Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

Here the heart
May give a useful lesson to the head,
and Learning wiser grow without his books.-Cowper.

[blocks in formation]

Eritered, according to Act of Congress, in the vear 1839. by

J FENIMORE COOPER, catie Ciark's' Oflice of the District Court of the United States.

on and for the Northern District of few York.

sevid. Barbour 3-arab

PREFACE.

The plan of this tale is old, having suggested itself to the writer many years since; though the details are altogether of recent invention. The idea of associating seamen and savages, in incidents that might be supposed characteristic of the Great Lakes, having been mentioned to a publisher, the latter obtained something like a pledge from the Author, to carry out the design at some future day; which pledge is now tardily and imperfectly redeemed.

The reader may recognize an old friend, under new circumstances, in the principal character of this legend. If it should be found that the exhibition made of this old acquaintance, in the novel circumstances in which he appears, shall not lessen his favour with the public, ! it will be a source of extreme gratification to the writer, since he has an interest in the individual in question, that falls little short of reality. It is not an easy task, however, to introduce the same character in four separate works, and to maintain the peculiari. ties that are indispensable to identity, without incurring a risk of fatiguing the reader with sameness; and the present experiment has been so long delayed, quite as much from doubts of its success as from

any

other cause. In this, as in every other undertaking, it must be the “ end” that will “ crown the work.”

The Indian character has so little variety, that it has been an object to avoid dwelling on it too much, on the present occasion. Its association with the sailor,

« ÎnapoiContinuați »