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to hide my head under her apron, I found yours there already, and you quite as cold and trembling as I was.'
"I don't believe," rejoined David, "that Dutch Teeny could tell you any worse than I and my sisters was told by Black Katy, when she talked to us of the things that kept about her old mistress's plantation in Virginy. Well, Master Loomis never mentioned witches and ghosts to us; but I've heard mother and the neighbour-women say that there was certainly something strange about him, for he often seemed as if he were seeking for sperits to appear. When he boarded at our house he used to go off after supper, and rove about in the dark woods where the dead Indians walk; and in moonlight nights he would often stroll to grave-yards all alone by himself, and he has been known even to sit on graves. I dare say that book is full of his own written-down experience of the sperits he has met with."
The four comrades had now reached the ruinous and deserted stable, which was long since superseded by a better one, adjoining to the new barn. The floor of the old stable had been several times cleaned up by the boys, and they had furnished it with slabs by way of seats. It was now the favourite rendezvous of Harman and Stacey Brooks, and their neighbouring companions, for confabulations and other amusements.
Harman having seated himself on one of the slabs, his comrades, with earnest faces, placed themselves near him to listen to the ghost-book, while the shadowy light of the afternoon sun streamed in at a large aperture in the dismantled roof.
"If Master Loomis has put a moral at the fore part," said Stacey, "just pass it over, and get on at once with the story." "You needn't tell me that," replied Harman; but the beginning of this book seems to be tore out, for the first leaf has the figure of five on its corner; and if much of the story is missing, it will be pretty hard to make sense of the rest."
Any how we can but try," observed Caleb Rowan, "half a loaf's better than no bread."
Harman Brooks cleared his throat three times, (his audience sympathetically repeating the ceremony,) and having cleared his vision also by rubbing his hand over his forehead and eyes, he "made a commencement of the manuscript, in a slow and sonorous voice, more remarkable for its power than its modulation.
"It was now the third night of my residence in my new abode. On the two first I had slept soundly till morning, notwithstanding the mysterious closet with the nailed-up door, and the hints of my hostess that I might possibly be disturbed by unaccountable visitants. The third night came, and though I had sat talking in the porch with the family till an unusually late hour for the habits of a farm-house, I felt no inclination to sleep on retiring to my room. After taking off my jacket, I seated myself at the open window, where a soft breeze blew refreshingly upon my forehead, and I looked out upon the moonlight, and meditated on my childhood's home in the green mountains of Vermont, and upon the wayward destiny which had compelled me to begin the world in the humble capacity of a country schoolmaster. The scene from my window reminded me of one I had long been familiar with from the back of my father's house. There was the narrow valley through which a stream ran murmuring over a bed of stones, its mimic cascades glittering in the moonbeams, that tipped with silver all the fruittree tops' of the old orchard on the hill-side; and beyond rose the dark forest that is always one feature in the scenery of our country. Lost in contemplation of the past and the present, drowsiness insensibly stole upon me-my perceptions became indistinct; and, reclining my head on the broad ledge of the casement, I unconsciously sunk into a slumber.
"I know not how long I slept, but I awoke suddenly; and it seemed to me that something was leaning over my shoulder, with its face close to mine. I started and turned my head. There was nothing near me. It must have been the commencement of a dream,' thought I. Feeling that a chill had crept upon me, which I was willing to impute to sleeping in the open window, I concluded to go immediately to bed; but, on casting my eyes towards the closet, I found that the door was partly open, rather more so than what is understoood by the term ajar. This much surprised me, and caused me to suppose that it could not have been really nailed up, or that the nails not being driven securely, it had burst open by accident. The moon was now high in heaven, and poured her beams directly in at the window, so that I could see every object distinctly. Determined to examine the contents of the closet, (which was large, deep, and run far under a staircase,) I approached it, and attempted to open the door wider. To my amazement I could not move it, either to shut or to open, farther
than I found it. There seemed to be something holding it on the inside; yet, as curiosity overpowered every other feeling, I looked in as far as could, and saw only a dark void; I put in my hand and felt all about, but nothing met my touch.
"Still, I was more perplexed than terrified; and, but for the fear of alarming the family, I would have gone down stairs to obtain a light, and endeavour to discover who or what was in the closet. Wearied with conjecture, I lay down in the bed, but it was only to think over all I had ever heard of the return of apparitions from the world of spirits. I found it impossible to go to sleep. I could not withdraw my eyes from the closet-door, expecting every moment to see something issue from it; and I watched till the setting of the moon left the room in obscurity. But in a clear American night the darkness is never so intense as to make it impossible, with the assistance of an open window, to have some idea of the position of whatever objects may be in the apartment. While thus I lay awake and musing, something passed before me, and seemed to go into the dark closet. Is it possible,' thought I, 'that this being, whatever it may be, has been in the room with me, and about me all night, without my seeing it?'
"The dark hour which precedes the first indications of daybreak seemed to linger on immeasurably. I looked towards the window, and I thought the morning would never come. At last I perceived that the stars were fading in the dim gray atmosphere of early dawn. I turned my eyes again towards the closet, and there was light enough for me to see that the door was shut. I rose to examine it, and found it nailed fast."
"It is our house!-it is our closet!—and I will never go to bed again!" exclaimed David Gleason, his utterance hoarse and broken with terror, and his face looking paler every moment. "David, don't interrupt me," said Harman Brooks, in a somewhat tremulous voice, 66 there is considerable to read yet, and I want to get through before dark." He then proceeded as follows, first remarking that just in this place a leaf was missing.
"While the family were finishing their breakfast, I took an opportunity (having hurried through mine) to get a claw-hammer, and take it into my room to draw out the nails from the door of the closet, which I then entered. Even in broad daylight it was gloomy, and the low deep recess running under the stairs was quite dark. Having brought with me a lighted candle, I examined the place to its utmost corner, but found nothing; all its tangible contents, even to the shelves and pegs, having evidently been removed before the door was nailed up. But the floor and a part of the wall were certainly splashed with something that looked like blood.
"I blew out the candle, replaced the nails, and went about the business of the day as usual; though, I must confess, my thoughts dwelt much on the preceding night, and on the night that was to come. I resolved on burning a light, and sitting up till morning. For this purpose I placed myself at my table with a book, though in too much perturbation to comprehend much of its contents. Still I read, and pondered, and gazed around during two long hours, and then, on consulting my watch for the twentieth time, I found it was exactly twelve. At that moment my lamp went out, and I hastened to bed by the light of the moon, where sleep soon overcame me, and I slumbered undisturbed till sunrise. To be brief, a week passed on, the door of the dark closet remained fast, and I had no further molestation from my shadowy visiter. "By cautiously leading to the subject when no others of the family were near, I learned from the worthy farmer who was my present host-"
"He means father," interrupted David Gleason.
"Hush, David," said Harman Brooks-" to be sure he does ; it's your house, and no other, that he found ha'nted-that's as clear as preachin'-but where was I? Oh! here's the place
"I learned from the worthy farmer who was my present host, that there was a tradition of a murder having been committed somewhere in the neighbourhood about fifty or sixty years before he came to live in it; but that as all the people who resided there at that time were either dead or gone off to the new settlements, or had been little children at the eventful period, the story, never a very clear one, was now so involved in obscurity, from the contradictions and discrepancies which had gathered about it, that nobody could exactly tell in which house the murder had taken place, who the sufferer was, or where the body had been interred. No one was willing to acknowledge openly that their house was haunted, and yet it was whispered that at times in several of the neighbouring dwellings, and indeed in the country round, sounds were heard and sights were seen. At all events there seemed to be a general impression that there had been a murder, and that there was a
ghost. With regard to the dark closet, my host informed me that he had found it nailed up when he first came into possession of the house; and that it had been judged best to allow it to remain so, particularly as it could be dispensed with for use, there being another closet beside the fire-place and facing the window, smaller it is true, but light and cheerful-looking. As no member of the family liked to sleep in this room, it was appropriated to strangers, none of whom had ever made any complaint about it.
"I now felt a presentiment that it was my destiny to unravel the history of this mysterious murder; and my mind became filled with images of death, and with conjectures on the possibility of disembodied spirits continuing to linger about the precincts of the living world. Often, after night, I found a strange pleasure in rambling alone through the dark woods; and once the steps of some unknown being appeared to follow fast at my back; and when at last I turned my head to see what it was, I found it no longer behind me, but close at my side. Its figure was shrouded in something of indistinct form; and of what seemed its face I could distinguish no feature but eyes, such as I dared not look on for an instant. I hurried through the wood-path, the thing still walking beside me. When I gained an opening in the forest, it was no longer there. Sometimes the state of strange excitement in which I found myself led me to visit the lone churchyard.' Was it imagination, that one night, when the moon was shining down on the graves, and on the few old trees that shaded them, I saw a ghostly figure in the white habiliments of the dead, leaning its elbows on one of the tall tombstones; its pallid face resting on its hands, and look ing like marble in the moonlight; and its hollow eyes gazing stedfastly upon me? My first impulse was to run away in horror, but after a few steps I paused and rallied my courage to turn back and approach the apparition. I did so, and as I advanced it seemed to go down into the grave. When I came to the place-there was nothing.
your house, Stacey, he came to ours; and that was his last; for as soon as his time was out, he went away with the painter-man, leaving a whole hearth-full of old papers in the chimney-place of his room ;-and that bit of a book must have been among the rest of the rubbish-but go on, Harman-though I'm a'most afeard to hear the rest."
"There are some more leaves out here," said Harman, "however, I'll go on with what there is :—
"On the premises of my new host were the remains of an old structure which had been used as a stable at the time of the old house, some vestiges of which were yet apparent in its immediate vicinity. All the new buildings had been erected on the other side of the farm; and though it stood near the road-side, and the trees had grown up about it, the ancient stable had a remote and lonely aspect. [The boys looked at each other.] One Saturday afternoon I had retired to this place to enjoy uninterruptedly a new book, and twilight came upon me before I was aware. Desirous of finishing it, I held up the volume so as to catch the last gleam of light as it came faint and gray through a chasm in the roof. [The boys all looked towards the chasm.] My whole attention was absorbed in the concluding pages of my book; and when I could read no more, I sat with it open in my hand, and pondered on its contents till the gloom of night gathered fast around me. Suddenly I was startled by a strange and unearthly sound that seemed to proceed from a dark corner behind me. I listened-and I heard it again-but it seemed nearer than before. And now I must pause till I gain nerve to relate what followedfor the cold damp is settling on my brow-the pen is trembling in my hand as I write the horrors of my story are coming on."
Affrighted at his own reading, the voice of Harman Brooks now became inaudible. The face of poor David Gleason, which had been turning every moment paler, looked blue round the mouth and eyes; and the two other boys gazed at each other with dilated orbs and parted lips. "We had better go home," said Stacey, looking fearfully round, "this is the very place-the very stable.'
Just then three knocks were heard at the door, and answered by a start and a cry of terror from all the boys. The latch was heavily lifted, and the cry became a scream as they all sprang backward and huddled together, falling on each other." Boys! boys!-what are you afraid of?" exclaimed the voice of their former schoolmaster, Orrin Loomis.
"It is his sperit!" cried Caleb Rowan, "it is his sperit-he is dead-and he has come for his book!"
A fortnight passed, and encountering no farther disturbance from the closet in my room, I had ceased to anticipate it, and retired always to my bed, as if certain of sleeping unmolested till morning. At last, one night, after a slumber of several hours, 1 awoke suddenly with a feeling that there was something in the room. The moon had gone down, and there was no light but that of the stars. Habitually I turned my head towards the haunted closet, and I beheld, with strange distinctness, a face impressed with the awful lineaments of death, looking frightfully out upon me from the half-open door; the rest of the figure being gradually lost in obscurity, except a pale thin hand which was raised as if to beckon me into the gloom. I sat up in my bed, and fixed my eyes upon it. Its gaze was steadfast, thrilling, and unearthly. I felt my blood run cold, and my hair erect itself on my head. Now, indeed, was I terrified. I essayed to speak, but the words died on my lips. I closed my eyes to shut out the appalling vision, and sunk back on my pillow, where I lay and trembled for perhaps an hour. At length I could not refrain from opening my eyes again, for I seemed to feel that it had come out of the closet, and was very near me. There it was, sitting on my bed-close to methe ghostly inhabitant of the grave-the being of another world-country. its dead eyes looking earnestly into mine. I could endure no more-I covered my head, and lay shaking with terror I know not how long, and vainly trying to reason myself into a more courageous frame of mind. When I again ventured to raise my head, the spectre was not there; and on looking round I gladly saw from my window the morning star, outshining all the jewels of the eastern firmament, and heralding the welcome approach of day.
"The day, when it came, brought with it an additional cause of joy, for it was to be the last in the term of my present residence; in which, however, I had resolved that nothing should induce me to pass another night. Still, as, according to arrangement, I was to remove that evening to take my turn of boarding at the next farm, I persevered in refraining to give my worthy host and his kind family the slightest hint of the apparition that had haunted my apartment. After school I removed to my next quarters, a gay, cheerful, new house, which, as yet, had never been visited by death or suffering."
"That must be our house," said Stacey Brooks, "David Gleason, don't you remember that Master Loomis came straight from your house to ours?"
David Gleason, gradually overcome with horror at the idea of the haunted closet being within the walls of his own dwelling, was now incapable of remembering anything else: and he merely stared at Stacey Brooks, and made no reply.
"I remember, very well," said Caleb Rowan, "that from
Mr. Loomis had some difficulty in convincing his quondam pupils that it was himself in flesh and blood; and great was their joy at seeing him again as a living man. Our limits will only allow us space to inform our readers that on leaving the neighbourhood to seek for a better fortune in one of the large cities, he had been so successful as to obtain a large and profitable school. He continued to prosper, and he had recently been appointed to a professorship in one of the western colleges. He was now on his way thither, and had gone a little out of his road for the purpose of spending a day or two among his old friends in this part of the On passing the ancient stable, he was struck with the voice of Harman Brooks reading something which he soon recognised as the rough copy of a tale, in writing which he had amused some of his leisure hours, intending it for one of the periodicals of the day; but accidentally losing the fair copy afterwards, it had never been given to the public. So, tying his horse to a tree, he had come upon the boys as before related. And greatly indeed were they relieved and delighted when he convinced them that the whole narrative of what they called the ghost-book was an entire fiction; nothing concerning the supposed apparitions having ever existed except in his own invention.
All the four boys accompanied Mr. Loomis to the house of Barzillai Brooks, the father of Harman and Stacey, where he was received by the family with great cordiality. He passed the evening there, and took occasion to discourse so sensibly on the absurdity of believing in the return of departed spirits, that every boy felt as if he could never again entertain the slightest apprehension of seeing a ghost. To make all sure with David Gleason, Mr. Loomis kindly volunteered to go home with him, and to sleep quietly that night in his old chamber with the memorable closet. And this feat he accomplished to the satisfaction of the whole household; first drawing out the nails in their presence, then entering its deep recess, and staying there alone more than ten minutes; and lastly setting the door wide open for the night.
He took care, however, before he pursued his journey, to have the ghost-book restored to him.
of the army. Reader, you may believe me when I assure you, that at this critical juncture, everything else was forgotten in the enthusiasm of the moment, except the contemplation of the honourable post confided to me. 'What!' thought I, I, a youth, at the head of an Indian army! I began to think it presumption, when so many more experienced soldiers filled the ranks behind. I thought that every eye was upon me, and I did not regret the pitchy darkness of the night, which hid my blushing
countenance. All was still as the grave, when I distinctly heard somebody call, Sergeant Shipp!' This was Lieut.-Colonel Salkeld, adjutant-general of the army, who brought with him a gollandauze, who had deserted from the fort, and who, for filthy lucre, was willing to betray his countrymen. This man was handed over to me, he having undertaken to lead me to the breach. If he attempted to deceive me, or to run from me, I had positive orders to shoot him; consequently, I kept a sharp look-out on him. We then, in solemn silence, marched down to the trenches, and remained there about half an hour, when we marched to the attack in open columns of sections,-the two flank companies of the 22nd leading, supported by the 75th and 76th European regiments, and other native infantry. I took the precaution of tying a rope round the wrist of my guide, that he might not escape; for firing at him at that moment would have alarmed the fort. Not a word was to be heard; but the cannon's rattling drowned many a deep-drawn sigh, from many as brave a heart.
"I have heard some men say that they would as soon fight as eat their breakfasts, and others, that theydearly loved fighting.' If this were true, what blood-thirsty dogs they must be! But I should be almost illiberal enough to suspect these boasters of not possessing even ordinary courage. I will not, however, go so far as positively to assert this, but will content myself by asking these terrific soldiers to account to me why, some hours previously to storming a fort, or fighting a battle, are men pensive, thoughtful, heavy, restless, weighed down with apparent solicitude and care? Why do men on these occasions more fervently beseech the divine protection and guidance to save them in the approaching conflict? Are not all these feelings the result of reflection, and of man's regard for his dearest care-his life, which no mortal will part with if he can avoid it? There are periods in war which put man's courage to a severe test: if, for instance, as was my case, I knew I was to lead a forlorn hope on the following evening, innumerable "I was well supported, having my own two companies behind ideas will rush in quick succession on the mind; such as, 'for Colonel Maitland, of his Majesty's 76th Regiment, comaught my poor and narrow comprehension can tell, I may to- manded this storming party, and brave little Major Archibald morrow be summoned before my Maker.' How have I spent Campbell his corps. The former officer came in front to me, and the life he has been pleased to preserve to this period? can I meet pointed out the road to glory; but, observing the Native whom I that just tribunal? A man, situated as I have supposed, who had in charge, he asked who he was, and, on being informed, said, did not, even amid the cannon's roar and the din of war, experience We can find the way without him; let him go about his busi. anxieties approaching to what I have described, may, by possibi-ness.' lity, have the courage of a lion, but he cannot possess the feelings of a man. In action man is quite another being: the softer feelings of the roused heart are absorbed in the vortex of danger and the necessity for self-preservation, and give place to others more adapted to the occasion. In these moments there is an indescribable elation of spirits; the soul rises above its wonted serenity into a kind of frenzied apathy to the scene before you, a heroism bordering on ferocity; the nerves become tight and contracted; the eye full and open, moving quickly in its socket, with almost maniac wildness; the head is in constant motion; the nostril extended wide; and the mouth apparently gasping. If an artist could truly delineate the features of a soldier in the battle's heat, and compare them with the lineaments of the same man in the peaceful calm of domestic life, they would be found to be two different portraits; but a sketch of this kind is not within the power of art, for in action the countenance varies with the battle; as the battle brightens, so does the countenance; and, as it lowers, so the countenance becomes gloomy. I have known some men drink enormous quantities of spirituous liquors when going into action, to drive away little intruding thoughts, and to create false spirits; but these are as short-lived as the ephemera that struggles but a moment on the crystal stream,-then dies. If a man have not natural courage, he may rest assured that liquor will deaden and destroy the little he may possess.
"I slept soundly, and early in the morning commenced cleaning and new-flinting my musket, and pointing my bayonet, that it might find its way through the thick cotton-stuffed coats of our enemies. All Mussulmen soldiers wear these coats during winter. The cotton is about two inches thick, and the coats are worn rather loose, so that you can with difficulty cut through them; and I am persuaded that many of them are ball-proof, and that bayonets and spears are the only weapons against them. In the course of the day I walked down to the batteries, to well ascertain the road I had to take to the breaches. Our batteries continued, with unabated exertions, to knock off the defences; and every thing, from appearances, seemed calculated to insure complete success. My heart was all alive this day, and I wished for the sombre garments of night. This was the 9th day of January, 1805. The greatest secrecy was observed as to the storming party; no general orders were issued, nor was there any stir or bustle till the hour appointed,-nine o'clock. Orders and arrangements were communicated to officers commanding regiments and companies, and in the same private manner conveyed to us. The gun fired as usual at eight o'clock. This was the signal to move out. I kissed and took leave of my favourite pony Apple, and dog Wolf; and I went to my post at the head of the column, with my little band of heroes, twelve volunteers from the different corps
I remonstrated, and repeated to him the instructions I had received; but his answer was, I don't care; if you don't obey my orders, I will send you to the rear.' I did obey, and on we moved to the attack. Immediately behind me were pioneers, carrying gabions and fascines to fill up any cavities we might meet with. The enemy did not discover our approach till within fifty paces of the ditch, when a tremendous cannonade and peals of musketry commenced; rockets were flying in all directions; blue lights were hoisted; and the fort seemed convulsed to its very foundation. Its ramparts seemed like some great volcano vomiting tremendous volumes of fiery matter; the roaring of the great guns shook the earth beneath our feet; their small arms seemed like the rolling of ten thousand drums; and their war-trumpets rent the air asunder. Men were seen skipping along the lighted ramparts, as busy as emmets collecting stores for the dreary days of winter. The scene was awfully grand, and must have been sublimely beautiful to the distant spectator.
"We pushed on at speed; but were soon obliged to halt. A ditch, about twenty yards wide, and four or five deep, branched off from the main trench. This ditch formed a small island, on which were posted a strong party of the enemy, with two guns. Their fire was well directed, and the front of our column suffered severely. The fascines and gabions were thrown in ; but they were as a drop of water in the mighty deep. The fire became hotter, and my little band of heroes plunged into the water, followed by our two companies, and part of the 75th Regiment. The middle of the column broke off, and got too far down to the left; but we soon cleared the little island. At this time Colonel Maitland and Major Campbell joined me, with our brave officers of the two companies, and many of the other corps. I proposed following the fugitives; but our duty was to gain the breach, our orders being confined to that object. We did gain it; but imagine our surprise and consternation, when we found a perpendicular curtain going down to the water's edge, and no footing, except on pieces of trees and stones that had fallen from above. This could not bear more than three men abreast, and if they slipped (which many did), a watery grave awaited them, for the water was extremely deep here. Close on our right was a large bastion, which the enemy had judiciously hung with dead underwood. This was fired, and it threw such a light upon the breach, that it was as clear as noonday. They soon got guns to bear on us, and the first shot (which was grape) shot Colonel Maitland dead, wounded Major Campbell in the hip or leg, me in the right shoulder, and completely cleared the remaining few of my little party. We had at that moment reached the top of the breach, not more (as I before stated) than three abreast, when we found that the enemy had completely repaired that part, by driving in large pieces of wood, stakes, stones, bushes, and pointed bamboos, through the
crevices of which was a mass of spears jobbing diagonally, which seemed to move by mechanism. Such was the footing we had, that it was utterly impossible to approach these formidable weapons; meantime, small spears or darts were burled at us; and stones, lumps of wood, stink-pots, and bundles of lighted straw, thrown upon us. In the midst of this tumult, I got one of my legs through a hole, so that I could see into the interior of the fort. The people were like a swarm of bees. In a moment I felt something seize my foot: I pulled with all my might, and at last succeeded in disengaging my leg, but leaving my boot behind me. Our establishing ourselves on this breach in sufficient force to dislodge this mass of spearsmen was physically impossible. Our poor fellows were mowed down like corn-fields, without the slightest hope of success. The rear of the column suffered much, as they were within range of the enemy's shot. A retreat was ordered, and we were again obliged to take to the water; and many a poor wounded soldier lost his life in this attempt. Not one of our officers escaped without being wounded, and Lieutenant Cresswell was almost cut to pieces. He, I believe, still lives in England; and, should this little history fall into his hands, he will read these events with as much regret as the narrator writes them. We, as may be supposed, returned almost broken-hearted at this our first failure in India. Our loss was a melancholy one, and the conviction that the poor wounded fellows we were compelled to leave behind would be barbarously massacred, incited our brave boys to beg a second attempt. This was denied: had it been granted, it must infallibly have proved abortive; for there was, literally, no breach. The disastrous issue of our attack caused the enemy to exult exceedingly; and the shouting and roaring that followed our retreat were daggers in the souls of our wounded and disappointed soldiers, who were with difficulty restrained from again rushing to the breach. I found that I had received a spearwound in the right finger, and several little scratches from the combustibles they fired at us. Pieces of copper coin, as well as of iron, stone, and glass, were extracted from the wounds of those who were fortunate enough to escape. We were in the course of the night relieved, and went to our lines to brood over our misfortunes."
THE EIDER DUCK.
THE principal spots in Faxèfiord (in Iceland) on which they breed are Vidoe and Engoe, two pleasant islands in sight of Keikiavik; a third and smaller one, called Ephersoe, would also be tenanted by these birds, were it not at low water accessible to foxes and dogs by a reef, which is dry at spring tides, and forms the principal protection to the harbour.
Vidoe is interesting as being the place from whence all the literature of the country is disseminated, for it contains the only printing-press now existing in Iceland.
The whole of the hill to the west was strewn with nests of ducks. So much do these interesting birds feel their security at Vidoe, that five of them had chosen as their location the ground under a narrow bench that runs along the windows of the house; and so perfectly fearless were they, that without moving away they would peck at the hand that disturbed them. The rising ground is particularly favourable for the birds to build on, being covered with hollows and inequalities that serve to protect them from the weather, and only requires the addition of down to convert them into nests. The drakes are easily known by their white and black plumage; but the dark hue of the females makes it difficult to distinguish them from the holes in which they sit. Owing to their lying close, I have frequently trodden on them without their warning me of their presence till the mischief was done. The drakes, though by no means wild, will not allow themselves to be handled as freely as the ducks, and mostly keep together on the top of the hill.
eggs, but they are not so strong as to prevent their being made into omelettes.
The average quantity of down obtained from these nests is halfa-pound, so mixed with grass and foreign matter that forty pounds in that state are reduced to fifteen after it has been thoroughly cleaned. Vidoe and Engoe together produce, I believe, about three hundred pounds' weight yearly, which would, if the above calculation is correct, make the number of ducks that come to these two places fall not far short of ten thousand every year. The number, however, that breed in Faxèfiord is small, compared to those that bend their course to Breidefiord. The innumerable little islands that fill that bay afford ample shelter and security to Eider ducks, who seem to avoid nothing so much as any place accessible to foxes. These cunning animals are particularly fond of their eggs; but, though we will give them all credit for ingenuity in getting at them, we can hardly put much faith in the story told about them by the Danish travellers Olavson and Paulson. When, say they, the Icelandic foxes have detected any crows' eggs in an inaccessible place, they take one another's tails in their mouths, and form a string of sufficient length to reach the nest, and let one end of it over the rock. They have, however, forgotten to tell us how the eggs are passed up by these craftiest of Reynards.
The separation of the down from the grosser feathers and straws occupies the women during winter. It is then thoroughly divested of particles too minute for the hand to remove, by being heated in pans and winnowed like wheat. Should it become matted and dead, it is again subjected to a brisk heat, which restores its original elasticity, and increases its bulk. As in the case of ostriches, the down taken after death is inferior to that which the living duck tears from its breast, which prevents their destruction through wantonness. They are besides protected by the law, which punishes the shooting of them by a pecuniary penalty, and the forfeiture of the weapon used. Nor are guns allowed to be fired in the neighbourhood during their sojourn; and even the corvette that brought the prince abstained in the spring from saluting him.-Dillon's Winter in Iceland and Lapland.
MISER AND NO MISER.
WHEN Matthew Robinson of Horton, second Lord Rokeby, took possession of Horton (about 1745) he laid down a plan of life peculiar to himself. He resolved to be shackled by no ceremonies, but to pass his days in independence, according to what it seemed to him that nature had pointed out: he kept no carriage, he never mounted a horse, he allowed no liveries to his servants; but his housekeeping was bountiful, and his hospitality generous and large. He was a resolute and unbending whig, formed on the principles of Algernon Sydney and Locke, and he carried his arguments much farther than in those days the people were accustomed to. Accustomed to think only for himself, he sometimes indulged in crude ideas, and his style was inelegant and harsh. He carried his hatred of the artificial through everything; he took down his garden walls, and let his hedges drop, that his herds and flocks might have their full range. He hated the plough, and let his arable fields run to natural grass, so that his park became very large and picturesque merely by letting it alone: he was skilful in the management of cattle, and, as his land was rich, his stock was fat and profitable.
He had some strange notions about money, and rarely put it out at interest. He kept a sum of money in gold for above fifty years, in chests, in his house, which at compound interest would have accumulated to 100,0007.; and he had at his death above 20,0007. lying in the hands of different bankers, of which a great part had lain there for many years; he had also money in many of the continental banks. He had no faith in the public funds, and always predicted that they would break; a prediction which he contended was fulfilled when the bank was restricted from cash payments in 1797; yet it was not very reasonable to fear the national bank, and trust private banks. It must be admitted that he entertained some crotchets in his head.
As soon as a nest is completed, it is usual to remove the greater part of the down while the bird is away feeding; and this operation is repeated a second, and occasionally a third time. On her return the bird makes up the deficiency thus created by stripping His clothes were plain to a degree that many would call mean; her own breast; and when her stock is exhausted she calls on her and latterly he let his white beard grow down to his waist. He mate to add his portion, which will bear no comparison to the was a great walker, and stalked along with his staff like an aged sacrifice she has made. The same sort of spoliation is practised peasant. His voice was loud, but his manners were courteous: with regard to the eggs, care being taken that three or four are and he knew the world well. He was sagacious, manly, and unleft; for should the bird on her return find the nest empty she will compromising; he had a great contempt for provincial importdesert it, and not breed again the same season. About six, considera-ance, and therefore was not in great favour with some of the neighbly larger than those of tame ducks, and of a light green colour, are found in each nest. Their flavour is very inferior to that of hens'
bouring gentry, who knew not how to estimate that dignity of mind which despised those outward trappings of superiority on
which they prided themselves. By the yeomanry and peasantry he was adored as their protector and benefactor.
He was a great reader-but not works of imagination; his taste turned to politics, voyages, and travels. As he loved plainness, so he did not relish the more refined parts of literature. He was the reverse of his father, who was never happy out of the high and polished society and clubs of London, and thought a country life a perfect misery. The father and son were not very fond of one another, and each was angry at the other's taste.
In everything Lord Rokeby was manly and straightforward; he had no dark and hidden passion; he was free from the slightest taint of envy or jealousy; he was nobly generous, while he knew the full value of money-so much so as to appear to superficial observers miserly. His very simple and humble dress was mistaken by many for avarice.
When now and then some stranger of rank came into the country, and paid him a visit through curiosity, founded on the absurd rumours of his eccentricities and hermit-life, he was surprised to meet with a man, though singular in his dress, yet a man of the world in his manners and conversation; ready, acute, easy, and full of good sense, with a power of sarcastic dignity which put down the smallest attempt at impertinence or misapprehension.
He retained his faculties to the last; and I believe had enjoyed his earthly being altogether more than any other person I could name. He had an estate in Yorkshire as well as Kent, of which I do not know the exact extent, and of which he never raised the rents; and he might have died immensely rich in personal property if he had made interest of his money.-Autobiography of Sir Egerton Brydges.
THE DREAMER TO HIS DAUGHTER.
BY GEORGE FLETCHER, A COMPOSITOR.
BUT little of thy life, my child, is told;
The future lies before thee-a wild dream; And, like a flower whose petals teem with gold, Thy looks, hope-tinted, greet life's opening beam. Reckless of sorrow, how thy sparkling eyes
In laughter flash-then, mild as even-calm:
Thy voice's gentle music, as the call of Spring,
Those speaking eyes-bright stars in Beauty's sky-
A barque of crime launch'd forth on Folly's stream; And Virtue pale with pity at thy name
Dear child, thou'rt smiling in thy father's face:
Cau guilt inhabit such a gentle frame,
Or thy dear brow wear vice's fearful trace?
Why should I muse upon thine early morn?
A flower, unfolded now, thou art-a sun veil'd by the dawn.
Why should I muse? Thy father yet is young.
To see thy virtue grow with growth of years: A modest, meek, and unassuming maid
The picture, fancy drawn, has woke my tears. Thou might become all that my bursting heart E'er fondly hoped-as good as fair thou art!
Perhaps, blest time, I may, in after days,
See thy dear children round me fondly come: Thou the bright star; and those thy kindred raysThe gentle love-light of a good man's home. Perchance they'll climb their aged grandsire's knee; And pat his cheek; and stroke his time-bleach'd hair. I hear in fancy now their infant glee,
Or, with thy dulcet notes, blending, at vesper-prayer: Thy husband's manly voice joining the swelling hymn: Oh! such a scene is half divine-all portraiture is dim!
Then, sweet the thought, as life's dim shadow flies-
Shall stay behind me, from the tomb of death,
That hope shall cheer me-though my parting breath May bless my wife, yet on thy duteous head, With her sweet love will fall,-a blessing of the dead.
My dream is o'er. Thy mighty will be done,
And be the soul that haunts this infant shrine
Killing oneself is but a false colour of true courage, proceeding of a fear of a farther evil, either of torment or of shame; for if it were not a hopeless respecting of the harm, courage would make one not respect what might be done unto one; and hope being of all other the most contrary to fear, selfkilling being an utter banishment of hope, it seems to receive its ground in fear. Whatever comes out of despair cannot bear the title of valour, which should be lifted up to such a height that, holding all things under itself, it should be able to maintain its greatness, even in the midst of miseries. God has appointed us captains of these our bodily forts, which, without treason to that majesty, are never to be delivered over till they are demanded.- Sir Philip Sydney.
EXTRACTION OF POPE PIUS VII.
A nobleman said, probably forgetting that Mr. Niebuhr himself was not descended from a noble family, "I understand the present pope is not even a man of family. "Oh, as for that," replied Mr. Niebuhr, with a smile, " I have been told that Christ himself was not a man of family; and St. Peter, if I recollect well, was but of very vulgar. Here, in Rome, we don't mind these things."-Lieber's Reminiscences of Niebuhr.
DU VAL, THE HIGHWAYMAN.
This hero having arrested the carriage of a certain knight and his lady, who he knew were travelling with 4007. in their possession, the lady, to show she felt no apprehension, began to play a tune with her flageolet. Du Val very decorously waited until she had finished, and then, being himself an excellent musician, took a flageolet which hung by his side, and played a tune in return; and afterwards stepped up to the carriage, and invited the lady to dance a coranto with him. So reasonable a request could not be refused; she descended, performed the dance, Du Val singing the tune, and was handed back by her partner to the carriage. He then reminded the knight that he had forgot to pay for the music; whereupon the courteous knight presented him with 100., which our hero politely accepted, telling him he would let him off with the other three hundred he had with him.
The two bands of Good-will are Loveliness and Lovingness.-Sir Philip Sidney.
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