, sir," answered Logship, "very fine; the haze beyond," pointing to the fog which still lingered in the offing, "is all for heat. We shall have the sea-breeze creeping along the water, like a shoal of young mackerel, presently."
"I hope so," said the captain, thoughtfully, "for the glass is falling."
The idlers-and, to enlighten the reader, I mean by that term the fat surgeon, the lean purser, and the non-descript marine officers-were projecting an excursion amongst the huts of the wild natives, when the skipper made his appearance. "There's something in the wind," observed the surgeon in a subdued tone; "I know it by the bristly hairs on the tip of the skipper's smelling-bottle; for they always project at right angles with the mizen-mast when his mind is anxious. I don't see much chance of your getting on shore to-day."
This announcement lengthened the visage of the marine officers; the last of the wardroom stock had been consumed a week before, and the officers were now upon their scanty ship's allowance. They had had a surfeit of lobscouse and dog's-body; and the portly doctor was urging the first lieutenant to press the necessity of sending on shore for a supply of water, or holystones and sand, or, in fact, for anything his ingenuity could suggest as being required for the use of his Majesty, when the captain again made his appearance.
"What cable have we out, Mr. Logship?" he abruptly demanded, casting his anxious eye along the rocky boundary of the roadstead, against which the surf was still breaking with a hollow kind of noise, although the sea was as calm as a millpond.
"Half a cable on the best bower, sir," answered the master. "I don't know what to make of it," observed the commander, with a perplexed air and in an under-tone, as if speaking to him