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repels invasion. But when dire Winter has put forth his rugged face, and the earth has become white with ice-when Boreas is at liberty, and snow has been sent upon the regions under the Bear-then it is true that these nations are distressed by a shivering climate. The snow lies deep, and as it lies neither sun nor rains melt it; Boreas hardens it, and makes it endure forever. Hence, when the former ice has not melted, fresh succeeds; and in many places it is Iwont to last for two years.
So great is the strength of the north wind, when aroused, that it levels high towers to the ground, and roofs are borne away. The inhabitants poorly defend themselves from the cold by skins and sewed breeches; and of the whole body the face is the only part exposed. Often the hair, as it is moved, rattles with the pendent icicle, and the white beard shines. with the ice that has been formed upon it. Liquid wine becomes solid, and preserves the form of the vessel. They do not drink draughts of it, but take bites.
Why should I mention how the frozen rivers become hard, and how the brittle water is dug out of the streams? The Danube itself-which is no narrower than the Nile-mingles through many mouths with the vast ocean. It freezes as the wind hardens its azure streams, and it rolls to the sea with covered waters. Where ships had gone, men now walk on foot; and the hoof of the horse indents the waters hardened by freezing. Samaritan oxen drag the uncouth wagons along strange bridges as the waters roll beneath.
Indeed (I shall hardly be believed, but inasmuch as there is no profit in untruths, an eye-witness ought to receive full confidence) I have seen the vast sea frozen with ice, and a slippery crust covered the unmoved waters. To have seen is not enough. I have trodden upon the hardened ocean, and the surface
of the water was under my foot, not wetted by it. The ships stand hemmed in by the frost as though by marble, and no oar can cleave the stiffened water.
When the Danube has been made solid by the drying Northern blasts, the barbarous enemy is carried over on his swift steed. An enemy, strong in horses, and in the arrow that flies from afar, depopulates the neighboring region far and wide. Some take to flight: and no one being left to protect the fields, the unguarded property becomes a prey. Some of the people are driven along as captives, with their arms fastened behind their backs, looking back in vain upon their fields and their homes; some die in torments, pierced by poisoned arrows. What the enemy cannot carry with them they destroy; and the flames consume the unoffending cottages.
Even when there is peace, there is alarm from the apprehension of war. This region either beholds the enemy, or is in dread of a foe which it does not behold. The earth, deserted, becomes worthless; left untilled in ruinous neglect. Here the luscious grape does not lie hidden under the shade of the leaves, and the fermenting new wine does not fill the deep vats. The country does not bear fruit. You may behold naked plains without trees, without herbage: places, alas! not to be visited by a fortunate man! Since the great globe is so wide, why has this land been found out for the purpose of my punishment?
JAMES K. PAULDING
JAMES KIRKE PAULDING, humorist, biographer and novelist, was born at Pleasant Valley, N. Y., in 1779; died at Hyde Park in 1860. He collaborated with William Irving and Washington Irving in Salmagundi," published in 1807. He published during the second war with Great Britain, "The United States and England," and was appointed secretary to the navy commission as a reward. In 1837 he was made Secretary of the Navy. His best works are 66 George Washington," "The Dutchman's Fireside," "Westward Ho," a novel of Kentucky life, "Koningsmarke.”
A NIGHT ADVENTURE
(From the "Dutchman's Fireside")
HOULD you discover the position of the
Sybrandt, "you must depend upon your Own sagacity, and that of Timothy Weasel for the direction of your subsequent conduct."
Timothy Weasel! who is he?"
"What! have you never heard of Timothy Weasel, the Varmounter, as he calls himself?"
"Well then, I must give you a sketch of his story before I introduce him. He was born in New Hampshire, as he says, and in due time, as is customary in those parts, married, and took possession, by right of discovery I suppose, of a tract of land in what was at that time called the New Hampshire grants. Others followed him, and in the course of a
few years a little settlement was formed of real 'cute Yankees, as Timothy calls them, to the amount of sixty or seventy men, women, and children. They were gradually growing in wealth and numbers, when one night, in the dead of winter, they were set upon by a party of Indians from Canada, and every soul of them, except Timothy, either consumed in the flames or massacred in the attempt to escape. have witnessed in the course of my life many scenes of horror, but nothing like that which he describes, in which his wife and eight children perished. Timothy was left for dead by the savages, who, as is their custom, departed at the dawn, for fear the news of this massacre might rouse some of the neighboring settlements in time to overtake them before they reached home. When all was silent, Timothy, who, though severely wounded in a dozen places, had, as he says, only been playing 'possum,' raised himself up and looked around him. The smoking ruins, mangled limbs, blood-stained snow, and the whole scene, as he describes it with quaint pathos, is enough to make one's blood run cold. He managed to raise himself upright, and, by dint of incredible exertions, to reach a neighboring settlement, distant about forty miles, where he told his story, and then was put to bed, where he lay some weeks. In the meantime the people of the settlement had gone and buried the remains of his unfortunate family and neighbors. When Timothy got well, he visited the spot, and while viewing the ruins of the houses, and pondering over the graves of all that were dear to him, solemnly devoted the remainder of his life to revenge. He accordingly buried himself in the woods, and built a cabin about twelve miles from hence, in a situation the most favorable to killing the 'kritters,' as he calls the savages. From that time until now he has waged a perpetual war against them, and, according to his own account, sacrificed
almost a hecatomb to thę manes of his wife and children. His intrepidity is wonderful, and his sagacity in the pursuit of this grand object of his life beyond all belief. I am half a savage myself, but I have heard this man relate stories of his adventures and escapes which make me feel myself, in the language of the red skins, a woman' in comparison with this strange compound of cunning and simplicity. It is inconceivable with what avidity he will hunt an Indian; and the keenest sportsman does not feel a hundredth part of the delight in bringing down his game that Timothy does in witnessing the mortal pangs of one of these 'kritters.' It is a horrible propensity: but to lose all in one night, and to wake the next morning and see nothing but the mangled remains of wife, children, all that man holds most dear to his inmost heart, is no trifle. If ever man had motive for revenge, it is Timothy. Such as he is I employ him, and find his services highly useful. He is a compound of the two races, and combines all the qualities essential to the species of warfare in which we are now engaged. I have sent for him, and expect him here every moment."
As Sir William concluded, Sybrandt heard a long dry sort of "He-e-e-m-m," ejaculated just outside of the door. "That's he," exclaimed Sir William: "I know the sound. It is his usual expression of satisfaction at the prospect of being employed against his old enemies the Indians. Come in, Timothy."
Timothy accordingly made his appearance, forgot his bow, and said nothing. Sybrandt eyed his associate with close attention. He was a tall, wind-dried man, with extremely sharp, angular features, and a complexion deeply bronzed by the exposures to which he had been subjected for SO many years. His scanty head of hair was of a sort of sunburnt color; his beard of a month's growth at least, and his eye