« ForrigeFortsæt »
only felt unhappy that the six short weeks could not last forever. How like a fawn she tripped at his side on the hills, and how merrily her glad laughter echoed among the trees, her bright hair floating in careless tresses, and the rich blood mantling her cheek!
William's love grew warm again as he looked on her, and he forgot that he had felt sorry to leave Laura Gay. It is true that Lucy could not converse as Laura did, and framed no delicate compliments to reach his vanity ; but in the pure love of that artless but beautiful girl he forgot Laura, and thought that he could never grow cold again.
Lucy was now nineteen, and her full though slender form was round and graceful. A woman now, she had all a woman's tenderness; and as her blue eyes beamed into William's face, he thought that she had never appeared so lovely. Confiding in him, she looked forward to the time when she should be his wife and bear his name. But oh, how sadly was that poor girl to be disappointed! A few weeks at college, and with Laura Gay, and he again forgot Lucy Hill; and while she grew sad that he did not write her, and felt an indefinite alarm for something, she knew not what, he was all life and animation ; and though he still applied himself to his books, and loved them, he loved more the light of Laura's brilliant eye and the soft smile which always welcomed him to her presence. She was indeed a noble girl ; tall, with flashing dark eyes and raven hair, and a soft, warm, delicate hand, that did not refuse the ardent pressure which the young student gave it whenever they met. True, some whispered that she was a coquette, and only displayed her beauty and charms of conversation to triumph over the unwary; indeed they named those whom she had trifled with, but what cared young
Herford for that, so long as she was to him so warm and confiding ? She even spoke to him of what people said of her, and seemed grateful that he alone among so many knew her real character, and valued her as she wished to be valued. That term glided away like a leaf upon the running water, and William's heart smote him as the vacation found him once again at home, for he no longer loved Lucy Hill! He was too generous at first to show it to her, but when he reflected that she must some time or other know that his feelings were changed, he determined at once to tell her all. It was not without a trembling hand that he drew the latch of the gate and walked up the pathway to Lucy's door ; he even wavered whether he should tell her or not; and all his resolu. tion melted away, as she met him with tears and kisses, and told him how she had wept many a lonely night, and in the morning too, because no letter had arrived from him.
It was a glorious October day, and as they passed through the orchard on their way to the hill, the apples hung red upon the rustling boughs, and the woodpecker few from tree to tree before them, uttering his short, shrill cry; and the yellow-hammer dodged round the stakes of the rail-fence, and seemed to nod them recognition. The flowers and the leaves were gone from the wild-briar; and the arch look which Lucy gave Herford as they passed it, filled him with keen grief, and his lip quivered, and his eye was moist as they sat down together on the moss by the spring, where more than two years before they had confessed their mutual affection. He saw that she perceived it, and taking her hand in his, he then told her all. Oh, how the heart of that lovely girl
sank within her as she heard what he told her! He felt her hand tremble and
grow cold as ice, and saw her brow and cheek grow pale, but she did not weep.
• God knows, William,' said she, as she turned her blue eyes to his,' how well I have loved you these two happy years ! I love you still; for you have a noble heart, and I know that you do not willingly inflict this cruel wound. Do not pity me— do not weep,' for his tears came, in spite of himself; “I can bear it, to make you happy. Will you not love me as a sister, and be • brother William still ?' He did not answer, but folded her to his heart in one last embrace of overwhelming emotion, and though she was still pale, she strove to look cheerful as they returned to the house. That evening they told her parents; and though her father's brow lowered at first, and her mother looked sorrowfully upon the pale face of her beautiful daughter, yet William's open-hearted frankness atoned for all. The large Bible was taken down from the old desk, and after a chapter had been read, they all knelt down together, and the voice of farmer Hill went up in prayer for the well-being of William Herford, and his own sweet daughter; and when William bade them good night, Lucy kissed him, but without tears, though her bosom swelled thus to part with him. They met afterward while the vacation lasted, and although Lucy would steal out alone to weep by the naked wild-briar and the spring, they never went there together. Only to Ellen did William confide the occurrences of that day; for he feared that his father would blame him, though he felt him. self that he had acted honorably. William returned to college, and in Ellen, Lucy found a warm-hearted, sympathizing friend. As their engagement had not been known in the village, so Lucy's pride was not hurt by ill-natured remarks, when in the course of the next two years William did not return home, except for a day or two at a time, and then did not make more than hasty calls at farmer Hill's, although he never neglected to send his love to Lucy; and she, poor girl! found some little consolation in reading the letters which he wrote to Ellen, and which contained this little token of his remembrance and esteem. Hers was not a heart to break, simply because she was so unselfish; and this too was the reason why William did not show how deeply his heart was wounded, and how bitterly his pride was stung, when he found that Laura Gay was in truth the heartless coquette she had been represented. He felt that the pain he suffered was perhaps the just punishment for his fickleness; but it seared over his heart, and shut it to love, and he went out into the world proof against the assaults of beauty, yet with a heart open to the distress of his fellow-men, the while it beat high with a loftier ambition.
Three or four years after, when Lucy was the wife of a young farmer in the neighborhood, William Herford, who had become a lawyer in one of the Atlantic cities, returned on a wedding tour to his native village; and as he presented his wealthy but plain-looking lady to the guests assembled in his father's house, a momentary sadness flitted over his face, while he shook hands with the young farmer's lovely blue-eyed wife, and remembered the wild-briar and his first love for the blooming Lucy Hill.
R, E. B.
VISION OF KAR-IS-TA-GI-A, A SACHEM OF CAYUGA.
• Who then lives to mourn 579 ?
None. What marks our extermination ? Nothing.'
All the antiquities of our nation are essentially Indian; but as there is no tie between their race and ours, save that of common humanity, we have, with indifference, suffered the shade of obscurity to grow darker upon their receding footsteps, until we may justly fear that posterity will seek in vain, in the literature of the present age, for traces of Indian society or government, which reach beyond the most general and comprehensive characteristics. We, who have been reared in the land of the Iroquois, can merely give in evidence that we beheld the slender fabric of Indian government while it was shaking in pieces, and that we have since carelessly looked upon the fragments. We also, who dwell on the banks of the beautiful Cayuga, can scarcely tell whence came the nation who bequeathed to it its name, or whither it has departed; how long they exercised dominion over these fair territories; how numerous their warriors; or how frequent their religious and martial festivals. On these and kindred topics the records are scanty indeed; while of the traditionary lore of the Cayugas there is scarcely a vestige to be found.
The subjoined vision, however, came into the writer's possession in a manner so singular and unexpected as to awaken considerable interest, and it is presented nearly as it was received. It runs in the following words:
On a summer evening, about ninety years since, the Sachem Kar-ista-gi-a stood upon a gentle eminence overlooking the present site of the village of Aurora, and gazed upon the darkening shadows as they gathered over the bosom of the lake. The sun had set behind the land of the Senecas, leaving the stillness of the twilight hour to reign over the unbroken scenery of Nature. To the left of where he stood, about two miles in the distance, a point of land juts out into the lake; its bluff and curving banks diminishing as the eye advances, until the point itself seems to disappear under the surface of the water. To the right also, at about an equal distance, another point puts out into the broad Cayuga, thus forming the segment of a great circle, of which the eminence mentioned is midway upon the circular line, and commands one of those wonderful combinations of the beautiful and the grand in natural scenery, on which the eye might ever rest with unsatisfied admiration. The opposite western shore likewise forms an apparent curve, following the Cayuga as it sweeps around the points on either side, and is soon lost between the hills. Over this vast and beautiful prospect the glories of parting day yet lingered which were cast by the sun's setting indescribable. The hues of twilight had shed their brightness on surrounding nature and disappeared, while Karistagia still continued to muse in silence, and unmoved by the grandeur of the scene before him, or the
future destinies of his people. He was now in the vigor of manhood : :
* H18 sinewy frame, his noble air,
His lofty brow and martial frown;
A sachem he, of high renown.'
But in the midst of his meditations he was sorrowful, and dark forebodings of the future weighed heavily on his mind. The unbroken forest indeed yet waved over him, and the wild deer roamed its pathless wilds. His chiefs and warriors, whose simple abodes were scattered thickly along the margin of the lake, where yet within his call. The light canoe might yet glide upon the sunny waters in safety, and the hunting grounds be resorted to, with none to molest : but a party of whites had this day crossed his lands. They had scanned with eager and impatient looks the beauty and fertility of this inland region; and Karistagia had marked their coming and departure with a suspicious and anxious eye. They were the first that had penetrated the territories of the Cayugas; and it brought vividly before the mind of the sachem the fate of those kindred races' toward the rising sun,' who had been overrun and finally exterminated. The rising fortunes of this white race, their superior sagacity, their enterprise and their civilization, suggested to the mind of the chieftain the figure of a cloud rising darkly over their political horizon; which gathering strength and energy with its ascent, seemed even then to hang over the house of the Iroquois with a threatening potency, which must visit it eventually with utter desolation.
With his mind filled with these impressions, he had continued to stand in thoughtful silence until the shades of evening had fallen around him, and the stars of heaven had come forth to cast their faint illumination over the scene. Being thus admonished that the hour of repose
drew on apace, he retired beneath the shelter of an oak, and having gathered the simple folds of his mantle about him, he laid down to rest upon the
The mild air of summer was loaded with the fragrance of the woodland flowers; and under its balmy influence the forest chief tain soon fell into the arms of sleep. It was then came over his spirit strange visions of the night. He thought the forest had cast its leaves for the ninetieth time, and he again stood upon the same little eminence from which he had but then retired to rest. But a prospect now rose up at once astonishing and incomprehensible. The noble forest had disappeared, and trees and shrubbery of another kind met his eye in every direction. Just below him rose the spire of a church, where once had stood the lofty elm. The Indian trail had been changed to a broad and commodious street; and the cottage and the more stately edifice were ranged along the places where but yesterday were seen the wigwams of his warrior-chiefs. In the grove where they were accustomed to celebrate their national rites and offer up their adoration to the Great Spirit, an institution of learning had been reared. On the still surface of the lake, steam-vessels were gliding with graceful ease, whose motion and size were to him a mystery and a wonder; while nearer the shore there appeared a small but gaily.decorated boat, which conveyed over the sunny waves a thoughtless and joyous company; and from whom the