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never hurried, and it never tires : and noiselessly as it moves on, it always gets through a whole day's work per diem. Slow and sure-but above every thing cautious. Persevere, and keep the end in view' is his one great apophthegm.
Observe the hands of any twenty Frenchmen: they have all the same character-you recognize it in an instant, and can never be mistaken. It is mean and cramped in the extreme; and one can only wonder that crunching the pen’in their fingers as they do, they do not stain their dexter digits as much as they stain their paper. I may be charged with illiberality for saying that such is the character of their minds: but I am not speaking at random in asserting that in all that relates to the actual thing, -to the practice of science, that meanness of hand is in keeping with the petitesse of their intellectuality. In all that relates to ornament- to the creation of éclat-to the fantastic and intangible,- to all these, and to all modifications of these purposes, their immense superiority over a plain practical people like ourselves must be admitted. Is not this in keeping with the fantastic flourishes with which they invariably ornament and conceal their meanly written autographs! The hand of Napoleon, be it remembered, is founded not upon the French but upon the Italian model—though, as • l’Empereur,' he occasionally adopted a slight touch of the French taste for the flourish.'
The elegance and grace of the old Italian hand still lingers in that of the modern Italian: and who will say that it is not like all that pertains to that land of ideality and of taste ?
The cold phlegmatic German hand tells us of hard-working, pains-taking, elaborate, involved, and tardy intellect. It bespeaks a drudging devotion to mere detail, and a manuscript in such a hand as the German, depicting natural sunny feelings and chaste imagination, would be as rare as a garden perfumed by blooming roses at Christmas—all but an impossibility. The caligraphy itself, touching on love, reminds one of Graybeard pouring tenderness into the unwilling ears of the maid of nineteen. Their imaginative works are indeed for the most part so artificial, so unartistic, so heavy and involved-so mixed up with the supernatural, and that supernatural so clumsily developed -as to render them to an English mind the very essence of childish triviality.
But in this age of fashionable affectation of Germanism this is heresy,--and I desist.
There may be reasons not very Aattering to national pride or local fascinations, why neither Wales nor the Highlands of Scotia have ever been conquered, analogous to those usually assigned for the irreducible nature of certain ladies.
The Trapper's Bride, a Tale of the Rocky Mountains, with
the Rose of Ouisconsin. Indian Tales, by Percy B. St. John.
London. Mortimer, 1845. Since the day of the first publication of that most spiritstirring of romances, • The Last of the Mohicans,' thanks to the power of steam which has reduced this globe of ours from the size of a large folio to that of a very portable octavo, we have become better acquainted with our wild Indian brethren on the other side the Atlantic. We are no longer, as in days of yore, content with the representations of Redskins on the boards of our minor theatres by troops of wild Irishmen-wilder far than the wildest Indian tribe whose customs and manners they professed to illustrate—we have now Ojibbeways riding on our omnibuses, swimming in the Holborn baths, and howling and dancing in the Egyptian Hall; Ioways encamp on Lord's cricket ground and in Vauxhall Gardens, and Canadians marry our fair daughters in St. Martin's Church. But the progress of steam is not yet arrested; Heaven only knows where it will stop! Swiftly and surely is it advancing and fast reducing the already reduced world from the aforesaid octavo size to that of the smallest pocket duodecimo. Ere long we shall speak with as much composure of a voyage across the Atlantic as we do now of a trip to Paris, or a sail down the river to Margate or Gravesend. Noble lords, who are inclined to absenteeism, will build villas in Canada or in Texas; at the close of each season London will contribute as many fair faces and broken-down constitutions to the continent of America, as at the present era to the capitals and watering-places of Europe; 'pale-faced' denizens of the inns of court will spend their long vacations in the backwoods; hunting, shooting, and fishing parties to the great lakes, forests, and rivers, will be things of every day occurrence, and even the linendrapers' apprentices of this our great city will pass their three weeks a year furlough amidst the woods, the prairies, the falls, the cataracts, and the wild scenery of the new world. Then will our publishers' tables groan under the weight of Reminiscences of the Redskins,' Incidents amongst the Iroquois, Chances amongst the Choctaws,' * Scenes amongst the Sioux,'.· Accidents on the Arkansas River,' “ Traits of the Texans,' Wanderings on the Winnipeg,' " Recollections of the Red River,' et hoc genus omne. Alas for the world at large, but especially the literary world! We are now assuredly more familiar with the manners, customs, habits, and character of the Indians of North America ; many and excellent works have appeared on these subjects, but this fami
liarity so far from breeding contempt has inspired in the minds of all a certain degree of respect for their constitution both mental and bodily, and on some of us the effect of this more intimate acquaintance with these races has been to create a desire for further research, and has given rise to some curious ethnological theories touching the origin and future destination of these children of the forest and prairie. For these reasons and, en attendant, the literary surfeit anticipated, we are glad to see the announcement of any work tending directly or indirectly to illustrate or throw any light upon North American Indian life.
The smallness of the size of the little work before us, and the total absence of all pretension, would disarm more severe critics than we are inclined to prove. But even independently of these claims to leniency we think that from its own intrinsic merit Mr. St. John's book will meet with a favourable reception. It contains two stories illustrative of backwood Indian life, both of which are smartly and sketchily told. The plot of the first• The Trapper's Bride'-is simple enough. A handsome young Trapper falls in love with a young Indian girl; she of course loves him in return, but, alas ! her father, though quite willing to part with her, demands for her no less a price than twelve good horses to be delivered to him upon receipt of his daughter: the
young trapper not possessing even a donkey, wisely determines to gain his bride free, gratis, for nothing, how he can and when he can; he enlists in his service a Yankee, one Ephraim Smith, and together they run away with the young squaw. We have a bivouac,'' a surprise,'' a chase,' a great many amusing Yankee expressions from Mr. Smith all well and brilliantly related. The other tale, · The Rose of Ouisconsin,' is written much in the same style; we have a great deal of rescuing and fighting both on land and in the water, with, of course, a termination satisfactory to all parties.
Mr. St. John writes forcibly and clearly; it is evident that he has his subject up,' and with the exception of one or two faults that betray the young author, but which are scarcely worth adverting to, his book is free from mannerism and stiffness. His descriptions are at times very powerful; at the risk of trespassing upon the patience of our readers we cannot refrain from transcribing his account of a prairie storm-it is found in the Trapper's bride,' p. 43:
• But a low growling sound had drawn their eyes towards the far horizon, and there was a small cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, but black as Erebus, rising in a bank of vapour. On it came, spreading with lightning speed o'er the fair surface of the blue and smiling heavens; but a minute since it was one speck of night in a vast ocean of clear sky, but borne on the mighty wings of the blast, its dark outline spread across the whole range of the east, obscuring the sun, and clothing the vault above in a funeral pall, that rolled swiftly but majestically towards the mountains; on it came, huge columns of dingy vapour, vast masses of inky darkness crowding in wild and furious tumult along, mountain upon mountain of towering clouds, big with the awful artillery of heaven, pregnant to bursting with the weight of waters, and marshalling for the contest that was to come.
• Long bursting gusts of wind were felt, and then large drops of rain came pattering down swiftly upon the heads of the devoted pair.
• Long ere this, however, Ephraim and Pierre had prepared for the tempest. Unslinging their guns, the muzzles were carefully stopped up with corks kept in their pouches for the purpose, while round the locks several pieces of leather were wrapped with the most studious care. The powder flasks were bestowed away in the driest possible corner of their habiliments, and then, drawing their caps close over their ears, and buckling their waistbands tight, they turned their backs on the tempest, and they proceeded on their way. Without hope of shelter, they had no alternative between advancing and standing still, of which the former was plainly the wisest mode of procedure.
• Meanwhile thunder-gust upon thunder-gust followed, the rain fell in cold shivering floods, it poured in torrents, it pelted in heavy sheets of water, and the stony plain was one vast ocean of dancing puddles. The din was tremendous as this reeking shower roared, rushed, foamed along, howling like some huge cataract, and, pursued by the furious wind, flew laterally along the surface of the level prairie; it was a bleak and chilly nor'-easter, cold, cutting, and unmerciful. It was of no avail to draw their deerskin frocks tightly round them, the wind penetrated to their very bones, it deafened their ears, and, wrapping all around in one vast veil of spray, rendered, as it groaned by, all objects invisible at the distance of a few yards. Indeed, after the first burst of the tempest it was impossible to tell the direction in which they were advancing, but, by trusting to the wind, and taking care to keep this always in the rear, they did not diverge much from the right way.
• Suddenly, a flash of lightning, almost blinding them, rendered the whole of heaven a fire-roofed cavern; a sheet of flame, perfectly awful in its intensity, poured its fury over all, illumining the wild scenes around, and for a moment hushing even the raging wind. The mountains stood out in bold relief, the pebbly plain looked as if seen through a microscope of fame, and all nature assumed a ghastly hue. Then came the thunder-peal, to meet which the two travellers closed the apertures of their ears with their fingers, striving to deaden at all events something of the violence of the sound.
• The mighty roar of a battle-field, where a hundred cannons pour fourth their belching fury, could give no idea of the tremendous-nay the infernal nature of this explosion. It seemed to rend the very heavens in twain. Then all was hushed; the rain ceased, the wind died
away, the echoes of the live thunder gloomily groaned from the faroff hills, the sky broke, the deep azure prevailed, and the storm was over. Such is the violence, and such the brevity of these prairie tempests.'
Mr. St. John's little work is neatly got up, neatly printed, neatly bound, and somewhat more than neatly written. We have read its contents with great pleasure, and we prophecy that many will follow our example.
Mr. St. John promises some more tales and sketches; we shall be glad again to play the critic's part, we care not how soon, and meanwhile wish our young author all success in his literary career.
In the preceding sections it has been established that indefinite progression is incompatible with the perpetuity of the existing order of the material universe; that more numerous and accurate the observations, and more consistent and cumulative the demonstration appears of a pervading law of periodical revolution throughout the entire range of nature; that the celestial luminaries are universally subject to this law, not only in their primary motions round their central foci, but that the apparent perturbations of their orbicular movements are bound by the same immutable condition of perpetual recurrence within prescribed limits of eccentricity; so that there can be no confusion, collision, or chaos. Provision has been made for the eternal duration of the world, conformably to existing arrangements, by all its constituent members being made to revolve within a cycle of determinate changes, in which there can be no end, disorder, or destruction, only serial repetitions and unvarying conservation through an eternity of ages.
It has been also shewn that Man is subject to a like universal and immutable law; that he has his cycle, his destined series of repetitionary vicissitudes; that he is not indefinitely progressive in his nature, but a being formed to be what he is ; that, in consequence, human perfectibility is a chimera, and that though he may be capable of many changes, of great exaltation or great depression of condition, he cannot escape from the alternating series of revolutions to which he is limited into a new sphere of existence.
Having shewn that this is the law which governs the individual, it seems almost superfluous to establish the same regimen