« ForrigeFortsæt »
me the horse, and take my gun,” added the hunter hastily; and disencumbering himself from his shooting accoutrements, he vaulted into the saddle of the led horse, and galloped out of sight in a minute. All amazed at this mysterious meeting, “Pray, Sir," said I respectfully to the officer, as he was gathering up the things the hunter had thrown off, “ Who is that?" “ That is the envoy," answered the officer, with an air of dignity. “ But who is the envoy?” replied I, “ What is an envoy? That's not the president, is it?” “ The president,” retorted the officer, with a sneer, “ I believe not--that's an other guess sort of a person—that's the envoy extraordinary.” “But why is he
” extraordinary?” said I. “ Why because," said he. « Because why?” said I. “Why because he is the British ambassador, my master, and the king his master's servant, and I am his servant, and neither he nor I cares a d-n for the president, for the matter of that,” said the officer, and mounting his beast, he trotted away whistling after the other.
« And is it possible, thought I, that that young hunter is the British ambassador, the representative of the great merchant monarch, whose fleet forced the Dardanelles, and threatened to batter down Constantinople.
“With this sort of mental ejaculations I amused myself, strolling along in a different direction from that I had followed at first, and not paying much attention to which way I went, till I came to a thicket, where I was roused from my reverie' by the report of another gun, and looking about, I saw a rabbit, pursued by a couple of dogs in full cry. As I was always fond of the chase, you know, and used often to amuse myself in this way on the hills near Ismir, I joined instinctively in the pursuit, shouted to encourage the dogs, and made the best exertions I could to keep up with them. The rabbit doubled, and made back for the
Just as she was escaping into the thicket, another shot whizzed by my head, and down dropped puss dead at my feet. Casting around for the person from whom it came, I presently descried a gentleman under a large tree, leaning on his fowlingpiece, and calling to the dogs to come in. As I approached him, lie accosted me in Freun, telling me that I ran very well: to
which I answered, also in French, that he shot very well. Being thus mutually introduced by a slight compliment, we entered into conversation about the dogs, the rabbits, the ground, the weather, and a variety of such indifferent subjects, which lasted, I suppose, for half an hour, when a carriage drove up on a road a few paces distant, into which the Frenchman got with his dogs and dead rabbit, and drove away.”
After this unexpected rencontre with the two embassadors, our young Greek, still within the purlicus of the city of Washington, stumbles by accident on a negro-quarter, of which he gives a description in high character. His next adventure is with a party of duellists--Then with a heterogeneous and very riotous concourse of people, assembled to participate in the sports of the turf. This he denominates, in eastern phraseology, the hippodrome, and describes the scene in the style of a master. His picture of the two coursers, however, is greatly distorted and caricatured by foreign prejudice.
Here his evil genius enticed him into a hackney coach, for the purpose of returning with more celerity and less fatigue, to his lodgings. But this ill fated vehicle proved to him the vestibule to a series of disasters, that might have broken down even the elastic spirit of the Knight of La Mancha. As they were jogging homewards, among hundreds of other carriages, horsemen, foot-passengers, chaises, stages and carts, which crossed, dusted and delayed them in a most vexatious manner, they were, all of a sudden, assailed by a tremendous hurricane, surpassing in horrors an Arabian sand storm, which blew carriage, horses, driver, and passengers, off the road into a deep, foul and pestiferous ditch. In this catastrophe, our hapless Athenian was well nigh finishing his earthly peregrination. To use his own language, he was left on the spot, stupified, skinned, with one eye closed up, bruised, mangled, dislocated, and more dead than alive.” Now says he, “ It began to be dark. At any time I should have been perplexed to find my way in 'this desert; but bewildered as my senses were, I got up and moved on, as well as my lameness, blindness and stupefaction would permit, not knowing whither. Night gained on me apace, with all those apprehensions which the stou’est licart might own in an American desert. I fancied
I heard the growling of bears, the howling of wolves, and the hissing of rattle-snakes. The melancholy muck-a-wiss, a bird that delights in the dusk, flickered about my head, a flight of bats flitted round my path, and a legion of moschettoes, a sort of tarantula, whose bite no music will cure, fastened on my face, hands and legs, raw as they were, and unprotected from their venom. After wandering an age of anxious minutes, groaning with my hurts, praying for some relief, and starting at the strange objects that perpetually danced in every possible shape of terror before my remaining eye, of a sudden I was roused from a momentary forgetfulness of all other fears, by a shout bursting forth just beside me, as if a whole tribe of Mohawks were putting up their whoop of destruction. Rivetted to the spot, I never should have ventured to leave it, had I not gradually discovered that the cause of my immediate alarm was an innocent jack-ass, browsing close by, whose braying I had mistaken for an Indian war whoop. Reviving to something better than my former level of despondency, I determined to make this beast the instrument of my rescue.
As I found he had a bridle on, though no saddle or panniers, I clambered on to his bare back, and jerking him into a jos, committed my fate to his superior knowledge of the city, suffering him to carry me which way he chose, and transported at even this change in my forlorn circumstances. The branches flapped me in the face; the briars and brushwood scratched my lacerated legs; but nevertheless I plodded on with my ass, trusting to his instinct for being brought to some human habitation."
But threatening as had been his dangers, and hair-breadth his escapes, the climax of his wocs and terrors was not yet complete. He had proceeded but a short distance on his donkey, whose mouth was hard, and his spirit most characteristically ungovernable, when, by the perverseness of the beast, he was carried almost into the bosom of a demon-like assemblage of savage cannibals, by whom he confidently expected to be spitted alive, roasted, and devoured. He was afterwards overtaken by a most merciless thunder-storm, in which the blue cross lightnings overwhelmed him with dismay, and the descending waters drenched him to the skin. To complete the chapter of mishaps and mortifying adventures incident to his ramble, after
passing an uncomfortable night in a log farm-house, he was conveyed next.morning to his lodgings, in a cart loaded with potatoes, and, by the uncourteous driver, “shot down at the inn-door with the rest of his burthen.” Lastly came on, as a consequence of his preceding disasters, fever and blood-letting, physic and aches, acold room and a hard bed, with all the other evils, majora et minora, attendant on sickness among an ignorant, rude, iron-hearted and impoverished people. Such and so numerous are the adventures of a day, in the city of Washington; and such the spirited but sarcastic picture of that “ American Palmyra” with which the.young Greek merchant endeavours to amuse his correspondent in Smyrna.
So much for the letters of Inchiquin, intended to give a view of European prejudices, errors, and follies in relation to America. Of those, and they are a production of a much higher order, in which, with a valour little less than chivalrous, that writer steps forth, the gallant and masculine defender of our country, due notice shall be taken on a subsequent occasion.
CORRESPONDENCE.FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
MISS SYDNEY OWENSON,
THE POETESS AND NOVEL WRITER.
This lady has observed in the preface to one of her novels, that she has written almost as many volumes, as she has years." If this declaration be taken literally, it follows, that not above the one half of those has yet reached our country, Since it
it will be found in the life of the poet Dermody, that in the year 1786, being an inmate of Mr. Owenson's family, he addressed an admonatory poem to Miss Sydney Owenson, and her twin sister, beginning
“Dear girls, in youth and beauty's pride."
Now, it is not to be presumed, that those cautionary verses to ladies in "youth and beauty's pride," could have been applicable before they had reached the age of eleven or twelve, the probability rather is in favour of their being in the bloom of fifteen or sixteen, yet admitting that the age of these ladies had not exceeded that of cleven years, this would, at the present time, bring Miss Owenson to the mature period of thirty-five. For which fact see the very interesting life of the poet Dermody, by Raymond. The same work also describes Mr. Owenson, the father of our authoress, as being a very respectable actor of the Theatre Royal, Dublin.
The moral character of Miss Owenson is irreproachable, and it is said that her talents, have been the means of introducing her to the first society, among the nobility and gentry of her native country.
Critically considered, her poems are perhaps the least excellent of all the productions of Miss Owenson's mind, possessing but little originality, and being a palpable imitation of the manner and costume of Moore, without his inspired genius. In these poems, she professes to be the victim of an ardent and reciprocal passion, which passion, as she is still unmarried, seems not to have terminated in the usual way.
ller “ Ida of Athens” appears to have been built upon the model of Madame de Stael's “Corinna," is superior in its moral, but greatly inferior in its mere literary effect as a whole, to the original French work.
Of all the novels of Miss Owenson, that of the greatest ingenuity, and which gives the most indubitable proofs of fine